Newsletter April 2019
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Not every on-the-job conversation will be pleasant, especially if you’re in a leadership role. Sometimes keeping your business, team or project on track means keeping your employees or coworkers in check. Here are a few tips for making those tough talks a little easier.
- Affirm their value and recognize successes. Open the conversation by telling them how much they mean to the success of company. Be sure to highlight what they’re doing right before you start in on what’s going wrong. People who feel valued and who understand their role in the business are more likely to accept your correction rather than taking it personally.
- Explain the benefits. Make it clear that your feedback is not an arbitrary exercise of your authority. Explain why this change is necessary for the project, company, team, etc. as well as for their own success. Be sure they understand how they will benefit personally from adjusting their actions.
- Strategize your phrasing. It doesn’t matter how right your arguments may be if your words completely alienate the other person. Simple changes like keeping a positive spin or replacing “you” with “I” or “we” can help keep them from getting defensive. For example, “You keep forgetting Task A” may be true but “It’s very important for all of us that Task A is done, that’s why it is your responsibility” communicates the same thing with less sting. Don’t pull your punches when necessary but this conversation should be about correction, not punishment.
- Listen! Address any excuses, justifications, or objections calmly and thoroughly. Respect their opinions and try to see their side of things. Don’t assume you already know all the answers. It’s always possible that their perspective will shed light on a different cause for the problem.
- Don’t get defensive. If they fire back, stay calm. Likewise, if they get upset, don’t press the matter. Suggest another meeting time to give them – and yourself – time to cool down.
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As we noted in February, Xerox began quietly shuttering about half of Xerox Business Systems (formerly Global Imaging Systems) offices. CRN quoted one of the affected office workers saying, “We were told that sales would remain, but the office staff would be let go. The sales team is going to work remotely and report to the regional office.”
About a month later came the March 19th announcement that Xerox would be outsourcing many of its support roles to India. Xerox signed a seven-year agreement for an incremental $1.3 billion with HCL Technologies in which the Indian company will manage global administrative and support functions including IT and finance functions (excluding accounting).
Unfortunately, not many details have been officially released regarding the thousands of Xerox employees affected by this move. The Xerox/HCL press release only offers the following:
“As part of the agreement, a group of Xerox employees will transfer to HCL (subject to compliance with European works council consultation and employment regulatory requirements). The employees who are transferring to HCL will have an opportunity to be part of a leading global technology company.”
Forum posts in The Layoff indicate that affected Xerox employees received generic letters about the transition laying out a choice between a forthcoming HCL offer or voluntary resignation. However, two days later there are still posts claiming they haven’t received the offer letters from HCL. This delay left them little time to consult with legal counsel and make a decision before the March 25th deadline.
Outsourcing thousands of jobs is all part of Xerox’s on-going cost-cutting measures like cutting 900 jobs and reducing severance in October, rebranding GIS as XBS in February, creating a holding company in March, etc. The day after announcing the HCL agreement, Xerox filed a number of documents with the SEC, including presentation slides detailing plans – dubbed Project Own It – to save $1.5 billion by 2021. The slideshow claims the arrangement with HCL Technology will result in “savings of $90 million in 2019 and approximately $120 million annually thereafter.”
Read more news from around the industry on our News & Resources page.
Our readers respond to last month’s poll question
Last month we discussed tips for improving your decision-making styles, so we were curious to hear about how you make decisions. We had a solid turnout of 6,220 votes this month!
Most of you prefer to use the maximizing style (47%), which can be great for finding the very best option when you have to the time to do the research. Others chose the prioritizing style (32%), which means they will be less picky about smaller decisions and save their time and energy for the tough, important choices. A few of you prefer to follow your intuition (15%) when faced with a tough call, which allows you to decide quickly but may take you down some unintended paths. Only 5% of you chose the satisficing style, which is a style that avoids the diminishing returns of exhaustive research by simply choosing the first option that meets your requirements. And the remaining 1% either took our joke option or truly does struggle with decision-making!
- Maximizing: I do the research to find the optimal choice (47%, 2,915 Votes)
- Prioritizing: I save my energy for the decisions that really matter (32%, 1,982 Votes)
- Intuiting: I follow my instincts (15%, 938 Votes)
- Satisficing: I choose the first option that meets my requirements (5%, 295 Votes)
- Gosh, I don’t know – stop pressuring me! (1%, 90 Votes)
Total Voters: 6,220 (March 1, 2019 @ 5:40 am - April 2, 2019 @ 11:59 am)
Some comments from y’all:
- “I prioritize the most urgent 2 or 3 things and shoot for that every day. If I don’t get to my 4th, 5th, or 6th priority put on the top 3 the next day. So by the end of the week I have accomplished top 15 or so! Which is usually enough or more to keep my customers and my boss happy.”
- “At times it seems like crisis management, which is not fun, nor is it a good thing!”
- “Problem solving by finding solutions that are good for the customer, good for the company, and good for the employees all at the same time will always result in a balanced approach for all. The challenge is to get American capitalistic leadership to see the benefits and buy in. Unfortunately, the entrepreneurs and CEOs of the past 20 years tend to focus on only one or two of those three crucial stakeholders.”
- “Being cut to the bone in staffing, I’m lucky to get to my priority accounts each day.”
Looking for top Copier Channel professionals? Copier Careers helps industry employers find the qualified staff they need to grow their businesses. Learn more.
- Honestly, I don't take it well (45%, 3,246 Votes)
- Sure, if it's actually constructive (36%, 2,624 Votes)
- Not immediately but I can accept it next day (17%, 1,246 Votes)
- I know how to do my job, get off my back! (2%, 175 Votes)
Total Voters: 7,291 (April 2, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - April 30, 2019 @ 10:00 am)