In-office Halloween Party Perks

Halloween marks the beginning of a long line of fall and winter holidays, and what better way to bring the workplace team together than to kick off your celebrations right there in the office? It can get a little dicey when it comes to deciding which holidays and activities are appropriate or conducive to your work environment. But if yours is the type of team that thrives on interaction, collaboration, and sometimes a little good old-fashioned competition, then Conductor has some ideas for you to include in your Halloween party this year! Costume contests A costume contest among coworkers gives everyone the chance to show creativity and personality, plus generates a little excitement when you choose a great prize that motivates the whole team to join in! Just to cover your bases, be sure to explain all rules and regulations beforehand. That can mean anything from reiterating the office dress code and how it applies to appropriate costumes, to setting some more fun rules and categories. Try giving each department a theme, or coming up with awards for things like the most creative or eco-friendliest costumes. Haunted office Potential decorations are everywhere, including in your office environment. Enlist the help of your employees to make up some Halloween decorations, complete with cobwebs, paper or plastic jack-o-lanterns for longevity, and electric candles! Or, you and the team can use this as an opportunity for a contest as well. Everyone can decorate his or her own office space, and you can all cast votes for the spookiest corner of the building. Just remember to adhere to fire codes and other safety...

Bridging the Gap in a Multi-generational Office

The modern workplace is continually changing shape, and with more employees choosing to retire later in life, there’s a greater chance of capitalizing on the perks of a multi-generational office environment. But with this great opportunity for multiple perspectives, varying experience levels, and an endless supply of backgrounds and skill sets to draw from also comes the challenge of bridging multiple gaps between coworkers. So if you find yourself heading a team of professionals who all come from different generations, or even if you have just one outlier who happens to be older or younger than the rest, how do you ensure that everyone feels included and up-to-date on work-related matters? With an open mind and a few tweaks to your leadership style, it’s definitely possible, and your business will be the better for a more cohesive working team. Collaborations  In most industries, brainstorming sessions and collaborations are essential parts of getting a project off the ground. You can also use these to bring members of your team together to see how everyone contributes to the work, and therefore get the generations mingling and talking to one another. Things tend to get lost in translation over email or instant messenger, so try to have these activities carried out in person as often as possible with an open line of communication. Flexibility It’s easy to get stuck in your ways when a management style works. But when you’re working with people from different age groups, you’ll find that they respond in varying ways, too. If projects are taking longer than usual to complete, or maybe the quality of the work...

5 Leadership Skills that Help Boost Productivity

As a manager or senior member of the staff, you probably feel a lot of pressure to keep your team motivated and effective. After all, it’s your job to encourage productivity and make both the company and your employees the best they can be, all while doing your part to keep customers or clients happy and loyal to your business. So how do you pull off such a tough feat? It sounds daunting, but you already have the tools you need – otherwise, you wouldn’t be in a management position to start with. It’s time to call on your key skills and use them in a way that keeps your department running efficiently, and lets your employees feel valued in the workplace. To that end, we’ve pulled together five of the leadership skills you need to boost productivity and improve company culture all at the same time. Decisiveness You didn’t get to where you are without making a few tough calls. So when it comes time to be the tie-breaker, don’t hesitate. Your team needs to know that you can keep everything moving by removing the roadblocks, as it were. And when they know that you have their backs, and will support their work on your end, they’ll probably start being a little more decisive on theirs, too. An analytical mind While this skill may not be the one you think of when it comes to connecting with your employees, it’s the one you need to do your part in keeping the machine running. Creativity has its time and place, but as a manager, you deal more in the...

3 Myths About the Weekly Company Meeting

For most office environments, there are a few rituals that get everyone pumped up and happy to be working where they are: coffee in the breakroom, an end-of-week happy hour, staff lunches on special occasions, holiday parties. But, there are also the weekly to-do items that make everyone groan and drag their feet away from their desks, namely internal meetings. Whether it’s to make sure the departments all know what the others are doing that week, or checking in on a particular project, or going over the office budgets and processes, workplace meetings have a bad reputation for being dull and even sometimes wastes of time. The rumors don’t have to be true; in fact, in many cases they aren’t! If you want to improve the way your staff regroups, check out three of the more common myths about weekly company meetings and how you can help change your workplace’s perception of them. Myth #1: A manager always has to lead. If you’re in a leadership position, then you’ve probably been in a position where it felt like you were pulling teeth from your employees instead of asking for a little participation or feedback. So it seems perfectly natural to assume that you will have to be the one guiding all of the company meetings. If not you, then who else? Don’t give your employees so little credit – just because no one volunteers to lead the meeting doesn’t mean there isn’t anyone who could. Instead of making the weekly meetings a general overview of the business, extend the opportunity to one of the senior staff members of a...

How to Personalize a Larger Company

In today’s professional climate, there is no one-size-fits-all work environment. From the home office to a corner desk in the middle of some city’s downtown grind, employees can find a niche and excel at their work from just about anywhere – even from the comfort of their own homes! But that doesn’t mean that the larger companies or corporations have become a thing of the past. And with the rising interest in crafting company cultures to be more inclusive and accommodating, the pressure is on management to make even the widespread team feel like a close-knit unit. So if you work for one of those larger companies managing or operating within a team or department, what strategies can you use to help bring your coworkers together? Besides insightful training systems, Conductor has a few ways for you to bring the whole team up to speed and on the same page! Transparency In any type of work environment, or one that involves a team of colleagues bringing together pieces of a final product or design, it’s important that everyone has a say. Criticism should always be constructive and objective, and to give the best feedback, remaining transparent is key. When you give notes on an employee or coworker’s contribution, be sure to touch on both positives and negatives, and to keep an open mind if you’re engaging in an open conversation about the work with which you were presented. When your colleagues see that you’re willing to see all sides of the coin, and to adapt to a project’s unique parameters based on their interpretations, they’ll feel more appreciated and...

Organizing the Office for Productivity

It’s no secret that when you’re set up for success, you perform better at work and find yourself feeling less stressed and more optimistic throughout the work day. But if you’ve never been a stickler for neatness, or had the freedom to set up your workspace the way you might have liked, how do you even begin to find the right layout for your desktop, let alone the drawers below? Everyone has different preferences, but there are a few characteristics of a desk that’s organized for success that we think will at least help you get started. From there, you can always rearrange and try out new ideas to get it exactly how you like it, which will in turn make you and your staff much more productive in the long run. Logic over style Yes, we know that this is a boring one. But before you can put your own personal flair on your workspace, you need it laid out in a way that makes sense. So, start with the items you use more often than any others. Make sure they’re arranged in a way that enables easy access, without overcrowding you where you need to be able to sit comfortably. Productivity begins with having what you need at your fingertips, so why not organize your space to make it happen? Adjust your environment You might not actively think about it during the work day, but little details like the amount of natural light you can see to the temperature in your office can have a major impact on how productive you are. Take a look around and...