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THE LEGAL ISSUE 408-842-1688
FEEDBACK THAT FEEDS EMPLOYEE GROWTH
HOW TO PROVIDE GUIDANCE AND PRAISE IN A WAY THAT RESONATES
IT SHOULD BE DETAILED It’s always nice to hear, “Good work,” but it’s not super helpful. Sure, it’s an affirmation of effort and dedication, and it’s decidedly better than nothing, but it also doesn’t tell an employee very much. Instead, point out exactly how the employee excelled. Consider these two brief statements:
“When we make progress and get better at something, it is inherently motivating. In order for people to make progress, they have to get feedback and information on how they’re doing.” –Daniel H. Pink Every business owner knows that providing feedback to their employees is an essential part of their operations, and every one of them reading this article most likely holds annual or semiannual performance reviews to talk about employee performance. But are these reviews really substantive discussions that provide team members with actionable information so they can grow and develop, or are they just formalities in which you run through a list of standard questions and metrics? Are they the only real discussions based on feedback that team members receive? Regardless of your answers to these questions, the fact of the matter is that most business owners and managers could do a much better job providing regular, relevant critique to their staff. A Foundation IQ survey asked more than 30,000 employees to respond to the statement, “I know whether my performance is where it should be.” Only 29% answered, “always,” 14% said, “frequently,” 21% said, “occasionally,” 15% said, “rarely,” and 21% said, “never.” That adds up to more than half of the workforce not knowing if they’re doing a good job most of the time. It’s up to business owners and leadership teams to correct these alarming numbers. If your feedback is deficient, follow these tips for better methods of reinforcing positive behaviors and reversing negative ones. FEEDBACK SHOULD BE CONSTANT The first thing you can do to improve your feedback system is to make it an ever-present initiative. If you let an employee make a mistake without correcting it, you may think you’re giving them the benefit of the doubt. But what happens if they make the same mistake again, or a third time? Suddenly, a small but correctable problem is driving coworkers and management up the wall. What could’ve been remedied quickly and without fuss is now a serious issue. Scheduled, formal reviews must be supplemented with regular feedback. If an employee has project-based work, it’s helpful to debrief at the completion of each project to discuss what went well and what could be improved upon. These sessions can be held in groups or in one-on-one environments. What matters is that you don’t wait until a specific date on the calendar to discuss issues or celebrate good work.
“Bernice, you are a scheduling rock star.”
“Bernice, we really appreciate the way you schedule things with an eye toward both patient satisfaction and a work schedule that allows us to perform efficiently. The fact that you balance both is amazing and makes our lives so much easier.” Not only is the second statement going to make Bernice feel better, but it also lets her know just what she is doing that makes her valuable. You can bet that reinforcing this specific behavior will enable it to continue. BUT IT SHOULD NEVER BE PERSONAL Feedback, first and foremost, is about the work. It should never stoop to petty snipes at somebody who rubs you the wrong way. Now, that’s not to say you can’t critique the way an employee presented something or suggest a different communication style with their coworkers. You should discuss these topics, but you have to be tactful and empathetic about it. Let’s say you have an employee who brings up relevant issues but does so in a way that tends to leave people feeling upset. You should not take the employee to task for their personality, but instead, point out the results of their “pedal to the metal” style. Giving them tools to be more delicate will make them more effective, which is what they’re after in the first place. AND IT SHOULD LEAD TO IMPROVEMENT If somebody’s attitude is so noxious (or their performance is so inadequate) that you can’t think of anything constructive to say, perhaps you need to consider having a different conversation with them. However, in the vast majority of cases, honest, measured feedback will help an employee improve and make them feel more secure in their role. Whether it’s positive or negative, employees want to know how they’re doing. It’s up to you to start telling them.
MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT 3 STRATEGIES FOR GENUINE COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Even if most of your clients are located in other parts of the globe, the place your business calls home is a huge part of your identity. When a company makes a point to get involved locally, it’s doing more than making new connections and getting its brand out there — it’s also making a positive impact on the place it calls home. Most companies experience a slowdown in the summer. Here are some strategies to take advantage of that lull and create a plan for your business to get involved in the community and be a good neighbor. SUPPORT A LOCAL CHARITY Every town boasts its share of charities and nonprofits looking to make a difference. Find a cause you believe in, then help out. This could mean donating a portion of your revenue to a local women’s shelter, volunteering as a company at the soup kitchen, or sponsoring a gala that raises money for a children’s hospital. Supporting charities demonstrates your values and attracts the kinds of customers who share them. JOIN A PARADE This sounds unconventional, but sometimes it pays to think outside the box. Most towns put on a Fourth of July parade in the summer, so why not join in? Building a float could be a great team-building exercise, and a lot of people will turn up and see your mobile advertisement in the parade. Being in the parade
shows that you’re part of the community, and when you top it all off by tossing candy to the kids, you’ll really make an impact.
WORK WITH LOCAL SCHOOLS Your company could donate school supplies or even sponsor a program. Art and music programs are often the first to suffer from budget cuts, so support from a local business could make a huge difference. Donate art supplies to the classroom, sponsor high school theater productions, or offer scholarships to help young musicians pay for new instruments. Keep the arts alive by helping the kids in your community do what they love. These suggestions require time and resources to pull off, but making the effort can transform your company from just another business in a sea of many to a pillar in your community.
LAWSUITS FROM BEYOND
LET’S HOPE THERE’S A COURTROOM IN THE AFTERLIFE
reporting that he was dead. In all fairness, it seemed like an honest mistake prolonged by the ineptitude of his public counsel and a whole lot of terrible coincidences all rolled into one. Juan Antonio Arias just so happened to share the same first and last name as one “Juan Arias” who had met his untimely demise. After it was reported in a Times article, the living Arias accidentally had his own date of birth and Social Security number added to the death certificate of his now deceased namesake in a terrible mix-up from the coroner. As a result, he sued on three occasions after his lawyer missed certain deadlines to turn in proper documents. Thankfully, the issue was resolved, but not before he had his credit cards and Medicaid revoked after appearing to be dead. SOLEMNLY SPOOKED An unnamed New York resident — just what on earth is going on in New York? — claimed that the house they’d recently purchased was horribly and cripplingly haunted by unseen forces. The poltergeist was said to disrupt their daily activity, and the plaintiff was suing on the grounds that the home was notorious in the area for being haunted and had a reputation as such, therefore it should have been disclosed to the buyer before closing. They won. That’s right; the court ruled that the seller misled the plaintiff and should have disclosed the nature of this potentially harmful house. Shockingly enough, this type of thing is required to be disclosed when selling a house in New York. Well, at least a buyer will have peace of mind knowing that they got a sweet new pad and a ghoul for pennies on the dollar.
We pride ourselves on being a country where everyone receives a fair trial. And while that’s not always the case, even the craziest claims still have to be heard in some capacity by a court of law. As you can imagine, this can result in plenty of spooky high jinks in the courtroom. Let’s take a look at some of the more baffling court cases in recent memory. DEAD MAN TALKING In something straight out of a Coen brothers movie, a New York man had to sue The New York Times on three separate occasions to get them to stop
There’s more to Idaho than potatoes. Sitting square in the center of the Gem State is one of the largest contiguous areas of protected wilderness in the U.S. While the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area may not roll off the tongue as easy as Yellowstone or Yosemite, this 2 million-acre swath of mountains, gorges, and alpine lakes offers something for outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes. RIVER OF NO WHAT, NOW? The name of the wilderness may sound a little ominous at first — who wants to travel down a river of no return? — but in truth, it’s a title from times gone by when canoes and small watercraft could travel down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River swiftly but couldn’t fight the current going back up. Today, those same rapids make the Middle Fork a wildly popular whitewater rafting destination, with plenty of local and out-of-state enthusiasts making a return journey every summer. RAFTING ISN’T FOR ME. WHAT ELSE YOU GOT? If crashing down 300 Class III rapids isn’t your speed, the Frank Church Wilderness has plenty of other ways to enjoy the wild mountain country. There are several lodges that were grandfathered in to the wilderness area, most of which are only accessible by jet boat, light aircraft, or good old-fashioned hiking. Some, like the Middle Fork Lodge, offer five-star accommodations, located THE UNSPOILED BEAUTY OF CENTRAL IDAHO JOURNEY DOWN A RIVER OF NO RETURN
conveniently close to one of the area’s many natural hot springs. Those with the right permits will find the rivers and lakes full of fishing opportunities, and the surrounding pine forests are teeming with game. LODGES? I JUST WANT TO GET AWAY FROM IT ALL. For those looking for a truly unplugged experience, backpacking to the many campsites scattered throughout the region can be an incredible journey. If you spend a night beside the crystal-clear waters of Langer Lake, hundreds of miles away from any light pollution, you’ll find peace, quiet, and a sky bursting with stars. If you’ve ever wanted to experience a truly untamed part of the United States, Idaho is the hidden gem you’ve been looking for.
ZUCCHINI SALAD WITH TOASTED HAZELNUTS
With raw zucchini, toasted hazelnuts, and a robust Parmigiano-Reggiano, this early summer salad is a delight of different textures and flavors that will make a great side at your next cookout.
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
3 small zucchini (3/4 lb.)
1/2 tsp lemon zest, grated
Mint leaves, for garnish
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, slice zucchini lengthwise into extremely thin, wide ribbons. 2. Arrange zucchini ribbons on a plate, sprinkle with lemon zest, and drizzle with juice.
3. Drizzle oil over zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and toss. 4. Scatter hazelnuts over the top, garnish with mint and cheese, and serve.
Inspired by Food & Wine magazine
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WADE LAW GROUP
84 West Santa Clara Street, Ste. 750 San Jose, CA 95113
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Is Your Feedback Just Static?
Become a Pillar in Your Community
Crazy Lawsuits Surrounding the Dearly Departed
Exploring the River of No Return
Zucchini Salad With Toasted Hazelnuts
San Jose Local Events
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME,
… AND OBSERVATORY, AND THEATER
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS VS. THE CUBS July 22–23 at 7:45 p.m.; July 24 at 1:45 p.m. Oracle Park, San Francisco
Watch the Giants take on the Cubs at Oracle Park all week as the National League West team takes on Central. The Cubs came out of most of their spring training matchups against the Giants on top, but the game that ended in a 5-5 tie leaves some hope that the Giants can maneuver their star hitters. The Giants have plenty of seasoned players with the likes of Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, and Pablo Sandoval, as well as some fresh new talent like Kevin Pillar, formerly of the Toronto Blue Jays, showing some promising runs, and it may be just what they need this season. ‘LA LLORONA (THE WEEPING WOMAN)’ Friday, June 28 through Sunday, June 30 School of Arts and Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza, San Jose Are you familiar with the tale of “La Llorona”? Spanish for “The Weeping Woman,” the “La Llorona” legend varies from region to region and storyteller to storyteller, but it consistently features the heartbroken spirit of a woman who desperately searches for her lost children along the banks of the river. The story has been told in Mexico and the southwestern United States since the conquistadors came. In this award- winning musical drama, composer Héctor Armienta builds the folklore into a moving, visually stunning production. Find tickets at Llorona.BrownPaperTickets.com.
If you find yourself in need of some entertainment, you’ve come to the right place. Here are three great options happening near San Jose this month.
EVENING WITH THE STARS Friday, June 21 at 6:30 p.m. Lick Observatory, Mount Hamilton
Held annually as part of the Lick summer series, this is an illuminating event for anyone with even a passing interest in astronomy. Join world-renowned astronomers on the summit for a one-of-a-kind event held in Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton. It’s sure to brighten up your evening. Find tickets at UCSCTickets.UniversityTickets.com/user_pages/event_listings.asp?
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