Author: Michelle Jones (Page 2 of 28)

Srini’s Tech Tip: Extracting Month Name from a Date

Oftentimes, transactions have been captured by a date.  However, when doing summary reports or analysis, we may want to use months.  Some tools such as Pivot Tables in Excel or Crosstab queries in Access can break down the data in months from a date. Even so, there are other instances when we simply need the month names to be extracted into another column.  The TEXT function can produce the month name using the “MMMM” specification.  See the syntax below and the illustration to extract a month name from a date.

 

NOTE:  If you want an abbreviated month, then use “MMM” (3 M’s, instead of 4).

 

Srini’s Tech Tip: Transposing Data in Excel

There are times when you have a data set where the columns and rows need to be switched around for convenience or a better layout, also known as Transposing the Data. Transposing data grants you a better perspective, often leading to greater insight. Handling the data in this way provides the necessary tools for a full analysis.  

Another common circumstance in Excel is that you have too many columns and not enough rows (a wide table), which makes it harder to navigate in the worksheet and to print.  

 

 

 

 

The Work You Do Impacts Others More Than You Realize

We all have a fundamental need to belong. One way to achieve this is to connect work with outcomes. When you know your work has a meaningful, positive impact on others, you are happier and more productive than those who don’t make a connection. Understanding the impact of your work encourages you to keep moving forward.

The good news is that each of us, in our day-to-day jobs, have almost innumerable opportunities to impact others. Try thinking of your work as service and help your colleagues and employees do the same. This change in mindset can be transformational.

Here are five groups to consider serving each day:

  1. Clients or customers – At the core of every organization is a customer. If it doesn’t serve that customer well, it will fail.
  2. Colleagues – Positive relationships at work are absolutely essential to engagement. Instead of self-centeredness or competition lean toward encouragement and support.
  3. Community – Organizations that implement community service programs experience a number of benefits, including better recruitment, development, engagement, and retention.
  4. Partners and vendors – When we act to serve our providers, we will benefit from better relationships with them and differentiated reputations in the marketplace.
  5. People we love – Many of us work to support a family (spouses, kids, parents, siblings, or friends) and to provide opportunities for them. Even on the hard days, we can take comfort in the fact that our work is an act of service to those we love.

Just being aware of the impact your job has on others will go a long way. Individuals who remember these daily opportunities for service will be happier and more fulfilled.

 

References:
Harvard Business Review (2022, August 25) John Coleman: Feeling Demotivated? Consider How Your Job Helps Others
Bloom Growth (2020, October 29) Content Team: 5 Ways to Help Employees See Their Impact

How to Use Successful Delegation to Combat Work Overload

At first sight, delegation can feel like more hassle than it’s worth. However, most leaders understand the payoff of delegating: You free yourself to focus on higher-priority work while offering your team opportunities for growth and development. While this is an excellent idea in theory, many good leaders struggle to put it into practice.

There are several reasons why leaders may not feel comfortable delegating:

  • They are worried about dumping their work on others. Delegation is not trying to make more work for your team, but to distribute it more efficiently so that tasks get allocated according to skills and workloads.
  • They feel threatened. The aim is to make your team more efficient and effective – and to give others opportunities to use their skills and develop.
  • They don’t want to lose control. See what it feels like to rely on others to do the work and enjoy how good it feels to watch them blossom with the added confidence you’ve shown in them.
  • They think it would be quicker to do it themselves. Doing it yourself only saves time in the moment. If you teach someone else how to do it and delegate, it saves you that time forever after.

Managers are responsible for developing their employees to ensure that they are well trained, to identify future leaders, and to prepare their own successor when they move up or move on to other organizations. Delegating responsibility is a powerful statement to employees about how much they are trusted and how competent and valued they are considered to be to the company.

Delegation is a win-win when done appropriately. However, that does not mean that you can delegate just anything. To delegate effectively, choose the right tasks to delegate, identify the best people for the job, and support them along the way.

To determine when delegation is most appropriate there are five key questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Is there someone else who has (or can be given) the necessary information or expertise to complete the task?
  • Does the task provide an opportunity to grow and develop another person’s skills?
  • Is this a task that will recur, in a similar form, in the future?
  • Do you have enough time to delegate the job effectively?
  • Is this a task that I should delegate? Tasks critical for long-term success genuinely do need your attention.

If you can answer “yes” to at least some of the above questions, then it could well be worth delegating this job. No doubt there will be discomfort and setbacks as you and your team adjust. Accept that mistakes will be made. Do not beat yourself up and question your decision to delegate. Instead, practice self-compassion, see these missteps as learning opportunities, and move on.

When you arrange the workload so that you are working on the tasks that have the highest priority for you, and other people are working on meaningful and challenging assignments, you have a recipe for success.

 

References:
Harvard Business Review (2022, September 23) Dina Smith: Stop Feeling Guilty About Delegating
Mind Tools (2017) Mind Tools Content Team: Successful Delegation: Using the Power of Other People’s Help
Society for HR Management (2012) Sam Lloyd: Managers Must Delegate Effectively to Develop Employees

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