Fight the Flu

first_imgCold, flu, bronchitis and other viruses have affected a number of Georgians this winter. It may be difficult to think about flu season when the outdoor temperatures remain at 70-plus degrees, but we are still in flu season and to avoid illness, proper precautions must be taken.University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offers a few tips to help beat the bugs this flu season.First, we must wash our hands. Most of us wash our hands, just not properly. Hands should be washed for 20 seconds with warm soap and water to effectively clean them. Also, contrary to what my children believe, sanitizer is not a replacement for hand-washing. Sanitizer can be used in the event that soap and water are not available, but soap and water are always the best choice for hand-washing.There are different levels of clean. Cleaning is the process of removing physical dirt. It does not remove germs, mold or other harmful bacteria that make us ill. Cleaning is generally done with soap or detergent and water. It is also the lowest level of clean. When someone has been ill in your home, you may want a higher level of clean.Sanitizing is the process of decreasing germs to levels at which illness does not occur. This process often involves the use of a sanitizing solution. Most of us use a bleach-and-water solution to achieve this level of clean. With bleach, remember that less is best.Traditionally, bleach is overused. To make a sanitizing solution, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends 1 teaspoon of bleach to 1 quart of water. To “go green,” you can also use vinegar or hydrogen peroxide to sanitize. The EPA suggests using half a cup of either hydrogen peroxide or vinegar in a spray bottle. To sanitize surfaces effectively, remember to clean the surface first, then apply the sanitizing solution. This may seem like a small step, but to get rid of bacteria and other pathogens that could potentially make us ill, it is essential. Disinfecting is the third and highest level of clean. My daughter had a 24-hour virus. To avoid spreading it to the entire family, I washed her bedding in hot water and used disinfectant wipes on doorknobs, remote controls, light switches, toilet handles and any other place I could think of that could potentially harbor illness-causing bacteria.Disinfecting properly, whether you use wipes, bleach-and-water solution or spray, is critical. According to the EPA, “To achieve the desired level of disinfection, the chemical in question must be applied at a certain concentration for a specified amount of time.”Remember, disinfecting is a two-step process. First, clean the surface. Second, allow the disinfectant dwell time, or the amount of time that a surface must be in contact with the disinfectant solution in order to kill harmful bacteria.In other words, spray or wipe the disinfectant solution onto a clean surface and allow it to sit. If you are using a chemical disinfectant, the instructions for dwell time should be on the package. Don’t forget to clean doorknobs, handles, light fixtures, tablet cases, keyboards and cell phones. They are notorious for harboring icky bacteria.last_img read more

How to inspire staff positivity and engagement in a pandemic

first_img[i][ii][iii][iv][v][vi] The pandemic changed many logistical elements of employment. Employees had to figure out how to work from home, while simultaneously making other at-home adjustments. Managers spent months adjusting to these same work-life changes, while also learning how to continue to lead their teams in this new or ‘now normal’. As branches and offices re-open, employers and employees are needing to once again adjust and adapt.Work should serve as a stabilizing force in people’s lives, particularly during these confusing, difficult times we are in. According to a Gallup study,[i] workers who are struggling in their daily lives are much more likely to be less engaged at work, being that they have a much higher likelihood of stress and burnout.Leadership Strategies to Support StaffAs your staff begins to return to the branches, consider applying the following practices to bolster positivity, motivation and engagement throughout the organization.Adequately prepare staff for any adjustments Gallup Panel data from mid-June[ii] show that U.S. employees and managers are about 20% less likely than they were in May 2020 to agree that:They feel well prepared to do their jobTheir employer has communicated a clear plan of action in response to COVID-19They are being adequately informed about what’s going on in their organizationTheir organization cares about their overall wellbeingConsistent communication with your staff is essential to keeping employees feeling well-informed, well-prepared, and well-supported for whatever comes next. These communications should address workplace expectations, job descriptions, and any pertinent changes impacting different departments, locations and teams.How and when to deliver these communications (e.g., from the top, from managers, through 1on1 communications) will depend on your organization’s resources, objectives, and internal culture. However, as a general rule, these communications should get in front of every impacted employee in a timely and efficient manner. Digital communication outlets like email, text, or video conferencing are great tools to leverage as many employees continue to work remotely.Build a strong, supportive employee cultureThe modern workforce has changed a lot. Simply offering good pay and competitive benefits is no longer enough to attract and retain good employees. Things like compensation, monetary and non-monetary benefits like 401(k) and PTO, community service opportunities, and learning and development resources are all elements that should be considered. Additionally, investing in a culture that supports and uplifts employees will have a huge impact on a credit union’s ability to evolve and adapt. To do this successfully you’ll need to:Establish an engaging work environmentCreate a culture of hearing, listening, and responding to your employeesUnderstand each employee’s values and interests – across every department and locationTrusting in your people and giving them the opportunity to be successful, will lead to stronger succession plans, thereby allowing them to put their best foot forward in planning for the future success of the organization. Studies show employees who are given the opportunity to learn and grow within their roles are far more likely to be engaged in their work and far less likely to leave their organization.[iii]Demonstrate strong leadership for staffEveryone’s work has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, but the need for strong leadership has not changed. In fact, many employees need a leader they can turn to, now more than ever. Strong, involved leaders can:Sustain an engaged, productive and happy cultureSpot and foster talent within the organizationHold managers accountable for their and their team’s performance and productivityBuild strong communication and relationships with management and staffCoaching Strategies to Support StaffBuilding a culture that fosters internal talent with coaching and professional growth opportunities tends to churn-out happier, more loyal, and harder working employees throughout the organization – from frontline and back-office staff to directors and department heads. The strongest coaching and development programs incorporate these essential components:Training solutions and tools that bolster skills and confidence for managers and their teamsPerformance benchmarks for managers and their teams to nurture growth and support organizational goalsIncentives to stimulate performance and motivate staff to achieve goalsCoaching resources and support for all staff, from the C-Suite to the front lineClick here to download our learning culture checklist for leaders. Guiding and maximizing the potential of your staff is central to creating a positive, consistent culture that offers value to both employees and consumers interacting with these employees. Managers are the linchpin of the employee experience, accounting for 70% of the variance in team engagement, according to Gallup research.[iv]The best managers are the one who build and sustain supportive, reliable, and trusting relationships with their employees. According to another study by Gallup,[v] stronger relationships between managers and employees can have direct impact on a staff member’s wellbeing, happiness, and engagement both inside and outside of work. These relationships can also have long-lasting impact on sales, now and beyond COVID-19. According to a study by Sales Management Association,[vi] sales organizations with strong coaching strategies can:Increase employee self-confidence by as much as 81%Increase staff performance by as much as 70%Increase sales revenue by as much as 18%Help your managers become confident and effective leaders by arming them with coaching resources. Share these leadership tips with your managers to help encourage manager-employee relationships that will help inspire and engage employees during these challenging times:Actively listen to team members and verbally support and acknowledge their concernsAdapt your leadership approach and communication style to mesh with the individual styles and preferences of each of your staff membersHelp employees rework goals and priorities and setup connections to support these goals, if desiredSet aside quick meetings with each of your employees to talk thru expectations and concernsSchedule one or more all-team meetings to bring everyone together and discuss roles, responsibilities, and strategic updatesIf needed, facilitate any new or ongoing logistical needs (e.g., technology or scheduling needs)Ensure your team knows how to get in touch with you at all times and be transparent about workload and availabilityBe clear about expectations for your employees (e.g., what their job priorities are, how they should be communicating with you and the rest of the team, and how/when they are needed)Encourage peer-to-peer touchpoints, so individuals feel more connected to and supported by their teamLeverage video conferencing to enhance team and individual training, connectivity, and communicationTry to interact daily with each of your employees, even if just for a simple ‘hello’Schedule “walk-in hours” – virtually or physically – to allow employees to voice concerns or ask questionsThough the circumstances of working continue to change, the tools for building a strong, happy, engaged workforce remain the same: Strong leadership and managers = happier, more engaged employees = more successful organizations. 46SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Julie ann Wessinger Julie ann Wessinger has spent the majority of her career helping organizations develop and enhance their internal sales and service culture. In her role with Allied Solutions, she works with … Web: Detailslast_img read more

Mourinho queries Foy after loss

first_img Willian and Ramires were both sent off in the 1-0 defeat and their manager was also dismissed for coming on the pitch in injury-time to remonstrate with the referee over his decision to send off Ramires. Foy refused to speak to Mourinho, just directing the Chelsea manager to the stands, and again the referee would not speak to the 51-year-old when he approached the official in the tunnel following the feisty contest. “I tried to speak to Mr Foy twice. I tried to speak on the pitch, and I tried in the dressing rooms,” the Chelsea manager said. “In the dressing rooms I tried to ask politely, can you give me five seconds? And he refused.” A Chelsea spokesman denied rumours Mourinho and Chelsea captain John Terry tried to force their way into the referee’s room after the game. The spokesman said Mourinho asked to speak to Foy as he went into the officials’ changing room in the tunnel at Villa Park. When Foy refused, Mourinho then asked to speak to fourth official Jon Moss as he entered the room, but again he refused. Chelsea say Mourinho did not enter the referee’s room at any point. Mourinho insisted he did not act in an angry manner during his request to speak to the officials in the tunnel. The Blues surrendered the initiative to Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League title race thanks to Fabian Delph’s 82nd-minute winner. All in all it was a dreadful trip to the Midlands for Mourinho, whose team are six points ahead of City but they have three matches in hand. Fearing another FA charge, Mourinho refused to speak about Foy’s decision to send off Ramires and Willian. “I don’t make any comments about any of the incidents in the game. I prefer not to speak,” he said. He was willing to talk about his own dismissal, though. The Portuguese defended his actions and pointed out that he was not the only one who encroached onto the pitch following Ramires’ tackle on Marc Albrighton. The Chelsea manager also criticised Villa forward Gabriel Agbonlahor for coming off the bench and getting involved in the multi-player melee that followed Ramires’ dismissal. “It’s a big occasion for me to know about the character of Mr Foy, because I want to know what he’s going to write about my sending off,” Mourinho said. “I was two-three metres inside the pitch or four-five metres, but there were like 10 persons there. It was me, my two assistants, (Villa boss) Paul Lambert, Paul’s assistants.. “And there was Agbonlahor, who came in and made an aggression on Ramires from behind. “I think almost all of us were just trying to calm (things) down and try to stop (it). So if I was sent off because I was on the pitch, I ask why not the others, especially one player that made an aggression on another one, Agbonlahor on Ramires? “Agbonlahor came from the dug out, he went to Ramires, pulled him from his neck and Agbonlahor was not on pitch he was on the bench.” A charge from the Football Association may now follow. When asked whether he thought he would be punished, an unrepentant Mourinho said: “Me? Me or the ref? No, I don’t expect (to be charged) because I did nothing.” After all the drama that occurred in the dying minutes, it was easy to forget the result and the significance of it. City’s win over Hull earlier in the day had piled the pressure on Mourinho’s men and they wilted in response. The Blues lacked creativity in attack. Fernando Torres, starting in place of the injured Samuel Eto’o, could not find a way through Villa’s organised back line. Oscar, Willian and Eden Hazard all failed to produce their usual magic. Mourinho has publicly claimed all along that City are big favourites to win the title. It is debatable whether he actually believes that or not, but Mourinho was sticking by that stance in his post-match press conference. “We are not in the title race,” Mourinho said. “We are in a match race. We play every match, we try to win, we think we can win, we give everything to win, sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t, but that’s our race.” Lambert was happy to see his team win successive home games for the first time since August 2010. The Villa boss, who refused to comment on any of the dismissals, said: “I thought we were outstanding, regardless of any decision. “The Willian red card didn’t change the game. We did well before it and we deserved the win. “We were absolutely outstanding. They are a top side vying for the league and the Champions League.” Jose Mourinho hit out at referee Chris Foy’s decision to send him off during Chelsea’s ill-tempered defeat to Aston Villa. Press Associationlast_img read more

Hearts defender Philip Boampong fails Chicago Fire trials

first_imgHearts of Oak defender Philip Boampong failed to impress the Technical handlers of Chicago Fire in the American LeagueBoampong was on trials with Chicago Fire Soccer Club but according to reports gathered by, the defender failed to live up to expectations and has been asked to return home.Chicago Fire is based in Bridgeview, Illinois and competes in the Major League Soccer (MLS).Boampong was hoping to pass the text to sign a two and half year deal but was unsuccessful and will thus return to Hearts.The defender is expected back in Ghana on Wednesday to join the Phobians in the remaining league games. The 24 year old defender  was part of  the Ghana national under-20 football team that won the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt. Although he never played a single game for the Satelliteslast_img read more