Tag Archives: Michelle Pelissero

Your Mission: Hire Veterans

Soldier salute. Silhouette on sunset sky. War, army, military, guard concept.

A few months ago I was on the hunt for a job, a task that I’m sure many of you are familiar with. It’s not easy. After a few months of searching you begin to wonder if there is something on your resume that is glaring up at companies and holding them back from hiring you…and you ask yourself, what could be the problem?

I am a Navy Reservist, so for a while I thought that my reserve status was holding companies back from hiring me. Maybe they had seen a military movie and thought I’d be screaming my head off at employees like a drill sergeant or maybe they immediately associate a service member with deployment. But then I thought to myself, that’s ridiculous. Why wouldn’t they want to hire me? Sure, there is a chance that I could deploy. But if I am put on orders for deployment, I would be enhancing my skills in a professional field, a field that they would be hiring me in.

It made me question whether or not employers see the value in hiring and employing service members. So, I put together a list of five attributes that a service member brings to your organization:

1) Leadership skills

Service members are bred to become leaders. We are instilled to accept responsibility for getting things done,  manage cross-functional team communication and promote a culture of hard work by setting the example.

2) Work well under pressure

Military training assists members to flourish when working under pressure. A key trait necessary for working in high-stress career fields in the civilian world.

3) Attention to detail

If you miss one tiny detail during a mission, you are putting lives at risk. The military workplace puts service members into scenarios where they are challenged to pay attention to every detail. Making a conscious effort to understand causes instead of just the effects translates well into the corporate world, because details that fall through the cracks can cost a company time and money.

4) Teamwork

We work in teams. That’s just what we do. Never leave a man behind. Veterans instill a sense of team pride and cohesiveness. Teamwork builds trust and trust builds speed. Working together, we are able to achieve organizational goals and success faster.

5) Great work ethic

Military members have an incredible work ethic, and make personal sacrifices to accomplish the mission. We don’t let the team down. We get our jobs done, and we do it well, regardless of the organizational demands.

While there are other traits that could be mentioned, this short list is great to keep in mind when hiring and employing a Veteran because they all have the potential to promote a culture of teamwork and growth.

So now I ask you, what benefits has your organization seen in hiring veterans and service members? Let us know your feedback.

For more information about employers who have benefited from hiring veterans or if you are a veteran seeking employment go to the ESGR website.

MichellePelisseroPhoto


Written by:

Michelle Pelissero
Communications Coordinator
governmentresource.com


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Saving Yourself from Scandal

Like many American’s I am pretty much obsessed with the confident television phenomenon that is Scandal’s Olivia Pope. As a communication’s professional, it’s hard for me to not want to be her. She’s confident, she’s smart, and she’s basically everything that you would want in a crisis management professional. So instead of ranting about how great the show is, I’ve opted for informing you on some of the things that I’ve learned from Scandal that directly translate to real-life communications situations.

  1. Never Tell a Lie

DonotLieThis is probably the most important one, especially for government employees. In government as well as the business world, it is vital that you maintain transparency with your public. The days where “no comment” would suffice are no longer here. “No comment” has warped from a way to avoid responding to a topic to a term that evokes wrongdoing and gives your public the impression that you are hiding something. So, don’t ever use that. Instead, stick with the truth. Don’t make anything up, don’t stretch the truth, simply state the facts that you do know. And if you don’t know how to answer a question, it’s perfectly OK to respond to someone by telling them that you will get back to them. But, let me emphasize that you MUST get back to them. You can’t leave them hanging.

  1. Always Have A Backup Plan

Another important thing that Olivia Pope does is that she develops multiple plans. It is vital for organizations to formulate crisis plans so that they are prepared to respond to just about any scenario that they may come across. If your organization does not already have a crisis plan in place, say something. Lead your organization in the development of a plan, the creation of a crisis team, and acquire or reach out to obtain the necessary resources that are necessary in  implementing something of this magnitude. It is far easier to respond to a crisis when there are already steps outlined on how to respond. If you have no plan in place, you are relying on your reactions and emotions to formulate a plan at the last-minute, and this has the potential to add to the crisis rather than help to solve it.

  1. Confidence is Key

I feel like that phrase is strong enough to use on its own, however I will elaborate a bit so you see where I’m coming from. In a crisishandled scenario it is vital that you choose a confident spokesperson to respond to the community about what is not only happening, but also what is being done to solve the problem at hand. The spokesperson needs to not only believe what they are saying, but they need to be empathetic with their audience, letting them know that the situation is being handled and that there is nothing to worry about. Sometimes all it takes is a little confidence to reassure the public that they are in good hands. There’s nothing worse than having an unconfident spokesperson, as their lack in confidence in themselves translates to the community as untrustworthy and creates panic and worry in a crisis scenario. Both things that you do not want proliferate.

  1. No One Is Perfect

Always remember, no one is perfect. Not even Olivia Pope or Mary Poppins (who was only practically perfect). We all have our faults and we all make bad decisions every once in a while. It’s how you respond to these bad choices that makes you a good leader. tweet-graphic-trans

  1. Be a Gladiator

Finally, this is my favorite take-away from Scandal, “be a gladiator.” Get out there and be a leader. If you see something wrong within your organization or if you have an idea on how to improve something, be a gladiator and take the necessary steps to lead your organization down the right path.

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Written by:
Michelle Pelissero
Communications Coordinator
governmentresource.com

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Sending the Right Message

Have you ever had a conversation with someone or sent an email that may not have been interpreted the way that you intended it to?

sarcasmI have. In fact, in face-to-face conversations I tend to have issues with my level of sarcasm. I often hear, “I can never tell if you’re being serious or not.” In which case, I giggle to myself and then explain that I am indeed simply being sarcastic.

I bring this up to emphasize the fact that communication is a two-way street, and that in order to be sarcastic with someone or to simply send a normal toned email, text message or make a phone call you must know how to specifically communicate with your intended audience. We all know that jokes don’t go over well if someone doesn’t have a clue what you’re talking about…

Back in high school we all learned about the Two-way communication model with the sender, receiver, verbal pubefftea3and non-verbal messaging types, but since we originally studied that way back in the day, things have changed. Technology, telecommuting and other scenarios have taken communicating to a whole other level; making something as seemingly simple as communication extremely challenging.

In the 1960’s, Professor Albert Mehrabian established a statistic for the effectiveness of face-to-face communication, suggesting, “interpersonal communication is 7 percent verbal, 38 percent vocal and 55 percent facial”.

giphyThose are some crazy statistics! So for those of you who tend to not be able to control some of your facial expressions, you must learn. This is especially important with public speaking, and this would be why you may want to practice in front of a mirror before you deliver any kind of speech, because if you are standing up at the podium slouching and sad-faced while giving a motivational speech, I’m pretty sure that your intended message will not be received in the way that you had planned.

Taking this topic back into an office environment, I write all of this to tell you to make sure that you get to know your employees. Take some time to talk to them and understand what type of communication they prefer, get to know their background, culture, etc. Understand that there are many barriers that can hinder a message from being received as intended; including physical (music, noisy group of co-workers, etc.), psychological (hunger, stereotypes, etc.), perceptual (perception of meaning), and experiential (cultural misconceptions and attitudes).

Getting to know the people who you work with in person, or via Skype or whatever you prefer will help for you to understand each other and will cutback on communications issues in the office.

And well, if you’re still having issues with communication, you can always rely on the “emotional spellcheck for email,” ToneCheck.

MichellePelisseroPhoto

 

Written by:
Michelle Pelissero
Communications Coordinator
governmentresource.com

 

Cutting Out Workplace Negativity

We’ve all heard the phrase, “it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch,” and while much of the time this can ring true in an office environment, it really doesn’t have to.

giphyIf you have someone in your office that you feel has a “negative” attitude toward work, this is a huge red flag for you as a leader to look around and make sure that all of your employees are satisfied with their positions and the work environment. Chances are, the negativity or frustration is affecting more than one person. This is where relationship building comes in and the importance of actually getting to know your employees. Not just their names, but actually who they are.

Let me give you an example. Many moons ago I worked as a retail manager. While in this position I was transferred to a new store, a store that already had their own culture and employees who were used to a certain management style. Let’s just say that the change in management did not go over well with employees, because after all, adding someone new into the mix, especially a newly promoted manager, can be a hard thing to adjust to. Instead of letting the defiant attitudes get me down, what did I do? I got to kIf you treat employees as if they they makenow my employees. I learned about who they were, what they liked to do for fun outside of work, and most importantly what their aspirations were for their careers. I listened.

What I learned from all of that is that, like customers, frustrated employees simply want to be heard. They want to build that rapport with their managers so that they can go to them with any issue they may be facing, because they then know that their manager will look out for them and get things done. So while you must listen, you also must show that you follow through with your promises. Never make promises you can’t keep. This is what makes a good leader.

So here’s a list of some suggestions for how to become a better leader and cut out office negativity:

  1. Get to know your employees and build a lasting rapport with them.
  2. Listen to them. This is where that open door policy that everyone talks about comes in.
  3. Show them that you are a doer not a don’ter, because the minute you promise something to an employee and don’t follow through, you lose their trust.
  4. Finally, ensure that you are treating your employees as well as you treat your customers.

In my opinion, dedicating yourself to these steps will help to cut out any negativity that may invade the workplace. Treating your employees as well, if not better, than how you treat your customers will give them the motivation to succeed, contributing positively the organization’s goals.

That’s just my two cents. What are your thoughts?

MichellePelisseroPhoto

 

Written by:
Michelle Pelissero
Communications Coordinator
governmentresource.com

 

Gender Diversity in Local Government

Do you need to have all the boxes checked in order to promote?

The answer is easy, no, you do not.

InterestingLast month, I wrapped up my Master of Public Administration degree and in my studies I approached the topic of diversity in local government, and more specifically, how to inspire women to take on leadership positions in government. What I found out was interesting…

You may already be aware that women comprise over half of the United States population, but what you may not know is that, according to ICMA, “by 2006, women earned 59 percent of MPA degrees while the proportion of men had declined to just more than 40 percent.” So if women make up more than half of the population and are earning more MPA degrees than men, why isn’t local, or federal government for that matter, representative of this part of the population in leadership positions?

CoffeeAfter researching this topic to death, and spending multiple all-nighters chugging coffee, I finally found a reason that made sense. It’s not that women don’t want to take on leadership positions in government, it’s that they believe that before they can promote they must have all the boxes checked. This differs with men, who tend to apply for a position when they have a little over half of the boxes checked. I know, it may sound silly, but I can definitely relate to this. I have stopped myself from applying for many jobs because, after reading the job description, I thought that I didn’t meet all of the standards that the position was asking for. But the thing is, you don’t have to meet all of the standards, you just have to be willing to learn.

I have read this over and over, and believe wholeheartedly, that government leadership should be representative of the people with whom they serve. It is because of this that I think that government’s should be taking the necessary steps to achieve diversity and to encourage the growth and development of ALL staff members. Now, whether you achieve this through the establishment of a mentor program (inside or outside your organization), coaching, or by encouraging your employees to pursue further education or training, is up to you, but sometimes it helps to give your employees a little push and remind them that you are an advocate for their career development. Who knows, that little push could lead your employees on the path to the next presidency.

What are your thoughts?

MichellePelisseroPhoto


Written by:

Michelle Pelissero
Communications Coordinator
governmentresource.com

 

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