It’s that time of the year, again. Halloween decorations don the neighborhood yards. Children are picking out their costumes. The dead are preparing to breach the ground covers…
In celebration of Halloween (not to mention the season premier of the television show “The Walking Dead”), I’ve put together a list of 10 tips for leading those undead coworkers. After all, we see so many “Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guides”. Why not have a helpful guide for leading that newfound workforce?
Follow these tips to turn those flesh eaters into self-reliant achievers:
Tip #1: Zombies have a tendency to not tell their managers what they need in order to get the job done. They mostly speak in grunts and howls, which can be hard to understand. When discussing a goal or task that this zombie will be responsible for, you need to provide lots of support and direction in the beginning. Make sure to have clear agreements regarding how the work will be accomplished moving forward.
Tip #2: Zombies require additional attention compared to their human counterparts. You need to schedule more time than usual for one-on-one’s when meeting with your zombie team members to ensure you both can cover your agenda items. It also helps to have enough time to clean up the bits of dirt and earthworms left behind in your office.
Tip #3: Sometimes, zombies can get a little too emotional over work-related issues. They may get frustrated and begin biting at those around them. In those situations, make sure to keep a shovel on hand. A quick thrust to the head will put an end to that toxic worker.
Tip #4: You need to cage them at the end of the day (the zombies, not the live people). The last thing you want is to come into the office the next morning with various holes punched in walls/doors. Try explaining that one to your boss.
Tip #5: Telephones and zombies don’t mix.
Tip #6: Zombies need lots of praise and encouragement for a job well-done, but if you can provide some sort of treat for an additional reward, you’ll create an employee loyal to your company. Tofu works as an excellent brain-like substitute. Always keep a healthy supply of tofu on hand. (Should you run out of tofu, return to Tip #3)
Tip #7: Just like their living human counterparts, zombies need autonomy. While they will still need a lot of attention when starting to learn a new skill, they don’t want to be micromanaged. Eventually, you will need to let them take the reins. By giving too much direction, you might find yourself on the lunch menu.
Tip #8: Create an environment where zombies can freely share their ideas. Granted, “ggGGGrrraAAAHHH” and “HHuuhhhhhhhh” may not be the major breakthroughs you’re looking for when working through a business process, but zombies still need to feel that their ideas are heard and considered.
Tip #9: Incorporate the zombie culture. Zombies don’t want to feel left out. Try the “who-can-help-the-team-member-buried-6-feet-under” or the “zombie-limp relay race” activities for extra-special team building events.
Tip #10: While your living human employees need an environment that embodies trust…don’t be too trusting with the zombies. You need to have watchful eyes. The last thing you want to hear about is one of your human employees going to HR because a certain zombie was gnawing on them when you weren’t looking*. (Return to Tip #3.)
*The bright side is that you get a free zombie replacement from that bitten employee without having to worry about budgets.
Above all, remember that zombies are (ex)people, too. They need leaders that are flexible in their leadership styles and behaviors just like anyone else. Doing so will not only help to improve both productivity and morale, but you’ll help them achieve their own goals much faster.
Be sure to have a safe and happy Halloween, but should you get bit… I’ll be sure to stock up on tofu.
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