by michelle | Jul 21, 2014 | Misc.
I recently came across an article published by Inc. Magazine titled “Women Managing Women.” It was written by Nan Mooney in March of 2006. Since Preferred Corporate Housing is a certified woman-owned business, and females make up 91% of our team members, naturally this article piqued my interest.
With the exception of the now outdated Census Bureau statistics, I was pleasantly surprised at how relevant this article still is even though it was published more than 8 years ago. Women employees and leaders make up a large percentage of the corporate housing, relocation and multi-family apartment industries, and I know we can all benefit from advice on how to navigate through the often tough terrain of women managing women. Here is the article in its entirety.
Women Managing Women – by Nan Mooney
Just because a woman business owner hires other women doesn’t mean everyone will magically get along. Here are a few of the more common problems women encounter when managing other women, and how to avoid them.
The latest Census Bureau statistics reveal that women owned businesses are hotter than ever. Between 1997 and 2002 women started businesses at twice the national rate. Women-owned businesses with more than $1 million in revenue went up by 18% and those with more than 100 employees went up by 10%.
One upshot of all this growth is that now there are more women in leadership positions than ever. Whether they head their division or head the whole company, these women are in a position to do something they may have wanted to do for a long time. Hire other women.
Women like working with other smart, savvy women. There’s often less ego involved and more willingness to collaborate. As woman leaders, we can create a culture where success doesn’t have to mean trying to become “one of the guys.” But our idealistic visions of women working together do not always translate smoothly into practice. There’s no guarantee that just because we hire other women, everyone will magically get along. Here are a few of the more common problem areas we can encounter:
Boss or Buddy?
When Giselle became Editor-in-Chief of a new women’s magazine, she told her all female staff that they had a say in every editorial decision and that her door was always open no matter how small the concern or how late the hour. “I didn’t want them to see me as the big bad boss,” she explained. “I wanted them to like me.”
Instead, Giselle created an environment in which there was too little structure. Employees took her open door policy literally and dropped in to chat about personal problems or petty disagreements they should have been able to resolve on their own. Even worse, when Giselle made executive decisions her staff seemed to resent her adopting any authority.
Just because we’re in leadership positions doesn’t mean we stop wanting people to like us. Women are raised to always be nice and nurturing to other women and, like Giselle, we can be wary of coming across as too tough or power hungry. But part of your responsibility as a leader is to call the shots. If employees see you as their best buddy, it can be confusing when you start telling them what to do or calling them on their mistakes. Try envisioning yourself as a leader who is respected by her employees rather than seeking unconditional love.
Banning the Micromanager
Many women abandon the traditional corporate world because they’re sick of a macho work culture where they have to do twice as much to prove themselves while someone’s always looking over their shoulder waiting for them to screw up. But once on our own, it can be difficult to relax these hyper-vigilant standards. This can be especially true with your own business, where everything that goes out the door has your name attached. But you’re going to have to learn to let go.
We’ll assume you’ve hired competent, innovative women to work under you. If you insist on supervising every last detail, you’re sending the message that you don’t trust them to handle anything on their own. That’s a sure way to breed apathy, or even worse, resentment. Because women are often more attuned to relationships and more sensitive to feedback, they can be especially prone to interpreting your micromanaging as criticism. It’s worth the risk to give them some autonomy and even allow them to make the occasional mistake. They’ll work harder if they feel like their input matters.
It would be nice if all things were equal on the work-family front — if men took on just as many domestic responsibilities and were just as eager for maternity leave and flexible working schedules. But we all know this isn’t true. Women are still the primary care givers and they expect female bosses and employers to be more sensitive towards this struggle to balance work and family lives.
Before you institute policies, talk to your employees about what they need and be clear in your own head about what is possible from a financial standpoint. Be as generous and as creative as you can. Women with less personal stress make happier and more productive employees. But also be realistic about what the business can support. One of the worst things you can do in this department is make promises you can’t keep.
Above all, women leaders owe it to their female employees to practice what they preach. A charismatic, well-adjusted woman at the top goes a long ways towards creating a healthy office atmosphere. When powerful and highly visible women are seen helping other women by implementing women-friendly policies, acting as mentors and role models, or simply honoring their word, they set a standard for everyone else to come.
by michelle | Dec 23, 2013 | Travel Tips
Everyone knows that winter and holiday travel can be extremely stressful, and like most, I tend to forget basic common sense when I am in extremely stressful situations. The team at Preferred Corporate Housing want everyone to enjoy their holiday trips, so we’ve compiled a list of tips for those of you who will be leaving home during this time of hustle and bustle.
1. If you are leaving your home for an extended period of time, consider hiring a home-sitter. If you have trusted neighbors who will be home for the holidays, enlist their help in keeping an eye on your place while you are gone. If you live in an apartment, contact your PCH Account Manager to let them know when you will be away, and also speak to the onsite office staff as well. Many communities offer complimentary plant watering and dog walking services, so check in with them before you leave.
2. Lock up – This seems so obvious, but hey…we’ve all got a lot on our minds during this season of hustle and bustle. Locking your home makes it less attractive to opportunistic burglars. If you don’t make it easy, there’s a better chance that when you get home, your house will be in the same condition as when you left it.
3. Be cautious with your social media posts – Don’t broadcast your whereabouts on Facebook or Twitter at every stop you make. Although we would like to think that our connections on social media are friends and acquaintances, we don’t need everyone to know that we are away from our home.
4. If you are traveling by plane, plan to leave your home at least an hour earlier than usual. Winter weather, holiday shopping traffic and forgetting to pack Aunt Mildred’s gift can all result in delays to your schedule. If you start out with extra time, you are less likely to turn into a super stress ball when something unexpected pops up.
5. Stay hydrated for your journey – Another one of those tips that seems so simple, but is often overlooked. Even slight dehydration can lead to fatigue and decreased alertness which sounds like a recipe for disaster on your holiday trip. Remember to drink plenty of water as often as you can.
6. If you are driving to your holiday destination – pack a winter car safety kit. Cell phone, car charger, ice scraper, tow rope, jumper cables, cat littler (helps to provide traction in the snow), blankets, crank-powered flashlights, matches, emergency candles, first aid kit, portable radio, granola bars or other snacks and a good book in case you do get stuck. Recent unexpected snow storms in Dallas caused people to be stuck in their cars on the freeway for 30+ hours. Make sure you are prepared if something like that were to happen to you.
7. Don’t forget to pack a smile! This is one of those rainbows and flowers type tips, but it really does help. If you start your trip with a smile and try very hard to keep it there, you are more likely to enjoy yourself. Don’t sweat the small stuff, find humor in every situation and enjoy the journey!
From all of us at Preferred Corporate Housing, we wish you safe travels and Happy Holidays!
by michelle | Nov 8, 2010 | Misc.
Every year, Preferred Corporate Housing tries to find some way to thank our Veteran’s for their service to our country. Veterans make up a large percentage of our clients, so it is extremely important for us to let them know how grateful we are for their sacrifice and dedication. This year, we are inviting veterans who are current guests in any of our fully furnished apartments around the country to call our office at (800) 960-0102 to redeem a small token of thanks from the staff at Preferred Corporate Housing. Please ask for Michelle Velasquez.
We also want to invite everyone out there to take part in a Veteran’s Day celebration as well, so we’ve compiled a list of things you can do to honor our brave service men and women on November 11.
-Attend a Veteran’s Day program/parade in your community. Many communities have organized activities that are sponsored by the local VFW as well as student-led school programs that are often open to the public.
-Take part in a flag-raising ceremony. If your office or apartment building has a flag pole, organize a gathering of co-workers/neighbors to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the National Anthem together.
-Participate in a moment of silence in remembrance of those who have given their lives for their country. Invite your family, coworkers, neighbors, and friends to observe a moment of silence as well. A national moment of silence is usually observed at 11:00am (EST).
-Take your children to visit a Veteran’s hospital, or encourage them to send a letter of thanks to a Veteran.
On November 11th, we hope you will take a few moments out of your day to get involved in a celebration of Veteran’s Day in your area. The servicemen and women who have sacrificed so much for our country deserve our gratitude.
by michelle | Oct 5, 2010 | Quality Assurance
October 4th – 10th will mark the 8th annual National Customer Service Week. Preferred Corporate Housing is celebrating this week by honoring our outstanding Customer Service Department! We also want to emphasize our commitment to providing the best quality temporary housing solutions accompanied by the highest level of customer service in the industry. Read below to find out what SERVICE means to us!
S is for Selfless – We will be attentive to customer requests, regardless of other priorities. We will demonstrate our abilities through our conduct, conversations, and results.
E is for Ethical – We will act with integrity and a sense of duty and obligation to our customers and will always be accountable for our actions.
R is for Respectful – We will treat our customers as we wish to be treated and ensure that every interaction is conducted in a pleasant and professional manner.
V is for Versatile – We will be resourceful and capable of performing a variety of tasks in order to get the job done, regardless of our job description.
I is for Innovative – We will identify ways to continuously improve our processes and policies to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers. We will welcome customer feedback as a means to improve the services we provide.
C is for Communication – We will actively listen to our customers and respond in a clear and concise manner. We will communicate through available resources, providing accurate information in a manner that is easy to understand.
E is for Encouraging – We will support employee creativity and teamwork to promote an open and collaborative work environment that encourages employees to excel in every aspect of their jobs, including customer service.
At Preferred Corporate Housing, we are committed to our goal of providing the best nationwide temporary housing options along with the highest level of customer service in the industry. We look forward to any opportunity to showcase what SERVICE means to us!
About Preferred Corporate Housing:
Preferred Corporate Housing (corporates.com) is the premier, nationwide extended-stay lodging partner for relocating employees, temporary assignments, recurring projects, and corporate training programs. Corporations and human resource managers turn to Preferred Corporate Housing to take advantage of cost-efficient, fully furnished apartments, accompanied by online inventory management tools, dedicated personal account teams, and service to more than 14,000 cities. PCH is your permanent solution for temporary housing nationwide! (800) 960-0102, corporates.com.
by michelle | Sep 20, 2010 | Apartment Living
Many people choose fully furnished apartments for stays of 30 days or longer as alternatives to hotel stays because they want to feel more at home. They want the extra comfort and space than a cramped, cookie-cutter hotel can offer, but if they don’t do anything to personalize their furnished apartment, it can wind up feeling just as cold and cramped as the hotel they were trying to avoid. Here are some great tips on how to make your temporary furnished apartment feel less like a hotel room and more like your home.
Tip # 1: Rearrange the furniture – When the furniture company delivers your items, they will do their best to arrange the items according to the space, but they don’t know your routine or preferences. Instead of placing that comfy chair in front of the television, you may prefer that the chair be by the window because that’s where you like to read. You may want your bed up against a wall instead of in the middle of the room. As long as you are careful not to damage any of the furniture or walls, there is no reason not to design the space according to your preferences.
Tip # 2: Display photos of family and friends – Bring along some framed pictures of your loved ones and place them throughout your apartment. There are many products available that will allow you to hang things without damaging the wall, and you can also utilize your refrigerator to display your children’s pictures and artwork. Having familiar items like these will make the space feel more personal.
Tip # 3: Unpack your suitcase – Even though your apartment may be temporary, take advantage of the dresser and night stand! If you are constantly living out of your suitcase, you can never fully relax because it won’t feel like home.
Tip # 4: Buy some house plants – Studies show that house plants can reduce stress, fight off toxins, and even boost energy! Go to the local home improvement store and find plants that are easy to maintain. http://www.prevention.com/houseplants/
Tip # 5: Maintain your routines – If you always have Taco Night on Tuesday, or practice Yoga every morning, keep up with those important routines. The familiarity of routines will allow you to feel comfortable in your surroundings.
Even though you would rather be at your actual home, sometimes it just isn’t possible. Although you may be 500+ miles away, implementing these five tips can make your temporary apartment feel like home….or at least a little closer to it!