The Best Way To Exit Your Business

The time has come. You have successfully completed the interview process and you have accepted a new position with a different company. It is time for you to exit your current company, but you don’t know how you should go out. This is the first time you’ve left a professional position, and you don’t want to do anything negative. So how do you go out in style at your current business?

 

The first point to keep in mind is to not slack off on your work, even as you approach your last day. It’s very tempting to not give much effort anymore as you’re approaching the end, especially since you won’t be getting anything out of the company after you leave. But this is very dangerous, both for the business and for you. Obviously for the business, they would not be getting the work and productivity out of you that they are paying you for. The company is making an investment in you even at the end, and if you don’t produce, then that investment is waisted. Your lack of effort will hurt you as well. You may leave the company, but the company doesn’t necessarily leave you. As you continue in your career and apply for different companies, they will see that you worked for the company and may even contact that company. If you slacked off terribly towards the end, that may come up to the company you are applying to and may hurt your chances of future employment.

 

Another point to keep in mind is to not burn your bridges. This means keeping good relations with both supervisors and coworkers. Obviously, the reason for a good reference in the future is a good reason to keep positive relations. But you also never know when you may need the assistance of past supervisors and coworkers. One example of this is if you suddenly need a job in the future. Things happen, and you could suddenly be put out of a job, even if it’s not of your own doing. If you keep a good relation with a past supervisor, they may take you into a position, even if it is only temporary. You may need advice from a past coworker on something, whether it’s business related or not. You won’t be able to get any of these if you don’t have good relations with those from your past company.

 

As you begin your transition out of the company, offer to help in that transition. There is a lot to do when an employee leaves and a new employee comes in to take their place. Many things have to be changed, there is a lot of training to do, and some work may be halted for a bit. This is a lot of work for the company to do, and it could be made easier if there was assistance from the person in the role currently. You could offer to help train the new employee and explain to them the going ons of the job that are not expressed in the job report. You could help the company brace itself for the exit of the employee. This has different looks in different jobs. In a sales job, it may involve helping move accounts and clients to different employees or to the new employee. In an accounting job, it may involve finishing the jobs you were working on or helping pass them on to other accountants. There are many ways that you can help a company with transition on your way out. If you do this, you will keep good relations with the company, which as we discussed earlier is wonderful for your future.

 

The final thing to do when you leave is to thank everybody. Thank your coworkers, your supervisors, even the third party contractors that you have seen on a weekly basis. Sure this will benefit you in the future as you build those good relations, but the main reason you should give thanks is out of a genuine and thankful heart. Even if you didn’t have the best experience, the company has most likely done a lot for you in your tenure there. Think about it; they have provided you with an income and most likely benefits. They were probably a steady place to work at and also provided you with friends and a decent work environment. And of course, I’m sure they had coffee and refreshments available whenever you desired. There are many reasons to thank those that you have had contact with when you were at the business, and those thanks will go a long ways in both yours and theirs lives.

 

These are just a few of the many good things you can do when exiting your company. There are many other things you could do to have a peaceful exit. A lot of it depends on what kind of company you work for. The best way to exit some companies is to go quietly. Some companies are so large that they would prefer to bring on and let go of employees quietly so as to not get too attached to certain employees. Other companies are small and want to have a big party as you leave, and on the flip side would love it if you said goodbye to each person individually. Before you leave your company, figure out the best ways to leave your company on a positive note, and it will benefit both you and the company.

How A Recruiting Firm Can Benefit Your Business

When you’re looking to hire a new employee to your business, choosing the correct employee is vital to the health of the organization. Now I already went over the importance of hiring the correct employee in a past article, so how do you make sure that you don’t make the mistake of hiring the wrong employee? The best way is to hire a search firm, especially for an important position. In an even earlier article, I discussed the signs you should be looking for that point towards using a search firm. But what advantages come from using a search firm for your hiring process?

 

The Best Candidate

The most obvious advantage of using a search firm for your hiring needs is that the employee you will get hired in from that firm will be one of the best candidates out there for the position. Search firms have the tools and expertise necessary to narrow down qualified candidates until they find the candidate that is most qualified for the position. As a result, the client (you) will get a candidate that stands out above other qualified candidates.

 

As an additional advantage, most search firms (especially executive search firms) specialize in specific industries, and thus have knowledge and pipelines built up in that industry. For example, Harrison Gray specializes in the banking and mortgage industries. Therefore, Harrison Gray recruiters have an in-depth knowledge of the industries and can identify candidates that are the most qualified for certain positions. As well, Harrison Gray recruiters also have candidates in their contacts that could be a good fit for the position.

 

Saving Time

Finding the perfect recruit can be time consuming, especially if your company doesn’t have the optimal resources to recruit the most qualified candidates. Some companies take months to find the best candidate, while other companies make the mistake of hiring the wrong candidate within just a few days. Now I’m not saying that a search firm will find you the right candidate the very next day, although that does happen at times. Instead, search firms can find the right candidate for the job faster than your company would be able to.

 

How does a search firm complete their job with such optimal timing? By devoting the correct resources and people to your search. By using advanced resources and top level knowledge, search firms can narrow the pool of candidates that are out there for your position you’re looking fill. Once the candidates are narrowed down, the search firm can do what we mentioned before, which is pick out the best candidate from this pool of already qualified candidates. The client gets their employee much faster, meaning they can start sooner and start adding value to the business sooner.

 

Continued Service

Once you receive the most qualified candidate from a search firm, it’s hard to go back to hiring candidates without a search firm’s assistance. The candidates you hire may not be as high of quality as when they were being found by a search firm. You may spend more time than you’d like searching for candidates, and may spend more in resources and funds than you would like to. These could all be harmful to your company, and can be avoided if you continue to use the service of the search firm you used before. And of course, the search firm will want your business again. They will build a solid relationship with you and give you the best service each and every time. Some companies will even offer a repeat customer discount. Building a relationship with a search firm will benefit your company in many ways, and will provide you with top level employees for years to come.

 

Additional Reassurance

When hiring a search firm, you don’t have to depend on just them for the entire hiring process. A search firm can be like a backup plan or an additional resource you bring in to help with the hiring process. Thankfully, most search firms operate off a commission plan where you don’t have to pay unless you actually hire someone that was found by the search firm. Thus, you can use a search firm sort of like backup. Your company will continue to search for an employee while also considering candidates recommended by the search firm. If you hire a candidate that your company found itself, that’s great. You don’t have to pay the search firm, but had that added reassurance that you would find the right candidate even if you needed their help. If you hire a candidate recommended by the search firm, that’s also great. Sure you have to pay the search firm, but for good reason. They found you the absolute best candidate for the position, and that will pay off for years to come.

 

There are many more advantages to using a search firm than was discussed in this article. But the bottom line remains the same; a search firm can find your company the best candidate in the fastest amount of time. Your business is what keeps a search firm in business, so they are going to do everything they can to find the most qualified person for your position as soon as possible. So if you are a little weary of hiring a search firm, or don’t know if one is the right option for your company and its hiring needs, I would recommend looking at these and many more benefits of using a search firm and consider how useful one can be for your business.

How To Stand Out In Your Company

As everyone starts their career off and progresses through the stages of their work life, they are definitely looking for ways to advance and promote their way through the company. No one wants to stay at one position for the rest of their career; most everybody wants to advance their way to managerial and executive levels in a business. Of course, when you start out at the bottom, you are dependant on those higher than you noticing your work and awarding you the promotion you rightly deserve. So how do you stand out among your co-workers as the one worthy of advancement in the company?

 

The answer may be one that many do not want to hear. Some people are looking for a trick, a gimmick, a quick fix to sneak your way to promotion. “If your boss notices you doing this one thing, they’ll instantly promote you…”. That’s not how things work. At all. The truth is, there’s no quick way to advance yourself through the company; there’s no quick trick that makes you stand out among your co-workers in an instant. Unless the company you’re at has a lot of politics or is heavily family owned, the best way for you to advance is the good old fashion way; hard work and a drive to better yourself. But what does this look like in a work setting? How do I know that I’m standing out among my co-workers? Are there any measurements to see how far I’m progressing?

 

While there may not be specific measurements to see how you are standing out in your workplace, there are things you can do so that you at least know you are giving it your best shot to stand out, which is all anyone can really do. The first thing you can do is give your best effort at all of your tasks during your work day. This doesn’t mean just getting them done just to have them done, but really putting work into each of your tasks to make sure they are done to the highest quality achievable. If you’re in sales, give your best effort towards every sale and try to close the sale to the best of your ability. If you’re in the supply chain side of business, try to make every shipment and every delivery as smooth and as accurate as possible. If you devote time and energy to each and every task, your results will be a reflection of your efforts and will stand out compared to sub-par results others may accomplish.

 

A thought you may have right now is “if I’m devoting so much time and effort to one task, won’t that slow my work down and actually make me inefficient?”. The answer to that is yes and no. It will slow your work down and make you inefficient if you devote too much time and effort to all of your tasks. There is a fine balance between just enough and too much time and effort for each tasks, and one of your responsibilities is to find that balance so that you can produce high quality work at a high volume. Once you find this balance, ride with it. Those above you want your work to be high quality, but they also want you to get a lot of work done at the same time. If you find that right balance, you can deliver both of what your supervisor wants. This will definitely help you stand out among your co-workers. How many of them can find this perfect balance and put it into practice? Your results will speak for themselves.

 

While results will definitely help you stand out among your co-workers, supervisors and those above you are also looking for someone that is striving for more. Striving for more achievement, striving for more responsibility, striving to make the organization better. If you are not striving for more or don’t have a drive to make yourself better, but are content with where you are, then why would anyone want to put you in a higher position that you may be uncomfortable in? You have to first make sure you have the strive and drive for more, and then you have to communicate that with those above you. Having the strive and drive for more comes from within yourself. You have to really want to do better, to take more responsibility, to benefit the organization even more. Once you have the internal strive, then you have to express it.

 

How do you communicate to those above you that you have this inner strive? The simplest and easiest way is to talk to those above you and tell them that you are ready and are striving for more responsibility. Let them know that you are available for promotion and advancement, that you are ready to take that next step. Then, the next time the organization is looking to fill a higher position, they will look to you and see what you can do. And if you were following what we were talking about at the beginning of this article, then you should be considered for that higher position. Therefore, the best and easiest way to communicate that you want to be considered for a higher position is simply by talking to those above you about it. But what if that isn’t a possibility? What if for some reason you aren’t able to communicate with those above you? Then communicate with those around. Your co-workers and others who work around you in the organization. Get the word out there that you are looking to advance in the company, and the word will get to those above you. Those above you will hopefully hear that you are looking to advance, and when the opportunity appears, they will look at what you bring to the table.

 

Now these are simply general guidelines to follow to stand out among your co-workers. There may be more specific things that you have to do to get promoted in your organization. Some positions will require a certification or a diploma that you may have to earn first. Other positions may require a certain level of seniority in your current position. But if you apply these general guidelines to your work life, you will prepare yourself for advancement in any organization.

The Importance Of Hiring The Correct Employee

There are a lot of stakes at play when hiring a new employee, especially for a higher level position. Your company will be investing a lot of money into this employee, and you’re banking on them to perform at a high level in their position. These stakes make it very important to hire the correct person for the position. You may be wondering why I said correct instead of perfect. The truth is that there is no such thing as a perfect employee. Every employee has their flaws and quirks, some just have less detrimental ones than others. For example, an employee who has difficulty with some database systems would be considered a better employee with less detrimental flaws than an employee who drinks on the job. So what are some of the pros of hiring the right employee and cons of hiring the wrong employee?

 

Hiring the wrong employee can have a spectrum of negativities. On the low end, the employee will simply perform poorly at their job, but it won’t be detrimental to the organization. The employee’s inefficiencies may cost the organization in some way, but it won’t ruin an organization. However, the organization will most likely want to let go of this person that is costing their company and hire someone else that will be the right person for the position. These people can be hard to detect during the hiring process, as their inefficiencies can be small and hard to uncover during the process. Thankfully, although they aren’t the correct person for the position, their issues won’t be detrimental to the company.

 

On the other end of the spectrum are the people that could ruin a business with their performance. These people are almost always in a higher up position in the company, such as a management or executive position, since you usually have to fail at a position with power in order to be detrimental to the company. These people can also have inefficiencies that can be hard to detect in the hiring process. Somebody that is being hired in for a management position may have all of the right qualifications, but may have trouble teaching employees some of the activities involved with their job. Obviously this will create poor employees, which in turn will hurt the company, possibly in a large way. These people that are detrimental to an organization should be let go of immediately, even if there isn’t a sufficient backup in place. If they are not let go, they have the potential of causing the business to fail out right.

 

Of course, there are bad employees in between these two extremes. Some employees will be on the lower end of inefficiencies but can still cause a decent amount of damage to the business. Other employees may have some extreme inefficiencies that just aren’t as detrimental to the company as they aren’t tapped into very much during their work. No matter what part of the spectrum the wrong employee is on, they are costing the company in more ways than one and should not be hired for the position you are looking to fill. But if these are all the bad outcomes of hiring the wrong employee, what are some good outcomes of hiring the right employee?

 

The right employee can be on a spectrum, just like the wrong employee can be. On the low end of the spectrum, employees will benefit the company minimally. They will do their job and do it efficiently, but it may not be the highest quality work. For example, they may be an executive that boosts a company’s profits, but the boost may not be very impressive compared to what others would have or have done. They get the job done and they benefit the company, thus you will probably want to keep them on for a little while. But another person in that same position could have performed better and benefited the company even more.

 

We find a lot of these people on the higher end of the spectrum. These are the people that go above and beyond what is expected from them in their position. Going back to our example of the executive boosting the company’s profits, the right employee on the high end of the spectrum will boost the profits far more than the executive on the low end of the spectrum. These employees will benefit the business far greater than what was expected, and businesses should be doing everything in their power to retain that employee for the long run. These employees can actually be easy to pick out in the recruiting process. They will have a solid work history and have a track record of success at their previous jobs. They will also possess many skills that are relevant to the job and even some that could help excel them in their position. Keep your eye out for these employees while you are recruiting. They may be rare, but hiring one could be one of the best investments your company will make.

 

The implications of who you hire can be huge. The wrong person can be detrimental, and the right person can be the best investment the business had ever made. Be careful during the hiring process, closely evaluate each candidate, and choose the one that has the best chance of being a great employee. It is always a slight gamble when hiring a new employee, but if you can hire a great one, it could possibly be the best decision for the business for years to come.

Should You Pursue Your Passion Or A Payday?

Since we were little, we’ve heard this phrase all the time. “Do what you love”. Follow your passion. If you do what you like, you’ll never work a day in your life. But as we grow up and begin our careers, we realize that sometimes our passion doesn’t equal a comfortable income. A lot of people have a passion for music for example, and there is a music industry. But everybody also knows that making a comfortable living in the music industry is rare. A lot of people also have a passion for sports, but very few people will become professional athletes or sports agents, really the only well paying sports positions.

 

So what should you do if your passion doesn’t equal a good income? If the thing you love isn’t the thing you can make a living on? Should you take a job that will provide you with a comfortable living but may not be your most favorite job? This is a tough question that most people have to face, unless of course you’re blessed enough to be able to practice your passion while living comfortably. Let’s look at the advantages of both pursuing your passion and getting a steady job.

 

Let’s say that you are fresh out of school (high school or college) and decide to completely pursue your passion. You decide to create and produce an album, or you decide to try and make it big in Hollywood. Obviously there are really only two outcomes that can come from pursuing your passion head on. Either you will succeed greatly and make a good income (possibly a fortune) while having fun doing what you love, or you will fail. If you fail, you may still end up with a good job, but you may feel like a failure for not achieving your dreams that you set out to pursue. That would be a heavy burden to carry for the rest of your career, and could affect your happiness. On the other end, you may not even get a good job and may have to settle for a low paying job where you can’t make a good income.

 

Now let’s look at the other end of the spectrum. Let’s say you’re fresh out of school and decide to get a good job that is steady and will pay well, but this job is not exactly what you’re passionate about. A lot of people choose this route, and for good reason too. It is easily the safest choice, as you will receive a steady income and the job is for the most part stable. But the obvious downside is that you may be miserable at your job and regret not pursuing your passion. You may spend your days at the office wondering if you really could have made it if you just tried out for that professional basketball team or if you tried to be an actor at Hollywood. Regret from not pursuing your dream can be heavy and can weigh on a person for their entire career.

 

So which route should you take? For that, I have no specific answer. It is completely up to you and what you value more. If you value going after your passion and not caring about the risks, then by all means go for it. If you value a steady income and providing for others, then getting a steady job may be the route to go. You can also pursue your passions outside of your job. This is what hobbies and recreation are for, and can provide a balance between passion and income. Whatever you choose though, go after it with full force and don’t look back!

How To Be A Lion In Your Industry

Many companies lack the drive, motivation, and initiative to compete fiercely within their industry. Of course, they would if they could, but where would they even start? Many of them don’t know how to compete with the giants in their industry, and can’t figure out how to excel their business beyond hiring a few more employees and trying to make a name for themselves locally. They know a lot about the product or service they are providing, but little about the business side of things. Everybody dreams about creating Apple or Starbucks, but very few people actually know what goes on beyond making a cool phone or tasty lattes. There’s a simple yet effective approach to beating out the competition and succeeding in the industry.

 

That approach begins with deciding what position you want to take in the industry. There are two main approaches you can take to position yourself in almost any industry; as a cost leader, or as a quality leader. Cost leaders are like the McDonalds or Dollar General of the industry. Their products definitely aren’t the highest quality, but so many people choose them because they’re cheap and affordable, much more so than most other competitors. This position in an industry usually relies on mass production and economies of scale to be competitive. You’re winning more competition because of your attractive prices. And thankfully for companies deciding to choose this position to compete, there are a lot of people that are looking to take advantage of great deals.

 

The other side of the coin is the quality leader position. This position involves providing customers with the highest quality product or service compared to the competitors, and winning the business of those looking for superior quality instead of superior prices. This is the route a lot of smaller up and coming businesses tend to take, as it is difficult to compete with the Walmarts and McDonalds in the world. And this position works for many of these small businesses, as many of them grow and thrive as a result of customers who like these higher quality products from these smaller businesses. If you decide to take your business on this route, you will have to compete with other small businesses in the industry that are looking to attract the same customers. Attracting local customers may be easy, but expanding to other regions involves invading competitors’ territories, which can make it difficult to acquire new customers.

 

These two positions are extreme ends of the spectrum, and most likely your strategy will involve some sort of mixture of the two. It is usually not ideal to offer a low price with such a crappy product that no one will buy it. At the same time, offering the highest quality product at an unreasonable price will win you very few customers. However, though you will probably have to do a mixture, it is important to decide which way you want to lean more towards, whether you want your product/service to be more affordable or higher quality. Once you have made a decision on what strategy you would like to lean towards, it’s time to attack that strategy relentlessly. Immediately start with marketing and advertising campaigns that promote your message and get your product/service positioned in your customers’ minds as either more affordable or higher quality. You will have to look at the demographics and psychographics of those that will respond well to the message you choose and formulate your campaign to reach them.

 

After you get your product/service position in your customer’s mind, make sure to adjust your product/service to match that position. If you’re going for affordability, cut your costs and bring in cheaper supplies. If you’re going for higher quality, investigate your product/service and find out where you can make quality improvements so that your customers are satisfied. Make sure your product/service matches your message, otherwise you’ll actually see a decline in business.

 

Now that you have the strategy for your product and the foundation for that strategy, attack it. Attack it like nothing else. Have the goal of owning that corner of the industry, no matter what size company you’re running. Are you looking to be a cost leader in the fast food industry? Don’t let McDonald's intimidate you, put all of your efforts and resources into taking control of that position. Are you looking to make the highest quality smartphone? Sure Apple has control of that corner of the industry, but that shouldn’t keep you from working as hard as you can to take control of that corner of the industry. Attacking your strategy itself may seem intimidating, especially if there’s a lot of change you have to make to your business in order to fit into your new strategy. But many great companies had to undergo some kind of major change in their history, and that is what made them great. If you’re going to be the lion in your industry, attack your strategy and don’t be intimidated by the competition or by your own company itself.

 

The lion is the king of the jungle. He’s not afraid of other beasts, including the giant elephant, and he’s not afraid to protect his position as king. To be the lion in your industry, to get to the top despite large competitors and protect your company’s dominating position, you need to have a clear strategy that you can attack with all of your might. This is the most powerful way to dominate your industry, and by consistently sticking with your strategy, you will protect your position at the top.

Is It Time To Go Back To School?

Everybody is in a different position in life, especially when it comes to education. Some people did not go to college, some went for a little bit but didn’t finish, and some finished their Bachelor’s but not their Master’s. There are even many who have finished their Master’s, but are regretting not continuing through their Doctorate’s. No matter where you are on the education spectrum, it may be worthwhile to go back to school and further your education. But will that degree really justify all of the extra time, money, and stress spent on pursuing it?

 

One of the most common reasons to pursue a higher degree is in order to qualify for a promotion at your current place of work. We’ve all heard of companies that will pay for your education while you work for them in order to get you into a higher position in the company, and many of us may even work for these companies. If that is the case, then it is very wise to take full advantage of this opportunity and go back to school part time. If your company does not offer to pay for your schooling, but you know a higher degree could get you a promotion at that company, it would still be wise to pursue that degree even at your own expense. The costs for the degree will most likely be made up by the extra benefits that come from the promotion.

 

Another reason to pursue a higher degree is if you are looking to acquire a new position with a different company in the near future. Most of the time, when one is looking for a new job with a different company, they are looking for a job that is higher status than the last one they are at. Of course, a higher status job comes with more requirements, and while a lot of experience is definitely beneficial, including a higher degree will definitely improve your chances of getting a new job. If you browse LinkedIn or Indeed and look at some of the job requirements, you will see that the higher up positions that require a lot of experience also most of the time require  Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. In order to even contend for these jobs, you will need the degree. And if you want to beat out the competition, getting a degree that is higher than necessary will definitely give you an advantage.

 

While these work requirements are definitely the main reasons to pursue a higher education, you also need to consider if you have enough time to go back to school. Many people have a family with young kids, a hobby that requires dedication, or even multiple jobs. Time is not available for a lot of people to take a few classes each year, and that’s okay. Education is not the biggest priority in life, and if there are more important things that you should be focusing your time on, then by all means focus on those things. But if you find yourself bored and watching six hours of Sports Center after work every night, then perhaps you have some time to spare to go to a few classes each year. There are many ways you can fit class into your life. There are night classes that start at a time that doesn’t interfere with regular 9-5 work hours. There are online classes that are very flexible with schedules, and can be completed at any hour of the day. If you work irregular hours outside of a 9-5, there are regular classes at all hours of each day. If you sign up early, you can pick a time that is very convenient for your schedule for the next two to four months. If you have the time, there are plenty of options to get into a class and get working on your degree.

 

I mentioned before that getting a higher degree will help when you’re on the hunt for a new job. But what if you’re not the hunt for  new job right now? What if you’re pretty comfortable at your new job and really don’t see yourself going anywhere anytime soon? You should still pursue that higher degree, simply to pad your resume. But why do you need to pad your resume if you’re happy where you are? Because you may not be happy there in the future. If you are young and fresh in the workforce, you have 30 or 40 years of work ahead of you. You may be happy where you are now, but see if you’ll still be happy there in even 5 years. As you begin to become miserable and unhappy with the job you’re in, you’ll want to look for a new job or a new position in the company. But that’ll be very difficult to nearly impossible in most industries without a higher education degree. If you want to give yourself more opportunities in the future, then a higher degree is what you will need.

 

All of these reasons I have given are excellent reasons to go back and finish a degree, but the best reason to do it is because you feel that it is the right thing to do. If you are feeling the urge to go back and get your degree, if you feel that it is time to finish what you have or have not started, then you should listen to your conscious and complete that degree. It is always a good thing to complete your degree, and if you’re feeling an urge to get it done, then it’s time to get it done. That degree will benefit you in many ways both currently and in the future, and most people know that they should finish it up. When you’re feeling the urge to finish it up, then you know it’s time.

 

A degree will help further your career in many different ways, and it is very important that you further your education if you are to further your career. There may be obstacles in your way, there may be people telling you you can’t or shouldn’t pursue that degree. But there is nothing that can stop you if you are determined to get that degree and change your career to better your life.

What Does A Winning Business Environment Look Like?

We all have the idea of the perfect business environment. People are hard at work, everybody is interacting, and things are getting done. This is what a winning business looks like. There’s a buzz in the atmosphere and everybody is working to better themselves and the business. There’s a pretty good chance that your business may not have this winning environment. So how can you make your business environment a winning environment?

 

The best way to develop a winning environment is to create a drive in your employees. A drive to win, succeed, and better the individual and the business. When employees have this drive, a lot of other pieces fall into place. Employees become more concentrated, more invested in their work, and their work becomes higher in quality. The business becomes a winning business. So how does a leader in a business create that drive in their employees? Simply provide them incentives. Performance commissions, company profit sharing, and promotion opportunities are just a few great incentives that should create a drive in your employees to perform and win. When employees have an incentive and a goal to work towards, they get to work and push forward. This creates a different buzz in the workspace, a winning buzz that elevates the company to new levels.

 

Creating a drive in your employees is a wonderful way to create a winning buzz, but can create disappointment in employees who might miss a goal or two. Things don’t ever go perfectly, and those on the non-perfect end of the spectrum can become extremely discouraged in a goal driven workspace. So how do you keep that winning environment going in a workspace that may have some discouraged employees? In the simplest way possible; you encourage them. You let them know that missing goals isn’t the end of the world, that there is still plenty of opportunities to get back at it and succeed. Help them to see what areas they do great in and what areas they may need to improve in. But encouragement doesn’t stop there, employees that do well need encouragement as well. They need to be told that they’re doing a great job and to keep up the great work. Let them know how much they’re benefiting the company, and they should be encouraged to keep up their great work and keep moving forward.

 

While being driven and encouraging are great traits in a winning culture, this culture can’t reach its full potential without communication. Communication not only between employees, but between managers and employees is key. Employees should be congratulating each other when a big sale happens, and helping each other out when things aren’t running as smoothly. Managers should be sharing with employees goals and data that shows how they’re doing, while employees should be sharing with managers accomplishments and struggles with the team. There should be a constant flow of communication among all members of the company, and information should not be withheld by either managers or employees. With a constant flow of communication, employees and managers are kept up to date, goals are hit, and the winning culture lives up to its potential.

 

Being driven towards goals can sometimes cause employees to look past the tasks they have at hands. When you’re focused too much on the future, your attention can be taken off what you need to do in the present. Planning and preparing for the future is a great thing, but letting that overtake the tasks you have in front of you can be detrimental. Don’t ignore a client just to spend more time tending to the bigger client because you can see that bigger client spending more on your business in the future. Do the right thing in the present and tend to the smaller client as much as is necessary to complete the job. This can be seen in many different ways in different industries and businesses, but no matter how this scenario plays out, the message is the same; focus on the task at hand. Be task-oriented, take care of what is in front of you, and prepare for the future when you can. If you do this, you will find that your goals will actually be easier to hit and your work will be smoother and more productive.

 

What would a winning environment be without a little celebration? Without time for celebration and rewards, a workspace can quickly become a dull and boring environment that employees dread going to. The same work routine without celebrating accomplishments will become just what it is, routine. And a winning culture is not a routine culture. So take the time to celebrate the accomplishments of employees. Throw an office party, present them with a reward, even conduct an accomplishments meeting. It doesn’t have to all be big either. Simply telling someone congratulations or acknowledging them in front of other employees can be enough to break the everyday routine and encourage employees to keep striving towards their goals. Employees will have a new fire in them knowing that they too will be celebrated if they reach their goals.

 

A winning business is a successful business, so building a winning business environment means bringing success to the business.Create that drive in your employees, encourage them, celebrate their accomplishments. You will find that productivity will sharply rise, and the business will be brought to new levels.

Make Your Workplace A Happier Place

For many people, thinking about heading to work when they first wake up in the morning is a dreadful thought that brews a bad mood for the rest of the day. Work may seem like a drag and a place where fun and happiness has to be checked in at the door. But it doesn’t have to be! Sure work may never be the first thing you want to do on a weekday, but it doesn’t have to be a huge drag! Here are some tips to help you make your workplace a happier and more inviting destination.

 

Make Friends

Friendship is a joyful connection that can shine a little light in even the gloomiest of days. Friends are the ones you can talk to, connect to, share something funny or sad with. It’s like having a little portion of your family with you. So of course it makes sense that having friends in your workplace will make it a lot better!

 

I can speak from personal experience, or I can speak from talking to numerous other professionals. We all agree that friends are one of the biggest factors in making work a happier place to be. There’s just something about knowing that you have friends waiting for you at the office that makes it a better place. If you want to turn up the happiness dial at your workplace, start by making friends. Strike up conversations, get to know people, ask them about themselves. You’ll find your dread towards work in the morning will decrease little by little each and every morning.

 

Get Motivated

It’s hard to be happy about something that you’re not very motivated about. Motivation can be hard to come by, and can seem scarce even for some of the most important tasks of the day. You may be extremely motivated to exercise in the morning, but not motivated at all to make those fifteen sales calls at the office. You may be motivated to set up for the Super Bowl party, but not motivated to set up for your department meeting. How do you increase your motivation for your work and workplace?

 

One of the best ways to get motivated is to set goals for yourself. Sure you may have goals set for you by managers and higher ups, but it’s not very motivating trying to hit goals for someone else. Set your own goals to try and improve your own performance and see what happens to your motivation. Most likely, since you’re setting goals to improve yourself, you will become much more motivated to get to work and accomplish those goals.

 

Make Your Workspace Your Own

I’m not huge into decorating and I’m sure I’d be terrible at it if I tried. But your personal workspace has an impact on your mood at work. An empty and bland workspace that has nothing more than a computer and a phone is definitely going to make the mood a little more depressing at work. You need to get some stuff on your desk or on your walls, make your workspace feel a little more homey and comfortable.

 

If you have a family, having pictures of your wife or kids is a great way to make your workspace feel a little more comfortable. If you have a passion, include pictures or trinkets of those. For example, a muscle car enthusiast may have a poster of a muscle car on their wall, or a model car on their desk. Put some plants on your desk to make it seem like you’re outside, put some cool rocks on their that remind you of that awesome vacation from the summer. Some may see this as cluttering your workspace, but I see it as making your workspace a beacon of a little more happiness in your day

 

Get Moving

Movement and exercise is known to make people feel better and happier. After you exercise continuously for a few weeks, you will tend to feel more energized, healthier, and simply better overall. This is definitely a mood booster that can increase your happiness a lot. Of course, unless you work at a gym, it is hard to find the time to get up and get moving. Not to worry though, there are office exercises you can do to get moving a little more during the work day.

 

Everybody has a break at sometime. While breaks are definitely a good time to get something to eat and to relax, they can also be used to move around a little. You can take a walk around outside if it’s a nice day, or inside around the building if it’s in the dead of winter. A lot of companies have company gyms that include exercise rooms, basketball courts, and even racquetball courts. It may be worthwhile to get to the office a little early or stay a little late to get a good work out in.

 

Do What You Like

Let’s face it, most of us have jobs that aren’t oh so exciting. And unfortunately, there’s just nothing that we can do to change that. No trick or gimmick will change our work into that of a movie star or of an NFL running back. Sure we can do things to get us more motivated about work, but actually making our work fun and enjoyable may be impossible. So how do we make our workplace happy if our work is the thing holding us back from it?

 

The answer is simple: take breaks for what you like. Do you like writing? Take breaks throughout the workday to get some writing done. Do you love sports? Take a few breaks to catch up on scores and highlights from the game you had to miss last night. Do you love music? Pop in some earbuds on break or during work (if you can) and jam out while being productive. Now granted you don’t want your breaks to be so long that you become unproductive, but a quick break here and there to do something for yourself might actually boost your productivity.

 

Happiness is an essential part to both your health and your life. Don’t let your work suck your happiness away from you; follow these tips I have provided and you’ll wake up with a new motivation and excitement for the job ahead!

Who To Have On Your Work’s Super Team

It’s no doubt that teams are becoming a bigger and bigger part of organizations. Gone are the assembly line days where employees simply keep their heads down and do their own work with little to no interaction with other employees. Now it is hard to find a job that doesn’t involve collaborating with fellow employees and team members on a day to day business.

 

Since this is the new norm for workspaces, it only makes sense to take advantage of this team atmosphere and use it to the benefit of your organization. The best way to do this is to build your own super team that will help you achieve your goals better than any other team could. How in the world do you build a super team? You include the following people that will bring your team to new levels.

 

  • The Data Recorder- This person is the one that captures everyone’s thoughts, ideas, updates, numbers, etc. They can keep topics separated and clear in the recordings while keeping up with their coworkers’ ideas and updates. In an active setting, they can perform the different tasks that need to be done when the team figures out how to solve them. Without the Data Recorder, the outcomes of the team’s work would be unorganized or even non-existent.

  • The Encourager- Obviously this title isn’t nearly as official as the Data Recorder, and the encourager on your team is going to have more tasks than sitting there encouraging people. But it is a definite plus that at least one of your team members on your team also has a natural tendency to encourage and build up others on the team. This especially comes in handy when the team is stuck in a rut and feels like they aren’t accomplishing anything. The encourager keeps spirits up and people going so that the team can accomplish its goals successfully.

  • The Facilitator- Without someone to keep things in order, the team would simply be a big mess of people trying to do different tasks and accomplish different goals without really working together and using their combined strengths. The facilitator makes teamwork a lot easier and a lot smoother by creating schedules and agendas and by keeping teamwork and team meetings on track and on task. The facilitator could be a full time position, such as a coordinator, or it could be the side job of a team member that has other duties as well. Either way, a facilitator is a very important person to have to maximize your team’s work.

  • Creative Thinker- This is a position that is great if it is held by multiple members, but you need at least one on your team. Almost every industry requires some form of creativity in the workplace. Even manufacturing plants are becoming increasingly creative in order to maximize quality and minimize cost. It doesn’t matter if your team is planning, working, or both, you need a creative thinker that can come up with ideas that are outside the box. This is how a lot of problems are solved in the workplace, and how a lot of companies become innovative and differentiate from competitors in their industry. Make sure you have a creative thinker in your corner and your team will brew up unique solutions for any situation.

  • The Researcher- There are many situations where a team is going to have to conduct research in order to overcome a problem, come up with a strategy, learn how to do things more efficiently, and for many other reasons. If everybody is conducting research at the same time, there are many other tasks of the team that will be disregarded, which can be detrimental to the team. Instead it is better to delegate this task to a few people that are skilled in research. When needed, these researchers can hop on their computers, access their databases, and find out the facts the team needs to know in order to complete their tasks. Researchers are very important to the team, so it is important that those that are assigned to being researchers should be skilled in conducting research.

  • The Leader- This is the most important position on the team by far. All of the other positions on the team that I have discussed thus far would not perform very well without a leader. The data recorder wouldn’t know whose ideas to record, the facilitator wouldn’t know what to schedule a meeting for, and the researcher wouldn’t know what idea they should conduct research for. The leader is the one who knows the situation, knows what needs to be done, and guides the team to accomplishing what needs to be done. The other team members look up to the leader to guide them and to know which way the team needs to move. The leader is able to help each person in each position even if they aren’t a specialist in that position. You may be the leader, you may be looking for a leader, you may have a leader already picked out. Whichever situation you’re in, make sure your leader is one that can lead the team closer to its goals of accomplishing the task at hand.

Why Won't Anyone Hire Me?

You may be in a position right now that many of us are familiar with; you’re applying to numerous positions and getting very few interviews, let alone job offers. It’s a very frustrating situation to be in and succeeds in discouraging most people in it. The truth is there’s no easy fix that will automatically make hundreds of companies fall in love with your resume. But it does help a lot to look at some things that you may be doing wrong in the job searching process and how those are negatively affecting your chances of finding a job.

 

A huge problem that people have that they don’t even realize is that they aren’t applying for enough jobs. What? I’ve applied for literally hundreds of jobs, how can you tell me that I haven’t applied for enough? I may be in the wrong. You may have applied for literally every job in your region that you qualify for. No? Well then you haven’t applied for enough jobs. If you live around any mid-size city, then are most likely thousands of jobs that you qualify for in that region. Don’t limit your job search to a few online job search engines; look on company websites, in local newspapers and publications, on recruiting sites (like Harrison Gray). You can even go into a local business and ask if they are looking for any positions to fill. You will find many more jobs than you thought you would ever find, and one of those jobs could be the perfect one for you. But you’ll never find them if you don’t put the work in and start searching.

 

Perhaps your standards for what kind of job you are looking for are set too high. Now yes, it is good to have some standards for what kind of job you should be searching for. A sales manager with 10+ years of experience should not be looking for entry level sales positions. But at the same time, you may be applying for jobs that are outside of what you are qualified for, or that you barely qualify for. A young man fresh out of college with a finance degree should not be looking to become the CFO of a large corporation right away. While this may be a bit of an extreme example, it still illustrates the point that many people think they should have a position that is just too far out of their reach. This is especially true when you have a lack of work experience, education, or both. Just as you are looking for the best job for yourself, employers are looking for the best candidate for their position. Most employers won’t take the risk of hiring the wrong candidate just to give the job to someone that is underqualified. Know what you qualify for and look for those jobs; you can use that job to build your work experience for a higher position.

 

Perhaps you do an excellent job of searching for jobs that you qualify for. But for some reason, you can’t find very many of these jobs. Why is that? Take a look at what the minimum salary is set at in your job search engine. Many people are expecting a salary that is much higher than they’re qualified for, which can lead to them applying for jobs that they have a very slim chance of getting. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a minimum salary requirement when applying for jobs; it’s important to have a standard and to make enough money necessary to live comfortably on. But many times people take this concept too far and expect salaries that are tens of thousands of dollars above what they are really cut out for. Salary almost always correlates with the level of the job. A manager is going to have a higher salary than the salesman under them. If you don’t qualify to be the manager, then don’t expect to make the manager’s salary. Instead lower your salary range, accept a good position within that salary range, and work your way up to that manager position where you can earn your desired salary. It may take some time, but you’ll get there. Everybody that has ever been successful has had to start somewhere.

 

The location that you are looking for a job in may be hurting your chances of getting a good job as well. The primary reason that a location would hurt your job hunt is that the location you are looking in does not have a large supply of jobs you want. For example, an accountant will most likely have a tough time finding a position in a small little farm town. As well, someone who wants to find an administrative job for a professional basketball team will have a tough time in a mid-size city that may at best be sporting an ABA team. You have to find out if the location you are looking in is a good location for the line of work you want to get into. If it isn’t, you basically have three options. You can either keep looking for that job in that location and pray that something comes around, look in a different location for that job (even if that means moving), or keep looking in the same location but try to find a different job. Obviously I would recommend the latter two options over waiting for a rare job to appear, which could take years if ever to happen. When looking over the other two options, it is simply a decision of if you would rather travel or look for a different career. Unfortunately, that’s the hard choice that location sometimes provide for job seekers.

 

There may be many other reasons that are keeping you from finding a job that are not mentioned in this article. If there are, you need to narrow down what those reasons are and do something about them so that they aren’t holding you back. After that, make sure these points that I just discussed are taken care of, and you should have an easier time finding a job.

5 Strategies To Improve Your Quality Of Work

It’s no secret that the quality of your work opens up new doors in your career, whether it be a promotion, raise, or even a new opportunity at a different organization. But if you feel that your work isn’t at a level of quality that can propel you to those new opportunities, how do you go about fixing that and bringing your quality of work to a whole new level? Here are five strategies that will help you improve the quality of your work.

 

Have a Plan

It is very important to have a plan to improve your quality. You can go into work one day telling yourself that today is the day your going to improve the quality of your work, but make very few improvements at all. You may be a little more focused on your work and you may try to work faster, but those little things will not do very much to improve the overall quality of your work. You have to have a plan coming in, you have to know not just what you want to do but how you’re going to do it. Do you have a lot of paperwork to get through? Plan out what to do first, and what will take the most time. Do you have a stressful meeting today? Make a plan as to what you’re going to say and do in that meeting. Planning ahead will help increase the quality of any work you’re doing, which will start to open more doors to future career opportunities.

 

Set Goals

How do you know where your quality of work should be if you don’t set any goals to work towards? Goals set a standard to work towards, a destination to reach. Goals are the ocean on the horizon that you are traveling towards, but you aren’t just going to get there just with little effort. If you do, it isn’t much of a goal. The goal should be one that you have to work towards, one that takes effort and change and maybe even a little hardship. Goals should have a positive impact if their met. And even if they aren’t met, you should still be better off than when you weren’t working towards that goal. For example, a salesman may set a very high goal of sales numbers that he would like to meet for the year. If he meets those numbers, that is wonderful for him and the organization. If he doesn’t he will most likely still have more sales than he thought he would have for the month.

 

Seek Help

A problem that a lot of employees run into when working is that many of them are too embarrassed or too proud to ask others for help with their work. Even when they are struggling, many employees will just try to figure things out or even skip whatever it is they are struggling with all together. This of course has a very negative impact on the quality of your work and can lead to serious issues if you never seek out help. In fact, some of the best workers that you find in a company are the ones that are in constant communication with both co-workers and superiors. These people are not afraid to ask for help and share that they are struggling with a situation in their job. And it shows in the quality of their work as their work continually outshines that of their less communicative co-workers. If you have a number of co-workers and superiors that are more than willing to help you out with their combined wealth of knowledge, why would you not take advantage of that? Put the embarrassment or pride aside and seek out the help of those around you. They will most likely be more than happy to help you, and the quality of your work will skyrocket compared to when you were trying to go at it alone.

 

Strive For Improvement

This point goes hand in hand with our past point on goals. What do you do when you have accomplished your goals? Do you take time to relax and let your work slide a little because you just reached those lofty goals you have set? This is very tempting, but can lead to a decrease in your quality of work over time. Instead, try creating new goals for yourself based off of your performance. Did you meet your goals faster than you expected? Set goals that will be harder to reach. Were your results the 3rd best in the company for the quarter? Strive for 1st in the next quarter. There are always ways to improve your work, and you should always be looking for ways to make those improvements. Even the 30 year veteran at a Fortune 500 company who seems like he can do no wrong can always improve in some aspect of their work. When you look to always improve your work, you won’t reach perfection, but you’ll get a lot closer than when you weren’t trying.

 

Relax

Wait a minute, didn’t you just tell us to not relax in the last section? Yes, I did, but I’m talking about relaxing in a different context here. When I said don’t relax before, I was talking about not putting your work on cruise control just because you had recently accomplished a goal or two. That is dangerous and is a slippery slope to lazy and low quality work. In this context however, I am talking about keeping yourself from becoming over-stressed and overworked. All of my past points take a lot of effort and more dedication to your work. But you don’t want work to take over your life and add extra stress and exhaustion. You need to take moments to relax so that you don’t get burned out at work. One of the best ways to do this is to keep your work life separate from your home life. Let your home life be a place for family, friends, and faith, and don’t let your work life interfere with these parts of your life. Another great way to relax is to take vacations. There are a lot of workers who don’t use all of the vacation days that are provided to them, and it has an affect. Workers become worn out, tired, and their quality of work actually decreases simply because they are not taking the time to relax and rejuvenate. Take some time off, keep work separate from home, and your quality of work will increase respectively.

 

Following these points will definitely help you increase the quality of your work, but more importantly you simply need to have the drive to want to improve and succeed. No tips or tricks will help you if you’re not motivated to give it your all and provide the highest quality of work possible in your position. Motivate yourself to work hard hard and give it your all, and everything else will fall into place.

The Best Qualities To Look For In New Recruits

Trying to fill a new position is always tough, especially if your company is fairly new and doesn’t have much hiring experience. You may know the specifics of what you’re looking for in a job, but what other qualities should you be looking for? What qualities make somebody a good employee in general? There are a lot of different qualities that are up for debate as to whether or not they can determine a good employee, but here are a few that are mostly agreed upon that can determine if someone is a good employee or not.

 

Commitment To The Organization

 

You would not want to hire an employee only to have him leave the company a few months later. There is more cost associated with this than returns that you are getting out of the employee. You would have the cost of training, the cost of salary, the cost of resources that the employee would use, and many other costs that would come out of hiring a new employee. And before that employee would be able to even make you a decent return on your investment in them, they’d be gone.This is not what any business wants, and the best way to keep this from happening is to look at the new recruit’s work history with past companies. Did they stay at each company very long? Or is there a lot of job hopping? It’s okay for employees to switch companies every once and a while, but for an employee to be switching jobs every few months or even every few years should raise a red flag that they are not committed to any company that they worked with.

 

Leadership

 

While the position that you are hiring for may not be a leadership position, it is always good to look for leadership qualities in a new candidate. Leadership qualities show that a candidate can work well with others, has a good understanding of the job that they are assigned, and will be able to lead in the future if called upon. These are all very important skills to have, and these skills will be beneficial to the business as the employee continues to grow and excel in their position at the business. The employee has better potential for promotion if they can demonstrate leadership in the past, and if the position they are being hired for is one that involves a lot of work with other employees, then leadership is an excellent quality that will help the employee to not only work with other employees, but lead them if needed.

 

Quality Work

 

Another factor to look at when considering a new candidate is the quality of their past work. You want to have an employee who will give you the highest quality work possible, an employee that will give you the best return on your investment. So how do you make sure an employee will give you the best work possible? The simplest way is to look at their past work. This may be hard to do since their work was most likely with a different company, but there may be a way to see the outcome of their work. You can try to see how their work had an impact publicly on either the business or the community. For example, if you are recruiting a marketer from a publicly traded company, you can at least see if their marketing efforts had any helpful impact on the finances of the company. If you cannot find a public impact of their work, the next best thing to do is have them give you a demonstration of their work. You can do this by having them work in a simulation setting for a little bit. If we look back to our marketer, we can ask him to write up a quick marketing plan for a product in 20 minutes. This is a very effective way of determining the quality of someone’s work and if their work will be suitable for your company.

 

Communication

 

Communication is a factor that can make or break a potential employee. It is very important that an employee can talk to both their co-workers and higher ups about anything from issues to achievements. Without communication, an employee becomes isolated from others, which can lead to a decrease in performance. At the same time, lack of communication also keeps the employee from sharing what could be important information with other people in the company. This negative trait has a tendency to disrupt the flow of business and cause a decrease in performance not only of the employee, but of the entire business. So how can you tell if a potential employee struggles with communication? The simplest way is to talk to people at their previous place of employment. These people will most likely be more than happy to discuss with you whether or not the candidate has had trouble communicating in the past, especially considering that the lack of communication most likely resulted in negative performance for the company. Otherwise, you can also attempt to catch the candidate in a lie during the recruiting process. Lying is a large sign of bad communication, and catching someone in a lie is a very good way to tell if they are bad at communication or not. If it is found out that they are bad at communication, this isn’t an automatic disqualifier for the candidate, but it is definitely a large factor to keep in mind.

 

The Verdict…

 

None of these factors should be automatic dis-qualifiers on their own. But they should each be taken into account when making the final decision on whether or not to hire a candidate (if all of these factors are negative, that might actually be a dis-qualifier). There are many more factors to look at beyond these, and just because a candidate may not have very good leadership or communication skills might not mean that they wouldn’t be a great fit for the position. It is up to the hiring company to determine what is and isn’t important and to decide of the candidate can excel at their position.

How To Climb Your Way To The Top

Your first day at a new business is an exciting time! There’s so much to learn, so much to do, and so much to look forward to. But too many employees soon fall into a dull pattern of lackluster effort towards their work. These employees stay stuck in lower level positions with little to no hope of moving up in the business. Is this the fault of the business? Usually not. It is usually a result of giving up, of losing hope, of becoming comfortable with the limited responsibility that you are given. And this may work for some people; we need employees in the lower level positions. But if your goal is to move up, to get promoted, to climb the corporate ladder, then you need to possess the mindset to get ahead.

 

What is the mindset of one who gets ahead? Part of the mindset is taking pride in your work. No matter what kind of work you are doing or how much your work impacts the business, you should take pride in your work knowing that you are a part of propelling the business to new heights. If you can take pride in even the smallest tasks, how much more that will help you when you take pride in the biggest tasks. When you take pride in your work at the top of a business, you can impact the business in ways that you never imagined. But that pride in your work starts when your at the bottom, when you think your work has little to no impact on the business. That is where character is formed, character that shines when your at the top.

 

A trait that keeps many at the bottom is the unwillingness to take advantage of new opportunities. New opportunities can be anything from new projects to new responsibilities, from opportunities to learn to even opportunities for promotion. When people become comfortable with their current position, they see new opportunities as threats to their comfortable work life. So why would you take advantage of an opportunity that may require a little more commitment from you, an opportunity that may require a little more intellectual work? These are the questions employees ask themselves, and those that stay at the bottom simply see no reason to burden themselves with anything outside of their comfort zone. But those who rise to the top see these opportunities as ways to add value to the business and make themselves known as ones who aren’t afraid of a new challenge.

 

One of the biggest traits that upper level managers and executives look at when looking to promote is reliability. Has the employee consistently performed their work with exceptional quality? Can they rely on the employee to be able to accomplish the larger tasks that will be in store for them in the higher position? While it may be obvious that an organization is looking for a person in a higher position to be reliable, reliability goes beyond simply accomplishing the task at hand. It includes being reliable to perform a task with quality, to always be available if ever needed from the organization, and to be able to be a leader when called upon. Simply put, being reliable means you can be counted on by the organization to accomplish whatever they ask of you. You can demonstrate your reliability in a lower position simply by accomplishing the tasks that are handed to you, and accomplishing them with as high of quality as possible. Help others that need help show your organization that you can be counted on to be a leader. Those higher up will notice your reliability and will take note of it for the future.

 

Finally, a wonderful trait that managers love to see in an employee with potential is leadership. Now there are many positions that do not offer many opportunities for leadership, especially among lower level positions. The most leadership you may get in a starting position is leading the intern through his 8 week program. While a lack of access to leadership can be frustrating, do not let that frustration lead to a lack of action. Whatever leadership that is available to you, take advantage of that. Lead that intern to the best of your ability, show leadership in that project you’re in, help your fellow new workers with what they’re struggling with. You’ll soon find that your responsibility in leadership will begin to grow, and you’ll take on even more leadership. Managers will notice these traits, and continue to trust you with more leadership. And many times, with more leadership comes a higher role in the company.

 

I have covered a lot of points that will help you work your way to the top, but the most important point is to simply work hard. Put in the effort, don’t hold back, don’t become lazy, and you’ll go beyond what you thought you could in the organization.

5 Ways To Encourage Your Employees

Think about your ideal workplace. What is the atmosphere like? Most likely, people are working towards a common goal in an enthusiastic manner. There is a buzz around, people are talking and communicating, and a lot of work is getting done. Unfortunately, a lot of workspaces do not have this kind of atmosphere. Instead, you can usually find a couple of employees goofing off and wasting time. You can find many employees stressed and worried about their work. You can even find some employees considering a career change because they feel that their current position is dragging.

 

As a manager and leader, is there a way to fix this situation? Is there a way to create that buzz, to change the atmosphere? I believe that there is, and here are 5 ways to encourage your employees to change that atmosphere:

 

Competition

One of the best ways to encourage employees is to encourage competition. Many people love competition, to know that they’re coming out ahead. Many of us played sports and games when we were younger, and that competitive side of us hasn’t completely left us yet.

 

So how do you create competition in the workplace? One of the simplest ways is to create a leaderboard based on individual accomplishments within the organization. Do you manage a sales department? Create a leaderboard displaying who has the most sales for the month. Most departments and careers have a variable that can be measured in order to create competition among employees. Employees will find that they enjoy the competition, even if the end result is simply bragging rights.

 

Incentives

Incentives are a huge tool when it comes to encouraging employees. Employees love to see their work being rewarded, especially when they’re putting in long hours and generating exceptional results. So what kind of incentives can you provide that will get keep your employees encouraged?

 

The most widely used incentive is easily a monetary incentive. But it is the most widely used for a reason. Employees respond to monetary incentives more than most other incentives. Are you offering a large bonus to any employees who can reach a certain goal this year? You better be prepared to give out a lot of those bonuses. Are you offering a pay raise based on performance evaluations? Get ready to see a spike in performance soon. Employees are always looking to increase their income, so using that as an incentive will get them to perform.

 

There are, however, other means of incentives besides monetary incentives. Some other incentives include gift cards, extra vacation days, and even a week with the company car. Employees respond wonderfully to these as well, and they will definitely be encouraged to work a little harder to achieve whatever the prize is.

 

Compliments

Compliments are those little things that you don’t think about very often, but that have a huge affect on employees. Many employees get few compliments each and every day, which can make work seem like a drag and discourage the employee. What if employees received just one compliment every day? The atmosphere would change, employees would feel more encouraged, and work would become more productive.

 

So what kind of compliments can you give to your employees to keep them encouraged? Simply praising their performance whenever you can is a huge start. Did your employee just close a big deal? Tell them how awesome that is! Was your employee able to work things out with that customer that no one else had luck with? Tell them how much you appreciate them! It really isn’t that hard to find a few things to compliment each employee on. And those compliments will go a long way; employees will have their spirits raised and be encouraged to give it their all at work.

 

More Responsibility

One of the large reasons that employees get discouraged in the workplace is because they are simply bored. More specifically, employees feel that they have little responsibility in their job and that their actions do not contribute very much to the organization. While this may be a larger issue in large corporations than in small businesses where most employees have more responsibilities outside of their department, it is still an issue in almost every major business. So how do we encourage employees that are relatively bored with their position?

 

The answer is simply more responsibility. When employees are given more responsibility, they will feel like they are contributing more to the organization. When they are given more responsibility, employees will feel like their position matters more in the organization. Employees will be encouraged when they feel like their position matters more and thus in turn will be encouraged to work harder in order to succeed in their position, ultimately helping the organization to succeed.

 

One variable to be careful of is burdening the employee with too much responsibility. While employees can become encouraged that they have more responsibility to the organization, they can in fact become discouraged if they have so much responsibility that it stresses them to the max. There is a good balance of responsibility and stress that has to be met in order to successfully encourage employees.

 

Leadership Involvement

Every business and every department in a business has leadership. There are one or more people that have the responsibility to lead their employees to succeed for the business, and many employees look to their leaders to help encourage them to succeed. So how can leaders themselves use their position to encourage employees to give it their all in the work space?

 

The best way is to get involved in the operations of your employees. By this I definitely do not mean micromanaging, but that leaders should help out their employees with operations. If there is a large situation that is causing an employee to become stressed out and discouraged, the leader should step in and try to help the employee out by taking a portion of the burden on to themselves. For example, if there is a sales employee that is becoming discouraged with a large order that they are working with, the leader should step in and offer a helping hand in some areas, such as creating quotes or taking a few turns talking with the customer.

 

When leaders get involved in lending a helping hand to their employees, this will encourage employees to press on with their task that is a little more manageable. Employees will appreciate the helping hand, and will even be encouraged by the fact that they have a partner to help them tackle this task and succeed in scaling the impossible mountain.

Resume Review

Did you know the average resume is only reviewed in a matter of seconds? Before you send your resume to a recruiter, HR Director or upload it to any site, make sure it is completely ready (This is for a traditional resume, there are some exceptions where more creative or lengthy resumes may be appropriate)!

 

10 Mistakes We See on Resumes

 

  • Make sure it looks nice - Your resume should look clean and organized (Ex: Bullets line up, appropriate spacing, etc.).

  • Spelling/Grammar - Run Spell Check at the very least before sending a resume!

  • Watch where the page splits - Is it an awkward place to change pages? If so, change the margins so it flows better.

  • Keep it simple and clean - Make sure there are no more than two font styles.

  • All black font - There are exceptions to this, but it is much easier to read when it is written in one dark color.

  • Temporary/Contract roles - If you've worked a short assignment as a contractor be sure that it is stated (Ex: (Contract) 12/2016-12/2017), otherwise this can appear as "job-hopping".

  • Keywords - Your resume should reflect the job you are applying for.  Ex: If account management is required, does your experience jump off the page? Tip: Search your resume for all the keywords you are required to have.

  • Keep it short - Again, there are exceptions to this rule, but your resume should rarely be more than two pages long. Bullet descriptions under jobs read much cleaner than paragraphs.

  • Dates - Make sure you list the months on your resume, which especially applies to jobs during the past 10-15 years.

  • Past tense vs. Present tense  - When listing responsibilities under your current position, make sure to use present tense (Ex: Communicate daily with clients); in previous roles, responsibilities should be in past tense (Ex: Communicated daily with clients).

- Brittney

Should I Pursue A Career In A New Industry?

Many people come to a point in their career where they begin to consider a shift in their career. For some people, that is a promotion. For others, that is retirement. But there are many who begin to consider a change in industries. Bankers will become realtors, managers will become police officers, and chefs will become chauffeurs. For some, the choice to switch industries is easy. But for others, it is a long and difficult decision that requires in depth thought and analysis. So what exactly are some points that should be considered when thinking about switching industries?

 

Assuming that you have already determined that this is an industry you would enjoy working in, the first point to consider is the status of your new job. Depending on what your position was in your former industry, most likely you will have to take a cut in both pay and ranking. For example, a police chief who decides to go into banking may have to start out as a teller. A manager at a department store will have to start out as a laborer if they are looking to get into the construction industry. This cut in job status is entirely due to a lack of knowledge and experience in the industry. Thankfully, these are qualities that can be built up over time with an organization in your desired industry. If you’re willing to stick it out for a few years in a lesser role, you will most likely move up in both status and compensation in your desired industry.

 

A second point to consider when thinking about getting into a new industry is how much you actually know about that industry. A lot of people think it’d be awesome to be a pilot until they figure out how much pressure and stress is associated with position. A lot of people would love to become a professional football player but could not fathom the amount of training and dedication that goes into accomplishing this goal, not to mention the impact on your body as a result of football. If there is an industry that you think would be amazing to work in, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. It is almost always the case that the industry you dream about is not all roses, and there may even be some negative factors that deter you from desiring a position in that industry.

 

An excellent point that is often overlooked is asking yourself a very simple question: why do I want to get out of the industry that I’m in? Do I hate my current job? Am I seeing no chances for promotion? Am I struggling to perform in my current industry? A lot of times, people will realize that the reason that they want to leave their industry is actually rather small and easily fixable. It should also be noted that this isn’t always the case, and a lot of people actually have a legitimate reason to leave their industry that can not be easily fixed. If you are considering changing industries, just make sure to ask yourself that simple question of why? You’ll discover that the reason you want to leave is either easily fixable or bad enough to confirm your decision to switch industries.

 

The final point that I believe you should consider when switching industries are your loved ones. More specifically, how this change is going to affect not only you but your family and friends. If you have a wife and kids, taking a job in an industry that requires you to travel for half of the year may not be the best move. In that same situation, taking a job in an industry that does pay well will have an effect on your finances for your family. Perhaps the industry you want to get into has positions available only in California, but you’re from Michigan and don’t know anybody out in California. Do you really want to leave all of your friends and everybody you know to move to the other side of the country for what you believe is a desired position? Some people are perfectly fine with this scenario and would be more than happy to take the job across the country. Many others though are not as pleased with this situation and should take the time to consider whether or not it’s worth it to leave everyone they know. So as you consider that move to a new industry, consider what impact it will have on your family and friends and if that impact is worth it to work in your desired industry.

 

All of these points that I have presented may sound like they have a negative tone to them, but they are far from that. They are simply points to consider, and in fact can be seen as confirmations that this new industry is the industry for you. If you can consider all of these points and still confirm that you want a position in this new industry, then there’s nothing that can stop you!

When a recruiting firm is the right choice for your hiring process

Let’s face it, the hiring process is a daunting and stressful task for any organization. Trying to find the perfect candidate that will excel in their position seems like a nearly impossible feat and can sometimes take months for an organization to complete. The more responsibility a position holds, the harder it is to find qualified candidates, let alone candidates that you believe will excel. Thankfully, recruiting firms can come into play to help relieve a lot of the pressure of the hiring process. The question is, when should you make the decision to hire a recruiting firm?

 

The best indicator of whether or not to hire a recruiting firm is if the position is specialized. What I mean by this is if the position requires qualifications that only a small percentage of the population hold. Some examples include public accountants, commercial lenders, heart surgeons and marketing managers. Since such a small percentage of the population qualify for these positions, it makes the task of finding qualified candidates very difficult for the organization. This is where a recruiting firm can step in. Most recruiting firms are specialized in certain industries such as banking and the medical field, and thus have connections within these industries. They know the ins and outs of the industry and who to talk to to find not only a qualified candidate, but a candidate that will go above and beyond for the organization.

 

To go along with a specialized position, organizations should also consider whether or not the position is a highly paid position. There is a lot of risk in paying an employee a high salary, only to receive lackluster effort and dismal returns. The organization is not receiving the proper returns on this investment and is actually losing money, the complete opposite of what you want your investment to do for you. To go along with a failed investment, the employee will most likely have to be fired and the hiring process will have to start all over again. Thankfully, a recruiting firm can help you avoid this issue. Recruiting firms specialize in not only finding candidates, but finding the right candidates. Recruiters do there homework and make sure that they are finding their clients the best candidates around; candidates that will succeed and excel at their position and prove their worth as a proper investment. In fact, hear for yourself what a recruiting firm can do for an organization through some Harrison Gray client testimonials by clicking here.

 

Perhaps you’ve been trying to recruit on your own for your own business, but with no luck. It’s been a few weeks, perhaps even a few months, and you just can’t find that right candidate. Time is precious, and that unfilled position could be losing you money by the minute. Would you want to take the risk of continuing to recruit on your own with the possibility of not finding the right candidate? Or perhaps a better idea is to quicken this process and bring in some professionals. Combining large networks and the resources to heavily recruit, recruiting firms not only deliver high quality candidates, but they deliver them with speed. When an unfulfilled position is losing you money, speed is what you need. Many recruiting firms have been known to find the right candidate just days after signing to recruit for a new client. This is just a few of the many luxuries you receive when you hire a recruiting firm; speed and efficiency.

 

The final point I would like to discuss when considering whether you should hire a recruiting firm is risk. More appropriately, risk in choosing the wrong candidate on your own. While I touched on risk when I mentioned the specialization of the position, there is a lot more that comes into play when discussing the risk of hiring the wrong candidate. For example, there is the risk that the candidate is known for job hopping and could easily leave their position within the first year. There’s the risk that the candidate has had improper training in areas of their profession that could be detrimental to their performance. There is even the risk that the candidate has had disciplinary issues in the past. Unfortunately, most businesses that are not recruiting firms do not have the time or resources to dig deep and uncover some of these negative traits. This is where a recruiting firm comes into play. Possessing both time and resources along with expertise, recruiting firms have the ability to figure out the good and the bad that comes along with a candidate and if there is a trait that makes them too risky. This not only saves the client time from conducting this analysis on a candidate, but also increases the quality of the candidates that the recruiting firm actually does submit to the client.

 

While these points are very important when considering whether you should hire a recruiting firm, they are only a few drops in a pool of points you should consider. Whatever decision you may come to, always remember the benefits and luxuries that come with hiring a recruiting firm. Do you think your organization is ready to work with a recruiting firm? Fill out our form here to get started with Harrison Gray.