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Communication Employment Growth centric Leadership Organizational Culture Organizational Success Workplace Engagement

Leadership Styles to Incorporate into Your Business

Throughout history, great leaders have emerged with particular leadership styles in providing direction, implementing plans and motivating people. These can be broadly grouped into 5 different categories:

1. Authoritarian Leadership

Authoritarian leadership styles allow a leader to impose expectations and define outcomes. A one-person show can turn out to be successful in situations when a leader is the most knowledgeable in the team. One advantage of this leadership style is that Time spent on making crucial decisions can be reduced and the Chain of command can be clearly emphasized. This leadership style has a lot of disadvantages one of which is that it kills employee creativity and innovation.

2. Participative Leadership

The essence is to involve team members in the decision-making process. Team members thus feel included, engaged and motivated to contribute. The leader will normally have the last word in the decision-making processes. However, if there are disagreements within a group, it can be a time-consuming process to reach a consensus. One advantage of this leadership style is that it increases employee motivation and job satisfaction. One disadvantage of this leadership style is that decision-making processes become time-consuming.

3. Delegative leadership

Also known as “laissez-faire leadership”, a delegative leadership style focuses on delegating initiative to team members. This can be a successful strategy if team members are competent and are employees that take responsibility and prefer engaging in individual work. Delegative leadership creates a positive work environment as employees feel like their opinions and inputs matters. One disadvantage of delegative leadership style is that it creates difficulty in adapting to change.

4. Transactional leadership

Transactional leadership styles use “transactions” between a leader and his or her followers. They use tools like rewards, punishment and other exchanges – to get the job done. The leader sets clear goals, and team members know how they’ll be rewarded for their compliance. This “give and take” leadership style is more concerned with following established routines and procedures in an efficient manner, than with making any transformational changes to the organization.

5. Transformational Leadership

In transformational leadership styles, the leader inspires his or her followers with a vision and then encourages and empowers them to achieve it. The leader also serves as a role model for the vision, high morale of employees is often experienced, it uses motivation and inspiration to gain the support of employees. A disadvantage of this leadership style is that consistent motivation and constant feedback may be required, tasks can not be pushed through without the agreement of employees.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, in developing your own leadership style It is important to recognize and understand different leadership styles including the situations in which they work best. However, you are unlikely to be a successful business leader simply by mimicking these. Leadership is not about providing a certain response in a certain situation. It’s about using your natural leadership strengths in an authentic manner to inspire and motivate others.

Leadership training from a good business school or good leadership courses can teach you the dynamics of human behaviour as well as raise self-awareness and provide the chance to practise leadership in different situations

Knowing which of the leadership styles works best for you is part of being a good leader. Developing a signature style with the ability to stretch into others as the situation warrants may help enhance your leadership effectiveness.

Know yourself. Start by learning what your current dominant leadership style is. Ask trusted colleagues to describe the strengths of your leadership style. You can also take a leadership style assessment.

Understand the different styles. Familiarize yourself with the repertoire of leadership styles that can work best for a given situation. What new skills do you need to develop?

Practice. Be genuine with any approach you use. Moving from your current leadership style to a different one may be challenging at first. Practice the new behaviours until they become natural. In other words, don’t abandon who you are.

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Communication Employee Engagement Health Organizational Culture Workplace Wellness

Dealing With Mental Health Issues in the Work Place

About one in four persons experience mental health problems each year and since work is predicted as the most stressful part of most people’s lives, employers must help tackle the issue. For many of us, work is a major part of our lives, it is where we spend much of our time, where we get our income and often where we make our friends. Having a fulfilling job can be good for your mental health and general wellbeing.

The mental health of any employee is highly affected by the way they think, act and deal with every circumstance at any given time.

Distress is a word used to describe times when a person is having difficulties coping with situations and their environment, for whatever reason. It could be something at home, the pressure of work, or the start of a mental health problem like depression. When we feel distressed, we need a compassionate, human response. The earlier we are able to recognise when something isn’t quite right, the earlier we can get support.

HOW TO SUPPORT MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES

 

BANISH THE STIGMA

The biggest barrier facing businesses is the way we see mental health. Employees are afraid of discussing the issue with others in case they lose their jobs or are judged. A huge percentage of workers feel there is a stigma attached to mental health issues in the workplace. 

A lot of employees would feel more motivated if their employer showed support for their wellbeing.

SPOT THE WARNING SIGNS

The general feeling among mental health experts is that help is lacking in the workplace. Managers need to have the skills to be able to spot early signs of mental health problems; from changes in behaviour to acting withdrawn or unable to cope with daily tasks, management should notice if someone is struggling with tasks assigned to them.

Offering help early may assist in stoping the situation from becoming worse. Managers don’t need to become experts in mental health to offer the right support by simply being attentive and sensitive to employee’s feelings, giving them an open and comfortable environment to express them selves will go a long way in helping any employee. 

HOW TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY MENTAL LIFE

TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS

Talking about your feelings is not a sign of weakness; it’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy. It can be hard to talk about feelings at work. So  having colleagues or a manager who asks how you are at supervision sessions, can really help. Identifying someone you feel comfortable talking to and who will be also be supportive is a great way to go, this can be the in house councilor. It is also important to keep in mind what you are okay disclosing to others and the best time to do so. If you are open about how you feel at work, especially if you are a leader, it might encourage others to do the same.

KEEP ACTIVE

Regular exercises can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, look and feel good. Exercising doesn’t just mean doing sport or going to the gym it could simply be making physical activities that you enjoy as part of your day. Experts say that most people should do about 30 minutes’ exercise at least five days a week.

EAT WELL

What we eat can affect how we feel both immediately and in the long run. A diet that is good for your physical health is also good for your mental health. Be aware that some people find public eating at work very stressful because of past or current eating disorders – so if someone doesn’t want to come to work dinners, or makes different food choices in the office, don’t pass comment or put pressure on them to join in.

DRINK SENSIBLY

people often drink alcohol to change our mood, some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary. Most people don’t drink at work – but most of us recognise the pattern of drinking more at the weekend or in the evening when work is hard going. Be careful with work functions that include drinking. It can be tempting to have a drink to get ‘Dutch courage’, but if you feel anxious you may drink too much and end up behaving in a way you’d rather not, which could increase feelings of anxiety.

KEEP IN TOUCH

Relationships are key to our mental health. Working in a supportive team is very important for our mental health at work. We don’t always have a choice about who we work with, and if we don’t get on with managers, colleagues or clients, it can create tension. Try and make sure you maintain your friendships and family relationships even when work is intense a work–life balance is important, and experts now believe that loneliness may be as bad for our health as smoking or obesity.

ASK FOR HELP

None of us are superhuman, we all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan.Your employer may have an employee assistance programm. These services are confidential and can be accessed free and without anyone at work finding out. You may also be able to access occupational health support through your line manager or HR service. 

TAKE A BREAK

A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute pause from what you are doing, a book or podcast during the commute, a half-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’. When you are on leave or at home, resist the temptation to check in with work if you find that you can’t break away, it may be a sign that you should be re-examining your workload to manage stress.Sleep is essential to our mental health. Listen to your body. Without good sleep, our mental health suffers and our concentration goes downhill.

DO SOMETHING YOU ARE GOOD AT

What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Enjoying yourself can help beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you are good at it, and achieving something boosts your self-esteem.  If possible, you should plan your workload to include tasks you know you are good at, so as to ‘sandwich’ things you know will be harder or more stressful. At work, you may have a hobby you would like to share or join in with colleagues on – a work cycling club, book group or crafting group can be a great way to share a skill with others.

ACCEPT WHO YOU ARE

We are all different, and its much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else. Feeling good about yourself boosts your confidence to learn new skills, visit new places and make new friends. Good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn. Be proud of who you are, recognise and accept the things you may not be good at, but also focus on what you can do well. If there’s anything about yourself you would like to change first and foremost ensure that  your expectationas are realistic, then work towards the change in small steps. 

CARE FOR OTHERS

Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. Another mental booster is giving aid to people who are in need like visiting orphanages, old folks home, homeless people, hospitals and even prisons, sometimes seeing how others live will help you appreciate where you are and what you have more. Gratitude and appreciation is a mental and mood booster. Working life can provide opportunities to care for others , in most jobs, you can choose to be there for colleagues – either as a team-mate, or as a line manager, strategies like coaching and training are good ways to support others.

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Communication Employee Engagement Employment Health Interview Organizational Culture Workplace Engagement Workplace Wellness

WHY YOU NEED A HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTANT

Taking care of your employees is as important as taking care of your clients, that is where Human Resources (HR) comes in. This is the department that focuses on employee matters and keeps them connected to the company. A strong, knowledgeable, and experienced HR department is important for any company but nowadays, hiring an HR consultant is a convenient way to get the job done. Human resource consultants provide a variety of general and specific advice to businesses, including on advanced and specialized duties. Knowing that you have a professional doing the job alleviates the worries associated with HR. More importantly, there are a lot of advantages in hiring an HR consultant. Let’s tackle some of these advantages so you could see if it is a viable option for your company.

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HELP WITH RECRUITMENT PROCESSES

HR management consultants helps companies recruit and hire the best candidates within the client’s budget They are in charge of hiring people who are qualified for the positions your company needs to fill. Recruiters use a variety of practices for talent searching, such as; using proprietary databases, reviewing potential internal candidates, social media, and posting positions on internet job boards. These consultants work with the client from the initial meeting through the final hire because they are aware that the hired employees are the face and backbone of the company and the performance of employees is a big factor on how well the company performs.

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BENEFITS AND COMPENSATION

Another area of HR specialization is benefits and compensation, sometimes known as total rewards. Total rewards include base pay, benefits, commissions, salaries, perks, bonuses, rewards, award programs etc. HR consultants help businesses maximize their budgets by determining which positions should be filled by employees and what functions should be outsourced. The consultant then reviews industry pay scales for these positions. HR consultants also offer payroll services, working with finance departments.

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TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

Another thing an HR consultant does is creating and scheduling training sessions. HR consultants help workers improve and develop new skills required in executing their job description. These training could be on anything from; attitudinal change, communications skills, time management, customer service, leadership skills etc. HR consultants provide seminars and workshops, helping businesses develop succession plans to ensure they have qualified internal candidates to replace those who leave.

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HEALTH AND SAFETY

Healthy workers are more productive and incur lower health care and insurance costs for employers. Health, safety, security and wellness all play a role in maintaining the most productive workforce, and HR consultants advise clients in these areas. This can include making sure companies follow federal and state safety regulations, improving workplace security practices, institute wellness programs and review workers’ compensation claims to look for proper classification of employees and claims patterns that might identify safety or health issues the client needs to address.

Work Safety

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

HR consultants assists with the performance management of employees. They can create the most suitable appraisal process that would benefit the company and its employees.

Having a performance management system shows that your company recognizes all the hard work your employees do. This system motivates employees to do better, with performance management, employees can be assessed through their overall performance and identify who qualifies for the appraisals and who would need some more improvement to get back on track.

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STAYING COMPLIANT

Another area where HR consultants provide expertise is in legal compliance. Consultants are highly knowledgeable in Federal employment rules and regulations, Equal Employment Opportunity, Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines. HR consultants always gets themselves abreast with current employment law and ensures that companies adhere to these laws to veer away from legal challenges.  HR consultants also help businesses develop employee handbooks with policies and procedures they must follow.

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EXPERT ADVICES

HR consultants don’t just hire and develop workers they also give owners and managements expert advices on how best to run the company and what is needed to ensure the smooth and effective running of the company. As they interact and handle human resource matters, they get ideas on areas that needs improvement in the business and how it can affect everyone working there.

They could give advice about matters like training and seminars, how to give excellent employee experience, rewards and recognitions, and other suggestions that could lead to better employee relations and company reputation.

Outsourcing

CONCLUSION

Hiring an HR consultant is a great way to handle your employment relations matter. IPC is a consulting company focused on providing these and a wider range of Human Resource Management Services. Trust our bank of experienced professionals to proffer solutions to whatever problems your organization is facing. We are your reliable business partners.

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Communication Employee Engagement Employment Health Interview Organizational Culture Workplace Engagement Workplace Wellness

APPRECIATION IN THE WORK PLACE

APPRECIATION IN THE WORK PLACE

Have you ever heard someone say I don’t want to tell them how much I appreciate the work they do because it will get to their head and they would become lazy? My response to statements like that is always, put yourself in that person’s shoes and tell me how you feel when your sacrifice and effort go unnoticed or even unappreciated by your bosses or supervisors? You can tell your teammates, coworkers, and staff how much valuable they are to you and how important their contributions are to the organization, no occasion is necessary to show appreciation. In fact, little surprises and signs of your appreciation spread throughout the year help the individuals in your work life feel valued all year long.  Do not reserve your appreciation for special occasions, but make it a customary habit to thank regularly, let your employees and employers understand how much care you care for them and their contributions to the work place.

GREAT WAYS TO SHOW APPRECIATION IN THE WORK PLACE 

PRESENT A BESPOKE GIFT: Recognize your employee/employer interests well enough to present a small gift occasionally. A cherished gift and the act of providing it will light up a day. A greeting card serves the same purpose. You can give a card for no reason at all, to celebrate a special day such as a birthday, or to offer sympathy when a coworker is ill or experiences a family death. 

GIVE FINANCIAL INCENTIVES: during the holidays give a bonus, if the company is making a ton of profit give a raise because without the hard work of the staff daily activities will be slow. Also, it is nice to give attendance bonuses once in a while as this will motivate staff to always be at work even at odd hours. 

TREAT THEM TO A MEAL: Take coworkers or staff to lunch for a birthday, a special occasion or for no reason at all. Let your guest pick the restaurant. Or, order pizza or lunch from a caterer or a store that delivers. Schedule a brunch for a team that has met its current goals and over-delivers on its promised timeline. Food always makes people happy.

BRING IN LITTLE SURPRISES: Gifts such as cookies or cupcakes, particularly anything edible, and unexpected are a huge hit. it gives staff members a sense of belonging and makes them feel ;like their contributions are noticed and appreciated by their boss/supervisors.

PROVIDE OPPORTUNITY FOR ADVANCEMENT:  People desire possibilities for training and cross-training. They want to partake in a special committee where their capacities are observed. They like to attend professional association meetings and represent your organization at civic and philanthropic events. Do you presently have only your executives attending these events? Spread the wealth of opportunity to all employees. They will genuinely appreciate it.

ALWAYS SAY THANK YOU: always praise a job well-done and identify specific actions that you have found admirable. Either to a teammate, employee and even your boss. Show gratitude for their hard work and contributions, this will be even sincerer since you took out time to spell out details.

 Employee/employer appreciation is never out-of-place. In fact, in many organizations, it’s an uncommon service. Make your workplace the exception. Use every opportunity to display your gratitude and appreciation.

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Communication Employee Engagement Organizational Culture Workplace Engagement Workplace Wellness

Performance Appraisal

DEFINITION

Performance appraisals are usually designed by the human resources (HR) department as a way for employees to develop in their careers. It is a means of providing individuals in an  Organization with feedback on their job performance. It ensures that employees are managing and meeting the goals expected of them, giving them guidance on how to reach them if they fall short.

Performance Appraisal is usually Done in the following ways:

  1. The supervisors measure the pay of employees and compare it with targets and plans.
  2. The supervisor analyses the factors behind work performances of employees.
  3. The employers are in position to guide the employees for a better performance.

The reason why this is done is because companies have a limited pool of fund from which it award incentives, such as raises and bonuses. Performance appraisals helps the company determine how to allocate those funds. They provide a way for companies to determine which employees have contributed the most to the company’s growth so companies can reward their top performing employees accordingly.

TYPES OF PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS

 

  • Self-assessment: individuals rate their job performance and behaviors themselves.
  • Peer assessment: an individual’s workgroup or co-workers rate their performance.
  • 360-degree feedback assessment: includes input from an individual, supervisor, and peers.
  • Then the newer addition which is called the NEGOTIATED APPRAISAL: This is a newer trend that utilizes a mediator and attempts to moderate the disapproving nature of a performance review it focuses on what the individual is doing right before any criticism is given. This structure tends to be useful during conflicts between subordinates and supervisors.

What are performance appraisals used for?

  • Performance appraisals are used to review the job performance of an employee over some period of time. These reviews are used to highlight both strengths and weaknesses in order to improve future performance.

When should a performance appraisal take place?

  • Performance management is an ongoing process. Throughout the year, managers are encouraged to engage with employees to establish goals, note progress, and provide feedback. Formal reviews or appraisals often take place on a yearly or quarterly basis.

HOW ARE APPRAISALS CARRIED OUT ?

Performance appraisal is usually done in the following ways:

  • The supervisors measure the pay of employees and compare it with targets and plans.
  • The supervisor analyses the factors behind work performances of employees.
  • The employers are in position to guide the employees for a better performance.

WHEN TO APPRAISE


• Performance management is an ongoing process. Throughout the year, managers are encouraged to engage with employees to establish goals, note progress, and provide feedback. Formal reviews or appraisals often take place on a yearly or quarterly basis.

ADVANTAGES

It is said that performance appraisal is an investment for the company which can be justified by following the advantages:

  1. Promotion: whether an employee in an organization is promoted, demoted or even dismissed, is highly dependent on their performance appraisal. Supervisors can adequately determine the promotion qualification for efficient employees while inefficient workers can be dismissed or demoted.
  2. Compensation benefits: performance appraisal helps in mapping out Compensation packages which include; bonus, high salary rates, extra benefits, and allowances which are all dependent on the nature of the employee’s review. The criteria should be merit based rather than seniority.
  3. Employee development: the systematic procedure of performance appraisal helps the supervisors to frame training policies and programmes. It also helps in framing future development programmes.
  4. Selection validation: This is useful when selecting an individual to perform certain task, the appraisal enables the supervisors select the right person for the right role and authenticates the validity of their selection.
  5. Motivation: performance appraisal serves as a motivational tool, that enables an employee perform their job better by capitalizing on their strengths and improving on their weaknesses.

How Often Should Performance Appraisals Be Conducted ?

Performance management is an ongoing process. Throughout the year, managers are encouraged to engage with employees to establish goals, note progress, and provide feedback. Formal reviews or appraisals often take place on a yearly or quarterly basis.

objectives of performance appraisal

 

  1. To maintain records in order to determine compensation packages, wage structure, salaries raise, etc.
  2. It is also used when identifying the strengths and weaknesses of employees to place right men on right job.
  3. To maintain and assess the potentials present in a person for further growth and development.
  4. To provide feedback to employees regarding their performance and related status.
  5. It serves as a basis for influencing working habits of the employees.
  6. To review and retain promotional and other training programmes.
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Communication Employee Engagement Organizational Culture Workplace Engagement

Organizational Culture II

We started by telling you about what organizational culture is about and the challenges that follow it. We will be sharing other aspects of organizational culture today.

Elements of Organizational Culture

Purpose: Most young professionals want to be a part of solving a problem greater than themselves, so they need to understand the “why” of what they do. A strong mission statement can help a company articulate its’ “why”.

Ownership: Ownership refers to the practice of allowing people to be accountable for their results without requiring micromanagement, but giving people the autonomy on their own time to accomplish goals.

Managers can set overall expectations and allow people to build their own schedules around their projects. But how do you keep people engaged with a sense of purpose? Well, you do that through the third element: community.

Community: This is that sense of belonging to a group of people that shares similar principles, goals, and values. A community is a place where there is camaraderie and building community can be as simple as hosting company events, designating specific hangout times, and even planning team trips. 

Effective Communication: Effective communication which sounds like a necessity in most organization is not such a common practice. It means ensuring consistency in processes and investing time to learn the personalities and communication dynamics of team members.

Google did a research project called Project Aristotle, where they found that the most collaborative teams are the ones where everyone speaks equally and often interacts with one another.

Within many of their teams, they count to be certain that everyone is speaking the same number of times during their meetings. How people interact in a team is just as important as who is on the team.

Effective Leadership: This is the backbone of the cultural dynamics of any organization. The leader must constantly push the mission, vision, standards, community, and processes of the company. Without effective leadership, the other four elements cannot thrive.

People want leadership with integrity and compassion, they want authenticity, people want a leader who is clear on expectations and cares about them. Research shows that most people would work for an employer who is more empathic more than the one which is about results no matters the means used in achieving it.

 It all comes down to being intentional about creating a company that will not only be successful in the long-term but aslo successful.

How to Improve Organizational Culture

1. Listen to your Employees

Provide your employees with an environment to enable them to air their opinion. Research showed that:

  • 75% of employees would stay longer at an organization that listens to and addresses their concerns
  • 65% of employees who are actively disengaged feel this way because they cannot approach their manager with any type of question.
2. Collaborate, Don’t Isolate

Encourage collaboration between employees to reinforce the idea that you are a team. Your learning management system should be equipped with a vibrant social feed in which learners can offer support to each other, and overcome challenges together.

3. Be Transparent

Transparency with your employees is a way of building trust. Weekly updates about what is happening at a corporate level will inspire your team.

4. Follow the Leader

Organizational culture needs to be nurtured. And, culture starts at the very top of the ladder!

Leaders need to visibly demonstrate that they are in alignment with the organization’s core beliefs.  

5. Provide Regular Feedback

Employees need regular feedback if they are to align their performance with your organizational culture.

Appraise the behaviour that matches your values and develop areas that need improvement. Keep on top of things with regular reporting and you’ll soon be working in collaborative teams.

6. Lay Down a Challenge

Provide challenge and opportunity for development as this allows your employees to know you are invested in them, and in turn, be loyal to your organizational culture.

7. Reward Employees

Reward employees for actions that best represent the organizational culture that you seek.  A recognition culture will also reduce turnover, giving your organizational culture longevity.

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Communication Employment Interview

Interview Follow-up

When is it a good time to do an interview follow-up to an organization?

According to livecareer.com,

 “If the company hasn’t told you anything about the next step, it’s best to wait at least a week before you follow up after an interview. If you are overeager, you risk annoying the recruiter or the hiring manager.”

We would be sharing on how to send a follow-up mail or letter.

1. WHEN SENDING A FOLLOW-UP LETTER, ALWAYS START WITH YOUR HOME ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER AND DATE, THEN THAT OF THE COMPANY YOU HAVE HAD THE INTERVIEW WITH.

WHEN SENDING AN EMAIL, BEGIN WITH THE ADDRESS OF THE COMPANY.

Example:

  • [Your Address]
  • [Phone Number]
  • [Date]
  • [Name of Recruiter]
  • [Position]
  • [Address of Company]

2. ADD A SALUTATION

Example: Dear Sir/Ma, First Name.

3. WHEN WRITING, IT IS IMPORTANT TO BEGIN THE BODY OF THE LETTER SHOWING APPRECIATION FOR THE TIME TO BE INTERVIEWED OR SPOKEN TO, THEREFORE YOU LOOK FORWARD TO BEING PART OF THE COMPANY.

Example: Thank you for a most enjoyable interview for the position of [position] at [the company]. It was a pleasure meeting [names of your interviewer(s), if any] and learning more about the operations of [the company] and I continue to be interested in the [position] with your company.

Note: This shows that you were attentive during your interview.

4. ENSURE TO FOLLOW UP WITH A QUICK SUMMARY OF YOUR PAST WORK EXPERIENCE IN RELEVANT INDUSTRIES, AND HOW IT WOULD BE BENEFICIAL TO THEIR ORGANISATION.

Example: I am very excited about contributing my [years of relevant experience] of [job description] to the success of your company as I feel that my [strong skills, qualities] are an excellent match for your requirements and an asset to your team.

5. ALWAYS ADD A COPY OF YOUR RÉSUMÉ TO YOUR FOLLOW UP LETTER.

Example: Attached is an additional copy of my résumé for your convenience.

6. END WITH AN APPRECIATION AT THE CLOSE OF YOUR LETTER.

Example: Again, I appreciate your consideration for this position and excited by the prospect of working with you. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

SAMPLE OF A FOLLOW-UP LETTER;

[Your Address]

[Phone Number]

[Date]

[Name of Recruiter]

[Position]

[Address of Company]

Dear Sir/Ma, First name

Thank you for a most enjoyable interview for the position of [position] at [the company]. It was a pleasure meeting [names of your interviewer if you were introduced to them if any] and learning more about the operations of [the company] and I continue to be interested in the [position] with your company.

I am very excited about contributing my [years of relevant experience] of [job description] to the success of your company as I feel that my [strong skills] are an excellent match for your requirements and an asset to your team.

Attached is an additional copy of my résumé for your convenience

Again, I appreciate your consideration for this position and excited by the prospect of working with you. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

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Communication Health Workplace Wellness

Coronavirus Vs The Workplace

With the ever-growing rate of persons infected with the coronavirus, there is a great need for the workplace to implement best health practices.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). 

With it first identified in 2019 in Wuhan, China, it has since spread globally and declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The common symptoms associated with the COVID-19  includes:

  • fever,
  • cough,
  • shortness of breath,
  • Muscle pain,
  • Sputum production
  • Sore throat.

While the majority of cases result in mild symptoms, some progress to severe pneumonia and multi-organ failure.

The infection is typically spread from one person to another via respiratory droplets produced during coughing and sneezing.

CORONAVIRUS AND HOW IT IMPACTS THE WORKPLACE

COVID19

When global health emergencies take place, they often bring to light breach within the workplace. It is pertinent that organizations can identify them and make improvements to protect their employees in the event of another global health occurrence.

According to Forbes; in 2016, the flu season was estimated to cost $5.8 billion in health care and lost productivity costs, while the swine flu in 2009 had an estimated economic loss range from 0.5 to 1.5% of GDP (gross domestic product) on affected countries.

It is therefore imperative that we share ways in which coronavirus (Covid-19) might impact the future of the workforce and how organizations can build a successful, healthy and productive organization.

TELECOMMUTING

Telecommute

While some economies have embraced the idea of telecommuting, some are yet to adopt this system.  Flexjobs notes that 91% of remote work has grown over the last decade and with how delicate the situation is, more organizations will be forced to embrace this means.

Most large organizations make remote work an easy option because they have the infrastructure to support it, and providing this option makes it easy for them to attract top talent. It is therefore imperative to build the organization’s capability to offer remote work and there are also advantages to this option;

  • When employees should request the need or prefer to work from home, they usually appreciate the opportunity.
  • Reduced costs for the employer employees often provide their means of getting the job done eg( Telephone, Laptops, Internet).
  • The employer also saves on the cost of office space.
  • It provides the employer with the ability to employ individuals who through disability are unable to travel to a workplace.

Other means of communication to get work done in and out of office include:

1. Asana

Asana is arguably the best when it comes to task and project management. The project management tool is great for teams as one can be able to seamlessly create project workflows and create tasks which can be assigned to members within your team.  

With the added benefit of being able to add notes, upload files, and set deadlines for tasks.

2. Zoom

Zoom is an enterprise-level, all-in-one collaboration tool with a small business price tag. It offers video and web conferencing solutions as well as a cross-platform instant messaging and file-sharing features. 

Zoom lets users hold all types of online meetings, such as one-on-one video conferences, town hall meetings, training, webinars and marketing events. The service can be used on desktops, mobile devices, and your company’s video and conference room systems. A developer platform is available to integrate Zoom features – such as video, voice and screen sharing – with apps your business already uses.

3. GoToMeeting

If you need a basic, easy-to-use web conferencing solution, GoToMeeting can get you started immediately. Its one-click meeting feature enables to quickly schedule meetings straight from Outlook or Google Calendar. In addition to HD videoconferencing, GoToMeeting comes with dozens of useful tools to make your meetings more productive and interactive. These include screen sharing, web audio, a dial-in conference line, drawing tools and the ability to record meetings.

5. Slack  

Slack brings all types of communication of an organization together — project or topic-specific conversations, collaboration, file sharing, and more. It also easily integrates with all other tools that you may be already using, making it a versatile and seamless experience for the team.

6. Clockify

Clockify is an accurate productivity software tool on the market that can be used to track the number of time an employee is spending on specific tasks and projects. It’s a simple time tracker and timesheet app that lets you and your team track work hours across projects.

WORKPLACE MEASURES

For organizations whose countries are less affected or with a record of low cases, protective measures must be put in place to ensure the environment is safe and tidy and prevalence of the virus is minimal.

Use of sanitizers to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the workplace
Alcohol-Based Sanitizer
  • Make sure your workplaces are clean and hygienic  
    • Surfaces (e.g. desks and tables)
    • objects (e.g. telephones, keyboards) need to be wiped with disinfectant regularly because contamination on surfaces touched by employees and customers is one of the main ways that COVID-19 spreads
  • Promote regular and thorough hand-washing by employees, contractors and customers. (60 seconds recommended)
  • Put sanitizing hand rub dispensers in prominent places around the workplace, and ensure these dispensers are regularly refilled
  • Promote good respiratory hygiene in the workplace
  • Ensure that face masks and/or paper tissues are available at your workplaces, for those who develop a runny nose or cough at work, alongside closed bins for hygienically disposing of them
  • Anyone with even a mild cough or low-grade fever (37.3 C or more) needs to stay at home. Encourage work from home if they have had to take simple medications, such as paracetamol/acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin, which may mask symptoms of infection
  • Encourage employees to wash their hands regularly and stay at least one meter away from people who are coughing or sneezing
  • Develop a contingency and business continuity plan for an outbreak in the communities where your business operates. The plan will help prepare your organization for the possibility of an outbreak of COVID-19 in its workplaces or community. It may also be valid for other health emergencies

 UNLIMITED SICK LEAVE

Before the coronavirus outbreak, data suggests that 90% of employees have admitted to coming to work when ill. These sick employees are reported to be less productive than engaged and healthy employees.

Organizations should update their sick leave policy to accommodate the health needs of your employees.  Create a plan that extends sick leave based upon the severity, or, offer only unlimited sick days and stick with your current paid time off plan; because healthy employees lead to a healthy business.

Coronavirus Vs the workplace

The business environment is just one of many institutions that are not creating an environment that supports their employees taking space to heal when they face illness.

Now is the time to prepare for COVID-19. Simple precautions and planning can make a big difference in protecting your employees and growing your business.

Categories
Communication

Business Email Etiquette

Email etiquette refers to the principles of behaviour that one should apply when sending or replying to email messages; also known as the code of conduct for sending mails.

Email etiquette is dependent on who we are writing- Friends & Relatives, Partners, Customers, Superior or Subordinates.

Although the mode of communication keeps evolving daily, emails are definitely not going out of date anytime soon.

It is important to ensure that one is equipped with the proper email etiquette as it is a form of personal branding; either for an individual or an organization.

Practising proper email etiquette using the following tips will guarantee an effective communication channel.

Elements of an email
  • Professional Email Address– Always use an official/company email address for all official electronic correspondences. Never use an overly personalized email address for official communication. It should have a full name of the sender. Eg Harry Lane harrylane@gmail.com. Avoid nicknames such as prettygirl@gmail.com, sexylegs@gmail.com etc.
  • Subject– This is one of the most important elements of an email. understand that the Subject line in your email will determine if your recipients will read your email or not. Ensure that the subject line is meaningful, relevant, concise and catchy.
  • To, CC, BCC (You, Who and Whom)- Know the difference between To, CC, and BCC in an email.
    • To: In this section, only put the contacts of the person (s) whom you want to read your email.
    • CC (Carbon Copy): Put the contacts of the person(s) that you do not expect to reply to the email but that needs to be informed.
    • BCC (Blind Carbon Copy): Use this for group-emails when you do not want to reveal the entire recipients of an email. Be careful when using BCC as it can be considered unprincipled on some occasions.
  • Body of Text– Always start your email by greeting your recipient. Use professional and respectful greetings followed by the recipient’s first or last name. Avoid the use of lay information greetings in your formal emails, such as Hey, Bro, Buddy etc. State the purpose of your email briefly and proceed to ask for a call to action (have a meeting, respond, confirm etc) Lastly, say thanks in anticipation of the reply.
  • Closing Salutation– Always end your official emails with a polite, professional and friendly closing remark. Some good examples are: “Best Regards”, “Best Wishes”,  “Sincerely”, “Thank You”, “Respectfully”.
  • Email Signature-This is your personal branding tool, make it fluid and flexible for different situation. Do not use initials. Use tagline and links where they can take a look at the services you offer. No jargon, no cliché.
  • Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation– Always do a final and thorough spelling and grammar check of your email messages before sending. This will give you a chance to review your spelling and grammar, general structure, working, and coherence of your emails. Punctuation is really important and if not used or misused, it can change the whole meaning and purpose of your sentences and intentions.
  • Size Matters – Be mindful of size when including email attachments. the standard size should not exceed ten Mb (10MB). Some organizations have email filter criteria ( keywords, explicit material etc), thence block and bounce email messages bigger than 10Mb. When trying to send attachments bigger than the standard size, it is always a good idea to inform with your recipients that you are planning to send them oversized attachments and confirm they are able to receive them.
  • Timely Response– As a professional, you need to provide timely feedback to your recipient clients or customers. Allocate regular planned intervals for checking, reviewing and responding to your emails.
  • Reply/Reply-All –  Understand the difference between the reply or reply-all option. The Reply option responds to a single recipient in a mail; while the Reply-All option responds to the entire recipients of a mail.
Imperial Phoenix consulting

In conclusion, be aware of cultural differences and sensitivities, especially when emailing people from other cultures. Maintain privacy and be careful about sharing private or confidential company information by emails. Restrain from getting emotional when sending or replying an email; as emails serve as written legal evidence and can be used against you.

Categories
Communication

Team Communication

There is a popular saying that communication is key“The truth in this statement cannot be overemphasized. What comes to your mind when you hear team communication? Is it just an exchange of information that happens within the team or is there more to it?

Team communication transcends mere information exchange between team members. It is the interactions that the individuals on a team share with one another like emails and conversations, body language and nonverbal sounds.

We will be sharing tips on how to better team communication in the workplace

Always Have a Specific Goal

According to the English dictionary, a goal is a result one is expecting to achieve. When you begin by knowing what you want others to do, preparing your remarks will be easier and your communication will be clearer. Your goal provides the framework for what you will say.

Think Like Your Audience

 Saying what you want people to know isn’t enough. It is important to also assume yourself in their position, by doing this, you will understand what they need and want and in return be able to reach out to them more effective

Clarify Your Messages

Clarity is important in team communication; always spell it out clearly for your listeners. This is to avoid ambiguity.

File-sharing Practices

Develop a system for naming and storing shared documents. That way, you avoid confusion over different versions of files and where to find documents.

Delivering Feedback

As a team, determine a process for providing feedback to one another. For example, you might meet weekly as a team to talk about is going well and what could change. Also, establish guidelines for when employees provide feedback to one another.

Socialize

Talking about things outside the workplace can increase the bonds among team members. You can decide to be friends with each other on social platforms or share something about your life—whether it’s about your kids’ antics or your opinion on your favourite sports teams or food recipes.

Address Issues Openly

If you aren’t having authentic and effective conversations with your employees, you can’t address problems. When problems go unchecked, it weighs on individuals, teams and the culture. Start having conversations—even uncomfortable ones—to ensure you’re surfacing problems and resolving them quickly.

Don’t Make Assumptions About What Your Team Wants

Most employees want a sense of purpose and meaning, development opportunities, and work-life balance. Find out what others in the team want and need by having candid discussions or engagement surveys.

Assess Workloads

Imposing employees with massive workloads can become the norm, but how do you know they are overloaded? By asking them. Let them know they can come to you if they are feeling overwhelmed.

Don’t Be Angry Over Failures

 Errors cause stress, and then stress leads to more errors. Ensure team members know that failure is part of the risk, and grant them wiggle room to experiment or make mistakes. Otherwise, innovation will come to a standstill.

Do share and let us know what you think.