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Workplace Harassment

Workplace harassment is something people experience on a daily basis, but are too afraid to speak out about it… By law, harassment is described as any unwanted verbal or physical behaviour which are based on ideas such as colour, race, sex, religion, nationality, age, either physical or mental disabilities, and last but not least, gender identity. A harassing behaviour can take many forms which include: slurs, offensive jokes, intimidation, ridicule, insults, name calling, physical threats or assaults, offensive pictures and many more.

Many people encounter harassment even during interviews. It is important to know what rules apply to the employers and what they can and cannot ask you. Moreover, recruiters cannot ask you about your religion, race, marital status, disabilities, ethnic background, country of origin, age or sexual preferences. Next time you’re going into an interview, pay attention at what and how they ask about information regarding yourself.

Unfortunately, anyone can be in a situation where he or she is the harasser or the person being harassed. The harasser can range from being your boss, a co-worker, a supervisor from a different department, or even a non-employee, whilst the victim of the harassment doesn’t necessarily have to be the one directly harassed, but it can be any person in the office who feels affected by the harassing behaviour.

How to Deal with Harassment at the Workplace

Usually, people who are dealing with workplace harassment have the intention of solving the incident internally. The first option would be to approach the offender personally and explain how his behaviour and language have offended you. If you feel uncomfortable with the direct approach, the other option would be to contact your manager or supervisor and ask him to handle the situation before it develops into something more problematic.

Of course, there are cases in which the offender is your manager or supervisor and your only course of action is to contact the HR department or your manager’s boss and request an analysis of the situation.

Types of Harassment

There are numerous ways in which harassment takes place in the workplace. Unfortunately, sexual harassment continues to be one of the primary courses of harassment, although that does not mean that non-sexual harassment must be treated lightly. It is essential that people understand that harassment at the office can affect them, whether they are victims or not. One way or another it could impact people’s state of mind and even their careers.

As mentioned above, harassment can take many forms at the office. It could vary from being both physical and sexual and ending up with it being based on religion or race.

In the United States, the definition of harassment ranges from state to state. For example, in Florida a court decided that ‘fat jokes’ are offensive, while in Wisconsin and New York harassing people based on their criminal record is against the law. It is obvious that this issue represents a tricky subject everywhere around the world.

Sexual Harassment

This type of harassment does not limit itself to just physical contact or words and just between co-workers of the opposite sex. All of the following examples classify as sexual harassment:

  • Staring in a provocative manner, or whistling.
  • Emails, letters or notes with provocative messages.
  • Obscene videos and images shared with colleagues during a break or at lunch.
  • Expose posters of inappropriate sexual imagery.
  • Sharing sexual anecdotes or lewd jokes with the co-workers.
  • Making offensive remarks about a person’s gender identity.

Non-Sexual Harassment

This type of harassment includes remarks ranging from a person’s physical appearance to his mental disabilities or cultural values. A co-worker can create a hostile work environment by continuously commenting that a person is too old, too stupid or too fat.

If you someone in the workplace is making either racist or negative comments regarding another person in the office is definitely harassment. In this category can also fall drawings, clothing or gestures that hurt or transform someone in a victim at the office. The following examples fall into the category of non-sexual harassment:

  • Making jokes and negative remarks about a co-worker’s religious beliefs, or enforcing one’s own religious views on a person.
  • Racist nicknames, slangs and phrases are all prohibited.
  • ‘Distinguishing’ people at the office by the colour of their skin or ethnic characteristics.
  • Talking about cultural or religious stereotypes in an offensive manner.

So, having read all this, next time you are a victim of sexual harassment or notice a colleague in this situation, you will know how to recognise it and take action.

The Great People Inside employee assessment solutions and technology can be tailored to your company’s specific needs and organisational culture and can help you to boost the levels of job-fit and skill-use in your employees, generating job satisfaction, improved motivation, health and happiness, and boost employee retention.

Try out our assessment in order to measure the level of wellbeing in your organisation and find out the best approach to improve it.

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Sources:
https://www.thebalance.com/types-of-harassment-in-the-workplace-2060886
https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-handle-harassment-at-work-2060887

 

How Transparent an Organisation Ought to Be?

One of the most important aspects of any business nowadays revolves around customer service. It is still difficult to identify the exact moment a customer or a business decides to work with your company, but everyone can agree that in that moment the client has decided to trust your brand. In the age of social media and the added need for assurance; transparency and sincerity are critical to a good customer service. If this service is in tip-top shape, every company can expect long-term partnerships with their clients, and who doesn’t want that? In order to achieve such a good relationship with your customers, your company and employees must be adequately equipped to offer the best treatment to all clients. How can employees have this desire for great customer service? Here a few tips into how you can achieve this.

Transparency within the organisation

The culture that is within your company will greatly reflect on how your coworkers will interact with clients. It is very important managers and leaders instill transparency within teams in the organisation. In order for this to work, employees should find themselves in a work environment where part of the daily routine is to share information and knowledge valuable for the company’s activity. Doing so will create a good atmosphere and will lead to business growth, while also helping employees learn how to cooperate effectively in dealing with distributors, possible coworkers and most importantly, clients.

A great business is characterised by great customer service

Everyone enjoys a brand where they come back for the same top quality products or services over and over again. Loyalty can be easily won when the company manages to meet or even exceed clients’ expectations through an integrated system of customer service, with the option of personalisation. It makes the customer feel special and not just a number. An example of going the extra mile is remembering a client’s birthday and giving them a call, or sending them a small gesture of your appreciation for their business with you.

Customer feedback – best source for insight

Whether we are talking about a startup or a multinational company, direct customer feedback is quintessential for business development. It shows that the company listened to their suggestions and acted accordingly. Actively listening to the feedback you receive could represent the company’s competitive advantage, especially in an industry where the competition offers a product or service similar or slightly better than yours. The difference is in the little details; being the best just doesn’t cut it anymore. Companies that are able to listen to their customers are the ones that manage to expand on a global scale.

Although many companies claim transparency is part of their culture, in the majority of circumstances that is not the case. It is quite difficult to put this process into fruition straight away. People need to know that transparency represents the glue that keeps them together through good and bad times. Facilitating a transparent communication, not only with the clients, but also internally, leads to critical thinking in solving even the most difficult issues.

Clearly stated job functions and responsibilities

 Something that helps transparency in the beginning is having an established order in the workplace where everyone knows what their responsibilities are. Automatically, this will lead to a better and more direct communication process between workers. Awareness will also see a rise in numbers, due to the fact that employees know who to talk to in order to ensure tasks and deadlines are being completed on time. Just to be clear, transparency doesn’t mean every member of the staff requires information about everything the company does. Some examples in this area are: performance reviews, salaries, marital status and so on. Employees need information in order to perform to the best of their abilities, too much transparency and information may damage internal affairs.

Hiring the right people

Every manager and entrepreneur around the world knows that hiring people in accordance with the company’s culture is pretty much the Holy Grail. It is recommended that recruiters ask candidates early in the interview whether they resonate with open communication and transparency. If the candidate is right for the company he or she will become even more willing to join your ranks. A proper company mission and culture is imperative to attract talented candidates, besides the product or service the company offers to the general public.

The Great People Inside employee assessment solutions and technology can be tailored to your company’s specific needs and organisational culture and can help you to boost the levels of job-fit and skill-use in your employees, generating job satisfaction, improved motivation, health and happiness, and boost employee retention.

Try out our assessment in order to measure the level of wellbeing in your organisation and find out the best approach to improve it.

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Sources:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246567

http://fortune.com/2016/05/21/trust-employees-corporate-culture/

https://wavelength.asana.com/workstyle-transparency/#close

Hyperconnectivity – The New Imperative?

 

Society has reached a stage in which it is impossible for people not to be connected to their devices all the time. Staying in touch has apparently become a social norm due to constant social media updates, imessaging, regular texting, especially for millennials. Maintaining relationships is easier as well with the help of technology such as Skype, Facetime, Google Handouts etc.

In terms of business, technology connectedness has helped people from around the world form companies and makes transactions around the clock. We are walking with powerful “PC’s” in our pockets, almost oblivious about the capabilities we have at our disposal. Large databases are now online through the cloud and that means wherever there is internet, you could access a huge amount of information. News nowadays are being broadcasted on social media as well, while television is slowly losing its credibility and fanbase. All these examples and much more lead to hyperconnectivity. This term not only encompasses the multitude of communication channels and interactions, but it also reveals the impact on a personal and organisational behaviour level.

This has helped create new opportunities and ways of working for companies; regular working hours and locations are now a thing of the past. In the 21st century, everything is digital so it’s absolutely imperative that organisations  stay as connected to technology as possible, because every day new techniques and tools are being released in order to improve everything from productivity to employee engagement.  HR plays an important role here. Learning about these tools and implement them as naturally and effectively as possible so that they create an advantage for the company.

Although the benefits of hyperconnectivity are more than obvious, HR directors and managers must be able to make employees cope better and better with the new levels of stress and pressure due to this “always on” environment. The best solution for this is the simplest solution, an Occam’s razor really: the real human contact. That is why large corporations always organise team activities and social events, in order to encourage face-to-face human interaction. Although very useful, these types of events fail to create a bond between co-workers from departments which are not directly linked together.

Hyperconnectivity also disrupted the usual flow of a company’s life-span. If back in the 1920s, an organisation had  on average 67 years “to live”, nowadays they are around for about 15. The social media industry is the perfect example: first there was Bebo which paved the way for MySpace which was ultimately dethroned by Facebook.

This type of business environment can allow businesses to grow fast and easily find customers, but at the same time, their competitors have access to the same information and ideas, which can prove to be tough to deal with.

It is pretty clear by now that hyperconnectivity is bringing both positives and negatives. Companies can go from rapid development and great productivity to people struggling to understand all these changes and not misuse the information they have acquired. As mentioned above, hyperconnectivity is not only changing the way us people communicate and interact, but also has a continuous involvement in our personal and professional lives.  Furthermore, hyperconnectivity has a strong impact on various industries, research foundations, academic organisations, neo-urbanisation, education and healthcare, so it is our duty to understand and make the best out of it.

Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation, can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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 Sources:
-HR Weekly
-nhrdnmumb.caiom
-www.itproportal.com

 

The Effectiveness of High-Potential Employee Programs

High-potential (HIPO) employees find themselves in the top 5% within an organisation, based on their individual performances. They are considered the company’s most prized assets and are being tipped-off to go into leadership positions. But this is easier said than done. In most cases, organisations develop HIPO programs in order to train their best employees in becoming future leaders.

Although high-potential employee programs might seem like the perfect solution, over 40% of the people participating do not belong there, according to the data analysed by the Harvard Business Review (HBR). The information gathered by HBR consists of 1,964 high potential employees, from 3 distinct companies, who have measured their leadership abilities through 360° assessments. Feedback is immediate, with analysis reports being developed almost instantly. This type of assessment is done when organisations wish to measure capabilities such as low turnover, employee engagement and high productivity. Obviously, the better the score, the better the outcome.

When looking at the data gathered from the participants in the HIPO programs, the results were outlandish. 12% of them found themselves in the lowest quadrant in leadership effectiveness; resulting in an overall 42% below average. They’re not in the top 5% anymore, not by a mile.

What about the quality of the HIPO programs that are running in your company? There are a couple of mistakes that may come along the way in regards to these programs:

  1. Performance doesn’t equal potential: HIPO programs tend to focus too much on performance and that generally leads to problems in today’s ever changing business climate. First of all, most companies do not know how to measure performance given the fact that if subjective ratings are eliminated, there are very few metrics left to count on. Secondly, even if the right parameters are chosen to measure performance, most top performers cannot handle or are simply not prepared for the next level. The transition from being a simple employee to a manager, or from a manager to a leader, requires abilities most people haven’t been trained for before. Plus, there is always the possibility that HIPO employees focus on solving problems or an all-round team player. Unfortunately, this leads to people placed in jobs they are not able or do not want to perform. It is absolutely vital to understand that performance represents what you do and potential is simply what you COULD do. If you are really good at doing X this doesn’t mean you will be great at doing Y – X and Y here being two distinct activities.
  2. HIPO’s have their weaknesses: Here, the Pareto principle fits the bill quite perfectly. If you don’t know what the Pareto principle is, here is the explanation: 20% of employees make up for 80% of the company’s revenues and profits. Based on this idea, it is clear that 20% of employees cause 80% of the problems within an organisation. Coincidentally or not, they are most often than not, the same employees. HIPO personnel, who generally know their worth, are frequently more difficult to manage. Nevertheless, no matter how astute these people are, they tend to have a dark side as well. In this scenario, the HR department has to intervene. Unfortunately, when it does intervene, the focus is on improving their existing qualities which leaves out their other personality problems to roam free. Overworked strengths have a tendency to become weaknesses and that is not good news for any organisation.

It is a well-known fact that a top performer may start having difficulties at his job when he is placed in a leadership role. It is clear he may perform well in one company but he cannot have the same impact and results in another organisation. It all depends on his vision and leadership, and these qualities are not easy to find.

Great People Inside provides easy-to-use tools and processes to attract, assess, match, select, onboard, manage, develop, benchmark and maintain workforces anywhere in the world.

We help you find the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. The GR8 360° tool is excellent at developing managerial competencies, skills and behaviours. When using this assessment, you will find over 50 dimensions that come along with suggestions for future improvement and development. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

 

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Sources:

www.hbr.org

www.dcebglobal.com

www.forbes.com

Preventing Burnout in 5 Easy Steps

If you’ve been working in the past few years, you’ve probably heard about the term “burnout” and you should know that it is directly related to stress revolving around work. The general definition for burnout describes it as a combination of 3 factors: mental, emotional and physical fatigue combined with serious doubtfulness regarding your competence and value of work. Everyone has a couple of coworkers who stay for way too long at the office after the business hours have ended. Of course, this is understandable if they have an important contract to honour, a project deadline that cannot be pushed any further, or maybe they are just really dedicated. No harm, no foul until the stress from the actions mentioned above can transform itself into a serious case of burnout.

Entrepreneurs are flying into the face of danger due to their working program, which usually is 24/7/365. Given the fact that they are trying to build a serious company from the ground up and have to deal with issues left and right, the stress that is building up inside them can lead to a serious burnout.

Thankfully, nowadays there are many ways in which you can identify if you’re starting to experience burnout symptoms. They are pretty easy on the eye if you feel you are heading towards complete exhaustion. Here is a list of a few early signs of a potential burnout:

  • Huge amount of stress and anxiety
  • Low engagement or lack of it
  • You’re more cynical than usual
  • Not enough sleep
  • No breaks during the day
  • The feeling that there aren’t enough hours in a workday
  • Consistent physical illness

 

These are 5 easy steps you should follow in order to get back on track on your own terms:

 

  1. Take frequent breaks during office hours

People sometimes fail to understand that it is an art to accomplish top workplace performance. You cannot remain at 100% during all of your working hours, which is why it is important to give your brain a bit of a break; it needs a recharge, just like your smartphone does. If you have a more flexible work arrangement, go for a run or a walk in nearby park. Try and have lunch outside the office space, it will allow you to decompress and maybe see the bigger picture. Needless to say, you need to careful when taking a break as well. Avoid doing so when your brain activity is at its highest, more often than not, this happens in the morning.

  1. Distance yourself from digital devices

Before the era of smartphones, gadgets and various wearables, when you left the office that meant you were done for the day. Even if you wanted to work from home, that required a lot of planning and effort. Now, we never really leave the workplace, because we are physiologically and psychologically very much still connected. Although it may seem difficult to get rid of this problem, there actually is an easy solution for it. As soon as you arrive home, either leave your phone somewhere in the hallway or even turn it off after a certain hour. You must understand that whatever you want to do CAN wait until tomorrow.

  1. Plan something interesting right after work

Whether this activity involves playing football with your friends or cooking with your loved one, it will make you focus on that particular action rather than telling yourself you shouldn’t check your emails every 10 minutes. You may as well want to be transform yourself into a couch potato as soon as you get home, but engaging in something more meaningful like a jigsaw puzzle or studying a new language will give you a better feel factor.

  1. Take a longer weekend from time to time

If you start to feel weak both physically and mentally, maybe that’s your body’s way of telling you it’s time for a longer break. Instead of taking a long vacation, try and constantly give yourself 3 or 4-day weekends. It is vital you don’t interact with anything related to work. It ruins the whole concept of a mini-vacation.

  1. Focus on the meaningful work you wish to do

There are some times when you simply cannot get some time off work. It happens to everyone and there is no need to panic. Instead, try and find a deeper meaning for the task at hand. Maybe you can correlate it with a personal or professional goal of yours. The reasons may vary from: getting the job promotion you wanted or simply preventing yourself from procrastinating. But keep in mind that this is just a temporary fix to the problem. If you are really stressed and lack any sort of energy, take a real break.

 

We have an impressive assessment library with hundreds of dimensions that can be leveraged in creating a custom skills-based assessment that supports your organisation’s specific competencies and unique vision. Please contact us if you need to measure the engagement level in your company.

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Sources:

Forbes.com

Hbr.org

 

 

Productivity vs. Efficiency – What Are the Differences?

In any given organisation, productivity and efficiency are highly regarded. Most managers and employees get their feedback based on these two factors. But what exactly do we mean when we say productivity or efficiency? Apparently there are some questions around this topic that haven’t been answered yet.

In order to explain the differences between productivity and efficiency, we must first understand what they exactly mean. To put it in simpler terms, we are talking about differences between quantity and quality. It is nearly impossible to obtain 100% quality, while having productivity levels up at maximum. There should be a middle ground in order to optimise your results.

Both productivity and efficiency are absolutely crucial for building a fantastic work ethic. If you manage to learn how to handle both of them and what makes them distinctly important, you and your business will thrive. As a beginner, you may be tempted to focus too much on efficiency and although this isn’t a bad thing to do, understanding the key variables between efficiency and productivity is imperative.

Given the complexity of this issue, insight is required on what these two factors actually are.

Productivity

At its very core, productivity shows you the rate at which products are being developed or a task is being completed.  When you are measuring productivity things get a little more complex than that. You have to take into account whether it’s physical or office work, if the job requires a certain quality factor or the impact a specific industry’s requirements may have on its workers. Nonetheless, productivity is an integral part of any successful company.

Efficiency

Efficiency is all about the comparison between what is really being produced or performed with what can be produced taking into account the same amount of resources, such as: money, time and labour. In simpler terms, efficiency measures whether there is any waste in your company. Depending on the industry you work in, efficiency may be more desirable than productivity, but usually their importance is proportionate.

Efficiency vs. Productivity

Everyone wants to be as productive as possible, but there are always problems of various sorts that keep us from getting the job done. Firstly, don’t waste more time than necessary when completing a task. Try and set your own rhythm and pace and stick to it. Try and write down every step necessary in order to complete a certain task and follow that process religiously. Once you have the whole process set in stone, you will see that the amount of time you require will steadily decrease.

Many people ask if it is possible to be productive and efficient at the same time and the answer is yes. All you have to do is analyse the task at hand and try and find out what it requires more; whether it is quantity or quality.

It all comes down to the importance of the task. As an example, let’s talk about employee enquiries towards the HR department. We all know they must be dealt with in a respectable amount of time. This type of task is considered to be more on the productive side, due to the fact that it is the same process over and over again, with the same forms and documentation that need to be filled out every time. You can finish all the enquiries quickly and with complete certainty that their quality is top notch as long as you deal with them in the correct manner.

With efficiency tasks, most often than not they do not have a precise and by the book approach. These tasks obviously require more time and a high level of due diligence. In this scenario, quality trumps quantity. Of course, every task has a deadline. But if you happen to have the misfortune of dealing with it poorly, it doesn’t necessarily matter too much. You should always work at your full potential, but given the fact that the assignment doesn’t have a methodological way of dealing with it, you have some wiggle room and the possibility to improve it.

As mentioned earlier in the article, it is very important for both productivity and efficiency to be part of your workflow. It provides you with time, expertise and discipline in order to handle distinct assignments. Balancing productivity and efficiency may seem troublesome at first, but once you find it, certain tasks will stop being such a burden on you.

In conclusion, one more idea that is important to remember is this: never sacrifice your work. If you need to do good, solid work then don’t rush it by any means, and when you are looking for quantity don’t get yourself lost in too many details. With this in mind, you can accomplish anything you want. Do the work you have to do the way it was meant to be done and never compromise. It is essential you know and understand the differences between these two practices in order to ensure your work never has to suffer again.

Great People Inside provides easy-to-use tools and processes to attract, assess, match, select, onboard, manage, develop, benchmark and maintain workforces anywhere in the world.

We help you find the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. The GR8 Productivity Gap tool is excellent at showcasing the evolution of any given employee over time. By contrasting two assessments made before and after training, it allows you to analyse both your employees’ development and their involvement in the process as well.

 

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Sources:

www.smallbusiness.chron.com

www.doityourself.com

www.differencebetween.info

www.selfthrive.com

Skill Gap: Why is it still a Major Concern (Part 2)

This article is part of a series. For part 1 click here.

There is a steady decline in the U.S. system’s possibility of nurturing these midlevel skills, due to the fact that automation is cutting down the need for low-skilled workers. Luckily, there are local initiatives which are trying to address the respective skill gap in their areas.

A good example on how to narrow the skill gap is represented by internships specifically tailored to college graduates in order to meet the more evolving needs of today’s employers. Some university programs include the so-called “cooperative degree programs” also known as co-ops. This type of approach will allow both employers and future graduates to assess the market and their specific place in the world of work. Employers have the chance to evaluate skills such as: employee attitude and work ethic, but also offering their training to their temporary recruits, specifically tailored to the organisation’s needs. These co-ops and internships help students earn their necessary credit in order to graduate, earn proper work experience, and best of all getting them to apply classroom studies in the real business world.

For over 20 years, there has been a shortage of “transferable” workplace skills, and although there have been many initiatives in terms of laws, guidelines and goals, not many problems have been resolved.

These “transferable” workplace skills have represented a real problem for the private sector for the past 20 years. HR managers have stopped putting too much emphasis on skills such as reading literacy and computational aptitude. In today’s workplace, soft skills are dominating the office needs, and they are as follows: interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge, time management, ethics, teamwork, personal organisation, interpersonal communication, problem solving, anger management and reasoning.

At a global scale, Millennials display unique attributes that conflict with society and the idea of work as it currently stands. This group of people have spent their entire or nearly entire life connected to technology, rapid accessibility of information and a permanent connection with family and friends. Straight from birth, Millennials have been told they are special and they were rewarded nearly instantaneously for even the smallest of accomplishments.

Millennials are much better equipped to handle active learning that can teach them metacognitive skills. Such operating systems are being beta-tested as we speak, in order to assure the teaching of a higher-order and analytical skills. In the United States, the successful applications of e-learning for workplace training are expected to be introduced into the K-12 curricula where they are foreseen to shrink the metacognitive skill gap in public schools. Games and simulations offer a great basis for education and training, with at least 45% of Millennials being active learners.

In approximately 10 years, companies everywhere will move all types of employee training programs towards the online. Nowadays, distance education done through e-learning is just a stepping stone towards a new structure of education.

The level of information a worker can acquire at the workplace takes half the time compared to the classical classroom delivery, thus retention can be increased by 30% and the cost of training can be reduced by 40%. There will be a quick and positive ROI because employee efficiency is substantially increased.

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Skill Gap: Why is it still a Major Concern (Part 1)

Although the latest economic recession has ended a few years ago, the rate of unemployment in the United States is still high. This still remains a problem, even though employers are in a continuous struggle to fill certain job posts, most of them in the area of middle-skills jobs: nursing, computer technology, high-skill manufacturing, etc. These vacancies require education at a postsecondary level and in some special cases, even college math degrees or courses. At the moment in the States, 69 million people are involved in middle-skills jobs, which represent about 48% of the workforce. The skill gap is obvious.

The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics doesn’t do estimates on vacancies based on skill category, but if we were to combine the data from the government on education and the training requirements needed, it can be discovered that almost 25 million, or 47%, of new jobs that will appear from 2010 to 2020 will be in the category of middle-skills.

CEO’s and HR leaders need to figure out which method of training people will help their organisations fill those vacancies, thus mending the wage stagnation that has engulfed the country and limiting the gap between households with high and low income.

Given the current work climate, companies should take charge and develop programs in which workers can be capable of filling the skill gap. To be realistic, such a thing can happen on a global scale only if companies cooperate with each other, with educational institutions, with unions at both regional and national level.

Businesses rarely disclose any information regarding their expenses on training programs, and when they wish to cut costs, their first target is represented by HR investments. Nowadays, many organisations shy away from training investments because they fear that their competitors won’t make the same investments and they will also steal their workers. In order to minimise this risk, combined investment is recommended. Such collaborative work has been put into effect in a number of countries such as the U.S., UK, Australia and Sweden, with great success.


Read also: Top 7 HR Trends for 2017


Things have greatly shifted since we’ve entered the 21st century. For the majority of the 20th century, people had two ways in which they acquired their skills and prosperity. The first one is, obviously, on the job. Organisations promoted people from within, and it enabled their employees to develop towards higher-level occupations. Unions were invested into negotiating specific career ladders that were directly connected to seniority and skills, and also accompanied employers at an industry or occupational level in order to host various training programs and apprenticeships. Having such a system in place guaranteed a constant flow of talent, very well equipped with skills of the highest level.

A second approach to acquiring skills was represented by college. The American dream has always represented an ideal for any fellow American. Young people across the U.S. were told that in order to achieve the highest peaks of the American dream was to follow the rules and study hard in a field that best suited their talents and interests. However, problems always arise. People with degrees in liberal arts have seen a significant drop in job opportunities. The numbers speak for themselves: only 15% of college graduates have majored in math, science, engineering and technology. This percentage has been a constant for over 2 decades although demand has grown exponentially.

This article is part of a series. For part 2 click here.

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Top 7 HR Trends for 2017

A great many things will be changing in the HR world this year and they all revolve around one thing: the digital world. Although technology has been and will continuously change the world of work , the vast majority of changes will occur in the way we lead and oversee our companies’ operations. All of the HR trends that will be mentioned below involve ideas on how to “be digital” not just “act digital”.

Nowadays, the world of business is shifting from a “top-down hierarchical model” towards a “network of teams” where people are working in new and dynamic ways to solve problems. Businesses are now centred on the customers, everything around us moves at a very fast pace, thus creating the need for new ways of thinking and doing HR.

Prediction 1: Going further down into the Digital Era: As anyone who hasn’t been living in a cave for the past 20 years may have noticed, these are definitely the digital times. With the number of mobile phones forecasted to reach 4.77 bilion in 2017 and most of the jobs relying on computers to get work done, this year will lay even more emphasis on technology than before. Every employer will have to keep up with this trend, unless he wants to be left behind by  competitors that are willing to innovate with every given opportunity.

Prediction 2: Organisational Design Will Be Challenged Everywhere

Given the fact that, in today’s world, markets are ever-changing and new digital products and services are being developed daily, the conventional approaches do not apply anymore. Since the rapid evolution of the internet and cloud services, the level of entry within a market has been reduced considerably. It is practically impossible to withhold “your market” just because you are a large corporation – a small start-up could reinvent the whole industry right in front of your eyes, and afterwards you are left trailing them for years to come.

Prediction 3: Multigenerational workforce management skills will be required: This year, leaders and managers will have to face a new challenge due to the fact that millennials become increasingly active in the world of work, while, at the other side of the spectrum, many Baby Boomers refuse to retire at the traditional age. This requires new skills from the people in managing roles, since these two generations are as different as chalk and cheese and they have contrasting needs, goals and wishes.

Prediction 4: Culture and Engagement Will Remain Top Priorities

Although these topics might seem recurring, culture and engagement are some of the top priorities for HR managers everywhere. The cultural related issues will become increasingly more difficult to solve. This issue grows in importance. The latest research from Deloitte suggests that Millennials choose their employer based on their respective organisation’s “purpose”. In their latest High-Impact Leadership research, Deloitte discovered that organisations with a strong leadership culture are nine times better at finding and developing leaders than those companies who lack a consistent leadership culture.

Prediction 5: Focus on “Human Performance” and Wellbeing Will Become a Critical Part of HR, Talent, and Leadership

This may come as a shock to you but the overall engagement levels of today are no better than they were ten years ago. Taking into consideration the data obtained from Glassdoor, it has revealed that there is almost absolutely no improvement in employee ratings of their organisations during the past seven years. Approximately 40% of them think that “it is impossible to maintain a fast-growing career and a sound family life” given the “work-martyr” effect in organisations worldwide.

The idea for 2017 is simple – move HR from “personnel department” to a brand new role such as: “consultant in human performance”. There are numerous reasons why people are being held back from being productive at work and these range from: standing at a desk, defective office arrangements and management practices. There is a huge potential for HR in 2017 – to get rid of creating more and more programs that focus on “making work-life better”.

Prediction 6: Talent Recruitment

With all the technology available nowadays, including social networks, wearables and smartphones, talent is more easily accessible and has possibilities to choose form. 76% of full-time workers are either open to the idea of a new job or are actively looking for one, while 48% of employers are struggling to find the right people for their vacancies due to the skill gap. Given this situation, there will be a great emphasis on employee experience due to the fact that organisations are forced to focus more on their corporate culture and values if they wish to retain their best talent.

Prediction 7: There will be a huge focus on overcoming Algorithm Aversion

We have talked in a recent article about the advantages of relying on algorithms, rather than on the biased human instinct, but most HR seniors still face major difficulties when it comes to fully entrusting a computer. This struggle is understandable since the digital revolution happened basically overnight, but in order to take HR to the next level, managers ought to overcome their algorithm aversion and use the much more reliable, computer based, people analytics.

Great People Inside provides through the Next Generation People Intelligence Platform the best solutions and technology needed to find the right talent, the best fit for the job and for your organization. Easy to use and intuitive, the GR8PI Platform acknowledges all the latest trends and foreseeable employment issues in order for your company to thrive in the digital era.

 

 

Sources:

Bersin by Deloitte 2017 predictions

https://workplacetrends.com/candidate-experience-study/

https://workplacetrends.com/the-active-job-seeker-dilemma-study/

http://www.humanresourcestoday.com/2017/trends/?open-article-id=6004358&article-title=top-10-human-capital-trends-for-2017&blog-domain=predictiveindex.com&blog-title=the-predictive-index

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2016/11/01/workplace-trends-2017/#162b91063457

http://hrtrendinstitute.com/2016/11/23/hr_trends_2017/

 

How to attract and retain great salespeople

In the age of the customer, the consumers have gained significantly more knowledge and control over the sales process than any time in history – they have a huge variety of options available, they are digitally active and they are less dependent upon the sales representatives, and their expectations match up their investment. While the customers’ habits and behaviours have changed, the universal sales strategies have remained basically the same.

In a recent research study done by Cranfield Management School, it has been revealed that 90% of the people working in sales are facing major difficulties in making an effective pitch. That is why good sales reps represent a competitive advantage for every business, if they have them.

Also in regard to people in sales, David Thorp, the director of research and professional development at the Chartered Institute of Marketing had this to say: “First-rate salespeople are focused and can target potential customers effectively. They understand which customers have the money, authority and need to buy from them.” He continued stating that “They also build strong relationship with customers, which is key to customer retention. It is worth investing the time and the money in getting good staff, as they will be able to add much more to an organisation’s bottom line than poor sales staff, which can be a liability.”

The selection you make regarding sales people will determine the success of your organisation. If you are willing to invest time in the selection process, this will solve half of the sales job. Competent sales reps know how to highlight the numerous benefits of your product or service. These people are skilled in detecting possible prospects and quick in surmounting any objections that may come along the way. Sales professionals are able to sell effectively in the most adverse situations and even in the world of cut-throat competition. What makes them so efficient is the fact that they possess an internal drive towards achievement, a fantastic sense of seriousness to sort everything out and accomplish their goals, even when the external factors are detrimental to their cause.

As mentioned above, the selection process is very tedious, but extremely important. This means that even if you find a good sales rep that doesn’t mean you found the most suitable candidate for your organisation. When selecting, there are two key aspectsthat you must take into account, besides the person’s capability to sell:

  1. Is that person compatible with the company’s culture? – If the candidate and the rest of your team do not get along, then it’s crystal clear you do not wish to hire that person. As soon as your sales numbers grow, this will involve support from the other departments in your company. If the departments despise sales, it is absolutely certain you won’t get the profit you expect due to the fact that the sales department won’t receive the help it needs.
  2. Does the candidate understand what exactly are you selling? – If a sales rep doesn’t understand what your organisation is selling, how can you expect them to sell anything? Although they may get lucky a few times, you must be certain that they acknowledge what the company is selling.

In order to get an idea of what a good salesperson is, I recommend you start evaluating every encounter you have as a customer. What are those people doing that makes you feel comfortable about doing business with them? Learning to detect good sales reps represents the first step and it is of upmost importance.

Thoroughly Evaluate your Sales Team

Although sales are an area where results speak for themselves, you must also evaluate the process through which your team does make the sale – it is obviousthat if they don’t have good results, something in their sales process is not working accordingly.

In order to solve this problem, evaluate how your team implements every sales process from start to finish. Afterwards, you can properly assess where they are struggling, why, and help them through coaching. It will greatly benefit them by developing their skills to overcome each step necessary them develop their skills for each step necessary.

Use a Sales assessment for your team

For a proper assessment of your sales force, you need to weigh in your current staff, but also candidates you wish to hire. If you do this in an effective manner, you will know for certain that every sales rep you bring in will possess all the necessary personality attributes to perform at a top level and have high sales results.

One of best ways, if not the best way, to evaluate your staff and candidates is to use assessments such as: GR8 Sales, GR8 Teams and GR8 Engagement. The questions and issues raised by these evaluations will help you determine if the candidates have at least one of these traits:

  • Building Client Relationships
  • Sales Process Management
  • Understanding clients’ needs
  • Enthusiasm
  • Loyalty
  • Respect
  • Perseverance

If the candidates you evaluate score high in at least one of these traits, that means he is a driven individual and there is a great amount of opportunity for success as a “hunter” representative of your sales department. Afterwards, you can have another interview with him in order to be sure that person fits to your organisational culture, thus making an informed decision about a future employee.

How to Improve your Sales Team Results

Offer them as much constructive feedback as possible. You cannot expect your team to improve if they are unaware of the mistakes they are making. This is the reason why it is imperative to have regular meetings with them to offer them support and advice on how they are performing.

When you offer your thoughts on their progress make sure you include both the positive and the negative feedback. In order for your team to improve, they must realise that besides their strengths they also have weaknesses. Nonetheless, keep in mind that negative feedback is for one-on-one meetings only. If you criticise a salesperson in front of his colleagues, he may start resenting you, start working poorly and have a low level of engagement. If this takes place one too many times, high employee turnover is right around the corner, and it can cost your organisation a large sum of money.

Present your team with the best tools and resources for them to thrive

After you evaluate and assess your sales team, by now, you should have a clear idea regarding the areas they are struggling at that moment. Given the fact you have this information, search for the right tools and resources your team requires in order to help them surmount the deficiencies they are encountering.

Let’s say one of your employees is experiencing problems with productivity because he cannot allocate the necessary time for sales calls. For him to overcome this problem, you can research for the right type of scheduling programme to best fit your team’s needs. However, there are situations where your whole team can struggle with productivity. In this scenario, you may have to analyse their working process and establish which tasks can be automated. Implement the automation, leaving your team with more time to sell and less time on unrelated tasks.

The examples I have presented you are just a few ideas of how you can improve your team’s performance, but be aware of the fact that each sales team and person is unique and have their own particular needs. So as to pinpoint the exact problems faced by your team, remember to communicate with them constantly and assist them in finding the best solutions for the best sales results.

Assessing the salespeople, developing them and aligning the sales strategies should become a top priority for the organisations willing to thrive in the customer’s age. Great People Inside helps you find the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

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Sources:

www.marketingdonut.com.uk

www.entrepreneur.com

www.nasp.com

www.salesdrive.info

www.quicksprout.com