News Archive

21 February 2019

8 Ways to track under performing Employees

When you hire an employee, you have certain expectations; you look forward to the employee adding value to your company.

The true measure of the value of any business is by the performance of the employees.

However, there are times when employees do not perform as per expectations or their previous records as well. Underperforming employees are not good for the company, however, with effective tactics, you can make them efficient again.

Research managers on average spend 26% of their working hours in coaching the underperforming employees. Bad hiring or inefficient staff will not make the company competent in a dynamic environment.

In a study conducted in a Global staffing firm, CFO’S answered that 44% of the company’s growth is affected if the staff is incompetent. Let us understand that there are checks and tools that the management can use time and time again to track down their underperforming employees. This will help them to understand why the company is unable to achieve their ultimate goals.

1. Targets, goals, and objectives are never met
In every department be it marketing, sales or even finance there are some pre-determined goals and tasks and even targets for the whole department. Other than the departmental goals, there are assigned individual targets as well. If the employee has been constantly failing to accomplish his goals and targets. Probably they are underperforming or slacking off work, which is not a good sign. Keeping track of the employee’s deadline and delay of work submission will help the management to understand his/her efficiency.

2. Check-in
Now, check-in does not mean the number of hours they spend at the workplace. It actually means the number of hours they spent on their social media. Track their social media daily usage and the number of hours they had a social presence during work hours. In this research conducted by redeapp, employees do get distracted by the social media once in every 10.5 minutes. And it takes about 23 whole minutes for the worker to get back to work after the social media encounter. So social media usage during work hours should be a big NO!

3. Accountability
Sometimes employees do not feel valued enough in the organization which pushes them to underperform. They become lazy and stop valuing the work. The management can make them accountable and in charge of projects to see their leadership qualities. Accountability is one of the best ways to test if an employee can perform well up to the benchmark or no. So if as management you are in doubts, assign a task to the employee with complete independence and accountability.

4. Inefficient task
Now even if the given work is completed in time, there are chances that it is a shabby work. If the assigned work is not done well and is not effective then is as equal to no work. Inefficient tasks are a big proof that the employee is underperforming. Keep a constant check on the work quality of the employee. Make sure there are signs of improvement. The quality of the work should not be deteriorating over time, especially after training.

5. Frequently absent
Absenteeism at work is not a good thing. If an employee is constantly absent calling them sick or for multiple other reasons. They are not motivated to be present at work and have no willingness to perform well either. Companies, where the absenteeism rate of employees is high, are unable to achieve their vision and mission statements in the set time. So to check if your staff is underperforming, check their attendance and number of dedicated hours at work.

6. No regards with work policies
Every organization has certain rules and regulations to be followed by every employee. If employees are not working according to the company policies and are misbehaving constantly they are not performing well at the workplace. A complete disregard for the organizational goals and policies is not what an ideal employee is supposed to do. Check if the employee is quite upbeat with the company’s vision, mission, and goal statements and other policies.

7. Wrong priorities
If multiple tasks are assigned to an employee, he has to set his priorities straight. If the employee is unable to scan and complete the work with the utmost importance. He/she is not working with complete rationality at work. The employee should be efficient enough to scrutinize every opportunity given to him and make the most of it. If they are unable to draw a roadmap to reach the final goal then they are underperforming and need training. Chaos at work and lack of clarity with given assignments can lead to bigger organizational problems.

8. Constant rectifications and errors.
If an employee’s work needs constant rectification then here is an eye-opener that they are underperformers. Rectifications are through common as no man is perfect, constant rectifications are not good signs for an employee. Efficiency and effectiveness must be maintained with every assigned work.

Checking an employee’s performance is no wrong, underperformers need constant motivation and training. A company cannot afford inefficient work and neither can keep firing employees, every organization wants to retain their employees. Having constant checks every now and then will be a big help to the company. Monitor the change and create an action plan for the underperforming employees. According to Willis Tower Watson, 96% of the employees believe that performance management is very crucial for the organization’s development. However, only 64% of the respondents in the survey felt that the approach to this was done in an effective way. Organizations should conduct performance assessment in an appropriate way that does not hurt an employee’s dignity at a workplace. Motivational tricks and other managerial strategies must be used time and time again so that the employees keep going.

Source: The Undercover

8 February 2019

8 Ways to Crush the Career Blues in 2019

As we are in the cold, dark and dreary winter months, finding the enthusiasm to power through work after all the festivities can make the rest of year seem particularly gloomy. In fact, NHS estimates that one in 15 Britons experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) between September and April – a type of depression that is caused by a lack of exposure to sunlight during the darker winter months, although cold temperatures and weak daylight also contribute to this melancholic state.

A survey by Bidvine last year found the top priorities for workers in 2018 included travel and getting a promotion or pay rise, followed by the resolution to improve mental health. In 2019 a YouGov survey revealed much of the same, with people looking to eat better, exercise more, care for themselves better, learn new skills and get a new job.

With more employees looking to climb the career ladder in 2019, manage work-life balance and increase happiness, here are eight simple ways on how to crush the career blues with some positive changes, according to Instant Offices:

1. Ask for an Increase
A TotalJobs poll of 5,000 people in the UK showed 68% hadn’t received a pay rise or promotion in the last year, leading to unhappiness at work. If you’re committed to your job but need more to keep you motivated, it’s definitely time to stop stalling and ask for a raise. Don’t turn the conversation into an ultimatum – if you’re happy with your career but not the pay, make sure to communicate that clearly.

2. Find a Mentor
Take charge of your career track this year by finding a mentor willing to share their insights and experience. In addition to guiding you on career growth and decision making, their constructive feedback can help you expand your skill set. Fortune 500 companies understand the value of mentorship – 71% offer formal mentoring programs to their employees.

3. Get Involved in Teamwork
Volunteer to take on a challenging client project or pitch internal projects with coworkers. Collaboration and teamwork can increase creativity, help strengthen relationships, create a more positive work environment and boost confidence. Some studies also suggest team partnerships can increase productivity at work.

4. Stay Busy
Around 40% of UK employees admit to being bored at work, and more than half think their existing skills are being wasted, according to a study by OC Tanner. Boredom at work is a significant source of stress and can lead to depression and disinterest. Ensure you take regular breaks during long tasks, but during quiet periods, keep yourself busy by learning a new skill or pursuing personal goals that can assist with your career.

5. Upskill Yourself
Increase your value at work by learning a new skill. Research by World Economic Forum shows that over a third (35%) of skills that are considered important today will change in five years.

6. Use Vacation Days
Perhaps you want to save time off for a long holiday later in the year, or simply feel you don’t have enough time for a break, but taking regular holidays throughout the year will help you feel refreshed, relaxed and more productive.

7. Prioritize Mental Health
CIPD found 23% of British workers feel their organization doesn’t take employee wellbeing seriously, yet more than a third of the UK workforce experience anxiety, depression, or stress. With this in mind, it is imperative to recognize the signs that your mental health may be under pressure and to ensure you de-stress regularly.

8. Step Out of the Office
No more lunch at your desk in 2019. It’s not natural to stay seated for so long, and research shows Brits spend around nine hours a day sitting down at work – a sedentary lifestyle that takes its toll on our health. Reducing the amount of time you stay seated can do wonders for your productivity, as well as physical and mental health.

Take charge of your happiness and be proactive by contributing to a work environment that sees you excel rather than be demotivated in 2019.

Source: The Undercover

25 January 2019

5 Things a CV Won't Tell You About A Candidate

Most recruitment processes will start with potential candidates sending through their applications or CVs, and as a recruiter, it’s part of your role to screen the responses and pinpoint the most suitable applicants.

However, you could be missing out on some great candidates if you’re focusing solely on a candidate’s CV and not delving deeper into their experience.

A CV merely documents a candidate’s experience, listing their core skills, meaning soft skills such as communication, confidence or a candidate’s work ethic is harder to assess within their application.

Below are five things a CV can’t tell you about candidates and how you can identify these requirements elsewhere in the recruitment process.

1. Work ethic
While CVs will document candidates’ career history and allow you to explore their overall experience in a certain industry, it’s harder to detect their work ethic.

Hardworking, dedicated and motivated candidates are a must for any job role but focusing entirely on a CV won’t give you this information.

Probing candidates about their work ethic in a pre-screen telephone interview could be a good way to combat this. Consider asking questions about the candidate’s prioritizes in a working environment, how they adapt to any changes or delve into their ability to complete tasks or projects within given deadlines.

Work trials could also be another great way for you to assess their work ethic, going beyond their CV and seeing how they perform in practice. Whether inviting them in for a few hours or half a day to get a real feel for the working environment.

2. Appearance
It’s becoming less common for candidates to use profile pictures as part of their application. Whether a candidate has a professional appearance in person is something you aren’t normally able to review until a face to face interview.

Video or Skype interviewing could allow you to see how a candidate presents themselves prior to inviting them in. Giving you an insight into how they dress to impress or put themselves forward in an interview.

Appearance isn’t limited to the way a candidate dresses or interacts, consider reviewing their social media appearance. Reviewing their LinkedIn profile and exploring any testimonials, endorsements or the posts they share or like in their network.

3. Presence
Whilst each position you’re recruiting for will require a different skill set there are some soft skills you should be detecting in each applicant.

Soft skills such as confidence, communication, and interpersonal skills are harder to embed within a CV and instead need a personal touch to spot.

A candidate’s personality will also play a big part as to whether they will fit with an existing team or manager. Contacting candidates via phone can help you decipher whether they would be a good match.

Avoid just asking questions about the role and the candidate’s experience and instead discuss the culture and ethos within that employer, recognizing the candidate’s reaction to that type of environment.

4. Reputation
The referencing stage of the recruitment process normally occurs after the interviews and pre-screening is completed, but then it could be too late.

Whilst most candidates won’t feel comfortable with you contacting their employer without a confirmed offer, you can assess their reputation through other means.

Probing with questions such as “how would you friends/colleagues describe you?” could make candidates reflect on their strengths from a different angle.

With the rise of social media, it is easier than ever to examine a candidate reputation. With LinkedIn, you can easily access testimonials from previous employers or endorsements from clients or colleagues that showcase their core strengths. Use your own network if the candidate has been referred to you to gain feedback.

Achievements are another way to identify a candidate’s reputation, while they may document some examples in their CV, a pre-qualifying telephone or video call could help you to dig deeper.

5. Are they easily managed?
Fit is a big part of the recruitment process and as a recruiter, your role is to determine whether a candidate would work well with a team or with management.

Management styles can vary, and a CV won’t be able to confirm which candidates will be able to adapt or if they are easy to manage in general.

Forming a strong relationship with your stakeholders or hiring managers is the best way for you to find out about that line manager’s management style, being able to match this with suitable candidates.

Interviewing candidates will give you an overview of their personality and how well they will react to instructions or specific guidelines, rules or procedures within the hiring company.

It’s essential to go beyond a CV and notice the potential of candidates. Picking up the phone and initiating a conversation will give you a clearer picture about who is the right candidate for the job.

Source: The Undercover

11 January 2019

7 Ways to Foster a Positive Work Environment

A key facet of any successful company lies in the working environment. A company will ultimately be limited in its successes if employers find the workplace unpleasant, negative or stressful. Yet fostering and maintaining a positive work environment can be tricky, especially when finding a balance and not ending up being under-productive and unprofessional.

Here are some tips to get that balance right.

1. Remember Everyone Is Human
Human beings are inherently flawed – they are not machines or resources for your company. Accept some level of mistakes and oversights, or risk feeling constantly frustrated at the work produced, even if everyone is genuinely trying their best. Make sure you allow some flexibility and work/life balance for your employees to avoid them resenting their work. A level of respect back and forth is key to a pleasant office environment.

2. Recognise and Draw Attention to Achievements
People will be less likely to want to work hard if their achievements are not celebrated. If the only time attention is drawn to somebody’s work is when it’s negative, people won’t see any motivation to give something there all. Make sure you notice hard work – and let people know their efforts are not in vain.

3. Don’t Micromanage
Giving employees some level of independence is hugely important. It will make them feel trusted to do a good job, rather than unimportant and like their views don’t matter. In turn, this will allow creativity to flourish. When empowered in this way, employees are likely to work both harder and smarter.

4. Avoid Scare Tactics
An environment of fear is one of the worst places to work productively and positively. Try to instill in employees that mistakes are just opportunities and that taking risks should not be frightening. The ability to try and fail without fear will undoubtedly result in some surprising and innovative successes.

5. Be a Mentor
If you aren’t micromanaging and are allowing your employees more freedom with their work, you’ll likely have more time on your hands, too. Use this time both to innovate new ideas, and act as a coach to your employees. Offer your expertise and advice without over-asserting authority, and instil confidence in your team.

6. Invest in Training
One of the best uses for company budget is in training. Workplace success depends on individual employee success, and the best way to allow employees to flourish is by giving them what they need in a consistent way.

7. Check in with Employees
If you’re feeling unsure about the workplace environment, you can always ask. Reviewing what employees think and working things around them will keep them both happy and productive. Feeling like your opinions matter and issues will be taken into account is key to feeling positive about your work environment.

Source: The Undercover

2 November 2018

The 10 Psychological Ideas that Employers, Recruiters and HR People Need to Know

In Better Business Relationships, I have attempted to pull together a wide range of psychological ideas to help management. Ideas to enable managers to get the best from their people. Ideas to help new employees fast-track the creation of productive internal relationships with their bosses and colleagues. Many of these psychological ideas are valuable to employers, recruiters and HR professionals when interviewing candidates. Here we take a look at 10 of those ideas.

1. Cognitive bias
There is much about unconscious bias in the media at present – particularly with regard to gender and race. But cognitive bias extends further. Our brains are subject to a number of tricks – systematic patterns of deviation from rationality in judgment. Daniel Kaneman has written extensively on the topic. Recruiters may experience anchoring bias (over-reliance on the first information received), primacy and recency effects (remembering the first and last candidates better than others), confirmation bias (tendency to seek information that supports our existing beliefs) and salience bias (tendency to use available traits to make a judgement about a person or situation). The overconfidence bias makes 90% people think they perform higher than average people in their roles.

2. Non-verbal communication
In Western cultures, we rely heavily on non-verbal communication – particularly visual and auditory cues to form our first impressions of people. Research shows that how we say something is more important than what we say. Authenticity is where what is said aligns with how things are said. Nervousness or masks may hide true feelings. Recruiters may misinterpret those from cultures where non-verbal communication and expressive styles are different.

3. First impressions
A first impression is formed in a fraction of a second – and is based mostly on visual and auditory signals rather than the content of what is spoken. We each have a unique internal mental map of the world that acts sub-consciously to drive our perceptions in particular ways. Recruiters may form an inaccurate first impression of a candidate as they filter out or miss important information that contradicts their view of the world. Projection is another example – if a candidate triggers an unconscious memory of someone from our past we may project our views and emotions about that past person onto the person in front of us.

4. Rapport and trust
We have a natural rapport with around 10-30% of the people we meet. Understanding how rapport and trust are formed – and how to accelerate the process – is a vital skill for recruiters and those being placed in senior or sale positions.

5. Mindset
Some recruiters will have a fixed mindset – they hire for existing capabilities. Others will have a growth mindset and recruit for potential. .Psychologists have discovered that a third of people adapt to change more easily than others. Recruiting for a fast-changing environment means being able to identify the “adaptive third”.

6. Personality
Recruiters and HR people will be familiar with a range of personality assessment tools. Some are based on dubious psychological models. Some are not scientifically valid but widely appeal to commercial minds. Personality may present differently in a group or other situations. You need skill and training to interpret personality tests properly. Some simple personality assessments – such as dogs (motivated by affiliation), cats (motivated by achievement) and bears (motivated by power and achievement) may be valuable where formal assessments cannot take place.

7. Emotional intelligence
Sometimes, technically well-qualified people lack “people skills”. You can measure emotional intelligence (EQ) and understand how self-aware candidates are, how well they manage their emotions, how well they recognize emotions in others (i.e. empathy) and how good they are at relationship management. People can improve their emotional intelligence – it isn’t a fixed trait. Our minds are plastic. Research suggests that EQ is a leading predictor of success and leadership. A futurologist indicated that “those whose only advantage is intellectual skills will lose out”. He suggested that only 1% of the workforce will see their income increase and 99% will see it decrease and the difference lies in interpersonal skills for the “caring economy”. There are models to develop people’s political astuteness in dealing with internal politics and engendering stakeholder support. In an increasingly global environment where recruiters are assessing candidates’ suitability for international roles, there is a tool to measure cultural intelligence.

8. Motivation
People are motivated by different things and this can have important implications on what roles they perform and how they fare. Exploring the main motivators – particularly when it comes to negotiating reward packages – is a key part of the recruiters’ job.

9. Coaching and counseling
Coaching is focused on helping people to reach their potential in the future. Counseling is focused on helping people deal with issues from their past. They are different disciplines. Recruiters may need to coach candidates through the recruitment process and the early stages of their employment. Candidates going into team leadership roles will need to be able to coach and develop their team members.

10. Feedback
Recruiters have to provide feedback all the time. Research by neuroscientist Naomi Eisenberger has shown that the brain treats social pain much like physical pain. Giving positive feedback can activate reward centers the same or more than financial windfalls. There appear to be five social rewards and threats that are deeply important to the brain: status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness. Some people experience feedback as an attack on their “status,” which to the brain is perceived as a physical attack.

Source: Undercover

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