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Grow – Drive Your Business Into its Next Phase of Growth!

drive business growth

On Thursday the 9th of October, Fire Restaurant on Dawson Street provided the setting for a breakfast briefing entitled ‘Grow – Drive Your Business Into its Next Phase of Growth’. The event, organised by Sigmar Recruitment and CurrencyFair, featured three speakers from three relatively young companies who have experienced major expansion since their foundations here in Dublin.

 

The three speakers were: Michael O’Donovan, COO, CurrencyFair; Michael Cunningham CCO, CarTrawler; and Dermot Costello, Head of Operations EMEA, Qualtrics.

 

Sigmar Recruitment’s Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig moderated a discussion between the three companies’ representatives, where the panel outlined the fascinating evolution of their respective companies. The audience were given an insight into what drives these hugely successful organisations and what has helped them to grow and become what they are today.

 

Listening to the speakers, a pattern began to emerge and it was evident that the twin pillars of ‘hiring the right people’ and ‘customer service’ has been inherent to their growth.

 

Hiring the right people

It’s often said in business that employees are a company’s most valuable asset. Each speaker emphasised the importance of hiring people who are the right fit for their company.

 

Michael O’Donovan spoke how it’s crucial to hire the right people for the right roles. CurrencyFair look for candidates with energy, people who will deliver on what they promise to deliver. They like people that are a bit pushy as that usually indicates drive and a will to succeed. Positive people are especially valued as they have the ability to energise those around them.

 

Michael Cunningham talked about how they invest a lot of time and trust in their staff at CarTrawler. 25% of employees were promoted in the last year as part of their growth while 10% of employees are getting their 3rd Level education paid for by the company.  The organisation is very mindful of having people working in roles that they are suited to.

 

Dermot Costello outlined the traits they look for in potential new hires in Qualtrics. They seek out people who are super smart, motivated and possess great interpersonal skills. Crucially though, they also look beyond the here and now when recruiting. Can this person work at two levels above what they’re hiring them for, in the future? Can they pivot? Do they have the ability to scale into different roles as the business is constantly evolving?

 

Customer service

Ensuring that an excellent level of customer service is maintained is a core philosophy of all three companies, and has been a key element in their growth.

 

Michael O’Donovan (CurrencyFair) stressed the value of everyone in the company being very good at customer service. Every new hire spends time working as part of the customer service team so as to get an appreciation of the importance of providing great customer support.

 

Michael Cunningham explained how CarTrawler tailor their service to suit all their different customers. A person hiring a car in Germany may have different needs to a person hiring a car in Ireland.

 

Dermot Costello emphasised how crucial providing top notch customer service is to Qualtrics. They have a policy in place where if a phone rings more than three times, a light goes off. Somebody has to get to that customer. Keeping the customer happy is always at the forefront of their thoughts.

 

Gross takeaways

 

Finally Sigmar Recruitment would like to thank our partners for the event CurrencyFair for their support; our speakers for their insight; and our attendees for battling the rain on the morning.  We look forward to seeing you again at future events.  For more pictures from the morning see https://www.flickr.com/photos/currencyfair/sets/72157648148550189/

Posted by Ruth Tobin on 7 December 2017

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How To Beat The January Blues

How To Beat The January Blues

Here are small, yet effective, measures you can take to improve your wellbeing in the workplace that can spread into your personal life in a positive, affirming way. Work/Life Balance Sir Ken Robinson noted in his keynote speech at Talent Summit 2018 that, although the invention of emails was promised to save us time, we have since found that, if anything, we are less and less able to leave work behind in the workplace. It is now part of most people’s routines to check their phones first thing in the morning and reply to work-related emails at all hours of the day, always thinking about what needs to be done. It’s important that you ‘work smart, not long.’ This means actively leaving work behind in the office, working efficiently during the day so you don’t feel compelled to continue with it after hours. If the quantity of work you are being expected to complete within working hours is too much to do so successfully, be sure to speak up and discuss the manageability of your workload with your supervisor. Communication is key – they’re going to keep piling on the work as long you stay quiet about how overwhelmed you are, so make sure you speak up and be heard before it becomes too much to handle. Employers won’t know where the pressure lies unless you tell them. If you’re unsure of how much your work life spills over into your personal life, why don’t you try keeping a log for a month? Jot down in a diary how many hours you work every day – not just when you’re sitting at your desk, but when you’re thinking about work at home, composing emails and returning calls out of hours. It may build a more objectively troubling picture than you can see currently from the inside. Make The Most Of Your Breaks Don’t be afraid to make the most of the breaks you are allotted at work. Once you’re on a roll, it’s tempting to power through lunchtime and eat at your desk, one eye always on your computer screen. Try and avoid doing this when you can. Take a walk, practise mindfulness or meditation, experience new places to eat, socialise with co-workers or friends who work nearby. “But I don’t have time to meditate!” I hear you exclaim. Yes, you do! ‘Meditation’ is not always synonymous with pulling on yoga pants, lighting up a stick of incense and adopting the lotus position. You can meditate absolutely anywhere – in a local park, at a café… even sitting at your desk! If you’re not confident leading your own meditation, you can find five-minute guided sessions free online, like this one here. There are also some great customisable apps you can get on your phone, such as Timer and Headspace. It is impossible to overvalue the importance of taking time to relax, clear your head and focus on your own wellbeing. You’ll find this re-energises you for the rest of the day, as well as provide an invaluable opportunity to assess your current state of mind and mentally address any emotional concerns or anxieties. You may also be pleasantly surprised at how easily solutions pop into your head when you take just a few minutes to collect your thoughts. Communication This one works both ways for employers as well as employees. Communication is the key to destigmatising conversations about mental health. In his TEDx talk on workplace mental health, Tom Oxley says ‘you don’t make people unwell by talking about mental health – you give them the opportunity to speak out sooner’. There’s a flawed unspoken terror that speaking out about mental illness will somehow worsen the problem, as if it’s contagious or seem as if you conjured it up into existence within your own mind. The reality is that many sufferers don’t feel able to speak up due to the prejudice surrounding mental health, and the fear that their workplace would not be supportive of them if they did so. The best way an employer can foster an atmosphere of positivity, health and wellbeing is to ensure that their workers know that they are free to talk openly about any feelings of stress, anxiety or depression and won’t face indirect penalisation for doing so. The first reaction of many employers is to offer a struggling staff member limited time off to recover, then expect them to return to work and continue as usual. While time off may be a solution for some employees, bosses should also consider the advantages of offering flexible working hours to affected workers. 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Sir Bob Geldof Announced as Keynote Speaker for Talent Summit 2020

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Doing These 10 Things will make you the Best Boss in the World – According to Google

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Taking the time to teach staff and encouraging them to upskill makes for a more empowered staff. A great boss allows their employees grow and guides them as much as they can. 2. Empowers Team and Does Not Micromanage Giving staff the freedom to do their job is key to being a great boss. Employees need to be trusted in order for them to succeed. Robert Gibbs, Chief Human Capital Officer of NASA is an advocate for this. During Robert Gibbs keynote at Talent Summit he explained how NASA’s raison d'être boils down to the flourishment of human kind, giving NASA the ultimate competitive advantage. Robert believes in “the power of presuming positive intent”. Belief goes a long way and sometimes to get the best out of people the best thing a boss can do is to just believe in them. 3. Creates an Inclusive Team Environment, Showing Concern for Success and Well-Being Putting emphasis on building social capital in the workplace is a trait of a great boss. Margaret Heffernan is an entrepreneur, CEO, writer and keynote speaker who understands that social capital takes time, focus and energy, but if the ingredients are right, can bind human capital to achieve success beyond measure. A great boss will know that loyalty, friendship and comradery in the workplace create a shared commitment to success, something we may struggle to replicate in the gig economy. In short, being trusting and trustworthy is the basis of creating a just work culture that inspires success. 4. Is Productive and Results-Oriented The best type of boss will motivate and inspire their team purely by just working hard at their job. If a manager is lazy and their team doesn’t really see them doing much it really just encourages the staff to do the same. Having a boss who is not afraid to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in to any given task is the type of leader that inspires their staff. 5. Is A Good Communicator — Listens and Shares Information A great boss shares information from their staff. Having a transparent boss means staff learn more and are encouraged to be transparent themselves. A great boss is a good communicator but an even better listener. 6. Supports Career Development and Discusses Performance A great boss will always encourage their staff to develop, praise them when they do well and constructively criticise when it’s needed. Sir Ken Robinson is a believer in the importance of a culture that gives us the opportunity to engage in creativity and how creativity should be encouraged in our businesses. Humans are born with endless capacities but they need to be adapted in order to become abilities. Sir Ken uses a clever anecdote about learning to play guitar to explain his theory. We are all born with the capacity to play guitar, but we don’t have the ability until we learn to play the instrument. We need to open up our employees to new opportunities to learn and adapt skills and unlock talents they didn’t even know they had. Criticism is also very valuable to employees. A great boss will always praise their staff on doing a good job but will have the capacity to explain in a constructive way when work isn’t at it’s highest standard. This kind of behaviour encourages learning and development which is a key behaviour of a great boss. 7. Has A Clear Vision/Strategy For The Team A great boss had a plan. They know where their team is, where they are headed and what is needed to reach their end goals. A great boss needs to be catalyst for the team/companies vision. When the team loses motivation or drive, the boss needs to be there to remind everyone of the strategy and keep things in motion. 8. Has Key Technical Skills to Help Advise the Team Understanding every staff member’s job is crucial to being a great boss. A great boss will appreciate the work that goes into completing tasks and is on hand with useful advice when needed. If a boss has unrealistic expectations because he/she doesn’t understand their staffs role, employees will only ever feel like they are underdelivering and when they need advice they feel their boss doesn’t quite understand the problems at hand. A boss who has the technical skills will welcome their staff seeking guidance. 9. Collaborates Across Effectively A great manager always sees the big picture. They work for the good of the company as a whole and encourage their teams to do the same. A great leader will promote camaraderie and integration and encourage everyone to come together and work on goals that benefit the company as a whole. 10. Is A Strong Decision Maker A great boss is decisive and not impulsive. They are confident in their knowledge and make decisions that they stick to. Being a leader means being brave in your actions to lead and guide others. You need to be courageousness to lead beyond the odds, stick to your decisions to be a great boss. Google have really hit the nail on the head with these behaviours. If you can promote these behaviours and train your leaders using these 10 points from Google, you’ll build teams that will trust and inspire one another to achieve success beyond measure.