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What Employers Really Want

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Are you in a recruitment process for a new job? If so, it's important to know what employers look for in a good candidate. Of course, things like qualifications, skills and experience are important but that’s not all employers want. If you've already been asked to interview, chances are your CV has already shown that you have the right qualifications, which is why you are being considered. Now, during the interview stage of the process, the hiring manager will be looking for a little more. Employers need to make sure that you will fit in at their organisation, match their company values and essentially be a part of their team. If you're feeling nervous about a job interview, it's good to remember these 5 things employers look for in an employee...

1. Positive Attitude

Being upbeat and positive can make a huge difference. If you are a happy and positive person, a hiring manger will be confident that you will make friends easily and you will enjoy the work you do and even motivate others with your positivity. Being positive can make you approachable and make people want to work with you.

2. Dependable

Employers seek someone who is trustworthy and reliable. It’s a crucial character trait in the workplace. Being on time for work and trusted to complete important tasks is what an employer expects from all their employees.

3. Enthusiastic About Learning

A person who is eager to work and learn is very attractive to an employer. Showing you have a strong work ethic and are interested in upskilling and improving is exactly what any hiring manger wants. If you're interested in the company and want to invest in learning, your employer will be just as eager to invest in you too.

4. Quick Thinking

A person who can react well when things go wrong is very useful to an employer. Having the ability to think on your feet in difficult situations can be of great benefit to any team/company.

5. Works Well In Teams

Getting along with people is a huge plus. Maintaining good working relationships and working well with others shows you are a team player and fit with a company’s culture.

Posted by Clare Reynolds on 26 June 2018

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Managing a Remote Workforce

Managing a Remote Workforce

In light of COVID-19, many companies have unexpectedly asked a large cohort of their employees to work from home. Without time to prepare for this, leaders, whose teams normally share an office and who now have been thrown into working from home, have been presented with a host of new challenges. How can one lead effectively when employees are greeting each other with instant messages than face to face interactions? When meetings are held via Microsoft Teams rather than in-person? Read on for our advice for managing a remote workforce.   Clarity of goals, expectations, guidelines   First and foremost, leaders need to prioritise the setting of clear boundaries and guidelines. At its most basic this involves setting clear expectations for work hours, availability, communication methods, meetings, key projects and deadlines, and responding to emails.  For example, “We use video conferencing for our daily check-in meetings, but we use instant messenger/chat when something is urgent”.     After this you need to convey what is success. Don’t worry so much about what is being done, concentrate on what is being accomplished. If we are meeting goals, great! If not, then we need to look further into what is being done. Everyone has a different idea of what doing something “quickly” or “well” means. Whether showing examples of what you expect to be done, an overview of how you schedule your day etc. make sure you set clear expectations from those you work with.    And finally, use this time as an opportunity to re-clarify the basics in order to ensure everyone understands their role and how each person contributes to team objectives. Clarifying and re-clarifying goals will help people understand what is expected of them.       Over communicate    While communication is always essential for leaders, it becomes even more essential when your team is working remotely. A challenge experienced by many when transitioning from in-office work to remote work is the feeling of disconnection and isolation which hinders an employee’s engagement and productivity. Given the current environment and people’s anxiety surrounding COVID-19, this feeling of disconnect and loneliness is probably heightened. Therefore, it is important that you over-communicate with your employees. Your staff members are probably used to talking to you every day so make sure you regularly check-in.     This could be a daily series of one-on-one video calls if your employees work more independently of each other or a team video call if their work is collaborative, or a mix of both. The important aspect is that these calls are a regular feature and that employees know that they have an opportunity to discuss any concerns or ask questions.     Embrace video conferencing and have regular team meetings and continue to foster team morale by taking the time at the start of each meeting for general chat such as asking about people’s weekends, how they are feeling etc.         Trust Being thrust into a remote working environment, as a manger it can be tempting to micromanage. However, doing so will only make your employees feel like you don’t trust them and impact their engagement and productivity. After you have set clear expectations, you must have faith in the employee that they will get the job done. Being trusted to get things done is a big motivator for people.  Finally, as it’s been an abrupt shift to remote work for many, it is important for managers to acknowledge that this transition might be difficult for employees. Listen to your employees’ anxieties and concerns and offer them encouragement and support.    

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Keeping Company Culture Alive Across a Remote Workforce

Keeping Company Culture Alive Across a Remote Workforce

With the majority of our teams now working remotely, the challenges of creating and maintaining company culture are evident.  Technology can’t replace what the workplace provides: community, camaraderie and shared purpose. Now, more than ever, maintaining culture matters.  Here are some ideas on instilling company culture across remote employees:     1. Connect Back to Your Values & Purpose For many of our staff currently, working remotely has been unexpected and in the face of a global health crisis, many are at a loss for what to do. For some work may feel insignificant now, so as their manager this is your time to help employees find meaning and reconnect back to your company’s values and purpose. While you may not be a company at the frontline, you still have a positive impact on people’s lives. Remind your employees of how their contributions add up to something much bigger and that we are all in this together!     2. Communication is Key Communication within divisions, one to one, social gatherings, company updates, all need to be consistent. This maintains relationships and promotes inclusivity.    Create an open and transparent communication policy. This allows people to be themselves and feel comfortable reaching out via online chat platforms. Set expectations on communication methods. Where do meetings take place? What tool is for social sharing?    Finally, you need to put an emphasis on positivity in your written communication. With the absence of face to face interactions in virtual conversations, it is easy for tone to be interpreted negatively so you need to be extra careful to be positive.        3. Mimic the Water Cooler Effect As mentioned, many of our staff are currently missing the day-to-day work interactions they have with their colleagues. Therefore, assign a platform where team members can live chat, share files, post photos and collaborate throughout the day to mimic everyday office life.  This can be where some of the best ideas and knowledge can be shared yet at the same time promotes inclusivity and the sense of “team”.     4. Trust In a remote team, there aren't any silly rules about being in your seat during certain hours of the day. This means at the end of the week you either have something to show for your week or not. This means you trust that your teammates are getting something done. But also, that your teammates trust you. To earn that trust you want to make sure you have something to show for your work each week.     5. Focus on Health & Wellbeing In the midst of a global pandemic, now is not the time to forget about your wellness programme when stress and anxiety is elevated. Make sure to check in with remote employees that they are taking breaks, finishing on time, and are maintaining a healthy work-life balance.   Make online workouts available to your employees allowing them to take part in physical activity. Perhaps set a company challenge such as a step challenge to get employees engaged in physical activity and as a plus networking with colleagues. For those struggling with sleep or anxiety, provide access to meditation or breathing courses. And to look after financial wellbeing consider organising webinars on topics such as managing a household budget, how your pension works, setting financial goals etc.      6. Rituals and Traditions Creating traditions with your team members, regardless of how often they happen, helps keep teams cohesive and encourages open communication and trust. Before you were thrown into the digital remote working world, undoubtedly you had traditions in place for how promotions, achievements and even birthdays were recognised. To keep spirits up, it’s crucial you keep celebrating these milestones.      7. Ask for Feedback Finally, the introduction to remote working has been unprecedented for many of us. Therefore, ask employees for honest feedback and suggestions. Use a pulse survey to get real data on this.      "You don’t need everyone physically together to create a strong culture. The best cultures derive from actions people actually take.” Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, Authors of Remote