Its back to work, our brains have already had a couple of weeks to get out of holiday groove. Outside however, the sun is shining gloriously in beautiful blue skies and the sea or swimming pool still glitters in our mind’s eye! So how do we make the most of summer even though we’re back at work? Here are some great tips!
The best accessory since sliced bread, they are easy to keep in the boot of your car and take out at any place you can catch some rays (whether in the park or the braai you’ve been invited to)!
For those not living on the coast this might seem a bit silly – but having handy sun screen, beach towels, a swimming costume and sunglasses keeps you ready for anything! Friends hitting the pool after work? Once you hang up your hat at the end of a workday you’re ready for anything!
Take advantage of our beautiful country and go someplace nice; whether it’s a wine farm trip, or to the local bush restaurant. A nice table outside with a view keeps the happy thoughts flowing.
It’s boring going for a walk alone. Why not share the fun by organising a group walk? Choose an area stimulating for the senses such as your local park, beach promenade, a suburban area that you want to explore… you can be as creative as you choose!
South Africa has some very beautiful areas to explore. Pack a lunch and make a picnic out of it! If you can afford to eat out, choose a patio or deck type restaurant.
For those competitive types this is an excellent way to get out and enjoy the weather. Certain team sports have corporate leagues during the summer months. Don’t like your competitor? Joining a corporate sports league and beating them can be quiet satisfying.
Lots of these groups organise networking mixers, harbour cruises and pub crawls. Not only do you get to enjoy a bit of night life but it’s an excellent way to make networking fun this summer.
Everyone brings something, you get the fire going, and then sit back and relax. Its summer after all!
This is probably one of the worst tips for someone like me as I am a notorious morning grouch! BUT – it does allow for going for a morning run or having breakfast with a loved one before dashing to work. All in all, great ways to start the day.
Nothing is as refreshing as having a short break away. Spend a long weekend in the bush, mountains or at some glorious spa being pampered. Plan the days, and use the public holidays to your advantage.
If you are in the advantageous position of living relatively close to work, make use of arriving traffic-stress free and having had your exercise for the day. Just remember to check for shower facilities beforehand.
Right, I am off to the beach with my handy beach bag and foldable chairs. Enjoy the summer!
Recruitment is more often than not a tactical game. We project one or two moves ahead – for the coming financial year, say – or we scramble reactively when someone resigns. We might use the word strategic when it comes to HR conversations but we very rarely understand what that means.
I think we grasp, in theory, the value of long-term talent planning but very rarely – in a world that changes at a dizzying pace – do companies adopt the infrastructure necessary to fully execute on it. Quite often this is because successful strategic staffing planning requires sweeping changes to company-wide processes and procedures, and demands the full involvement and commitment of all levels of management. Not an easy challenge.
So we fully understand its importance let’s look at strategic staffing in context. To do this, I find the following from Mary B. Young, DBA, of The Conference Board, extremely helpful:
“Strategic workforce planning (SWP) is the process that translates business strategy into its workforce implications. But business strategy comes first, answering the “why” question:
Once the “why” is understood, SWP helps business and HR leaders answer four more questions:
Why is it so crucial that we become truly strategic vs. tactical in our staffing approach? There are a number of issues driving this need (beyond the obvious: the more strategic a player we become, the more chance we win the game):
Strategic staffing/workforce planning puts you “one step ahead” of these issues, helping you create a workforce that is, and will continue to be, flexible and responsive in these fast-changing times. Its many advantages, however, are not limited to recruitment and selection; it also provides a framework for other HR policies and programmes such as training, compensation, and diversity management.
In upcoming articles, I will be looking at how to get started along with models for effective workforce planning. In the meantime, if we can be of any assistance, please get in touch.
It’s a new year, it’s supposed to bring new beginnings right? Still feeling as if you are stuck in a rut? Doing the same things over and over again? Just a little more than 5 weeks in the New Year and you feel as if you are returning to the same old little bad habits that you did not like from the last year…
Time to reinvent yourself! In the spirit of one of the masters in the art of reinventing herself, Madonna, here are some tips to change your environment! From the inside out!
Evaluate where you are
Take an honest look at yourself and really see the situation for what it is. What you are taking away from it and if it really is as bad as you think it is. Remember, sometimes the problem is all in our head!
Identify opportunities your current situation presents
Life is about whether the glass is half full or half empty! Are you focusing on the empty glass? Perhaps it is time to take the tough situation you are facing at work and make an opportunity out of it! Someone once told me that to deal with a problem effectively, you need to view it as you would a big teddy bear! Its HUGE, it’s in your way, and it’s not going anywhere! So what do you do? You hug the bear – you hug it until it melts, and disappears. Tightly! Take ownership of the situation and you will see that not before long the problem disappears and you have moved passed it.
Say Yes! (and No!)
Anybody ever watched Jim Carey in “Yes Man”? It’s a motivational story about a man, stuck in a rut, who goes on an adventure by saying yes to every single thing that comes his way! It transforms his life! I am not saying you should go to this extreme, but perhaps it’s time to think about the opportunities that you are saying yes to.
Same goes for the other way around, if you find yourself unable to say no, overwhelmed by responsibilities for others and commitments that you really should not have made in the first place! Say No! No, I cannot pick up your children as well because driving to your house is 45 minutes out of my way and then I will be late in helping the children with their homework. Set your boundaries!
Change your job
No, I am not saying that to resign is the answer here, perhaps a different way of doing things. Changing jobs takes time, and you don’t want to jump from the boiling water into the fire! If you are bored it might be that you are not stimulated enough! Ask for more responsibility, put up your hand when the next project is up for grabs. Volunteer to organise the next work function! Be creative! You will find that it changes your perspective and changes your attitude by making a positive contribution to your office environment. The possibilities can be endless but it is up to you to sit up and start taking notice!
Start with Why
This is essential. Why are you here? What are you doing here? You can go so far as to ask yourself why you are on this earth!? Combine it! Work and Play does not need to be two separate entities in your life. It could be anything from making people’s life easier or working to provide for your children. Everyone has something special.
365 Days can be overwhelming. Its long, it’s tedious and by the time your reach Christmas the goals, aspirations and fun have all but disappeared into the daily dredge of life and survival! Yuck!! Make life fun by focusing on small things for a short period of time. 30 Days is all you have to do, 30 days of avoiding sugar, alcohol or walking every day. 30 Days of connecting with a colleague, compliment someone or trying different ways of doing things! Once done you can congratulate yourself on a job well done or splurge on the bag of chocolates you have been eyeing at the local supermarket!
Lastly, don’t forget to have fun! We spend most of our time at work, more even than we spend with our families or friends! Doesn’t a dead-end job, only living for the weekend, sound absolutely soul destroying?
Come on, you can do it!
Retaining top talent is a complex issue. It used to be relatively simple: stability was the fundamental that defined the relationship for both employee and employer. Jobs offered predictable advancement and employees stayed for the long-term. An annual engagement survey was the one tool an employer needed to stay on top of staff motivation (companies now realise this is not detailed enough, it’s not real-time and it doesn’t tend to consider all the issues that drive employee-commitment).
However, globalisation and the information age has meant stability giving way to rapid, unpredictable change. A younger workforce, the war for talent, constrained economic conditions and rapid technological development are additional critical factors. Retaining and engaging high performing staff has become the single biggest challenge for most companies and their single biggest competetive differentiator: the 2014 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends research shows that 78% of business leaders rate retention and engagement urgent or important.
It’s not surprising why:
Josh Bersin, Principal and Founder of Bersin by Deloitte says “we have to remember that people are what we call an “appreciating asset.” The longer we stay with an organization the more productive we get – we learn the systems, we learn the products, and we learn how to work together.”
He goes on to say that the total cost of losing an employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars to 1.5-2X annual salary.
While the defnition of talent retention is quite simply ‘any techniques employed by management to encourage staff to stay with the company in the longer-term,’ Bersin by Deloitte’s research shows that each company has its own retention model involving a variety of factors. And “these factors take on different weights depending on the age, demographic, and role of the employee. So your goal is not to simply do one thing, but to understand your own company’s “retention drivers” by role.”
Some of the key issues to consider when compiling your retention strategy, are:
From Fortune 100 global enterprises to small- and medium-sized businesses, leading companies invest in talent management to select and retain the best person for each job because they know that business success is powered by the total talent quality of their workforce.
If I can assist in any way, please get in touch.
The time, money and resources invested in a candidate hunt are higher now than at any other time in recent memory, even for entry-level roles. When you’re looking for a scarce skill, the investment can soar even higher. It pays, therefore, to make sure you are looking for the right candidate, one who is right for the job and for your business. One who will not only ‘fit,’ but also grow, lead, and drive performance – now and into the future.
Unfortunately, many hiring managers approach the hiring process in a somewhat unsystematic manner, believing they will ‘know’ the right candidate when they meet them. This rarely pays off.
Instead, approach the hiring process with the end in mind. Armed with a definition of your ideal candidate (and an exceptional job description aimed at attracting them) it is far less likely that an expensive mistake will be made.
It’s ideal to sit down with key stakeholders for the position (hiring manager, HR, someone affected by the position, current top performers, etc.) and decide the exact employee you are looking for by creating a scorecard / benchmark. It can be helpful to use the job description as a jumping off point. Before you can begin to identify the qualities the right candidate will have, you must have a very clear understanding of what the position actually entails.
Here are some questions to ask in the process of defining the ideal candidate:
Candidates may have similar skills and experiences but they certainly won’t have the same personalities. Compiling your profile as above, you will be able to pinpoint only those that have the highest potential for success. Some might be talented but bad at working in teams, impatient with co-workers, incapable of communicating clearly, or uncommitted to professional development. Focussing on both the hard and soft skills you are looking for, will allow you to narrow down your field of candidates significantly.
With this type of advance preparation and strategic thinking, you’ll be well-equipped to direct your next candidate search with confidence and efficiency. However, keep an open mind throughout the process. You could still encounter an applicant starkly different to what you originally imagined but whose skills and attributes complement the position. Your candidate wish list should function as a set of organising guidelines to help you stay focused, rather than a litmus test.
If I can assist in any way, please get in touch.
For the past 50 odd years there’s been an ongoing debate in academic circles as to the difference between leadership and management. Some people have argued that they are essentially the same thing. Others see them as separate, but offer different reasons as to why. All too often the comparison tends to cast managers in an unfavourable light as compared to leaders.
In fact, both are essential and fulfill a valuable function. They are necessarily linked and complementary and there are similarities – they both influence people and contribute to the success of an organisation – but they are quite different. Of course, it’s not always easy to separate the two. In today’s economy, where value comes increasingly from the knowledge of people, a manager quite often demonstrates leadership qualities and leaders regularly take on management functions. In addition, people exhibit leadership qualities no matter their official title or level within the organisation.
So how are the roles different and how do they overlap? For clarity, let’s arrive at a definition of the essence of each role.
One of the best-known writers on both is Warren Bennis, who identifies the functions of a manager, in part, as one who administers, initiates, maintains, focuses on systems, relies on control, wants immediate results, asks how and when, and has an eye on the status quo. He identifies leaders as those who innovate, originate, initiate, develop, focus on people, inspire trust, have a long range view, ask what and why, have their eye on the horizon, and challenge the status quo.
Let’s look at some of the essential differences:
|Make up of role||Stability||Change|
|Approach||Plans detail around constraints||Sets and leads direction|
|Vision||Short-term – today||Long-term – horizon|
|Control||Formal influence||Personal charm|
|Appeals to||The head||The heart|
|Direction||Existing direction / keeps status quo||New direction / challenges the norm|
|Concern||Doing the thing right||Doing the right thing|
|Focus||Managing work||Leading people|
When it is all said and done, however, there are many terms used to identify leaders and managers that are more synonymous than differentiating. Motivating various levels of staff, encouraging productivity and creativity, maintaining organisational stability, and balancing external change with internal culture, are some of the ways leadership and management are inextricably linked. To be a strong leader and/or manager, individuals must adhere to rigorous personal development, believe in their own humility, constantly grow from a continuum of experiences, and always be guided by their own instincts and values.
If you have any questions, please get in touch.
So you’re ready to start your search for a new job? It can seem like a daunting task when you are just starting out. First you need to know where to look and, as the search can pretty quickly become quite complex, what information to keep track of.
Before you begin
Make sure you know what kind of job you are looking for and in what kind of company, combined with what you are qualified for. You’ll preferably want to work for a company that fits with you as a person, in a job that plays to your strengths and gives you access to the opportunities you want for future growth.
Also take a good hard look at your online presence, which is where potential employers and recruiters will often begin their search. Make sure your social networking profiles don’t contain anything embarrassing and that they are 100% up-to-date. Change your LinkedIn heading to indicate that you are open to opportunities and make sure you have at least 3 recommendations which is what you will need to show up in a recruiter search. You can enhance your chances of showing up in the results by using keywords relating to the position in your heading, title and summary. Pay particular attention to spelling and grammar as you will be rated on things like this! We will be looking at the best ways of putting your cover letter and CV together in a later article but online searches often happen before you have submitted anything so get this done before you begin your search.
While you’re at it, write up an elevator speech: a short 30 second summary of who you are, your unique value and what you are looking for, you never know who you might bump into.
Where to look:
Plan your activities using a calendar and keep your search focused. Applying for as many jobs as possible, even ones you are not qualified for, is actually a waste of your time and the employers and will not help you get a job any faster. Target a select group with a well-considered job-search strategy.
Remember, finding a job is a job and it pays to be organized. Keeping track will also show you what is and what isn’t working so you can adjust your strategy as you go along.
Here’s what to keep track of to keep your search organized (with thanks to job-hunt.org):
You can simpy use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track or if you are interested in an online service that will assist you in tracking your job search, check out:
Good luck with your job search, we know you can succeed. As always, if we can be of any assistance, please get in touch.
This doesn’t have to involve endless sheets of paper or lists. A quick breakdown of what you need to do during the day works very well. I personally find if I write things down I don’t forget to make that call or get to the bank on time.
One of the biggest ways we stress ourselves out is setting unachievable goals. We draw up elaborate plans for goals to achieve the next day – the 5am wake up call for a run and the healthy meal we’ll cook in the evening… but the last time I checked most of us do not have superpowers and we cannot function at a 150% capacity everyday. So with each goal you write down, ask yourself: “Is this realistic considering all the other things I have to do tomorrow?”
We are not robots. To keep our minds healthy we need to do some form of exercise, just as much as we need to spend time with friends and unwind doing our favourite hobbies.
I know it’s really hard to eat healthily. If you’re running on almost empty, the effort it takes to stand in the kitchen to cook can seem insurmountable. Well, that’s how I feel at times! Research has proven, however, that it helps you cope if you forgo junk food for a healthy salad and a home cooked meal.
Start a little routine before going to bed, switch the TV off, put on some relaxing music, read an inspirational short story, breathe deeply… and before you know it you’ll be in dreamland!
An often overlooked aspect of our society is that we are not as close to our family units as our parents and grandparents were, despite the advances in communication technology. Interacting with family and loved ones helps with managing stress, because let’s face it: home is where you can just be yourself with no-one judging.