Tag: Hr Consulting

26 Aug 2019

Education or experience — Which is better?

The general consensus is that attaining higher education presents one with more employment opportunities. Consequently, the more advanced the accreditation achieved, the more a candidate will have his or her pick of attractive positions. While this is mostly true, there are numerous cases of college dropouts leading Fortune 500 companies. The irony of it all is that often, less academically qualified individuals are the ones hiring personnel with master’s degrees and doctorates, which gives rise to the question: Which is more important, education or know-how? The reality is that HR practitioners can attest that a healthy balance of qualification and experience is ideal; but which one is more likely to get you that job?

 

Level Up

The catch-22 of that overused word ‘experience’ is that you have to first be employed to gain it. Therefore, if as an academically qualified candidate your Achilles heel is your lack of actual, on-the-job experience, potential employers are going to have reservations about whether you can hit the ground running or will need time to match your theoretical knowledge with real world applications. Employers of choice unanimously seem to favour candidates with a ‘high ceiling’ or upside, that is to say, those with great potential and with most of the right qualities and qualifications, as opposed to those who are experienced but might have already passed their professional peak. This is where HR professionals and CEOs have an opportunity to create the environment for their employees to be continuously learning. By facilitating higher education and training opportunities, staff members not only become more competent at their jobs but tend to feel a sense of loyalty to the company. Inevitably though, while organisations should in their own self-interest and that of their employees seek to encourage skills and competency upgrades, the bulk of the responsibility lies with the individual if in fact they are serious about climbing the corporate ladder.

 

Moving On Up

It then becomes a matter of who most applies him/herself in all the ways that affect the company’s core targets and objectives. This means that some objectives may have different benchmarks than others. So, while a sales associate will be revenue driven, someone in quality control may be assessed based on how few complaints are recorded. The new approach to leadership now requires managers to always be in succession planning mode, constantly testing and preparing their charges to become upwardly mobile within the organisation. This paradigm dictates that any leader who isn’t hiring team members who can or will replace them are either stuck in the old ways or out of touch with what is required to make a business successful and sustainable in the long run. Recruiters and HR partner companies are recognising that organisations with a clear path to promotion opportunities and transparency, where documented cases of the company filling management positions from within the organisation are evident, those companies lead the way in attracting the best, brightest and more experienced candidates. But make no bones about it, one way or another, the rules of engagement must be learned and strategically applied if the office mail delivery person is to one day occupy the CEO’s chair.

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26 Aug 2019

When you do what you love…

There’s a saying that when you do what you love, you never really work a day in your life. It does make a big difference, but the thing is: other factors have to be ideal to bring about this synergy. Often, people think that a particular position is their dream job, until reality strikes. As an HR solutions company, we’ve experienced countless instances in which candidates enter the interview process supremely confident about what they want. That is, until the truth is revealed to them. This is why professionals with years of tertiary education sometimes switch careers to pursue something they find more fulfilling, or just less stressful.

Occupation vs Career

So how does one find that sweet spot — doing something you’re passionate about that also suits your priorities? Your dream job may be right there waiting for you — in another country. Are you willing to do what it takes to follow your passion? Would you migrate to China, for example, with an entirely different way of life and language? That may sound extreme, but even local companies providing staffing solutions can attest to how difficult it can be to meet expectations. So how does one differentiate between a job you’ve been in for 20+ years and a career? Years of tenure may add up to you spending your life in a position, but does that mean you chose a career in a field you love, or just ended up staying for stability? The lines can get crossed, but in the end, each individual, whether at the start, mid-point or near the end of their working life, ought to determine what they want to spend the majority of their time doing.

Finding Your Passion

I know of doctors and lawyers who ditched their scrubs and wigs to pursue careers in music and art. It happens all the time — top executives leaving Fortune 500 companies to start non-profits or start-ups because what they were doing didn’t satisfy their soul. However, outside of the emotional considerations, anyone seriously considering their career path would be advised to speak with a talent acquisition specialist to guide them as to the current opportunities and potential future trends. Having said that, here are some factors to consider when making a career decision:

1. Marketability. Don’t just think of what’s hot and trendy now; think about what will be in demand in 15-20 years. Automation will replace many current jobs. Think about the future, not just the present.

2. Environment. Are you willing to uproot and swap worlds to do what you love? Can you adapt to a culture that requires you to adjust your behaviour and preferences?

3. How you work. Are you a free-spirited person looking to start a career in a very structured vocation? Do you prefer working partially or completely from home or outside an office setting? Are you a morning person or a nocturnal?

4. Priorities. How much time will you be required to give this passion of yours? Will you be able to strike a work/life balance? Your happiness should be your primary reason since you’ll likely spend most of your life doing this thing from which you intend to make a living.

 

Your work should leave you fulfilled and well-paid. Finding that balance may require a few stops along the way to figure out, but it’s well worth the journey.

Until next time, leaders keep lookin’ up!

 

Debra Fraser, MBA, is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions, a board member of the BPIAJ and the Global Services Sector, a member of the Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica, and Society of Human Resources Management in the US. Please direct comments to dfraser@caribbeanhrsolutions.com or www.caribbeanhrsolutions.com

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31 Jul 2018

Got what it takes to be a manager? Part III by Debra Fraser

Last week we reviewed in some detail the first five of 10 management skills employers are looking for when selecting management talent. They were:

• Performance Management

• Supervising Others

• Conflict Resolution

• Emotional Intelligence

• Communication & Coaching Skills

For aspiring managers, perhaps the descriptions of the first five competencies were enough to scare you off. If so, that’s understandable and equally beneficial to establish a better appreciation for what you DO and DON’T want to do. I encourage you to chart your path on the often less-stressful road of the highly skilled independent contributor, aka the subject matter experts. Let’s do a deeper dive into the final five attributes. Remember to have a friend interview you and rate each response.

Team-Building & Motivation Skills

What methods do you use to motivate your team to perform well in the face of challenges? Describe the actions you take to ensure the dynamics of your team are positive.

Delegation

Describe how you share your workload. Give an example of when an important task had to be delegated — what criteria did you use to select which team member was given the task? How do you control the output without micromanaging?

Integrity

Give an example of when you were given instructions to carry out that were out of line with what you believe was the right thing to do; how did you handle it? Give an example of an area in which you believe you compromised your integrity, and what steps have you since taken to grow in that area?

Resource Management

What scope of resources have you been entrusted to manage? What methods and processes do you employ to ensure the resources are efficiently managed? When procuring additional resources, provide examples of the criteria you use. Describe a time when resources were mismanaged. What was the impact and what did you learn?

Subject Matter Expertise

Describe the skills and functions in which you are an expert. What steps did you take to master the skill and how do you maintain your edge? Have you been involved in training others to become experts?

 

Once you’ve been rated on the 10 management skills above, take a look at those on which you scored lower and make them your personal development goals. How? By seeking out new experiences that demand these skills. This can include attending seminars, reading multiple books on the topics, asking management peers for their advice, and seeking out projects at work and in the community. The more experiential your learning is, the more you will learn and grow. And remember, attaining higher goals takes time and focus, so take your time to enjoy each exercise and the journey on which you have embarked. Managers bear a heavy load but the intrinsic rewards are greater, so never become too busy learning or managing that you can’t enjoy the ride.

Until then, Leaders Keep Lookin’ Up!

 

Debra Fraser, MBA, is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions and is a member of the BPIAJ, Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica, and Society of Human Resources Management. Direct comments to dfraser@ caribbeanhrsolutions.com or www.caribbeanhrsolutions.com

 

Read article

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/got-what-it-takes-to-be-a-manager-part-iii_139850?profile=1270

 

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26 Jul 2018

Why Company Morale is Important

Company morale is how an employee feels about their workplace. This relates to their feelings about their managers, their long-term role in the organization, their benefits package, and the company culture. Many employers might argue that company morale is not important as long as the work is accomplished. However, before we shut it down so easily it is essential to see how company morale actually relates to company productivity and as a result company profits.

Is Company Morale Important.

The Gallup Organization in their analysis of over 10,000 business units and more than 30 industries found that individuals working at companies that receive regular recognition and praise showed an:

  • increase their individual productivity
  • increase engagement among their colleagues
  • are more likely to stay with their organization
  • receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers
  • have better safety records and fewer accidents on the job.

In addition, it found that for employees that are “actively disengaged” work cost the U.S. economy between $250 and $300 billion every year in lost productivity alone. When you add workplace injury, illness, turnover, absences, and fraud, the cost could surpass $1 trillion per year. Low company morale is therefore very expensive

So How do I increase company morale

In general, different individuals are motivated by different things, and it will be difficult to try to motivate each individual based on their distinct motivating factor. However, Culture IQ has identified some of the recognized techniques that motivate nearly every employee:

  • Celebrate employee accomplishments—When you appreciate someone’s efforts—whether it’s a successful project launch or working through the weekend—they tend to better appreciate the work back. Making someone feel good about their contribution is one of the most effective ways to motivate an employee.
  • Encourage team bonding—Successful companies offer fun perks that let employees form personal bonds while letting them take a break from the day-to-day. If you have a small team, you could buy pizza for everyone on Fridays and take a long lunch together. Some companies throw lavish quarterly parties, while others host team events like scavenger hunts or game days. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Even a simple happy hour gives your team a chance to bond and unwind.
  • Give autonomy—Empower employees to think and take action by themselves. When team members are encouraged to steer the direction of their work, they tend to feel more invested in the end result. Most employees feel like their manager has to give permission for every single decision. Not only does that lead to low motivation, but needlessly slow progress. So let your employees set their own goals, accomplish their own projects and—ultimately—feel pride for their own wins.
  • Reward employees when the company performs well—The most successful compensation programs give all employees a reward when the company sees financial success. This could be in the form of a bonus or equity package, as long as the employee sees that their work directly has an impact.
  • Promote healthy work-life balance—As much as possible, organizations should be flexible around commitments like family emergencies, doctor’s appointments and weekend plans. These small gestures make a big difference in how employees feel about the workplace. It also results in team members coming in on a Monday refreshed and focused.
  • Listen—Your team is a wealth of information. Listen to their ideas, their problems, and their frustrations. Some CEOs meet with every employee each year, while other companies send regular pulse surveys so they’re always in the loop.

Low morale leads to poor cooperation, low productivity and increased turnover. It’s an undisputed fact: If your employees aren’t motivated or happy, your business will suffer and fail to reach its long-term goals.

On the flip side, strong company morale has the opposite effect. A happy office environment is one that attracts the most talented workers, and when those works are motivated, they’re productive and rarely quit. Simply put, When You Care About Your Employees, They Will Care About Your Business.

Read more

Read the Gallup study here

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20 Jun 2018

Taking the lead by Debra Fraser

Welcome to the first edition of Launching Leaders a bimonthly conversation about leadership and people engagement, better known as human resources. It encompasses leadership strategies, management issues, recruitment, business services outsourcing and just about everything to do with managing human capital.

It’s fitting we debut with a conversation about leadership given the wealth of knowledge and literature available in print and online about this subject area. Over the past few decades, we’ve witnessed the evolution of workplace philosophy from just focusing on managing staff to placing greater emphasis on leading team members. On the surface, the difference may seem semantic or mere wordplay, but the distinction is very important and in my opinion is a significant characteristic driving the BPO sector, an industry which is transforming Jamaica’s economic landscape.

 

Servant Leaders

There are many great books that speak to the core of what effective leadership should entail. Good To Great by Jim Collins comes readily to mind, as does The Servant as Leader by Robert K Greenleaf, who coined the term ‘servant leadership’. Greenleaf says “the servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve; to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.”

Truly effective leaders start from a place of appreciation for every team member’s contribution and exhibit a sincere desire to serve as much as they do to lead. This is the kicker — servant leadership turns the traditional hierarchy upside down. The higher you go in the organisation, the more you serve those who you manage. This is a philosophy that leaders must work closely with their HR and department leaders to flesh out.

It means that in a typical team setting, it is not the most savvy or best educated who is promoted, but the one who is most engaged with assisting the team in fulfilling their deliverables. This type of person is focused on ensuring his coworkers are truly successful at getting the job done, and does so in a way that balances efficiency with engagement. With this mantra, the leader who masters his tactical job does so while pulling up his teammates to succeed with her/him. It’s the opposite of the popular Jamaican colloquialism “…crab pulling down crab”. And who can resist a leader who genuinely wants to help you be successful?

 

Read more

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/taking-the-lead_136009?profile=1270

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14 Jun 2018

Smart Ways to Manage Older Employees

Managing a team can be very challenging for anyone.  It does not matter if you are young and inexperienced or older and more experienced.  Perhaps the second situation might be slightly easier to handle.  Teams come with different kinds of skills, personalities and ages.  It might get a little awkward and uncomfortable if you have to manage a person who is older than you.  This is so because you assume that this person has more experience, knowledge and confidence than you.

There are 5 tips you might want to consider in such situations.

You have been given this job for a reason

Don’t you ever forget this.  You might perhaps want to have this inscribed on your desktop, so that no situation at the workplace can get the better of you.  You got this job for a certain reason, for the skills and the strengths that you bring to the table, as compared to the others.  Also, older employees’ priorities might be something else at this point in their careers.  It is a good idea to be patient and assertive, rather than being pushy.

Minimize friction

You should be very clear in your head and in your communication to your team about what you want them to achieve.  Adopt a democratic style of leadership which keeps friction in the team to a minimum.  By focusing on tasks rather than uncertainty and emotions, you indicate a clear direction and reasoning behind your requests.  Create an amicable environment where everyone is moving in the same direction together.

Do not underestimate the power of the elders

The elders bring a lot of experience to the table which you can use.  In life, there is not enough time to make all the mistakes yourself.  Learn from the mistakes of older employees and make use of their knowledge.  A good leader acknowledges the strengths of each member and their contributions to the vision of the team, thus recognizing their importance and making them feel good.

Understand what makes your team tick

It is very important to know what makes your team happy, what motivates them, what keeps them going and how to get them working hard.  Respect their opinions and find out from them how they would like to be managed.  Having the right conversations would help in bringing clarity to what makes them tick.  Older employees definitely want to learn and stay relevant and supporting them in the right way with appropriate development plans and meaningful rewards helps in building a motivated workforce.  At this point in their careers, they might be looking for flexibility rather than money.

Getting the best out of your team

As a leader, if you are clear about the vision of the team, the direction in which they are going and robust plans to back them up, you need not be intimidated by older or younger employees. Age is just a factor.  Create a healthy and motivated environment that uses the different skills that each employee brings.

Any workforce would definitely have a couple of employees who are older than their managers.  All it takes are smart and wise ways of managing them without making anyone feel uncomfortable.

 

For more info:

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