Monday, May 6, 2019

Are You Too Confident With Online Security?

According to Mashable, a new Harris Poll revealed that 78% of Gen-Zers use the same password across multiple online platforms. When you take into account that 40 million Americans lose online information from business hacking annually (Drop Big Inc), the idea of using the same password for multiple accounts becomes even scarier.

Drop Big Inc also reports that it only takes a staggering 10 minutes to hack a 6 character, lowercase password. If you're repeating this same password, you're only making it easier for hackers to access all of your accounts and personal information.

Are you careful with your online safety? Keep your passwords individual, and change them often to protect yourself from cyber attacks.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Keeping Millennial Employees Happy

Millennials and baby boomers have a very different approach when it comes to their careers. Millennials prefer to move from job to job, learning and moving up along the way, while baby boomers were more likely to spend their whole career at only one or two companies. As the workforce moves to preferring short term positions, employees value training opportunities more than ever.

According to Inc.:
  • 92 percent of U.S. employees say that learning something new on the job makes them more motivated and engaged in their work
  • 79 percent of employees say when searching for a job, it is important to them that the employer offers a formal training program to their employees
  • 83 percent of employees find on-the-job training most effective in helping them perform well in their job compared with classroom-based training, self-paced training (i.e. e-learning) and more
  • The majority of employees (33 percent) say they have participated in past training on technology skills, while only 17 percent say they've participated in management skills training
  • More than half (51 percent) of employers don't offer soft skills training (i.e. how to speak to a customer or client effectively)
  • 68 percent of employers don't incentivize or reward employees for completing trainings
How are you preparing employees for their futures? Whether you want them to move up within your own ranks or expect them to move on, employees now more than ever value acquiring knowledge at work.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Don't Worry- You Can Be Under Qualified and Still Get Hired

Have you ever applied for a job, knowing you did not quite meet all of the qualifications? Don't worry- according to CNBC 84% of HR managers would hire someone despite them not fulfilling all job qualifications. These companies are open to teaching employees through training rather than waiting for the perfect candidate to fall into their lap.

In your job search, don't be afraid to apply for positions that stray a bit from your skills. Although taking a major leap will likely not be fruitful, stepping out of your comfort zone will open you up to great new experiences. Always be honest with hiring managers about your credentials, but also be sure to mention what you have learned from training in the past.

Now get out there and start applying! Have you ever gotten a job offer despite not perfectly meeting the criteria? Let us know in the comments!

Monday, April 8, 2019

What To Look For When Hiring College Students

Whether you are looking for an intern or hiring a recent college graduate, judging a candidate based on their very limited college resume can be challenging. However, if you know what to look for a lack of experience won't stop you from finding great new hires. Here's what you should be looking for when hiring college students, based on Inc's recent column on the topic.

Is the student smart? Many students put their GPA on their resumes, but this is only one part of their intellect. How are their communication skills? Can they hold a conversation and answer your questions? Don't be afraid to ask for a sample of a students work before hiring them.

Is the student driven? This question can be answered in part by how well they prepared for your interview. Did they bother to research you and your company? Make sure they are taking the interviewing process seriously before investing in them.

Does the student have any achievements to back up their credentials? Although many wonderful potential hires may apply without any substantial achievements, there are still ways you can judge their potential. Will they be graduating with honors? What, if any, work experience is listed on their resume? If worried about their ability to perform at work, a quick call to their old supervisor can be telling.

Was the student involved on campus? Did they join any honors organizations or student groups during college? Were they involved in the executive board or charity events for their fraternity or sorority? Don't underestimate the people skills, time management, and planning required to run a student organization.

Hiring students will little to no work experience can be a daunting task, but we all have to start out somewhere. Using these tips, you can confidently hire a college student without the risk.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Ask Yourself These Questions Before Quitting Your Job

Are you thinking about leaving your job? Courtesy of Inc., here are the nine questions you should ask yourself before making this life changing decision:

1. Am I thinking of my job as a source of meaning in my life?

People often stay in a job longer than they should because they aren't expecting enough from it. They think, "Work is work, I get my fulfillment elsewhere." But work can and should be so much more than a paycheck. 2018 research from BetterUp indicates workers are far happier at work when their work feels meaningful, provides a sense of purpose, and is centered on something that matters to the employee.
So demand meaning not just money. If you can't see your job ever providing that, move on. It's what led me to become an entrepreneur.

2. Am I really just afraid of change?

We often fear change because we fear we'll lose what's associated with that change--our identity, our self-confidence born from familiarity/certainty, our sense of worth. As a result, we stay put when we shouldn't.
If you answer "yes" to this question, know the power of believing that you have the competence for change. Think of change as a software upgrade and list all the great things in your life that won't change if you switch jobs (these anchor points help keep the job change in perspective). 

3. On the road to success, have I pulled into a tempting parking space?

It's so easy to get comfortable where you're at, sidestep any unease, and lean on soothing familiarity. I left my corporate job a few years later than I should have because of this. 
This question reveals if you've unwittingly become stuck. Unstuck starts with "u" so it's up to you to be honest if you've put it into "park" and take ownership to get it back in "drive". That might mean it's time to move on.

4. Am I playing the victim?

It's natural to occasionally fall into a "woe-is-me" funk. It's when it sustains and skews our perception that trouble arises. There's no faster way to give away your power than to believe you don't have any. Does your current job truly put you in a powerless position? Are the stories you tell yourself about your job true?
The point is to not let a victim mentality keep you from seeing all the good. Don't let it be the driving force of an abrupt, unfair exit. I've seen too many people leave jobs as angry martyrs.

5. Am I running from something rather than to something?

There are times when you just know you gotta go. But urgency shouldn't become an unwarranted driver of your decision--it could lead to a repeat of what you're currently experiencing instead of an experiential upgrade. I know too many who are no longer in the job they left for because they were repelled by, not drawn to, something.  

6. Am I working in my life instead of on my life?

This is related to number three but specifically gets to forgetting the importance of continual learning and growth.
When we merely work in our life, we forget the concept of challenge and stay numbly in our comfort zone of what we already know. But when we challenge assumptions, the status quo, or ourselves once again we're working on a fuller life and grander life story. Might a challenging new job add a rich, new chapter to yours?

7. Am I unclear on the difference between a good and great job?

Many make a lateral move to a similar job only to regret it because it just ends up being more of the same. This can be avoided by clearly defining in advance what a good job looks like versus a truly great one. It clarifies and raises the stakes on what's worth leaving for.
Many times I've had teams/individuals literally write down what good looks like on a performance area (like leadership or risk-taking) and then what great looks like. It's a powerful standard setting exercise that can also be used as a pre-job switch exercise.

8. Am I assuming my job description is set in stone?

Job reshaping is now a thing. Smart organizations/leaders are allowing employees to bend and mold their job definition, adding/subtracting/morphing responsibilities to keep the employee fully engaged and growing.
I had an administrative assistant who was interested in meeting planning. We kept the core of her job, gave her meeting planning work, and trimmed some other less value-added responsibilities; all resulting in one re-energized employee. The idea is to view your stale old job in a new light by creatively reshaping it.

9. Am I assuming the worst about my boss?

A poor relationship with the boss is the top reason people quit so it deserves some scrutiny/soul-searching.
Are you assuming this relationship can't be repaired? Are you labeling your boss or assuming the worst about him/her--that he/she has ill-intent or can't/won't change? Are you bringing the attitude you want reciprocated, giving your boss respectful feedback, seeking to understand what's important to him/her and why, and trying to build bridges?
It's normal to question your job. Just don't forget these questions when you do. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

20 Ways to Earn Your Employees' Respect

The best bosses know how to earn respect from their employees. According to Inc., these are 20 things the most respected bosses do everyday:

1. They share their vision.
The most important thing a leader can do is provide his or her team with a goal that is worth their time. Granted, the boss doesn't always get to set the agenda, but a great one will advocate for something worthy, and ensure that he communicates it effectively and often.

2. They develop expertise.

What's more annoying than working for a boss who doesn't actually understand the job, and whose authority vests entirely in the job title? The boss doesn't have to be the number-one expert in every fact of the job--that might be impossible--but he or she had to be competent at all levels.

3. They respect people's time.

Great bosses have little tolerance for boring meetings, mandatory fun, and making others wait unnecessarily. They also avoid long-windedness when shorter remarks will do.

4. They set priorities.

When you try to focus on everything, you're not focusing on anything. A smart boss understands that, and realizes that lack of focus can easily metastasize when your lack of priorities means the team isn't moving in the right direction together.

5. They share information.

Some bosses parcel out information like misers, often because they're afraid that if their team had all the facts, they might not be able to lead. There are legitimate reasons to control the timing of information sharing, but overall the more transparent a boss can be, the more respect the team will ultimately have for him or her.

6. They make decisions.

Decisiveness. Super important. Enough said.

7. They offer praise.

People wonder how they're doing. Great bosses let them know, and they're especially vocal and public about it when they're doing well.

8. They demonstrate empathy.

Great bosses are able to see things through other people's eyes, especially their employees'. Of course this doesn't mean that they are pushovers, but it does mean that they're concerned about their team on multiple levels.

9. They offer thanks.

Building a culture of gratitude starts at the top. If the boss doesn't take time to offer thanks to those around him or her, why would we expect that anyone else would?

10. They pull everyone together.

You might have heard the phrase "gung ho." Reportedly, it derives from a World War II saying that combined two Chinese words meaning "work" and "together." A great boss recognizes the talents of members of his or her team, and strives to lead in a way that lets everyone maximize their effectiveness together.

11. They ask smart questions.

They double-check assumptions in a non-annoying but thorough way that sends the message that they're on top of things. They aren't willing to accept that things should be done a certain way just because that's how they've been done in he past.

12. They have respect for people's lives.

They also recognize that people are just that--people. Work has to be a priority, but that doesn't mean it's the only thing in their lives. They recognize that their employees have spouses, children, friends they need to care for, not to mention outside interests and ambitions.

13. They hire thoughtfully.

There's a saying: personnel is policy. In fact, this should arguably be the first item on the list. A leader's most important role is sometimes about assembling a team of great people--and, just as important, avoiding letting toxic people join.

14. They accept blame.

Ethical people accept blame for their failings. Maybe they don't dwell on it, but they accept it. Great bosses go a step further, accepting the collective blame when the team comes up short, and then guiding everyone to move forward.

15. They have a sense of humor.

Life is hilarious. Great bosses don't have to be cutups, but they do have to have a sense of humor. They recognize that the crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow.

16. They communicate effectively.

No mumbling, no backpedaling. Great bosses find the words to explain what they mean--and they back up what they say.

17. They model ethical behavior.

It's often true that more progress is made when we seek forgiveness than when we seek permission. However, there are rules, social norms, and basic decency. Great bosses strive to uphold them.

18. They celebrate wins.

Nobody likes a boss who thinks the only reward for great work should be more of the same. Great bosses look for milestones to celebrate--whether that means a 15-second recognition or a full-blown party.

19. They strive for excellence.

Because really, who wants to work for someone who strives simply to be adequate?

20. They make more leaders.

Great leaders don't just make happy followers--they inspire more leaders with their examples. Just as important: They're thrilled, not threatened, when members of their teams go on to even bigger and better things in life.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Why Bad Managers Makes Employees Quit

There are endless reasons why people decide to leave their jobs. Salary, location, convenience- the list goes on and on. However, often management is the reason why an employee decides to leave a company they otherwise would love to work for. According to Inc., here are five ways bosses drive their employees to quit:

1. Poor management performance.

We've heard it before and this report proves it once again: How employees feel about their direct supervisors matter. Employees who rate their supervisor's performance poorly are
four times as likely to be job hunting. Additionally, the study revealed that "40 percent of employees who do not rate their supervisor's performance highly have interviewed for a
new job in the last three months, compared to just 10 percent for those who do rate their supervisor highly."

2. Lack of employee recognition.

Something as simple (and free) as showing appreciation for your employees' contributions can be a difference maker. This, of course, would imply hiring and promoting more human-centered bosses who can recognize and express praise for their people. According to the report, nearly 22 percent of workers who don't feel recognized when they do great work have interviewed for a job in the last three months, compared to just 12.4 percent who do feel recognized.

3. Overworked employees.

The key solution to this driver of attrition is defined by an overused term that makes me cringe, but it's the absolute truth: work-life balance. In fact, employees who rate their work-life balance highly are 10 percent more likely to stay at their company. Yes, people crave work-life balance and it matters. If the risk of burnout looms, or more time is being spent away from family and personal priorities, you can bet your overworked employees are planning their exit strategy.

4. Company culture is not a priority.

According to the report, "Employees who rate their culture poorly are 24 percent more
likely to leave." In fact, the research found that culture has an even bigger impact on an employee's decision to stay or go than their benefits package. One important aspect of company culture is the way team members treat one another. Employees who say there's a low level of respect among colleagues are 26 percent more likely to quit their jobs.

5. No growth opportunities.
It was found that employees who feel they are progressing in their career are 20 percent more likely to stay at their companies in one year's time. On the flip side, employees who don't feel supported in their professional goals are three times more likely to be looking for a new job, according to the research.

The results of this study bring home the point that good leadership and a high-performance culture--one that values people as human beings--will time and time again reverse the attrition problem.

If execs and HR teams can align their employee-retention strategies to human-centered engagement efforts that focus on meeting the needs of people, and if they can create pathways for the personal and career growth of their employees, you can bet that you will witness happier, more productive work environments.