In the digital world where 38% of workers quit their job because of email fatigue, business leaders and managers hardly find time to think about employees' career development. Regardless of how caring your organization is, it’s important for you to figure out how to achieve your career goals and put yourself in a position for long-term growth. Managers hardly find time to think about employees' career development. Regardless of how caring your organization is, it’s important for you to figure out how to achieve your career goals and put yourself in a position for long-term growth.
To get what you want in your career, you must learn to identify your strengths, and weaknesses, and uncover blind spots. Remember, there are no shortcuts when it comes to achieving sustainable growth. Only perseverance and hard work will help you master the skills and experiences you need to thrive in the workplace.
First and foremost, you need to realize that you’re living in a do-it-yourself career development era. Organizations either don’t offer formal training or their training programs are not given due attention. It is probably because employees change jobs frequently. As a result, organizations hesitate to invest in people who are likely to leave.
Korn Ferry revealed that developing others is not at all on the priority list of managers.
However, there are companies that treat personal development as a major company initiative.
If you think you have skill gaps and blind spots that can make it hard for you to grow, it’s time to take some concrete actions and put your career on the right path.
In this post, we will explain how you can take control of your career. Let’s get started!
Define Your Success
If you want to achieve something in life, be sure to have a clear picture of your goals. In other words, define your job goals and success metrics. It’s best to write down your key performance indicators, and then consult with your manager or boss to see if they agree to your plan. It would be a good approach to involve your employer in your career development planning.
Fix Your Blind Spot
Successful people know the significance of solving their blind spots. You can’t master the art of getting what you want unless you learn how to learn and adjust. Your boss is probably the right person to help you identify your weaknesses or areas where you need to improve.
If your superiors aren’t proactive in giving regular feedback, be the first to start the conversation. Seek guidance after every meeting or presentation. Keep things simple: work on one area at a time. Listen to your peers and friends when they offer some advice.
Learn in a Systematic Way
It’s always a good idea to keep things organized. For example, when you seek feedback, keep a journal. Prepare a list of top competencies or skills that you want to develop. And then rate yourself on each of them with the help of your manager or career development coach.
Let’s explain this with an example. If you’re a marketer, you might give yourself an A in trade marketing, a B+ in advertising development, and a C in brand development. Now, you should be focusing on the Cs to close skill gaps. Experts in those fields can help you learn quickly and the right way. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to people who previously held your position.
Let Your Presence Be Felt
One of the best things you can do as an employee is to increase your visibility with the C-suit. In some workplace environments, employees find it hard to get noticed by seniors through their direct work. So, you should watch out for volunteering opportunities or other business initiatives where you can prove yourself.
So many workers overlook the importance of taking part in company events. Don’t be one of them. Let your seniors witness your ability to perform outside your traditional job role.
Your company might need experts in areas of increasing importance. For example, your company may be introducing a new technology to streamline its various business operations. If you’re good at learning and implementing new technologies, you should come up and play your role and help your managers. If your company is facing an emerging issue, you can stand up and propose solutions. Your interest and willingness to solve your company’s problems will surely bring you promotions and other career opportunities.
Get Clear on Your Next Step
Visualizing your entire career path with clarity is only the first step. Whether you want to get that promotion you’ve been striving for or planning to start your own business, identify the pathway to get from where you’re right now and where you want to be. Here is a simple practice to do so: put yourself at least 5 years into the future and write down your resume as you envision it.
It is a good idea to see things both from your perspective and others’ perspective. If you’re not confident in your career direction, seek mentoring. The perspective of an expert career development coach is invaluable. Therefore, try to find a mentor who could guide you and bring clarity to your vision.
If you know someone who has what it takes to provide objective guidance, reach out to them. Focus on building a good relationship rather than bombarding them with non-stop questions. Find opportunities to have quality discussions over coffee or at the company’s lobby. This is how you build relationships organically.
It might take you some time to learn the art of getting what you want in your career. Also, strong functional skills take time to develop. Besides, you’re likely to face plenty of resistance, both internal and external, to achieve what you want. All you have to do is stay committed to your goals and keep going.
Your skill set is your most precious career capital. So, take time to develop them. Lack of clarity or jumping from one job to another too quickly wouldn’t allow you to develop the functional expertise you need to have a remarkable career. You’re more likely to succeed in this DIY world if you take initiative and stick to your well-thought plan.
“The key to success is to start before you are ready.” - Marie Forleo
Digital Job Hunt: Convincing Behind a Screen
2020 was a tough year for both recruiters and workers. Lockdowns across the globe caused more than 114 million people to lose their jobs. However, the first half of 2021 has brought us hope and new energy to rethink the way we hire or get hired.
While the pandemic is still hurting the world, it’s time to move on and be a part of a steadily recovering economy, and start your digital job hunt.
Whether you want to go back to your physical office or look for remote work opportunities, you have to come up with a solid job-hunting strategy. If you’re struggling to find your dream job, don’t give up. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can convince employers and recruiters in the digital age. Whatever version of “normal” comes in the post-pandemic era or whatever situation you’re going through right now, you need to be more flexible and adaptable in order to succeed.
Tips For Attracting Recruiters in a Digital Job Hunt
The impact of the pandemic has started to lessen. However, businesses still feel reluctant to hire new people. In uncertain times when the job market is overwhelmed with skilled people seeking jobs, you must be able to stand out from the crowd. You have the opportunity to impress a recruiter throughout the hiring process from sending job applications to interviews.
Here is what you can do to leave a great impression on recruiters and land a great job in your digital job hunt:
1. Be Flexible
In 2021 and beyond, employers and professionals will be able to expand their reach as geographical restrictions are no longer a concern for many businesses. No matter where you live, you can take on a remote job anywhere in the world. This means you can broaden your job search and look beyond your traditional way of finding a job. A survey concluded that 42% of job seekers are open to a contract, gig, or part-time position.
Job switching is a common practice and more acceptable than ever before. If you’re unable to find stable, long-term employment, you should consider short-term stopgaps. People working in the leisure and hospitality industry are hit hard by the economic shutdown. If you’re one of them, you can use your existing hospitality skills and join another industry like customer support.
The future is flexible and you must embrace it. 80% of women are looking for flexibility in their next role. The same study found that 81% of UK employees feel that flexible working makes a job more attractive.
You want the perfect role with rewarding work, a short or no commute, and a generous salary. Since the market is murky, being flexible will help you refine your job research.
2. Apply for the Right Jobs
Most of the applications recruiters receive are made up of applicants who don’t even remotely qualify for the job. Do you want to waste your time applying for jobs that aren't meant for you? Of course, not. Unqualified applications also make things difficult for HR managers who have to screen through a pile of resumes.
So, look for a job that is close to your ideal position and the best fit for your situation and career goals. Make sure your next job aligns well with your goals.
To make life easier, create a profile of your ideal job. Just like the way companies define their ideal customers. You should identify what type of employer would be good for your work style. Start with evaluating your past job experiences. Ask yourself the following questions:
What are your goals in terms of work-life balance?
What is your ideal company culture?
What are the factors that you want to avoid in your next job?
What did you like about your last job?
More information about what you want will make it easier for you to determine which job would be ideal for you. Don’t waste your time applying for the wrong jobs. And when you find your ideal job, do your best to convince the hiring manager that you’re a good fit.
Did you know an average job application gets 7 seconds of review time? You have to make recruiters spend more time on your application and consider you as a potential candidate.
3. Create a Cover Letter that Gets you a Job Interview
The primary function of a cover letter is to help recruiters know you better. Therefore, take your resume as an outline of your career and cover letter as a brief description. Design custom cover letters in a way that elaborates on your strengths and skills, something that goes beyond your credentials and work history. When you create a powerful, custom cover letter, it shows that you’re serious about the position.
Most candidates don’t spend time creating custom cover letters for each job they apply for. However, you should spare some time to create custom cover letters explaining why you’re a good fit for the job. Here are some quick tips for creating a good cover letter:
You don’t have to recap your entire work history. Just mention whatever is relevant to the job you’re applying for.
When talking about your achievements and performance, try to come up with specific numbers or quantifiable results. For example, how your efforts led to a 25% increase in sales.
Help recruiters with examples. Don’t just tell them that you’re good at something. Show them how you’re good at something.
Don’t forget to mention your soft skills such as communication and creative thinking. A cover letter is a good place to highlight your soft skills.
If you have gaps in your work history, a cover letter is the right place to explain those gaps. Tell your recruiter what skills you obtained while you were away from the workforce.
Try to match the tone of your cover letter to the company culture. For example, if the company you’re applying for likes to keep things formal and serious, try to reflect that in your writing style.
Always address the cover to the hiring manager by name. If you don’t know the name, go to Google or Linkedin and you’ll find it.
4. Demonstrate Learning Agility and Resilience during your Digital Job Hunt
The job market is recovering differently by industry type and geography. We’ve seen some pretty drastic changes to how organizations get the work done. They’re increasingly relying on technology to automate and streamline various business processes. Simply put, they’re quickly changing the way they do things. When things change that fast, candidates need to show some learning agility and resilience.
Do you have what it takes to be a successful employee in the age of digital transformation? Are you competent enough to adjust easily to change? Your career success largely depends on your ability to adapt. That’s exactly why experts take adaptability as a core competency of agile leadership. As a candidate, you have to understand the circumstances in which organizations are restarting their business operations.
Resilient candidates recognize changing dynamics and make quick adjustments to propel change. Besides, companies need people who are resilient and capable of performing well in challenging situations.
5. Be Ready for an Initial Phone Call
Considerate employers don’t want to waste your or their time. So, they often start the hiring process with a quick telephonic interview. It’s a good tactic to narrow down the list of potential candidates. So, be prepared for that mini-interview. Your employer might ask to talk about your salary expectations.
Try to give a direct and clear answer when asked about your expectations. In most cases, employers set the salary range based on multiple variables: salaries of coworkers, local job market, etc. Employers must come up with a salary range for the positions in their job postings. Why? Because the best candidates don’t want to play games or waste time.
6. Learn How to Nail Your Virtual Job Interview
Conducting job interviews on Zoom has become a common practice. Recruiters prefer to use virtual interviews as they are health-friendly and convenient. As a candidate, your job is to make the best impression.
For this, you must learn how to present yourself on an online interviewing platform like Zoom. The good thing about virtual interviewing is that you can connect with recruiters from the comfort of your home. However, it’s important to know how to overcome all the challenges associated with online job interviews. The following tips will help you simplify Zoom job interviews:
To avoid technical difficulties, make sure you’re comfortable with the application your employer uses to conduct interviews. You’ll feel more confident and resilient in case technical issues show up during the interview.
Gather all the documents beforehand in case the interviewer asks for anything.
It’s not a good idea to appear in an online interview wearing sweats or pajamas. Choose your outfit according to the company culture. Whatever you choose must look good on the screen.
Don’t choose a messy space for Zoom interviews. While you have the option to use digital background, it’s recommended to tidy up. After all, a peaceful workspace is good for your mental health.
It’s easier to get distracted during virtual interviews. One of the worst interview mistakes you can make is to leave an impression that you’re not interested in whatever the interviewer is saying. So, maintain your focus on the screen.
Be a good listener. Listen to your interviewers instead of waiting for your chance to speak.
Practice using Zoom or any other platform that your recruiter uses for hiring.
7. Develop an Online Networking Strategy During your Digital Job Hunt
The use of online networking and social media has been growing for years. The internet has developed into a central place for everyone from students and professionals to business leaders. Therefore, you need to have an online networking strategy and all the tools you need to build a career.
The Digital Job Hunt Journey
The job market is improving as countries are picking up their Covid vaccination drive. The second half of 2021 will bring in some good news for both employers and workers. While many companies have already started hiring and resuming their business operations, others will soon start hiring again. So, get yourself ready for your next job-hunt campaign. You’re so close to getting your dream job. Just be prepared to grab the right opportunity.
Most importantly, learn how to convince through a screen. Your digital presence matters whether you’re a freelancer, a job seeker, a contractor, or a full-time, in-house worker.
Candidate Experience 101
As HR professionals, we live in a world revolving around talent management, compensation, and workplace safety. Even so, we often tend to lose sight of one of the most important aspects of the very first role itself: the candidate experience.
It wasn’t long ago when companies focused on becoming the employer of choice. Today, the savviest HR people know that harnessing the power of candidate experience is critical to creating lasting brand impressions.
But what is candidate experience, and how does it impact your employer brand?
Let’s examine what makes the best candidate experience — and leave you with some key takeaways to help you offer a “positive” one.
What is candidate experience?
Candidate experience can include everything from the first touchpoint of the initial job search to applying for a job, appearing for the interview, and even beyond. It’s the overall experience jobseekers have when interacting with your brand during the recruitment process.
Getting off on the wrong foot can hamper not just a candidate’s experience, but also your chances of attracting the right talent. So, ensure that all your recruitment processes, methods, and approaches align with the candidate's experience. For it decides not just your recruitment and hiring success but also your company’s overall success.
Why does positive candidate experience matter?
Here is why you must treat positive candidate experience as a top priority rather than an afterthought:
1. More opportunities for attracting top talent
Candidate experience is an underrated tool when it comes to finding the best candidates. A company that’s known for its negative candidate experience usually puts off top talent, preventing them from applying for a job there. And in such a scenario, the company loses not just the best talent, but also the growth and revenue they bring along.
2. Streamlined, faster recruitment process
Candidate experience can be the starting block of a systematic, standardized recruitment process. When you know what candidates like or dislike about your company’s hiring approach, you can make the requisite changes and chalk out a streamlined and faster recruitment process – which is a win-win.
3. Improved employer branding
Word-of-mouth stays as relevant with jobseekers as it does with customers. Although the number of people going through your recruitment process may seem meager, the impact that they can leave on your employer brand isn’t.
Candidates with a bad experience will talk more about you than those who have had a good experience. So, the next time you put a candidate alone in a conference room for twenty-five minutes before beginning their interview, think of the repercussions.
And with career sites like Glassdoor, you can’t really afford to share with the world all the not-so-good things about your recruitment process.
After all, over 74% of Glassdoor users read at least four reviews before forming an opinion about a company. That’s huge. And it makes a strong case for taking candidate experience seriously.
Candidate experience: best practices
Investing in an efficient candidate experience is easier said than done. Learning the ropes from the companies offering the best candidate experiences can help a great deal. And at Wiggli, we have got you covered. We bring you some of the best practices that you can take inspiration from and convince candidates that yours is the perfect place to work.
1. Offer more than just content
Your website’s career page is the magnet that pulls candidates. It must offer more than the regular content (read: job opportunities). Think beyond those boring job descriptions and take some time to inform and attract. And while you are at it, do it the P&G way.
Procter & Gamble adopts an easy-to-follow hiring process and makes sure that jobseekers get all the information they need right there on their hiring page.
The company brilliantly breaks down the hiring process into four simple steps: Application, Assessment, Interviews, and Offer. And each stage comes with individual details highlighting what a candidate can expect from the recruitment process and vice versa. They also get the option to submit a Disability Accommodation Request. Recruitment simplified.
2. Keep them moving forward
Let’s be honest: no jobseeker is a fan of oblivion. That’s why businesses need to help their candidates keep moving forward by giving them regular updates about their recruitment journeys. After all, there’s nothing more off-putting than investing your time in a job application that has gone on “mute” mode. So, be upfront with your decision and state it clearly rather than leaving your candidates hanging or chasing you for updates.
3. Personalise the process
Move beyond the common practice of sending random job alerts to potential job seekers. Embrace personalization.
Booking.com is a fantastic example here. The company helps candidates create personalised job alerts, which makes finding their perfect job more straightforward.
When you put extra effort and deliver more than ordinary to the candidates, your chances of making a positive impact increase multifold. Capitalize on it.
4. Think unique
Finding the right people isn’t always about a match of skills, qualifications, and experience. It’s also about matching the candidate’s personality with the role they are applying for.
Manufacturing giant Kimberly-Clark understands the importance of personality traits pretty well. And so, the company uses a quiz to test the candidate’s personality type.
While it’s not a screening tool, the company sees it as a great conversation starter between recruiters and candidates. Plus, it highlights how people with different personalities bring their unique advantages to the team. The perfect ice-breaker, we’d say!
Uncover the benefits of a positive candidate experience
While it may not be the magic cure-all of all your talent management woes, remember that attracting the right talent starts with a great candidate experience. So, go ahead and follow the tips mentioned above to uncover the benefits of a positive candidate experience.
At Wiggli, we ensure that you don’t have to worry about missing the connection with your candidates. With our knowledge and information, we offer you a holistic view of what successful HR means. Leave your comments in the section below and we’ll be happy to help.
How To Stay Focused In A Connected World
Undoubtedly, we’re rapidly moving toward a fully connected world at an unprecedented pace. From mobile work environments to smart homes, technology is reshaping the way we work and perform our day-to-day things. Most organizations have already realized the numerous benefits of hyper-connectivity as it leads to improved collaboration, agility, and productivity.
People go online to work, play games, buy their favorite products, and spend quality time. Everything is at the tip of your fingers. For instance, you can control your devices at home whether you are at the office or miles away from your city. The growing trend of remote work is making it possible for people to get rid of geographical boundaries.
You can stay home and work with a company that is thousands of miles away. The new digital era is simply accelerating innovation and disruption in every walk of life. Companies are creating new business opportunities, discovering new audiences, and creating new business models.
While most of us understand how hyper-connected is beneficial to businesses and daily life, it’s critical to address the negative impacts of an excessively connected environment. For example, it is becoming increasingly difficult for workers to stay focused.
We have so many things around us that can distract us. Take your smartphone as an example. Whether you’re an employee or run your own business, you have to maintain a work-life balance.
In this blog post, we’ll find out how to stay focused in a hyper-connected world. We’ll cover the following:
What is a hyper-connected world?
Living in a hyper-connected world - Key Stats
Common workplace distractions
How to Stay Focused
Staying focused during the pandemic
Let’s get started!
What is a hyper-connected world?
Simply put, being hyper connected means that everything is communicating from your dishwasher to the fuel sensor. It is an environment where information sharing is streamlined from people to people, people to machines, and machines to machines. When we say machines, it refers to every device that can be connected to the internet: home appliances, industrial equipment, vehicles, computers, medical devices, etc.
Here is what Wikipedia tells us about hyper-connectivity:
“Hyper-connectivity is a term invented by Canadian social scientists Anabel Quan-Haase and Barry Wellman, arising from their studies of person-to-person and person-to-machine communication in networked organizations and networked societies. The term refers to the use of multiple means of communication, such as email, instant messaging, telephone, face-to-face contact and Web 2.0 information services.”
Living in a hyper-connected world - Key Stats
We regard our smartphones, computers, and tablets as indispensable both personally and professionally. But they can seriously affect our ability to stay focused. Spending too much time on social media and email reduces engagement and productivity at work and home.
Here are some important stats to consider:
An average manager spends 16 hours a week attending unnecessary emails and meetings.
According to a global Gallup survey, only 13% of employees are engaged at work.
Not sure what the word “engaged” really means in this context? The term “engaged” is defined as being psychologically committed to work and contributing to the organization.
Workfront surveyed 3,750 knowledge workers. It found out that, on average, workers are interrupted by email, instant messages, and other digital distractions nearly 14 times per day.
According to a survey from Adobe, average US office workers spend more than 3 hours each day keeping up with emails.
ResueTime analyzed data from 50,000 workers, showing that the average knowledge worker checks in with communication tools every six minutes. It also found out that 40 minutes was the longest amount of time an average worker could go without checking emails during work. Surprisingly, nearly half of the workers never get 30 straight minutes of focused work.
Udemy conducted a survey of 1,000 workers in 2018. It found out that 36% of Millennials and Generation Z say they spend 2 hours or more checking their smartphones during a workday. 56% of them said they couldn’t make it through a day without checking their social media.
A survey from Tata Communication shows us that people in Europe and Asia spend an average of more than 5 hours on the internet a day.
A productivity specialist, Geraldine Markel says, "when you are distracted or interrupted, you lose your focus, and you feel frustrated and irritated when you don't complete tasks with accuracy or completeness. Distracted workers have lower morale and loyalty and higher fatigue. People who work in a state of constant interruption report higher levels of stress."
Common workplace distractions
Whether you’re working in a busy office or from home, distractions are an inevitable part of our professional lives. A study found out that a typical office worker gets interrupted every 11 minutes.
It’s important to note down that our brains need 25 minutes to refocus on the original task.
Udemy conducted a survey and found out that workplace distractions negatively impact workers’ performance, potential, and productivity. When people get distracted often, they tend to work faster. Which ultimately affects work quality and leads to stress and anxiety.
Research from Michigan State University tells us that a short interruption like silencing the buzzing smartphone can have a negative impact on your ability to complete a task. It found out that an interruption of about three seconds doubles the error rate. Let alone the brief interruptions like checking out your Snapchat or text messages.
Before we dig deep into strategies to improve focus in a hyper-connected environment, let’s take a quick look at common distractions that can seriously kill your productivity or ability to efficiently perform the task at hand.
How can you deal with digital overload? What are the strategies to live in a hyper-connected world while staying focused and productive? Let’s get down to answering these questions.
How to Stay Focused
Digital overload is turning out to be the single biggest workplace problem. Everybody in your team and organization is likely to be bombarded with notifications and messages every day. And in case you’re prone to put off tasks until the last minute, diversions are only a click away.
To stay focused, all you have to do is learn how to control the digital overload rather than letting it control you. But what does it take to conquer digital distractions?
Alexandra Samuel, a technologist, and Larry Rosen, a psychologist came up with two different solutions.
Rosen is of the opinion that we should pull away from technology to regain focus. In other words, we should limit the time we spend on our devices by taking breaks and doing other things like meditation and exercise.
Samuel, however, thinks differently. She recommends that we should embrace technology and manage information overload.
These are two entirely different techniques to deal with hyper-connectivity. But it will help you start your journey toward a more focused and dedicated worker or household.
The following are some of the most effective strategies to consider:
Restrict what comes your way
Technology itself isn’t a problem, but the way we use it can be problematic.
First of all, you need to understand what’s important in your life and whatnot. If you can’t resist looking at your phone all the time, whether at the office or evenings at home, you’re not alone.
But it’s high time to set clear priorities and use technology correctly. With so much work, communication, and socializing taking place, turning off your devices is not a viable solution. Nonetheless, we can certainly minimize our digital overuse by restricting the flow of information. For example, you can control what emails should reach your inbox. After all, you don’t work for your inbox.
Some tools can help you make online communication more productive and focused. But first, you have to realize that you don’t have to check out all of your emails or things going on in your social media. In other words, filter out the noise.
People who successfully restrict what comes to their inbox are likely to be more effective at communicating with clients and colleagues. Email tools like Gmail and Outlook enable you to filter messages. Use them to ensure that only essential messages reach your mailbox.
There are emails that you don’t have to see immediately. Here is a quick tip: set a short-term, autoresponder explaining what you’re doing and when you will be back. For example, “I’m stepping away from my inbox to complete this task. I’ll be back in 30 minutes.”
Multitasking is not always a good idea
We like to multitask. It’s possible to do two or more things at the same time. For example, you can walk and listen to music simultaneously. But doing multiple things at the same time can hurt your performance and the quality of your work. For instance, looking at your Facebook during a meeting or conference call will impact your ability to focus on things that matter the most.
Earl Miller, an MIT Neuroscientist, states that multitasking causes mistakes, ruins productivity, and impedes creative thought. Therefore, it’s advisable not to multitask and focus on one thing at a time. That’s how you get things done quickly and correctly.
Strengthen your attention management skill
You must learn how to control your attention because it will determine the life you live. In today’s digital world where so many things are interconnected, distractions are everywhere. So, it’s critical to practice controlling distractions and being present in the moment.
Pro Tip: Be intentional instead of reactive.
Digital addiction is a common condition. Instead of using technology to streamline our lives, we get hooked by it. Digital devices steal our attention and make it hard for us to direct our attention to important things. Improving your attention management skill will help you stay away from distractions and have control over your priorities and time.
Control your environment
When it comes to working, you should set boundaries with others whether you’re working from home or in an open-office setting. It would be a good idea to put up a “do not disturb” sign when you need to focus. If your environment makes it hard for you to focus, try to work in a different part of the office or home. Letting your colleagues and family know that you have to do heads-down work can be helpful.
If you’re using productivity or automation tools to get your work done, use the “do not disturb” feature to avoid distractions. Most mainstream workplace tools offer this feature.
Turn off notifications
Let me say it again: technology is here to serve you and not the other way around. The good news is that it’s not hard to control your devices. For example, turn off notifications or put your devices on silent when you need to focus on important things.
Remember, notifications are designed to steal your attention. Take social media as an example. Social networking sites want us to stay online all the time. Non-stop stream of our favorite content can be hard to resist. So, keep your phone out of your sight.
People often think notifications are not that distracting because those notifications’ sounds last for only a few seconds. But when we get distracted, it becomes difficult to regain the focus and get back on track again.
Take phone-free breaks
Most workers turn to their smartphones during breaks. Studies tell us that employees who use phones on breaks feel less productive and restored after getting back to work. In 2019, a study was conducted to explore what makes workers happy. It found out that less happy employees are more likely to spend time on social media during lunch breaks.
Another study explored the effects of breaks on regaining vitality at work. According to this study, people who take quick breaks without their phones feel more energized and less emotionally exhausted than people who spend their breaks staring at screens.
Therefore, make sure you or your team adopt positive break habits such as moving around, meditating, or talking with colleagues.
It’s a brilliant idea to fight fire with fire. If hyper-connectivity is making your life a mess, use technology to resolve the issue. Apps like Feedly or Flipboard can help you find the most relevant information on social media and blogs. Automating some of your online work can make your life easier.
For instance, tools like Hootsuite can help you schedule posts or reach multiple platforms from one place. We’ve already talked about email filters.
Coexist with technology and still have inner peace
The hyper-connected world is here to stay. But we must practice how to disconnect on a frequent basis. Prioritize spending time with family and friends. Also, schedule some time alone every day to reflect and re-energize.
Instead of sending text messages and pictures, try to interact with real people. If you’re a business leader, engage your team and teach them how to co-exist with technology while losing your inner peace and focus.
It’s possible to find your inner peace in a noisy world full of digital distractions.
While new work management and productivity tools help us save time and expand our creativity, workers are becoming more and more dependent on technology.
Constant stimulation in the form of digital media is killing our creativity and productivity. Don’t let that happen to you or your team.
Convert hyper-connectivity into Hyper-productivity
Virtual meetings, interviews, and video conferencing are inseparable components of today’s work environment. However, the rise in the use of communication tools doesn’t necessarily boost employees’ productivity.
To convert hyper-connectivity into hyper-productivity, organizations have to come up with the right mix of technology, workspace design, work practices, and management styles. For example, a combination of talent management solutions, best HR practices, and face-to-face interactions can help HR leaders and managers achieve excellent results.
Let’s say you’re a recruiting manager. When you automate most of your repetitive or time-consuming tasks, it becomes easier for you to focus on the most important things like building relationships with top talent. A tool like Wiggli can help you stay focused on your main business objectives: finding the right talent in a cost and time-efficient way.
Here are some more tips for avoiding distractions in a hyper-connected world:
Batch-check everything. Instead of spending all of your day checking notifications and emails, batch check your social media and emails.
Rank tasks in terms of their importance and then focus on what’s crucial.
Practicing good social media hygiene will help you avoid unwanted distractions. For instance, unfollow people or pages that no longer deliver valuable content.
Putting yourself in a new environment can help you regain your focus and creativity flow.
Give your full attention to one task and take breaks when feeling exhausted.
Do not let the mind veer off in its own direction. Learn how to control thoughts and get your focus back to where you want to.
How to stay focused when working from home
Remote working seems like a dream until you face the challenge to stay focused due to distractions. Some distractions are easy to avoid when working in an office setting. But it can be a real challenge to draw a line between professional and personal life at home.
The most successful and effective remote workers set up clear boundaries and don’t violate them. The following are tips for staying focused when working from the comfort of your home:
Establish working hours to avoid a chaotic schedule
Explain to your family, friends, and others your work-from-home policy.
Get organized by scheduling your work and creating to-do lists.
Designate a specific space for a home office.
From an organizational perspective, leaders must help their workers create a more positive digital culture that encourages creativity and happiness. Whether you’re an individual worker, a team, or a business leader, learn to stay focused.
Make the right use of technology and excessive connectivity. Minimize distractions coming from outside sources. Control what’s coming your way. Gardening your attention in today’s digital world is more important than ever. As a business leader, give your team the tools they need to stay focused on things that really matter.
Building a Winning Company Culture
Progressive companies are always in search of ideas that help them create a positive work culture. Because a positive and winning company culture is the key to attracting and retaining talent, which is crucial for business growth.
And, no, it does not have to depend solely on lavish workspaces, backed by big budgets. Even small to medium businesses can create a winning culture by focusing on employee and candidate experience.
When you keep employees at the focal point of everything you do, you make space for thriving company cultures – ones that employees cherish and customers appreciate. But, like with anything rewarding, building a cohesive and winning culture requires time and effort.
Let's help you achieve this goal with tips and real-life examples that inspire and catapult you into business success.
What is Company Culture?
It's the practices, the processes, and the philosophies that guide the company. Together, these aspects shape the personality of the company.
How To Create A Winning Company Culture?
Talking about creating a winning, engaging work culture is all good. But real results are driven by real work.
So, how to get started? Let's dive straight into the whats, the hows, and the wows (read: examples):
1. Live By Your Core Values
The What :
When you have a business, you must find out what it stands for and then infuse it into everything you do.
The How :
Determine what type of culture you want and then decide on the core values that fit that culture. Next, ensure you hire people who can exercise those core values – the ones who are in sync with them and can not work without them.
The Wow :
Zappos' core values are geared towards nurturing a positive culture.
To ensure that they "hire for culture", the company conducts a culture fit interview. Once selected, the employees even undergo a four-week training where they are acquainted with the core values. At the end of the training, those who are unhappy are given "The Offer" – a proposal to take a $2,000 bonus and quit the organisation.
But why? To work with those who are genuinely committed to the company's core values and are ready to live by them.
2. Empower Through Communication
The What :
Communication is powerful. You can drive people with words and keep them inspired to achieve more, happily. Which is why, it's crucial to ensure that your organisation thrives on transparent and honestrelationships with communication.
The How :
Create a placewhere ideas are welcomed, and people don't hesitate to represent their viewpoints.
Twitter is one company that encourages open, honest conversations, just like its platform. From enabling people to represent their diverse opinions out loud to initiate crazy conversations, Twitter's company culture gives enough freedom to help people write their success stories without any communication barriers.
3. Work-Fun Balance
It might seem a little trite, but work without fun is not destined for long-term success. Keeping your employees engaged in fun activities fosters productivity and employee contentment, leading to energetic work culture.
The How :
Make sure work stress doesn't lead to burnout. Enrich your company with new, fun on-site activities and programs that boost employee engagement.
The Wow :
With its happy crew driven by the zeal to make work fun, Zoom indeed makes it into the list of fun and happy workplaces.
Wellness spaces, game rooms, events, outings, and more – the video communications company offers it all to ensure that nobody runs out of fun even when the work mode is on.
4. Embrace Cultural Diversity
The What :
A winning company culture rests on diverse and inclusive workforces. Only when you value diverse people and embrace their distinct qualities and opinions you can create a healthy work culture
The How :
Recognize the importance of differences, eliminate discrimination, and think of people as a team. Begin by removing unconscious bias and take small steps towards building a sense of unity. That's how companies often achieve breakthroughs – by bringing all together.
The Wow :
Nike is an excellent example of diverse company culture. The brand believes in bringing people together with "sport" as the binding force. By taking the goal of embracing diversity and inclusion to a deeper level, the company focuses on overcoming differences. This is how it drives creativity and innovation. And this is how it has attained a competitive advantage that's worth emulating.
5. OFFER ABOVE-AVERAGE PERKS
The What :
Go beyond the ordinary when deciding on the perks and benefits to offer your people. Because a winning company culture requires above-average perks to win the right talent and retain it.
There's always some scope to level up the perks you offer to your employees without stretching your budget. If you can't afford to provide full-service concierge benefits, consider flexible work hours, family leaves, free desktop music, fresh fruits, kombucha on tap, and the like.
The Wow :
The luring benefits and perks listed above surely act as a source of inspiration, right? But who's behind that inspiration? It's the software giant, Adobe.
The company ensures that virtually no part of its employees' lives is devoid of excellent perks. From affordable health insurance options that give them one less thing to worry about to educational reimbursement that helps them hone their skills – Adobe offers all this and much more to establish a positive, growth-orientedcompany culture. And so can you.
6. Maintain and Evolve the Culture
The What :
A winning company culture requires continuous efforts. It's not something you do once and forget about. You need to be consistent while leaving enough room for flexibility and growth. As long as the essence of your company's culture remains intact, you can tweak your policies to maintain and evolve it.
The How :
Be on a constant lookout for ways to improve your company culture. Evaluate the people, industry trends, and social changes to adapt your culture accordingly. It requires systematic analysis and strategicdecision-making to reinvent the culture as an organisation grows and expands.
The Wow :
Google is the gold standard of incredible company culture. With a mission as fantastic as "organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful", Google knows how to keep employees at the center of everything the company does.
As the company continues to grow by leaps and bounds, it doesn't stray from delivering what its employees seek. With years of refinement into practice, the company regularly invests money, time, and effort into maintaining and evolving its culture. And the results are for all of us to see.
Ready To Create Positive Culture Ambassadors For Your Company?
Learn from the tips mentioned above and build a company culture that differentiates your organisation from the rest. When you create a positive work culture, you make a happy, satisfied community of employees who become your culture brand ambassadors. And that's a win-win.
But creating such a culture can get a little intimidating, especially when you don't know where to start. If that's the case, we've got your back.
At Wiggli, we are always there to assist you with valuable insights and information that take you one step closer to winning the company culture.
Also, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Leave your comments below on the companies that motivate you to do more for your employees and keep the conversation going.
Stress Management: Limit the Damage
The risk of physical illness or distress is a product of a stressful working environment and lack of stress management. When people work in extremely stressful situations, they experience irreparable health damage. While we can refer to workplace rules and regulations that provide guidelines for risk assessment of physical hazards, it’s hard to find a document that addresses the risks of occupational stress or psychosocial hazards.
April is Stress Awareness Month, which puts special emphasis on public awareness of both the cures and causes of the modern stress epidemic. As a business owner, manager, or leader, how do you help your people cope with stress?
Job-related stress is a global phenomenon. According to Gallup Poll, 80% of workers experience some type of stress on the job. And more than half wanted to learn how to deal with it. We understand some work stress is normal and natural. However, chronic and extreme pressures seriously impact the health of workers, making it difficult for them to stay fully productive.
If we look at studies, we will find that chronic work stress is as bad for your health as smoking or inactivity. When you or your employees experience prolonged job stress, it led to health complications like high blood pressure, chronic pain, and a weak immune system.
A survey exploring the employee experience with work stress found that three-quarters of workers experience high levels of stress.
In this post, we will dig deep into what is workplace stress management, how companies can manage stress, what causes work stress, what measures companies can take to reduce stress, and the role of managers in handling stress and the risks associated with it.
'The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them'.
We often feel stressed when we can’t cope with an issue. Employees, similarly, feel stressed when they are unable to handle pressures. For example, when you hire the wrong people that don’t have the required skills to get the job done, they will eventually end up being stressed and unable to perform. Sometimes people feel stressed when they are unable to meet deadlines.
Another important factor to consider here is the varying ability of human beings to handle stress. One thing stressful for one person might not affect another. Factors like age, skills, experience, and capabilities may determine how an employee copes with a situation.
Factors that can contribute to work-related stress
So, what makes people feel stressed at work? Here are some common elements that contribute to work stress:
Changes within organization
Control/ over supervision
Lack of support
Lack of tools and automated processes
Lack of role clarity
The use of negative language
We can add more to this list. But these are the leading factors that contribute to work-related stress. If you’re assigning work more than what your employees can handle, it will create stress. If you fail to develop an inclusive work environment, certain people in your team will feel ignored. Likewise, if your employees feel insecure in terms of their jobs, they will end up feeling stressed.
These are the factors you should be focusing on and comparing your performance against other organizations. Determine whether or not you’re doing enough to address these issues. A systematic risk assessment process will make things easier for you. Also, it’s something more than a survey. Once issues have been identified, you must take concrete actions to reduce the impact.
Should every company have a "Stress Management Policy"?
When we say “stress policy”, it covers many important aspects of your business. Stress management is just one of them. Work-related stress, harassment, bullying, or mobbing are now considered major occupational challenges.
One out of three workers in Europe reports that their lives are affected by work-related stress. Like other mental health problems, stress is often misunderstood. It becomes more manageable when you start treating it as an organizational issue and not just an individual fault.
So, should you have a “stress policy” that effectively deals with invisible workplace hazards like stress? Here are some stats that will answer this question:
Job stress costs American companies $300 billion a year.
Stress-related health issues led to the loss of an estimated 11.4 million lost working days in Britain alone.
Depression is the largest single predictor of absenteeism and work-related performance.
WHO study reveals that stress and anxiety cost the global workforce an estimated $1 trillion in lost productivity each year.
Considering these alarming stats, it’s crystal clear that you need to have a sound stress policy to address these workplace issues. The policy usually involves identifying stressors and risk assessment.
What is stress management?
We talk a lot about stress in our daily lives. But we hardly understand what it is and how to manage it. Stress is described as a reaction to a situation. We often feel stressed when the demands of a situation are greater than our ability and resources. For example, one of your employees who isn’t confident in their skills will feel stressed when asked to give a tough presentation.
Nonetheless, stress isn’t all about a lack of skills or resources. Our behavior toward certain social issues can also make people feel stressed. For instance, discrimination against minorities can make them feel undervalued and unnecessary.
But the question is how to manage stress or how to make your employees feel comfortable with what they need to do. Chronic stress makes employees believe that there is nothing much they can do to improve their situation. That’s where we need to promote how stress can be managed, both at the individual and organizational levels.
Stress management is a practice of effectively managing stress in many different ways. It may include strategies that address stress psychologically and physically to help people develop coping skills and resilience.
Stress management methods
As a manager or business owner, it’s important for you to help your people handle stress. While workers often dismiss suggestions from the HR department, it’s important to understand that HR professionals can play a positive role in this regard and create a verifiable impact on the health of employees and the company. You can work directly with your staff and handle their concerns to ensure a productive and healthy workplace.
Here are some proven strategies to prepare your people to handle stress in positive ways:
Talk to your employees
Regularly check in with your staff to see how they’re doing. The first thing you should do to help your employees manage stress is to understand what bothers them. If you’re not sure what causes the problem, you can’t come up with a solution. So, take some time and talk to your people about everything from their daily routine to job satisfaction.
It would be a good idea to have a company-wide meeting where you allow your people to express themselves without hesitation. Let them talk about their grievances. Of course, people are often reluctant to express such feelings, but you should try.
An anonymous survey is also a good idea to learn what your employees really think about their job and the company.
Encourage Meditation and Mindfulness
With so much uncertainty and negativity coming from the news, your employees can easily get stressed. One way to manage stress is mindfulness and meditation. Taking a few minutes each day and performing these exercises can have a positive impact on your workplace.
If you’re unable to hire a professional business coach to train employees on mindfulness, encourage them to use apps and the internet to find as much information as they could. Mindfulness practices bring clarity to their minds and help them focus on the task at hand.
Create Opportunities for Your Employees to Spend Time Outside
Going outside is good for you and your employees’ health. It can do wonders for mental health. Unfortunately, the Covid pandemic has made it difficult for us to have such activities. But things will get back to normal soon.
Working continuously without breaks is not good for your people. So, allow them to have a quick company walk and get some fresh air. If your team is too busy to go out for a moment, take your own nature walk and bring your staff with you.
Develop a Fitness Plan
As gyms and fitness studios begin to reopen, you should consider providing incentives to those willing to join a gym or yoga studio. Needless to mention that exercise is greatly beneficial to your body and mind. No matter your position in an organization, you must have a fitness plan for yourself as well as for your people.
More Tips for Stress Management
Look into flexible work policies
Encourage a conversation between employees and companies
Offer healthy food
Update your office
Allow for remote work and flexible hours
Provide onsite counseling
Recognize your employees’ achievements
Increase psychological safety
Make sure everyone feels like their voice is heard
Encourage the use of private spaces
If your employees think of your workplace as a threat, then you can’t build good relationships with them.
The subject of workplace stress becomes even more important at times when companies are struggling to deal with uncertainties associated with Covid-19. The current global health crisis has only added to work stress.
You have a chance right now to reduce work-related stress and manage the risks associated with it. Of course, burnout is preventable, and you should do everything in your capacity to do so. All you need is a well-thought-out employee well-being strategy. Introduce resilience training and mindfulness classes. Use technology wherever you can to automate your business processes and minimize risk.
The Significance of Networking for Students
Networking plays a crucial role in a student's journey, yet it is often overlooked within the confines of traditional university education. While students gain valuable knowledge in their classes, they may miss out on the essential skill of networking. Developing a professional network involves engaging with industry professionals, including experts, CEOs, and professors. By establishing meaningful connections early on, students can lay the foundation for a successful career search in the future.
While academic knowledge is undoubtedly important, its true value lies in the ability to share that knowledge with others. Networking as a student is about who you know, rather than just what you know.
Why is Networking Important?
Networking allows individuals to connect with the right people in the right places. Leveraging professional networking tools offers numerous benefits for both professional and social growth.
1. Building Industry Connections
Building relationships and connections within your industry provides a valuable support system and increases the likelihood of achieving your goals. By offering assistance to others in your network, you cultivate mutually beneficial relationships.
2. Advice, Guidance, and Progress
Professionals who have already walked the career path you aspire to, are the best mentors. Their guidance can help you navigate challenges and seize new opportunities, accelerating your career growth.
3. Discovering New Opportunities
Expanding your network exposes you to fresh job opportunities, particularly when you are embarking on your post-graduation job search. However, networking goes beyond securing your first job; it can lead to unexpected career advancements throughout your professional journey.
How to Start Building a Strong Professional Network as a Student
Building a robust professional network requires effort, especially when starting from scratch as a student. The goal is to establish and nurture strong relationships with individuals in your industry. To kickstart your networking efforts, consider the following steps:
1. Establish an Online Presence
Your online presence in the age of technology is your bread and butter. Maintaining an active presence on social media platforms, including professional networks like LinkedIn, increases your visibility within your industry.
Be mindful of how you present yourself online. A positive image that aligns with professional expectations, can help you build great connections, as well as attract potential recruiters.
2. Engage and Re-engage
Networking is not a one-time interaction; it requires continuous engagement. Adding someone to your friend list on an online platform isn't enough. Regularly connect with professionals in your network, share insights, tips, and experiences, and seek advice when needed. Fostering trust and reliability is key to successful networking.
However, don’t go overboard sending too many messages, and don't let the connection fade out either.
3. Leverage Shared Interests and Networking Opportunities
Participate in affinity groups and communities that align with your interests. These groups offer a starting point for building connections and expanding your network beyond your immediate academic and professional circles.
Additionally, take advantage of networking events organized by companies. They are often advertised on their social media pages and can provide valuable career advancement prospects.
4. Use University Networking Resources
Make use of the resources available at your university's career center. These centers offer guidance, help you improve your CV, and provide information about internships and job fairs. Take advantage of their connections and expertise to enhance your networking efforts.
Build your Network for Future Success
Networking is a gateway to career opportunities, particularly for students preparing to enter the job market. Establishing connections that can support your professional growth is paramount. Remember that networking not only opens doors to new job prospects but also helps you develop and refine your professional skills. By actively engaging in networking, you position yourself as a valuable contributor in your chosen field.