Pros and Cons of flexible work Schedules

Pros and Cons of flexible work Schedules

Flexible work schedules can be good or bad, depending on your business and the employees you have. Below are some pros and cons of flexible work schedules:

Pros:

Flexible work schedules make it easier to find employees and it makes the ones you have happier and more loyal to the company, because it makes all employees feel as if their needs are being met and you care about how they feel and what they think.

The flexibility also reduces employees stress and makes them less likely to call off from work, because they will have more time to focus on their own mental and physical health when they need to.

Allowing employees to choose when they work also increases productivity because team morale is higher and people are more eager to work for the company that is working for them.

Most importantly, flexibility helps employees improve their work-life balance, which is ultimately what most employees are looking for in a job.

 

Cons:

Some employees like having a set work schedule because that's what they're used to and it works for them.

Allowing employees to choose when they work does reduce employer control, and can possibly lead to employees taking advantage of the policy.

Also, for some jobs, flexible work schedules just aren't possible, as work needs to be done on a set schedule and not whenever employees can get there.

This flexibility also makes it more easy for there to be a breakdown in communication, possibly making it more of a hassle than it is worth.

Fostering Collaboration Among Remote Workers

Fostering Collaboration among remote workers

Having remote employees can make it very difficult for teams to collaborate with each other, but there are ways to make it easier on everyone.

It is incredibly important to always ensure that communication lines between remote employees are open. Setting ground rules, like when and how employees communicate also helps prevent potential problems down the line.

However, no matter how much the employees attempt to communicate, progress can not be made without the proper equipment. It is important to ensure that your employees have the proper technology they need to communicate electronically with remote employees.

Even if employees are too far apart to meet in person, having Skype interviews can be a great way for employees to feel more like a team, allowing collaboration to be much easier.

Also, on the rare occasion that Skype isn't good enough for what they need to get done, it is good to have a set location somewhere in the middle where employees can travel to in order to collaborate better in person.

5 Tips for Successful Job Interviews

5 Tips for Successful Job Interviews

Job interviews can be a difficult task for some job seekers, below are 5 tips for more successful interviews:

1. Familiarize Yourself With The Company

Before going in for an interview, it is helpful to do a little research on the company that you'll be interviewing for, and it can even be helpful to familiarize yourself with the person you'll be interviewing with. Getting to know the company will not only help you answer the interviewer’s questions, but it will also make you seem all around more prepared.

2. Make A Good First Impression

It is important to make a good first impression with the way you speak and act. However, possibly more importantly, it is crucial to make a good first impression in the way you present yourself. Showing up on time and looking professional are two great ways to present yourself to make a better first impression.

3. Be Positive

There is nothing an interviewer hates more than a candidate with a bad attitude. Even if you did not like your previous job or employer, focus on some things that you did like, make the negative more positive. Also, if an employer asks about your personal weaknesses, that is a great opportunity to show your positivity, don't just list your weaknesses, talk about things you're not great at and discuss ways you plan to improve in the future.

4. Ask Questions

Near the end of the interview, when the employer asks if you have any questions, think of something to ask. Asking meaningful questions about the position lets the employer know that you were not just listening to them, but you were also processing what they were saying and you are interested in being more informed.

5. Send A Thank You

Whether by phone or email, it is important to follow up with an employer shortly after an interview to thank them for the opportunity to interview. This not only keeps you fresh in their mind, but it also lets them know they you are truly interested and dedicated to the position.

3 Ways to Become a Better Leader

3 ways to become a better leader

Leading a team or even just a few individuals takes practice, here are 3 tips that make being a better leader just a little easier:

Be A Good Role Model

Employees notice when their leaders follow their own rules, and they notice even more when they don’t, so being a good role model for your employees is crucial in leading a team. It is not possible to lead a team through words alone. If you just tell your employees how you want them to act or what you want them to do, they will not know exactly what you're hoping for. However, if you model the tasks and behaviors you want your employees to follow, then they will be encouraged to act more like you and follow your lead.

Encourage Creativity

Allowing your employees the creative freedom they desire will not only allow them to do their tasks more efficiently and at a higher quality, but it will also make them more excited about their job. When employees know that you will allow them the freedom they need to do their job, they will be more likely to want to follow you on future projects. Being a leader is not just about delegating tasks, but it also about trusting your employees to do what they need to complete their assigned tasks.

Communicate

Communicating with employees is by far the most important part of being a leader. Simply communicating effectively with your team makes it much easier to leave them  and it makes them much more likely to actually want to follow you. Communicating with your team doesn't mean just telling them your expectations, it means being open and honest with them when things go right, and even when they don't.

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Benefits of Vacation on Employee Performance

Benefits of Vacation on Employee Performance

There have been endless studies, articles, and blogs about the importance of vacation for employee performance. Humans are not machines; we wear out eventually especially when creativity requires constant fresh input to keep it going. Employees need to take the time to experience new things outside of their work environment in order to incorporate new ideas when they come back to it. People call it recharging your batteries for good reason because it restores employees’ abilities to concentrate and to think. Here is a list of a few of the best benefits that come from vacation time for employees:

  1. They get to a break from their daily routine and scenery- As humans, we want to explore and see new things. It can become tiring to see the same places and same faces day after day. Vacation time allows employees to interact with other people and take a break from the daily grind.
  2. More time spent with friends and family- Employees may enjoy their coworkers, but they do have lives outside of the office. Vacation time allows them to bond with their family or make memories with their friends. This will make them happier and they will bring that happiness with them back to the office.
  3. Exposure to other culture- This one is a bit more specific to employees that use their vacation time to travel, but many people do. Travel can be one of the most beneficial uses of a person’s time because it exposes people to different cultures. This can be an enjoyable and educational experience that will allow your employees to explore their interests, see new things, and try different activities. They will come back with new experiences which can aid them in their creative endeavors. 

How to Get the Right Hire on the First Try

How to Get the Right Hire on the First Try

            There is one thing you need to understand before reading this article; there is no guarantee that you will get the right hire on the first try. That being said, there are many tactics you can use to increase your odds on getting it right the first try.

            First, be honest with the nature of the job you need done. If you really do not a hard driving type A person to consistently be able to keep shelves stocked, then quit asking for one. We tend to spend way too much time looking for purple squirrels, or someone who already has all the skills we need, and too little time on finding characteristics that will make someone successful in the job. Businesses often over-hire and then wonder what went wrong when the person becomes bored or an offer for a better position comes from somewhere else and they leave. The problem is that you did not need as much as you asked for. Find someone with the correct personal characteristics who can be challenged and grow into the job vs someone who can step in immediately and end up without a sense of self-worth from too easily being able to do the job.

On the other side of all of this, be honest enough to say if you really need characteristics of creativity, dedication, perseverance, or innovation and look for those. Try to narrow applicants down by characteristics and not their skills. While there must be a certain level of skills met, skills can be learned but characteristics are very challenging if not impossible to teach. You can help an employee learn new software or style of work, but you cannot teach them to have perseverance or to be innovative.

When it comes to finding the right hire on the first try, use these tips to fine-tune your search. 

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Best Stress Relievers in the Workplace

Best Stress Relievers in the Workplace

            Everyone can agree that work can be stressful at times. It takes a lot of energy and focus to go to work every day, meet deadlines, and produce a satisfactory product. Plus, there is the added pressure to be a “model employee” and get caught up in the hyper-competitive hyper-achievers’ club. This is not realistic because everyone has a life outside of their job. There are many ways to find stress in the workplace, so now it is time to focus on how to relieve that stress in the busy office environment. One article recently discussed a company that installed a “cat library” where employees could “check-out” cats and kittens to play with at their desk for an hour. Clearly, not every office can use this method, so here are a few other ways to relieve stress in the workplace.

            It is important to note that one of the reasons humans are so stressed is because it is built into our genetics. Our minds and bodies are still locked in fight or flight response which means under stress we are mentally and physically preparing to run or fight. This can lead to health issues as well as interpersonal conflicts. When an employee becomes stressed in the workplace, it is hard to find a way to relieve those fight or flight instincts, so they need to find an outlet that can do that.

            One of the best ways to handle stress in the workplace is to find time to take a walk. This could mean taking a lap around the floor, walking outside and around the block, or just going up and down the stairs. Anything that allows your body to walk away from the situation and be in “flight” mode. If a short walk is not enough, try going for a run during your lunch or jogging in the morning before work. Do anything to keep your body from feeling stuck.

            The “fight” instinct can be even harder to deal with because no one wants to get in a fight with their coworkers or take the chance of snapping at their boss. When you feel the “fight” kick in, walk away from your desk and go find a quiet private place. This could be an abandoned conference room or the bathroom and do some pushups or boxing moves. Anything that that is physically stressful to your body.

            To try and prevent stress before it starts to really affect you, get a stress ball for your desk or some silly putty. When you feel a bit of anxiety coming on, pull out your ball and start squeezing. This is a small enough item that you can pull it out in a meet or conference and no one will notice. Als,o buy some chamomile or other relaxing teas and leave a few bags in your desk. Caffeine will just increase any anxious feeling, so make yourself a cup of tea and try to relax. 

How to Onboard Effectively

How to Onboard Effectively

Hiring a new employee can be exciting and stressful for both the employer and the employee. During this initial period, it is important to onboard which means making sure that the new employee transitions easily into the company and the employer can assess if this is going to be a good match.

One of the best ideas when it comes to onboarding effectively is to have someone else who recently onboarded to assist the new hire. This will help eliminate a lot of simple problems that long-term employees would not anticipate because they are used to it. Where is the coffee pot? Is there a good restaurant nearby? Where should they park? Basic logistics of that particular workplace are second nature to those who have been there for a while.

Another advantage of having a recently onboarded employee help the newest hire is that they take on a peer advisor type role. They are not a mentor because they are someone who is not in a direct line of authority that can help assist with how to work in company culture. The culture is important, and a new hire will have questions that they are more comfortable to ask a peer rather than a boss.

Use this advice and you will see the results of more effective onboarding tactics. 

Importance of a Company Vision Statement

Importance of a Company Vision Statement

A vision statement helps outline what the company sees for itself in the future, where they see the company going.

A vision statement is crucial for a company to help keep everyone involved focused on the long term goal. It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day work and forget why you're even doing that job in the first place, so having a clear, well-written vision statement helps to refocus and motivate employees.

Having a concise vision statement also helps employers when determining who to hire, or what tasks and projects to give employees. If an employee or a project doesn't help move the company forward and put them closer to completing that vision statement, then maybe they/it aren't the right fit for the company.

A vision statement is incredibly important to keep the company focused on where they are and why they're doing what they do.

Overcoming a Rut in Your Career

            The first and most important thing to understand is that everyone goes through a rut in their career. It does not matter what field you are in. Eventually, you will get a little bored or you realize that you have already faced the challenges which will be offered to you. Everyone wants to feel that they are contributing something significant with their lives and time. If you do not feel like this then it can be extremely hard to make yourself continue with the same old. So, if you understand that feeling, it is now time to evaluate the reason for your career rut: is it you or the situation you are in? This will determine the next steps that you take to get out of your rut and feel rejuvenated.

            If you decide that it is a personal issue, then there are a few steps you can to take. Many people leave their vacation days to accumulate, so take advantage of your time off! Go on a trip, even if it ends up being a staycation, just allow yourself a good break from the office to rest and get your energy back. You can find ways to change the makeup of your days to liven the workweek grind. Try adding an exercise class during your lunch break or see if you can change the hours you spend in the office. Anything to mix up your normal routine and make things interesting again or give you something to look forward to.

            If you decide that is a situational issue, then it might be time to look at a new job or redefining your position in the company. In some extreme cases, you may decide that you need to switch careers and are just not feeling satisfied with the field that you are in. Any decision you make, the goal is that you get out of your rut so that you can tolerate all the facets of work once more: the unrealistic demands, impossible odds, etc. Essentially the things that make your job difficult, but rewarding and fun!.

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