Communicate Blog

How to manage the developing workplace environment in your organization

Sandra Olivier - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

table with laptopOver the past few months, there have been a number of thought leaders and CEOs who’ve found themselves embroiled in a heated discussion around the convention around how we work, how we lead, and how we build our companies.

Employees, which were once thought of as expendable commodities, are the most valuable asset that any organization has. However, the employee from a decade ago isn’t the same as the employee who we are starting to see today.

The workplace continues to evolve to meet the needs of a new work culture focused on fostering creativity, collaboration and flexibility. And today's work environment is blurring work style with lifestyle, impacting how space is viewed and used by occupiers.

Work is not a physical location any longer
According to a recent survey on workplace flexibility, 65% of organizations say that flexibility has an extremely positive impact on employee engagement, motivation, and satisfaction.

The concept around open office space or not have been debated time and time again, but more recently resulted in  conversations around how do you create a diversity of places that support the way people want to work. The reality is that in today’s working world, not one size fits all, it’s very different from in the past. In an age when finding and retaining top talent is among the strongest predictors of a company’s success, workplace flexibility must be viewed as a necessary tool to increase employee satisfaction and productivity, rather than a perk that may or may not be bestowed.

Shift To A Creative Economy
The shift from a manufacturing to a knowledge economy has lasted two decades. Now the next shift is coming: from knowledge to creativity. This means that for the future employee it’s not knowledge that is the most important but the employee’s ability to learn new things and apply those learnings to new situations and scenarios that come up.

Leaders that are willing to step away from old school organization structures will find that the talent pool is that much greater and building an all-star team is well within reach. Remote work and contractors are being embraced more and more, creating further flexibility and agility for company's on the rise that don't have access to tons of financial resources. On the other side of the coin, people no longer have to pack up their entire lives in order to follow a dream job. For both parties, the world at our fingertips can be a complete game changer.

Hierarchy structures are falling away
Forward-thinking leaders are looking for a new organizational model, one based not on the pre-historic ideas from the all control hierarchy, but rather a form in which people choose where, and how to contribute on their own. Hierarchies cannot possibly succeed in the same way with the current ever changing business environment. When most large companies try to move too quickly they break apart and crumble. The hierarchy is great for maintaining predictability and repeatability. It simplifies planning and makes it easier to control a large group of people from the top down, but in a digital, big-data world, the needs of the organization has changed.

Definition of leadership is changing
As the work environment has changed considerable in the last couple of years so has the challenges around leadership.

It’s now not just about business skills, but others factors like global awareness, innovation, collaboration, transparency and the ability to make quick decisions which are all becoming more and more important. Title and position no longer make someone a leader. If you don’t inspire your employees they will find a leader that does.

Proactively adapting to the changing workplace landscape can make the difference between business agility, improved productivity, and faster sales. How we work, how we lead, and how we build our companies are changing at a rapid pace.

If you are looking for employees to help take you into the future contact us today. Communicate Personnel represents a range of exclusive, skilled candidates across all levels of the Finance, IT, Engineering and Supply Chain/Freight sectors. Contact us today.

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Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Vichaya Kiatying -Angsulee

Sticking to your word

Mallisa Watson - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Businessman Looking Target“This is my year come what may; I am sticking to the career goals I have set for myself. I am going to have an extraordinary career and really look for growth opportunities”. Was this you at the beginning of this year, busy writing down your to-do list for the months ahead?

We know that it is difficult to stay focused on all the goals you have set for yourself, because there were so many little things that needed to get done every day. We understand how challenging it can be to get all of the “little things” done, while still making progress towards your bigger, more meaningful career goals.

But you can overcome it; it just takes a little strategy. Here’s how you can re-focus on your career goals for next year:

Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing
Deep down, you probably know what your goals are. And you probably know what it will take to get there. But remembering that sometimes that means you need to take some time-out from the rest of the work you’re doing.

When you start feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to breathe deeply, recharge and reload!

Remind yourself of the bigger picture,the dream you’re working towards-and take a moment to envision it. Really see it and feel it.

List down all those “little” distractions
Jot down everything that’s distracting you, things to remember, things to research, ideas you don’t want to forget and save your list for later. Afterwards sit down and focus on the big task at hand. Knowing that all of the “other stuff” is safe and secure preserved on your list… for later.

Dig deeper
If you’re still struggling to keep your mind focused on your career goals, this might be an indication that there’s something deeper going on. Fear might be holding you back?
Fear of success: you believe that if you achieve success, you won’t be able to keep going.
Fear of failure: not succeeding with your career goal or
Fear of what people will think of you if things don’t go the way that you planned.

There are different ways to deal with those kinds of fears, if that’s your case, from writing in a journal to gain insight and understanding about your fears to consulting a professional to help you overcome that obstacle.

Regardless of what you’re feeling and no matter how much still needs to get done, it is possible for you to create the career of your dreams. All you need to do is make that choice and try and stick to your word.

What’s that one career goal that hasn’t been getting much of your time or attention lately? It’s not too late yet. Have you tried anything to focus on it? Leave your comments in the box below.

If you made that choice to take that step and ready to re-focus your time and attention on your career, allow us to be a part of your journey. Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with specialist consultants that will assist you in finding an exciting new job, whether it’s  Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs or Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now!

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Managing Risk vs Opportunity in Your Career

Sandra Olivier - Monday, December 08, 2014

risk magnifier Risk tends to get a bad rap. We associate it with losing money or failure, which is not always true. However, risk isn’t the enemy--it’s a permanent part of life and also of your career, so your focus should be on taking the right kinds of risks that offer the right kind of opportunity. The reality is if you can intelligently take on risk, you will find opportunities others miss. It will set you apart from others that lack the initiative to try something new. It’s okay to fail if it helps you to figure out the solution.

In this interview with entrepreneur, speaker, and bestselling author Seth Godin, he talks about taking initiative, failure and evaluating risk to create opportunities for yourself in your career.

“If I fail more than you do, I win. Because, built into that lesson is this notion that you get to keep playing. If you get to keep playing, that means you get to keep failing and sooner or later you’re going to be able to succeed. The people who lose are the ones who don’t fail at all and get stuck or the ones who fail so big they don’t get to play again.” — Seth Godin

If you want to take a risk and challenge yourself in your career we can assist with a new job opportunity. Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with specialist consultants that will assist you in finding an exciting new job, whether it’s Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs or Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now!

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Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Stuart Miles

Listen, Learn…Then Lead

Mallisa Watson - Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Leader Standing With His Members Many leaders are out of touch and disconnected from their employees, focusing solely on their own personal agendas. This is most evident in leaders that still try to use “one-size-fits-all” approach to earn trust, build loyalty and stimulate team and individual performance.

Leaders must understand that in today’s workplace, there’s not a single recipe to encourage employees to perform better. Rather, it’s about how to maximize the ingredients in order to create hundreds of recipes that are personalized and genuine; that provide long-term connections.  Before you can lead a team, you need to be able to listen to them and eventually you will learn something from them.

Listen
We all have the ability to listen but not everyone uses that skill. We’re often too busy too working out our reply before the speaker has even finished with their sentence.

Would you say that you listen more than you talk? How does the conversation balance when you speak with your team? As a leader you may need to be listening more than you talk.

Great leaders are great listeners. They give their people the power of a voice, an opinion and a say in the team’s final outcome. They show they have heard and understood what their team is telling them. You can imagine how that boosts a feeling of involvement and commitment to team goals.

Paying attention to what your team members say shows that you value and respect each person and help you build solid relationships with them.

Learn
You may be the boss but that doesn’t mean you can’t let your employees teach you a thing or two. Great managers allow for contributions and most important, acknowledge them. It’s just a matter of opening a conversation and saying ‘I want to run something past you.’

Learning from your employees is one of the most powerful and least used tools in the leadership tool box. And I’m not talking about listening to your workers when they try to make a point. I mean something more serious and more purposeful. Identify something that one of your employees does well and make it a point to learn from them.

Then Lead
Leaders are hard to find. They show a unique combination of charisma, vision and character traits that attract people to follow them. You need to be someone that people choose to follow. People must feel confident in the direction in which the leader is headed.

In an ideal work environment, employees are excited and engaged. They understand and believe in the mission of the company and freely contribute ideas to continually improve their work environment and services of the clients.  They without fail solve problems and take your business to levels that you never would have dreamed possible. The only way to achieve this goal is to create an environment where your employees feel valued and supported.

Managers must find new ways to create the capacity for innovation by encouraging collaboration, sharing knowledge and working together with their employees to create new ideas.

If you are looking to add more people to help grow and make your company a success, let us help you! We have top calibre candidates waiting to start their new career journeys.

Or if you happen to be in the job market, we can help you untangle the steps to your next job opportunity. Communicate Personnel has a number of exciting new career opportunities which includes Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobsSupply Chain jobs and Freight jobs. Visit our website and apply today!

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Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Master isolated images

Can’t Afford To Quit?

Mallisa Watson - Monday, December 01, 2014

Quit Keys Show Exit Resigning Or Give Up When a job situation becomes intolerable, it's hard to know what to do. Every day you have to get up and spend hours at a place where you are unhappy. Sounds familiar?

But because of your financial obligations, every time you think about the possibility of leaving, you realise you can’t afford to right now. It’s a scary time for taking risks.

The more you sense the impossibility of the situation, the more depressed it feels. And this makes you dislike your job even more. You get to a point where you resent your job. You feel bitter that you can’t afford to quit. And therefore everything about your life feels tainted with frustration.

If you see yourself in any of this, then you need to start thinking of strategies you can put in place to improve your situation. Here are just a few things you can do right now to get started. Grab a pen and paper and let’s get started!

Reality check!

Write down why you dislike your current job and what parts of it you don’t like:

Do you hate the work itself?

Are you bored or not challenged?

Do you not like the people you work with?

Do you not feel valued?

Now write down what are the things you like about the job. This will give you some perspective on parts you find good or satisfactory.

Can you change anything?

In your current job, can you change some of the things you don’t like?

Can you change some of your work responsibilities to something you like better?

Have you had a chat to your boss about your concerns? Can you expect that it might change somehow? Even a small positive change can make a bad situation better and lift your resentment, at least for some time.

Are you guilty of creating your own unhappiness at work?

This is always a difficult question, but to get at the bottom of the problem you have to take in consideration also how have you perhaps contributed to your unhappiness in your job?

Are there any decisions have you made that might be negatively impacting your feelings about your job?

Then think what you can do to fix or change these issues.  Figure out how you can change your own behaviour and attitude to make things better while you are at this job.

How to move forward?

People are resentful when it comes to change! So have you thoroughly explored your dream job possibilities and what it would take to develop the necessary skills?

Have you started networking and gathering information?

Have you organized your resume and gone on any interviews?

Before you think you’re stuck, make sure you have covered all the basics!

Now that you have figured out where exactly the problem lies, you can go ahead and do something about it. It may not happen overnight, but eventually you will get there.

Looking for a new job?  Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with specialist consultants that will assist you in finding an exciting new job, whether it’s  Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs or Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now!

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Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Stuart Miles

 

Leadership and other workforce trends [Infographic]

Sandra Olivier - Monday, November 17, 2014

growing graph A new study recently revealed that more than 54% of employees feel that leaders at their company were incapable of managing their employees. That’s according to a survey of 5,400 executives and employees in 27 countries conducted by business software company SAP and global-forecasting company Oxford Economics. More importantly just looking at South Africa, only 35% of employees say leadership at their company is equipped to lead the company to success.

Companies frequently say they want to strengthen their leadership team, yet much of the research shows that corporate leadership capabilities are in fact dropping. The biggest challenge seems to be that leadership, like the work environment has changed considerable in the last couple of years. It’s now not just about business skills, but others factors like global awareness, innovation, and the ability to make quick decisions which are all becoming more and more important.

The study revealed that the most important benefits and incentives to South African employees are: bonuses and merit-based rewards (63%), competitive compensation (62%), and supplemental training programs (42%).

Although South African executives believe that they offer sufficient training and development for their employees, the survey revealed that only 30% of employees say their company provides the right tools to help them grow and improve job performance.

The workplace of the future will be the most diverse the world has ever seen. Research shows priorities shifting as economies rebound globally, and companies lag in understanding these changing dynamics.

It’s important to consider the key trends as outlined in the infographic below to help you make the changes your company needs to move successfully into the future.

Employees Don't Think Their Bosses Can Hack It -- And Other Global Workforce Trends (Infographic

Are you looking for staff that can you take your organization successfully into the future? Communicate Personnel represents a range of exclusive, skilled candidates across all levels of the Finance, IT, Engineering and Supply Chain/Freight sectors. Contact us today.

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Personal Branding and Leadership

Sandra Olivier - Monday, November 10, 2014

orginal stamp on box shows genuine authenticIn today’s blog I continue talking about how personal branding impacts your career, specifically looking at leadership. (Also read the importance of personal branding for your career and how to find your personal brand).

Having a personal brand is a leadership requirement. It enables you to be a better leader, a more authentic leader that can create greater overall impact. Just as important as the development and management of your personal brand is for your career, the same can be said for developing your leadership brand. This is an extension of your brand but conveys your identity and distinctiveness as a leader. It communicates the value you offer. If you have the wrong leadership brand for the position you have, or the position you want, then your work is not having the impact it could.

Leadership in today’s brave new workplace means different things than it ever did before. Every day, every week, and every month – you must be mindful about how your personal brand as a leader can elevate your relevancy, impact and influence – and it’s your responsibility to define its distinction before someone else does.

Choosing a leadership brand can help give you focus. When you clearly identify what you want to be known for, it is easier to let go of the tasks and projects that do not let you deliver on that brand. Instead, you can concentrate on the activities that do.

Key considerations for creating a successful leadership brand:

Find your own definition of leadership
Leaders, who feel the need to compare themselves with others are doing themselves a disservice.
The most important thing for you as a leader is to find your own definition of leadership that is true to you, enables you to inspire those around you to perform at their very best, and delivers the results.

Consistency
As a leader this is your biggest challenge and takes courage. Can others always depend and count on you? Are you doing relevant things again, and again, and again?

Continue to grow
Take some time to really think about what it is you want to become as a leader. Zeroing in on something you're passionate about will make it so much easier to achieve. If you’re serious about developing yourself, you need to do more than just leverage your strengths and minimize your current weaknesses. Those are just the skills you have today - if you really want to improve, you have to continually add new elements to your leadership toolkit. 

It’s important to understand the critical role personal branding plays in your leadership success and eventual career success. Developing your personal and leadership brand is a much bigger responsibility; a never-ending journey that extends well beyond social media.

We represent a number of giants in the industry that are always looking for leaders to take their organization to the next level. If you want to connect and get your personal brand out there, we can assist. Communicate Personnel is a specialist recruitment agency, with the very best recruiters. Contact us today.

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Boosting Gratitude at Work

Mallisa Watson - Monday, November 03, 2014

Sign Thanks Shows Display Message And GratefulWe say “thank you” to acknowledge the good things we get from other people, especially when they give out of the goodness of their hearts. We say “thanks” at home, in stores and at work. If you are a manager, how often do you thank your employees for the good work they’ve done?

But why should anyone thank you for doing your job?  

Because the need for a pay check is only one of the motivations we bring to work. We don’t just work for money. We also work for respect, for a sense of accomplishment and for a feeling of purpose. We invest ourselves and our emotions into our jobs, and work affects our emotional state.

Gratitude is a non-financial way to support those non-financial motivations. Thank you doesn’t cost a dime, and it has measurably beneficial effects. As a manager, saying thank you to your employees could give them a strong sense of value. In every workplace and on every team, all people have the desire to feel appreciated and valued by others. Leaders of teams and team members themselves should work to foster a culture of value and appreciation.

Building a culture of gratitude at work is not easy, but it’s worth it. So here are tips for fostering gratitude on the job.

  1. Help others develop
    Employees feel valued at work when they have opportunities for growth and development. While promotion opportunities within companies may sometimes be limited, you can still invest in team members’ professional development through training, assignment to new and interesting projects, participation on tasks, and exposure to new and interesting different areas in the company. Employees frequently have skills that extend beyond the position for which the company hired them. Additionally, they typically grow their skills over time. Leveraging their extensive skill sets can lead to greater engagement and satisfaction.

  2. Involve employees
    Team members feel valued when they have an opportunity to take part in decision-making, problem-solving, and to use their skills to benefit the organization. If there is a new project in talks, maybe try and get their opinions on it, they will feel a sense of importance.

  3. Support friendship and teamwork
    Friendship in the workplace can lead to greater job satisfaction and commitment to the organization and doing a job well. Leaders should encourage teamwork to help eliminate toxic and dysfunctional team behaviours.

Taking the time and effort to create a culture that values and appreciates the diversity and similarity within a team can reap great rewards in terms of performance and satisfaction of the entire team. At the end of the day, this standard is really very simple: we all want to feel valued and appreciated. So, in addition to develop recognition to employees, use a variety of ways to build a culture of gratitude.

Do you have interesting stories of gratitude at work? Share them with us!

Looking for success in your career? We can help you unravel the steps to your next job opportunity. Communicate Personnel has a number of exciting new career opportunities which includes Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobsSupply Chain jobs and Freight jobs. Visit our vacancy page and apply today!

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Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Stuart Miles

Balancing Personal and Work Life

Mallisa Watson - Monday, October 27, 2014

Life Balance Harmony Meter There is nothing more important than you. Above everything and everyone else around you, you need to make yourself a priority in your own life. Yes, your family, work colleagues and boss rely on you emotionally, financially and professionally and that is why it’s important that you have a balanced personal and work life.

Our bodies and mind can only handle so much work and pressure. Though you enjoy and love what you do, if your work becomes your life you will eventually burn our mentally. And this can lead to you burning professional and personal bridges with the people in your circle. So if you want to prevent this from happening, we have just a few of many ways you can balance out your personal and work life so you can be more effective in both areas in the long run.

First things first
Figure out why you are procrastinating on getting your life balanced out. Once you’ve recognized the reason behind all of it is, you can start by drawing up your blue print and see which areas needs more attention in your life.

Identify the conflicting convictions
It is important that you understand there is a problem when work life and personal life are not balanced. Unless you recognize that the imbalance is a problem, it will not be possible for you to seek equal measures. These are some questions that you could ask yourself if you need a guide.

1. Do you find that you carry more and more work at home, making it a leeway of your office?

2. Can you split your job and home responsibilities?

3. Do you have anytime to pursue your hobbies?

4. Is your work bringing you joy?

5. Are you having a definite career growth plan which is practical in accordance with the path you are presently walking on?

After taking this test, you will have a clear view on where you stand with your personal life. Now we will have a look your work life and what you can do to find that balance.

Understanding your job
Develop a broad perspective. Consider growing yourself by upgrading your skill. Doing that will help you decide if you want to stay in your current field.

1. Know the goals. Knowing why something must be done can be very helpful. Having too much on your plate can be a relieve if you understand the project goals. It is also easier to discuss how to balance tasks if you have the whole picture.

2. Understand expectations. Make sure you understand your job description and what management expects from you. One example of this is after-hours communications. Are employees expected to check e-mail in the evenings or on weekends? Do you have to carry a cell phone just in case they need to contact you? What are the policies covering off-hours? If you take responsibility for meeting communications expectations, you should be able to take time off without feeling guilty afterwards.

Our profession is full of people who have found ways to achieve a balance that works for them, providing career satisfaction and personal fulfillment. It can be done. However finding that balance is key!

So if you are have come to a point where you have your personal life in check but the only thing missing is the ideal job to balance out your life, we can help you with that.

Communicate Personnel has a number of exciting new career opportunities which includes Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobsSupply Chain jobs and Freight jobs. Visit our website and apply today!

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Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Stuart Miles

Discovering your Personal Brand

Sandra Olivier - Monday, October 20, 2014

time to discoverLet’s face it we might love the internet, social media and the era of selfie or we might hate it. One thing is for sure that the world is changing and at the heart of the change is technology. You can pretend it’s not happening or you can embrace the change and use it to your advantage especially in building the ultimate career.

In my previous post I looked at the importance of having a personal brand for you career. Because of the internet today, you have a personal brand whether you like it or not. So what does your brand say about you? What do you want it to say? Think about how you show up, how others perceive you, what you know, and what your online profile says about you. The most important job that you have today is to be the President of your own brand.

Here are some easy steps to help you start building your personal brand to further your career:

Find the real you
You need to develop your personal brand in light of who you actually are. Start by identifying the qualities or characteristics that make you distinctive from your peers. When you strip away the mask, who are you really, and how can you show up in a way that allows your true authentic self to show through?

Others perception about you
Think about other people and the impressions you are making on colleagues and business associates. Take the time to speak with many different people to understand how they perceive your strengths and then use this information as you create your personal brand. This will help you to get to know yourself through the eyes of others, understand your differentiation, and discern what makes you compelling.

Be known for something
Every good brand involves the notion of expertise. Volkswagen are known as the People’s cars. Apple is the most innovative. Durban is the ‘Surf City’. What do you do better than anyone else? What’s your superpower? To find out, think about what’s innate:  what are you naturally good at? Find what your role is, what you do best or that no one else is doing, and find ways to be innovative in your area of expertise.

Live it
This is probably the hardest part, but will pay off the most in the long term. Act in a manner that consistently and constantly promotes the brand you’ve chosen for yourself. Every time you are in a meeting, at a conference, networking reception or other event, you should be mindful of what others are experiencing about you and what you want others to experience about you. Each of these engagements is similar to a job interview – except in these cases you are being evaluated by your peers. Those who know how to live and manage their personal brand will earn the respect and brand recognition in any situation.

Personal branding is no longer an option; it’s a powerful leadership enabler. In order to reach success you need to know exactly what you stand for in the world, and how to stand apart from others, and communicate that competitive difference with confidence and clarity.

If you are looking to move ahead in your career and need help with getting your personal brand out there to prospective new employers, we can assist. Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with specialist consultants that will help you connect with new career opportunities, whether it’s  Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs or Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now!

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Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Stuart Miles