Congratulations New Manager! But Please Avoid These Mistakes

Mallisa Watson - Friday, February 12, 2016

slip on banana peel You’ve just been promoted and you are keen on jumping into your new role as a manager. But have you thought this through?
Managing is not a walk in the park, it's more like a marathon. Every now and then, companies promote an individual to a management position but they fail to give that person sufficient training.

Luckily, you are not the first person to be first at managing. There are quite a number of people who’s been in your shoes.  They’ve been there, done that and got a t-shirt. And luckily for you, they’ve shared common mistakes you should avoid as a new manager.

Struggling to make the switch
Take pride in your new role. When you become a manager, everything changes. All of a sudden, you become responsible for the results your team delivers. Your new role will expect you to develop new skills, mainly- people skills. It doesn’t matter how smart or skilled you are, but not having soft skills can set you up for failure. You must know how to make the change from employee to manager.

Failing to communicate and delegate
Discuss upfront with your team what will be the best way to communicate. With the generation gap in the workplace, it is important to establish a communication platform that everybody is comfortable with. Make sure everybody agrees on the best way to ensure good communication within the team When you delegate work to employees, you multiply the amount of work that you can do. A project that seems overwhelming on the surface is suddenly quite manageable when you divide it up among different employees.  If you tap into their strengths, this can result in quality end results. Also, when you delegate work to employees, you also create opportunities to develop their work and leadership skills.

Not getting to know the team
As you grow through your career, it is the quality of your working relationships that has a greater impact on your success. Take the time to get to know your new team so you can understand how you can guarantee their success and they yours.

The most common one! It’s understandable that you want to state your new authority and let everyone know that you’re the boss. You also tend to take it upon yourself to make yourself responsible for other people’s performance, so now you think that by micro-managing, you are in control.

But no one enjoys being micro-managed, and this is a fast way to turn new employees against you. Delegate and create expectations, discuss with your team how they will meet those deadlines. Let them share their strategy with you so you can then give your input instead of the other way around.
A new management job can be stressful for a while but when the steep learning curve is over, you are likely to really enjoy your management role.

If you feel that your current company isn’t giving you room to grow, we can assist. With over 35 years of experience in the recruitment industry, we can confidently say that our specialist consultants deliver results.
With a record of placing top experts at some of South Africa’s biggest companies, we can find you the ideal job that matches with your skills and will give you room to grow.

So whether it’s jobs in Finance, IT, Engineering, Freight or Supply Chain you’re looking for, get in touch with us today! 


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The Future of Freight

Sandra Olivier - Tuesday, February 09, 2016

road train The International Transport Forum Outlook 2015 estimates that trade between African countries will increase by 715 percent between now and 2050. International freight transport volumes are also expected to grow by 200 percent over the same period. This is not altogether surprising as volumes of trade through port terminals have to grow to sustain economic growth, jobs and food security across Africa.

As customers enter new markets, especially in emerging economies, they are demanding much more than traditional transportation and warehousing services from their freight forwarding and contract logistics providers.

The ability to offer new, value-added services such as warranty processing, returns management and light manufacturing is now a differentiator, as is providing services such as customs and insurance brokerage, and trade and transportation management.

Costumer Needs: Another key to growth and profitability will be the ability to analyse customers’ needs and then respond quickly with advanced logistics solutions. That will require better IT tools to improve internal process efficiency and to generate analyses that result in deeper understanding of customers’ industries and business processes.

Data: A supply chain can generate huge amounts of data as orders and shipments pass along it. At each stage, data is entered, validated and often combined or merged with similar elements, resulting in very large data sets. The challenge is to understand the implications of the data as this will enable Freight Forwarders to improve their forecasts and consequently their negotiating position with carriers.

Technology requirements: The importance of technology to freight forwarders cannot be overstated.
Technology solutions will need to be quick and easy to implement, providing much higher levels of end-to-end visibility that will allow companies to compete effectively against others. Freight Forwarders who resist new technology adoption and continue to work with legacy systems may fall behind the competition.

The future of the traditional freight forwarding model is indeed at risk thanks to changing demand and enhanced technology. To survive, forwarders will need to plan, adapt and evolve or become obsolete. However, this does not mean there isn’t amble opportunity for companies willing to adapt and evolve.

If you are in need of skilled Freight Forwarding staff to assist your company to grown in this volatile market, we can assist. Communicate Personnel is a specialist Freight recruitment agency with experienced consultants that understand the industry and are able to find you the right fit for your company. Contact us today for all your Freight staffing needs. 

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Why effective workplace communication is crucial

Sandra Olivier - Friday, February 05, 2016

word cloud for business conceptWorkplace communication is one of the very first skills you’ll need to master in any new job. How you communicate with your teammates, your manager, your boss, and even the person at the front desk can have a huge impact on your team coherence, work performance, job satisfaction and the longevity of your career. Let’s look at what constitutes workplace communication and why it’s so important to communicate effectively.

Communication in the workplace
Whether it’s direct communication in an email, instant messaging on the company intranet, talking to your colleagues around the lunch table, or how you communicate non-verbally with your manager – communication is defined as any method of transferring a message or information from one person (sender) to another (receiver). Effective communication happens when the receiver receives and understands the message exactly as the sender intended it. This requires a clear method of sending a message – be it concise writing skills for email, clear enunciation for face-to-face communication, and an understanding of how body language and facial expression help to convey your message. Effective communication also requires good listening skills, which means the receiver is 100% focussed on the sender’s message (not being distracted by their thoughts or other background noise) and is also able to receive non-verbal cues.

But why is effective communication so crucial in the workplace?

1. Effective communication improves productivity
If you are required to complete a project with the rest of your team, your manager should provide you with a clear and well-explained brief that details all the specifications of the project: who is required to produce what, by when, and according to which guidelines? If the brief is communicated thoroughly and leaves no questions unanswered in terms of what’s required to complete the project on time and on budget, the project should run smoothly with everyone delivering their outputs in time. The team works well together because you all understand your role and what’s required.

If anyone on the team is sick or they’re not working as fast as the rest of the team, they should be able to communicate openly with their teammates and manager; to ask for help or for further guidelines so that the team isn’t adversely affected. Without effective and open communication, team productivity and morale will be on the line.

2. Effective communication bridges the diversity gap
South African work environments are highly diverse. Teams can be made up of people who speak different languages, come from different cultural backgrounds, practise different religions, different sexual orientation, and cross generational lines. All of these factors will have an influence on the work environment and how teammates perceive each other. Effective communication serves the purpose of conveying messages with respect, integrity, and purpose. If diversity is what sets people’s individuality apart from each other, then the agreement on how we communicate is what bridges that divide: speaking and writing clearly and formally in English, for instance, is the common ground that will help the company to reach its common goal irrespective of the workforce’s diversity.

3. Effective communication boosts job satisfaction
A large part of job satisfaction is feeling challenged and improving your skills with each new project you work on. As an employee, you should not only be able to communicate effectively and build trust with your teammates, as well as communicate upwards with your manager, but you should also be able to receive downward communication from your superiors – in the form of feedback. Being able to accept constructive criticism and to improve your skills and work quality can lead to a highly rewarding career with lucrative future prospects. If you are sensitive to feedback or take it personally when your manager or peers critique your work, you will quickly find that your job becomes difficult or stale.

4. Effective communication aids problem solving
The point of effective communication is to minimise the number of misunderstandings and problems in a team and in the company. That’s not to say that if we all communicate via email in perfect written English that there will be no problems. When problems do arise – a client is unhappy, a project is running over time, someone gets injured on the job, etc. – your level of accountability or your ability to mitigate the problem is only half of the solution; the other half is how these factors are communicated. If you’ve messed up and you immediately own up to it as well as provide a solution to your bungle, you will earn people’s respect for being honest and for wanting to fix your errors, without blaming others.

Now that you are aware of the importance of effective communication in the workplace, consider how your own workplace communication – whether you’re in an finance job, a IT job, or engineering job, – impacts your team, your job satisfaction, and the level of trust you earn amongst your teammates and with your manager. Are you communicating effectively?

Are you in the market for a new job?  Communicate Personnel is a recruitment specialist with vacancies in the Finance, IT, Engineering, Supply Chain and Freight industries. Visit our website and apply, our consultants are waiting to help you.


Operation: Build Smart

Mallisa Watson - Tuesday, February 02, 2016

seattle When we hear the word ‘green building’, Sandton’s skyline comes to mind. Green building is on the rise in South Africa and more business is starting to follow the trend in going green.

The pressure to manage costs, risks and energy consumption is pushing commercial building owners and investors to explore how smart building technologies can help a company’s triple bottom line — people, planet, and profits.

“Smart buildings” or green building, which is the term most of us are familiar with, is defined as the effective integration of physical, digital and human systems in the built environment to deliver a sustainable, thriving and inclusive future for its people.

Smart buildings improve the use of technology in the design and operation of infrastructure in a way which meets the current and future needs of their citizens. Truly smart buildings should be about more than just connecting technology, they require consideration of control and growth, urban development and infrastructure, the environment and natural resources, society and their community.

Why should more countries shift to smart buildings?

Climate change
With climate change threatening many cities through rising sea levels, increasingly unstable weather patterns and diminishing resources, the governments of both developed and developing countries are forced to ensure new constructions requirements are more green face.
This means we need to use natural resources wisely, minimise waste and pollution, lessen and adapt to climate change including moving to a low carbon economy.

Creating successful cities that begin to ease some of these impacts is a balance between social, environmental and economic opportunities delivered through smart planning, design and construction, and supported by smart technology.

How can we make the shift?

Energy efficiency
In a country that is already struggling with energy resources, energy in building should be a priority. Because buildings are big users of energy it is important to use methods that are more energy-efficient, better insulated, less vulnerable to air leaks through poorly sealed windows, doors and ceilings, and therefore less reliant on electrical energy for heating and cooling.

Cool Roofs: Made of special tiles and reflective paint, cool roofs have high levels of solar reflectance and thermal emittance, which work together to absorb less heat.

This keeps the buildings beneath cooler, thereby lowering energy use and bringing comfort to occupants. On the collective level, cool roofs help reduce the heat island effect in urban areas.
Also, because of the reduced energy consumption, cool roofs decrease the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

In South Africa examples of green roofs include the treed roof of the parking area at Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, the Grace Hotel in Rosebank, House Westcliff, the library of Stellenbosch University, and Forum Homini at the Cradle of Humankind.

Solar hot water heating: The new regulations stipulate that commercial buildings complying with the Green Building Council of South Africa’s green building codes must generate 50% of their hot water using renewable energy, either through solar water heating or heat pump technology.

Lighting: The use of natural daylight instead of artificial lighting is obviously the most sustainable and efficient way of saving energy. Ensure that working spaces have an acceptable level of illumination without using artificial lighting during daytime by designing windows and skylights that are positioned to make the most of the natural light without overheating.

Green buildings also incorporate energy-efficient lighting, low energy appliances, and renewable energy technologies such as wind turbines and solar panels. Reflective and angled ceilings will also bring more light deeper into a building. Energy-efficient light bulbs can substantially reduce energy costs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use less than a quarter of the energy required to power a conventional light bulb for the same amount of time, and last ten times longer.

The business environment is ripe for the arrival of consistent, widespread regulatory policies addressing energy efficiency. It is recognized world-wide that buildings are a massive consumer of energy, this will influence the construction sector in South Africa to also adapt more sustainable building practices. And although still in its infancy stage, smart building is a rapidly growing field.

The opportunities in the green building industry look quite promising. If you are looking for expert engineering candidates, we can assist.

We have numerous individuals in construction engineering, civil engineering, structural engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and more.

Contact us today.

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5 Leadership Skills to Help Advance Your Career

Sandra Olivier - Friday, January 29, 2016

hand with mechanical wheels Business is constantly changing and professionals everywhere must be flexible and versatile when it comes to their skills and knowledge. Individuals must redefine themselves on a constant basis and always be willing to learn new things. Organizations are currently looking to hire leaders who can take collaboration to a new level in building their teams, offers innovative thinking, the ability to anticipate the future and implement required strategy.

Often people are not aware of the fact that there are job skills and there are career skills. Although job skills are the most important as you need to first be qualified for a specific position, hiring managers all agree that soft skills and culture fit is also key. Here are some important skills you will need to develop if you want to take on a leadership role in your career. 

Social Capital
Having a strong network of business contacts can really help out your career. One where you have peers you can go to for advice and help when you need it. You've heard it before and you'll hear it again: It's not always what you know but who. Relationships mean everything professionally, and the people you’re connected to are vital to your success. The key to networking is that it is a mutually beneficial relationship between two or more people. So, give back where you can by sharing news you think your contact would be interested in. It’s never too early or too late to start building a smart career network.

Versatility is your ability to adapt. It’s your aptitude. People with adaptability are both flexible and versatile. This is an important skill to develop in today’s business world as change is a constant.

Each person that works in your organization or on your team is unique. It is true that people can be categorized by generation, gender, nationality, personality style, thinking style, etc. However, at the end of the day people are still unique.

People want to be treated as if they matter and what they think is important. If you step into a manager role you will be responsible for dealing with all of these differences and this requires flexibility, adaptability and the willingness to be innovative with your people to assist them to bring out the best in themselves.

Emotional Intelligence
Most companies nowadays consider emotional intelligence as being as important as technical ability, and often base their decision on the same when hiring or promoting employees. High level of experience in emotional intelligence will boost your interpersonal skills and reduce stress, both of which are vital for hassle-free leadership.

Strategic Thinking
Being able to better analyse and deliver data in a way that everyone can understand is key to advancing. Effective leaders are constantly asking themselves where the company is headed in the near and long term, and proposing fresh approaches that will get them there. All of these abilities are critical as they tie directly into the development of business processes. People in leadership positions need to be able to clearly recognize where changes are needed that will help improve how a business functions.

Credible leaders attract enthusiastic and committed followers, and people want to work for them. No single thing creates credibility. Rather, a combination of things must be in place for you to establish it. Credibility is something that all leaders and potential leaders must aspire to obtain. Establishing credibility as a leader isn't something that happens instantly. It's a process that involves time, effort, and patience. The sooner you start building your credibility the easier it will be once you have moved into a leadership role to have the support of your team.

Communicate Personnel is a specialist recruitment agency, with the very best recruiters. We have placed thousands of top candidates over the last five years at some of the most sought after employers in the country. If you are looking for a new career opportunity in the Finance, IT, Engineering, Supply Chain or Freight industries, view our vacancies and apply today. 


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Previous posts

  1. Congratulations New Manager! But Please Avoid These Mistakes Mallisa Watson 3 hours 14 mins ago
  2. The Future of Freight Sandra Olivier 09-Feb-2016
  3. Why effective workplace communication is crucial Sandra Olivier 05-Feb-2016
  4. Operation: Build Smart Mallisa Watson 02-Feb-2016
  5. 5 Leadership Skills to Help Advance Your Career Sandra Olivier 29-Jan-2016
  6. Data Management undergoing substantial changes Mallisa Watson 27-Jan-2016
  7. The Bump: Before and After Maternity Leave Mallisa Watson 22-Jan-2016
  8. Integrated Reporting: Benefits and Challenges Sandra Olivier 19-Jan-2016
  9. Are You Looking For “The One”? Mallisa Watson 13-Jan-2016
  10. Throw out that old-fashioned job hunting approach Sandra Olivier 06-Jan-2016
  11. 4 Ways to Sell Yourself to Your Next Employer Sandra Olivier 22-Dec-2015
  12. Career Guide: Mapping Your Future in 2016 Mallisa Watson 15-Dec-2015
  13. Please Repeat That? Mallisa Watson 11-Dec-2015
  14. Are high performers influencing your business negatively? Sandra Olivier 08-Dec-2015
  15. The Pros and Cons of Job Hopping Sandra Olivier 04-Dec-2015
  16. When the going gets tough, dig deep Sandra Olivier 01-Dec-2015
  17. The Secret to Maintaining a Work/Life Balance Sandra Olivier 27-Nov-2015
  18. Supply Chain: Are you relevant to the current job market? Mallisa Watson 24-Nov-2015
  19. The Executives Blueprint to Career Success Mallisa Watson 20-Nov-2015
  20. Wind Energy gaining ground in sector Sandra Olivier 17-Nov-2015
  21. Wanted: Have You Seen This Recent Graduate? Mallisa Watson 13-Nov-2015
  22. Is there an App for that? Mallisa Watson 10-Nov-2015
  23. How to be prepared for the new era of video interviews Sandra Olivier 06-Nov-2015
  24. Transport infrastructure key for South Africa’s future Sandra Olivier 03-Nov-2015
  25. How to build credibility in the office at your new job Sandra Olivier 30-Oct-2015
  26. Quenching South Africa’s thirst Mallisa Watson 27-Oct-2015
  27. What to Consider before Accepting a New Job Sandra Olivier 23-Oct-2015
  28. Cyber Security in South Africa Mallisa Watson 20-Oct-2015
  29. Innovative Ways to Support Working Moms Sandra Olivier 16-Oct-2015
  30. Communicate Personnel attends NAPS in Boston, USA Sandra Olivier 13-Oct-2015