Archive for 'people'

Hiring the ‘overqualified’

Motivating employees is a large part of keeping quality standards in the workplace. Managers may be missing out on the ideal hire by eliminating those who are overqualified from consideration. When potentially hiring someone who is overqualified, it pays to look at every aspect of what they could bring to the business.

What makes a candidate overqualified?
People with a higher education level that is required for the job they are applying for are generally what would be considered overqualified. There are also those individuals who have had a number of years experience in the industry that would make a starting position seem like a step down the career ladder.

The Pros:
The overqualified candidate will require less training than those who are inexperienced, saving you time and money not having to train new staff. They could be left unsupervised for longer periods as they will have more industry knowledge to get them through a task and can provide assistance and guidance to other new members of the team.

The Cons:
While overqualified candidates may save you money in regards to training, they may request a higher salary overall. If you advertise a job with a certain pay rate then it is assumed applicants are willing to comply with this, but those who have more experience may want a bit more for their work.

Whichever way you decide to go, it is important not to rule out a candidate simply because they have more knowledge or experience required for the position. Getting to know an individual’s motivation and personality during the interview process will give you a look at what kind of worker they will be, which will be different from the side that shows on paper.

Posted on 14 July '19 by , under people. No Comments.

How to deal with loneliness at work

Feeling isolated while at work is something an increasing number of people experience in their lives. Studies suggest loneliness in the workplace can pose health risks as harmful as obesity or smoking. For both business owners and employees, here are some effective strategies that can help to make you feel less alone.

Encourage face-to-face communication:
Technology can often be to blame for an increased feeling of loneliness among workers. While it does enable greater workplace collaboration and digital connections, it can create the opposite effect when overused. Face-to-face and phone interactions create deeper and more meaningful connections with co-workers. Instead of sending an email or instant message, consider picking up the phone or walking over to your colleague’s desk to talk to them instead.

Cultivate workplace friendships:
Regularly organising social events outside of work can help staff to create more meaningful relationships with each other. This can also break down barriers between an employer and their employees, encouraging company loyalty and a sense of community. Activities you may consider include team lunches, after-work drinks, or group sporting activities. Employees who have more friends at work are more likely to be happier and consequently more productive.

Posted on 27 June '19 by , under people. No Comments.

Defining your audience

Defining your target market is the key to shaping your entire marketing strategy. Knowing who you intend to assist can help to differentiate your business from the competition, tailor your marketing efforts to better meet customer needs and potentially boost sales. Demographics, such as age, gender, income and occupation, do not necessarily provide enough insight into the attributes of your target customer.

Categorising your target market through psychographics uses personality and interests to define your target customer. Psychographics analyses variables such as lifestyle, attitude, values, personality traits, social class, activities and opinions. This explains the “why” element of why your customers want your product. Often closely related to demographics, combining the two forms of data collection can build a complete, sophisticated profile of consumers based on a more detailed picture of who they really are.

Segmenting your target customer through geographics involves considering what continent, country, city or town they may live in. It can also further studies by looking into specific neighbourhoods, the size of that area and even the climate. Geographics require far less personal data and can be performed simply with a map of the area in question. This form of analysis is quite generally so it should be used in conjunction methods.

Behavioural segmentation involves your target customer’s behaviour towards your products or services. This format looks at customers based on what benefits they desire, how often they will use your product or service, loyalty to your brand, readiness to buy your products/services, or if your products/services are used for a specific occasion such as a holiday or an event.

Posted on 17 June '19 by , under people. No Comments.

How to hire the right staff

Finding capable, fitting staff is essential to any successful business. Hiring the right employee can help increase employee productivity, foster a successful employment relationship, and positively impact your business’s overall culture.

Here are a few key points to focus on when looking for new workers:

Look at skills over experience:
People are more than just their resume. A candidate may have experience but this doesn’t necessarily mean they will be a good fit for your business. Instead, try to match an individual’s skill set with those you need in the role, this can help in determining the best fit.

Ask the right questions in the interview:
A solid interview process is a window for candidates to see how you approach daily work. Planning time for the company mission, questions you want to ask and questions they would like to ask reflects on your business style and gives an idea of what it would be like to work for you. With that in mind, thoughtful interview questions can help you separate the desirable from average.

Always be on the lookout for new talent:
Great companies are always on the lookout for new talent as they know and value the contributions of their staff to the business. Encouraging people to send through their resumes, even when there are no openings, can provide you with a talent pool for when you do need to hire and opportunities to create new roles that can strengthen your business.

Posted on 2 June '19 by , under people. No Comments.

Improving your employees’ wellbeing

Providing a workplace that promotes positive wellbeing for its staff is a key responsibility of all employers. Workplace wellbeing refers to both the physical and mental state of employees. While physical wellbeing covers essential elements such as access to natural daylight and temperature control, mental wellbeing is equally as important.

Smart work design:
A pleasant work environment will lead to positive mental wellbeing for your staff. You may achieve this by establishing flexible working hours, addressing a workplace culture of when, where and how you work. Involve your employees in the decision-making process of how work is performed to ensure that it will work for them.

Mental health awareness:
Talk openly about mental health in your workplace, and provide access to information in the form of brochures or noticeboards. You could participate in initiatives like World Mental Health Day or R U OK? Day to further raise awareness among employees and encourage open discussions about these issues.

Support staff:
The more that your staff feel supported, the more likely they are to be motivated and productive. Create a workplace environment that allows employees to share how they are feeling and any problems that they may encounter through open lines of communication. Employees should feel that they can trust their colleagues and managers, ensuring there is a clear process for managing stress.

Posted on 19 May '19 by , under people. No Comments.

Perks for your employees that you can afford

Supporting your employees doesn’t have to break the bank, as you can provide perks in the form of policies rather than material rewards. Creating a work environment with actionable benefits can increase productivity whilst attracting and retaining skilled employees.

Flexible Work:
An attractive perk that an increasing number of companies offer is flexible work. Small businesses are often in the best position to offer flexible work arrangements, as schedules tailored for the individual can still allow work to get done. This gives employees a healthy work/life balance.

Sometimes employees need time off with short notice or something in their personal lives affects their ability to work. Business owners can make a positive impact on employees that are experiencing problems or hardships. This could be through listening to them and talking them through their approach to work, or providing active support with altered work hours until things have settled down. Looking after an employee in a time of need helps to create a supportive environment that staff are more likely to enjoy working in.

Posted on 5 May '19 by , under people. No Comments.

Business networking done the right way

The ability to network effectively can greatly increase the success of your business by getting your name out there in a positive way, building your credibility and assist in growing your customer base. Networking done poorly can seem pushy or overbearing but when done well it is a two-way street. Putting yourself out there can help you get to know someone better, find ways in which they might be able to assist you and how you can help them in return.

Know what you have to offer:
Networking can be especially hard if you aren’t aware of the unique skills you have to offer. Think about all of your accomplishments and assess what helped you to achieve them. These are all skills that other people may find valuable. Make it your goal to have an open and friendly approach when presenting yourself to new people and business opportunities.

Be yourself:
A big mistake people often make when networking is being inauthentic. If you are speaking with someone about a topic you don’t understand, avoid acting like you know everything just to keep up. Instead, ask questions and take the opportunity to learn from others. When the opportunity arises, talk about topics you are passionate about and interested in, not just topics you think people want to hear about.

Posted on 12 April '19 by , under people. No Comments.

How remote workers can improve your business

Remote work is becoming an increasingly popular choice for businesses. Thanks to the ease and accessibility of the internet, the traditional 9 to 5 workday is being replaced by flexible hours that can be completed anywhere and at any time. Making the choice to employ remote workers can enable your small business to grow successfully by allowing flexibility and enhancing productivity.

Increased productivity:
While it may sound counterintuitive, research has shown that remote workers are actually more productive than those who work in an office. Employees that working from home don’t have the distractions that occur in daily office life. They also have the ability to work longer hours at times that suit them, without being regimented to the typical 9 to 5 workday. This can lead to workers being more engaged with the work and can also increase happiness.

Reduce business costs:
Hiring remote workers can enable you to save money on office expenditure, such as real estate and utilities. You could even consider moving more of your business into cloud software, to allow the remote employees access to office files from home or wherever they may be working.

Hiring from a wider talent pool:
Finding the right person for the job can be easier than ever before with the increasingly growing virtual marketplace at your fingertips. Not only can you access people with better skills and experience, but will be able to employ them regardless of where they live.

Posted on 25 March '19 by , under people. No Comments.

Mental health support for small business

Running your own business can be extremely rewarding, but for many small business owners having the sole responsibility of a company’s success or failure can take its toll. With one in five people experiencing a mental health issue at some stage in their life, there is a greater need to have mental health support specifically within the workplace environment of small businesses.

A typical response to the pressures and demands of business and life is stress. Workplace stress can occur when the demands from running your business and the requirements of your role are greater than your capacity to manage them or the resources and support available to you. Contributing factors to work stress include:

  • Working long hours or overtime, working without a break or taking work home.
  • Doing shift work.
  • Time pressure, working too hard or with unrealistic targets.
  • High mental task demands, or work that requires high-level decision making.
  • Work that requires high emotional involvement.
  • Hostile or discriminatory work environment.

While stress isn’t the same as other mental health conditions, excessive or long-term stress can increase your risk of developing a mental health condition such as anxiety or depression. Managing mental health within your business by avoiding conditions that lead to excessive stress and encouraging awareness and support can have many positive outcomes and cultivate a mentally safe and healthy workplace.

Posted on 8 March '19 by , under people. No Comments.

Boosting employee relations

For a functioning company, employees have to be able to work together and communicate. Their relationships can be the difference between an ok team and a great one. People who enjoy their work are more productive and employee communications can be a contributing factor.

A good employer will help foster the working relationship of their team and ensure everything is running smoothly. By instigating co-operation between employees, you establish that a cohesive environment is not only encouraged but necessary for the functioning of the company.

Getting employees to work together on tasks can improve their working relationship as well as combine creativity and productivity to deliver a better product. Involving different team members in other tasks inspires collaboration and develops a relationship where they can rely on each other.

Open conversation:
A relationship can not grow without communication from both sides. As the employer, it is your responsibility to establish an environment where open communication is encouraged. If your employees can come and talk to you openly, then they should also feel like they can talk to each other as well.

Where it be minor events like the completion of a task or major ones like birthdays, celebrating can help higher morale and interaction between employees. Having a break where everyone can come together for a moment that isn’t work-related can also help to strengthen relationships as they get to interact in a work environment that is not directly related to work.

Posted on 20 February '19 by , under people. No Comments.