How To Stay Relevant In The Work Place

The employment arena is evolving very fast. This evolution foists a lot of responsibilities on us. One of the key ones that will determine whether or not we leave the work place the same way is skills. New knowledge must be incorporated in the business if you are to stay relevant in the work space. Also the personnel must be imbued with the right skills.

Most companies that engage in downsizing their workforce usually target those that are not as productive and those whose roles have been rendered obsolete. Now, if you are part of this workforce, you have to pull out all the stops to ensure that you remain relevant in the workforce. This article provides you with information on the things you have to do so that you can remain relevant in the work place.

1. Get noticed

Introduce yourself and get known by your colleagues.

2. Play for the team

To some degree, unless you are self-employed, work is team sport and you have to do your best for the team.

3. Get known for skills

When you are the go-to guy when a problem is afoot, the company cannot afford to let you go.

4. Stay positive in your work

There will be times in your work life when you will question everything about it. Negative feelings have a way of creeping up on you when you least expect them. How you handle these feelings is very important because if you handle them the wrong way, they will bog you down and work will suffer. Try your best to keep positive in your work.

5. Have a life outside work

Most people tend to throw themselves at their work at the expense of relationships with their families. That is why it is important that you cultivate a life outside work. Take some time off to be with your family and rejuvenate. Too much work has a tendency of sapping you of energy and eventually, the quality of work that you put out suffers a lot.

6. Dedicate your life to learning

As was highlighted earlier, knowledge is changing very fast and in business, it is important that you adapt or die. That is why you should seek new knowledge that is out there. This knowledge will offer you an advantage over your compatriots and make you a very indispensable part of your business.

7. Pay attention to the decisions that you make

Let logic and objectivity guide your decisions. Most people at the office tend to just make decisions without thinking through the consequences. If you want to be relevant to your workplace, it is important that you pay close attention to the decisions you have to make. Think through the ramifications for your choices and how they will affect the business overall. When you step back and evaluate your decisions, you will be able to avoid making mistakes as opposed to making spur of the moment decisions.

8. Own up to your mistakes

A lot of people are allergic to responsibility. When mistakes happen, it is very difficult for them to own up. Eventually, the chickens come home to roost and they are found out. If you want to remain relevant at your workplace, you must realize that the buck stops with you. If you made a decision that cost the company money, then you should own up to it no matter what the consequences may be. It is a sign of maturity and will garner you respect among your colleagues.

9. Don’t be afraid to do more than is required of you

Most people at the workplace limit themselves to doing the work in their job description and nothing more. Do the opposite. Always seek to do more for your business. When you do more, you not only get noticed, but you also get confident and expand your repertoire. This will great capital for when your boss is supposed to write a recommendation for you.

10. Network

It is important that when you are in your work place, you cultivate relationships with professionals not only in your field of expertise, but also other people as well. Take advantage of the various options that are out there to network like the professional networking sites like LinkedIn to cultivate new networks. You never know when you will need to call upon them for help. During cocktails or any business related events, don’t forget to carry your business cards.

Crucial Points You Should Be Aware Of In Dealing With Employment Law

It is expected that all employers be familiar with the employment laws in their country. The last thing one want’s is to be blindsided by a clause on the law when they are sued. It is absolutely critical that one be clear about their roles and responsibilities towards each other.

This article highlights the various crucial points that you should keep an eye on when dealing with employee law.

1. Defining the parties

In any dispute there are parties and in the case of employment law, there are the employer and employee. If one is an employer, they must know the roles and responsibilities they have and those the employees have.

There are unique cases that need clarification and they are:

Employed V Self-employed- When one is an employed as worker in a given organization, they are employed. If the organization enlists one’s business to work for them, then the business owner is self-employed.

Part-time V Full-time-It depends on the contexts in which these terms are used. The organization one works for sets the official hours of work. A part-time employee is one that is employed to work fewer hours than a full-time employee. Since both types of employees sign contracts, in the eyes of the law, they are treated as equals.

Temporary V Permanent- These types of employees are based on the terms of the contract where temporary employee works for a fixed period of time whereas the permanent works for an indefinite amount of time.

2. Statutory Rights

These are clearly stated rules and framework for recruitment, drafting of the employment of the employment contract and cessation of employment. It covers the definition of terms. Below are the key terms one should keep an eye out on:

Minimum Pay – Pay for over 16s. This type of pay varies from age group to age group.

Equal Pay – Stipulates that pay for a woman should be similar to that of a man in a similar position.

Pay Slips – To be itemized and provided before or on the date of pay

Working Hours

Parental Leave

Maternity Leave and Paternity Leave- Clearly stated under the law.

Absence

Sickness – Statutory sick pay entitlement

Off days in the event of a family day or illness. These are not paid for.

Whistleblowing – Protection for employees that disclose information other than that which would constitute breach of contract.

Pensions – Most employers must provide a stakeholder pension for their employees.

Dismissal & Disciplinary

Unfair Dismissal – Employers must have reasonable cause for employee dismissal and fair dismal procedure should be followed. Grounds for unfair dismissal include taking time off for parenting and union action et cetera.

Wrongful Dismissal – Adequate notice for dismissal must be provided unless the contract lapses.

Constructive Dismissal – where the employers breaks the terms of the contract between them and the employee thereby resulting in the latter’s dismissal.

Retirement – Clear guidelines for retirement.

It is absolutely vital that HR know the statutory rights to avoid the company getting entangled in prolonged legal disputes.

3. The Contract

It is important that the employer be clear in the terms and conditions of the contract. Clear penalties, rewards and quid pro quo should be observed when crafting the language of the contract.

Before the employee signs the contract, they must be clear about the terms and conditions themselves to avoid misunderstanding and conflict at the work place.

4. Trade Unions

Employers will be approached by trade unions for recognition. They must show that they have support of a minimum of 10 percent of your workforce. If they don’t, then employer is not obliged to recognize them.

If there are employees that members of a trade union, that should not be a basis for discrimination. Sometimes, they will call for industrial action which is subject for approval from the union. If one dismisses their employees during the period of industrial action, they risk being sued for unfair dismissal.

5. Health and Safety

It is expected of employer that they should provide a safe working environment for their employees. Regular assessments of the work environment should be done to ensure that compliance to the minimum health standards is maintained. Failure to comply, the employer risks legal action being taken against them.

Overall, it is absolutely vital that the employment laws in one’s country should be followed to the letter. This not only ensures harmony at the work place but also prevents instances of legal action being taken.

Indicators Of Employer Transparency And Why You Should Adhere To Them

Over the last couple of years, the internet has permeated the work space a lot. If potential job seekers want to find out more about the company, all they have to do is sit behind a computer and then key in the name of the company that they want to find out. That is why, in a bid to attract quality human resource to them, most companies have invested a lot in online branding. Those that fall behind in this regard, don’t attract the caliber of people they want on their side.

However, this trend in transparency hasn’t always been with the employer. The onus of proving themselves fell on potential job seekers. A background check was necessary in order to ascertain the veracity of the facts that people were presenting about themselves. However, the tables have turned and the company is expected just to be open about their workplace environment.

If what is presented about the company doesn’t conform to the reality on the ground, disillusionment takes root. The staff isn’t enthused about working in that particular environment. It is therefore expected that the company will be candid about how life is while one is working there and thus use various media to communicate this.

This article explores the various media employed to communicate the quality of the company’s workplace environment and various indicators of employment transparency.

Social media validation

Today, social media has permeated every sphere of working life. Nowadays, if one wants to share their experiences while working for a certain company, they will use their social media accounts to do this.

With social media, everything gains traction very quickly. While there is no time to check facts, sometimes rumor mills thrive; chances of people maligning the company for no apparent reason can be there and they will be taken as the gospel truth.

That is why it is vital for a company to embrace social media use to articulate the facts as they are and address any misconceptions that people might have regarding working in a given place.

Also, a company should be aware of its standing in the various review sites that are out there. Everyone is out there is a critic and their sentiments hold weight; some might be true and some might not. To a prospective employee, they won’t know the difference.

Expectations beforehand and based on the advertising

When deciphering the effective of their sales pitch, most companies don’t have an effective baseline to gauge their effectiveness. If you want to know the perception that people have regarding your company, surveys are a great way to get what the perceptions are.

It is HR’s responsibility to come up with the surveys and present them to prospective employees. While it is hard to base and classify precise impressions, close ended questions will provide you with a clear baseline from which to gauge your company’s perception to the public.

Employee sentiment

One of the many ways that people get to know of open positions in a company is by former employees. More often than not, prospective employees will want to know all they can about the ins and outs of the company_ who better to tell them than a past employee, right?

However, there are some instances where employees might feel disgruntled and unhappy at the workplace.

It is therefore very important that one gets a gauge of what the sentiment of the employees is like. This information is very use in challenging and changing negative perceptions that people might have regarding working in a certain place.

Indicators of employee transparency.

1. Employee Engagement Reports (EER)

In a nutshell, these reports cover the overall perception that employees have regarding their work place. If companies are to attract top talent to their side, they need to provide a realistic overview of what the life at the office is like.

2. Work-Life Benefits (WLB)

Benefits are one of the many ways that employers use to attract top talent. These employers will publish the number so that they can give their prospective employees something to think about when it comes to these benefits. The key to making this particular report is to be as detailed as possible about the various benefits offered by the company.

3. Volunteering and Social Investments (VSI)

Companies over the last few decades have found it important to give back to society that often gives them a lot. Hence, the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is adapted the world over. The trend is such companies with great CSR projects have a wide following.

4. Career Mobility and Development (CMD)

People often look at the prospects of moving up the ladder in a company before they decide to join the fray. They will look the number of people who have risen up the ranks of the company v the number of outsiders.

What You Need To Do Secure A New Job

There comes a time that you have to explore new employment opportunities. The motivations behind this new quest are varied ranging from a pay bump to tackling new challenges. Whichever the case may be, it is important to highlight that you will have an uphill battle on your hands when you take up this quest. Not all job searches yield the required results_ some fail miserably. It is important that when you are looking for a new job, you have the right tools and skills apart from the ones you have acquired at school.

This article explores what you need to know so that you can secure a new job that meets the needs you have.

1. The job search

If you are secure employment in a new firm, then you have to embark on rigorous search. Luckily enough, there are a variety of methods that you can employ so that you can find the job of your dreams. The internet for example offers infinite possibilities for finding a job with the right fit. However, before you can find the job that will revolutionize the way you do things, you have to sift through a myriad of options. Not all job openings are what they seem, some are a dead end and some are promising. You have to evaluate them critically before you make a final decision on whether to accept the job.

It is recommended that when you are looking for a job, you have to look for it on professional sites. You have to critically examine opening that there and pick the most promising ones.

Alternatively, you can turn to your networks to find out if they are aware of any jobs out there that require your particular skill set. This is one of the instances where the power of networks is put to the test.

2. The job application

Once you have found the job that you are looking for, it is time that you put your name in the hat by submitting your job application.

There are a variety of ways that you can submit your application. The first way is to ensure fill in the application form if the firm requires it done that way. Finally, apply for the job by attaching a cover letter with your resume. It is absolutely critical that you put your best foot forward when submitting the application. In your cover letter or application, you must go over the application to ensure that everything is grammatically correct. Typos are a big no-no and an indicator of your lack of attention to details on your part.

3. Preparing for the interview

Once the firm(s) has accepted your application, then they will call you for an interview. Today, interviews can conducted in various ways as opposed to a few decades back where had to show up in person to have an interview conducted. Nowadays, interviews can be conducted via telephone or video chat.

When you are called for an interview, you should have already prepared beforehand. Preparing indicates that you are a very serious individual who is committed to giving his all to the business. The first part of preparing for an interview to ensure that you know everything there is to know about the company. Past performances and current measures that are in place to ensure productivity should be highlighted.

4. The interview

When the material day of the interview comes into play, it is important that you be more than punctual. Show up earlier than the others so that you can psyche yourself up for it. If it is an interview that you have to do in person, you should ensure that you take care of your grooming. Everything should be well put together. If it is a video chat interview, you should ensure that you have a strong internet connection and that there are no power interruptions scheduled for the day. Answer all the questions that you are asked as truthfully as possible.

5. The job offer

After successfully completing the interview and you have been selected, a job offer will come your way. Take your time to evaluate it to ensure that you are getting a fair offer. Sometimes, the job offer might not be up to scratch and there is no need to be stuck in work that offers inadequate remuneration.

When you are looking for a job, it is important that you follow the aforementioned steps so that you can maximize your chances for success. The search for the job is probably the hardest part but when you get past it, then the rest becomes relatively easier for you.

Tips For Employee Screening

Employee problems have dogged a lot of industries today. For starters, there have been a lot of cases of embezzlement and litigations about the menial things. The work world can be brutal at times.

The kind of personnel you bring into your business is very important. They will either help you or hurt you when it comes to achieving the company bottom line. That is why it is crucial that when you hire, you must use thorough screening procedures to vet the people walking into your business. A good screening programme has four main tenets that must be adhered to in order to get the most out of it.

1. Exercise due diligence in hiring
2. Get additional information about the candidate
3. Serves a deterrent to people with past criminal convictions
4. Encourage candidates to be honest

Screening procedures vary from company to company. There are some companies that do the various background checks in-house or they outsource them for a clear and objective determination.

In order to screen people thoroughly, you have to pay attention to other things other than criminal records. It all starts from the collection of the resume and the screening interview is conducted. Human resources must be present for all of them so that they can have a proper gauge about who the candidate really is. After all, human resources will be responsible if an unsavoury character slips through the cracks. One thing you should realize is that screening of candidates is a team effort and not a solo one left for HR departments to deal with. There must be a new set pair of eyes to review the evidence before it and catch things that one person would miss out about the candidate.

The effectiveness of the screening process can be enhanced by following the tips below.

1. Background checks in foreign countries. This might be a bit tricky considering that some countries aren’t as forthcoming with information as we would like. Some might not even keep records. However, it pays to be thorough all the same.
2. Applicants should be asked directly if they have a criminal record in the interview and employment application. The direct approach is always best especially if you want to test the person’s integrity right away.
3. Clarity on the veracity of the statements made must be clear. The candidates must know that the statements they make will be a matter of record and they must be backed up by something tangible. They must, in essence, be as forthright about what they are saying for the avoidance of doubt later on.
4. If the check is incomplete at the time of employment, then the candidate must be put on a probationary period in which is determined by the outcome of the background check. Sometimes, background checks especially those from foreign countries are bound to take a long time. Business has to go on still and you cannot leave the position unfilled.
5. References are a crucial. This is another tool that offers insight into what the person you intend to hire is like. You have to go over reference that they provide with a fine tooth comb. When you call the up, you have to ask them about how the person handled the issues related to the business. Stay on track by paying particular attention to issues you deal with your business and how the person handles them. Be as inquisitive as possible about that.
6. Past residences may offer an insight into the past. Most people tend to think that the past doesn’t matter and they end up leaving the wrong kind of impression. As an employer, you have to delve deep into the past so that you can find out more about the person. Go as far back as you can to get a better picture of the person whom you are dealing with.
7. Future screenings must include language that explicitly states that a background check must be done for new candidates. It is important that as a business, you be clear about your procedures. You also have to keep up with the times so that your screening procedures are secure.

In these uncertain times, it is vital that you do all that you can to ensure due diligence on the people whom you hire to work for you. The aforementioned tips are geared to help you out during this process but it is on you to cover all your bases when you are hiring.

Cost Effective Hiring Practices For Large Employers

The turnover of employees in American industries place HR department the horn of a dilemma. They have to decide whether to spend money and do their due diligence or forgo the process altogether and take a chance on the individual.

New hires are always a gamble. Some could be criminals looking to injure you and some are legit. All the same, it is vital that when you are about to hire an individual to fill a certain position, you have to be sure about who they say they are. There is no substitute for knowing about an individual.

Safe hiring programs are very tricky and time consuming to implement. It is important that firms review their hiring practices from time to time in order to get the most out of them. For most firms, simple due diligence is enough to decide on who to. This might not be the most fool proof method of hiring an individual. You must ensure that you go in depth in your search for information. This article highlights what you should know about safe and cost effective hiring programs.

Be SAFE not SORRY

A good hiring program has to exemplify this acronym that stands for Set up a program, Acclimate, Facilitate and Evaluate the Effectiveness of the program.

A program is only as good as is conceptualization and implementation. You must come up with program if you haven’t done so. In this program, you should do the following:

1. Applications and not resumes

There is glaring temptation to choose a person with a glaring resume. A resume might be embellished with all the right things; hitting all the right notes but there is no substance behind them. An application form is the best way to get answers you need about a person.

2. The application should be specific in the language

Too many people have ambiguous statements on their application forms. Therefore, a lot of people slip through the cracks and you end up with unsavoury characters in your corner. Ask about the following: pending cases, felonies and misdemeanours. Secondly, you must ensure that you that you know whether the person has a criminal record. Having a criminal record doesn’t preclude people from asking for jobs; sometimes a chance should be given to those people that have shown they have changed for the better.

Also, you have to have a statement that stipulates the consequences of lack of transparency. These consequence should clearly expressed without mincing words.

3. A consent form has to be signed

Every form must have a section. This is a source of a lot of contention especially in law because the when people don’t give their say so to have their background checked, they can sue for invasion of privacy.

4. Review the application carefully.

Lawsuits can always be avoided by simply going through the application. There are a few red flags you have to keep an eye out for. They are :

a) Not signature in the application
b) No consent on the background check
c) Blank spaces on criminal pasts
d) No explanation in gaps in employment
e) There are gaps in the employment
f) Too many cross outs in the applications
g) The names of former supervisors are not included

5. In reviewing applications, look for unexplained employment gaps.

If there a gaps in employment that are difficult to explain, then it could point to a long period of incarceration or something else. It is vital that you probe them to be sure so that you can go ahead well.

6. Probe more when there are gaps in employment

To give a fair chance, to the people asking for a job, if they have some unexplained gaps in their employment, you should ask them more about it. Try to make the subject as secure as possible when you are about to engage them accordingly.

7. House keeping interview

There will come a time to conduct an interview, it is important that you prepare set of questions that you will ask all involved to get a gauge of the person really is.

8. Check references

References are critical to knowing who you are dealing with. Make a point of getting the current contacts of the reference for further information. These references are very useful in knowing the main reasons why the particular individual left that area.

Implementing safe hiring problems isn’t easy but it is worth the sacrifice when you want to bring in quality personnel to your side.