The Five Things Your Company Needs To Know About Employee Experience This Year

It is natural for every business to go to great lengths to get maximum customer satisfaction. But in the quest for this, it is critical to give the same level of attention to arguably the most vital cog in the wheels of your business – your employees. 

Employee experience is particularly important in the financial sector, as this is one of the fastest-moving markets, making job-hopping a common occurrence.  

The ‘employee experience’ is an increasingly examined area in the structure of a company, as noted in this Deloitte University Press report, almost 80% of executives state that they feel their employee experience is ‘very important’. 

Australia is now in its second year of hosting the ‘Employee Experience Summit’, held at Park Hyatt, Melbourne. This annual event showcases speakers from Australia’s top-rated employee experience organisations, sharing their industry knowledge on subjects such as personalising your employee’s experience, journey planning, and using technology to enhance the employee experience.  

Good employee experience is the best way to keep your company competitive and your staff happy and more importantly – in their jobs; this should be the primary goal of any business. 

In this article, I will guide you through five of the main topics on employee experience that your company needs to know. 

 

1. Expectation Vs Reality 

 

 

Why does an employee look for a new job? The biggest factor is job dissatisfaction. If you have promised an employee something at the start of their contract and then fail to deliver on it, not only have you broken your promise, but also your bond of trust with them. Not getting quite what they were expecting out of the position is a huge factor in an employee wanting to look for another position in a company who will deliver on their promises. Look back at the job description you offered your employee when they were a candidate – are these responsibilities still in place six months after a new candidate is placed? A yearOr have they been given different duties such as a greatly reduced, or increased workload? If you have advertised for a mortgage broker position ‘with a difference’, make sure this is what you deliver on.  

Meeting an employee’s expectation of a role is key to them having a positive experience, and this is something that needs to be monitored for the duration of their time with your company, not just the honeymoon period. 

 

2. Viewing Your Employees Through a Customer Lens  

Keeping your customers happy is the key to a successful company; this is business 101. Customers put the money in your bank account and pay your salaries, so it is natural to want to bend over backwards to impress them. But what if you started to apply this idea internally, and treated every member of staff with the care and attention you want your customers to feel? This is not a new concept; a select number of companies have been using this philosophy for years and to great effect. This Forbes article highlights how employee satisfaction directly results in customer satisfaction. 

While this holistic approach gets returns, it can be easy to overlook it, due to the reason that it doesn’t fit in with the Western obsession of getting results fast. It can take a little longer for a company to see the results of an overhaul in the way they treat their staff, but it does work – the results speak for themselves. The Temkin Group Employee Engagement Study found that 63% of highly engaged employees try their hardest at work. 

 

3. Diversity IKey 

 

 

As humans, we can be real creatures of habit, and this is evident in the choices we make every day – from our choice of dinner to our favourite car parking spot. Because of this, you might be mistaken into thinking that a productive workforce is one in which all the members have a certain set of similar characteristics, which enable them to work well together. In fact, the opposite is true. The best kind of workforce is a diverse one, in which there are enough differences for everyone to bring something new, making them feel unique and valuable.  

The financial sector up until now has been dominated by a narrow margin of people – predominantly white male – but reports show that the tide is turning. The latest Financial Times gender diversity review reports that women in senior financial roles have increased by around 80% on previous years, creating an even balance in financial workspaces 

 

4. A Culture Shift 

Millennials are often blamed for a shift in the world’s norms, particularly in the world of work. While this has created a surge in the amount of ping pong tables now found in offices across the world, you will be pleased to know it has also had an impact on the importance of salary. Younger employees are now citing factors such as flexibility, ability to train and workplace culture as just as important as salary. This 2018 Pentegra report found that salary was no more important to the younger workforce than other benefits that an employer can offer. Providing your employees with conditions that lean towards their needs is one of the best ways to avoid burnout, which is being reported more frequently among those in highpressure roles.  

 

5. Artificial Intelligence (A.I) – Looking tThe Future

 

 

The financial sector has been one of the areas most affected by the rise of artificial intelligence. Automation has been the cause for job cuts in some areas, but it has also lent itself to new opportunities. At present A.I can only mimic automated tasks; it is unable to do what the industry defines as core ‘value-creating’ tasks. Creating value is the key to growing your company, but it also goes hand-in-hand with creating a positive employee experience. A clever use of A.I. will free up time spent on menial tasks allowing your employees to focus on creating value for your business by creative thinking and problemsolving. 

What next? Your company could be on either side of this scale, from providing the best employee experience to never having given it a second thought. If you are starting to think about employee experience or are wanting to take it up a level, this is a great place to start. We have written several blogs on honing your staffing skills, which can be found on our blog page here.  

 

Thanks  

Amrutha 

 

About JobFitts 

JobFitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline. 

To find out more visit our website at JobFitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here.

How to Be a Competitive Candidate in Today’s Knowledge Economy

The old-fashioned idea that the finance industry is just about number-crunching in a cubicle doesn’t cut it any more. In today’s economy, it’s all about the efficient creation, communication and dissemination of knowledge 

To succeed in the financial world, you will need the ability to build successful relationships, using interpersonal skills, as well as ensuring you have recognised industry qualifications. 

 

What is the Knowledge Economy? 

 

 

The World Bank has set four pillars of the knowledge economy: education, innovation systems, information infrastructure, and economic and institutional regimes.  Where you have an educated population, you have the scope to use knowledge effectively, thus creating a workforce where individuals can increase and share knowledge, contributing to economic growth overall. 

Education in this context includes school education, further education, vocational training and lifelong learning. Innovation allows businesses to tap into global knowledge, research and development.  Information Infrastructure facilitates communication, and ICT provides the interface for all knowledge-driven economies across the globe. Finally, economic and institutional regimes offer incentives for the creation and distribution of existing knowledge. 

The Knowledge Economy (KE) relies on production, distribution and the sharing of ideas and information. Australia is doing well as a knowledge economy, rated above the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average for most indicators of readiness to move towards a knowledge-based economy, with continued robust growth predicted shortly. You can find more on related data here. 

In the finance industry, ensuring employees can apply knowledge and keep up to speed with ever-changing technologies and skills is paramount, and the right mix of soft and IT skills will set you apart from the crowd when job-hunting. Top capabilities vary by specific job. However, soft skills are essential across the board and can enhance your competitiveness in the employment marketplace.  

 

Upskill Yourself 

 

 

To progress in today’s fast-paced business world, you need to develop and upgrade your skills continually.  Do you know what the crucial skills required for your industry are? Do you have them? Can you offer demonstrative evidence that you are up to date in your skills and thinking?   

Engaging in professional learning, or Continued Professional Development, will give you an advantage when employers are looking at prospective candidates. As well as showing your actual skill set and confirming your ability to do the job, it also demonstrates your willingness to learn and take on new ideas and challenges.  

In the finance world, you’ll also need to ensure you can demonstrate various specialist skills, such as high competence for analytics and financial reporting, as well as being able to employ lateral thinking. With increased development and progression in ICT, you’ll also need to ensure you are proficient in current software and practice, backed up with concrete examples. 

Are you fully conversant with industry trends and market demand? There are many ways to ensure you are up to speed – follow critical influencers on social media, listen to relevant podcasts, subscribe to business blogs, use analytical tools – showing an interest in the industry trends ensures you come across as forward-thinking, willing to take on new practices and ideas to ensure your business remains competitive.  

It’s essential to have distinct examples of these abilities to enable you to demonstrate your skills on your CV and at interview. Take time to think about how you can do this to best show your aptitude for the role. 

 

Don’t Forget Soft Skills 

 

 

As well as the pieces of paper that confirm your qualifications, you will also need to consider your transferable, or ‘soft’ skills. These are attributes that are important whatever the job for which you’re applying. Soft skills include the ability to listen to others, show empathy, work ethic, how you manage conflict, attitude, teamwork, creative thinking and communication style. They characterise how you interact with others, and as they are developed over your lifetime, are harder to measure. However, employers value soft skills highly. Not only do they provide an indicator of a prospective employee’s ability to adapt, but they offer a great indication of how you will give a good ‘fit’ in the culture of the workplace, and increasingly employers are using a behavioural-based interview structure to gauge candidates’ skills such as teamwork, problemsolving and attention to detail.  

Making a list of the soft skills you possess, and comparing them to the requirements of the job you’re applying for, will show you what the employer is looking for in a candidate. If you have additional skills not mentioned in the job advert that you think is relevant, include them as keywords on your CV and covering letter. 

 

Why Employers Care About Soft Skills 

After all, unless you’re working in a vacuum, you will need to interact with others in some way. So being able to engage is vital in any job. If you’re likely to be in direct contact with customers, you will need the skills to be able to listen and provide a polite and helpful service.  At the very least, you’ll be interacting, discussing and collaborating with colleagues, which requires several soft skills. It also makes for a happier workplace! 

Also, as soft skills are acquired and developed over time, candidates with excellent soft skills are often seen as having broad experience which can help diversify, enabling the company to grow and progress over timeAnother reason employers like transferable skills are that, by their very nature, they can be deployed into any position, making you an adaptable employee. 

Make sure you draw attention to the soft skills you have that are relevant to the job you want. Include them in your CV and covering letter, and at interview use opportunities to show them by listening to what the employer is saying (even if you’ve heard it before), being polite and friendly to everyone you meet (even when the interviewer is not around – you never know who will report back!) and show a positive attitude.  

So, brush up on your skills, get that additional training if you need it, and ensure you gain the competitive advantage you need to become the sought-after professional employers need. You can find more information and key tips on our website here. 

 

Thanks  

Amrutha 

 

About JobFitts 

JobFitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline. 

To find out more visit our website at JobFitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here.

What Job Seekers Are Really Looking For In The Current Market

How well do you really understand the needs and motivations of the job seekers in your sector? Perhaps not as well as you might think. 

At a recent recruitment expo we attended one of the speakers shared data from a very compelling study which revealed that what recruiters think candidates want out of a job is often quite at odds with what most are looking for 

The research found that 70% of recruiters interviewed said that advancement was what candidates most sought in a role, followed closely by money and work-life balance. Interestingly, when the researchers asked candidates what they most looked for from employers, they cited the same three things, but in a completely different order: compensation, work-life balance, and advancement.  

Just as telling were the things that candidates cited as important that recruiters hadn’t even mentioned: over 20% of all candidates interviewed said that company ethics, working from home, and commute were important factors, but none of these even appeared on the recruiters’ radar.  

If we’re not truly understanding what is important to candidates, then we’re missing an opportunity in how we can message to them, thus enabling our marketing to work more effectively.  

To help you develop your talent pipeline for 2019, here are 7 things candidates are currently looking for in today’s market. 

 

1. Competitive Compensation and Perks 

 

 

Regardless of generation, gender, and geography, employees want to be compensated fairly for the work they do. However, compensation needn’t be thought of only in terms of monetary value.  

Candidates are becoming increasingly concerned not only with the basic salary they are offered but with all the other perks that they may or may not be offered as part of their contract. A robust pension package, private healthcare benefits, gym membership and other rewards are all valuable incentives which can help to recruit and retain talent in a candidate driven market.  

Together with a competitive salary, perks go a long way in showing employees that they are valued.  

 

2. Flexibility & Work-Life Balance 

It’s clear that the strict nine-to-five workday is outdated – and it won’t help employers attract or maintain today’s top talent. The 2018 Global Talent Trends study found that 51% of employees wished their company offered more flexible work options.  

No matter the industry, flexible working hours, remote working opportunities, and generous holiday packages are increasingly on the wish list of many job seekers. 

A study on the benefits most valued by job seekers published in the Harvard Business Review revealed that eighty-eight percent of respondents were more likely to seriously consider a job offering flexible hours, while 80% stated that having more vacation time was an appealing perk.  

 

3. Training and Advancement 

Training often goes in tandem with advancement and career growth; you can’t really have one without the other. Opportunities for professional development offer many benefits to both employees and employers, from increased retention and healthier company culture to improved efficiency.  

Employers who offer clear career paths and are prepared to invest in continued professional development for their staff are likely to attract and keep the best applicants because it shows that a company is invested in their future. Staff are more likely to leave because of lack of opportunities than for any other reason.  

 

4. Great Culture & Collaboration 

 

 

Fostering and encouraging a collaborative culture can have many positives, from building a cohesive and empowered team to nurturing creativity. Great employees want to work in a supportive and collaborative environment where they can thrive creatively.  

Just as with providing perks and opportunities for professional growth, creating and maintaining a safe, accepting and collaborative culture for your employees will go a long way in showing how much you value them. You can do this by encouraging collaboration and recognising your employees for their contributions and achievements. 

 

5. Company Ethics 

In addition to company culture, a company’s values convey a strong message, and it’s important for employees to feel like their values are aligned to those of the company. Regardless of your industryadhering to high ethical standards is more important than ever in retaining employees.  

Creating a culture that nurtures employee wellbeing, encourages hands-on learning and forgives mistakes can make candidates believe that your company is where they want to be, which will increase both retention and productivity. 

 

6. Sense of Purpose 

Perhaps the most underrated aspiration of today’s job seekers is the desire to work with a purpose. Many of today’s job seekers would be willing to give up certain perks in exchange for more fulfilling work.  

Unfortunately, it seems that offering employees a sense of purpose is overlooked by many companies in today’s profit-focused world. Without a sense of purpose, it’s difficult for employees to connect with their work and their company.  

In addition to increased retention, ensuring your employees feel a sense of purpose in their work will boost productivity, morale, and overall job satisfaction.  

 

7. Accessible leadership 

 

 

Today’s professionals want to connect and work closely with company leadership. Job seekers are looking for a company culture that values employees at every level, where managers and team members work together to achieve their goals. 

You should, therefore, encourage your employees to communicate openly and often. Invite team members to discuss any topic, and check in regularly with each employee to discuss and diffuse problems, concerns, and conflicts. 

By building relationships with employees based on mutual respect and transparency, you will set the tone for a positive company culture, where leadership integrates into the team and builds meaningful relationships with each team member. 

 

About JobFitts 

JobFitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline. 

To find out more visit our website at JobFitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here.

How To Be Viewed As A Fair Manager

Treating your employees fairly seems like such a simple thing. And yet, research suggests that the day-to-day demands and stress of management often make doing the right thing anything but easy.   

Studies also reveal, however, that employees who are treated fairly feel respected and valued, and as a result, are more productive and loyal and are more likely to stay and grow in your company.  

Not only will your employees respect you and believe in you more as a leader; by treating them fairly, you’ll also be fostering a culture where your employees will treat each other with fairness and respect.  

In fact, being a fair manager is the cornerstone to creating a positive company culture that will retain the best talent. With that in mind, here are seven proven strategies that will help you to become the fairest of them all. 

 

Don’t Play Favourites 

 

 

One of the quickest ways of being viewed as unfair is by having different standards for different team members, which becomes especially apparent when some team members are allowed certain benefits that others are not. This approach can particularly backfire if poor performers are allowed to slide.  

A fair manager does not play favourites. Regardless of how you might personally feel about certain employees, you should never let personal bias get in the way of your professional decision making.  

 

Don’t Confuse Equal With Fair

Just remember that equal and fair are two different things; while you should treat everyone fairly, this will look different depending on who you are dealing with. Treating everyone equally doesn’t equate to treating everyone fairly. 

The important thing to consider is that every employee is unique; they all have different work ethics, styles, skill sets, responsibilities and goals. For example, you might have two employees in the same role, but with very different attitudes and work ethics. If employee A works very hard, consistently going above and beyond, while employee B simply works to meet the quota, should they be treated exactly the same? 

If they are treated equally, employee A might start to resent the lack of recognition for all her hard work and lose motivation and interest in your company. Whereas if they were treated fairly, employee A would receive an increase in pay, a promotion or some other kind of recognition, which would serve as an incentive to employee BEqual is not fair. 

 

Be A Role Model 

If you want to be viewed as fair, you can’t just talk the talk; you also have to walk the walk. 

Employees want and need a leader who not only achieves great things but who embodies great ideals. If you set the bar high for your staff, you have to set the bar even higher for yourself.  

Applying rules equally to everyone means applying them to yourself, as well. You have to model the behaviour you want to see in your team. If they see that you don’t practice what you preach, they’ll not only lose respect for you; they’ll not respect the rules or values of the company. 

By focusing on the big picture and demonstrating the highest values, others will admire and respect you as a true leader. Remember, if you teach through your actions and model the behaviour of “fairness” in the workplace, others will follow your lead. 

 

Give Your Employees A Voice  

 

 

The positive impact of having open communication and feedback from your team cannot be understated.  

As with being a role model, if you want to encourage open communication among your team, you have to take the time tlisten tyour employees concerns and be accessible. This means more than just having an opendoor policy. Make sure your colleagues know that you’re always available.  

In addition to fostering open communication between you and your employees, you should implement and encourage employee feedback. Giving your employees a voice and acting on their feedback and concerns will establish you as fair and caring manager. 

 

Be Open & Honest 

Another aspect of fostering open communication is modelling what this looks like with your staff. If you say what you mean and mean what you say, your employees will always know what to expect from you and where they stand with you.  

Being open and honest with your staff means telling thewhy a specific procedure was put in place or explaining the rationale behind difficult decisions or changes. 

When you are honest with your employees, you are treating them fairly; it also shows that you respect and value them. 

 

Treat Everyone With Dignity and Respect 

When in doubt, stick with the golden rule: treat everyone ayou would like to be treated. Remember, employees do not leave jobs; they leave bad managers.  

If you want the respect of your employeesyou must show them respect in turn. This means valuing and respecting the dignity of each member on your team.  

Deception, manipulation, micromanagement, and undermining employee efforts will only lead to distrust and disgruntlement among your team; without honesty and trust, there can be no mutual respect.  

 

Recognise Employee Contributions 

 

 

Praise and recognition are two tenets of good management and gaining the respect of your staff. Showing genuine appreciation for a job well done is one of the best ways to build a strong following of admiration. 

When someone does great work, makes a good suggestion, or makes a positive contribution to the team’s success, a fair manager provides positive feedback and finds a reason to celebrate. 

Employees appreciate sincere and specific recognition of their contributions and achievements. Effectively recognising your team members will not only increase their sense of belonging in your company, but it will also increase their commitment to their role, resulting in a happier and more productive employee.  

 

About JobFitts 

JobFitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline. 

To find out more visit our website at JobFitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here.

How To Deal With Change In The Workplace

Change is the only true constant. This aphorism is as true today as it was centuries ago.  

While many of us often look forward to changes in our lives or at work – daydreaming or pontificating about how things could be different – when things do actually change, we often feel caught off guard and unprepared. 

It’s one thing to be the one who suggests or initiates a change, but when you’re not in the driver’s seat as it were, unable to control what’s happening around you, change can be an unsettling, disenfranchising and downright scary prospect. It’s all too easy to become overwhelmed by doubt and uncertainty.  

However, change does not have to culminate in fear and anxiety.  As individuals, we have a lot of personal control over how we deal with the changes we are faced with; it’s ultimately up to you how you choose to perceive or handle change.  

With that in mind, here are four tested strategies for making the most of change in the workplace. 

 

Stay Positive & Optimistic 

 

 

Although this can be easier said than done, maintaining a positive attitude in the face of change is crucial for being able to thrive in your career. The ability to adapt to change is one of the most crucial attributes for any employee. Regardless of the new circumstances, you should always strive to be optimistic and maintain a good attitude.  

Even though you may not be satisfied with certain aspects of a particular change, you can still be optimistic about what possibilities it might yield. For example, you may not like certain things about a new role you’ve been required to take on, but you never know what a year in this position might ultimately do for your career. You might grow to love the very things that you currently think you don’t like; it might even lead you onto a different (and more satisfying) career path that you might not have otherwise considered. 

While the new situation you find yourself in may not be perfect, the old one most likely wasn’t perfect either. Rather than fretting or stewing about what you don’t like about it, focus on how you can best leverage your skills, experiences and network to make the most of the changes. Thinking of ways you make the change work to your advantage will help you to take ownership of it, thus making you feel more in control. However, maintaining a negative attitude about the change will only result in alienating yourself from the rest of your team. 

 

Be Flexible & Open 

Rather than stifling your creativity and potential with a rigid mindset, try to be flexible and open to new ideas and possibilities. Instead of viewing the change solely as negative, try to view it as a career opportunity. By adopting an open attitude of anticipation and getting involved in new committees and work teams, you can make yourself part of the change.  

Instead of fighting or fearing change, try to keep yourself open and flexible to new challenges and tasks. If you approach change with an open attitude of learning – even if you don’t like something new in the system – people will want to work with you, and you’ll have a greater chance of making a positive impact on those around and the company as a whole 

By having the flexibility to become an influencer and driver of change, you will feel empowered and less fearful, enabling you (and those around you) to embrace the positive aspects going forward. 

 

Be Proactive, Not Reactive 

 

 

This brings us to an important point; when faced with change that’s not of our own making, it’s all too easy to become reactive. Once put on the defensive, we may worry endlessly about, resist or openly fight against new developments. From this perspective, people are often only able to see the negative aspects of a given change. However, these are all reactive responses, and when we react defensively, we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to become part of the change. 

If we can learn to shift our mindset to enable ourselves to become proactive, a whole new world of possibilities will open up to us. Not only do we act more responsibly when we make proactive decisions, but we’re able to make positive contributions that allow the entire team/project to succeed. Being proactive is about being a team player and keeping the bigger picture in mind.  

One of the ways you could be proactive in coping with workplace change is by learning new skills. Make a list of the skills that are required for your new role or responsibilities and invest time each week in developing them. Taking on more responsibility or acquiring new skills not only makes you more valuable in your company; it also makes you more marketable down the road to prospective employers.  

Another proactive strategy is to look for ways you can help others cope with the change. One of the best ways to deal with your new position is to help others get situated while you are trying to figure it out yourself. Teaching is the best way of learning. By helping others in this way, they will be more inclined to want to help you in return. Lending guidance and helping hand in a difficult period of transition will also help to establish you as leadership material in the eyes of management.  

 

Focus On Communication 

 

 

A big part of being proactive and adapting successfully to workplace changes is to be an effective communicator. Clear, open communication is the key to success in any new role/team 

Communicate with others to learn your new role. Find those that have already been in your role and get them to teach you everything you need to know so you can get up to speed. Ask as many questions as possible about your new role or responsibilities. This will show people that you value their insight and take your new responsibilities seriously.  

Communication is always important, but it becomes even more crucial during times of change. Part of the fear of change is the unknown. If the leadership of your company is not communicating change effectively, make it your business to be proactive in finding out more about what the change involves.  

The bottom line is, change is inevitable for all organisations today, so you’ll need to overcome your fear of it. Change can be disruptive, even frightening, but it will always be there. With the right attitude, outlook and actions, you can find opportunities for making the most of it. 

 

About JobFitts 

JobFitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline. 

 

To find out more visit our website at JobFitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here.

Feedback: How To Help Your Team Members Excel

Feedback is one of the ‘hot’ topics in business today in every industry.

In a workforce that is increasingly dominated by Millennials, we are led to believe they want more feedback than any previous generation. As a result, some organisations are both creating feedback cultures and introducing peer to peer feedback 

It is with interest then that I read an article in Harvard Business Review questioning the value of feedback as we know it.  

In this article, I want to explore some of the reasons why feedback doesn’t always work as well  as we want it to and what you can do differently.  

 

What Stops Feedback From Working AWell AYou Want?  

1. A Managers Area Of Focus

 

 

Too often it’s easier to identify what isn’t working than what is.

Let’s be honest; many high achievers find it easier to generate a list of what their development needs are than what their fundamental strengths are. Similarly, this behavioural pattern is then repeated when a manager is observing or reviewing a team members performance too. 

Likewise, I have often heard managers talk about how little motivational feedback they received at different stages in their career. As a result, two things can happen: 

a) They didn’t give motivational feedback as they’re not accustomed to its benefits. 

b) Managers praise too much and offer too little development feedback. 
 

2. Lack Of Capability

I was talking with a colleague recently who said they had been managing for five years before they went on a formal management training programme. Luckily, they had a good role model who had highly advanced coaching skills

Her peer group, however, sadly were not quite so fortunate and as a result, were somewhat clumsy in giving feedback and in some instances would avoid it altogether, mainly if they were concerned about upsetting their team member. 

The consequence, unfortunately, is that no-one knows where they’re going wronghow their performance could improve, or what they are doing well. 
 

3. Timeliness Of Feedback

If you are having monthly one to ones with your team and using this as your opportunity to share feedback, it will have less impact. Not only will your recollection of the detail of a situation have dimmed in your own mind, but also in your employees. 

The impact is that the conversation will have less value. Which also leads me to my next point.  
 

4. The Quality Of A Managers Feedback.

 

 

If we haven’t used the following statement ourselves at some point in our career, we will have had it said to us…….. Good Job! 

I don’t know about you and the first thing that cometo my mind when I hear this is, ‘OK, so what did I do that you liked?’ 

If an employee lacks the specifics of a behaviour or action that they can identify that they did well or could improve then how can they repeat it again?  

What You Can Do Differently

Let me be blunt about this. Stop using phrases such as: 

You need to improve …

You should do…

Instead use: 

Here’s what I would do or 

Here’s what worked best for me and why 

These two phrases remove the implied judgement of the words ‘need’ and ‘should’. When I hear these two words, I find the voice in my head saying…and what if I don’t do it?!
 

Share Specific Positive Behavioural Examples

Use specific behavioural examples where you share not only what the person did well, but the outcome and how it made you feel. Yes, you did read that correctly, share how it made you feel

Maybe you heard one of your team handle a challenging conversation with a client, who they moved from anger to calm in a matter of minutes. 

Take a moment and stop to highlight the specifics of what you heard and saw and how proud you felt about the way they handled it. Let the individual know this is the specific behaviour you are looking for each day. 
 

Important: Share Only What You Have Observed.

Focus on what you have personally observed and stay away from what others have said. If colleague has brought something to your attention, encourage them to share the behaviour, outcome and how they felt. 

Use An Employees Past Experiences To Help Them In The Present And Future

 

 

Marcus Buckingham, the author of the HBR article I mentioned earlier, suggests a practical approach where employees use their own experiences and resources to overcome problems and challenges
 

When an employee has a problem, he suggests that managers ask their team member to focus on three things that are currently working well for them (present). This question shifts the individual’s mindset into a positive, resourceful state. 

The next step is to say, When you have had similar problems to your current one previously, how did you handle it? (past).

The employee generally has several examples they can relateThe final ‘future’ step is to ask, ‘what do you already know that can work in this situation?’ (back to the present).
 

While you may find some of these ideas a little different, how well is your current approach to feedback working for you? If you are unsure, test the new methods for yourself and notice the difference 

It is both easy and rewarding to learn different strategies to develop your team in a way that motivates, encourages, and guides them towards higher levels of performance and excellence. 

 

Thanks, 

 

Amrutha 

 

 

About JobFitts 

JobFitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline. 

 

To find out more visit our website at JobFitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here.

5 Must-Have Management Skills For The Digital Era Part 2

In a world where there is constant progression with technology, and artificial intelligence is used in ever increasing areas within organisations, it is, without doubt, a digital and disruptive workplace like nothing we have experienced before. 

As a manager or senior leader responsible for management development, there will be a question that has occupied your thinking at times that goes like this: For managers to succeed in the digital age, what are their “must have skills”? 

Only when you can answer this question can you then begin to think about how your organisation supports managers to build and develop this skill set. 

In part 2 of this series, we will share the final two must-have skills: Agility and Flexibility.  If you haven’t yet read part 1 where we discussed Communication Skills, Emotional Intelligence and Ethical Compass, you can read it here.

 

Agility

 

 

Let’s start by exploring what we mean by agility: “quick and well-coordinated movement.

Agility is a word frequently used in IT teams and comes from the agile frameworks that IT teams use to manage development projects. It is, however, a skill that applies to managers in other functions too.  

Without getting into the detail of agile working and self-managing teams plus the debate about what  is the role of an ‘agile manager’, here are some examples of the kind of mindset an agile manager has.

 

Able To Remove Road Blocks

These managers are great at removing blocks that limit the efficiency and effectiveness of their team and colleagues. 

Roadblocks are found in organisations systems and processes. In this instance, an agile manager will facilitate and influence to remove the blocks and create processes that serve the organisation
more effectively. 

 

Servant Leadership

 

 

A great agile manager is a servant leader to their team. This means they demonstrate ethical and caring behaviours, putting others needs ahead of their own. They are humble, knowledgeable, positive, social and emotionally intelligent. As someone who can remove blocks, they are empathic and have strong listening skills.
 

Understands Resources

A manager has numerous resources at their disposal including paper, phones, technology and people. With so many resources available in this digital age in which we live, it’s easy to forget people and the need to communicate. 

A team are both a highly valuable resource and asset. An agile manager will always remember that people are humans, not plug in and press machines.

 

Connections

 

 

An old mentor once said to me, Amrutha, “Your network is your net-worth”. It was at a time when  I was developing my networking skills and contacts. At the time I didn’t quite appreciate how true this is. 

We all have strong connection with family, friends and colleagues we are closest to. However, in this connected world we live in, with social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook, there is an opportunity to have a large network of connections where we can manage the strength and depth of relationships. 

Unlike many years ago, it’s much easier for these connections to be global. If you are a manager 
with a smaller network, make it a priority to align yourself with a colleague or peer who does have an extensive network that they are happy for you to tap into in order to assist and support your team to achieve their goals. 

I realise that this list of skills could have been even longer. If there are some skills that would have been in your top five that I have omitted, drop me an email and let me know. 

Thanks, 

 

Amrutha 

About JobFitts 

JobFitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline. 

To find out more visit our website at JobFitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here.

5 Must-Have Management Skills For The Digital Era Part 1

In a world where there is constant progression with technology, and artificial intelligence is used in ever increasing areas within organisations, it is, without doubt, a digital and disruptive workplace like nothing we have experienced before. 

As a manager or senior leader responsible for management development, there will no doubt be a question that has occupied your thinking at times that goes like this: For managers to succeed in the digital age, what are their “must have skills”? 

Only when you can answer this question can you then begin to think about how your organisation supports managers to build and develop this skill set. 

In a two-part series, we will share the five must-have skills: Communication Skills, Emotional Intelligence, An Ethical Compass, Agility and the need to build connections. So let’s get started and take this one by one. In part one we explore the first 3. 

Story Telling: Communication Skills 

 

 

A recent report on the use of the internet and social media showed Australians spent five hours and 5 minutes each day on the internet in 2018. The good news is that this is down 30 minutes from 2017.  Before we get too excited, our time on social media decreased by just 8 minutes over the entire year!

With technology playing such a key role in how we work, it is more important than ever that a manager has strong communication skills. Whether it’s one to one time, or meetings, being able to give direction, coach, influence, present, facilitate – each relies on a persons ability to get and hold their employeeattention and movthem into action. 

The most basic form of communication is sharing a compelling story. We only have to think of a small child and how they learn – through repetition. Repetition of their favourite story over and over again. As adults, we use “story time” as a way to engage and communicate with our small people. 

Be honest now, who haven’t created your own story using your son or daughterfavourite storybook characters to communicate an early life lesson?   

Emotional Intelligence

 

 

In the earlier stages of my career, the perception was that the senior leaders with the highest IQ would be the most successful. As we now know, this assumption has proven to be incorrect. 

Think of the friend or colleague who never allows their temper to get out of control, no matter what challenges they face. Alternatively, a senior manager you admire who enjoys total trust with their team. 
They listen to their team, are easy to talk to, and make considered and informed decisions.

These are some examples of a manager with a high degree of emotional intelligence. 

To clarify: Emotional intelligence or EI is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. According to Daniel Goleman, the American psychologist who helped to popularise emotional intelligence, there are five critical elements to it: 

  • Self-awareness. 
  • Self-regulation. 
  • Motivation. 
  • Empathy. 
  • Social skills.
     

The more that you manage each of these areas, the higher your emotional intelligence. 
While there is Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, the fact is that machines are rudimentary in their ability to understand the emotional tenor of a person, meeting, or organisation.

An Ethical Compass

 

 

The Deloitte Human Capital Trends Report in 2018 stated that organisations were no longer being judged solely by their financial performance and products. 

“Rather, organisations today are increasingly judged based on their relationships with their workers, their customers, and their communities, as well as their impact on society at large—transforming them from business enterprises into social enterprises.”

At the time of writing the 2019 Human Capital Trends has just been published and reports that;

“This year, we believe the pressures that have driven the rise of the social enterprise have become even more acute. They are forcing organisations to move beyond mission statements and philanthropy to learn to lead the social enterprise  and to reinvent themselves around a human focus.”

Of course, this isn’t about practising corporate social responsibility. It’s about recognising that while a business needs to generate profit, it must do so in a way that improves their employees, customers and the communities they operate in too; which is no mean feat.  

While it is the role of a CEO to solve this issue, what it means for managers is that their style of management must take into account the “human experience” each team member has of them. 

For example, how they:

1. Respond to requests for flexible working or working from home. 
2. Work with and support a team member who is experiencing mental health problems.
3. Manage the demands and deadlines from senior management and have the ability to push back.      Moreover, say no when there is a risk of it negatively impacting the team and consequently customers. 

AI demonstrates what a machine is and is not capable of. Humans are not machines, and it’s remembering that the days of soaring profits and whatever cost are no longer acceptable.  

In our next article, we will cover the final two areas of, agility and flexibility. Remember to look out for our email which will announce it’s publication.  

Thanks, 

 

Amrutha 

About JobFitts 

JobFitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels, from HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline. 

To find out more visit our website at JobFitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here.

Why Are Employers Looking to Hire Intrapreneurs? (and How to Become One)

 

You’ve heard of entrepreneurs, perhaps you even identify as one, but what’s an intrapreneur? 

This term has been growing in popularity lately as companies strive to add more diversity to their team. It was initially coined by Personal Branding expert William Arruda in his book: Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand.  

According to Arruda, an intrapreneur is someone who demonstrates entrepreneurial spirit from inside an organisation. In other words, it’s someone with the innovation, intuition, and insight to drive transformation in business 

Intrapreneurs are the creative minds who aren’t afraid of change and are happy to explore new avenues to get things done. The difference is that an entrepreneur acts as an individual, while an intrapreneur works on behalf of their employer.  

Why Are Employers Looking for Intrapreneurs? 

So why are employers so eager to add intrapreneurs to their talent pipeline? 

The simple answer is that intrapreneurs are innovators who take ownership of their work. When employees feel like their work makes a genuine difference to an organisation, they work hard, contribute more, and feel more satisfied.  

For instance, eBay employee Healey Cypher was an intrapreneur who realised that 75% of consumer purchases happened within 15 miles of a brick-and-mortar store. He used this insight to create new shopping experiences that combine the digital and physical world with in-store pickup and same-day delivery.  

Here’s how you can become an intrapreneur and attract new employment opportunities.

1. Commit to Innovation 

Like entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs are inherently creative. They know how to explore new avenues and challenge the status quo to get things done. As an intrapreneur, you can’t allow yourself to get stuck in a professional rut. Instead, you’ll need to think outside of the box and search for new opportunities in your day-to-day work.  

Whenever you’re making a decision for the benefit of your team, question whether your process is the one that will deliver the best outcomes. Often, experimenting with new ideas and concepts will take a mixture of confidence and outside knowledge.  

The more you learn about your industry and the latest trends, the easier it will be to come up with transformative concepts that help your company to thrive. 

2. Understand Your Organisation

Learning about the industry is just one part of the puzzle. You’ll also need to have an in-depth understanding of your company too. What are its values and goals? What are the challenges that your colleagues face every day?  

Analyse everything from the business’s employer brand to its mission statement. This will help you to pinpoint areas where change might be necessary. You can even spend time researching specific issues that are facing your team and looking for new ways to fix them. 

Don’t just wait for someone to come and ask you to take charge. Get the ball rolling yourself by showing you’ve done your homework and that you know where the opportunities lies.

3. Work on Your Agility and Resilience

As the financial industry continues to evolve, the most successful employees are those who know how to adapt to change. Intrapreneurs are some of the most agile team members of all because they actively pursue positive transformation in their work.  

As an intrapreneur, you’ll need to know how to drop what you’re doing and switch gears in an instant. Being flexible and open to new ideas will ensure that you don’t get stuck on a new method that won’t work for your team.  

However, that doesn’t mean that you’ll give up on a problem when hurdles emerge. You’ll know how to get stuck in and continue hammering away at a problem too. Intrapreneurs aren’t easily deterred.

4. Develop Your Personal Brand 

As a confident, creative and agile person, you’ll have a lot of interesting information to share about yourself and your work. That paves the way for an incredible personal brand. Like entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs are often acutely aware of how they communicate their strengths and knowledge to the world. You’ll likely have both an impressive offline presence, and a strong profile online too.  

Because you’re always doing new things and working with different people, you’ll also be able to update your CV and portfolio of experiences regularly too. You might track your accomplishments on LinkedIn or share stories about your successes online.  

The more you can work on your personal brand and tailor it to the needs and values of your industry, the more valuable you’ll become to employers.

5. Become a Committed Team Player

Finally, one of the main things that set intrapreneurs apart from entrepreneurs is that they’re not pursuing an individual goal. Intrapreneurs are innovating on behalf of an employer, which means that they know how to collaborate and work well as a team. Intrapreneurs are continually building new relationships and adding to their network.  

Because they offer value in the form of creative ideas and new perspectives, people are happy to lend them a hand and ask for assistance in return. What’s more, as an intrapreneur, you’ll earn a reputation for swooping into work environments and making processes better.  

About Job Fitts 

Job Fitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from; HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline. 

To find out more visit our website at Job Fitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here. 

 

How to Retain Talent in a Candidate Driven Market

 

Finding the ideal talent for your team is tough. However, retaining those employees may be even harder. Businesses are facing an increasing skills shortage. There are currently thousands of unfilled vacancies in AUS, leaving employers everywhere eager for reliable employment opportunities.  

Today’s candidate-driven market means that employees have more control over their career opportunities. The best talent no longer has to settle for a position that doesn’t meet all their needs. As such, businesses need to work even harder to make themselves attractive to future stars.  

Fortunately, Jobfitts is here to help  

Employee Retention: The Basics 

Replacing valued talent is an exhausting process. It’s costly for your bottom line, and it can create issues within your organisation like reduced morale and disruptions in productivity. Estimates suggest that losing even a middle manager can cost up to 100% of their annual salary 

Often, great retention starts with recruitment. You will need to ensure that you are pulling people into your talent pipeline that resonate with your organisation’s values and goals. Find someone who suits your company culture, and they are much more likely to stick around. Other fundamental things to focus on include: 

  • Providing high-quality leadership and supervision: People frequently leave companies because they don’t have the right support from management. Make sure that your team members feel empowered. 
  • Letting people make the most of their skills: Ensure that your staff has opportunities to put their special talents to the test in exciting projects. Challenge your teams and help them to grow.  
  • Frequent communication: Creating a culture of transparency will generate feedback from your employees on any issues they might have with your employment. Stay interviews are excellent when it comes to retaining talent.  

Explore Both Diversity and Inclusion 

Preventing your best employees from leaving doesn’t necessarily mean placing them in an environment filled with people just like them. Although your team members need to share the same values and ethics, diversity is crucial to an effective workplace. Today’s talent appreciates being part of an environment where everyone has a voice, regardless of their background, their gender, or anything else.  

Most of today’s employers understand the “diversity” part of the diversity and inclusion conversation. However, it’s essential to go beyond merely hiring people from different environments. You’ll also need to create an environment where everyone can be who they are, without fear of isolation or rejection.  

According to the Harvard Business Review, the key to successful inclusion is getting to know each employee individually. Through focus groups, personal conversations and engagement surveys you can make sure that everyone gets what they need from your company.  

Make Growth Opportunities a Priority

Research from the CTA suggests that professional development and training programmes are the most important benefits for today’s candidates. As you’re getting to know your employees as individuals, it pays to find out what kind of educational experience they’re looking for in their position. 

Some people will want opportunities to learn from others through mentoring and coaching processes, while others will prefer to develop themselves in their own time via online courses. Some of the ways you can implement growth strategies for your team include: 

  • Supporting lateral movements for team members who want to shift into a different group or segment within your business.   
  • Offering opportunities to take part in complex challenges or new tasks for individuals who demonstrate their knowledge in that area.
  • Competitions and hackathons that allow staff members to build deeper connections and learn new skills at the same time.  

Don’t Forget your Remote/ Mobile Workers 

For some time now, flexibility has been a common desire for modern employees. The concept of “work/life” balance has led top talent to seek out careers that give them more freedom over their schedule. Studies suggest that remote working in Australia is on the rise, with almost 50% of people working remotely for half of the week.   

Although remote working opportunities frequently make employees happier and more productive in their roles, they also come with unique challenges. For instance, it’s common for people to feel isolated and lonely when they’re working remotely. One study found that only 5% of remote workers see themselves staying with the same company for their entire career. Part of the reason for this is that people struggle to feel connected to their employer when they don’t regularly interact with the team. 

Frequent invitations to the office, email updates, phone calls, and even video conferences can keep mobile employees engaged. Don’t ignore the needs of your remote team.   

Make the Most of the Onboarding Process

Finally, remember that welcoming top talent onto your team can be essential for long-term retention. Reports suggest that employee retention is the number one issue for CEOs, with 20% of turnover happening within the first 45 days of employment. An effective onboarding process can improve retention by up to 50%. Make sure your onboarding sessions include: 

  • An introduction to how your business works and what’s expected of them as a new employee. What do you value most from your team members? How will you measure their progress? 
  • Introductions into the company culture: Let your new employee know all about your business values and make them feel like part of the team. People who make friendships at work are more likely to remain within their role.  
  • Set up a long-term strategy: Plan out the first 30, 60, and 90 days for your talent, with one-on-one meetings where you can discuss their progress. Let them know that you’re ready to invest in their future with your business and set them up for quick wins with easy-to-understand goals.  

About Job Fitts 

Job Fitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from; HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline. 

To find out more visit our website at Job Fitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here.