Employee productivity is an important concern for employers because it affects profit levels and staff retention rates. However, it is ultimately a reflection of an organization’s culture and ability to motivate staff. An engaged employee understands and commits to a company and its goals. Engaged employees are intrinsically motivated by an organization’s culture, environment, and people, to be efficient and produce quality work. These five methods, when used properly, can help to increase employee productivity and create engaged employees.
1. Hold employees accountable for their work
Employees with clear descriptions of their tasks and who are aware of their deadlines will reduce the amount of time they would otherwise spend on inconsequential tasks. Employers need to set regular performance reviews with the employees in order to hold them accountable for their tasks, measure their progress, and address any questions or concerns they have. This is also the appropriate time to explain how their work ties into company goals and how it affects the big picture. This encourages employees to be actively engaged with the company.
2. Recognize and reward
Recognizing and rewarding the efforts of employees motivates them to continue delivering exceptional work. Being recognized provides employees with personal satisfaction in their work, while rewards provide an additional incentive to reach and exceed their goals. Of course, deciding the best method to motivate employees depends on the employees themselves and the approach they would appreciate more.
3. Create a positive environment
The workplace environment is definitely important in contributing to employee productivity. Creating a positive and open environment encourages employees to proactively seek help when needed. This helps to establish an organizational culture that also encourages communication and camaraderie between employees. This can be done through periodic social activities, or even through collective volunteering efforts within the community.
4. Provide opportunities for growth and learning
It is important to offer courses and/or seminars that will add to the employee’s knowledge. This encourages new ideas, but also shows that the employer is willing to invest in the employee.
5. Provide the most optimal work environment
Nothing discourages employee productivity more than slow or outdated technology. Make sure that employees have updated equipment to use, or ideally, equipment that could improve productivity levels. For example, having wireless headsets available for frequent callers is better than having employees with neck tension caused by having receivers pressed up to their ears.
As the cliché goes, a happy employee is a productive employee. Employees who are happier are more likely to derive personal satisfaction from their jobs and take an active pursuit in meeting the company’s goals.
By Erica Tin
You see their faces all the time, in television ads, newspapers, and commercials. You may have judged their personalities, passions, and interests based on their events and work choices. Now, you wonder, how did their brand identities become so prominent in your mind?
How did these celebrities become well-known for what they’re well-known for? They developed a personal brand and leveraged it to their advantage in a business capacity. Having a personal brand reflects who you are as a person, how you perceive yourself, and how others perceive you. It is composed of both personal and professional skills and qualities that differentiate you from others.
With these personal branding tips, you can create your own personal brand to use to your advantage.
1. Understand your attributes
Start with understanding yourself. Celebrities don’t achieve success without realizing what they do well, and what qualities they can use to represent themselves. If you don’t know what your attributes are, it is difficult to convince others to buy into your brand.
You need to know what your passions are and where your strengths lie. This can be done through a 360 degree assessment, where you ask your friends, colleagues, family members, etc. about what they believe your strengths and weaknesses are. You must then decide what you can offer others, based on these strengths and passions. What personal characteristics do you have that will aid this process? This forms the basis of your personal brand.
2. Constantly update and interact
In order to maintain their fans’ interest, celebrities attend interviews, signings, and events when they can. They also interact with fans through social media. This way, their brand stays current in the mind of the audience. You can do this too by leaving comments on blog pieces you find interesting and interacting with industry leaders on social media.
To help establish credibility, use social media to constantly update blog posts you created and relevant news articles you want to share. You should also regularly attend networking events, where you can engage and interact face-to-face with potential hiring managers or successful business people.
3. Become recognized for what your brand stands for
Celebrities with strong personal brands become highly sought after for what their brand represents. For example, having an athletic identity may allow them to endorse sport shoes, clothes, or drinks. Or being known as an environmental activist will see them invited to charity events for environmental causes.
You can position yourself as an expert in what your brand stands for, and get job offers or speaking opportunities from people looking specifically for what you have to offer. But this only comes from constantly updating your online presence and interacting with your audience.
4. Tailor your brand to the audience
Just as celebrities may branch out and try out different types of work, different qualities of their personal brand must be emphasized to appeal to different audiences. While creative skills may be helpful in being seen as a fashion designer, this quality may not be helpful to an aspiring actor. Likewise, if you are changing industries or trying out different kinds of opportunities, you will need to highlight certain skills or qualities in your job search. Make sure to update your brand to reflect your current experiences.
Finally, it is important to note that what makes this strategy successful is carrying over your personal characteristics into a business role. It requires consistent management, but comes with undeniable rewards.
By Erica Tin
College and university students who want to get a jump start in their careers, may be considering some sort of summer employment. Whether you prefer an internship program or even a part-time job, both can boost your chances of finding success after graduation. Sure a nice new diploma or degree looks great on your resume, but it’s the work experience employers are looking for.
Although it's almost the middle of February and a new semester has already started, now is the best time to look for summer jobs. Many employers have already begun their search for potential summer employees. This is why looking in January and February will increase your chances of getting a summer internship or job compared to looking in April or May when jobs become scarce. It can also become difficult for students to juggle exam priorities with job hunting. Don’t miss your opportunity. If you’re planning on working this summer, let Randstad Canada help you find summer employment. In the meantime, here are some tips that can help you land that summer internship or job.
It has become increasingly common for businesses to ditch paper resumes in favor of electronic ones. This means face-to-face contact with managers or other employers is hard to come by, and it’s those human interactions that make all the difference when landing a job. Learn to make technology work in your favor. Check out corporate social media pages and research the people and company on LinkedIn. Ask if they offer any internship opportunities and let them know you’re very interested. But if you still favor the old fashioned approach, there are many people to choose from to help begin your networking journey. Parents and professors are a great starting point for networking.
Pursue a passion
Don’t just apply to anything; apply for positions that appeal to you, whether in politics, marketing, accounting, etc.. When an employer sees your passion and interest during the first interview, they will take that into consideration when making the final decision.
Research all of your options
There may be that one company you dream to work for, but don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen. Therefore, it is important to apply to other firms that offer the same experience.You’ll be glad you did.
Study the firm before the big interview
Learn everything you can about the company. If you are planning on working for a prestigious bank, professional business attire is recommended when showing up for an interview. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to read up on new trends to show you have knowledge and interest in the industry; you never know what questions the employer may bring up in the interview.
Search the web
Job search banks (Like Randstad Canada’s for instance) may already contain job postings for potential employees to fill positions.
Click here for the Randstad Canada Job Search
All in all, finding summer employment is a great way to gain valuable work experience that employers find attractive on your resume. Strategic networking and company background information can help tremendously when looking for a job in an increasingly competitive working environment. Also, searching for those summer employment opportunities now can improve your chances finding available positions before they become limited.
By Daniel Ecclestone
Many companies now use telephone interviews to pre-screen job applicants. Perhaps you have been scheduled for a few phone interviews already and are thinking about how to leave a good impression. In fact, there is no need to stress over phone interviews. These tips will help you overcome that fear and make you stand out.
Tips for Telephone Interviews
1. Do your research
Spend some time acquiring information about the job and the company prior to the phone interview. The company website is a good first place to start but LinkedIn and other social media networks are quickly becoming the primary source for research. On LinkedIn you can visit a company’s page and also see if you are connected to anyone who works there. If they have one, a company’s Facebook page may give you a better understanding of its corporate culture. Take note of anything you find interesting including new product launches, company press releases or industry news; there may be an opportunity to impress the interviewer with your insights.
2. Find a proper space
Unlike in-person interviews, you don’t get to observe body language or other visible clues. Instead, phone interviews rely completely on your ability to listen and interpret the conversation and message exchanged. Therefore, finding a quiet space where you feel at ease is very crucial to a successful phone interview.
3. Be well-equipped
• Telephone: Since the interview will be conducted over the phone, make sure your phone is fully charged and has good reception so your interview won’t be cut off.
• A pen and a notepad: During the phone interview, take note of key information such as special requirements, or time and date of an in-person interview. Also, write down questions you would like to ask.
• Professional attire: Similar to role-playing, dressing up will make it easier for you to feel confident and professional during the phone interview.
• A mirror: This is a small tip that most people aren’t aware of: having a mirror by your side will help you remember to smile. Believe it or not, your smile can actually be heard.
4. Answer in a professional manner
Phone interviews are not any less formal than in-person interviews; therefore, use appropriate expressions and avoid slangs in the conversation to show your sincerity. Pay attention to the questions and wait until the interviewer finishes talking before you respond. To ensure effective communication, pace your speech well and pronounce your words clearly.
5. Link your transferable skills
When answering questions, you should try linking your skills to job requirements with specific examples and details. For example, if the company is looking for a problem solver, describe a situation where you needed to solve a problem, followed by what action you took, then what result you achieved.
Simply remember this formula: Situation + Action = Result.
6. Thank the interviewer
At the end of the call, sincerely thank the interviewer for taking time to consider your qualifications.
7. Practice makes perfect
If you always find phone interviews dreadful, ask your friends or family to help you practice by calling you and asking you potential interview questions. Learn from each experience and make improvements for the next one. The more you practice, the more confidence you will gain.
Hope you enjoyed these tips for phone interviews. Want to know more? Click here for more interview advice.
By Cherry Peng
The Huffington Post recently announced that according to a recent survey, 84% of working individuals plan to look for a new job in 2013. That’s a 24% increase from last year. So why are people so unhappy with their jobs? The top reasons given were poor management and not enough money. But if this is you, maybe just changing jobs isn’t the real answer. What you may really need to do is completely re-boot your career - and there is no time like the present to start. To help you, I have three key questions for you to think about.
Question number one: Do you know anyone who loves their job?
Some of us are very lucky. We get to go to work every day to a job that gives our lives meaning. Sure, liking what we do will get us through a few tough days. But finding true meaning in work can fuel one (or many) amazing careers! Just think of Nelson Mandella, Steve Jobs, or Oprah.
if you’ve noticed, brilliant stories about successful people often include a mentor, someone they looked up to or followed, or sometimes it’s just a chance encounter with someone who changed the direction of their life. I can’t emphasize how important this is. Without a role model, planning your next step is going to be a challenge. If you know someone who clearly loves their work, connect with them and get their advice. They’ll have great expertise on career choices.
Don’t know someone personally? Then what about someone in your community who is passionate and clearly loves what they do. Seek them out. (I’ve tried this many times. It’s not that hard.) Ask them what drives them, what makes them love what they do and what kind of companies they think you should consider. An experience like this will have more impact on your future than a dozen seminars or a hundred books on success. Don’t delay. Make this your plan for the next 30 days.
Question number two: What’s your purpose in life?
I know. You weren’t expecting that question. But the research shows that a dream job is rarely about money or status. In fact, people who win million dollar lotteries are only exceptionally happy for about a week. Then things return to normal. That’s human nature. For a long term, career-length boost in happiness you will need to find true meaning in your work. And this comes from doing something totally aligned with your reasons for getting up in the morning.
I know you’ve heard this before, but writing down your goals is one of the few ways to get your brain truly engaged in the process. (Your brain is really much more interested in a bunch of other things that have nothing to do with accomplishing goals - like eating and sleeping and partying. It’s not really on your side on this one.)
Do you have a ten year plan for your future? Broken down into details? If you do, I’d like you to add one more piece that most financial counsellors forget. Beside every goal put your purpose. If you write “Send my daughter to college” beside that write the purpose. “Because education will change her life for the better.” or whatever your reason is. I guarantee you thinking about purpose will change the way you think about your goals forever.
If it’s time to really change your work life you need to start looking at the kind of job you can do that meets your purposes.
Question three: When can I start?
Ahhhhh. You’ve connected with other passionate and driven people so now you have an idea what meaningful work will look like for you. And you’ve created your own plan for achieving your own goals based on what gives your life purpose. (I know, lofty stuff for a blog page - but great content to chat about in that all-important next interview).
Now to connect to that job.
Here’s the perfect introduction to an employer, one that most would find difficult to ignore. (This can work on the phone, in person or in an introductory email).
“I recently met with Jane McDonald, the President of XYZ Company. It was a very inspiring discussion. She is clearly very driven and successful. She suggested that your company would be one where I could find the kind of opportunities I’m looking for to really excel at. I’d be interested in talking to you about opportunities.”
And when you get the interview, here is your chance to talk about the meetings you arranged with leaders in the community, your very clear goals and how you will accomplish them. This effort alone will give you a clear advantage over 95% of the other candidates and a great start towards that new career.
For great recruiters, perfecting the candidate experience is key.
Dickie Fox was once quoted as saying, “Happy Wife, Happy Life”. This is an axiom that can be applied to an employee, as well. We understand that finding the right employee for our clients can be the essential difference between making or breaking a deadline; or the difference between innovating a magnificent new way of doing things versus struggling to make budget. Finding the right job for a candidate can also make the difference between living a purpose driven life and simply earning a pay cheque.
These days, the primary concern of our candidates and clients is obsolescence. With new technology developing so quickly, our task is to help candidates and clients stay on top of market trends by providing salient and timely information and great career opportunities. It's more important than ever for our recruiters to build deep, intuitive and symbiotic relationships with their candidates and clients. This is to say, that we must be true career counselors and trusted advisors for both our candidates and our clients.
One of the most unique things about working in this industry is the fact that we have the opportunity to change lives by making great sales! The connections that are developed move beyond the typical recruiter/candidate relationship. Each role we fill means a true life change for each of the candidates we work with and the clients who employ them. (Notice I said, “work with” versus place. We’ll cover that topic in another blog). By offering an informed, enjoyable and valuable experience where candidates and clients feel informed and helped every step of the way, we are able to directly impact the bottom line every day.
By Juliet Turpin
We are once again excited to share the latest report commissioned by Randstad Engineering and Engineers Canada entitled Engineering Labour Market Conditions 2011–2020! As the country’s leading experts in staffing, recruitment and HR services, we are thrilled to partner with Engineers Canada once again and offer localized labour market information on the future needs of the engineering industry. This 2012 update takes an in-depth look at the country’s current and projected engineering labour market conditions and engineering trends.
It includes a detailed forecast of the markets, key projects, along with changes in output and employment, across Canada, from 2011 to 2020. It also features a thorough outlook that factors in economic and industry growth along with retirements and skill sets.
From the report, we can conclude that there are an abundance of Canadians seeking work as engineers co-existing with an acute shortage of engineering skills. There are at least three market realities that contribute to this situation:
1. For much of the coming decade, there will be moderate supply pressures in many markets. There is a growing regional demand imbalance with tighter markets in the west while markets are weaker in the east;
2. Requirements to replace retiring engineers far exceed the number of new jobs created by economic growth. This contributes to a skills shortage that is most acute for specialized engineers with over ten years of experience;
3. There is an abundance of young engineering students enrolled in and completing engineering programs but lacking practical skills. As this labour pool grows, there will be a comparable increase in engineers arriving as Temporary Foreign Workers to fill job vacancies. Many of the Temporary Foreign Workers will stay in Canada permanently.
The shortage of highly skilled professionals is undeniably contributing to the challenges faced by Canada’s engineering industry. In order to ensure competitiveness and benefit the future growth and prosperity of tomorrow’s engineering workforce, it’s important to fully understand the current and future needs of the industry. This valuable research is critical to taking us one step closer to addressing these industry challenges head-on.
Click on the link to access the complete engineering report.
Canada’s employment trends have been released by StatsCan and show an increase of 59,000 jobs in November, mainly in full-time work. Along with this growth in employment comes a decrease in the unemployment rate, down 0.2% to 7.2%.
As the Canadian economy experiences growth, Randstad Canada also reports several gains in the month of November. Randstad Canada’s Accounting and Finance Support and Finance & Accounting divisions grew 88% and 27% in job demand respectively, when compared to the previous month. In line with these divisions are also gains within permanent hiring, where permanent hiring saw an increase in demand of 26%.
When compared to one year ago, November 2012 saw a 4% growth in the number of open job roles, where contract demand increased slightly by 1% and permanent demand increased by 15%. These increases are reflective of the increases that several of our divisions experienced in November when compared to one year ago. Administrative Support increased in demand by 43%, Finance & Accounting increased by 10%, Industrial Support increased by 55% and Technologies increased by 15%.
On a regional level, Randstad Canada saw gains scattered throughout Canada. Among the top regions includes cities from Ontario, Quebec and Vancouver. When compared to the previous month, Mississauga experienced a significant increase, nearly doubling demand in November. After Mississauga, Brantford also experience a significant increase of 80% and Sainte-Therese of 39%. Lastly, among the top gains includes Burnaby and Kitchener/Waterloo which experienced gains of 37% and 30% respectively.
Finally, Randstad Canada saw several industry gain momentum in November. Randstad Canada’s top industries in November, based on growth in demand for job roles, was Metals and Metallurgy increasing 91%, Telecommunications increasing 51%, Computer Software & Services increasing 35%, Insurance increasing 23%, and Call Centre’s increasing 15%.
Setting New Career Goals for 2013
Whether you’re happily employed or searching for a job, the New Year is an ideal time to set or “reset” your career goals. For many, January is a great time to make a career development plan and to move forwards, whether you want a career change, a new job or perhaps just a way of progressing within your current one.
But let’s face it, most people don't keep their New Year's resolutions, so what's the trick to making your career resolution stick? Here are some goal-setting tips to help you be successful when creating a career development plan, keeping your career resolutions and making the most of your career in 2013.
1. Carve out some time to reflect on the previous year. Taking the time to reflect will give you some perspective on your current situation and also provide you with a better idea of where you want to be. Ask yourself a few of the following questions:
What did and didn’t go well for you, professionally?
Did you set career goals for yourself for 2011? Did you meet those goals?
What professional accomplishments are you most proud of? (Add them to your resume!)
Can you identify areas in your career that need improving? If so, turn them into career development opportunities and goals for 2012!
2. Seek advice from an expert. You can benefit from their experience and their advice could give you the advantage that will move you ahead.
If you are in the earlier or middle part of your career, talk to a mentor (a previous boss, trusted friend, advisor or parent).
If you hold a more senior position in an organization consider enlisting the help of a professional career coach.
3. Then, take action! To generate the best results, approach your goal-setting task diligently and enthusiastically.
Be specific. Your goals should be specific and attainable while still causing you to stretch a bit. Your goal should require you do to something that will allow you to grow and improve yourself.
Be realistic. Keep in mind your abilities, your interests, ideal work environment.
State your goal in measurable terms. Determine a way to gauge your progress and to tell when you've reached your goal.
Create a plan. Whatever goals you set for yourself, you’ll want to develop a tactical plan broken down into incremental, actionable steps to help you achieve each goal.
Establish a deadline for yourself. A concrete time frame will help keep your eye on the prize. For example: "I will update my resume and cover letter by January 10th," is a better goal statement than, "I will update my resume and cover letter."
Creating a career development plan and achieving your career goals requires the commitment of your time and effort, and while it won't be easy, consider the tips above as you move your career forward.
Have you determined your own career goal for 2013? If so, comment below, we’d love to hear what it is!
As the holiday spirit takes over, shoppers loosen their purse strings to spread joy to their near and dear. While the resulting seasonal increase in demand could be the perfect opportunity for your business to increase its bottom line, chances are that the strain on resources and the tight non-negotiable deadlines are also causing some stress. But fret not! Hiring Temporary workers and implementing the following strategies can help you meet targets, motivate your staff and keep your customers happy this Holiday season - All you have to do is try a creative approach! To help you in your efforts, we have outlined some strategies below that will help you cope with the pressures of the peak season.
1. Hiring temporary staff:
While there may be the temptation to keep costs low and to restrict hiring, remember that the reputation of the company is at stake. In the long run it pays off to keep your customers happy.
Hiring temps allows you to fill in positions requiring specialized knowledge on a temporary basis. They also relieve your staff from routine tasks so they can focus on the bigger picture and assume more responsibility. Hiring temporary seasonal workers is also a good way to test out potential permanent hires.
2. Switch to a project/campaign-based mentality:
Treat the task at hand like you would a campaign or high-priority project. Keep your eyes on the deadline and deliverables and chart a course of action that is practical and leaves room for contingencies. Use visual representation such as a Gantt chart to make scheduling, phasing and tracking of the project easier and more effective.
Once the plan of action is determined, remind yourself and your team that execution is the key to success! Deadlines and targets should be treated as sacrosanct and the end goal must be pursued with zeal.
3. Temporarily increase responsibilities of current staff:
Not only will temporarily increasing the responsibilities of deserving employees make them feel valued, it will also make them feel like they have a greater stake in the success of the project. Increased accountability and better morale are likely to result in an infectious enthusiasm that will drastically increase the chances of meeting seasonal demand.
You’ll find that long after the deadline has been met, employees who were asked to undertake additional or more complex tasks (even on a temporary basis) will benefit from the experience they gained.
Consider these tips when dealing with seasonal labour shortages and end 2012 with resounding success!
If temporary workers can help ease the seasonal stress on your business, click here to find out how Randstad Canada can help.