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Search Series: Developing Your Work Values

In the first installment of our search series, we look at the process of identifying work values and the benefits of finding an organization in which they resonate.

Simply put, work values are the qualities, principles and standards that matter to you in your professional life. Defining them helps guide your job search, filter opportunities and can ultimately be the guiding factor towards a career that satisfies you on a personal level.

Defining your work values

Why we work and the type of work we do can be influenced by our work values. For example, if a primary work value is to help others, you may find yourself in an industry that encompasses this value such as teaching, healthcare or social assistance. Though some work values may be obvious, identifying them isn’t always easy. To compile your list, here are some key questions to help in your self-reflection.

  • What types of work do I enjoy? Influencing or helping others? A component of physicality?
  • What types of conditions do I prefer? Office vs outdoors? Travel?
  • How do I like to work? Independently or in a team? Closed off or in an open space?
  • What impacts me? Flexible hours? Remote work option? Interaction with people? Growth opportunities?

By ranking your answers from in order of priority, you’ll have a basis to start identifying the values that matter most.

Tying work values to your job search

Determining your work values can have an eye-opening effect on your job search. A list of prioritized values will narrow your search and help you to be selective — ensuring you find an opportunity that’s in line with the direction you’re heading in.  Here are some common values that can influence your job search and may even open your eyes to opportunities you may have once not considered.

  • Compensation: receiving fair pay for your work performance
  • Leadership: the opportunity to direct or mentor colleagues within the workplace
  • Independence: the ability to work and make decisions independently
  • Job Security: confidence that the organization will allow you to remain employed
  • Recognition: an environment that recognizes and rewards hard work or success
  • Relationships: a setting in which you can develop relationships with your colleagues
  • Support: hierarchical structure in which you can reach out to management and/or colleagues for help, as needed
  • Helping Others: tasks or organizational programs that impact a community
  • Creativity: ability to think “outside the box” or to incorporate your ideas within your work
  • Variety: option to perform differing tasks

Be sure to re-evaluate your values annually. Changes in your personal life or professional development can often shift your work values. Staying on top of your evolving work values will help keep you in the driver’s seat of your career.

Looking for a career that satisfies all your work values? Adecco has the perfect fit for you! Contact your local Adecco branch and register for free today!

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Find and apply to your dream job, or get more career advice from our experts.

 

Flexible Work, Different Work Weeks

It’s no surprise that flexible work weeks reap great advantages for employees, but did you know that employers can also gain from flexible work arrangements? From promoting a positive work life balance to candidate retention and attraction, read on for how flexible work can benefit your organization.

Flexible work weeks have become a sought-after element of comprehensive benefits packages for employees. The ability to schedule their week as they feel fit enables employees to maximize their work-life balance while reducing the stress associated with commuting, child care and other demands. Given the benefits that flexible work arrangements offer employees, are you ready to let different work weeks make a positive impact on your workforce? Check out Adecco’s guide to flexible work and elevate your organization’s productivity today.

Three common types of flexible work:

Compressed work week

Simply put, compressed work weeks involve working more hours in fewer days, commonly consisting of four ten-hour days. The additional day off, often observed on Mondays or Fridays, gives your staff a longer weekend and a greater work-life balance.

Pros

Not only does a compressed work week offer your employees larger periods of time off, it also enables employers to extend their operation hours. Plus, employees are said to have greater job satisfaction, reducing employee turnover.

Cons

Long work days can lead to exhaustion and fatigue for your staff, affecting the overall productivity of your business.

 

Flexible work hours

With flexible work hours, employees are given the freedom to coordinate their daily schedule to accommodate their personal needs.

Pros

If executed successfully, flexible work hours enable employers to increase headcount without adding work stations through communal seats and computers. Flexible workers in general work longer hours, achieve more and are more satisfied with their work.

Cons

Although flexible work hours can yield benefits to your business’s bottom line, it has the potential to complicate communication. With employees working different hours, it can be challenging to find a time to schedule a meeting, thus hindering communication on joint projects.

 

Telecommuting/working from home

Telecommuting or e-commuting involves work performed from a remote location, often a home office. Employers may allow workers to telecommute a few days a week, or, based on the needs of the business, full-time.

Pros

Telecommuting, at its best, has the potential to enhance productivity among your employees. Working from a home office enables employees to complete their workload within their peak periods of productivity while maintaining a strong work-life balance.

Cons

Employees who telecommute lack opportunities to collaborate with colleagues, miss out on social activities and may find it hard to divide their professional work from their personal lives, all potentially affecting productivity and your business’s bottom line.

As an employer, it’s clear that offering your employees flexible work can be advantageous. Enabling a flexible work week has the potential to reduce tardiness and absenteeism, decrease turnover and attract top talent. It also facilitates employment for workers with children and workers with disabilities, ensuring your business has full access to top candidates regardless of their personal situations.

With proper execution, flexible work can accommodate the needs of your colleagues and business alike, helping to make your organization a great place to work.

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Hire your perfect team, or get more staffing advice from our experts.

 

Leadership Tips for Engineering Professionals

Sandi Hokansson, a WXN TOP 100 Women Award winner, successful C-level executive and Great Place to Work champion, now runs a successful Leadership Coaching practice at www.soundleadership.ca

Many times, career advancement in the engineering field comes with leading even greater numbers of people and as an engineering professional, you may not readily see this as your strength.  You can easily demonstrate the core strengths common to most successful engineers, namely; a desire to figure things out, applied creativity, math skills, mechanical skills, teamwork and problem-solving skills. However, when it comes to softer skills such as advanced interpersonal skills, social and emotional intelligence, and, employee engagement leadership, you may feel you are out of your depth. You rely on your knowledge and expertise as your main contribution to your team and wonder — how can I add more value to my team?

A good starting point is to review the most common expectations employees have of their leaders. If you can deliver in these areas, you will be well on your way to adding more value to your team and stepping up as a leader.

There are four main expectations that employees have of their leaders that easily resonate with all of us. Employees expect to be:

  • Kept informed
  • Asked for input and have a voice
  • Recognized when their performance warrants it
  • Given the opportunity to grow and learn

Tips to advance your commitment in these areas

  • Regular communication with your team — keep them informed even if it’s to say that you don’t have any further information at that time.
  • Set up formal and informal communication channels to seek employee input. You can clarify and set boundaries on who has ownership and input on what — the key is to give employees as much input as possible, in the areas you can.
  • Frequent recognition of individuals and teams for their contributions. You can inject a lot of energy and creativity into this one — have fun with it!
  • Create a space that fosters an opportunity to grow, give stretch assignments. Don’t forget to share your own career/leadership journey as well. Personal stories help others to see how they too can achieve career progression.

It’s true there is a lot of pressure on leaders today — pressure to be all things to all people and accessible all the time.  Thankfully, it’s not realistic nor necessary to live up to this. You can however round out your leadership competencies and augment your professional inherent strengths, by making a commitment to deliver on these top four employee expectations. Employee engagement and morale will improve, and you will become a talent magnet because you will be providing key leadership in the areas employees want.  Before you know it, you will be seen as having stronger interpersonal skills and greater emotional intelligence because you put employees’ expectations first.

For further reading on Successful Engineers, here is a great article from www.interestingengineering.com   https://interestingengineering.com/personality-traits-successful-engineers

For other thoughts on leadership, visit https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/listening-your-employees-key-building-great-place-work-hokansson/

If you are interested in Leadership Coaching to support your leadership journey, reach out to me at sandi@soundleadership.ca

LEAD WELL!

Sandi

 

 

 

Managing Diversity

In this era of advancing technology and globalization, excluding diversity from your workforce can leave you missing out on great talent. But managing a diverse team presents its own set of challenges. To help in your efforts, check out Adecco’s six tips for managing diverse teams in today’s workplace.

The benefits of a diverse team are virtually endless. For example, a multigenerational workforce can provide a high level of on-the-job knowledge along with varied approaches to business, technology and social media. And a multicultural workforce creates more understanding and respect for cultural differences among colleagues, customers and partners alike. In all, having a diverse workforce brings multiple talents and ways of thinking to your organization, strengthening your decision-making abilities and giving you a competitive edge.

You may wonder how you can create a diversified workforce that benefits, rather than hinders, your team’s productivity. Read on for our six tips for managing diverse teams.

1. Emphasize open communication policies

Communication is key to managing diversity at work. Be clear and concise in all communication from upper management especially when discussing workplace policies, promotion criteria and non-discrimination policies. Promote an open-door policy with management and encourage employees to express any concerns or issues before it develops into a conflict.

2. Establish expectations early

Start by ensuring that expectations are clearly communicated to all employees. Setting out an individual’s responsibilities and role within the organization up front helps establish a baseline expectation so everyone understands what they’re accountable for. At the same time, it’s important to be sensitive to your staff’s needs. Ensure that accommodations are made for employees who need it. Equitable treatment of your employees accounts for their differences and aims to help them succeed.

3. Invest in diversity training

Despite your best efforts to foster an inclusive environment, investing in diversity training can empower your personnel to respect their differences and work together as a team. Diversity training can improve employee collaboration while reducing conflict, allowing you to build a team that is open to new ideas from all colleagues.

4. Manage conflicts

Conflict in the workplace is inevitable. Address issues head-on to avoid escalation of tension and be especially sensitive to complaints about discrimination. Work to find a solution that addresses the conflict swiftly and fairly to help keep employee relationships healthy and strong.

5. Capitalize on team-building activities

Team-building activities are a great way to connect colleagues. Through these exercises, your employees learn how to collaborate in a relaxed setting while improving communication within your team. Investing the time to incorporate team building into the workplace will enhance your team dynamic while maintaining a healthy diverse workforce.

6. Celebrate your diversity

Cultivate an environment that promotes inclusivity by celebrating the differences of your colleagues. Acknowledge cultural holidays and other celebratory days (such as International Women’s Day on March 8 and Canadian Multiculturalism Day on June 27). Use these events as an opportunity to educate your staff on different values, beliefs and backgrounds. Celebrating diversity will help forward inclusion in your organization.

Integrating diversity into your organization can turn your workforce into a dream team. Let us help you build it. Contact your local Adecco branch today!

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Hire your perfect team, or get more staffing advice from our experts.

How to survive your first three months at a new job

Securing the job offer is only half the battle. It’s now up to you to prove to your new management team your value to their organization. While your new job can be intimidating, don’t let your fear get the best of you.  

A new professional chapter is always a mixed bag of emotions, from the pure joy and excitement of receiving a job offer, to the anxiety that can accompany new responsibilities, colleagues and management. Ready to succeed from day one? Check out these tips to help you survive and thrive during your first three months at a new job.

Make a good first impression

Make your first impression a good one by being open, friendly and appropriate. If your employer didn’t mention a dress code during the interview or within your job offer, remember to dress for success. Combine your professional outfit with a confident smile to nail your first impression! Keep in mind that many businesses are opting for a scent-free environment so refrain from strong fragrances such as body sprays or perfumes.

Introduce yourself

Taking the initiative to introduce yourself can make a big impact in terms of how you are perceived by your new co-workers. A quick introduction will help you build relationships with colleagues from your first day on the job and proves that you are eager to join the team.

Ask questions

They say there’s no such thing as a stupid question, but here at Adecco we also believe there’s no such thing as too many questions. Not only does asking questions ensure you complete the task at hand properly the first time, it also exemplifies your initiative to learn your new organization’s policies and procedures. And make sure to listen carefully! Repeat questions or failure to apply the feedback may leave a bad impression with your new colleagues.

Get involved

Your first three months at a new job can feel like you’re out of the loop when it comes to social structure and corporate culture. Don’t be discouraged! It takes time to find your role both professionally and socially in a new workplace. Overcome this hurdle by getting involved. Offer to join the health and safety committee, volunteer to assist with social events, or simply eat lunch with your colleagues in the break room. Your efforts won’t go unnoticed!

Make your voice heard

It’s never easy speaking up when you’re the new one, but it’s imperative to make yourself heard during your first three months to cement a future of professional growth within your new organization. If contributing in person is too daunting, set yourself a goal to share a suggestion via email within your first month. Positive feedback will give you the courage you need to continue your contributions in person, proving your value to your new team.

Set good habits

Don’t forget to look at your new job as a fresh start. Take advantage of it as an opportunity to become the best professional you can be. Make the most of your new beginning by setting healthy work habits from the get-go. Organize your calendar and task list. Create a list of skills you want to develop. Identify personal and organizational inefficiencies and create procedures to increase productivity.

Remember, with a little effort these first three months can set the stage for an awesome career. So when anxiety inevitably strikes, take a deep breath, refocus and hit the ground running.

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Find and apply to your dream job, or get more career advice from our experts.

 

The Impact of Health and Wellness on Productivity

It’s no surprise that the more an employer invests in their workforce, the more productive and loyal their workforce will be. To reach optimal productivity levels, organizations should consider exploring health and wellness initiatives that support their employees’ physical and mental well-being.

Regardless of your organization’s size, a focus on health and wellness can increase productivity while diminishing lost time from work. Not to mention, implementing specific benefits can act as an incentive when attracting and retaining top talent within your organization.

Here are some ways you can increase the overall wellness of their workforce.

1. Incentives and organized programs

 It’s proven that increased physical activity leads to improved sleep, reduced stress and more energy, so encouraging it through incentives and organized programs are a great starting point to get the ball rolling. Consider a reimbursement plan for sports activities or fitness memberships, or even, start a corporate-wide sports team or running group. These simple measures can have positive short-term effects on your workforce’s well-being.

2. Encourage time off

Organizations offer time off to provide employees with a mental break from the day-to-day stress of their jobs. However, 27% of Canadians go without vacation for a year or more, while 17% say their work schedule doesn’t allow them to take vacation. Encourage employees to take full advantage of their allotted time off and offer solutions — such as cross training — to ensure they don’t feel overwhelmed by the workload they’ll be faced with upon their return.  And when they do go off, allow employees to feel supported in their decision to disconnect and recharge.

3. Additional benefits coverage

Some employees may prefer a holistic approach to medicine, therefore, incorporating alternative medicine options within your benefits program can help promote a sense of well-being. Including coverage for osteopathy, massages and acupuncture can go a long way in helping your employees increase mental and physical well-being. As well, coverage options such as nutritionists, dieticians and smoking cessation can drastically improve the health of your employees — while reducing employee healthcare costs.

4. Assistance resources

Focusing on an employee’s wellness also means allowing them to have access to resources to take matters into their own hands. Consider supporting strong mental and physical health through employee assistance programs, which provide resources and support for employees who may be suffering from personal issues such as substance abuse, family issues, stress, depression and anxiety. This type of program ultimately enables employees to achieve peace of mind and be their best self at work.

Simply put, the implementation of specific corporate programs and benefits which promote employee health and well-being sets an organization up in a healthier, happier and more productive landscape.

For more information or assistance on how to start making the link between health and wellness, and productivity, contact your local Adecco branch today!

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Hire your perfect team, or get more staffing advice from our experts.