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9 Life Lessons – Tim Minchin UWA Address

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Benefits of employee rewards and recognition

Employees respond to appreciation at work, especially when it’s expressed through recognition of their efforts because it confirms their work is valued. A simple thank you goes a long way and will not only make your employees feel good, but will actually benefit your business in the process. Here’s how:

6 benefits of Employee Recognition

1. Productivity

It’s well-known that engaged staff are significantly more productive, working efficiently and proactively in order to do a good job.  If efforts are likely to be praised and rewarded, then it makes sense that a member of staff will work harder to receive such employee recognition

2. Job satisfaction

Recognising an employee’s efforts demonstrates that the job they’re doing is valuable to the business. It sends the message that their hard work is worth rewarding and therefore must be important. This, in turn, makes the individual feel that they are making a difference.

3. Employee happiness

A happy and fulfilled employee can be motivated to perform better because of the positive feeling they have towards the company.  If an employer treats its staff with respect and gratitude, then those staff members will want to do a good job in return. This positivity can also be felt across the business, creating a happy working environment that people will want to be a part of.

4. Retention

A high staff turnover leads to poor morale that can make others want to look elsewhere. The time required to find and train new staff affects utilisation and the fiscal costs are high, so retaining staff has to be a priority. The provision of rewards gives employees a tangible reason to stay.

A happy and fulfilled employee can be motivated to perform better because of the positive feeling they have towards the company.

5. Loyalty

If your employees are engaged with your business, they will be able to promote and sell your brand far better than someone who does not believe in or care about it. Rewarding hard work generates loyalty and helps your team to feel an emotional bond with your organisation.

6. Team culture

Rewards that incorporate peer-to-peer recommendations are great for team spirit, as they encourage staff to see the positive attributes in one another. Teams are well-placed to do this, as they work alongside each other every day. Plus, allowing colleagues to nominate one another for rewards is empowering, as it demonstrates that they value each other’s opinion.

How should you provide rewards and recognition?

Employee recognition programme

The most efficient way to provide a staff incentives scheme is via a structured employee recognition programme, which is run on an online platform. This places all the information at both management and employees’ fingertips, allowing the entire business to easily engage with it. Employee Rewards are visible to staff to provide an added incentive to work hard. Performance metrics are also visible to the senior team, so that they can monitor progress and proactively recognise efforts at appropriate times. This kind of platform is straightforward and inexpensive to implement, while making it easy to reward your staff, so high performance does not get overlooked.

What should your employee rewards programme include?

To get your scheme up and running, there are five key areas that should be featured:

  • Peer-to-peer recognition – empower your staff to celebrate each other
  • Long-service awards – celebrate milestones to shout about loyal staff
  • Instant recognition – visible performance metrics to reward employees immediately, rather than delaying until a standardised time, like Christmas
  • Rewards –desirable wins, so staff will work hard to achieve them

It’s also important to tailor your scheme to your organisation, so it reflects your culture and brand. Run in the right way, an employee recognition scheme will have a huge impact on your business.

Original Article

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Master the One-on-One Meeting

Whether you’re a CEO or a line manager, your team is just as important as a group as its members are as individuals. Today’s tech companies offer many perks to attract and retain the best employees. We offer competitive salaries, training and the promise of success—professionally and financially. But how we treat them as individuals can determine the way their DNA will impact the fabric of your organization. What are you doing, as their manager, to make sure they are satisfied and making the best contribution to your organization?

I have managed over 100 direct reports over the course of my career. From the nerdiest, most introverted engineer to the highly extroverted sales executive. They’ve been on either side of up to 20 years senior or junior to me, varying genders and from as far away as India and China to as near as the office next door. No matter what their role, experience, proximity or personality, I have always made their one-on-ones (1:1’s) a priority. Why are 1:1’s so important?

  • Whether it’s an hour a week or 30 minutes once a month, making time for an individual says you give a damn about them as a person.
  • The 1:1 is the only forum where you can have an honest, private, conversation with each other about what’s really going on—professionally and personally.
  • This is a routine opportunity for you, as a manager, to assess the parts (your employees) that lead to the productive whole (your team)—which we all know is more powerful than the sum of said parts.
  • A leader who makes time for their team members—especially those who are also leaders—is less likely to suffer poor team performance because of ambiguity and mistrust. Each 1:1 is an opportunity to clarify the goals of the organization, your performance expectations and build a trusting relationship with your employees by getting to know them as people, not just workers.
  • Finally, constructive 1:1s throughout the year makes performance reviews a breeze. With routine 1:1s, review time can be more about goals and the year ahead instead of constructive feedback from the past.

Don’t just schedule these important meetings with your direct reports, be thoughtful about how these sessions play out. Below is the guidance I give to new managers on conducting 1:1’s.

Be thoughtful about how your one-on-one meetings sessions might play out.Source: Yuri_Arcurs

Set expectations
Whether your employee has worked for you for awhile and you’re just kicking off 1:1s, or they are a new hire and you’re rolling them into the fold, set expectations up front.

  • I am a big believer in being clear about behavior changes. If this is a new process you are putting in place at your company/in your team, be transparent about it. Otherwise, people worry something bad is going to happen (getting fired) if you all of sudden start scheduling 1:1s. Announce it at a team meeting/all-hands or send out an email/slack being clear about why these are important to do.
  • This meeting is for them as much as it is for you. Be clear that you do this with all employees who work directly for you. No one is being singled out.
  • Book a regular cadence of 1:1s. They should not be ad-hoc. It’s ok to skip one every once and awhile, but having it locked into the calendar is your commitment to being there for your employee.
  • Decide the best cadence with them (weekly or every other week? 30 minutes or an hour?) and what the format should be—your office or theirs, a walk, or maybe grabbing coffee. Different formats work for different employees and they can always be changed as you get into a groove. [see below on remote employees]. Just don’t do after work drinks—that suggests a less serious discussion.

The agenda
If a meeting is important enough to have, it should have an agenda.

  • Topics in a 1:1 should be about professional growth, personal connection and for giving each other feedback. Do not use the meeting to re-hash things from a group meeting or standup unless there are specific things you took off-line in that meeting or need to provide/get constructive feedback.
  • 24 hours or so before the meeting, email the employee a list of what you’d like to cover. Try to do a split between strategic, tactical and personal items and always ask your employee what they want to cover too. For efficiency, let them know if you need them to bring/read/do something before the meeting. For example:

    Jessica, for our 1:1 tomorrow, I’d like to cover the following:

      • Review a potential change to the product roadmap for next quarter and how that might impact your team. Please bring the latest roadmap with you.
      • Walk through the training presentation deck you are preparing for your new hires. Please send me your latest version tonight if you can?
      • Get feedback on whether the budget changes I made for you were helpful. Let me know if there are new numbers I should look at before we meet.
      • Hear about your vacation! Your pics looked awesome.

    Let me know what else you’d like to cover. Looking forward to catching up!

The 1:1 meeting
With an agenda set and materials pre-reviewed/in-hand, you are ready for a productive session.

  • Walk through the agenda. Ask if there’s anything else to add before you dig in. Always leave a door open—sometimes an employee is holding back on something.
  • If there are hard things to discuss (maybe some tough performance feedback), try to bookend it with two positive topics. That way, the close of the meeting doesn’t leave your employee feeling down. You’ve given them good feedback and some things to work on.
  • Do not monopolize the conversation. This is for you each to get time to talk. Pause often and make sure there is opportunity for discussion and questions.
  • Always end the meeting asking them how things are going overall and if there is anything else you can do to make them successful. Sounds awkward, but that’s your job! If your employees are a success, you are success.

After the meeting
It is important to always follow up any 1:1 (or scheduled meeting, for that matter) with notes on what was discussed, decisions made and, if relevant, any constructive feedback that will be measured going forward. Keep it short and sweet:

Jessica, good meeting today! From what we discussed:

    • Sounds like the roadmap change won’t slip the schedule much. Please share the new schedule on slack so the team can digest it before our Product group meeting.
    • Love the training deck! Let me know if you want to practice with me before you present next week. You’re going to crush it.
    • Sounds like those budget tweaks aren’t cutting it for your team’s needs. I’ll try to adjust next quarter, but right now you are going to have to work with what you have. Manage your spend carefully.
    • Thanks for letting me know you’re working on a personnel issue on your team. Let me know if I can help. Otherwise, keep me posted on how it plays out.

A recap ensures that you’re both on the same page and it serves as an audit trail if/when anything goes off the rails. Do this with ALL your employees. Otherwise, some may wonder why they’re getting follow up emails and others are not. Consistency in leadership is critical!

Remote employees and non-Directs

  • 1:1s with remote employees can be tricky. I recommend using video whenever possible and, if possible, 1-2 in-person 1:1s a year to maintain the personal connection. All other suggestions above apply for the remote employee.
  • It is perfectly OK to have 1:1s with junior people who do not work directly for you. Just remember, you are NOT their manager. Be clear about why you are requesting the meeting.

    Perhaps you are the CEO and want to have a 1:1 with a lead engineer to get a better understanding of a product challenge:

    • Make sure the engineer’s manager knows why you want to have the meeting.
    • Make sure the engineer understands you would like to get the detail directly vs. through other people. You are not going around their boss who knows you are requesting this meeting.
    • Be very careful about feedback. Always end such meetings with next steps being how you’ll follow up with the employee’s manager if there are any action items. Never undermine someone’s manager by giving specific direction without consulting with their manager. Especially if you are the CEO/CTO or other senior position. Often, the most simple “that sounds cool” can be heard as “do it!” from someone more senior than your boss.

Invest in your team
One-on-ones can make all the difference in how you lead. Your time invested in doing them right will pay off not only with each individual, but with how your organization functions as a team.

Have other tips on running successful 1:1s or good lessons learned from not having them? Please share in the comments.

Reprinted with permission from the author’s blog post, Mastering the 1:1.

Original Article – Harvard Business School

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7 Things To Think About Before You Accept or Turn Down A Counteroffer

You sit down with your boss to tell her you’ve been offered a job elsewhere and that you’ll be leaving the company in a few weeks. It will probably be an awkward conversation—and it will become even more uncomfortable when she asks you to stay. She might offer you better incentives, like more money or a job promotion. But as enticing as the counteroffer may be, career experts say there are a few things you’ll need to think about before you accept.

Should I share details of the new job with my current employer?

Why did I start looking for a new job in the first place?

Will my job be on the line if I decide to stay?

How will I be treated if I accept the counteroffer and stay?

Do they really value me as an employee?

How can I turn down the job offer without burning bridges?

How can I turn down the counteroffer without burning bridges?

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How to respond to a counter offer

https://www.robertwalters.co.uk/career-advice/should-you-accept-a-counter-offer.html

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10 Steps to Setting and Achieving Goals at Work

Make goal-setting an ongoing practice.

Setting goals at work is an interesting balancing act. On the one hand, your workplace goals must support the company mission. On the other hand, they must be your own. Otherwise, goal-setting is just a rote, check-the-box exercise.

An additional complication is that certain companies (and managers) are better at helping their employees set and achieve work goals than others. The good news is that even if you work for someone who approaches the annual goal-setting session as a necessary evil, there are things you can do to get some value out of it. If your manager genuinely understands the power of goal alignment and setting and achieving goals, you have a great opportunity to use the conversation as a starting point for career growth.

Here are 10 things to keep in mind before setting goals at work and filling out that goal sheet.

1. Get clarity on your team’s structure.

First things first – you must understand the functions and interrelationships of your team in order to set workplace goals that will make your team more productive and helpful to the rest of the organization. In a practical sense, every team serves as a supporting unit and a consumer of support at the same time. Get the mapping right, and you will be able to identify specific and measurable things you can do better to help processes and projects run smoother.

2. Talk to your boss. What can you do to make their job easier and make them look good?

No matter what your job description says, your job is really all about making your manager’s life easier. Think of it as an opportunity to be of service. Having a frank conversation about how you can support your boss will go a long way towards defining your workplace goals.

3. Focus on what you can control and have a plan for the rest.

For every workplace goal, there are factors you can control and factors that are out of your hands. Be clear on the distinction, and have a plan for what to do if the out-of-your-control factors don’t line up.

Imagine that you are a supervisor within an accounting department in a hospital. Let’s say you set a goal to shorten the month-end close timeline by 2 business days. Success will depend on the skill and collaboration of your accounting department (something you can contribute to and control), and on the ability of other departments to deliver critical data on time (something that is out of your control). It is smart to have a plan to coordinate the month-end close with other departments, remind them of the deadline and keep the communication lines open – but you must have a plan and an accountability agreement in the event they fail to deliver.

4. Think about your career path in the long run.

What is your ideal next professional role? What qualifications and skills do you need to qualify? Which success stories will make you a suitable and impressive candidate? Line up your personal goals for work in a way that allows you to gather those accomplishments and learn the skills.

5. Go beyond immediate tasks and think of the big picture.

Your growth as a professional is bigger than productivity and proficiency at your desk! Career progression often requires a broad scope of skills and experiences. Add professional seminars and other educational opportunities to your goal list, because continued learning is critical to your ability to expand your responsibilities and get promoted.

If you would like to move into a VP or a C-suite role in the future, consider looking at rotations in other departments. The knowledge of how different parts of the company fit together will prove useful and may set you apart from competing candidates.

Finally, if you see yourself growing into a management or client-facing role, Toastmasters is a fantastic way to sharpen your public speaking skills.

6. Get clarity on what goal achievement would look like.

You know the basics: a good workplace goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Go beyond those basics and visualize what goal achievement would look like. Would it make a particular project flow easier? Would it allow the team to work together more effectively? The image of a goal achieved will keep you motivated.

7. Schedule periodic check-ins.

The act of setting work goals is not limited to one conversation at the start of the performance period. Any plan must be flexible in order to retain its usefulness, and professional goals are no different. Sit down with your manager to talk about status and progress throughout the year. These conversations can be formal and regular (at the end of every quarter) or more ad-hoc. No matter which frequency you choose, the important thing is to keep the communication channel open, so that your goal plan can adapt to reflect today’s reality and priorities.

8. Ask for support if you need it.

Superstar performers in sports and at work don’t have to do it alone. Moreover, they know that they can achieve more and do it quicker with the help of a mentor or a coach. If you wanted to get better at golf, you would probably hire an instructor who would help you improve your swing. Your career is no different. Look for allies, both within your company and outside of it, and build a network of professionals who care about your success. Talk to them, ask for advice and listen carefully.

9. Do a periodic comparison of your annual goals with your to-do list.

Setting goals at work is great for mapping out big-picture targets and wins for the year. The unfortunate reality is that fire-drills and urgent reassignments can make it difficult to focus on the things that everyone had agreed were important. Continued professional education is a good example. Everyone knows it is valuable for your expertise and proficiency. It is also a requirement for retaining many professional certifications and licenses. However, continued education so often falls by the wayside because of client demands, deadlines and last-minute assignments. If you have ever had to cram a year’s worth of education credits in the last three weeks of the year, you are in good company.

So, do a periodic check of how well your daily to-do list aligns with your big-picture workplace goals. If the two have nothing to do with each other, talk to your manager and take action.

10. Track your accomplishments.

We have all been there – as you’re preparing for your annual evaluation (or revising your resume for your job search), you draw a complete blank on your past accomplishments. You know you have been busy, and your manager is generally happy with your work, but you cannot name a single specific success over the last year.

The lesson here is that it can be difficult to recall success details at the end of the performance period. After all, you have a full year of projects to think through! Save yourself the trouble and keep a running list of your wins (a simple Word or Excel document will do just fine). List everything from meeting regular deadlines to stepping in to help with an urgent research project, to completing successful client pitches and presentations.

In closing, remember that setting goals for work is best when it is an ongoing practice. Do yourself a favor and treat it as a conversation that never stops. Every time you get a new assignment, ask your manager to clarify expectations. What does he hope to accomplish through your work? Where does he anticipate difficulties? What is the timeline, and why is this project important? After the project is wrapped up, have a conversation to debrief and talk about what went well and what could have been done better. Many professionals are apprehensive of performance discussions, but the truth is that you can only get better if you know what skills and habits need more work. Keep the communication lines open, and you will set yourself up for more interesting work and a faster career progression in no time.

https://www.topresume.com/career-advice/10-steps-to-setting-and-reaching-goals-at-work

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Thoughts from a Tech Recruiter

With all the different job portals out there, one would think it would be easy to find great candidates, however, that is not the case. I specialise in finding devs which is honestly the hardest space in the industry. The simple fact is that there are only so many devs to go around. Seriously, for every five job specs there might be one candidate who is interested.

When getting a bite from a candidate and then they eventually agree to meet with your client, you think to yourself, yes this is it, finally…only for them to turn around and not meet with the client and then go off the grid which is another frustrating factor for recruiters! Although it’s not most candidates that do that, when building up relationships with candidates, they find it easy to communicate with you and will let you know well in advance if they cannot make it. That is why, as in any relationship:  communication is key.

Most developers have been contacted by many other recruiters and it’s up to you how to handle them. When I chat to most developers they think you do not know what you are talking about. So for recruiters, Google is amazing. Although, if you are not sure about what some things in a spec mean, feel free to ask your devs or hiring managers as they would feel much better knowing you are trying to understand what exactly they are looking for. If all else fails…Google was created for this (hahahaha).

Most recruiters work long hours and, come home time, they turn off their PC and that’s it, no further communication to either candidate or client. That right there is the mistake most recruiters have. If you are in the tech space, you know that after hours are the only times devs have to talk to you, so you would need to put in the extra bit now and then, because if you don’t, someone else will, and you miss out on great candidates or leads.

Getting feedback from clients can also be a nightmare at times. Yes we understand that clients are busy and cannot provide feedback on the very same day, and sometimes you need to wait weeks on end. Then all of a sudden they come back with interview requests, though, by that time most of the candidates are no longer in the market. Clients need to understand that we are dealing with very sought after candidates. So if they do take their time in getting back to us regarding CV’s sent, chances are that the one they were hoping for will most likely be off the market.

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