Have you ever been yelled at by a customer for no just cause? Or your boss just added another pile of work to the huge pile you already have? Have you ever been in a situation where you can’t just seem to keep your emotions in check?. We’ve all been in these situations.
Having emotions is a thing no human being can avoid, the problem is when you can’t control certain emotions, especially in the workplace. Self control is key. Here are some tips on how you can manage your emotions at work.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE PHYSICAL SIGNS
Before having an outburst, people usually show physical signs, for an instance, my colleague’s left eye twitches right before she starts yelling. Identifying these signs in yourself and controlling your actions thereafter can help you manage your emotions better.
Breathing exercises help with anger and anxiety. Right before you’re about to go into your fits of rage or right before a panic attack, just stop, close your eyes, take long deep breaths, counting to 5 as you do so. This technique is a sure way to help.
Related: Advantages of Flexible Working Hours
IMPROVE THE SITUATION
Maybe your colleague just got fired, or you heard rumors about the number of people that are going to be laid off this month and you’re obviously sad and worried about this. Instead of drowning yourself in worries, get a notepad and a pen and write down how you can improve the situation. Either by showing up to work on time (if you are a constant late comer) or showing up early, or even pitching in during work meetings.
PEN THEM DOWN
Whenever you feel overwhelmed with worry, you can get a pen and a notepad and write down your problems and worries. When you write them down, you may come to realize that the issues in your head aren’t really as big and scary as you thought them out to be. Once this is done, also come up with ways to fix the problems or overcome the fears you have written down.
HOW DO YOU LOOK WHEN YOU..?
Do you know what you look like when you yell? Cry? sulk?. Some people don’t actually know what they look like when they’re going through all these emotions. Get someone to show you how you look like when you do all these things, and this might actually help you stop having public outbursts.
Yes, it really is as simple as that. Whenever you feel angry or sad, stop what you’re doing and smile, just smile, at least for a minute. (Did you know that forcing a smile and holding it for 60 seconds can actually trick your brain into thinking you’re happy?).
So these are just some of the many ways you can manage your emotions at work. Do you use these techniques? What techniques do you use?
Employee empowerment is the process of enabling an employee to think, act, behave, react and control their work in more autonomous ways.
Although “employee empowerment” is such a common term, it is highly misunderstood and most times, barely implemented.
If used properly, employee empowerment has a number of benefits. Here are some of the positive impacts it has on Organizational culture.
Makes for better customer experience
Customers are people like you and me, that have responsibilities as well, and the last thing they need is service related stress.
Whenever a customer is told “no” or is sent back simply because the employee doesn’t have the authority to handle the situation properly, it is extremely damaging to the organizations reputation and also damaging to the relationship with the customers.
Giving employees the power to make some decisions is a sure way to boost customer experience.
People who are given autonomy to make their own decisions feel like their contributions are actually valued in the organization. Empowerment facilitates company growth because once an employee is empowered, self-confidence is heightened and their expectations are automatically raised, thus leading to better workplace productivity.
Greater involvement leads to greater commitment
Employees can ascertain a level of ownership in decisions made towards achieving goals.
Once empowered, Greater involvement facilitated by the increase of responsibility make employees more committed and more mindful when it comes to dealing with colleagues or interacting with customers. This in turn leads to decrease of staff turnover and also strengthens the “employer-employee” relationship.
Faster Problem Solving
Empowered employees are granted with the freedom and authority to solve problems relating to their field. By using their techniques and decision making skills, they can work through problems on their own.
Lower levels of management stress
Empowering employees isn’t just for the employees, but for the management as well. With empowered employees focusing on responsibilities, the management can focus on ways to build, expand and strategize.
If an employment strategy is well-managed and properly strategized, it can improve profitability and customer experience in an organization.
In some cases it takes one person to change the world, and in most cases it takes one person to ruin it too.
There’s nothing worse than hiring someone who is indeed qualified, but has very bad attitude. But it doesn’t stop there. It is also important to avoid hiring someone who might have a great personality, but just doesn’t fit well into the business culture you have established.
Hiring the wrong candidate for a job can have a huge impact on a business, from loss of productivity, time, right down to legal risks.
Here are some steps which companies should consider taking to avoid hiring the wrong candidates for a job.
CLEARLY STATE THE JOB REQUIREMENTS
It is important for employers to know exactly what they are looking for in a new employee. Just like I stated in my previous article; make sure the job description is detailed and has no errors. Your new hire must know exactly what she/he is getting themselves into.
PRE-SCREEN CANDIDATES BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
Once you select the resumes you are interested in, calling the candidate is the next best thing. During the call, ask them simple questions combined with a skill and personality test.
By doing this, you can get a better sense of who they are, thus getting a decent read on him/her making the process unbiased and more accurate.
Also be observant of the tone of their voice. Are they enthusiastic? Are they sharp? Do they speak clearly and confidently?
When all this is done, you can then decide if you want to invite them for a face-to-face interview.
ASK FOR REFERRALS
I personally think this is the best way to make the perfect hire because you can’t go wrong with referrals. Try to gather at least 3 professional recommendations and if possible. Referrals can also come from a reputable staffing agency that has done a lot the work of screening candidates before pitching them to potential employers.
This is a very important step, but you would be surprised at how many Nigerian companies run passed this.
It is important to run thorough background checks on candidates, including drug tests. Skipping this step might lead to serious consequences for the company (theft, unhealthy company culture, legal issues and so on). The safety of the company and its employees should always come first.
If time isn’t on your hands, consider using professional services such as employment agencies or a recruiter to help you find just what you are looking for.
Always proceed with caution in hiring decisions, the right talent can build your business, but a bad apple can destroy culture, halt company growth and in extreme cases bring down the company as a whole.
A recent survey of business leaders found that 34% said half of their full time staff would be working remotely by 2020. Incredible, isn’t it?
But with more and more employees now working remotely, it has become more challenging for HR professionals to communicate and engage with them.
Here are some tips on how you can successfully engage your remote workers;
Don’t control their schedule: One thing that differentiates remote workers and office workers is the ability for the remote workers to have a flexible and tailored schedule. This allows them to complete their daily tasks at times that they are most productive; it could be very early in the morning or late at night. A good way to engage them is by focusing on what they achieve everyday and not when they achieve it.
Always remember that they are part of the team: It is very easy to exclude remote workers from the day to day activities just because they aren’t always present at the office. But you need to make an effort to make sure that isn’t so. Include them in meetings, brainstorming sessions and basically anything an office worker would be part off.
Make sure to publicly recognize their efforts and contributions; not only is this a confidence booster but it also shows the office workers that the remote workers are actually working and not just staying at home.
Make time to meet with them: They might be remote workers but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have face-to-face meetings with them. It is important to schedule these meetings at least once every quarter because personal interaction help build a stronger bond, trust and a healthy work relationship.
Have regular Check-ins: Like I mentioned earlier, it is very easy to forget/exclude remote workers and a good way to keep them engaged is by occasionally organizing video conferences with their coworkers. These virtual meetings don’t have to be strictly work related; It can be a great avenue for office workers to get to know remote workers and vice versa.
In summary, in order to engage your remote workers you need to;
So imagine you find yourself in an unusual situation; working with an actual family member! That’s crazy isn’t it? I can think of a million and one reasons why that is a completely horrible idea but let me just list four;
Do you see how tricky this types of situations are? But is it really possible to work with a family member? Of course it is; Anything is possible! Here are some tips:
Do what you need to do: First of all, you need to acknowledge each other’s position and come to an agreement that both of you will work together on a neutral and professional ground. If there’s ever an issue, it should be addressed immediately, as professionally as possible and make sure to keep your personal lives out of it.
No preferential treatment: Yes we might be tempted to treat our family members better than everyone else; After all, family comes first. Right? – Wrong! At least just in this particular situation. Everyone at the office is an employee, therefore you need to treat everyone equally; keep it respectful and professional because the last thing you need it office politics and unnecessary drama.
Come out of the closet: It is actually very strange but I have seen people hide the fact that they work with a family member. People will eventually find out so why hide it in the first place? It will only create unnecessary questions, doubts and trust issues. And you really do not want that.
Make sure everyone knows that you are working with your family member, but, like I said earlier, no preferential treatment.
Put a pen on it: Now this might come off as a little harsh but the both of you need to sign a contract clearly stating each person’s role and responsibilities. This will help create trust and transparency in the workplace and put the other employees at ease which is what you need for perfect harmony.
No matter who you are, working with a family member is always weird. That is why you need to approach this situation with caution and consideration.
A flexible work schedule; Every working class person’s dream. Many Nigerian business owners do not consider this option because they simply think it is absurd. Having flexible work policies can contribute immensely to a healthy company culture and even business success.
Here are some advantages of flexible work hours in the workplace;
Increased Productivity: Numerous researches have shown that employees are more productive when they work from home.
A 10 month study was conducted at Ctrip.com; a billion dollar Shanghai based company, where half of the workers (that volunteered for the study) were allowed to work from home. The results were; the work-from-home staff were 13.5% more productive than the staff in the office. Further researched showed that the reason for the increase in productivity was because the employees were in a more conducive and comfortable environment; their homes.
Employee Empowerment & Satisfaction: Employees feel empowered when they are given flexible hours because it allows them have a work life balance. A flexible schedule also tends to reduce stress levels and in turn improve the overall health of the employees. A study conducted in the University of Minnesota revealed that employees that had flexible work schedules were healthier because it enabled them take better take care of themselves. Remember, a healthy employee is a happy employee and a happy/satisfied employee is a more productive employee.
Reduced Business Costs: Letting employees work from home can save a business a whole lot of money. Let me take us back to the study conducted at Ctrip.com. During the 10 month period, each employee that worked from home saved the company close to $2,000. Now that is a significant amount.
Employee Retention: Employees that have a flexible work schedule are more likely to remain with your company than those that don’t. This is because, providing flexible hours for your employees means that you care about them and their work life balance (which many employees wish they had).
In addition to all the points mentioned above, a flexible work schedule also leads to faster business growth, effective teamwork, loyal employees and a healthy work environment with reduced office politics.
When setting up the flexible work policies, make sure to put into consideration the goals of the company and the needs of your employees.
Mobile phones have become a huge part of our lives. According to Wikipedia, over 160 million Nigerians own a mobile phone.
With the number of internet users growing every year, mobile phones have become an important means of communication between businesses and their customers.
I read an article last week on SEO and it turns out that Google will punish you with low search ranking if your website is not mobile friendly. Amazing, isn’t it?
We can see that this technology isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. But what impact does it have on Human Resources? Let’s find out;
Easier Access To Information: It is true, HR Technology has made it pretty darn easy for employees to access their information but the integration of smartphones has made it even easier. Now your employees don’t always have to be close to a computer to access necessary data, all they need is their smartphone and an HR app.
I also have to add that this really improves employee retention because by providing them with easy access, you are empowering them.
Attract Younger Employees: Millennials are currently the largest group in the workforce compared to Boomers and Generation Xers. Apart from the fact that they were born between 1985 and 2004, they are also very tech savvy; they thrive on interactive technologies like smartphones, apps, social media and so on. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise for you to see companies attracting young talent with the use of technology.
If your business is still attracting talent the “Old School” way, it may be time to consider the incorporation of mobile technology. Just like the old saying goes “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”.
Communication: I know I have talked a lot about communication in the workplace. Well, that’s because it is extremely important. Not only does communication improve company culture, it also motivates your employees which in turn increases productivity.
There are many mobile-based collaborative and communication tools that HR Technology now provides which bridges the communication gap between employees and managers. With mobile technology, communication is not longer limited to using a computer; It provides a more flexible means of communication.
Mobile technology is taking over every aspect of our lives and that does not exclude HR. Businesses that are willing to be innovative and successful should be prepared to implement the use of mobile technology.
We can all agree that processing employees’ leaves requires a lot of time and labour when it is done manually. And just like any manual process, it is prone to human error.
The cost of leave and absence contributes to nearly 35% of an organization’s payroll. That is a lot, isn’t it? Despite this, most Nigerian businesses don’t seem to track or even manage employee absence or leave. Why? Well, most times it is because they haven’t found an effective paperless solution that can help them get the job done.
Most Human Resource Management Systems today have an Automated Leave Management feature that enables businesses manage their employees’ leaves with ease.
So here are some benefits of an automated leave management system;
Track Leaves and Absences: Because it is an automated system, tracking employees’ leaves and absences becomes easy, fast and accurate. This in turn reduces administrative burden by significantly reducing the amount of paperwork needed to process leaves.
Easy Access and Security: The automated leave management system stores all the employees’ leave information digitally in a central location which protects the data from theft and accidents. This feature also allows both the employee and employer to easily access their information whenever and wherever it is needed.
Discipline: It is important for employees to adhere to their company’s leave policy so as to ensure transparency and seamless business growth. An automated leave management system helps to clearly define these leave policies and procedures for the employees to follow which in turn ensures discipline in the workplace.
Employers/managers should understand the importance of tracking leaves and absences, regardless of the size of the company. The automated leave management system works together with the automated time & attendance system and payroll tool to generate accurate information for each employee.
Every employer/manager knows how important it is for employees to be motivated because a motivated workforce is a productive workforce. Unfortunately, not every employer/manager succeeds at finding creative ways of motivating their workforce.
Here are some awesome ways to motivate employees;
Gamification and Incentives: Gamification is the application of typical elements of game playing and techniques in order to engage people and motivate them to achieve their goals. This is a very innovative method of motivating employees because it is fun and everyone likes to have fun.
Incentives are also a good way to reward and motivate your employees after a job well done. These incentives could be material (a raise, a gift, a promotion) or nonmaterial (flexible hours, a day off, professional growth).
Empower Employees: As an employer/manager, you have obviously determined and informed everyone how each task should be done by each employee, and that’s cool. But sometimes, your employees might come up with a more efficient way of how they or others can do their job. If you really want to motivate your employees, you should listen to them and welcome their new ideas.
Technology: We are in the digital age and we have to embrace it whether we like it or not. I know this sounds funny, but there’s literally an app for everything now (every single thing) and wherever you go, you will always find a little piece of technology. Technology has helped us simplify and speed up different processes, from communication to industrialization to basically anything you can think of. So when we talk about employee motivation, technology definitely has a role to play there.
HR Technology motivates employees by;
Set a Good Example: It is important for managers to set a good example for employees to follow. If a manager is excited about a new project and works hard on it, it will only motivate the workforce to do the same because hard work and excitement can be very contagious.
Managers/employers should constantly find creative and innovative ways of motivating their workforce because business success is highly dependent on that.
HR Technology has changed the way we look at Human Resources Management because it has enabled businesses to simplify their HR processes through automation and cloud computing.
HR systems today have the following solutions to help streamline most if not all HR processes;