Friday, December 15, 2017

Put the "No Entry" Signage for Failure in Your Copywriting Career

You may be struggling to succeed in your copywriting career and during the process of investigating the possibilities available to you, you suddenly stumble upon a client who is equally struggling to promote her business. You justifiably assume that if you utilize this opportunity, it will be a step upward and will restore your confidence and career. You offer your services to the client by convincing her that you will craft sales copies for her and improve her business. 

Though you get a nod from the client, you are not very much sure as to how to go about this. At the same time, you believe that this approval from the client can turn out to be the straw that can firmly put you on the path to success in your copywriting career. Remember that no desultory ways will provide you with any clues as to how to proceed with the task on hand. The following few tips will help you. Read on.

1. Be restrained but be clear.

It is not necessary that you should show the breadth of your knowledge in the copies you are trying to create for your client. The language you use should be simple and should just be representative of the business of the client. Prospects who read the copies should get valuable insights and get persuaded so chances of they becoming loyal customers for your client are high. 

Of course, you may be tempted to use a flowery language for mouthing the details you have gathered from your client. Avoid this tendency. Of course, being a creative person that you are, you may not be able to parrot exactly what the client has told you. Further, the contents should not sound awkward and the ideas should not turn out to be a jumble of words.

2. Be truthful.

Make sure that the contents of your copies fill the minds of the prospects with excitement. The excitement should result from the expectation of enjoying the promises you make in your copies. 

At the same time, remember that customers have no patience for deceit and are not likely to be amused if your words ring false. In fact, prospects who read your sales copies will understand that with your charades, you are trying to rationalize the empty promises you are making. So, their reaction may turn out to be sardonic. Your words may repel them also. This means that the righteous wrath of these potential customers will make it difficult for your client to win them back.

3. Be unique but be authentic as well.

You will have a tendency to have a look at the copies of the competitors of your client before trying to craft copies for her. If you are not careful, your mind will unconsciously pick or borrow ideas from those copies. The main danger is that these ideas can replace the buoyancy of your own original ones and can spoil your creativity by their conformity. Of course, you can gather insights from those copies or the ideas in them can help in triggering your creativity. Never forget that your aim is to get your client better results than what her competitors are able to get from their copies. So, the contents you create should be original, unique, and really authentic which means they should be unsullied and your own.

4. Be unafraid. 

If you always keep your focus on helping the client realize her dreams, you will work with determined practicality and try to come up with unique ideas in your copies. In fact, you will have your own perception once you discuss with your client and gather all the details you require for creating copies for her. Having a perception of your own will liberate you from whatever inhibitions you may have about the brand and the products of your client. You need not hesitate to use this perception in your copies nor you need to worry if you will be startling or shocking the prospects of your client with the candor or bluntness that has grown from your perception. 

Your aim is to touch the emotional chord in the prospects and so, a little bit of bluntness while you discuss the issues they face is good. But avoid being overly sentimental. Do not also sound defiant while countering the apprehensions you assume these prospects may have.

5. Be sincere.

Try to eliminate the suspicions the prospects may have. Ensure also that the prospects know the truth about the industry or the field in which your client operates, the real truth, not the competitors' truth that may be ridiculous or false. But you should reinforce your statements with proper, satisfactory explanations because emotions such as fear and suspicion will never atrophy in the minds of customers regardless of the fact that not all the providers and suppliers are insincere and deceitful. 

6. Be purposeful.

Your intention is not to invade the minds of these prospects and unsettle them. But your aim is to make sure that that the brief of your client is so well explained in your copies that these prospects are completely convinced. The details should get recorded in their minds so they are able to retrieve and pluck your name from their memory especially when they need the products your client has to offer.

7. Be confident and firm.

You have voluntarily chosen the copywriting career and this client has assigned to you this task of preparing sales copies for her. Of course, you have gathered all the inputs you require from the client. You have to now use your brain and its creative power for crafting these copies and cannot expect that some extra minds will supplant your mind. You cannot afford to falter also because the client has relied on you and entrusted the task to you. Therefore, find out the barriers that stand between you and the task of crafting a great and effective copy and try to eliminate them.

8. Be wise.

Nowadays, customers are unsentimental and almost all the marketing professionals are aware that there is an increased barter mentality in customers. The general question almost every customer asks is: "What is in it for me?" Your copy should therefore make potential customers be aware of what they will get by opting for the products your client is offering.  So, regiment your thinking process suitably and sort and choose the right words wisely so your copy achieves this aim. 

9. Get ready for success.

The best way to become super-qualified so you can achieve guaranteed success and prosperity in your copywriting career is to keep learning on a continuous basis. You should never allow yourself to get complacent. You should also be open to new, unique and innovative ideas. If you adopt this approach, you will not only be able to enhance the quality of your copies but will inspire more and more clients to approach you for promoting their brands and businesses.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Lost Your Job? No Worries. Deal With It Sensibly.

Unlike in the past, people do not stick to the same job in which they join. They keep looking for greener pastures and once they find a higher-paying job, they do not hesitate to leave their earlier job. Similarly, unpredictability is ruling the roost in the job market because a number of employers have started adopting a "hire and fire" approach. This means that if they find that a particular employee is not useful to them any more, they will ask the employee to leave. If you face such a situation and your employer has asked you to leave, you may wonder as to how to handle the situation. The following tips may help.


Emotional, financial and social impact


It is true that loss of job may impact you emotionally, financially and socially. The first step you must take is that you must stop living in a make-believe world. You must accept the reality and remain composed. You must not react immediately also. In fact, your immediate reaction may be out of frustration. According to the K├╝bler-Ross model, there may be 5 phases of emotional swings you may be subjected to. "Denial”, “anger”, “bargain”, “rejection” and “acceptance” are those five phases. You must never react or make a decision when you are emotional because the decision may certainly be wrong. So, instead of allowing your emotions to take over, it is better not to react immediately. 


You have lost your job. So what? 


Though losing a job is a major set-back, that is not the end of the world. You have the rest of your life with you and you can accomplish a number of things even without being employed. Remember that Twitter and Facebook rejected Brian Acton when he applied for a job with them. He later co-founded WhatsApp and sold it to Facebook itself for a whopping $18Bn.


The time after you have lost your job can be extremely useful because you can do an honest assessment about your capabilities, your attitude and the areas in which you should improve and try to effect the required corrections for enhancing your worth.


Get rid of your negativity


There are chances you may lose your confidence and may wonder how your future will be. But remember that only during such occasions, you must believe in yourself. If you are of the best employees of the company that has laid you off, other companies may be ready to take you in. When Askme and Flipkart laid off a few of their employees, there were many companies that immediately took in some of the most skilled employees.


Isolating yourself is not a good thing


You may stay away from your relatives and friends due to the fear that they may ask you about your loss of job. This is not the right approach. Remember that a loss of job is your problem and others have no business to poke their nose into it. Of course, there may be relatives and friends who may genuinely want to help you. Similarly, there may be others who may have a sadistic pleasure in watching your frustration. You can interact with the former group because it may help you in changing your mood for the better. You may get some invaluable suggestions from those friends or relatives for making the next move as well. Chances of developing new contacts through them cannot be ruled out also.


Psychologically speaking also, you can bring down your frustration and stress levels by ventilating your feelings to those who have genuine concerns for you.


Reboot yourself


Since you are now relieved of the cumbersome process of commuting to your workplace every morning, you can use the time to reboot yourself and look at the choices available to you. By reviewing and re-looking at your interests, both professional and personal, you can find out if you can convert the current setback into another viable opportunity. Never forget how Steve Jobs played an impactful role in developing Apple after being thrown out of the same company initially.

Even if you are not inclined to carry out all these exercises, you can enjoy the phase by having a good time with your family or learning a new skill.


Never be hasty and never lie while trying to find a new job


"Once bitten, twice shy" is the saying. So, you must be careful while looking for a new job. Avoid making hasty decisions. Similarly, if you are called for a job interview, speak openly and tell the interviewers that you lost your job. Tell them the correct reason for the job loss also. Remember employers have various sources for checking facts. Employers value honesty more than anything else.


Most of the employers are very well aware that things like a loss of job, etc. keep happening in the job market and hence, they may not look down upon you for that reason. 


If full-time job is no more an option, try for part-time or freelancing opportunities. These are certainly better options than making a hasty and wrong choice. Landing in a wrong job will sap your confidence further and it may have cascading effect in robbing your true potential. It is always better to opt for a job that excites or challenges you instead of desperately choosing the job that you stumble upon first.


Conclusion


Lossof job can certainly impact your life. In fact, in the present context, this risk is there for every employed person. Therefore, everyone including you should remain prepared for facing it. If you continuously keep yourself updated about the latest innovations in your field and keep upgrading your skills, you can be confident of landing in a new job even if you face a sudden lay-off.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Want to have a fool-proof career? Do these things

The past few years have seen a lot of tribulations in the global economy. Due to this, unemployment levels have been increasing in most of the countries. So, it may not be surprising if you wonder whether you will be able to have a fool-proof career. Experts opine that there is no need for you to lose heart because there are ways that may help you have a fool-proof career. They advise that you must take a few steps for it. Let us have a look. 


1. The most important step you must take is to keep yourself abreast of the latest innovations and changes that keep taking place in your field. Experts point out at the rapidity at which changes keep taking place in almost every field. It is in this context they advise that you must attend summits, events and conferences related to your field. The main benefit you can derive is that you can get a lot of information from experts in the trench of your industry. You can even ask questions and seek clarifications and advice from these experts. Not only that, these conferences, events and summits may widen your network significantly. When you connect with the top people in your field, chances of having a fool-proof career increase manifold.


2. Explore job titles

There are lots of opportunities in every field but all of them may not be very much visible. This means you should do an in-depth research so you can choose the branch that suits you the best and that interests you. Remember that if you choose a branch or niche that interests you, you will tend to put forth more efforts. In other words, you must explore the various job titles available in your field so you can specialize in the relevant niche you are interested in.


3. Keep applying for workshops or courses

Look for institutions that organize workshops related to your field. Similarly, institutions and universities may offer courses, both online and off-line, relevant to your field. Make it a point to apply for these courses or workshops so you can keep your knowledge level updated. You will get comprehensive details about the industry also. When your knowledge level goes up, your confidence will grow and so, you can perform better in job interviews as well as in those interviews conducted for promotions.


4. Volunteer to offer free service


Find a company in your field that may require interns and offer your services to them. This will be of immense help to you because you will get on-the-job training. Your self-confidence will get a boost and hence, when you attend job interviews, you can communicate clearly. The interviewers will be able to realize about your skills and potential also.


5. Continuous education will always help


If you do not take steps to continue your learning, you may become stagnant. Remember that every field is witnessing rapid changes which means companies are always looking for those employees who keep themselves updated of such changes and innovations


6. Never shirk your responsibilities

Even after landing in a job, you cannot afford to become complacent. Apart from working hard, you must make it a point to remain accountable for your output. Shirking your responsibility is a bad attitude and your management will view it seriously. In fact, every management will like only those employees who "do more than paid for." You can even assist other team members after you finish your own work. You can assist other teams as well so you can gain knowledge about the other operations of your company. Always remember that the management has thousands of eyes and ears and the news about your attitude of rendering a helping hand to other members of your team and other teams will reach them very soon.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Not Able To Land In A Job? Adopt A New Approach For Creating Your Resume

If you have NOT landed in a job despite having great skills and also a very good academic background, you may be wondering what is wrong and what you should do about it. The answer to your quandary can be found in your resume and your cover letter. It reveals that you should adopt a new approach for creating your resume and your cover letter. Let us have a look. 


Whatever may be the changes that may have taken place in the job market, resumes still play a key role in the recruitment processes. This means you must improve the way you present things in your resume.

    1. Your resume must contain an objective and a call-to-action

Career experts strongly advise that resumes should resemble sales letters. Just as a sales letter provides the details of the benefits a buyer will derive by purchasing a service or a product, you should tell potential employers how they will benefit by hiring you. 


The objective of a resume is to let employers know how your skills and achievements will help their companies. In fact, you should begin your resume by giving these details because it is during the first few seconds recruiters will decide if they should go through your resume fully or toss it into the trash bin.


    2. Understand clearly what the employers want

You must read the job postings thoroughly because only then, you can know the skill sets employers are looking for. If you think that you possess the skills, you must highlight them in your resume.


    3. Let your resume focus on your  skills

There is no point on describing vaguely how you have contributed in your previous positions. Potential employers should know the skills you have acquired by working on those jobs. So, by using specific subheadings for grouping your skills, you must give examples of how you used those skills in your previous positions. Such examples will show to your potential employers that they can expect a similar approach from you. 


    4. Incorporate a separate section to describe the skills you acquired externally

You may have acquired a few skills outside your earlier workplaces. If you show them in a separate section, employers can know how you can handle stressful situations. Days of testing the I.Q. of candidates are gone. Employers are now testing the Emotional Quotient and Adversity Quotient of job seekers because in the highly competitive environment that prevails in the present-day world, employees are very much likely to face several hurdles. Only if they remain composed and unperturbed and think with a cool and clear head, they will be able to come out with the right solutions for surmounting the hurdles. 


Your resume must reveal your skills in these areas. In other words, you can describe some of the stressful situations you might have faced in your life and how you could handle them successfully for coming out unscathed.


    5. Understand the right meaning of a cover letter

A number of people have a wrong notion that your cover letter must contain whatever you have said in your resume. Instead, the letter should give more details about you  so recruiters can know how you will fit into the role for which you are applying and what you will do for the company. 


Experts advise that your cover letter must begin with a strong cut-to-the-chase introduction. You must explain how your achievements and skills will benefit the company for which you are applying and how you will be compatible with their culture.


Conclusion


If your resume as well as cover letter are top notch, you can be certain that you will land in a good job.


Monday, May 29, 2017

What to Do When Your Employer Overlooked You and Promoted Your Junior

Whenyour company promotes a person who has less experience than you andhe moves ahead of you, you may justifiably be frustrated. Your motivation levels may come down as well. Sometimes, the same person may become your boss and may try to guide you or even give you advice. But no amount of fretting and fuming may help. Similarly, ventilating your anger towards the person who has superseded you may not also do any good. Then, what should you do in this context?



Instead of focusing on the reasons as to why the other person has been promoted and you have been overlooked, you must focus on your career. If you do an honest assessment, you will know the areas in which you have to improve. But if you succumb to emotions such as frustration and anger, you may not be able to look at things in the right perspective. 



Experts say that the feeling of anger is in general fear-based. Therefore, without allowing yourself to be consumed by fear, you must use the emotion as a fuel for improving yourself.



Experts further say that those who advance in their careers are good in playing the game so appropriately that they derive benefits out of it. They learn the trick of building relationships, they do a little extra in what is expected of them and use these traits for furthering their careers. If you look at companies, they generally have the habit of promoting only those who have these traits. They do not even consider experience. Simply put, these traits are what help these employees stand out from the crowd that may consist of even more experienced people.



So, understand that employers will consider those people with loyalty and tenacity and those who think out-of-the-box. So, if you demonstrate your lateral thinking capabilities and if you prove to your employers that you are willing to travel the extra distance, you may not have any difficulty in going up the career ladder



Michelle Gibbings, a career specialist, also says that it may be futile as well as dangerous if we focus on the success of other employees. On the contrary, we should feel happy that the other person has got a rise and should think that this gives us an opportunity to find out the ways for improving ourselves so we can also move up. 



Michelle Gibbings says, "You should not have a mindset where you believe someone else's success means you can't have success. If you do, then you'll shrink the way you collaborate with people and that will negatively impact on your career. Focus on what you need to do, learn something more, shift how you behave and expand your network. Somebody else's success might stop and make you think about your own career path but you should be happy for them and not let it eat you up. It's not easy but see what you can learn from your colleague, use it as a growth opportunity. But that will only come if you are genuinely happy for that person. Change your mindset and figure out what more you can learn and how you can support people because those traits will help build your career and establish what you stand for."



This explains everything.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Sound Advice to Ensure Your Career Growth

Careergrowth is what everyone is aspiring for and you may not be an exception. But do you have one of the key traits that can help you have the growth that you are aiming at? We are talking about what is known as "active listening." If you think that the process of active listening is to just pay attention to what the speakers and more particularly, your boss, peers, co-workers and subordinates are uttering, you are terribly wrong. In fact, the process of active listening mainly consists of being very alert while listening. This is much more than just paying attention to what others speak. The process actually involves showing verbal as well as non-verbal signs so the speakers know that you are not only paying attention but digesting and assimilating whatever they are uttering.

Researches have proved that on an average, a person can talk 225 words a minute. But all of us have capabilities of listening up to 500 words a minute. This means we allow 275 words from various other sources to fill our minds. This is what distraction is. If you want to actively listen, you must make purposeful efforts to avoid succumbing to such distractions.

Of course, there may be another reason that may be preventing you from listening actively to others and the reason is our "ego." Many of us want that we should be in the spotlight and hence, we try to speak more than we listen. In this process, we do not allow others to speak. But how can active listening help you? Let us have a look. 

1.When you are actively listening, you will be able to come out with apt responses to what others speak. Speakers and especially, your boss, may appreciate you for your feedback. In fact, your feedback will prove to the speakers that you are able to understand and assimilate what they speak. So, they may think that you are smart.

2. In addition to being considered a smart person, you may earn the reputation of being a charismatic person as well. As the saying goes, “The irony of being a good conversationalist is that talking isn’t the most important piece; listening is what makes you memorable.”

3. Sometimes, peers and subordinates may approach you with their issues. Though not all of them may want you to provide solutions, some of them may expect that you should be empathetic towards the issues they face. You can lend your empathetic ears only if you actively listen to them and understand their issues in the right perspective.

But how can you become an actively listener? Here are a few tips.

1. Once your boss, peers or subordinates finish talking, you can paraphrase whatever they have spoken and repeat it. Your summary need not be elaborate. It is enough if it is brief. Experts point out that when you attempt this, the creative part of your brain gets triggered and so, you may be able to come out with new ideas and suggestions. There is another advantage as well. Your boss and others will come to know that you have understood their points in the right manner.

2. Another approach is to ask relevant questions about the topics about which people speak. This will also show your enthusiasm and interest. It may help you in getting clarity about the topics as well. More particularly, your boss will appreciate that you have understood the importance of the tasks that are being assigned.

In this context, it is pertinent to imagine a particular scenario. Let us assume that your boss assigns a few tasks to you and while discussing about the tasks, he appears to lay emphasis on a couple of tasks by repeatedly mentioning about them. By asking your boss if you have to accord priority to those specific tasks, you can clearly show to your boss that your line of thinking is in tune with what he thinks. Apart from helping you in strengthening your relationship with him, this may pave way for a quicker career growth also. 

3. In addition to the above verbal responses, you should have natural eye contact when your boss or others speak. Other non-verbal responses are keeping an appropriate posture, nodding, smiling, etc. These responses should show to the speakers that you agree with the views or points put forth by them.

In a nutshell, active listening is certain to help you in your efforts to impress your boss and so, you can rest assured that it will accelerate your career growth.


Friday, March 17, 2017

How Resilience Plays a Key Role in One's Career Growth

"Don't react instantly because chances of your life getting ruined are high" is the sage advice of philosophers. How you react or respond to situations depends upon the emotional state you are in. This is all the more true in career-related situations. In other words, career growth or career development has an emotional side as well. 

You may have come across many career counsellors who may advise you that if you want to have the career growth you are aiming at, you must acquire new skills, volunteer to take up challenges in your workplace, refine your communication skills, have a good mentor to guide you, and so on. But only a few career experts recognize the fact that career development has an emotional side also. 

In fact, this emotional side is as important, if not more, as successfully climbing the career ladder because it may help you overcome the setbacks that unexpectedly confront you. Remember that your long-term success depends upon how you persevere even when you face such setbacks and obstacles. It is in this context you are advised to cultivate resilience so you will find it easy to surmount these road-blocks.

What is resilience?

Before knowing the value of resilience in helping you in your long-term growth, you must first know what the word means. It is nothing but the inner strength that is needed for responding suitably to stress-causing situations and obstacles. In other words, it is a healthy behavior and attitude that will help you in adapting even when tough circumstances and challenges stare in your face.

How resilience can help you in your career development

1. Resilience helps you persevere even when you face tough circumstances. Remember that everything may not happen according to your wish. You may be expecting a promotion but the management may promote another employee or may recruit a new employee for the post. You may certainly be upset over this but you must be resilient enough to accept the reality. 

Of course, you have the option of quitting the company and looking for a better opportunity elsewhere. But the job market is still tough because the global economy is yet to fully recover from the economic down-turn that struck it not long ago. You may face rejections and may have to pass through a prolonged period of uncertainty. But if you stick with your company with perseverance and prove your worth with increased vigor and enthusiasm, you will soon be recognized and rewarded.

2. Nowadays, employers expect that job aspirants should possess 'softskills.' Resilience is one of the main ingredients of these so-called soft skills. Employers firmly believe that resilient employees will be more flexible, optimistic, curious, and engaged. Not only that, these employees will have a macro-view of things and hence, they will bring about a positive change to the workplace environment. This will boost productivity and help in solving issues that may crop up at the workplace.

3. Resilience will help you remain confident even when you face tough situations. Only if you are confident, you can plan your work in an organized manner and work your plan with discipline. In short, you can show better performance if you are resilient. 

On the contrary, if you are not resilient despite being highly talented, you may start questioning or challenging the decisions of the management. You may purposely change the way you work and this may cause friction in the workplace. As they say, "talent and trouble always go hand in hand." In short, you will earn the reputation of being a maverick individual. Remember that not all managements will be flexible and be prepared to put up with the pain of handling such employees.

4. Resilience can empower you to overcome even challenging situations and adversities. Since you will have confidence and an optimistic outlook, you will be able to manage your team easily, can negotiate business deals skilfully, be ready to shoulder new risks and come out with solutions for the issues the company faces and so on. 

5. Very importantly, you will be able to handle criticism in the right manner. Instead of viewing criticisms with a negative perspective, you will view them as a constructive feedback. This will help you in improving yourself and advancing more quickly. Remember that when you go up the career ladder, you will be subject to increased scrutiny.

6. Resilience will help you put forth your efforts with a growth mindset. This means when obstacles or unexpected setbacks confront you, you may not consider them as 'dead ends' but as opportunities that indirectly suggest to you that you should learn and grow. Therefore, you must begin learning from the mistakes you commit and from those others commit also. 

Remember that a number of factors may work against you and many of them may not be under your control. So, you must stop worrying about the outcomes and work with confidence. Also remember that resilience is not a trait that is passed on genetically. You should strengthen your character in such a manner that you acquire this trait so you can smoothly handle any situation in your career path.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What Should Employers Do to Retain Competent Employees

In the present-day context, employee attrition has become a major problem. Companies are finding it difficult to retain their employees. Especially, when employees, who belong to the creamy layer and who have demonstrated and proved their competence, quit a company, it may be a huge set-back for the company. They may find it difficult to recruit a suitable replacement. 


Companies should realize that this problem can worsen because the number of employees who are hopping jobs is on the increase. This also means that companies should take suitable measures for retaining competent employees. One of the vital measures they must take is to help these employees in their career growth efforts. Let us see how they can do this.


1. Increased monetary benefits may not help always 


As an employer, you must understand that increased remuneration alone will not prevent employees from quitting. Nowadays, many employees want to learn and grow. A study reveals that 75% of those employees who are enthusiastic about their career growth look for learning opportunities. The only caveat is they want to learn at their own pace.


If you do not make such opportunities available to them, they may be reluctant to engage themselves fully in your company's affairs. If this disenchantment is allowed to grow, they may decide to quit your company soon. So, you should constantly keep reviewing the learning opportunities available in your company so these employees will understand that you value their aspirations and are ready to help them in achieving their goals. 


2. Creating a two-way path


Many organizations commit the mistake of discussing the career goals of their employees only when the annual ritual of reviewing their performance is conducted. In fact, many employers do not discuss the career goals of their employees at all but they just assess their performance during these annual sessions. In other words, employers are oblivious of the fact that circumstances keep changing constantly and not just once a year. This means the goals of the employees may also undergo changes often. That is the reason you, as an employer, should create a two-way path so you can have ongoing discussions with your employees. Such an ongoing arrangement for communication will help you keep track of their career goals and also in checking their progress.


You must also guide your employees suitably so their career goals are in complete synergy with the goals of the company. This means when an employee achieves his career goal, your company will benefit also. 


3. Be ready to invest in inclusive and holistic development


This means you must not only help in the professional development of your employees but in their personal development as well. For example, some of your employees may be interested in reading and updating their knowledge. You can create a budget for setting up a library so you can fulfill the desire of such employees. Similarly, there may be employees who may be interested in fitness and so, you can put in place a well-equipped gym for fulfilling their desire. This approach may also help in retaining employees.


4. Recognize and motivate


Never fail to acknowledge and recognize the unique achievements of your employees. Remember that no achievement is trivial. Recognition at the workplace will go a long way in motivating them. Apart from appreciating them verbally, you must make it a point to offer perks they are interested in.


When employees realize that you are interested in helping them grow intheir career, they may willingly stay with your company for a long, long time.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

How can you become an excellent achiever in your workplace?

If you want to be hailed as an excellent achiever in your workplace, you must always do more than what the company expects from you. This means your contribution to the growth of the organization should be much more valuable than the value of the remuneration you get. Apart from this, you must have excellent work ethics also. 


For example, an employee may be a genius and he may be highly confident also. Though it is great to be confident, it may turn out to be a bad habit if it turns into arrogance. Due to the over-blown view about himself, the employee may stop listening to his seniors, colleagues and even customers. He may not get the benefit of external perspectives because he has stopped listening. He may also forget the fact that customers expect that they should be listened to and that if ignored, they may switch to other providers. Simply put, his thinking pattern and actions may not align with those of his organization. 


Many people think that by listening to others, their decisions may be influenced. On the contrary, listening nurtures original thinking and creativity. 


To digress a little, not only individual employees but even organizations may develop arrogance due to which they may suffer from what is known as "competition myopia." This means they may closely be monitoring only the big players in their field and may be ignoring small players. In other words, they lose sight of the fact that small players can be "niche invaders." Ignoring the competition posed by these small players may be detrimental to the growth of these organizations. 


In short, work ethics consists not only of performing efficiently and being honest but listening to others including co-workers, seniors and customers, and working as a member of a cohesive team.


Managements of companies may use parameters like honesty, integrity, positive attitude, willingness to work, timeliness, punctuality, enthusiasm, etc. for measuring work ethics. They may also take into account the contribution of the employees in increasing the productivity of the company, the degree of importance the employees attach towards customer service, their ability to maintain good relationship with other staff, team participation, their willingness to learn and the respect they show to personal values and the values of the company. Employees should aim to continuously improve on all these parameters.


Here is some good news for you. It is now possible to become an excellentachiever in your workplace for which you must develop what is called the "excellence" habit. The following tips may help you develop this habit.


1.  The foremost step for developing the "excellence" habit is you should have a very strong desire for achieving success in your career. But how to develop such a strong desire? Experts suggest that you should constantly be thinking about your desire so it becomes strong. You should imagine as if you have already succeeded in developing a strong desire. Whenever negative thoughts occur in your mind, you must push them away and bring into focus the thought of your desire. Consistent practice alone will help you in making your desire strong.


2. Even while making efforts for developing a strong desire, be willing to tackle the workplace challenges you face head-on. Remember that your aim is to become a win-win individual and that is not possible if you shy away from challenges. 


3. For becoming an excellent achiever at your workplace, you must get into the action habit. Even if you are a genius, it may be of no use if you do not take the required action. In fact, a genius who does not get into the action habit is committing a sin. You should therefore work on a continuous basis for developing the "excellence" habit so you can become an excellent achiever very quickly. 


4. Once you turn your desire into a strong one, you must be ready to take the self-initiative. For example, when a task is entrusted to you, you should be clear about the task and also the output your management wants. Keep seeking clarifications till you understand these aspects perfectly.


5. Evaluate your work on a consistent basis. Never forget the fact that there is always scope for improvement. Only by constantly evaluating how you perform, you will shed your casualness towards your work and improve yourself. 


6. Strive to cultivate the emotional maturity that may help you foster good and healthy relationships with everyone in the organization including seniors, peers and other colleagues. Learn to take criticism in your stride. If you receive constructive criticism, use it for improving yourself. 


7. Another major ingredient that may help you become an excellent achiever is servitude. Don't consider your work as a burden. Consider it as an opportunity to serve others. This will help you make meaningful progress in your career. This attitude will help you perform better. By performing better, you will feel that you are secure in your job. 


Never forget the fact that the management has thousands of eyes and ears. They will soon know that you have capabilities to handle responsibilities. This will improve your chances of getting quicker promotions. In other words, by becoming an excellent achiever in yourworkplace, you can fast-track your growth in your career.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Job Hoppers Need Not Earn the Displeasure of Their Employers

That bosses and managers find the frequent job hopping attitude of their employees alarming is an under-statement. More particularly, managers of BPO and IT companies experience the issue of job-hopping of employees more often than those who are in other types of industries. Especially, conservative minded managers or bosses are not able to digest this phenomenon. "Rolling stones gather no moss" may be the quote these managers like the most.  


'Opportunity highways' that exist now were not available earlier. But now, for those employees with a reasonably good academic record and also an MBA in their arsenal, job hopping is the best strategy for moving up in their career. People no longer want to work in the same company till the end of their career. In fact, others start suspecting the capabilities of those who stay in the same company for many years. Another point is that the concept of company loyalty that was considered sacrosanct in the earlier times has lost its sheen now. 


But is it right to be a frequent job hopper? If you keep changing jobs once every two years, your prospective employer may be in a quandary as to whether to take your job application seriously or not. If you are in your 20's and if you change jobs, employers may not take it seriously. But if you are in your mid-30s and if you are a frequent job-hopper, they may view it through a different prism. 


Are you averse to sticking to the same company for many years?


There are people who firmly believe that sticking to the same company for many years may lead to missed opportunities and retarded careergrowth. If you belong to this category, there is some good news for you. You need not stick to the same company for ever and at the same time, can prove that you are not only committed to your desire of growing in your career but will remain dedicated to your current employer as well till you stick with the company. Let us see how.


1. If you want to prove that you are dedicated to your current organization, ensure to learn new things and implement them appropriately and effectively. This means you should make all possible efforts for boosting the value of the company. For example, you can acquire complementary skills and undertake cross-functional tasks. You can give innovative suggestions for improving the marketing strategies, increasing the sales and so on.


2. By accomplishing difficult feats, you can prove that you are an invaluable employee. So, even when you quit the company for joining another organization, your employer may understand that you do so not due to boredom but with an aim to have accelerated career growth. Your employer may willingly give a written testimonial also to the effect that you have made meaningful contribution for the growth of the company.


3. Never hesitate to take risks during the course of carrying out your official tasks. Remember that you cannot always take perfect steps. This means you may sometimes stumble but you must be ready to learn so you will not repeat the same mistakes. By taking risks during the course of doing your work, you are proving to the management that you are always ready to test theories. At the same time, you must take responsibility for the impact of the mis-steps you may take. In fact, managers will view this as a positive trait. 


A plethora of employment opportunities are available now. Therefore, job hopping has become the order of the day. But before you quit a company to join another, you must make sure that you have made all possible efforts to come out with a clean record. Your Resume should also speak volumes about your accomplishments in the company. If you stick to these points, you can not only be a job-hopper who succeeds in building a good career but can earn the goodwill of every employer for whom you work as well. 


Monday, February 20, 2017

How Humor Can Help You Lead Better

That laughter brings with it a number of benefits is an undeniable fact. Laughter can bestow business benefits also. That is the reason management experts emphatically say that there should be laughter in every workplace. Even the so-called serious institutions like the London Business School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Wharton have done researches about the business benefits of laughter. The findings of their researches reveal that every time employees laugh, guffaw or chuckle, they get rid of the stress, boredom and the anxiety they face at their workplace. Not only that, their creativity and their willingness to collaborate with each other go up by several notches. Since the analytical precision of these employees improves also, we can see increased productivity at the workplace.


In a video featured on the website of his institution, Eric Tsytsylin, who did his MBA at Stanford, says that adults and especially, those who are working, are experiencing the onslaught of what is known as a "laughter drought." Research findings reveal that on an average, babies laugh 400 times daily but those above the age of 35 laugh only 15 times daily. Even the Gallup data gathered for the US show that working adults laugh much less on weekdays than they do on weekends. In short, work has become a sober and serious endeavor.


From this, it is quite clear that if organizations, managers and leaders ensure that their employees laugh more, they can get more out of them. But the main objection may be that how an individual enjoys humor is subjective. A situation that appears humorous to one person may be irritating to another person. But books such as "TheHumor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny" and "Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind" contest this notion. 


According to these books, there is a specific formula that can make all the people laugh. According to the authors of the book "The Humor Code," "humor rests on benign violation." This theory can be elaborated like this: Something can provoke people to laugh not only if it is "wrong, unsettling or threatening" but if it is "okay, acceptable or safe" as well. At the same time, the authors of this book acknowledge the facts that "it is easier to fail with humor than succeed" and that it is on contexts that the success of a joke depends. But if those who crack the jokes know their audience, they can use the formula of "benign violation" effectively. 


The book "Inside Jokes" seems to adopt an academic approach and since the analysis authors have done on different types of humor may be boring, let us not delve further into it.


Though, as the manager of your office, you may ensure that your speeches or presentations contain sufficient quantity of humor, you may hate to purposely go from one team member to another telling your jokes. But what type of humor can help you lead better? 


Experts say that self-deprecating jokes, light teasing, poking fun at outsiders, of course, privately, etc. may work. At the same time, these experts hasten to warn that you should use these ways with utmost care because you must not forget that passing discriminatory comments against others is an offense for which you can be punished.


Another research by Gang Zhang, who is doing his doctoral study at the London Business School reveals that though the motivation levels of employees may go up, thanks to the humor of their managers, they may not have as much respect for these managers as they have for others. Especially, those managers who deprecate themselves may not command much respect. 


Here are a few tips that may help you use humor to lead your staff better:


Be authentic and honest while telling your jokes.

You need not even crack jokes. Your staff will enjoy and appreciate you even if they think that you are clever. 

Sometimes, chuckling at yourself may also be sufficient to make your staff laugh. 

When everyone in your workplace is worried about something, try poking fun at the situation itself. If you make everyone laugh despite the situation, you can justifiably assume that you have succeeded in easing the stress. 

To be sure if a workman is really amused, look if there is crinkling around his eyes. If you are able to see it, you can certainly conclude that you have truly made him come out with what is called the "Duchenne" laughter. It was Duchenne, a French physician who first identified this laughter, that is the result of real amusement.


In short, every working adult should remember the words of Edward Hall, the famous anthropologist - "If you can learn the humor of a people and really control it, you know that you are also in control of nearly everything else."





Saturday, February 18, 2017

Is Your Company Grappling with the Idea of Introducing Performance Based Pay?

When scientists seem to be on a constant quest to mechanize and automate every step of the human life, there are many organizations that try to put in place remuneration programs based on the performance of employees. But unfortunately, several companies have failed in their efforts. At the same time, we cannot be oblivious of the fact that an invisible factor seems to be working for some companies that have succeeded in implementing such a program. So, the question is why some companies could succeed in implementing this program and why other companies have not met with success.


Researches done by experts have revealed that the success of a performance basedpay system depends upon a number of factors, the prominent among them is the commitment of employees to the organization. Secondly, what the organization expects from the employees and what the employees expect from the management may also play key a role in implementing this program successfully. Though a number of other factors may also influence the success of a performance based pay program, let us now look at some of these factors.


1. Employee Commitment


Surprisingly, researches reveal that performance based pay programs work well in organizations wherein the commitment of the employees towards their companies is low. On the other hand, in companies where the commitment level of the employees is high, the program does not seem to work. It has been observed that in companies with employees with low commitment levels, workers view a performance based pay structure as an excellent opportunity for getting additional income by performing better than how they normally perform.


On the other hand, the scenario is different in organizations where the commitment level of the employees is high. Employees of these companies generally work very hard and they ensure to meet deadlines also. So, performance based pay or incentive programs may be unnecessary expenses in these companies. In fact, employees of these companies may even view the introduction of such programs as an insult to their commitment.


2. Temporary programs may be successful


If organizations put in place a performance based incentive program purely on a temporary basis, they may achieve success. Researchers have found that employees are capable of adjusting to long-term, ongoing programs. Once they get the taste of the increased pay due to a performance based incentive program, they may feel that injustice is being meted out to them when the management withdraws the program. This may negatively impact their morale as well as their performance. Even Michael Beer and Mark Cannon, renowned business researchers, opine “A workforce that always expects additional pay for additional progress can become a liability.”


On the contrary, if employees are offered a performance based incentive occasionally, they may view it only as a bonus and not as a guaranteed payment.


There is another danger also in performance based pay programs. For example, if there are two equally efficient employees, one of them may hoard vital information and get a performance based incentive. Since the other employee does not have the vital information, he may not get the incentive. This may lead to a situation in which the management may be rewarding knowledge hoarding whereas any company may generally wish to encourage knowledge sharing among the employees.


3. What the employees expect from the organizations and what the management expects from the employees


There should be complete synergy between what the management expects from its employees and what employees are willing to offer. But such a synergy pivots on proper communication between the employees and the management. In other words, proper communication alone can help in achieving success in implementing a performance based pay program. Employees should have clear knowledge of the details like why the program is being implemented, how long it will stay, the ease or difficulty with which they can get the incentives and whether external factors may impact the evaluation process of the program. If employees do not have complete knowledge of these details, there may be all-round chaos in the organization and the program is bound to fail. Most importantly, the program the management introduces should be fair not only to the organization but to the employees as well. 


4. Costs of implementing the program vis a vis its benefits


Companies should neither over-estimate nor under-estimate the benefits they can derive by putting in place a performance based pay program. They must not forget that they will incur considerable expenses in implementing the program. This means the benefits they get should outweigh the costs of implementing it.


Conclusion


Implementation of a performance based pay program may not be as easy as companies think. It is better if organizations analyze all the factors thoroughly before deciding to put a program in place.