How to Break Bad Work Habits

We all have bad habits. Perhaps you procrastinate, or are disorganized, or lack punctuality.  These bad habits don’t make you a bad person, but as an employee they can hinder your professional success. The key to overcoming bad work habits is to become self-aware and make a concerted effort to self-improvement.

Get Ready for Bad Habit Breaking

Now that you’re revved up and ready to break a couple of dastardly bad habits.  Remember to be patient, but persistent in your quest.  Studies show that it takes between 18 and 254 days to replace a bad habit with a new good habit.

Here are a few tips for successfully breaking bad habits at work:

Procrastination 

This bad habit can seriously hurt your standing with both your employer and co-workers.  If your last-minute scrambles make your colleagues feel rushed putting them at a disadvantage, you will most likely get blamed when a project fails or is late.   This behavior is sure to undermine your co-worker’s and employer’s trust in your ability to work towards common goals.

The Fix:
Create timelines, with small goals in them.  This will keep you working at an even pace instead of trying to complete everything at the last minute.

 

Lack of Punctuality

From time-to-time we all get stuck in traffic or get a flat tire on the way to work.  But, when you find yourself having an excuse every day, the problem may be that you just lack punctuality.

The Fix: 
Examine your daily routine and identify what you can correct to make sure getting to work on time is your priority.   Perhaps buying one of those coffee makers that you can set the night before. That way, when you wake-up your coffee is already there for you.  Also, stop pressing the snooze button on your alarm clock.  You are not going to feel any less tired in 5 minutes.   So, you might as well get up on time and not risk being late.

Not Being Organized

Are papers and sticky notes piling up, emails flooding your inbox faster than you can read them?  Sounds like you could use some help getting organized.  You may have noticed that when work piles-up, your ability to concentrate diminishes causing your productivity to fall.

The Fix:

  • Outline Priorities
  • Time Block Your Day
  • Discard Non-Essentials
  • Map-Out Milestones and Goals

 

For more tips about forming good habits, check out Increase Your Work Satisfaction and Productivity

Interview Red Flags for Hiring Managers

As a hiring manager you have most likely met candidates who didn’t interview smoothly.  That does not necessarily mean that they are wrong for the position, however.   But there are some key red flags that you should not overlook.   We have compiled a red flag list below for you keep in mind the next time you interview a candidate.

 

Trouble Following Directions

Directing your attention to a candidate’s ability to fulfill requests alerts you to one red flag. If a candidate is unable to fulfill requests, or do so in a timely manner, what can you expect from workplace performance? Likely more of the same.

 

The Late Arrival

Take note of late arrivals in correspondence as well as for the interview. The candidate may have too many obligations or be unconcerned about timeliness. Both are red flags.

 

Pay is Most Important

Focus on a candidate’s attention to compensation and benefits. Be concerned when questions focus exclusively on pay instead of the position.  You may be dealing with a someone who will just show up for the paycheck.

 

Lacking Professionalism

Watch for demeanor in dress, language, and communication incidentals such as handshakes and ability to follow non-verbal signs. Someone who is dressed down or not at all nuanced in signs of interview professionalism, warrants careful observation. The candidate may be inexperienced or apathetic.

 

Lack of Interview Questions

Expect a candidate to have informed questions during that portion of the interview. A lack of questions related to job specifics and next steps, indicates apathy or not being prepared.

Negativity

Put this person at the top of your ‘do not hire’ list! This is the genuine bad apple presented in the opening paragraph. Nothing is ever right, even during an interview. Comments about past positions have a negative ring. This type of candidate, regardless of skills, is a drain on performance, goodwill, and finances.

 

 

Increase Your Work Satisfaction and Productivity

Being consistently productive throughout the work day can be challenging. Proper time-management is key to your productivity… but sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start.

The Link Between Satisfaction and Productivity

People who are satisfied in work and life have nurtured habits that increase their productivity. They even find time to relax! They typically enjoy many aspects of their work. What are these habits?

  • They take care of themselves. They’re physically active, eat well, and seek and enjoy simple moments.
  • Effective people create a routine that works for them. They choose when to arise, best times for meals, and when to call it a day.
  • They know their peak functioning hours, reserving those for priority or challenging tasks. We all have different peak working schedules.  Get to know yours.

Take a Step Back

Innovation and breakthrough ideas take center stage when you step away from ho hum daily routines. According to a Cognition Journal study taking regular breaks improves focus and mood. A mind that is freed from a thousand spinning thoughts is fertile ground for imagination and fresh approaches to challenges. Take a step back to:

  • Go for a brief walk and leave your phone in your desk.
  • Meditate—or at least focus on your breath. It works wonders!
  • Review emerging trends and current research to broaden your scope.

Set Small SMART Goals

Seeing a long list of projects on your calendar can be intimidating.  However, breaking those up into smaller tasks can you help you gain control and be more productive.   Small tasks are short-term, which is helpful when trying to accomplish large goals.

These smaller tasks are known as SMART goals and should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

Practice Optimism and Hold on to Your Dreams

Productive, effective people are doggedly determined to follow their own path. They do it by:

  • Keeping their eye on their dreams.
  • Moving toward their goals, even when there are stumbling blocks. They know that perseverance is a given, and failure means it’s time to take a new approach.
  • Deflecting and steering clear of nay-sayers by listening to their own inner wisdom.
  • Staying hopeful and celebrating each sign of progress, regardless of its size.

 

 

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

                                                                                    Will Durant, American Historian

 

For more information about boosting your productivity, check out Be More Successful at Work

 

 

 

How to Guide Your Employees Through Leadership Change

With the average term of a CEO being six years, it becomes clear that leadership change is a given.  Even so, change in the workplace, and especially in leadership positions can cause anxiety and doubt among employees.  Mishandling leadership change can hurt productivity and employee retention.  A support plan is imperative to effectively introducing change. Ask the employees about their concerns and be a good listener.

Focus on the Constants

Constants like an organization’s philosophy and values are typically enduring. They’re the constants consumers and the general public expect. Think of slogans that have been tied to a company for decades. Your organization’s constants help you guide employees during leadership change as you:

  • Talk about the business’s values with employees.
  • Inquire how they see these linked with their work.
  • Ask if they have concerns about potential changes in organizational direction.
  • Use the information gained to prepare for change.

Prepare for Leadership Change

Life is all about change. You can lead staff with expecting change as a workplace constant. Consider these preparation tips and examples:

  • Change is a series of incremental steps. Focus more on the steps and less on the end.
  • Dialogue about the benefits of preparation.
  • Remind your staff that when a team is prepared for change it can nimbly adjust to surprises.
    • Think of sports teams and stage performers—the second string and stand-ins are ready and waiting.
    • Cross training your team’s skill sets sure helps when there’s a tight deadline.

Be the Calm Guide During Change

Regardless of the time you’ve had to prepare everyone, the leadership change is imminent. Guiding them through the coming weeks and months is your priority. Here’s how:

  • Maintain unity by having workplace requirements apply to everyone.
  • Give employees time and space to voice concerns.
  • Keep the lines of communication open
  • Boost employee engagement in new opportunities by:
    • Investing in them through training and expanded roles.
    • Expressing gratitude for their presence and performance.

Don’t attempt to rush your employees through leadership change. Instead, lead them through it. This will keep your employees from becoming stuck in a world of anxiety, and help them move forward with energy and productivity.

 

Check out these Teamwork Quotes that can you help your organization thru leadership changes.

 

 

 

Turnover: Just Another Word for Quitting

For years your business barely knew the meaning of turnover. New employees came onboard and stayed. But, now your organization’s turnover rate has increased, along with the financial outlay for recruitment and hiring. You’ve decided to learn more about this trend, and why employees you thought were satisfied are suddenly quitting.

The Costs When Employees Quit

Employee turnover costs American businesses billions of dollars per year. This money reflects hiring expenses and so much more:

  • Customer dissatisfaction if employee morale, engagement, and performance lag.
  • The potential for increases in absenteeism and workplace incidents when employees fill in for empty positions.
  • The possibility that turnover will continue, further disrupting workflow and your bottom line.

Why are They Quitting?

According to Gallup’s Chief Scientist for Workplace Management, James K. Harter, PHD., seventy-five percent of the reasons for employee turnover came down to issues that employers can influence.   Career advancement tops the list (32%), followed by pay/benefits (22%), lack of job fit (20.2%), work environment (17%), flexibility (8%), and job security (2%).  As you can see the majority of the issues are things that employers can adjust.

Steps for Building Trust and Retention

The relationship between employee engagement and manager characteristics was presented in a 2015 Gallup report. It summarizes thousands of opinions from businesses about workplace influences that positively affect employee satisfaction and staying power. These include:

  • Focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses.
  • Providing staff with learning opportunities and guidance that paves their future direction.
  • Build relationships and workplace networks. Be here now—they will notice.

A sure-fire way to retain your employees is to stay in touch with how they are feeling about their work experience.   Is their work meaningful to them? Are they receiving constructive communication, feedback, and recognition from you?   If you follow these guidelines your chances of keeping your staff from jumping ship will greatly improve.

 

Teamwork Quotes

Success as an employer hinges on your ability to cultivate teamwork. A great leader is one who can inspire their team to work well together.  Collaboration promotes an enthusiasm for projects that solitary work cannot replicate.  Teamwork fosters creativity, blends strengths and develops broader ownership

Sharing teamwork quotes can be an inspiring way to begin or end meetings.  With that in mind,  we have consolidated some motivational team quotes from well-known coaches, business leaders, speakers and authors to get your team riled up to win:

 

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”
— Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple, Inc.

 

 “In teamwork, silence isn’t golden. It’s deadly.”
— Mark Sanborn, Best Selling Author

 

“Great teamwork is the only way we create the breakthroughs that define our careers.”
Pat Riley, NBA Coach

 

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that’s what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
Vince Lombardi, NFL  Coach

 

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
Andrew Carnegie

 

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot: together we can do great things.”
Mother Teresa

 

“To build a strong team, you must see someone else’s strength as a complement to your weakness and not a threat to your position or authority.”
Christine Caine

 

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”
Ryunosuke Satoro

 

Unless you work alone, good teamwork is crucial to business success. To create a team environment in which everyone understands the “The No I in Team” concepts, be sure to offer the right inspiration. With that in mind, share motivational teamwork quotes with your team on a regular basis.

 

Let our team show you how we are helping companies build valuations.

 

 

Be More Successful at Work

We all want to feel good about a job well done, but sometimes the day-to-day routine can leave us feeling bogged down about our careers.  Sound like you?  Don’t worry, you are not alone.   Thankfully, you don’t have to stand by and wait for success to happen; you can create successful work habits by implementing a few simple tips.

Eliminate Procrastination

Procrastination is the number one success killer. It gets in the way of you doing your absolute best job and can leave you feeling unfilled and frustrated. Make sure that, when you are working, it has your entire attention. You are likely to work more quickly and efficiently. Your supervisor will appreciate your work ethic, and you’ll reap the benefits of feeling accomplished.

Take Breaks

While you certainly don’t want procrastination to rule your work day, you should be taking regular breaks.  Sitting stagnant for a period of time will make it harder to focus.  If you have a sedentary job, make sure you’re getting up and moving around a little every single hour. You’ll come back to your desk feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the next task, successfully.

Learn Your Patterns

If you are more creative in the mornings, then do your writing, research or other creative responsibilities first thing in the morning and leave your more technical tasks to the end of the day.This will allow you to take advantage of your natural abilities and be more efficient.

 Seek Out Opportunities

It’s common for people to want to move up in their position. Don’t be afraid to seek out opportunities to do so. Oftentimes, employers offer training, conferences, or other chances to explore advancing your career. Taking the initiative to become more successful doesn’t go unnoticed.

 Network

Networking is a critical part of career growth. Making connections with other people can help you identify success, work toward it, and even gain resources to help you do so. Reach out to individuals who have similar positions or positions that you would like to hold one day.

Overview

If you want to be more successful at work, you can certainly do that. It’s not about waiting for opportunities to come your way, but instead, looking for a chance to expand your skill-set and create a more meaningful workday. Making sure that you are taking care of yourself, removing distractions, and seeking out opportunities will certainly assist in creating the type of success that you want.

 

Click here to find out about our current career openings.

 

Never Do These Things After a Job Interview

So often we focus on how to participate in the perfect job interview and, while that is undoubtedly important, the follow-up is, too. If you’ve just had a stellar job interview and aren’t sure what you should (or shouldn’t) do, then you should certainly heed this advice. Here are a few things that you should absolutely never do after an interview.

Never Write Poorly Written Follow-Ups

Follow-up emails are important. It lets the employer know that you are serious about the position and grateful for their time. However, sometimes candidates make the mistake of writing a poorly written or generic email. If in doubt, have someone else do a read-over to make sure you’re leaving the right impression.

Never Quit Your Job Prematurely

Sometimes after an interview, you are on such a high of it going well that you assume you landed the position. However, this assumption can lead to rash decisions. Never quit your current job without first getting an offer for the new position. Even if your interview went well, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are the best fit for the job. Have a little patience and hold off on making big decisions until you are offered the position.

Never Send a Hateful Rejection Response

You won’t always land the position. If this happens, don’t let things get personal. Instead, simply thank the interviewer for their time and move forward with your job hunt. Sending a hateful rejection response will leave a lasting impression that could get around the industry. Keep it professional.  Plus, this may keep them from keeping your resume on file for the next opportunity.

Never Stop Interviewing

It may be tempting to key in on a single position. However, you should never stop interviewing for other opportunities. Keep your options open and additional  interviewing experience. You will likely learn more about the type of work you want to do as well as other interviewing strategies that you could use later. Essentially, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.

Overview

While it’s certainly essential to practice interviews, it’s also important to be aware of what you should do immediately following one. Keep this in mind, and you’ll likely have much more success on your job-hunting journey!

Click here to find out about our current career openings!

Words to Use in Your Next Interview

Job interviews can be a stressful process. It can feel like your entire career hangs in the balance of a  recruiter’s decision—and in many ways, it can. However, you should understand the effectiveness of your own role in the interview process. It is possible to influence the outcome by merely understanding exactly what recruiters appreciate hearing.

What Should You be Saying?

According to a new study conducted by Kaitlin Wooley (Cornell University) and Ayelet Fishbach (University of Chicago), the magic four words that will help you the most in an interview are none other than:   “I love my work.”

What Does This Phrase Really Mean?

It’s more than a simple expression about being passionate about what you do, although that’s certainly part of it. What it really means is that you are intrinsically motivated. In simpler terms, it indicates that you are motivated by internal rewards that you receive because you are genuinely satisfied with the type of work that you do.

This is an advantage to the potential employer because it indicates that the interviewee is not necessarily motivated by monetary rewards or more pay, but that they are driven to do the work because they believe that their work has meaning.

Advantages Around the Workplace

A person who indicates that they love their work also demonstrates they will likely work well on a team. Being around someone who is passionate and loves what they do is an infectious characteristic. People enjoy working with people who are happy, positive and bring)enthusiasm to what they do. Essentially, this type of mentality could influence the working dynamic of an entire office.

Don’t Just Say it, Believe It

Landing the job is important, but so is your happiness. Learning what recruiters want to hear the most may help you evaluate where you are with your own career. Remember, your relationship with your work can influence the rest of your life—make sure you’re doing the work that you love.

 

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” 

Confucius

 

Now that you know what words will separate you from the competition, you’ll be armed with an additional weapon.    Want to work with us?  Click here for a listing of our current job opportunities.

 

Avoid the Most Common Resume Mistakes

Your resume is essentially the first impression that an employer has about you. You want to make sure that your resume is memorable for all the right reasons and not pesky resume mistakes.

To ensure that you stand out from the crowd in a positive manner, follow this simple checklist of resume tips:

Resume Mistake #1: – Make Sure Information Is Correct

Everything from your full name, address, phone number, and email address should be correctly spelled and updated on your resume. Sometimes, failure to have proper contact information can make the difference between getting called in for an interview at all.  Don’t miss an opportunity—update your resume regularly.

Resume Mistake #2 – Avoid Being Non-Specific

Tailoring your resume to a particular job can be tedious, but worth it.  Because, going with the “one-size-fits-all” approach will be a red-flag to the hiring manager.  You don’t have to totally overhaul your resume for each application, but you should expect to tweak it a bit. Putting in just a touch more effort will show that you really want the position.

Resume Mistake #3 – Too Long or Too Short

The length of your resume can be a little tricky. You should certainly include all pertinent information but avoid rambling. A good rule of thumb is to keep the document at no more than two pages. Remember, the hiring manager has limited time to review. Keep it concise.

Resume Mistake #4 – Elaborate Format

Fonts and headlines can certainly help your resume look more professional. However, you should avoid elaborate formats that make it difficult to find the most relevant information. When it comes to resume writing, take the “less is more” approach when choosing a format design.

Resume Mistake #5 – Avoid Repetition

It is likely that you have years of experience where skills and responsibilities overlap. Avoid using the same phrases and words to describe what you did in each role. Instead, focus on how each position taught you something new and then effectively describe it.

Resume Mistakes Overview

Your resume matters. It’s the single document that will influence a recruiter’s decisions to give you a call or not. Take a little extra time to make sure your resume is the best that it can possibly be.

 

Once you have cleaned up your resume mistakes with this quick list, you are ready to begin your job search!  Check out our current list of job openings here.