What Are the Advantages of a Diverse Workforce?

Diversity 1In this era of economic globalization, many companies are making efforts to achieve workforce diversity, which aims to employ workers from different backgrounds to provide tangible and intangible benefits to the organization. Understanding the advantages of workforce diversity helps you establish an organization with a competitive edge. This can include employing workers with cultural and language skills that can lead to greater reach for the business. Diversity experts believe that heterogeneous groups can contribute more creative ideas to the mix.

Increase in Productivity

Diversity quoteWorkforce diversity can bring about an increase in productivity and competitive advantages. conclude Kelli A. Green and her University of Florida colleagues in their paper, “Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges, and the Required Managerial Tools.” Employers can offer more solutions to customers because of new ideas and processes brought into the organization. Workplace diversity increases employee morale and causes employees to desire to work more effectively and efficiently. Diversity in leadership within a firm allows managers to bring in new skills and methods for achieving unity within their teams.

Increase in Creativity

Diversity and CreativityWorkforce diversity increases creativity within a company because heterogeneous groups are cross-fertilizing one another within the organization. According to EthnoConnect, a consulting company specializing in workforce diversity, employees from different backgrounds bring in a variety of solutions on how to achieve a common goal. As more diverse ideas are suggested, the chances of finding a workable answer are improved. In atmospheres when brainstorming is necessary, more ideas are formed because team members are culturally diverse. For example, employees from China working in American companies may approach a problem totally differently than do American workers. Some companies have successfully created innovative processes by taking ideas from several employees.

Language Skills

Language diversityCompanies that plan to expand into global markets benefit from language diversity in the workplace. For example, a company with employees fluent in Japanese and who understand Japanese culture experiences an easier time communicating with representatives from Japan. Many bilingual workers experience an advantage when applying for jobs because employees understand the benefits of language diversity. Another example can include a company that hires employees fluent in Mandarin to increase the company’s reputation in Chinese communities. An increased presence usually results in an increase in sales.

Positive Reputation

Employer of choice 3Job seekers are drawn to companies with diverse workforces because it is evident that the companies do not practice employment discrimination. Potential employees want to know that employers treat their staff fairly regardless of race, ethnicity or gender. Not only are such firms able to attract new talent but they can also retain existing talent because of high employee morale resulting from workforce diversity. According to Rob McInness of Diversity World, top talent is no longer represented by a homogeneous group, but one representing people from many different backgrounds and life experiences.

Source – http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-diverse-workforce-18780.html

 

Pay For Your Past Bills

When bills are dueA customer sent an order to a distributor for a large amount of goods totaling a great deal of money.

The distributor noticed that the previous bill hadn’t been paid. The collections manager left a voice-mail for them saying, “We can’t ship your new order until you pay for the last one.”

Owing you money funny facebookThe next day the collections manager received a collect phone call, “Please cancel the order. We can’t wait that long.”

 

 

Source – http://www.anyjokes.net/office-jokes/pay-for-your-past-bills/

Should You Allow Employees to Record Meetings?

no-audio-video-recordingBusinesses today are filled with smartphones. Employees use those smartphones to check email, make work-related calls, and research information they need to do their jobs. They may also snap photos and record video or audio, sometimes even without anyone even realizing it.

If you run a business, personal smartphone recordings could put you in a sticky situation. You want to encourage employees to freely use their devices, but you also have a responsibility to protect the privacy of your employees and customers. Here are a few things you should consider before making a decision about video and audio recordings in the office, particularly during meetings.

Benefits of recordings.
Record 1Audio recordings actually do have a valuable use in workplaces, especially during meetings where a great deal of important information will be shared in a short space of time. Today’s tools let employees record information and save it or convert it to text for later reference.

However, if for some reason a business has a legal issue, a recording could hurt a business’s case. Even if you fully believe nothing illegal could happen in your workplace, it is possible that it could become an issue at some point. One way to provide the benefits of an audio recording without the risk is to record proceedings yourself. You can use a transcription service or voice-to-text translation tool to provide a text-based version of everything that was discussed. This type of document is more effective than minutes, since it will describe everything that was discussed, rather than simply summarizing.

Is it illegalLegalities of recording meetings.
When it comes to recording in-person conversations, the law may give a business leader a great reason to set a policy. In most states, it is against the law to record an in-person conversation without getting the consent of at least one person. In eleven states, the person recording must get the permission of everyone involved. In the case of a group meeting, this means that everyone in the room who might be recorded must give permission before the recording can proceed. You should check with laws as they apply to your state and make a decision specific to each situation.

phonerecordingHowever, if the employee does request permission to record a meeting, an employer could be tasked with making a decision in front of a roomful of people. If there is a reason for the employee to record, such as a pending legal case, the request could bring attention to the issue, making things awkward for the employer. At any time, any person has the right to say “no” to the request to be recorded without explanation, but that doesn’t mean an employer should do so. It’s likely best to set an anti-surveillance policy first so you’ll be able to refer back to that policy as a reason.

Anti SurveillanceSetting policies.
An anti-surveillance policy can actually be a positive to the many employees who are increasingly concerned about the level of surveillance that appears to be a part of so many workplaces. State clearly that you value the privacy of your workers and want to ensure their safety. Your employees will see this as a protection of their rights. With a policy in place, chances are employees won’t ask unless there are special circumstances that require it.

In some instances, however, the issue may be one of personal protection. An employee who has been accused of violating your workplace harassment policy may want to record a disciplinary meeting with HR. While consent to this is up to the individual organization, it could appear that you have something to hide by refusing. If you do consent to allow a recording in these instances, experts recommend making your own recording of the meeting for your own protection. Also before consenting, you should note the laws specific to your state. If you’re in one of the eleven states where consent of all parties present is required, make sure each person states consent on the recording before the meeting begins.

security-breachSmartphones make it easy to record meetings and conversations for a variety of purposes. In the workplace, however, those recordings can lead to an invasion of privacy. There are instances where employees may feel they need to record a meeting and experts advise making a decision on those as they arise. By having a policy in place and taking measures to record meetings on your own when necessary, you’ll be able to deal with most instances where employees would ask to record.

Source – https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/273975

The Big Little Things

by Rotimi Ismail, Managing Partner at RS Hunter Limited, June 22, 2016 

Little becomes bigIn almost every relationship I have been involved in, the phrase “It’s the little things that matter.” has probably been one that has been used time and again. As a young child this could be understanding the value in asking my father how his day went, or showing how much I appreciated the meal that my mother made for me. As a teenager, just making up my room or taking time out to help with the chores around the house were some of these little things. The impact or effect of this phrase on whoever was saying it to me was obviously huge, and to them it was a big deal.

The workplace is not so different, as a matter of fact I have discovered that to be successful at work or in business the little things really are the big things. Here are some examples of little things that could make a BIG difference:

As an Employee

Plan your day1. Planning your day

How often do we find ourselves overwhelmed with tasks, such that we start to feel that our managers need to be a bit more compassionate about the volume of work thrown at us? How many of us use our task managers or to-do lists daily for some more structure? Sometimes it is easier to have conversations with our managers when we know what we have planned for the day. Doing this may just earn you the respect of your supervisors.

keep-learning-and-stay-informed2. Keeping informed

Do we know what is going on in the business outside of our specific roles or maybe in the industry apart from who is hiring? Keeping informed allows us to have meaningful conversations, sometimes bumping into the CEO or one of the company directors could make the difference in our careers, a simple conversation that shows you are connected to the business beyond your regular job could well earn you the recognition you have been looking for. Think back to the last time you sought to know how other departments benefited from your department and what you could do to support them.

What-are-your-expectations3. Knowing what is expected of you

How often do we refer to our Job Descriptions/Key Performance Indicators/ Role Expectations? This is easily a 5-minute activity that could be carried out at any point in the day to refresh and re-align yourself with your job and what the business expects of you.

Understand your environment4. Understanding your environment

What are the peculiarities of your work/business/industry environment, do you take time out to observe the things that make your environment unique and how can you add value?

 

As an Employer

Set the tone1. Setting the tone

How many employers clearly communicate their expectations to employees? This ranges from articulating the corporate vision, culture expectations and values to setting clear performance standards.  Most employers in one form or another know these things, the problem more often than not is communicating them at the right time.  As long as you have started a business you already have a rough cut of these. If you are a small business owner, this means making out time to talk to your people about what is important. For larger organisations, maybe it’s time to empower your HR Team by supporting the people/culture initiatives from the front.

Trust2. Keeping promises

Most organisations invest in tools that provide support to the employees for greater effectiveness and efficiency, however in some cases the people may feel like they are not being carried along on the ride to success. How often have we made promises of a brighter future to our employees only to cease communication when the time comes to fulfill such promises? Keeping a promise is possibly the most difficult thing to do particularly in a volatile economic climate, however we can earn the trust of our people simply by making sure they are kept in the loop. Courage in leadership is often tested in adversity and the results of courageous leadership rarely ends in the negative.

Training3. People development

It has been said time and again that when we develop the individuals within a company we are inadvertently developing the organisation. Development is not only external training.  It could be internal coaching and mentoring programs or online courses. These methods are not only affordable but also efficient if taken seriously.

Budgeting4. Financial Discipline

Planning expenses is crucial to long term business success. While there are always ‘nice to haves’, it’s important that the urge to be spontaneous is resisted. Whether you are investing in people or other resources, always look closely at the figures and the intrinsic value. Avoid making fundamental financial errors at the beginning and if this has been done already, do not hesitate to correct what can be corrected.

 

Little seedsIn my experience, you will find that as you build on the valuable little things that you do each day, the bigger things will follow such as discipline, self-motivation, strong listening/communication skills, increased knowledge and the ability to relate with others. Don’t forget that there is no fast-track to success. Everything must start at the very beginning so don’t disregard the little things. Embrace them and they will definitely help you grow.

A Young Boy and a Barber

barber-cartoon-blueA young boy enters a barber shop and the barber whispers to his customer, “This is the dumbest kid in the world. Watch while I prove it to you.” The barber puts a dollar bill in one hand and two quarters in the other, then calls the boy over and asks, “Which do you want, son?” The boy takes the quarters and leaves. “What did I tell you?” said the barber. “That kid never learns!” Later, when the customer leaves, he sees the same young boy coming out of the ice cream store.

Boy and icecream“Hey, son! May I ask you a question? Why did you take the quarters instead of the dollar bill?” The boy licked his cone and replied, “Because the day I take the dollar, the game is over!”

 

 

 

Source – http://www.ajokeaday.com/joke/puns/a-young-boy-enters-a-barber-shop-639k7ffzyi

12 Tips For Dealing With A Lazy Co-Worker

How to handle a lazy coworkerDo you work with someone who takes two-hour lunch breaks, makes dozens of personal calls and naps in their desk chair? Perhaps they frequent the restroom or surf the web all day, while you hustle to keep up with your daily workload. It’s not uncommon to come across a lazy co-worker, and they’re not always easy to deal with.

Carping and tattling won’t get you anywhere – but there are a few things you can do to alleviate the issue. Here are 12 tips for dealing with a lazy co-worker from Stever Robbins, an executive and personal coach, and top 10 business podcaster.

Dont be distracted1. Don’t let them distract you. Don’t spend your day focusing on the fact that your lazy co-worker is constantly checking Facebook, texting or snoring at the desk next to yours. Try to tune them out and focus on your work. “Human beings are funny that way,” Robbins says. “We will spend more time focusing on the fact that our colleague isn’t doing their work than it would take to just do it ourselves.”

Life is not fair2. Don’t get caught up in the issue of fairness. Life isn’t fair. “People often say ‘it’s unfair that he gets away with doing nothing,’ but at the end of the day, it really doesn’t change anything,” Robbins says. “By pointing out that it’s not fair, we just make ourselves feel bad and the situation doesn’t change.” Instead, focus on being the best that you can be.

Lazy3. Decide who you want to be. “These tips are really all about behavior, but there’s a more important question: Who do you want to show up as in your life?” he says. “Think of the people you deeply admire, and what personal qualities make them admirable? Regardless of the practical implications of your actions, ask yourself how the ‘Ideal You’ would deal with the situation. You’ll behave very differently with Chuck Norris as your role model then with Ghandi as your role model.” Sometimes, who you are as a person is more important in determining your actions than momentary concerns of a specific situation.

Tough times dont last4. Don’t let it affect your attitude. If you waste your time and energy on being angry or annoyed about your lazy colleague, your work performance may start slipping and you may be less pleasant to be around. A hostile colleague is just as bad as a lazy one.

 

Tattle tale

5. Don’t tattle. That might make you look like a apple polisher, so don’t do it. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak up. “This one is tricky,” he warns. “It depends on the situation and the boss. Some bosses might say, ‘Thanks for letting me know. I’ll investigate,’ while others may tell you, ‘It’s not your job to worry about your co-workers’ performance.’  It could make you look bad. But if you go to your boss and say, ‘I’m at a point where I can’t go any further with this project because I’m waiting for Bill to finish his part. What can we do about this?,’ it gets the point across without your seeming like a tattler.” If they explicitly ask you to review your co-workers’ performance, you should be honest, Robbins suggests.

Dont let6. Don’t let their ways rub off on you. Don’t get sucked into their routine of two-hour lunch breaks and dozens of trips to the restroom or water cooler. If they start chatting with you, let them know you’re busy. “It’s tempting to follow their lead if they are getting away with it, but don’t fall into that trap,” he says.

Lazy people suffer less stress7. Don’t let their work become your responsibility. If you’re on the same team or share the same responsibilities, don’t pick up the work they aren’t doing. Remind them of tasks and deadlines, but don’t let babysitting your lazy colleagues consume too much of your valuable time.

Lazy colleague8. Don’t let them affect your success. A lazy colleague can hinder your progress. If your boss notices work isn’t getting done, don’t let the blame fall on you. This is your opportunity to speak up, if you haven’t done so already.

Take the lead9. Use the opportunity to become a leader. This may be your chance to really step up and prove you can deal with difficult situations. “When you go to your boss, tell him or her that you’ve noticed your colleague isn’t getting their work done, so you would like the opportunity to be a leader. Then, approach your colleague and say you want to help him meet goals and deadlines. This frames you as a leader.”

Gossip10. Don’t gossip or complain to other colleagues. It’s unprofessional. “You could cause misunderstandings and hurt feelings,” Robbins says.

 

 

 

Communication11. Communicate with your co-worker. He or she might not be lazy. Instead, they might be unclear of their tasks and deadlines. “Be clear about goals, deadlines and commitments,” Robbins suggests. “Sometimes it’s not that they’re lazy, it’s that they don’t have a good way of organizing their work or managing their time.” There’s always a chance that they’re preoccupied with a personal matter, too. “We need to remember that life happens,” he says. They could be distracted by a health issue or family problem.

Realistic timelines12. Don’t say yes to projects that require your co-worker to work at full capacity. If your co-worker is chronically lazy and nothing or no one—not you, not your boss—has been able to make a difference, proactively work this into how you plan, Robbins says. “When you’re given a project where you’ll have to depend on your lazy co-worker, factor their anticipated laziness into your schedule. Don’t agree to a time frame that assumes they’ll deliver,” he adds. You can also  use this as an opportunity to ask for more resources. “For example, you can say, ‘Hey, boss, I’m afraid I won’t be able to finish the project by June with the current resources.’ You’re boss might respond, ‘But you have Bob.’ Tell him, ‘Yes, but given the pace of Bob’s work, I don’t think he can deliver what we’ll need in the time frame we’ll need it.’ Best case, you’ll get the resources you need. Worst case, you’ve implicitly raised the issue of Bob’s performance with your boss in a non-aggressive way.”

 

Source – http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/08/01/12-tips-for-dealing-with-a-lazy-co-worker/#50868c833dc9

 

What Not to Say in an Interview

Short term goalA guy goes in for a job interview and sits down with the boss.
The boss asks him, “What do you think is your worst quality?”
The man says “I’m probably too honest.”
The boss says, “That’s not a bad thing, I think being honest is a good quality.”
The man replies, “I don’t give a sh*t what you think!”

 

Source – http://www.jokes-best.com/work-office-jokes.php

Positioning for Opportunities

by Kemi Asika, Lead Consultant & Projects Team Lead at RS Hunter Limited, May 23, 2016

Life presents us with favourable circumstances at different times. While we sometimes actively seek them out, there are occasions (albeit rare) when they simply fall in our lap without much effort.  Positioning 2

Just as we come across lucky breaks in our private lives, we are also presented with similar situations in the workplace however in many instances, we fail to recognise these opportunities for what they are. Hard Work

To evaluate how open you are to workplace opportunities, ask yourself these questions:

  • How do I respond to more responsibilities being added to my job schedule?
  • What do I do and how do I feel when asked to take on tasks outside of my job description?

It is betterAs we pursue our daily activities, it is important that we recognise the wealth of opportunities presented to us at work. While having to carry out a task that is not part of our primary assignment may appear to be a distraction from what we are engaged to do; such activities often enable us to learn new things and develop additional skills.  Also, we must not forget that “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” so the responsibility is on us to actively seek development opportunities and/or create them whenever possible.  Below are a few tips on how you can better increase your ‘Opportunity Success Rate’:

Seek out new tasks1. Actively seek out new tasks: Don’t be content with what is assigned to you. Where possible request for new tasks. Yes, someone out there is saying “There just isn’t enough hours in the day to take on more than I already do.” But seeking out new tasks on your own demonstrates initiative. This is a much desirable attitude in every employee.

Broaden your horizons2. Broaden your horizon: Volunteer to work on projects outside your job function. This approach presents a number of benefits. Firstly, you learn the business of other departments/functions and their processes which gives you a better understanding of how various business processes impact on each other. Secondly, your knowledge of different functions within your organisation enables you appreciate the dynamics of the business as a whole. In such instances, not only does the company benefit from the employee having a better understanding of the business and being more productive, the employee is likely to develop new skills which will improve their career progression prospects.

Know-your-competition3. Keep abreast of trends in your industry: Make sure you stay informed on developments within your industry. Gain a better understanding of the key driving factors and how they impact your company’s financial performance. Know what your company’s competitors are doing that your company is not. Understand what your clients’ desire to enable you proffer services that meet their needs. Gone are the days when having an understanding of the financial aspects of a business is reserved for management.  Today, an employee who wishes to rise to executive management positions or better still run their own establishment must be well rounded.

Invest in yourself4. Update skills and knowledge: Are you waiting for your learning & development unit to release the training calendar for the year before you improve your communication skills? Some of us already know our weak areas but are waiting for company sponsored-trainings to improve on them. Don’t wait to be told before you invest in yourself. Enquire about the professional certifications and/or degrees that are sought after in your industry and profession and put plans in place to obtain them while keeping up-to-date with new developments in your chosen profession.

Mentoring5. Look for a mentor in-house: If your organisation is not running an in-house mentoring programme, you are encouraged to identify someone within your industry whose achievements you admire and who you believe will provide you with valuable guidance and support based on your chosen career path and identified development needs. This relationship which has equal benefits for the mentor will expose you to new ideas and ways of thinking as well as increase your visibility and recognition within the company as you develop your strengths, overcome your weaknesses and develop new skills and knowledge.

Positioning 3While opportunities abound for those who work hard, positioning is all about being in the right place at the right time so don’t be too hasty to take on additional responsibilities when you haven’t done the ground work that is required. If you have benefited from promotions despite poor performance in the past, make sure to plug the gaps first before you seek greater heights.

On a final note, don’t forget to periodically evaluate how often you are asked for your assistance by your subordinates, peers and supervisors. If the answer is ‘hardly ever’, then this post is definitely for you.

How to Manage Your Smartest, Strangest Employee

Prized employee There is a brilliant and highly accomplished engineer in my company who has managed to break the coffee machine, the toaster and so many other appliances in the company kitchen that we’re considering giving his trail of broken appliances their own line item in the budget. Apparently making toast is more challenging than the complex algorithms he works with every day. Such is often the case with the uber-talented… with genius comes quirkiness. The same personality traits that make them brilliant can also make them quirky and sometimes disruptive.

Creativity

To be successful, a company needs creativity, but it also needs cohesion. Successful companies depend as much upon teams of people collaborating as they do on the vision of a CEO. A lone ranger that alienates the rest of the team can be destructive to a company’s culture. On the other hand, too much cohesion that is rigidly enforced can stifle the creativity of your star players, especially the entrepreneurial types.

Talented but obnoxiousI have often said that entrepreneurs have different DNA than others. They view problems differently and thus are able to craft solutions the rest of us could never have imagined. So I wasn’t surprised to read a recent article in the Economist which revealed that there are a disproportionate number of innovators who have mental attributes that could be classified as Asperger’s Syndrome, Dyslexia or Attention Deficit Disorder. Negative attributes of these disorders include the inability to focus on some things, hyper-focus on other things, difficulties with social interaction, disorganization, and procrastination.

quote-innovationThose attributes are clearly very negative, but the flip side – the positive characteristics – can be nothing short of brilliance. In fact, the media has often characterized the quirks of mega-entrepreneurs like Zuckerberg, Jobs and Gates as fashionably mysterious and even a bit charming. Of course, neither glamorizing your “oddball star” nor finding only the negative in a brilliant but quirky employee is helpful to your ability to manage them.

Creativity 2The drive, persistence, originality of perspective, and pure talent that characterizes your “internal entrepreneurs” is both a major asset to your company, and a management challenge for you. So how do you manage these internal entrepreneurs while balancing the competing interests of creativity and collaboration? As a CEO I am often faced with the challenge of how to foster innovation while keeping these side effects of innovation from being detrimental to the workplace. There is no complete answer but I know some of the necessary pieces.

Innovator BrainFirst, identify your internal entrepreneurs. One major hallmark of the “internal entrepreneur” is an unwillingness to accept conventional wisdom. To find the internal entrepreneurs in your company, look for the people who often ask, “Why are we doing it this way?”

Second, recognize that an internal entrepreneur’s limitations may be the same source of his or her talents, and be mindful not to stifle these qualities. I once had a member of my team who was had a penchant for control. This can often be an indicator of a major problem. It turned out that he was an entrepreneur who felt he needed to “own” a project completely, as if it were his own mini-company. Once I identified his work style as a variant of entrepreneurship as opposed to a difficult employee, his productivity soared and the company benefited.

toxic employeeOf course, the determination about how much leeway and special accommodations you should give to your internal entrepreneurs needs be based on many factors, not the least of which is your judgment. The most significant factor is disruption to the team. I have a fairly high tolerance for quirky work styles, but little tolerance for someone who is overly disruptive or lowers the morale of a team.

Team innovationThird, be sure to organize your teams in such a way that you foster innovation across teams with multiple skillsets. Afford the most creative individuals enough independence for innovation but then move the project forward with individuals who are prone to concerted action. A company needs dialogue but once a decision is made, a team must move forward together.

And finally, if you have some really exceptional people, make sure to keep a few extra toasters in the company kitchen.

 

Source – https://hbr.org/2012/07/how-to-manage-your-smartest-st

Author: Jeff Stibel

Chair ‘Man’ of the Board

Hastily yoursResolving to surprise her husband, an executive’s wife stopped by his office.

When she opened the door, she found him with his secretary sitting in his lap.

Without hesitating, he dictated, “…and in conclusion, gentlemen, budget cuts or no budget cuts, I cannot continue to operate this office with just one chair.”

Source – http://www.anyjokes.net/office-jokes/chair-man-of-the-board/