Business owners often seek to control the perception of their companies so that they accurately reflect reality. This is easier said than done. Perceptions are like habits – they tend to die hard. The staffing business has long battled a sometimes lackluster perception. At BARRYSTAFF, here are the most common misconceptions we run into … and how we set the record straight.
“Temporary” employees are nothing more than short-term fixes. In truth, the term “temp” is outdated. We no longer refer to ourselves as a “temp agency,” but rather as a “staffing company.” There’s a significant difference. Gone are the days when folks would show up to the local agency each morning and collect a paycheck for a single job later that afternoon. In reality, what we’re doing is probably much different than what people are prone to imagining.
We give companies employees to try out on a limited basis. If an employee is working out then companies may extend a permanent job offer after 90 days. We handle everything until that job offer is extended. This process allows the company – and the employee – to feel each other out. One of the key analytics we study is our retention rate. In other words, we want our companies and employees to stick together. That’s our goal.
We only staff for one industry. While it’s true that staffing companies have specializations (BARRYSTAFF’s is manufacturing), many agencies are capable of recruiting for many, many fields. At BARRYSTAFF, we have placed architects, engineers and chemists. We have an entire team solely dedicated to filling clerical positions. So while manufacturing is our wheelhouse, we’ll never turn away someone looking for a communications position. Or graphic design. Or IT. We can help them too.
Job seekers have to pay to use our service. Job seekers pay nothing. Zero. Zilch. That’s not how we make money. Instead, the companies we partner with pay us to help them find quality employees. No job seeker will ever need to pay a dime to a company like BARRYSTAFF.
We only offer dead end jobs. The fact of the matter is that there is plenty of room for advancement in the jobs we hire for. Many of our placements have gone on to management positions.
We only work with struggling companies (Why else would they need a staffing company?) This is one we have to push back against fairly often. We work with big companies and small companies. Some are international. Others are hyper local. They use us because it is time-consuming to search, interview and drug screen candidates. It’s expensive. It cuts down on production. Advertising alone can run up a hefty tab. And these days, the job search is changing drastically from year to year. We live in a fast-paced digital world now, and our clients need to stay focused on what they’re doing. More of them are trusting experts like BARRYSTAFF to handle this work. It’s a specialized service during a time of rapid change.
And our services don’t stop at staffing. We often find ourselves working as a fully- functional HR branch for companies. It’s just another amenity we’re proud to offer.
Settling into a new job can be tricky IRL – and straight up confusing online.
A 2012 Millennial Branding Survey found young adults become Facebook friends with an average of 16 of their coworkers, but research suggests we should connect at our own risk. After all, more than half of surveyed workers (51%) said social shows them too much information about their coworkers, according to a recent Pew Research report. And 29% of employees ages 18 to 29 found something on social media that lowered their professional opinion of a colleague.
But the rules of online engagement keep changing as more of us use social networks to actually, you know, network. “Ten years ago, it was taboo to friend your coworkers,” said Winnie Sun, a financial adviser and consultant on Millennial matters. “But nowadays, we’re all building our personal brands and making these connections.”
So Sun and Leonard Kim, a personal branding expert and author of “The Etiquette of Social Media,” spoke to Moneyish about the dos and don’ts of linking with colleagues online.
DON’T: FRIEND ABOVE YOUR PAY GRADE. That means your boss and your company’s C-Suite are off-limits. “You want them to respect you professionally so you can progress forward in your career,” said Kim. But seeing your casual conversations or pictures of you in a bathing suit can shatter that professional image. “And recovering what was lost from that level of respect is going to be quite difficult,” Kim said, who added that colleagues in the same position as you, or who work outside of your department, are more fair game.
The exception to this rule is LinkedIn. “LinkedIn is the same as if you walked into your new office building, and started going up to people and saying, ‘Hi, I’m working here now, and I’m excited to come on board,’” Sun said.
DO: USE THIS ‘MEAL TEST’ FOR HELP. Different social networks suggest different levels of intimacy. LinkedIn and Twitter are ways to introduce yourself, share industry news and support others in your field. “But Facebook and Instagram are like going out to lunch and dinner,” said Sun, where you’re sharing pieces of your personal life like news about your kids and your pets, or pictures from your vacation. “Snapchat is happy hour,” she added. “If we’re close enough to grab drinks and cut loose a bit, then we can connect on Snapchat.” And don’t send friend requests to colleagues with private pages – that’s a clear indicator they don’t want to mix business with pleasure.
DON’T: FRIEND REQUEST PEOPLE YOUR FIRST DAY ON THE JOB. If you haven’t had lunch or a conversation with colleagues in real life, it’s off-putting to friend them online. “The time frame for connecting with them [online] is after you build a personal bond. I’d recommend a minimum of one, but at least two months,” said Kim. “Following someone on Twitter is a lot less creepy than immediately adding someone on Facebook.”
DO: TEST THE WATERS WITH LINKEDIN. If someone green lights your connection request on LinkedIn, it opens the door for stronger social media relationships later. “If they accept, send a quick note saying, ‘Thank you so much for connecting. I’m excited to come on board,’” said Sun. “And if they respond to that … you know that person has a warmer personality.” And if the conversation continues, Kim suggests writing back after a few months to say that you might send him or her a Facebook invitation to continue networking, and take it from there.
DO: LOOK AT YOUR CONTENT. Are you really comfortable with coworkers seeing your posts? If you use Facebook and Twitter for business, like posting industry news and insights, then adding your coworkers makes sense. But you don’t want to give professional peers access to Snapchat or even Instagram and FB pages where you’re sharing provocative pix or posting statuses where you argue, put people down or suffer emotional breakdowns.
Does your business need short-term help during a busy period? Are you short-staffed, yet not ready to hire a full-time employee? Maybe you’re wondering, “How do staffing agencies work — and do I need one when I have only temporary or seasonal hiring needs?”
Hiring solutions come in all sizes. Full time, yes, but also temporary, temporary-to-full-time, contract and project. Whatever your hiring needs, a top-rated, professional staffing agency gives you quick access to highly skilled professionals you might not find on your own. That eases the workload and provides peace of mind that none of your important projects will be delayed and no details will slip through the cracks.
So how do staffing agencies work — and how can you work most effectively with them? Here are five tips for optimizing your experience as a staffing agency client.
1. Engage a specialized staffing agency
When you work with a staffing agency, make sure it specializes in the type of staff you need. Non-specialized or generalist firms work with a broad variety of candidates, so finding someone with the exact skills and qualifications you need is more difficult and takes longer than if you work with a firm that’s focused on your field.
In addition, specialized staffing firms have a better sense of the candidate marketplace in your industry and geographic area and can effectively evaluate candidates’ experience and skills. Getting a good match the first time saves you time and money.
2. Communication is key
Try to speak with a staffing manager directly rather than communicating only via email. He or she will ask you about your staffing requirements and the length of time you need extra staff.
Make sure you create a job description that completely describes the position’s responsibilities so your recruiter knows the skills the candidate must have. (We’ve come up with a blueprint for creating a job description that can simplify the process.) Mention any policies your business follows, such as dress code, hours (including how you handle overtime) and breaks. These details help your representative get a sense of your corporate culture and what type of professional is likely to succeed there. When you feel you’ve clearly defined your needs, let the recruiter know. He or she will start the search immediately.
3. Get ready, get set …
Prepare your business and the office itself to accommodate a temporary professional. Maximize the benefits of temporary staff to your company and team by setting up in advance. Create a designated workspace. If a computer or phone is necessary, make sure it’s installed and functioning before the interim worker’s first day. And once you’ve brought in your new temporary worker, make him feel part of the team:
Ensure a smooth start by providing an orientation as you would for any new staff member. Make all appropriate team introductions and designate a point person for any questions that may arise.
Be inclusive and encourage team bonding by inviting the temporary worker to staff functions such as lunches, team meetings and other group efforts.
Check in with temporary professionals, as well as the staff members they interact with, to evaluate performance. Even if interim workers have the necessary skills, it’s important to achieve a good fit with your corporate culture as well.
4. Follow up
Providing feedback about the new worker to your staffing agency representative helps both the recruiter and yourself with any future talent searches. Notify the agency at once if there are any problems, and let the recruiter know what specific aspects of the individual’s performance have stood out.
5. Weigh fees vs. costs
For you, the client, there are fees associated with using a staffing agency, but the overall cost is typically a net savings for you if you go with the right firm. Because finding qualified, skilled employees can be time-consuming, you save time and money when you turn this process over to staffing experts. Plus, the most reputable staffing agencies are likely to offer a satisfaction guarantee. So if you aren’t happy with the employee, the firm will identify a replacement.
Communicate your goals and needs to the staffing agency recruiters every step of the way, and you’ll be in the best position to maximize your working relationship with them.
2. On the way to the conference room for the interview, interviewee instinctively picked up a gum wrapper off the floor and threw it in the nearest trash can. I just caught this peripherally, and he made no effort to show off his “insignificant good act.”
Honestly, I have never hired a single person on an impulse or based on something clever they said/did in an interview. It’s about qualifications and overall leaving a good impression. Trash-boy did get hired, and his simple act was really representative of him being pleasant and thoughtful. He also had several years experience in field.
I’ve been hiring for years, I do pick up on little things… sometimes a gum wrapper can distinguish one candidate from the others.
3. I never “hire on the spot”, as I always give some thought to the decision even when I’m very positive about someone.
However, I usually give screening tests to candidates. I had one young, inexperienced candidate that did not even pass the first screening question. Afterwards asked me to show him the correct answer and said something along the lines of “Thanks for showing me that I have a lot to learn.” I asked if he wanted some pointers & ended up lending him a book on the subject. A few days later I decided that that’s the attitude I’d like to hire and gave him the green light. Did not regret.
4. One of my hiring questions is, “Tell me about a time you made a mistake doing a job. Tell me what happened and what you learned from it.” One girl said, “Well, this story is kind of gross and might not be what you want, but it’s what comes to mind right away.”
Then she told me about a time during her medical internship at a local hospital where she tried to prove herself to a skeptical doctor by taking a large dead body down to the morgue by herself, even though she had never gone down before and was supposed to take someone else with her. She was a tiny girl, but in good shape and apparently when she got down there she was supposed to move the body from the gurney to a slab (which is why she was supposed to go down with another person). She tried to move it on her own, but failed to lock the wheels on the gurney first and ended up on the floor, pinned under a large dead body for over fifteen minutes before anyone found her.
She said that from that she learned to follow procedures and to not be too cocky to ask for help when she needed it. I didn’t see how I could not hire her after that story. Because it was so genuine and atypical from the usual answers I heard for that question.
5. On a technical interview for computer stuff…
Me: if you come across a problem you’ve never seen before, how to approach it? Soon to be new employee: I’d Google it.
This is the best answer. Most people go crying to vendors or support contracts before doing a simple Google search, and I find that offensive.
6. We were hiring for a specific position and had arranged a number of interviews for it from pre-screened applicants. As we had to play with real people’s real schedules, we ended up with the strongest candidate (UC Berkeley PhD) going first. He did very well in the interview and it was kind of a given that we’d hire him.
This left us in an awkward spot with one very interesting interview of someone completely without a degree. However, there were budget restrictions so this was a long shot.
Meanwhile inside the company we had a fairly complex technical problem going on. Instead of just having a “hi… bye” interview with this other guy, we threw our complex problem at him about 24h before the interview. The [guy] solved it before the interview, and did it really quite brilliantly.
At that point I was willing to go to the ropes to get him.
7. I was hiring for a graphic design position, and had a number of resumes on my desk. One guy had actually reached out to me personally through our website, and I just told him to email his resume to our job inbox.
We had just moved to a new office, and I posted a photo one morning to our Facebook page showing the new view off to our fans. That afternoon, he showed up at our office in a suit and tie, asked for the job, killed the interview and got it. He figured out the general area we were in from the photo, called the various office buildings to ask ahead, found us, and just showed up. 2 years later, he’s still there and doing an absolutely fantastic job.
8. I hired someone for giving me a dirty look in an interview.
Allow me to preface this by saying I really despise the interview process; I find that a person’s resume generally tells me everything I need to know and for me the interview is merely a formality to insure the applicant doesn’t have any personality or hygiene issues.
That said, I was hiring a desktop tech. I had a really stupid question that went something like “If I give you this, this and this piece of information would you be able to connect a PC to our domain?” The correct answer was yes.
Three applicants stammered and stuttered and said they figured they could but might need a little practice. The fourth applicant looked at me like I was insane but answered in the affirmative with no hesitation.
9. Post most of the interview, when we’ve turned to “Do you have any questions for us?”, the guy said, really matter-of-fact and not at all obsequiously, “Well, I’d like to know if there’s anything that we’ve talked about that has left you with doubts about me, so I can be sure you’ve got the information you need when you’re considering my fit.”
It was so simple, but so honest and effective because it was phrased as, ‘i want to help you be thorough’, but also quite self-serving because it got out in front of those doubts — we were immediately amazed that no one asks this. I’m never going to not ask it again (not that I’m looking, in case my boss has a line to the NSA).
12. I was interviewing people for a seasonal outside job, and I was doing the interviewing inside the marketing dept in an available office. This young kid with long hair, a spiked dog collar, upside-down crosses for earrings and a trench coat was my next interview and as we were walking to the office I was using, I noticed several marketing staff whispering and staring with shocked expressions at this kid. He walked with confidence and waited for me to sit down before he did, he was very polite and made excellent eye contact and gave me the best interview of the day.
When I explained that since this was a position dealing with the public and children and told him the earrings and dog collar would have to go, should he be hired, without hesitation he removed them and gave me this charming grin and I hired him on the spot and told him he was the most genuine person I had interviewed so far. He turned out to be one of my best employees and was hired full-time and stayed with me for 5 years.
Lack of trust creates an environment where concerns quickly evolve into fears. And when fears collide with a belief that the system is failing, trouble results. Also as distrust and fear increase, the negative impact on employee morale, engagement and performance accelerate. The end results are disengaged employees, frustrated management and lower profits. And the problem comes from four key emotional experiences.
1. A sense of injustice – the experience of unfairness tamps down the insula, the part of the brain responsible for emotional hurt and intuition. If a person is experiencing unfairness they will be spending more time in critter state, which will impact performance, decision making, collaboration, overall peace and happiness.
2. Lack of hope – the experience of hopelessness is even more painful than unfairness, and it’s below Critter State on the emotional range. In neurolinguistics the states of hopeless, helpless, worthless, and grief/terror are consider Baseline States. It doesn’t get worse than this.
3. Lack of confidence – depending on the person and degree of lack of confidence we’ll likely see procrastination, reluctance to take risks, playing “small”, and yes, more Critter State.
4. Desire for change – this is encouraging as there’s some energy here. Desire for change means we can envision a possible future where things are better. This lights up the Ventral Striatum where we anticipate reward. If we can increase this experience we can get into Smart State.
A few more key findings are that with the experience of distrust Edelman found that facts matter less to people and bias becomes the filter. 53% of respondents stated they do not listen to people or organizations with whom they often disagree. Further, people are 4x more likely to ignore info that doesn’t support their beliefs. Wow.
…And How To Fix It
So what’s the solution? Edelman’s survey respondents said that a shift from a top-down approach to a more participatory model is needed. In a word: collaboration, communication, transparency and mutual respect. This means deeply listening to and strategically acting on insights from employees. The report also concluded that rebuilding trust is a shared responsibility. We’re in this together.
And sustainable trust is key. This means taking employee engagement and empowerment to a new level, and ensuring leadership is engaged and empowered too.
Engaged employees have better work performance and increased likelihood of fulfilling personal lives. In previous blogs we have discussed proven and trusted neuroscience-based tools that will increase employee engagement, the real reasons your team is not engaged, how great leaders build trust and increase employee engagement and the one mistake leaders make that kills employee engagement. Engagement starts at the top where the culture of the organization is formed–leaders must build a solid foundation where employee engagement can thrive. The C Suite must work on leadership engagement intentionally now more than ever. Leadership engagement = employee engagement.
You may have heard the old saying “hire for fit, teach skills.” And, it’s genuinely true. Hiring for fit, or more accurately, attitude, has become something I’ve espoused closely over the years. Now that I am running my own company, it’s more important than ever not to get the greatest coder, but to find the person willing to bring a smile to a difficult job every day, look at an issue a totally different way, and take feedback regularly.
And, from my experience, there are specific qualities I can screen for to determine if the candidate has the right attitude and will be a fit. Here are the ten questions that help me decide:
1. Are they enthusiastic?
How you can tell: In our process, I always give the employee the chance to reach back out to me after the phone interview. While this may not work for all companies, it works well here, because I only want people who WANT to be here and I tell them so. I won’t schedule a follow up to the phone interview until they contact me.
2. Can they adapt to our agency model (corporate environment, startup culture, insert your thing here).
How you can tell: We use a tool called Vitru to help identify if someone has adaptability. I know other companies use Gallup’s Strengthsfinder. However, you can also see how they adapt if you mess something up, which I inevitably do.
While I don’t recommend playing mind games with a likely nervous candidate, do take note of how they react to their potential future workspace and colleagues. If someone brings them the wrong coffee, what is their reaction? If you schedule them for the wrong time, how do they react? If you are interrupted during the interview, what do they do or say? Any change to the norm is a great opportunity to see if a potential candidate is adaptable.
3. Would they be a team player?
How you can tell: Contrary to popular belief, introverts are not NOT team players, so first, remove your pre-conceived notions. Once you’ve done that, take them around and introduce them to the team.
How do they act, do they remember names or bring up topics that might be interesting to the new team member? While making small talk is not a prerequisite for any job, it’s useful to observe if they really SEE the other team members or are simply focused on you, the interviewer. I usually “name-drop” some of my people during the phone interview to see if they bring it back up later. Again, I’m not of the school that everyone needs to be a team player ALL the time, but if you do need to know, this is how you can find out.
4. Do they ask meaningful questions?
How you can tell: I am a master BS artist. Many, MANY times, I have found myself not at all listening to someone and having to pull out some ridiculous question or response right out of you know where. So, it’s pretty hard to pretend like you are paying attention to me if you are not. If a candidate just parrots your own words back to you, but slightly out of order, it’s a guarantee they are paying very little attention.
Another indicator is a lack of specificity. If your candidate talks in broad terms about success, clients, lessons (all the usual job interview fodder), pull back and ask for really specific or one-off proof points or cases. A meaningful question to me is one where I (the interviewer) need to think for a minute before I can answer. That means not only are they paying attention, but are thinking through more sophisticated concepts than the one I put on the table.
5. Are they willing to acknowledge past mistakes and explain how they learned from them?
How you can tell: Every job interview has that fun question about when you screwed up. Articles have been written about how to overcome it and every recruiter you know has heard the “I think my biggest weakness is that I am a perfectionist,” answer more times than she cares to admit.
But to me, this is a huge indicator of whether or not they will be a fit. Do they blame their boss, their team, their MOM? Is it the traffic’s fault, the computer’s fault, the inability to read directions? If they cannot give you a specific example of a time they failed and what they did to get back on that proverbial horse, they are either lying or unable or unwilling to accept responsibility for mistakes and that will KILL whatever team you put them on.
In the US alone, social networking is ranked as the top online activity, with one typical American allotting 37 minutes per day on social media websites (according to Go Gulf). In addition to that, Global Web Index revealed that 28% of the average online users’ time in the general population, is spent in social media.
The numbers are quite staggering, aren’t they?
Of course, since everyone believes in this chain of thought, “where your customers are, there you should also be”, it just makes perfect sense for business owners and marketers to just jump in the social media bandwagon.
However, despite how mouth-watering the prospect of marketing via the different social media channels might seem, not everyone are getting great results from it – mainly because they get distracted.
In fact, according to an article published at Contentbistro, social media is pretty much their number 1 source of distraction for solopreneurs and business owners.
Have you ever gone to Facebook with the hopes of pre-marketing your new product, only to end up getting distracted watching videos of Stephen Curry’s godlike crossover moves? Or you ended up watching on of Gary Vaynerchuk’s motivational videos, perhaps?
Friends, the problem is real.
If you’re struggling with getting things done while on social media and are looking for ways to be more productive while on the platform, then you’re on the right place.
Allow me to share with you 6 tips that can help you with just that.
Let’s hop right in.
1. UNDERSTAND YOUR GOALS.
Remember that in any business, you can’t afford to play pin the tail on the donkey.
The reason why most companies succeed at using social media is that they have clear-cut goals of what they want to do. In most cases, every single step was thoroughly planned out before they were executed. By having clear goals in mind, you are taking ambiguity and the role of chances out of the equation.
You can start by answering these questions:
Who is your target audience?
What step was thoroughly planned out and what does your target audience want to know and need to know?
What should your content look like?
What are the biggest problems they are dealing with?
How can you give solution to these problems?
These are just some of the many questions that you can ask when crafting your social media marketing gameplan.
Once you have the core steps planned out, all you need to do is just stick to it so you can avoid reacting to every single thing that comes to your social media profile’s news feed.
2. WORK ON YOUR TASKS IN BATCHES.
Time is a resource that is highly valued, and if it is exhausted without you yielding any kind of productive results, it would definitely cost you a lot.
When you have tons of things to do on your checklist, you attempt to switch from one task to another in order to get things done the soonest time possible.
Well. Guess what?
Our brains aren’t made for multitasking, and this article will tell you why.
Batching things up means allotting time for a specific cluster or type of goals/agenda first before proceeding to work on other goals. Simply stated, you do things by batch. This technique will help you get your goals in order, eliminate distractions, and schedule ahead of time.
That being said, I suggest that you categorize your tasks and work by following these tips:
Prepare your draft of posts or a POST BANK so that it‘ll be convenient for you to just pull them out when the time calls for new posts. Thanks to Facebook’s features, you can schedule posts ahead of time or save drafts:
Follow peak hours. Web users are more active in specific hours of the day.
Understand which posts are timely and which are not. The point here is to make your product relevant to your customers given the seasons or the trends.
3. CREATE A CONTENT CALENDAR.
Some companies stay active for a period of time and the next thing you know, they’re off-the-grid in social media. A content calendar helps keep you committed. That way, you remain consistent and you won’t have any excuses.
According to Forbes writer Pamela Springer, “For your social media marketing plan to succeed, it’s crucial that you consistently interact online; even if it’s just 10 minutes a day. If you can’t put in the time, it’s best not to start.”
Your content calendar can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. The important thing is that you create one and follow it.
It should contain the plot of your posts, the corresponding dates as to when you want to publish them, include the themes for your posts (among others). Feel free to add other details like specific time of publishing, which social media platform to use and respective purposes of posting.
Important note: If there’s one thing that I really like about using content calendars, it would be that I have a bird’s-eye-view of how my ideas would flow. This helps me polish the message that I am trying to convey on each post giving my updates consistency and more focus.
1) How exactly does a staffing firm work for me, the job-seeker? With few exceptions, the staffing firm becomes your advocate and “represents you” – a relationship that starts whenever you apply for a job through an staffing firm listing and submit your resume. In most cases there is no fee to you as you are the applicant; employer is the client;. Your link is the headhunter or representative who contacts or helps you.
2) If there is no fee for me – then who pays the placement fee? There is no fee for you – client pays the fee. Many staffing firms work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they don’t get paid unless they successfully fill the open position by submitting the best candidate. There are also retained searches, meaning that the staffing firm gets paid no matter how long it takes to fill the job, and there is no other competing agency involved. If the client finds a candidate on their own, they must go through the staffing firm and the firm gets paid.
3) Is it wrong for me to submit my resume to multiple staffing firms? No, it isn’t wrong, but do limit yourself to a very few firms and let the staffing firm know that you have. When you submit your resume to an online service (i.e. Monster.com or CareerBuilder) you won’t get a chance to set up an appointment and talk to a recruiter and let them know. If your resume fits the bill — meaning of the keywords in your resume are picked up through the online services’ algorithms and an employer finds you, then you’ll get an email or a call from the prospective employer. Staffing Firms with real live recruiters would appreciate knowing you’ve submitted yourself elsewhere (you needn’t go into detail that’s your business) – and they would also like to know if you have submitted yourself for the position directly. If you have, they won’t submit you or represent you for that job because it is duplication of your efforts.
4) What can a recruiting firm/staffing firm do for me that I can’t do for myself? A good staffing firm will get your resume and set up an interview to talk about your skills, your goals, and the job you are applying for. Resumes don’t always do a candidate justice, and a good recruiter is almost like a job therapist – and will draw out of you information relevant to the position that you may not have thought to mention in your resume. A good recruiter knows a lot about the job you are applying for too, which can be helpful. Job descriptions are notoriously bland and don’t really give you all of the useful inside scoop it would be useful to know before you actually interview. Recruiters also have jobs that aren’t posted, and after talking with you may recommend you for something you didn’t even know was out there.
5) I applied online to a recruiting firm and no one called me – what does that mean? It can mean one of many things – you weren’t qualified for the job you applied for and they didn’t bother to let you know. Your resume wasn’t received – if you didn’t get a confirmation notice of some sort that might have happened. Email them and ask. It was received but they haven’t gotten back to you yet – sometimes these things don’t happen in “real time”. Our advice? Don’t be shy – write and ask!
Manufacturing is entering a digital revolution that will fundamentally shift the way that businesses in the sector operate.
The next manufacturing age, known as Industry 4.0, shares several goals with the previous three industrial revolutions. These include increased speed to market, quality and cost-effectiveness.
However, the similarities end there. Where mass production and global economies of scale were game changers in earlier chapters, the factories of the future aim for greater flexibility and individualization.
You can’t just go out into the office and ask your employees. If you’re terrible, they have a vested interest in not telling you the truth.
You’re going to have to do some serious introspection and reflection to find out, either way. With that in mind, here are some subtle signs that you’re an excellent leader:
1. You’re willing to try new things
Good bosses adopt certain methods because they’re the best way of doing things — not because they’ve just fallen into certain habits. The best managers give their employees a little room to experiment and innovate.
2. You treat your employees like human beings
Unfortunately, some bosses seem to feel that hurling insults and abuse at people is an effective motivational technique. In most cases, this simply isn’t true. If you value your employees as human beings, then you’re already a huge step above many managers.
3. You don’t have obvious favorites
Playing favorites is a great way to torpedo office morale. If you make it clear that a certain person is the apple of your eye no matter what, then that’ll just encourage your other employees to give up on trying to impress you.
4. You hold everyone accountable …
Maintaining accountability is a big part of office morale and encourages workers to act with integrity, leading to an excellent workplace culture.
5. … including yourself
Good bosses don’t pick a scapegoat or explain away mistakes. In fact, experienced managers admit it when they fail in order to create a workplace that’s a safe environment for experimentation.
6. You ask politely
Insecure bosses bark out orders and behave like divas in order to establish their dominance. If you always say the magic word and are generally polite, then that’s definitely a good sign.
7. You give support
Bosses should build trust with their employees by providing a reasonable amount of support and guidance. Obviously, you don’t need to hold anyone’s hand, but throwing people into the deep end isn’t ideal, either.
8. You remove obstacles
Bad bosses throw up roadblocks that make it harder for people to succeed and do their jobs. Great managers should actively work to make the lives of their employees easier.
9. You’re a good coach
Coaches don’t just sit back on the sidelines twiddling their thumbs. They don’t run onto the field and start playing, either — unless they’re that one scary dad that takes the youth recreational soccer league way too seriously.
Good bosses are like good coaches: They command respect and provide the right blend of praise and constructive criticism to bring out the best in their employees.
10. You’re able to manage expectations
Bad bosses often disappoint or confuse their teams by presenting inaccurate pictures about how things are at the office — e.g., talking up how well the company’s doing and then springing news of layoffs on everyone. Good managers are honest and open.
11. You give feedback
Good employees crave feedback to learn how they can improve and grow. Great bosses are happy to oblige.
12. You keep the environment open and transparent
Transparency makes for a happy office culture.
13. You ask for insight
Employees want to feel heard.
Obviously, at the end of the day, you’re responsible for making the final judgment. But once in a while, if the situation calls for it, good bosses reach out to their workers to get their insights and opinions.
14. You explain yourself
Good managers don’t expect anyone to read their minds. They outline a clear vision and provide their team with the knowledge and tools to achieve it.
15. You care about solutions
When the going gets tough, the weak bosses find someone to blame. Good managers focus on finding a solution to the problem, rather than throwing people under the bus.
16. You want to challenge your employees
Bored workers are unhappy workers. The best bosses check in with their workers to ensure that they’re being challenged.
17. You don’t micromanage, but you’re not too hands-off
Carefully examine the capabilities of your workers in order to achieve a good balance. Could you give any of them more responsibilities? Is there anything you can start delegating?
18. You check in with your employees
You don’t pop in to nag people like Bill Lumbergh in “Office Space.” You genuinely check in to talk to — not at — your employees in order to find out their goals and worries.
19. You have a sense of humor
It’s important to never take the joking too far in the office. That being said, good bosses take their work seriously — not themselves. It’s good to have a laugh with your employees.
20. You care about the dreams and goals of your employees
The best bosses are invested in their employees. That means that they’re actively concerned with the professional goals and aspirations of their workers.
21. You’re not nice just for the sake of being nice…
Being too nice of a boss can actually be rather cruel, as Betty Liu points out in her LinkedIn piece. Artificially sweet managers heap on undeserved praise, then yank the rug out from under their employees later on.
So don’t play nice because you don’t like conflict. Be authentic and real with your workers. You’ll be doing them a big favor.
22. … and that means you’re able to make tough calls
Weak bosses flee from confrontation. Excellent workplace leaders don’t seek out uncomfortable situations, but when one arises, they can handle it. They do what needs to be done, whether it’s plotting a new course for a team or firing a problem employee.
23. You’re a good listener
This is the main reason why introverts make quite good bosses.
Many people have had a manager who loved to talk. Rarer — and infinitely more appreciated — are those bosses who are quality listeners. Good listening skills shows your employees that you’re seriously considering their opinions and needs.
24. You take an interest in your employees’ lives
Good bosses don’t cross the line into nosiness. Still, they care enough to ask about peoples’ summer plans, kids, and elderly parents. This interest will demonstrate to employees that their boss actually cares about them, making both parties more invested in their working relationship.
25. You tailor your approach
Different employees have different needs. “One size fits all” just isn’t going to cut it in the workplace. The best bosses are flexible. This allows them to fulfill all sorts of roles in order to better cater to the needs of their workers.
26. You demand effort…
Great leaders demand — and inspire — employees to work hard. They lead by example and give workers the tools they need to succeed through hard work.
27. … but you don’t demand perfection
Bosses who are too rigid are simply unrealistic. People make mistakes. It happens. If you punish small failures, you’ll just stifle innovation, experimentation and proactivity in your office.
28. You think you’re an awful leader
Business Insider recently spoke with TED legend and author Simon Sinek about leadership. He explained that individuals who believe themselves to be excellent leaders are often, in fact, terrible leaders. Great bosses recognize that authority and rank do not equal leadership abilities. As a result, they are constantly working to improve themselves. These quality bosses might even feel inadequate at times. However, just the fact that they recognize their own flaws renders them superior to many managers that totally lack self-awareness.
This piece was originally posted by Business Insider.