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Networking and Relationship Building Techniques for Individuals and Business Owners

Are you just starting out in your career?

Try applying for internships; it’s a great way to pinpoint your career direction and showcase your skills. It may even lead to a paying job later. Excerpts from a recent article published in Forum Publishing.

Professionalism in the Workplace:

Don’t gossip!! Stay out of office politics; inevitably when you talk about someone, it will come back to haunt you. Be cautious in whom you confide in; sharing sensitive information with the wrong person may hurt you if that relationship goes sour. You can’t go wrong by always treating everyone with respect.

The Impact of being Unprofessional in the Workplace

Unmotivated at work is often a byproduct of dissatisfaction with a person’s role in the company and will lead to an employee conducting personal business on company time and viewing their job as a place to remain until something better arises and do the minimum work required.

Utilizing Social Networking & Media Sites to aid in Job Searching. Recently, on WSFL TV, The Morning Show, we discussed some creative ways to utilize social/business & media networking sites in order to gain exposure while job hunting. In addition, small businesses can also utilize these same concepts while marketing their products or services.

Historically, when a person found themselves looking for a new position, one of the first steps they implemented was posting a resume on Monster or CareerBuilder. This indicated that you were actively looking for a job, unless you posted confidentially. It is still a component which must be implemented; however, there are additional techniques.

Now, as social media has exploded, many more people and businesses are setting up profiles and fan pages in order to brand and market themselves or business. In addition to providing far reaching exposure, it’s free!
Fact: Many recruiters and hiring authorities are increasingly utilizing social media as a primary means to locate key people for their open positions.

Ron Daratany’s Do’s and Don’ts of utilizing social networking and media:

Do’s:
• If you haven’t already, set up profiles on Facebook, My Space, Twitter and LinkedIn and start building your friends & contact list. It is now very acceptable for professionals, even if they are not actively searching for a new position, to set up profiles on these sites.
• Post your employment status and updates daily to allow your friends to know your current job status. If they can’t help, perhaps someone they know can.
• Blog about your job search with a brief excerpt of your skills.
• Consider creating a video resume on You Tube.
• If there is a specific company you want to work for, use LinkedIn to locate employees who work there and request to become their contact. By developing a professional rapport, you may be able to utilize them for an internal introductory meeting.
• Join & contribute to networks, groups and fan pages relevant to your expertise and passion.

Don’ts:
• Since you are now using your social media sites to assist with your job search, try to keep your participation fairly professional moving forward. If you don’t, you’ll send very mixed messages to those who are reading your request for assistance.
• Don’t post disparaging messages on your social networking accounts about your former employer or co-workers or project negativity in any way.
• Don’t participate in negative blogging on anything from your past. The blogs can stay on the internet for a long time and are very difficult to remove.

These social media techniques, in conjunction with traditional networking, will increase your exposure and the probabilities of securing your next position.

Ron Daratany is the President/Founder of DMR Global Recruiting and
DMR Career Planning and has been a national recruiting & career development expert throughout his entire 22 year career.

Employee Motivators

Creative ways in which to motivate and increase production from the staff we currently have:

Many of us are maximizing our resources and asking our employees to wear multiple hats and perform more than one job function.

It’s difficult for us (the business owner) to stay motivated, and motivate others during these very challenging economic times. Not only is there a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the workplace, but many of our employees are being asked to do more, with less resources, less hours and no extra pay to show for it.

Keeping employees motivated these days is a tough job, when we, the business owners, or managers, are unsure of the future. Communicating and being honest with them is critical regarding the health of the company and asking them to assist in “keeping the ship afloat”. Since their jobs are potentially at stake, and since there aren’t many employment options out there currently, they may very well take ownership of the situation. Also, as leaders, our moods greatly affect the moods of others. If we walk in the morning with energy and a positive vibe, it sets the tone for others. The opposite, or negative tone, applies as well.

As an employer, we may not be able to shower employees with cash or bonuses during these tough times, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other low-cost perks we can offer to help boost morale. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to have a major impact on employee motivation. The best forms of motivation, ironically, have the least cost. It just requires commitment and some consistent, creative thinking on our part.

Simple acts like asking employees their opinions, involving them in a decision or thanking them for a job well done can go a long way. We all know these theories are effective, we just get so involved in our daily activities that we may not consistently exercise these points.
If employees see us, management, crying poverty, cutting their compensation and benefits, but still driving that nice car, living in that nice home and going on vacations, resentment will rear its head, it’s inevitable. Live discretely and don’t gloat over your possessions. We have to remember that many of our employees are living paycheck to paycheck. Nothing is guaranteed, and those of us who are fortunate to live a comfortable life, realize it all can be taken away in a flash. Stay humble.

Think outside the box to come up with creative low-cost ways to motivate staff. There are lots of ways to do it, and I’ll provide a few:

Incentives and performance
If employees hit or exceed certain performance standards, they should receive some sort of agreed-upon bonus payment. If the goal isn’t met; there’s no out of pocket expense to your company.
Suggestion programs
If an employee comes up with a suggestion that either makes or saves the company money, he or she would receive an agreed-upon payment, such as 10 percent of the overall savings.

Career path program Take stock of all the jobs within your company, which may only be a few, and chart the different paths employees can take to move up the ranks. This can be a great motivator as it gives employees vision of how they can grow positionally and financially.

Appreciation rewards
Who wouldn’t like to get tickets to a movie, a play or sporting event? These incentives could be tied to performance or length of service, or reducing operating expenses. People yearn for recognition! Also, provide these appreciation rewards unexpectedly as the surprise will be very welcomed.

In addition to low cost rewards and acknowledgement, it is through discovering who employees are at their very core that we will be able to generate effective motivation in the workplace. Managers who realize what motivates them and their employees, are capable of building highly productive and profitable teams where everyone has a greater sense of fulfillment and sustained cooperation.

If an employer is able to hire someone now, or has existing employees, Not only is there a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the workplace, but many of our employees are being asked to do more, with less resources, less hours and no extra pay to show for it.
It doesn’t have to cost a lot to have a major impact on employee motivation even though economic conditions are still difficult.

Here are some suggestions: Most companies are operating with reduced staffing levels and they generally know who their good people are. Empower them to treat your company as their own.
Incentives and performance: If performance goals are met, pay out a %. Bringing in new or retaining customers,

Suggestion programs: If an idea saves the company money, pay out a %: renegotiate vendor agreements, reduce office supplies, materials, utility bills, etc.

Career path program: Provide vision and goals for others to grow internally.

Appreciation rewards: Provide a small, unexpected gift for a job well done.

By caring for our employees, it encourages creative thoughts, buy in and allows/empowers the employees to treat the company like their own. It costs a lot more to continually replacing key people than to proactively keep them happy.

These incentives provide creative compensations options during job offer negotiations.
Implementing cost cutting measures, technology steam-lining and re-negotiating existing vendor contracts. He reasoned that his compensation could be tied to these measures. The more he saved the company, the more he could make as a percentage of the savings. This way, there was far less risk for the company to hire him at his level. A win-win! Keep this in mind if you’re considering hiring someone. What can they provide to help you reduce the risk of hiring them.

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