It’s a fair question, whether you’re looking for a job or you’re settled in with a job.
This articles describes 15 traits of the ideal employee. It’s a great list for prospective employers as they evaluate job candidates, but it’s also a great checklist for those of us looking for a job. What can we do to add more value to our company? Here are the first two items on the list:
1. Action-oriented – Hire employees who take action and take chances. While chances may lead to failure, they will more often lead to success and mold confidence while generating new ideas. Stagnant employees won’t make your company money; action-oriented employees will.
2. Intelligent – Intelligence is not the only thing, but it’s a strong foundation for success. While there are many variables you can be flexible on when hiring, intelligence is a must or you’re going to be spending an abundance of time proofing work, micromanaging and dealing with heightened stress levels.
The term “problem solver” isn’t on this list, though many of the attributes point to this quality. It’s important to be able to identify problems, but the best employees will help you solve them and also take the initiative where appropriate.
As you look for a new job and prepare for interviews, keep this list in mind.
More and more companies are realizing that a healthy worker will be a more productive worker. Thus we’re seeing all sorts of changes as companies add gyms to workplace campuses while encouraging or even subsidizing gym memberships. Others also try to work in issues like nutrition, offering healthy meal choices in the workplace cafeteria, and replacing vending machines that only offer junk food for workers.
This is all great stuff, and everyone should do their best to take advantage of this. But frankly, not everyone responds well to the idea of going to a gym. So some workers have to be a little more creative, and that involves doing exercises literally at work. Now this isn’t for everyone as well. I don’t really like the idea of working up a sweat in my suit. But it’s not as much about replicating the gym experience, but rather doing some activities that at least prevent you from living a sedentary lifestyle of you don’t have the time or the inclination to hit the gym.
The best solution in my opinion is to simply start walking regularly. That can include a walk around the office campus during lunch, or even doing a daily lap or two or three inside the halls of your building. Movement is key, especially when you use it as a quick break from work. Many people walk in the evenings, and that’s a great habit as well.
This article has many more ideas for quick and easy workouts at work. Check them out and you will likely find several that work great for you. Of course it’s more important to find regular workout programs you can do regularly outside of work in the proper setting, but something is always better than nothing. But, keep in mind that while these movement exercises can help, most doctors will tell you that working up a sweat is very important, so always try to build on what you do at work.
There are may significant advantages for a company letting workers telecommute and work remotely. Productivity often increases as this flexibility makes workers happier. In today’s world, it’s important for a company to offer this option for some jobs.
Yet there are disadvantages when you don’t have workers together on a consistent basis. It’s impossible to replicate the casual environment of workers being together at lunch and around the office. Much gets done when people are together.
Every company needs to strike the right balance, and that’s what Marissa Mayer is trying to do at Yahoo!, but her recent announcement has sparked a backlash.
“To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home.”
Just reading this, it seems like this could have been handled better by bring up the issue and looking at specific jobs. As stated above, balance is best.
But I suspect the problem may have gotten out of control at Yahoo! and that has prompted Mayer to take a hard line. Workers can be very productive at home in terms of how much they work, but it’s harder to keep workers focused on what’s best for the company if they are always at home.
It will be fascinating to see how this story develops.
What makes it so great?
The Internet juggernaut takes the Best Companies crown for the fourth time, and not just for the 100,000 hours of free massages it doled out in 2012. New this year are three wellness centers and a seven-acre sports complex, which includes a roller hockey rink; courts for basketball, bocce, and shuffle ball; and horseshoe pits.
Check out the rest of the list.
Should these benefits like messages be taxed? I don’t think so.
There are all sorts of new management ideas and trends these days, but the idea of the job swap is very interesting, and possibly very useful.
One morning in May Nadim Hossain drove to work, sat in a weekly sales forecast meeting, met with the marketing team, and gave feedback on ad messaging. Only it wasn’t his office, his job, or even his company.
À la the TV show Wife Swap, Hossain, then vice president of marketing at San Francisco-based PowerReviews, was in the midst of an executive job swap. He traded roles for the day with Jon Miller, VP of marketing and co-founder of San Mateo, Calif., software firm Marketo, hoping to gain some insight into his own role by experiencing someone else’s.
It worked. Since PowerReviews — now owned by Bazaarvoice — is a Marketo customer, Miller came away better understanding the issues facing chief marketing officers. Hossain, for his part, returned to PowerReviews with pages of notes on ways to motivate his sales team, woo big brands, and identify leads. “A fresh environment is always a good way to generate new ideas,” Hossain says.
Check it out and then consider this for members of your team.
Management practices are evolving. Check out this provocative article from Inc. and ask yourself if you need to update the way you manage people.
Here’s my list of “old school” practices you ought to chuck, and “new school” practices to champion instead:
1. Out: Micro-management, or the need to control every aspect of your company. In: Empowerment, the ability to give your people some rope–even rope to make mistakes without blame.
2. Out: Management by walking around the office; it is no longer enough to be visible. In: Leadership by watching and listening, engaging in conversation, implementing the ideas presented to you, and distributing the results.
3. Out: Pretending you know everything. You don’t have all the answers, so why try to make people think you do? In: Knowing your leadership team members and trusting them. Choose great people who have the right skills and fit the culture. And get out of the way.
4. Out: No mistakes, or a “no tolerance policy” some still think works. In: Learning from mistakes, or being the first to admit an error.
5. Out: The balance sheet drives the business, and informs all other decisions. In: People drive the business, boosting customer loyalty, and profit.
Check out the rest of the article for the remaining 5 items. I think this is a great list that will make you more effective with your team and also help you relate better to today’s employees.
The lines are blurring between work days and off days, along with workplace and home environments, as technology makes us more accessible. One trend emerging has to do with open-ended vacation policies.
Unlimited paid vacation is the new trend, as you encourage workers to be responsible and take the time off they need. This makes workers more productive. The idea is a Results-Only Work Environment. Not many companies are doing it, but it’s becoming popular in the tech field.
The image above isn’t practical for all businesses. For small, virtual businesses to larger corporations, getting workers around a table to solve problems or implement new procedures is just not an option. teleconferencing can help, but social business tools can be even more effective.
When Red Robin Gourmet Burgers introduced its new Tavern Double burger line last month, the company had to get everything right. So it turned to social media.
The 460-restaurant chain used an internal social network that resembles Facebook to teach its managers everything from the recipes to the best, fastest way to make them. Instead of mailing out spiral-bound books, getting feedback during executives’ sporadic store visits and taking six months to act on advice from the trenches, the network’s freewheeling discussion and video produced results in days. Red Robin is already kitchen-testing recipe tweaks based on customer feedback — and the four new sandwiches just hit the table April 30.
Facebook’s initial public offering Friday — the largest by a technology company — is a watershed moment for the consumer side of the Web, but social networking’s real economic impact might be ahead as companies learn how to harness “social business” tools.
These corporate social networks can be an incredible tool for companies of all sizes. Just imagine the impact all of this can have on innovation and productivity in your company? The social media revolution is just getting started and it will impact your career and workplace as much as your personal life. Don’t get left behind.