The challenge of entering the corporate world presents unique challenges for women. Here are three areas of concern for females going into the world of work - whether in their 20's or 50's - and expert advice on how to not just survive, but thrive in today's environment.
Women face unique challenges in the workplace that can hold them back from reaching their full potential. Whether you're in your 20s and just starting out or have finished your degree and are preparing to re-enter the workforce, here are some excellent career tips that are all about empowering you in your professional journey.
Know Your Value
Unfortunately, companies are often invested in their own well-being. They consider employees expendable and have high, fixed expectations that cause employees to question their own competence and self-worth whenever they fall short. Do not play down your talents or abilities in an interview or around co-workers. Although it is intimidating, speak up for yourself when others try to speak for you or tell you what to do. Bullying comes from bosses, too, and far too many supervisors abuse their authority and use it as a way to degrade employees, especially females.
Research the positions you're applying to extensively. Learn about the average salary, and make sure you're being offered what your skills are worth. Do not undervalue the potential of your own contribution to a company, and don't speak passively about your achievements. Even if you are entering the workplace with limited experience, speak strongly about your passion, abilities and greatest strengths.
Safety can be a challenge for women in the workplace. Understand that workplace bullying and sexual harassment is never your fault, but you are not forced to just deal with it. Addressing the last point, by knowing your own value, you can set clear boundaries and know how to respond when they've been crossed, or you've been violated. Workplace harassment, especially of sexual nature, is not always as obvious as you expect. Know what kinds of attention cross the line. Inappropriate comments, off-handed remarks, and flirtatious messages passed off as "jokes" are unacceptable. Avoid going in storage closets, parking garages, or stairwells alone, especially after-hours. Workplace safety for women is a major topic of discussion in every industry, and it improves only when women take stands against unwanted behaviors.
Many women either have either a passive or aggressive communication style. The former is rooted heavily in frequent apologies, unspoken feelings and not knowing how to say no to something you don't want to do. Aggressive communicators are defensive and always on-guard, prone to conflict and believe they have to "strike first" and stand their ground to avoid being taken advantage of. You do not have to be "nice" to everyone. Being courteous and respectful is important, but your need to be kind to others shouldn't enable them to be unkind to you. Take ownership of your feelings by using "I" statements. Say "thank you" instead of "sorry," and make eye contact when you're talking to or listening to others.
Getting started in your career can be challenging, but there are tools like the ones above that can help you to succeed. You are a valuable asset to companies out there—you just need to be able to help employers see it. Embrace the opportunities you'll have to learn and grow, and don't let anyone take your power and you’ll be able to better succeed as you enter the workforce.
A positive and healthy work culture leads to productive and happy employees. Savvy business leaders understand the importance of providing a nurturing and thriving business culture for their workers. There are a variety of ways in which you can cultivate a healthy work culture at your organization. Here are three of the top ways that you can achieve this goal:
Effective communication is the cornerstone of positive company culture. Employees feel valued and appreciated if they are informed. Transparency at all levels of the organization will provide for a better understanding among all employees. Having visible and accessible management staff will help to provide this transparency. Communication is most effective when it is spread out through various mediums, including in-person meetings and town halls, online communication, and direct peer-to-peer discussions. Using a variety of communication vehicles will ensure that the message is heard loud and clear.
Healthy Culture Through Health
A healthy work culture can be cultivated through a commitment to good physical health. Group fitness activities promote healthy behavior and support positive relationships within the company. Instituting a wellness challenge program not only gets your employees up and moving but it also encourages social interaction through friendly competition. There are a few different kinds of wellness challenges, so you can find one that fits your workplace. Showing a commitment to the physical and emotional health of your employees will promote employee satisfaction and help you to retain your top talent as you grow your business.
Regardless of their age or responsibility level, employees of all skill levels value praise for their hard work. Making praise a key component of your company culture will increase overall employee satisfaction. Business leaders should make it a goal to compliment at least one employee each day. Recognizing small accomplishments will go a long way in cultivating a sense of gratitude in the workplace. Employees who feel noticed and valued are more motivated and empowered to work even harder. It is no secret that employees who feel valued are more productive, contributing positively to the overall bottom line of the organization.
Making the effort to cultivate a healthy company culture will pay off big dividends for the future of your business. Happy employees are team players and productive workers who are committed to making their organization the best that it can be.
Here’s another article we think you’ll enjoy: A Culture of Care Helps Health Care Professionals Thrive
Toxic employees drag everyone down with them. Bad attitudes and inappropriate conduct make other employees feel uncomfortable. Managers find themselves constantly distracted dealing with disasters these troubling hires cause. Firing them may put an end to current miseries, but the effects of toxic employees can linger long after they are shown the door. The best way to deal with toxic employees is not to hire them in the first place. Here are three ways to avoid making a regrettable hiring decision.
Look at Employment History
Horrible employees likely have a long and dubious track record of poor performance. Look closely at an applicant's prior employment history for any red flags. Was the person locked into low-level work for years without any promotions? Did he/she jump from job to job frequently? According to Palmer Group, this can show that an employee could have a behavior issue. Probe these areas of concern, and see what the full story is. Taking the employee's word for everything might not be enough, though. Contact references and past employers to confirm any explanations. Remember, the past may be a good indicator of the employee's future.
Put Them Through an Attitude Test
Not every human resource department relies on an attitude test when screening would-be employees, but their inclusion could be helpful. According to The Hire Talent, attitude tests look for signs of toxic traits like blame, dishonesty, unsupportiveness, criticism, and negativity. Once these traits reveal themselves, a personnel manager can make a more informed decision. Hire someone to train HR in effectively administering an attitude test if no current managers possess the skill. In an office environment, teamwork can be crucial for success. If an attitude test reveals someone is argumentative or hostile, then he/she may not be the right match for the team. Look over the results of the test carefully when weighing different hiring choices. Anyone with toxic traits is not likely a good fit.
Screen Social Media Feeds
According to Law Depot, approximately 70 percent of employers screen a candidate’s social media when making hiring decisions. People reveal a lot about themselves on social media. Sadly, many show shockingly negative personality traits. Inappropriate or adversarial behavior on social media may spread to the workplace. Don't ignore how someone acts online; he or she probably acts that way everywhere. An employee becomes the face of a company to others. When that person acts outrageously on social media, he or she may drag the company into an embarrassing position. A business might even need to hire a PR firm to dig it out of an employee's social-media-created hole.
Toxic employees create havoc wherever they go. Make sure you are confident you aren't hiring one the next time a position opens. By following these tips, you can be less likely to hire an employee that will cause you problems.
Enjoy this article? Check out this other article on ways to increase your employees’ attention to detail!
What is the EX, or the employee experience, exactly? EX is not just about what it's like to work day-to-day in the office, and it's not about benefits, half-day Fridays, sleeping pods, beer fridges in the break room and other fun perks, though those things do enter into it. But EX is deeper and more meaningful than that. It's about truly engaging employees.
(BPT) - One of the latest business buzzwords this year is EX, or the employee experience. Organizations are beginning to realize that they need to create a positive employee experience in the same way they have focused on the customer experience. In this ever-tightening job market, it's mission critical to keep employees happy, fulfilled and challenged. Only then can they keep their customers happy. Focusing on EX means evaluating an employee's entire life cycle with the company, from before they even apply for a job to beyond their last day. It's so critical that Forbes even dubbed 2018 the Year of the Employee Experience.
What is the EX, exactly? EX is not just about what it's like to work day-to-day in the office, and it's not about benefits, half-day Fridays, sleeping pods, beer fridges in the break room and other fun perks, though those things do enter into it. But EX is deeper and more meaningful than that. It's about truly engaging employees. Employee engagement (EE) and EX are intertwined so closely they can be called one and the same.
The problem with EE: There's a disconnect
In a recent study, Dale Carnegie found that 70 percent of top executives believe that employee engagement has a strong impact on financial performance. In a similar study, Deloitte found that 85 percent of company leaders say EE is an important strategic priority, but Dale Carnegie found that just 31 percent of front-line employees and managers strongly agreed that their company is actually making engagement a top priority.
Clearly, there's a disconnect between what execs are saying and what employees are feeling. That's because there's a piece left out of this puzzle: the employees' managers.
The key to aligning executive priorities with what employees are experiencing lies in the management chain. Managers need to be enabled and empowered to engage their teams on a daily basis. It means getting managers the training they need to engage their teams, by making it a strategic priority and creating a culture of engagement. Dale Carnegie programs teach the skills managers need and can help organizations do the right things to increase overall employee engagement.
Ways to increase employee engagement
Focus on getting managers and supervisors the skills they need. Immediate supervisors and managers are on the front lines of employee engagement. Leaders at all levels need to understand that the way they interact with their employees and direct reports matters to the company's bottom line. Open a dialogue with managers about EE, and listen to what they're saying about what works and what doesn't, and if they're frustrated, give them the tools and training necessary for change.
Get CEO buy-in. If your CEO does not have employee engagement on his or her priority list, the effort is doomed to fail. Make sure the CEO has the facts on employee engagement, and the knowledge that it needs to start at the top. EE needs to be treated like any other strategic priority.
Align policies with EE. You need employee-supportive policies and procedures, such as a standard performance evaluation policy. But it also means changing policies that are barriers to engagement. Are there processes and procedures working at cross-purpose with engagement efforts? If so, change them. How are your rewards and recognition programs designed? What do you reward and recognize? Are they making your employees feel valued? It requires going through your policies with a critical eye, and the willingness to change what's not working.
Employee engagement needs to be on the top of the priority list for top executives, managers and supervisors, and that's no easy task. But in this ever-tightening job market, with greener grass just a click away on a job seeker's app, keeping all of your employees happy, engaged and fulfilled is the key to your company's competitive advantage.
Equality in the workplace benefits everyone, and employers should take the time to learn more ways that they can create a more just workplace.
Creating a just workplace should be a top priority of all business owners. Fair workplaces are one of the cornerstones of strong businesses, and civil rights movements have affected workplaces in many ways, providing better opportunities and better workplaces for everyone. Several civil rights movements have made substantial changes possible, and here's a brief rundown of three of the biggest ones.
Mental Health Awareness and Support
The Americans With Disabilities Act requires that employers provide equality for people with disabilities in the workplace. This includes people with psychiatric conditions. Under this law, employers can't deny hiring, demote, or deny training opportunities to someone based on their psychiatric condition.
Employers have also come up with programs to ensure employees with mental health conditions have access to the care that they need, including doctor's visits through insurance providers and accommodations for people with psychiatric conditions.
Equality in the workplace covers many groups. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers aren't allowed to discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, and religion. With this law, employers must give equal opportunity for employment, and they can't discriminate against someone based on these criteria for pay and advancement. This civil rights attorney explains that many states have several additional civil rights statutes which can be utilized in cases involving discrimination, harassment or violence and which allow for penalties, attorneys’ fees, compensation, and change.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 requires employers to not discriminate against people based on age. This means that people cannot be discriminated during hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or terms. Creating a workforce of diverse ages also provides more stability for companies.
This career and job specialist explains that people of different ages have varying perspectives that they can use to inform each other. For instance, a 65-year-old woman might understand the utility of a particular product, but a 25-year-old worker might understand a younger consumer better. Businesses that have a wider range of ages also don't need to worry as much that all of their employees will retire within a few years of each other or all younger employees will be vying for a limited number of promotions.
Equality in the workplace benefits everyone, and employers should take the time to learn more ways that they can create a more just workplace. Businesses that merely work to be in compliance with the law rather than truly promoting an equitable work environment are losing out on opportunities to create a stronger business.
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Take a look at recent trends and developments in technology. It’s clear that these changes can give entrepreneurs that extra leverage to scale up. Here are three to consider.
(BPT) - Small businesses are far more influential than most people may realize.
That influence is felt well beyond Main Street. Small businesses make up 99.7 percent of all businesses in the U.S., and these firms employ nearly half (48 percent) the workforce, according to the 2018 Small Business Profile compiled by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
In addition, take a look at recent trends and developments in technology. It’s clear that these changes can give entrepreneurs that extra leverage to scale up. Here are three to consider.
Big companies have big opportunities for small firms
Back in the 20th century, a large company would get things done in this very straightforward way. Wherever there was a need, they hired someone directly to perform that task, whether it was a driver or an accountant.
Under today’s leaner models, these big companies are finding it’s much more efficient to partner with other firms to fulfill certain needs. According to Deloitte, 31 percent of IT services have been outsourced, as well as 32 percent of human resources. This increasing acceptance of outsourcing is a huge growth opportunity for small businesses owners.
For example, Amazon recently announced it is actively seeking and helping entrepreneurs who are willing to deliver packages as their contractors. The mega retailer will even go as far as helping with startup costs so long as these smaller firms deliver their packages. Landing a contract with a big corporation is a significant milestone for any company, but starting out with that lucrative contract is sure to let these startups hit the ground running.
Better connections for greater flexibility
When today’s entrepreneur has a new role to fill, they’re not confined to the talent pool in their immediate community. Because we now have the tools and connectivity to work from anywhere, a business owner can expand the search across multiple states!
What’s more, these flexible, work from anywhere options can give business owners the inspiration to do things differently. Having greater collaboration means having access to more options to fit specific needs.
For example, what is the very nature of being a small business owner? It’s dealing with a fluctuating volume of work. Tapping into the talent pool of freelancers to work on these specific, short-term tasks and projects is easier than ever, because for a segment of workers, freelancing is increasingly becoming a way of life. Freelancers currently make up 36 percent of the workforce, according to a study from Upwork. And, if trends maintain, most Americans will be freelancers by 2027.
Thanks to remote options with easy access to talent, small businesses can easily set up temporary or ongoing as-needed work arrangements. When you partner with Dell for your computing needs, you’ll get the expert help and support so you can set up the perfect flexible workspace system.
More automation brings better efficiencies
Without a doubt, new technology works in favor of small businesses and entrepreneurs because they have many tools at their disposal to automate labor intensive processes, be more productive and cut costs. For example, entrepreneurs can use software to process client payments and even set up automated payments, saving hours and costs associated with collecting, processing and reconciling under the traditional paper check payment system. That translates into a more efficient billing department that can spend more time focused on complex issues.
Let Dell equip your small business with the right tech tools, tailor made for your venture and backed with support, so you can focus on running your business.
(BPT) - Today’s business environment is characterized by excitement as much as it is by anxiety. As new technologies are constantly introduced into the workplace and transform how employees work, managers need to adjust in order to retain employees, streamline processes and stay competitive.
“Companies of all sizes are looking for solutions that allow them to work and collaborate seamlessly from anywhere, transforming their businesses to be more efficient and mobile,” says Nate Spilker, vice president of product management at Citrix.
Many see such rapid change as particularly challenging for small to mid-sized businesses, where limits of capital, personnel and other resources may prevent them from being able to fully adapt to changes and implement fixes.
In fact, the opposite may be true. Because small to mid-sized businesses have less red tape to get through, they may be in a better position to become early adopters and outpace the competition. With an entrepreneurial spirit, they can turn these challenges into opportunities for growth. Here are five way they are doing just that:
1. Growing IT budget. For all the promises that come with new software and hardware, there's also a price tag. Beyond implementing new technology, businesses need to grow their IT staff to ensure everything functions as it should. To combat these costs, many have adopted a bring your own device (BYOD) policy in which employees use their personal computer, laptop or tablet to work. According to Forbes, this policy can save companies as much as $3,150 per employee per year. The key to a successful BYOD policy is software that provides rigid security measures and allows individuals to access shared files and work with one another, whether on a Mac, Windows or other operating system.
2. Keeping ahead of administrative tasks. When Hope Blankenship’s business To the Rescue Bookkeeping was expanding from a single location to multiple offices in different states, she quickly realized her success also brought new challenges, namely, how to coordinate and manage multiple locations. Blankenship discovered that Citrix ShareFile, which provided an automated workflow, file sharing, remote desktop access and document signing, was the solution she needed to coordinate with several people in a number of locations and not get bogged down by administrative work.
3. Customer security and confidentiality. Despite living in a digital age, many small and medium-sized businesses still rely on printed materials and faxes when working with clients. In fact, 72 percent of business agree that improved document processing would improve customer relations and increase their brand value.
“Business leaders recognize the need to embrace a modern, digital workplace to drive greater efficiency in business processes. This means taking a close look at their document and information management workflows and embracing technologies to take the friction out of these processes while keeping data secure,” says Terri McClure, senior analyst, Cloud Infrastructure and File Sharing, ESG. “By using ShareFile’s collaborative workflow and security features, customers and their clients benefit from more streamlined and structured processes, less time to complete projects, deliver results and increase customer satisfaction, all while complying with stringent security requirements.”
4. Generational differences. It has often been said that there has never been a greater gap between generations than there is with millennials and older generations. Smart businesses use these differences to create a dynamic and diverse workplace. This is done through traditional mentoring programs in which older employees train younger ones on professional development, career advancement and numerous other soft and hard skills while the younger group can teach older workers how to efficiently use new technologies.
5. Lack of space. One of the biggest problems a growing business faces is in finding the space for an expanding staff, either in their home offices or in remote locations. By incorporating remote file sharing and workflow technology into their business plan, physical space has become less of an issue. This technology streamlines the workflow and allows people to collaborate from virtually anywhere in the world and in the process, saves on the cost of rent.
The driving force behind many of these solutions involves a cutting-edge file synch-and-sharing system, like Citrix ShareFile.
“Citrix is continuing to drive innovation in ShareFile beyond file sharing and storage to address the workflow needs of the modern worker. Now with a simpler user interface and use-case-specific solutions, ShareFile is helping its customers to increase productivity and collaboration,” Spilker says.
With more than 80,000 business customers and 20 million business users, Citrix has developed their systems to be easy to use and capable of handling all types of files, from sensitive legal briefs to 3D architectural designs. Combining user experience with security, ShareFile safeguards data through leading industrial security standards.
To learn more about small business technology solutions, visit www.sharefile.com.
(BPT) - More than half a million new businesses emerge onto the scene over the course of each month, according to Forbes Entrepreneurs. But even more businesses shut down than start up. Whether you’re a new business owner or an employee looking to take your career to the next level, it’s definitely a competitive environment. How can you differentiate yourself from the millions of others?
“Developing a purpose and setting goals to accomplish that purpose is the key to success,” says Per Wickstrom, founder of Best Drug Rehabilitation and successful business leader. “As an individual, you have a unique and fresh perspective, so it’s important to let that shine through.”
Wickstrom offers his proven tips for setting yourself apart from the rest to reach your business and career goals:
Give back to the community
Never underestimate the power of giving back to your surrounding community. The local community is what helps your business grow, and giving back is immensely rewarding and valuable. From volunteer days to donation drives, there are hundreds of ways for you and your business to give back to the community.
Tell your unique story
All successful people have role models and mentors from which they draw inspiration and knowledge, but it’s important to continue to develop your own individual style and viewpoint. How did you get where you are today? Don’t be afraid to be your dynamic and complex self.
Continue to learn
Commit to learning something new each and every day. To be innovating and create new products and services, you need to stay on top of the trends and news in your industry. Keep an open mind and always be ready to absorb as much information as you can. Being flexible and adaptable are some of the most valuable assets.
Learn from your mistakes
Of course you’ll never make it to the top without learning from your many mistakes along the way. There are very few “overnight successes” in the world, and it’s likely you’ll spend years working towards your greatest accomplishments. When you experience a setback, don’t let it overwhelm your rational thinking. Instead, let it fuel your motivation on the road to achieving your goals.
Keep productivity top of mind
When collaborating with others, meetings can be both incredibly productive or a complete waste of time. Keep your meetings and brainstorm sessions compelling and energetic without letting them run too long. Put away your smartphone and other devices to focus on the task at hand.
Focus on your passion
Successful entrepreneurs and business leaders are not successful because they let money drive them. Instead, they focus on their passion and spend time working on a vision that pulls them forward. While this involves a bit of risk, every successful person must take that leap in order to develop their goals and dreams. When you visualize your success, it means you believe what you want is more than possible.
For anyone seeking validation that rehabilitation works, Per Wickstrom’s success is more than enough evidence. For more information and influential tips on success, visit perwickstom.com.
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