Listen and act: how to get employee experience management right

| February 11, 2020

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As the science behind employee engagement evolves, it’s become clear just how much businesses can gain from a happy and involved workforce. From improved performance, to reduced attrition, increased revenue and even a better customer experience, employee engagement is at the heart of business growth. Given these benefits, it’s no surprise that the role of HR departments is moving beyond just managing people and towards managing experiences.

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AGA Recruitment Specialists

AGA Recruitment Specialists is a unique and progressive Generalist Recruitment Agency. We are proud to be committed to redressing the imbalances of the past through meaningful contribution to the transformation of the South African Workforce.

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How to work effectively from home during the Coronavirus outbreak

Article | April 2, 2020

Working from home is not similar for everyone. Certainly, there are situations when you have to deal with the distractions and get work done on time. Whether the work from home access given to you is because of the Coronavirus outbreak or some other time, there are obstacles that you have to conquer and make it a fruitful day for work. Whereas on the other end, for some people, remote working gives more flexibility, fewer distractions, and greater productivity. They have the perfect office set up and know how to keep themselves ready for everything. We decided to provide our audience with some tips to avoid pitfalls, keeping away from distractions, and stay professional and productive while working from home. Read the full article to know how to balance the freedom and office responsibility and together make WFH a success. Table of Contents: 1] Build a Place for Work 2] Stay Focused 3] Communication with the Team 4] To-do List and Productive Hours 5] Take Regular Breaks 6] Food and Exercise 1] Build a Place for Work The first step in your remote working process starts with a place where you will spend working hours. Find an area or spare bedroom that you can convert into an office-like atmosphere. If there is a lack of free extra space then you can simply arrange a desk for your personal computer or laptop with other necessary electronic equipment like headphones, webcam, device for high-speed internet connection, etc. Make sure you select a space which is a quiet place, you can sit there daily and can work without disturbance. The other equipment is a door. Sit at such a place where you can shut the door on potential distractions. Also, look for the natural light to work comfortably without stressing your eyes. Since you will be working from home daily for continuous hours, it is very important to get a chair that gives your back support and is adjustable. Keep your desk at such a height that your monitor is at eye-height because posture is also a considerable key while working. 2] Stay Focused In the end, your work should be done and that’s what every employer wants. And we know, working from home comes with the distractions along with the isolation. This can cause you to lose focus and damage your productivity. Here are some ways that can help you to stay focused. -Self-motivation techniques can boost your confidence and builds positivity in your mind. -Find ways to reward yourself. Decide one task, finish it completely and then reward yourself for nailing it. Giving a treat to yourself will help you make your tasks enjoyable. E.g. you can give a cup of coffee yourself for well finishing your work. -Stay away from mobile and especially social media. Make a schedule to check your phone and follow it strictly. If notifications bother you then you can block it for a particular time and work dedicatedly. You can also tools for reminding you to control your online time. 3] Communication with the Team Even if you are working alone from home, it’s teamwork from the office. And you should avoid disturbance does not mean you need to disappear from everything and work. Rather you are expected to communicate with your team and stay updated with whatever changes happening and work accordingly. Your problems can be solved then and there, and you can work without any obstacle thereafter. Your colleagues can face some issues and might need your help to solve those. So, keep checking communication platforms that are used in your office. A plethora of communication tools makes it supremely easy to co-ordinate with your managers and other team members. And many of it shows the status of your availability. So it has become easy to tell people that if you are busy, available or whatever according to your status and manage your work. 4] To-do List and Productive Hours You might have observed that every individual is more productive at a different time of the day. Some people are most productive and focused in the morning while some are in the evening. Identify your productive hours and combine it with your to-do list. What you can do is, start your day with task planning of the whole day according to their priorities. And when you make the checklist, just stick to it. Set goals and time for each task and mark it once finished. So start your day with the plan with keeping your most productive hours in the mind and you will nail it. 5] Take Regular Breaks Have you came incidents where you are stuck in the problem and you are thinking about it for long hours. Then you decide to take a break and then later observe that the solution of the problem strikes in your mind magically. That’s the power of taking regular breaks while working. And when you take it, you see problems from a new perspective, your mind is refreshed and you overcome the difficulty. And this is not just psychology but it’s proven by science that if you give your brain time to relax, it works with greater productivity. And it’s important to increase working capability and creativity. What’s a break? It can be a cup of coffee, listening to music, meditation, a power nap, or anything which you like and relaxes your mind for some time. Try it and see the results. 6] Food and Exercise It’s tough to keep your nutrition in check when you are working from home. The kitchen is accessible to you and there is plenty of food available in the fridge. You might feel hungry now and then but don’t let it halt your productivity. Keep in mind- when you eat, just eat. When you work, just work. You can plan your time and set alarms for your snack and meals. Research shows that fruits and vegetables direct links to your overall productivity. So eat healthily and avoid consuming junk food. Also, keep yourself hydrated the whole day by drinking water frequently. Also, start your day with exercise because it boosts endorphins which ultimately increase happiness and interest level which are important to enhance productivity at work. Regularly doing exercise and stretching helps you in maintaining great posture and that will reflect in your work. If your day allows you to go for a walk or go to the gym and exercise then do it. From the evolution of high internet connection, it is no surprise that companies are allowing to work from home. It saves your transportation money, time, and gives you flexibility. Along with these and some other benefits of it, there are some challenges too. We tried to give you some suggestions on how can you make the best of WFH and hope you find it useful. Try these tips into practice and also share with us how you are doing it better.

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4 Ways Manufacturers Can Build A Great Work Culture

Article | April 2, 2020

In the midst of a labor shortage, you managed to get their attention. They listened, during the interview, as you described the work. You put in the time to answer every question, and even a few follow-up questions the next day. They weighed the pay and the benefits you promised. But they took a job somewhere else instead. While the trend is for white collar workers to work from home, blue collar workers don’t have that option. This is becoming a question of work culture disparity. Why did that candidate pass on working for you? The pay you offered was competitive. The work itself wasn’t out of line. The hours weren’t unusual. It had to do with the work culture. In a labor shortage, work culture matters more than ever. Manufacturers have a tough road ahead of them. Workplace culture is about personal well-being, which working from home directly addresses. Millennial and Gen Z workers, who value culture and work-life balance more than any generation before them, are looking for a work culture that is difficult to offer for blue collar employees. So how do you build a great work culture at your manufacturing plant? We’ll show you four ways you can make your culture stand out from the competition, without breaking the bank. Not only will you attract new hires, but you’ll retain your current valuable employees. Great work culture starts with empathy and respect. Empathy and respect don’t cost you anything, but they are priceless. It’s kind of a no-brainer, but these two are the foundation of great work culture. Employees want to feel valued. How do you do that? 1. Treat them as you want to be treated. People have lives outside of work. You do yourself, and you know that when things come up in your life, you hope others understand and try to make allowances. Do the same for employees. Be respectful and show empathy, even if you can’t personally identify with or understand what they’re going through. 2. See employees as individuals. No employee wants to feel like a replaceable cog in the machine, or just another number being tracked in the system. Is there anything worse than a manager who doesn’t even know the names of the people working for them? While people are easily placed into categories based on demographics, job positions, and skills for various reasons, seeing them only as a member of a faceless category makes it easy to treat them as less than human. Individuals have personalities, work styles, quirks, strengths, and weaknesses. Pay attention to these kinds of things. Learn names and interests. Praise the great things they do. Communicate with them with their specific interests and personality in mind. 3. Learn how to show empathy in tangible ways. Empathy sounds like some vague emotional thing that can’t be measured. In reality, empathy in action is very tangible. A caring, empathetic work culture offers: Easy hiring processes. Finding, applying for, and interviewing for a job shouldn’t be a job in itself. Make the hiring process easy. Put all the information you can out there so they don’t waste their time applying for a job that isn’t a good fit for them. Thoughtful onboarding and training. Train based not only on the position, but in light of the new hire’s preferences and personality. The hiring process should provide you with information on how they best learn. Good benefits and compensation. It goes without saying that during a labor shortage, especially, your benefits and compensation must be very competitive. Flexible scheduling- This is about work-life balance, and allowing people the necessary time and space to breathe instead of work dictating when everything in life happens. Meaningful tasks - Cogs in a machine do meaningless, menial, and repetitive tasks. While some of these tasks are inevitable, help employees see how they are necessary. Show them how it all fits into the process and give importance to the tasks. Avoid busywork just to keep someone occupied. If there’s downtime, use it for cross-training. Valuable feedback - Both positive and negative feedback can be valuable (or worthless) depending on how you communicate. Make sure your feedback is constructive, with specific examples and actionable points. Instead of crushing employees, you want to help them grow. Empathy is caring about people, and every part of the hiring and work process allows for you to do that. When empathy is at the center of your culture, from hiring to how you plan your shifts, employees can feel it. They know you value them. They know that’s rare in the manufacturing world, and they’ll want to stick with you and grow with your company. Make your workplace flexible Creating a flexible workplace is one of those tangible ways of showing empathy. Instead of rigid shifts and schedules that don’t bend for anyone or any situation, a flexible workplace means giving employees more control over their time. Doctor’s appointments, parent-teacher conferences, car service appointments, and just about any other emergency can pop up during an employee’s shift. Being flexible (and empathetic) means you make the effort to allow them to deal with these things without undue stress or pressure. You know what happens when you give your employees room to handle every area of their lives? You end up with happier employees who are less stressed. These are employees who stick around and provide good word-of-mouth to potential hires. They are also employees who have a positive effect on your bottom line. It’s true that this kind of flexibility could be challenging for you when it comes to scheduling shifts. That’s why it’s important to use the right scheduling tools that make flexible self scheduling and unexpected shift coverage easy. It would be a real shame if you made life difficult for employees simply because you didn’t have the right tools to inject some flexibility into your schedule. Here’s a bonus, if you’re not convinced of the merit of being flexible, consider this: not only does this kind of flexibility help your employees, but it makes your business more agile. You’ll be able to adapt to market changes much easier than if you have a rigid work structure in place. Go mobile and give employees more control The technology you use should be the technology your employees want. They are already living on their mobile phones. That’s where your scheduling and communication should be. By going mobile-first, when it comes to creating the employee schedule, you give power back to your employees. It’s part of being flexible, and caring about them enough to not demand that they drive in or call someone at the plant to find out if a schedule has been posted in the break room. Instead, they can confirm shifts, request time off, and see everything they need to know about their schedule or open shifts they could claim. They can communicate easily with each other and with management, from one mobile app. Employees have more control over their life. And even better, you don’t have to micromanage. No more long, stressful hours of scheduling and dealing with time-off requests. Set up the structure, plug in the shifts, and let the automation and employee participation kick in. Increase employee engagement Employee engagement is one of those buzz-word phrases that can easily turn into a list of gimmicks rather than being genuine. A cafeteria birthday party is nice, sure, but it’s not real engagement. It’s a one-off nod to an employee. So how do you really stay engaged with your employees? Make sure your employees feel appreciated, noticed, and recognized. Reward positive behavior, no matter how small it might seem. Make it easy for employees to share ideas for improvement, and then actually listen to them. Implement ideas that are valid. Create opportunities for employee socializing, whether on the job at break, or outside work hours. It’s the one huge benefit in-person workers have over those who work from home. Make it count. Create work events so that employees can get to know each other. It’s especially important for shift workers, who may not otherwise meet others on different shifts. Make it easy for employees to communicate easily with each other within safe boundaries. Great example? Use When I Work’s chat feature, built right into the platform employees are already using to monitor their work schedule. They can talk to managers and each other without sharing personal contact information or playing phone tag. Whether it’s a long list of employee engagement ideas, or a much shorter one, the cornerstone is the same: care about people individually. And then, give them the tools to easily balance a healthy work and personal life. Creating a great work culture doesn’t happen in a day. It takes work, and cultural shifts are some of the toughest wheels to turn. By choosing the right tools, you can grease those wheels. When I Work can help manufacturers like you by providing you with what you need to be flexible, mobile-first, with a work-chat feature that makes communication and employee connection simple

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The socially responsible business: using technology ethically

Article | April 2, 2020

In the race to keep pace with – or get ahead – of their competitors, organisations’ use of technology is accelerating rapidly. A recent survey found that 44% of businesses plan to increase their technology spending in 2020. Consumers, on the other hand, are growing more wary of ‘big tech’. High profile data leaks and scandals such as the one involving Cambridge Analytica mean that more people are thinking twice before offering up their digital information. So why aren’t businesses more concerned.

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How Does Gamification In Training Help Your Employees?

Article | April 2, 2020

Most relationships lose their spark after a while, and the relationship between your employees and training is no exception. If you need your employees to approach training with renewed enthusiasm, gamification might fit the bill. How Can Gamification Help In Employee Training? Do you notice looks of boredom when the topic of training comes up? Has training participation plummeted? Is there little to no improvement after a course? Then all the signs are there: your training strategy isn’t working. Something is missing.

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Spotlight

AGA Recruitment Specialists

AGA Recruitment Specialists is a unique and progressive Generalist Recruitment Agency. We are proud to be committed to redressing the imbalances of the past through meaningful contribution to the transformation of the South African Workforce.

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