Networking doesn’t need to be only in person with coffee, lunches or mixers. With creativity and resolve, connecting meaningfully with others can be done remotely and across geographic and time zone differences. If you’re stuck at home, here are ways to expand and network effectively. Be mindful when selecting a mentorFor many in the next generation, mentorship is key to gaining a foothold for their career and life. A mentor could be someone in proximity in the workplace or at a professional organization. But if the relationship starts out through a digital connection, more thought can be put into the right match, rather than simply convenience. A university alma mater, your current workplace or a professional organization can help match with a mentor that aligns with your interests, needs and personality. Spend time planning who could be your best mentor during this time. Connect with “loose ties” Research has shown that while we rely on our strong ties in our everyday lives, but it’s our weak ties (also called an “open network”) that help make leaps when it comes to finding new roles. Because weak ties are farther removed, they know about opportunities we aren’t likely to know about. By identifying and reaching out to valuable connections that you don’t know as well, you can extend your open network dramatically. Join social groups at workIf the only time you interact with colleagues is on projects and conference calls in meetings, it’s going to be hard to build friendships. Instead, carve out niches for friendship at work by joining social groups, which can also take the form of Teams/ Zoom happy hours, Facebook groups for hobbies and other shared interests. Use reconnection as networking Networking doesn’t always have to take place in person or with people you don’t know. In fact, networking is often more powerful when it’s cumulative, and not just a one-off encounter the first time you meet someone. Networking can also mean reconnecting with former colleagues and sending notes of appreciation, congratulations on work anniversaries, or other virtual ways to stay in touch. Start writing on a blog or LinkedIn article One of the most effective ways to build a network beyond your immediate contacts is to start a professional blog on a topic of your expertise, make connections, show thought leadership and get feedback. Here are tips on how to launch a blog and grow your following.It’s less overwhelming when you start to break down the end goal into smaller, individual parts of a routine.Tackle the above categories one by one, and you’ll be able to build on the momentum of each to accelerate the size of your network.
How To Network Effectively When Working Remotely
How to Boost Your (and Others’) Emotional Intelligence
Among the various core ingredients of talent and career success, few personal qualities have received more attention in the past decade than emotional intelligence (EQ), the ability to identify and manage your own and others’ emotions. Importantly, unlike most of the competencies that make it into the HR zeitgeist of buzzwords, EQ is no fad.In fact, thousands of academic studies have demonstrated the predictive power of scientific EQ assessments vis-à-vis job performance, leadership potential, entrepreneurship and employability. Moreover, the importance of EQ has been highlighted beyond work-related settings, as higher scores have been associated with relationship success, mental and physical health, and happiness.All this is good news for people with higher EQ. But what can those with lower scores do to improve their intrapersonal and interpersonal skills? Is it possible to increase your own and others’ EQ beyond its natural levels? While Goleman and other popular writers argue that (unlike IQ) EQ is malleable and trainable, EQ is really just a combination of personality traits. Accordingly, it is not set in stone; it is largely heritable, shaped by childhood experiences, and fairly stable over time.This does not mean that the effort put toward sculpting emotionally intelligent behaviors is a waste of time. It simply means that focus and dedication are required. The same goes for helping others to act with EQ when they are not naturally inclined to do so. Here are five critical steps for developing EQ:Turn self-deception into self-awarenessPersonality, and thereby EQ, is composed of two parts: identity (how we see ourselves) and reputation (how others see us). For most people there is a disparity between identity and reputation that can cause them to ignore feedback and derail. Real self-awareness is about achieving a realistic view of one’s strengths and weaknesses and of how those strengths and weaknesses compare to others’. For instance, most people rate their own EQ highly, yet only a minority of those individuals will be rated as emotionally intelligent by others. Turning self-deception into self-awareness will not happen without accurate feedback, the kind that comes from data-based assessments such as a valid personality tests or 360-degree feedback surveys. Such tools are fundamental to help us uncover EQ-related blind spots, not least because other people are generally too polite to give us negative feedback.Turn self-focus into other-focus Paying due attention to others is tantamount to career success. But for those with lower levels of EQ, it’s difficult to see things from others’ perspectives, especially when there is no clear right or wrong way forward. Developing an other-centric approach starts with a basic appreciation and acknowledgement of team members’ individual strengths, weaknesses, and beliefs. Brief but frequent discussions with team members will lead to a more thorough understanding of how to motivate and influence others. Such conversations should inspire ways to create opportunities for collaboration, teamwork, and external networking.Be more rewarding to deal withPeople who are more employable and successful in their career tend to be seen as more rewarding to deal with. Rewarding people tend to be cooperative, friendly, trusting and unselfish. Unrewarding individuals tend to be more guarded and critical; they are willing to speak their minds and disagree openly but can develop a reputation for being argumentative, pessimistic, and confrontational. Although this reputation helps enforce high standards, it’s only a matter of time before it erodes relationships and the support for initiatives that accompany them. It’s important that these individuals ensure an appropriate level of interpersonal contact before tasking someone or asking them for help. Proactively and frequently sharing knowledge and resources without an expectation for reciprocity will go a long way.Control your temper tantrumsPassion and intense enthusiasm can easily cross the line to become moodiness and outright excitability when the pressure’s on. Nobody likes a crybaby. And in the business world, those who become particularly disappointed or discouraged when unanticipated issues arise are viewed as undeserving of a seat at the grown-ups’ table. If you’re one of many people who suffer from too much emotional transparency, reflect on which situations tend to trigger feelings of anger or frustration and monitor your tendency to overreact in the face of setbacks. For example, if you wake up to a bunch of annoying emails, don’t respond immediately — wait until you have time to calm down. Likewise, if someone makes an irritating comment during a meeting, control your reaction and keep calm. While you cannot go from being Woody Allen to being the Dalai Lama, you can avoid stressful situations and inhibit your volatile reactions by detecting your triggers. Start working on tactics that help you become aware of your emotions in real time, not only in terms of how you experience them, but, more important, in terms of how they are being experienced by others.Display humility, even if it’s fakeSometimes it can feel like you’re working on an island managed by six-year-olds. But if you’re the type of person who often thinks, “I’m surrounded by idiots,” then it’s likely that your self-assured behaviors are seen as being arrogant, forceful, and incapable of admitting mistakes. Climbing the organizational ladder requires an extraordinary degree of self-belief, which, up to a certain point, is seen as inspirational. However, the most-effective leaders are the ones who don’t seem to believe their own hype, for they come across as humble. Striking a healthy balance between assertiveness and modesty, demonstrating receptiveness to feedback and the ability to admit one’s mistakes, is one of the most difficult tasks to master. When things go wrong, team members seek confident leadership, but they also hope to be supported and taught with humility as they work to improve the situation. To develop this component of EQ, it is sometimes necessary to fake confidence, and it’s even more important to fake humility. We live in a world that rewards people for hiding their insecurities, but the truth is that it is much more important to hide one’s arrogance. That means swallowing one’s pride, picking and choosing battles, and looking for opportunities to recognize others, even if you feel you are right and others are wrong.While the above recommendations may be hard to follow all the time, you will still benefit if you can adopt them some of the time. Much as with other coaching interventions, the goal here is not to change your personality but to replace counterproductive behaviors with more-adaptive actions — to build new habits that replace toxic tendencies and improve how others perceive you. This is why, when coaching works, it invalidates the results of a personality test: Your default predispositions are no longer evidenced in your behaviors.
How to Create a Playbook for Hybrid Work Success
With 43% of employees saying they won’t return to a 9-5 office schedule, leaders who learn to build a new hybrid environment combining flexibility and structure will meet the challenges of the future.With COVID-19 vaccinations underway around the world, countries are lifting restrictions and companies are developing roadmaps for what the return to work looks like. As 43% of employees say there is no going back to a traditional 9-5 mode , many business leaders are evaluating a new hybrid model that includes both remote and in-office work.Ideally, hybrid work involves the best of both worlds, combining sociability and structure with flexibility and autonomy. Kissflow, a provider of digital workplace services with offices in the U.S. and India, held organization-wide feedback sessions which led to a hybrid model consisting of three weeks of working from anywhere and one week of office-based work. The UK offices of accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers took a slightly different approach with its 22,000 staffers, splitting the week between their home and office with the expectation that employees spend 40-60% of their time with colleagues.Time will tell whether these trial configurations will be successful. But leaders are fully aware that they need to work harder than ever to ensure that expectations are clear and opportunities for collaboration and community building are abundant.Here are four steps your organization can take to develop a playbook for remote work success.Identify roles suitable for remote workAs the pandemic continues, one thing is clear: most employees value the flexibility, productivity and work-life balance they’ve experienced with remote work– and don’t want to lose it. But not every role is a good fit for work-from-home. For example, many workers in healthcare and educational organizations as well as those within the retail and hospitality industries need to be present onsite. Organizational roles fall intoa framework of suitability for remote work from manufacturing and technician positions that require physical presence to customer service and marketing, which can easily adapt to remote.Leaders need to carefully examine each role to decide which ones are best suited to continue off-site and only move ahead with a hybrid work environment if an optimal number of roles can work remotely.Define clear expectations and benefitsThe conventional work schedule – 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., five days a week – may be shifting for now, but what, exactly, is the new norm? As businesses scramble to figure out whether they want to incorporate a 3-2-2 model (i.e., three days in the office, two days working remotely and two rest days) or another form, leaders need to set expectations around performance outcomes, team milestones and deliverables that consider team members’ flexible schedules and time zones.Remote work has also escalated the need for employee development, as greater distance and fewer face-to-face interactions heighten the need for stronger communications and morale-building. Employers and workers would benefit greatly from on-demand virtual coaching that creates a culture of resilience and helps build community.Prepare for potential pitfallsThe challenges inherent in transitioning to a hybrid model are on full display at Apple, where employees are currently battling with leadership about remote work policies and timing for the return to the office. Common hybrid work issues that organizations like Apple are dealing with include employee engagement, sustaining culture, ensuring well-being, IT security challenges as well as team building and recruiting.Prudential Financial is also working with its 42,000 employees to manage remote work expectations, including ensuring that all staffers opt for Mondays and Fridays as their work-from-home days. The company has been redesigning its offices to repurpose conference and collaboration spaces to further encourage employee engagement. Rob Falzon, Prudential’s Vice Chair, also insists that video capabilities should be extended throughout the offices so remote team members don’t feel left out.Another pitfall to consider is the gender divide that a hybrid work environment has the potential to create. If businesses set up a schedule to allow remote work, but do not cap the number of days employees come into the office, they could create a system that hurts women and impacts diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. This is mainly because, statistically,women are more likely to prefer remote work[CH2] to help them balance childcare responsibilities. Remote work will contribute positively towards leveling the workforce playing field for men and women – but only if every voice is heard – whether it’s in the office or via a video call, according to Annette Polaszewski, CEO of Interprefy, a fully remote software company where women make up a slight majority.Provide support structuresAside from the many benefits of remote work, employees cite the top challenges as managing distractions, loneliness, collaboration and communication.That’s why organizations need to make sure they evaluate and update HR and IT processes carefully and frequently for long-term success. HR leaders should lead the development of innovative strategies, including video chat software, phone systems, messaging channels like Slack or an intranet channel. The key is finding that delicate balance between radio silence and constantly reaching out to employees with texts and emails. Hybrid work environments will not be sustainable without investments in collaboration software, such as document sharing portals and more information security controls.All the state-of-the-art tools won’t help if organizations don’t provide leadership training opportunities that help managers empower employees to continue skill-building and career development, no matter where their office is located. Learn more about how ManpowerGroup Talent Solutions can help your organization deploy a global talent strategy and a future-ready hybrid work environment.Work, Reimagined: ManpowerGroup Research Reveals What Workers Want Post COVID-19, August 2020https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200824-why-the-future-of-work-might-be-hybridhttps://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jun/18/office-hybrid-or-home-businesses-ponder-future-of-workEverest Group – Future of Work Series – Where will work be done, 2021https://www.villageworkspaces.com/companies-struggle-with-hybrid-work-plans/https://www.axios.com/the-gender-divide-remote-work-men-women-childcare-4fc29dba-4e1c-4e96-9cf3-64db61ba23e5.htmlhttps://www.c-mw.net/how-remote-working-is-helping-balance-the-gender-inequality-scales/https://www.statista.com/statistics/1111401/challenges-of-working-remote-2020/
How to Help Workers Manage Chronic Stress
The chronic stress of facing uncertainty day after day is taking a mental toll, and 2020 is set to be one of the most stressful years in history. Workers are suffering from burnout and loneliness as they manage remote work, affecting morale and productivity. In fact, a recent survey by Oracle found that the pandemic has propelled workplace stress, anxiety and burnout. ManpowerGroup Chief Talent Scientist, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, shares his top leadership tips around how managers can better support their teams. Check-in regularly with the teamMake an effort to schedule time in your colleague’s schedules that includes time for asking “how are you feeling?” A 21st-century leader needs to act as an employee coach and be willing to proactively reach out to employees to check on their emotional well-being. “A leader needs to act as an employee coach and be willing to have open and honest conversations where they can check in with their employees to see what their stress levels are and help support them manage these.”Be aware of manager stress levels Self-awareness helps managers understand how their own stress levels can impact the team. When someone is stressed, they tend to focus on themselves and are unable to care for or support others. Managers need to see themselves in the eyes of others, so to help grow self-awareness, make it easier for the team to provide managers with constructive feedback in a structured way.Practice self-care outside of workSleep well, eat well and exercise. If managers put their own well-being at the center of their daily routine, it will not only help manage their own stress levels but better support the team and their struggles during this pandemic. The goal should be not eliminating stress, but learning how to manage it with a balanced and supported environment. “And while it’s important to have a solid culture, creating a totally stress-free environment with no problems won’t help build a resilient team,” Chamorro-Premuzic said. The silver lining is that stress itself isn’t the enemy, if understood and managed effectively. As Chamorro-Premuzic said, “Some people see stress as a negative, but actually it can lead to many successes. In the workplace, resilience is often built through some form of stress or hardship.” In 2020, this rule is being put to the test like no other time in recent history, but it can be used to come together as stronger teams in the future.
6 Ways to Prep for an Interview
By the time you step into a room for an interview, nothing should come as a surprise. You should be familiar with the company, its strategic goals, the people you’re meeting and your own strengths and weaknesses. Like an athlete training for game day, the interview is a chance to show all your preparation and let your skills shine. To show up ready, here are six ways to prepare for your interview. Research the company and interviewers Prepare a scouting report for yourself. What positions do the people interviewing you hold? Check their LinkedIn profiles or get information from your contacts about them. Find out which issues the company is grappling with and identify the company’s top strategic objectives. Bring supporting materials Show, don’t just tell. Bring a portfolio of your work, even if you haven’t been asked to. If you are interviewing for a higher level position, perhaps you can also bring a draft of a 30-60-90 Day Plan. It must outline what you intend to do when hired, and demonstrate to the hiring manager that you are the best candidate. Prepare answers to common questions Some questions are asked by almost every interviewer you'll encounter. Here's how to answer the most common interview questions. Polish your presentation It’s not just what you say; it’s how you say it. Pay attention to how you are going to carry your body posture. If you don't display confidence and professionalism during the interview, you will lose a competitive advantage. Practice how you’re going to present eye contact, handshakes and even your listening. Conduct a mock interview Your answers may make sense in your head, but how do they sound when you communicate them? The career center at your college more than likely will have services to conduct a mock job interview. If this service isn’t available, rehearse your answers with a friend during each step of the interviewing process. Have questions Finally, when interviewers give you the opportunity to turn the tables, don't waste it. Know in advance what you want to ask. Here are interview questions to ask hiring managers. Preparing for job interviews includes knowing as much as you can about the company, as well as knowing what you have to offer to help it be more successful. Be prepared. Be confident. Be ready.
Skills For Leaders to Stay Relevant for the Evolving World of Work
The rules keep changing as digital transformation sweeps the workplace. The pace of disruption is accelerating, and it is impacting leaders. Today, a combination of personal traits that stay relevant over time and emerging digital skills can help business leaders become the digital leaders of the future. The good news is experience and soft skills can help lead through digital transformation. Here’s how to nurture the right skills to stay current in the workplace. Nurture Timeless Soft SkillsCertain skills never go out of style even as digital changes impact the rest of the workplace. The powerful combination of brightness, adaptability, endurance and drive are the enablers and solid foundation for effective leaders. These attributes are predictive of future success. Develop Learnability and CuriosityIn a world of rapid frequent disruption new skills emerge as fast as others become obsolete. What you know is less important than what you can learn. Digital leaders need to be role models by seeking out different experiences, unusual perspectives and by being open to fresh ideas. Find out your Learnability Quotient. Acquire Digital Skills and Expertise Leaders must also have an understanding of the technical skills required to effectively transform their business. They should surround themselves with experts and take time to stay informed of the latest trends, challenges and opportunities facing their organization. Don’t Stand Still Digital transformation is not a one and done. Change is dynamic, so agility and continuous adaptation is essential. Feedback is important to informing what steps leaders should take. Throughout your career, plan to innovate, experiment and learn fast. Tomorrow’s environment is just beginning.
Why Managers Need to Have Regular Career Conversations
There’s a huge amount of digital advancement that’s coming into the workforce today. The only way that organizations can be well prepared for this future of work is by upskilling and expanding, acquiring skills to stay relevant and preparing to think about what the jobs of the future will look like.To do that, managers need to start talking. Research by Right Management found that two-thirds of managers are failing to support their employees’ career development. But as we think about developing the workforce of tomorrow, career conversations today are crucial.One of the ways to enable a learning culture is by involving managers. We know from research that in an organization, managers set the tone and model the behavior that learning is a priority.Organizations need to invest in employee development for their workforce to be better prepared for this future. It’s not just for today, it’s preparing for tomorrow.Embedding career conversations into a company’s organizational cultureThere are two main benefits to having regular career conversations: They help enable a learning culture, and there is a direct correlation with higher employee engagement and productivity. In a Right Management survey, 82% of respondents said they would be more engaged in their work if their managers would have regular career conversations with them.If managers are not having their career conversations, employees are not going to see growth and they won’t know what opportunities to explore. Organizations will lose those employees because they are not in sync with their aspirations. Managers play an important role to really take ownership of their career.There is a positive relationship to employee engagement and career conversations on a regular basis. You have higher productivity and engaged employees, because workers are thinking about becoming a better version of themselves. When employees actively think about career aspirations, then productivity, engagement and higher retention is the outcome.Stages of the career journeyOne way to visualize a career is through the idea of learning journeys. A new employee has a learning journey, and so does someone who has been at the organization for 10 or 20 years. They just have different training needs at different times.The softer skills are important, but at certain stages learning is also around functional and technical abilities that need to be absorbed on the job. What thinking about careers as a learning journey can accomplish is mapping and integrating softer skills and technical skills over time, and visualizing how that will come together.What a manager can do is help employees understand where they are in the learning journey for their career. In the short term and the long run, that benefits everyone.