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Don’t Leap Right to Your Worst-Case Scenario

ascribing-intentToday we are going to continue our discussion of a great article by Tim Hoch in Thought Catalog: “10 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be.” Last time we talked about how making yourself the star of your own life’s movie can limit your perspective and your flexibility in your life.

The third way Hoch says that we make our lives harder than it needs to be is by “fast forwarding to the apocalypse.” In saying this, Hoch means that many of us have a very frustrating tendency to instantly obsess about the worst-case scenario of a given problem as soon as it arises. Even if that worst-case scenario is extremely unrealistic and unlikely to ever come to fruition, it’s easy to get caught in the “what ifs” of any given problem.

The problem with this is, this type of attitude will only create additional stress for us. As Hoch says, “negativity only breeds more negativity.” Obsessing about a potential “apocalypse” scenario does nothing other than make ourselves even more worried.

This can be a difficult habit to break. The best strategy to avoid this mindset is to simply take a deep breath, consider all of the possible ramifications of a problem and the likelihood that they will occur. In the vast majority of situations, the potential for a disaster is small.

Don’t obsess over worst-case scenarios — keep a positive mindset and understand that there is a solution to nearly every problem.

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Maintaining Enlightened Leadership in Your Workplace

Enlightened LeadershipToday we are going to continue to take a look at some of the points made in the book Impending Crisis.  Let’s specifically look at the importance of maintaining what Roger Herman calls “enlightened leadership.”

Most employees typically have significantly more interaction with their direct supervisor than with the leader of their entire company. However, the morale within a workplace will be much better if employees on every rung of the ladder know and trust that the overall company leadership has a clear sense of direction with tangible, recognizable goals in mind. This is the idea of “enlightened leadership,” a feeling that company leaders are making educated and trustworthy decisions even when employees don’t necessarily interact with them on a regular basis.

With this idea in mind, the most effective leaders understand that they must also be both visible and accessible within their company so that all employees can see that their leadership is taking the necessary steps to move the company forward and that they aren’t a distant, unapproachable figure.

So long as leaders stay accessible and continue to operate by a strategic plan, the overall health of a company will continue to stay at high levels. This is the power of “enlightened leadership.”

Position Your Company to be Attractive to the People You Want!

Attractive Company for EmployeesToday I’m going to begin a series of posts about how companies can differentiate themselves to attract the talent you want!  Robert Herman makes some great points in his book, “Impending Crisis”. One of the first topics he discusses is the idea that while candidates themselves are obviously different from each other, their aspirations tend to be surprisingly similar. I’d agree with this; in fact, almost every candidate I speak with wants similar things out of their next position.

The following is some of the most common ingredients that job candidates search for in their employer:

  • A great company. Candidates want to work for a company with a solid reputation and forward momentum where they feel like they can truly make a difference.
  • A good culture. Simply put, employees want to work in a place where they enjoy working with their other coworkers. They don’t want it to be a struggle to get out of bed every morning to go to their job. Companies with a good culture are also likely to have strong leadership and truly care for their employees and customers.
  • Opportunity for growth. Nobody wants to jump aboard a sinking ship. Candidates want to feel as though they have a chance to grow in their roles and do meaningful work.
  • Good compensation and benefits. Naturally, people want to be given fair and competitive compensation for their work. Unique benefits can set you apart…for instance, allow your employees one day off a year to give back to their favorite charity.

It is important to note that each candidate prioritizes these factors differently in their job hunt, but most candidates want each of the elements above in varying degrees when evaluating potential opportunities.

As a leader in your company, consider what steps you can take to ensure that your company is attractive to potential candidates in all of these areas. If you need help retaining your top talent, please contact me. As one of sixty Certified Employment Retention Specialists in the United States, I consult with many companies to help to not only attract top talent, but to keep them engaged.

Millennials in the Workplace

Why you should examine your hiring and staffing practices to maximize opportunities for Millennials

Millenials in the WorkplaceMuch has been made about how Millennials are at the forefront of digital innovation and social networking. However, the individuality characteristic of the generation has even broader reaches.

According to research done by the National Association of Personnel Services, Millennials have fewer attachments to traditional institutions than any previous generation, and have extremely little faith in the current Social Security system. Additional research by Pew Research Center suggests that fewer Millennials are marrying in their 20s than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, and even more interestingly, that 50% of Millennials consider themselves to be political independents (although they lean heavily democratic on social issues such as same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization).

What’s clear from all of this research is that the Millennials are a generation filled with individuals who are not concerned with going against the grain and bucking trends that have lasted for decades. This is exactly why today’s companies need to closely examine their hiring practices to determine ways that they can provide greater opportunities for Millennials to join their team and thrive.

Millennials have proven themselves to be extremely capable of thinking critically at a young age. Their refusal to blindly trust institutions and others and their avoidance of labels and tradition for tradition’s sake indicates that they are not afraid to pursue their own goals and beliefs. Can you think of a better type of employee to have on staff, one that won’t simply settle for doing a job a certain way because “that’s how it’s always been done?” One who will critically approach any problem that arises within a given project and not resort to old, standard methods?

The tendency for companies hiring employees is to not take younger applicants seriously, but all research suggests that Millennials are very much worth your time, and could be extremely valuable employees.

Keeping Your Best People

Candidates want to work for companies who appreciate their people… and who want to keep their talented people by recognizing their contributions.  This is one of the largest areas of opportunity for many organizations.  In a recent survey of human resource professionals, more than half said that keeping and retaining their talented employees was one of the greatest challenges they face.  I enjoy working with companies in a strategic consulting role to help them keep and retain their top talent… rather than taking a basic tactical approach and simply filling a job opening.

In fact, this is one of the reasons I recently pursued the Certified Employee Retention Specialist (CERS) designation from the National Association of Personnel Services.  The perception in the marketplace is often that recruiters cause disruption by moving quality people in and out of positions, but I am particularly passionate about being part of the solution rather than part of the problem.  This is part of the core of the CERS designation, which requires extensive knowledge of employment laws and regulations and the ability to serve as a consultative expert who can work with clients not to just find top talent, but to retain the top talent already on their team.

“Attaining National certification through NAPS is one way recruiters can set themselves apart from the rest,” says John Sacerdote, NAPS President.  “It ensures industry professionals are knowledgeable on the most current employment laws, the highest ethical standards and the best business practices as well as confidentially assessing a client’s retention issues and advising them with specific recommendations as their trusted retention advisor.”

CERS have the highest standard of business practices set forth by the National Association of Personnel Services.  I’m proud to join approximately 60 CERS in the United States and thrive on the opportunity to work in long-term partnerships with the companies I serve, supporting them in their efforts to keep their very best people engaged and motivated.