Category Archives: August 2015

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Navigating Office Relationships

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Office relationships can get complicated if you’re on unclear ground. It’s important to understand the dos and don’ts of different office relationships in order to navigate them. Below are a few examples of common office relationships and the typical boundaries in each one.

Owner/Employee

Type of relationship: Professional

The owner of a company has a vested interest in his or her employees, but is likely too busy to develop close relationships to each employee. The relationship between a business owner and employee is likely to be mostly professional. Respect should flow both ways in this relationship, but there should be little joking or familiarity that is common with close friends.

Friends Outside Work

Type of relationship: Personal

This type of office relationship entails coworkers who are also friends outside of work. It’s important to remain professional in the office, but these coworkers also know more intimate details about each other. These friendships can be great motivators at work and result in productive collaboration on projects. Capitalize on this information by discovering how you best work together (do you excel on creative projects? projects where you each have well-defined roles?) and use that knowledge to produce unrivaled work.

Manager/Team Member

Type of relationship: Professional

A manager assigns tasks to his or her team members and coordinates with team members directly to make sure work gets done efficiently and effectively. This relationship is highly professional and typically has clear boundaries, as managers play an important role in determining the salary, reviews and tasks for their team members. Managers impact the work of their direct reports and are responsible for determining the success of their team members.

Managers can make the most of this relationship by relying on their team members to get work done without micromanaging, and team members can take advantage of the relationship by learning from their managers and getting direction from them in order to succeed at work.

Colleagues and Coworkers

Type of relationship: Professional

These office relationships are merely circumstantial, born out of necessity. They have the potential to develop into personal friendships, but the relationship between coworkers is just the result of working for the same organization. Beyond a shared employer, these relationships have little interaction but contain a possibility for more meaningful relationships.

Work Friends

Type of relationship: Personal

Work friends are colleagues who are on friendly terms at the office, but rarely meet outside of the scope of work. These relationships can be motivational and help raise employee satisfaction in the office. Work friends are the people you interact with at work by sitting together at meetings, at your desks, at lunch and at work events. This type of relationship fulfills a social need and provides a support system at work.

Mentor/Student

Type of relationship: Professional

The relationship between a mentor and mentee is both professional and intimate. This type of relationship serves the mentee professionally and allows the student to get career guidance from a more experienced colleague. A mentor helps his or her students navigate a job and growth in their careers. A mentee keeps the mentor grounded and connected to the organization, whereas a mentor keeps the mentee challenged.


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5 Common Sense Rules of Office Conduct

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The rules of office conduct may seem complex, but many of the basics are simple common sense. If you’re about to start a new job, enter the workforce, or just want a reminder on office conduct, brush up by reviewing these five core rules that can help you in almost any work situation.

Don’t start or entertain arguments

Conflict is inconducive to productivity, so it makes sense that you want to avoid it in the work place. Arguments create tension between coworkers and colleagues, leading to poor teamwork and stifling communication. In addition to creating collaboration issues, arguing also takes up time and brainpower that could have been used to get work done.

In order to avoid unnecessary conflict, just walk away from bad behavior. Don’t engage or reciprocate when confronted, stay calm and don’t get emotional or angry. Keeping a clear, rational head in the face of conflict goes a long way to navigating it skillfully. If there is an issue that needs to be addressed, don’t be accusatory or argumentative. Instead, meet with the person in private and explain how his or her actions are affecting you. If speaking to them directly about the issue doesn’t resolve anything, you may request a mediator from HR to clarify the code of conduct and your company’s business ethics.

Act with integrity

In all companies, it should go without saying that both management and employees need to act with integrity. Be honest and straightforward when dealing with internal or external audiences, follow the rules and code of conduct and keep your work and attitude.

Be professional in your actions and behaviors

Being professional applies to how you dress, speak, and act. This means that you wear office appropriate attire, address others with respect and use speech and language that is appropriate for the work place. Remaining professional will help you earn and keep respect in the office. By being consistently professional, you also earn credibility for your actions and ideas, making it easier to suggest business strategy and other improvements you may think of.

It’s also important to act and dress professionally when meeting and interacting with clients and customers. As an employee, you are a representative of your company and should behave accordingly.

Make sure to learn about the office dress code so you know what attire is appropriate. Your company may have casual Fridays, or require formal business attire at all times. Address others with respect and, this is truly common sense, leave bad language out of your work vocabulary. Finally, be professional in how you handle conflict, proposals, meetings and other office-related tasks. Don’t show favoritism and submit professional, high-quality work.

Separate work and personal life

Whether you are working in a family business or not, you should separate work and personal life for the sake of the business and your colleagues. Keep company matters in-house and be discreet when discussing office politics, methodologies and policies. If you are unsure about whether you can share company information or not, err on the side of caution and don’t share it until you ask a supervisor whether it’s public information.

Likewise, only share your personal stories sparingly, if at all. Coworkers aren’t necessarily interested in hearing about personal matters, and you might make it awkward in the office if you insist on talking about past relationships or other inappropriate topics.

Be punctual

Punctuality is a commodity in the workplace. It entails showing up at the time you say you will and being courteous of others’ time. Arrive at work and meet all your other appointments on time. If you are running late, let your coworkers know. Don’t schedule your meetings to closely together to give yourself adequate time to reach each one on time. Also, keep meetings contained to the scheduled amount of time; don’t let a meeting drag on longer than 10 minutes after the proposed closing time. The other attendees may have time sensitive obligations after the meeting or the meeting room may be needed by a different group.


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How to Write Compelling Job Descriptions

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Job Interview with Smiles

The propose of compelling job descriptions is to attract the right candidates to apply for a position. In order to get top talent on your teams, you should understand how to portray your company mission and vision in the best light. Inspire job candidates to apply for a job they can enjoy, are qualified for, and believe in with compelling job descriptions.

Consider your ideal candidate

Think about who you’re writing this job description to attract. Is your ideal candidate fresh out of college? Or more experienced? If he or she is more experienced, do they potentially have children and a family? Depending on who you want to hire, you should use a different voice and highlight different aspects of your company. For example, the recent graduate may be attracted by fast-paced growth and promotion opportunities, whereas an experienced professional with kids wants to work for a family-friendly company.

Use your personas to find the right kind of voice to use in your job description.

Make a list then write the description

You may be tempted to organize all needed qualifications and responsibilities into a neat bullet point list, but a list of responsibilities is rarely engaging. Instead, compile your list in order to gather all the information that needs to go into the job description, and then write the description. Instead of just saying “able to type at least 100wpm,” say “should be able to type fast enough to keep up with your fast-talking managers.”

Create your list of desired skills and what the candidate will have to do, and then expand on that list and turn it into a job description.

Inject personality

Reminiscent of the previous tip, injecting personality into your job descriptions will go a long way to engaging readers and candidates. Give your job candidates a glimpse into the company culture by injecting personality into the job description. For example, instead of just saying “we’re looking for a qualified programmer,” you could say “we’re looking for a programming geek who loves building Android games as much as we love playing them.”

Attract your future top talent by conveying an interesting job and company in the job description.

Take pride in your team and company

A great job description doesn’t just get job candidates excited about a position, it gets them excited about the people they will be working with and the company they will be a part of. If you have an impressive leadership team at your company, put it in your job description. If one of your employees has published a best-selling book about the industry, give it a mention to peak candidates’ interest.

Brag about your company and the great teams already in it to give job candidates a glimpse into an exciting company culture they could be a part of.

Highlight the perks

Does your company provide a generous vacation policy? Do you provide free parking in a busy metropolitan area? Do you give free bus passes or transportation allowances? Do you offer learning and development opportunities? Whatever work perks your company may offer, play them up in the job description. If a job candidate is passionate about the industry, the perks should do even more to draw him or her in. For example, if you are a winery looking to hire a marketing coordinator, your job applicants will probably love wine. Let them know they get free wine tastings every month and the occasional bottle of wine from your cellars.

A final word

Be authentic in your job descriptions. It should go without saying that they need to be accurate, not misleading. If you need someone to do clerical duties, don’t advertise the job as a strategic partnership role. Even if you write the most compelling job description, your candidates will walk out when they discover the job isn’t what they applied for.

Did you enjoy this post? Check out the rest of our blog or read about job adverts vs. intimidating job descriptions.


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Public Seminar: Social Media Marketing

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Social media remains an evolving aspect of our daily lives in addition to being a part of our businesses. This two-day course on Marketing with Social Media is designed for people who have some familiarity with social media already. Participants will learn to develop a social media marketing plan as a part of their overall marketing strategy, determine who should be on their team, and choose how they will measure what is taking place. In addition, we will explore some of the major social media sites and look at how specialty sites and social media management tools can take their social media marketing to the next level.

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Participants will learn how to create a launch a social media marketing plan, select the right resources for your campaign, use social media to build an internal community, measure social media impact through metrics, manage difficult online situations and stay on top of social media trends. Attendees will also determine the value of a blog to their social media plan and learn about key social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Course Outline

  • What is social media?
  • Understanding the marketing mix
  • Developing a social media plan
  • Building your social media team
  • Using social media to build internal communities
  • Analyzing your impact with metrics
  • Keeping on top of the trends
  • Damage control
  • Using Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter
  • Building a blog or vlog (including using YouTube)
  • Using specialty sites (e.g. Pinterest and Yammer)
  • Using social media management tools
  • Launching your plan

For an investment of P8,500 plus VAT, participants will receive instruction by an expert facilitator, small group workshops, snacks and lunch, a specialized student workbook and personalized certificate of participation.

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Who Should Attend?

Small Business Owners, Corporate Marketers, Public Relations Directors and Managers, Marketing Directors and Managers, Internet Marketing Managers, Events Marketing Managers, Product Marketing Managers, VP of Marketing/CMO, Social Media Coordinators, Social Media Managers, Website/Community Managers, IT Managers

About the Facilitator

Dr. Leonardo Garcia Jr. holds a Master’s Degree in Communication and Doctoral Degree in Business Administration. He also took up an advanced course on Advanced Marketing Management Program. He is an Agora Awardee for Outstanding Achievement in Marketing Education and a Certified Professional Marketer. He is also an Accredited Marketing Educator and a professorial lecturer in several universities. Dr. Garcia is the past President of Phil., Marketing Association and the past President of the Association of Marketing Educators

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Stop That! 9 Manager Behaviors That Drive Employees Crazy

Bad Manager Behaviors - Copy

People are always talking about how to act in front of the boss. There are countless articles offering advice about what not to do to upset your manager or supervisor. Yet employees aren’t the only ones that should be mindful of how they act. Managers should also be aware of certain behaviors that can drive their employees nuts. If they go unchecked, these actions can seriously hinder the ability of a workforce to attain its maximum productivity.

Here are 9 annoying manager behaviors and ways to correct them:

1. Ignoring employee achievement. When an employee performs well but the manager ignores it or doesn’t offer praise, the employee is going to feel unappreciated. That is a problem that can result in employees becoming less productive—why would employees try their best if the manager is going to ignore them anyway? Supervisors should always acknowledge good work and offer praise when deserved.

2. Assuming ownership of someone else’s work. Imagine that after weeks of working on a special project, you find out that your manager pitched it as his own to senior-level staff. That would be outrageous, and indeed, nothing drives employees crazier than someone else taking credit for their hard work. Granted, it might be an inadvertent mistake, but managers should be extremely careful to avoid even the appearance of taking responsibility for their subordinates’ work. Give credit where credit is due, and identify the person who actually put in the time and thought.

3. Being too negative. It’s true that managers have to deal with a lot more than employees do—company politics, bureaucracy, and budgets—so it’s understandable that they can’t say “yes” to everything. But a manager who just says “no” can be a real downer. Managers should balance their responses to their employees. When the answer can’t be “yes” all the time, the way that the “no” is delivered can go a long way towards keeping a workforce motivated.

4. Offering confusing Instructions. You know how frustrating it is when you buy a piece of furniture that you have to assemble yourself, but the instructions are impossible to follow? That’s exactly how employees feel when their managers offer instructions that are vague or make no sense. Managers should strive to provide direction that is clear and direct, and clarify anything that might be confusing.

5. Micromanaging the staff. The other side of the “confusing instructions” coin is giving too much direction, to the point that staff feel micromanaged. Being clear and direct is one thing, but a manager who looks over employees’ shoulders and offers suggestions every few minutes will end up stifling the team’s motivation and productivity.

6. Not speaking straightforwardly. Being a manager is about more than instructing employees, it’s also about offering guidance. The manager is quite often the conduit between the employees and the senior-level staff, so it’s important to be straightforward about the expectations, directives, and instructions that come from higher-ups. A manager who does not communicate effectively can be seen as not caring if subordinates are well-informed.

7. Being unavailable to employees. Most employees want—and expect—feedback. They want to be able to consult with their managers for direction, to ask questions and set forth plans. A manager who is constantly unavailable to meet with employees can be perceived as uninterested in the staff, or perhaps even disrespectful of them. Managers who strive to be there for their teams can better keep track of progress, while also providing feedback and praise.

8. Criticizing everything. A manager who provides nonstop criticism is slowly but surely crushing the employees’ spirits. Constantly criticizing is actually a form of bullying, and it can create a hostile environment where employees are reluctant to try anything new or to speak up at all for fear of being criticized. While not every idea can be a gem, managers must know how to constructively offer feedback that doesn’t diminish their employees’ creativity or entrepreneurial spirit.

9. Struggling to make decisions. Finally, managers who can’t seem to make up their minds can drive their employees crazy very quickly. A manager who is erratic, or who never chooses a course of action and sticks with it, can derail an entire team’s output. Furthermore, employees might realize they can just cruise by, doing the bare minimum, since their supervisors never seem to decide what they want. Having a solid plan and making decisions that support the company goals are the best ways to keep employees in line.

What other annoying managers behaviors have you witnessed? Have you got a suggestion for something crucial that managers must do to keep from driving their employees crazy?

Eric Friedman, Author

Eric Friedman

Eric Friedman is the founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a leading provider of online skills testing for pre-employment assessment and benchmarking. Eric has degrees in Psychology and Business, and a fascination with matching people with roles they’re best at, and that they enjoy.

A company built on exceptional talent from Internet technology, test development, and iterative product development, eSkill leads as an independent assessment company helping HR departments with relevant and accurate job-based tests.

To learn more about Eric and eSkill, visit the company website at www.eskill.com, or contact him on LinkedIn.


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Public Seminar: Coaching and Mentoring

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Coaching and Mentoring

On August 25, 2015 Profiles Asia Pacific and People Dynamics will offer a public seminar on Coaching and Mentoring designed for managers or individuals working in leadership positions. The workshop will go over how to coach, retain and motivate staff. Being a coach means being able to draw from several disciplines. Coaching is based on a partnership that involves giving both support and challenging opportunities to employees. Mentorship is a related skill that is often a part of coaching. It’s about being a guide, offering wisdom and advice when it is needed.

Knowing how and when to coach (and when to use other tools, like mentoring) is an essential skill that can benefit both you and your organization.

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Participants will understand how coaching can be used to develop your team, develop the coaching and mentoring skills that help improve individual performance, demonstrate the behaviors and practices of an effective coach, recognize employees’ strengths and give them the feedback they need to succeed and identify employee problems and ways you can help to correct them

Course Outline

  • Defining coaching and mentoring
  • Coaching assessment review
  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Critical coaching skills
  • Setting goals with SPIRIT
  • Learning styles and principles
  • The benefits/consequences matrix
  • Skills involved in coaching
  • The coaching model
  • Giving effective feedback
  • Coaching problems and solutions

The workshop fee of P4,500 includes instruction by an expert facilitator, small group workshops that provide “active learning,” a specialized student workbook, personalized certificate of participation, a free eBook on coaching and mentoring, snacks and lunch.

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About the Facilitator

Dr. Maria Vida G. Caparas holds a Master’s Degree and Ph.D., Summa Cum Laude, in Psychology. She is an Accredited Trainer of the Philippine Government with invaluable experiences in Organizational Development as a Human Resource, Training and OD practitioner. She authored three books on Psychology/HR Management and was a Trainer Delegate of DFA-Foreign Service Institute in Italy and Singapore in 1999-2000. Dr. Caparas is a recipient of various national awards and also a professor in prestigious universities.


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The Most Productive Office Layout

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Image from Mashable.com

Image from Mashable.com

Incentives and bonuses may not be enough to encourage a productive workforce. Sometimes, the office layout plays a large role in motivation, and should be adjusted for optimum work.

According to Mashable, the most productive office layout consists of comfortable and ergonomic workspaces. That means chairs that encourage good posture and screens and desks that are adjusted to height. A productive office layout should also have natural lighting, be free of clutter, and have the occasional office plant. Give employees space to walk and stretch their legs, as well as the right colors to suit your tasks, whether it’s creative or detail-oriented.

According to Forbes, a highly productive office must have adequate lighting and sound control. This means that employees should be able to focus on their work without distracting sounds. Try installing sound-absorbing panels or agreeing on a playlist in a communal workspace. A productive office must also be arranged smartly, so that employees are in the best position they can be in at the office to do their jobs. For example, don’t situate a receptionist desk far from the phone he or she needs to answer. Alternatively, your office could offer task-specific work stations that have employees moving to different stations in a collective space that are specially designated for different tasks. When employees are moving around all day, their brain stays active and alert. It also reduces the chances of employees zoning out in front of their computers all day.

Overall, keep your office spaces comfortable and well-lit, with sufficient privacy so your employees can make the most out of the work day. Follow the advice from Forbes and Mashable to create the most productive office layout and observe the results.


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Announcement: New Specialized Training Available

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Profiles Asia Pacific already offers numerous selection assessments, but this month we are proud to announce a release of specialized training programs to our repertoire! The following assessments can be conducted online by participants as a prerequisite to their specialized training.

The following are available as of August 2015. Please contact us for more information.

  • Learning Profiles™ & Assessments
  • Coaching Effectiveness Profile
  • Communication Effectiveness Profile
  • Creativity & Innovation Profile
  • Customer Service Commitment Profile
  • Diversity & Cultural Awareness Profile
  • Emotional Intelligence Profile
  • Leadership Effectiveness Profile
  • Learning Styles Questionnaire
  • Listening Effectiveness Profile
  • Management Effectiveness Profile
  • Negotiating Style Questionnaire
  • Personal Stress & Well-Being Assessment
  • Problem Solving & Decision Making Profile
  • Sales Effectiveness Profile
  • Teambuilding Effectiveness
  • Time Management Effectiveness Profile
  • Leadership Effectiveness Profile
  • Management Effectiveness Profile

Contact us today to learn more about online assessments and specialized training!


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