Author Archives: papeditor

  • 0

Best practices for hiring freelancers

Global digitization brought great benefits to companies around the world by expanding the talent pool available. Online collaboration enables companies to hire skilled professionals, regardless of location.

For companies, working with freelancers has numerous benefits. You can fill skill gaps and specialize in roles you can’t justify a full-time hire with. To ensure smooth freelancer partnerships, you should know how to protect your company and build a stable long-term relationship with them. Here’s what we recommend.

Be specific

Hiring freelancers is almost always about finding the right specialists to fill the knowledge and skill gaps of your own team. That means when you look for freelancers, you look for a well-defined set of skills.

In order to facilitate your search, be as specific as possible in your job description. You need to list down preferred experience, soft and technical skills, level of expertise, expected timelines, budget, and project domain.

Over-communicating is better than under-communicating to filter out under-qualified applicants. Plus, many freelancers will be able to identify projects they can bring useful suggestions to.

Use different platforms to search

There are dozens of freelancer marketplaces where you’ll find hundreds of suitable candidates. However, there are several other niche platforms that may help narrow your search.

If you are looking for freelance software developers, consider visiting GitHub, Stack Overflow, and CodeProject. Developers can share their knowledge and showcase expertise so you can assess some level of skill without even contacting the person.

Quora is a great place to find opinion leaders, managers, and marketing specialists. As for hiring freelance copywriters, have a look at blogs like Moz or Single Grain and contact writers whose articles seem the most engaging and informative.

This approach is a bit more complex and requires more time and effort than using freelancer marketplaces. However, these niche platforms will help you pinpoint your perfect candidate more quickly than sifting through a flood of generalists.

Avoid the price wars

Freelancers are known to have cheaper rates than in-house specialists. However, that does not mean you should opt for the cheapest rate available.

When looking at the freelancers and their rates, try to find the best quality to rate ratio. To assess quality of work, ask for a portfolio or send a paid test task. Experienced freelancers usually have a record of work that they can show to employers.

Use HR assessment tools

Hiring a freelancer is not much different from hiring an employee to join your in-house team. That means you can use HR assessment tools to assess soft and technical skills.

Here’s how to insert it into your hiring flow;

  • Conduct an interview in an online call
  • Send an HR assessment to gauge fit and skill
  • Request a test task
  • Send them through interviews with the team they’ll be working with

These methods create a win-win situation for both parties. For the freelancer, it is a good chance to become part of the company and learn about its mission, goals, and culture. For the employer, it is a great way to see whether a freelancer is reliable, communicative, and has the right soft skills for the job.

Negotiate in advance

To keep things transparent and minimize risks, we recommend negotiating on payment method, reporting, and communication in advance.

When working with freelancers, communication is the cornerstone of project success. Clear communication guarantees that the freelancer understands your requirements and there are no misunderstandings. To achieve that, decide on the most suitable communication channel and set strict deadlines for every task so you know when to expect progress reports.

Choose the most suitable reporting method (i.e. Trello) so you can see at what stage the project is and what work has already been done. And obviously, negotiate on the payment method and the rates to avoid any issues in the future.

All these questions have to be discussed before starting work, as they should be included in your contracts and agreed on in writing.

Don’t forget the documentation

Working with someone you’ve never met can cause a fear of abandonment. After all, there is no 100% guarantee that your freelancer will complete the project after receiving payment. To legally protect yourself from financial loss, secure your project, and protect your data, you should prepare a few documents for your freelancer to sign.

Here are some examples;

  • NDA: A non-disclosure agreement restricts third-parties from accessing your data. That means the information is shared only between you and the freelancer, and if they share it with anyone else, you will be in the full right to legally protect your data.
  •  A working agreement: This one lists the terms and conditions of your collaboration. Such a document may have stated rates, deadlines, type of services, etc. This document is very similar to the one that in-house employees sign.
  • Invoices: Some employers prefer to work by invoices, so a freelancer will need to create one in order to get paid.

The documents that you should prepare for a freelancer will depend on your project type. However, the NDA and the working agreement are the two essential documents that you should have with any freelancer before starting work.

Freelancers can be more experienced and flexible than in-house specialists, and may be able to provide useful suggestions or recommendations to optimize your project. The key to successful client-freelance relationships is a healthy feedback loop, so be ready to give and get feedback, and you could be amazed at how well your projects go.


  • 0

The must-have tech tools for distance learning

It’s become fairly common for learning to take place online. Many colleges offer online degree programs to allow students to further their education without the need to attend on-campus lectures. In 2018, approximately 3.25 million students were enrolled in distance education courses.

Despite its rising popularity, distance learning can be difficult for both teachers and students. When you remove the physical learning environment, you need to be able to trust your students to be self-motivated in their learning.

Likewise, your students need to be able to trust that you will provide them with all of the resources and support they need to complete their online learning. Without the assistance of physical interaction, virtual learning tools become more important than ever before.

By utilizing a bank of must-have tech tools, you can ensure your students have everything they need to succeed in their distance learning. Tech tools can be a powerful solution for distance learning by fostering inclusion, encouraging team collaboration and supporting each student’s individual progression.

The must have tech tools for distance learning

There are a multitude of benefits to distance learning for teachers and learners. As a learner, studying online allows you to further your learning anywhere, anytime at a lower cost. Distance learning will also allow you, as a learner, to work to a flexible schedule.

As a teacher, offering distance learning can enable you to reach students from multiple locations, not just the ones who are in close physical proximity. Distance learning will also allow teachers to minimize the financial overheads involved with physical learning centers.

To help your students get the most out of your online learning program, we’ve compiled this list of the must-have tech tools for distance learning.

1) Video conferencing software

The importance of human interaction should not be ignored in distance learning. Video calls and conferences are a powerful tool for enriching your distance learning program. Video call software will allow you to host live, interactive sessions for your students.

Hosting live video calls can help to simulate the in-person learning environment by fostering collaboration between students and the teacher. When compared to audio-conferencing, video conferencing significantly improves the quality of communication which, in turn, can improve performance.

Nowadays, you will find a variety of video conferencing tools to choose from. Each offering varying features, you will find that most video call tools allow you to host webinars to large audience sizes, perfect for virtual lectures.

Most video call tools, such as Zoom and Google Meet, will allow you to record your video sessions. This presents a great opportunity to use pre-recorded video calls for future use. These pre-recorded sessions can be provided to lesson attendees for recapping at a later date, or they can be used to deliver pre-recorded lessons to new students.

2) Whiteboarding applications

Not everyone learns best by listening to a teacher. According to the VARK learning styles model devised by Fleming, people prefer to learn in one of four ways: visual, auditory, reading/writing or kinesthetic. While video conferences can be great for auditory learners, they may not be the best learning format for visual or kinesthetic learners.

Whiteboarding applications are a great way to engage visual learners. Research conducted in a classroom-based setting found that the use of interactive whiteboards increased learner engagement and participation.

Based on these findings, it could be beneficial to consider incorporating virtual whiteboard tools into your online learning program. Virtual whiteboards are useful for collaborative exercises, brainstorming or visual demonstrating aspects of teaching, such as calculations or diagrams.

If you want to simulate classroom learning, Limnu is an online whiteboard application that is representative of a real whiteboard.

The advantage of an online whiteboard compared to a real whiteboard is that you can save your annotations, use it for collaboration, share it with other people and use it alongside video conferencing. By combining whiteboarding applications with video conferencing, you can ensure your distance learning program appeals to a wider range of students.

3) Online survey tools

When providing distance learning courses, it’s important that you understand your students perceptions of your course. With online survey tools such as SurveyMonkey or JotForm, you can get course feedback from your students. By collecting course feedback, you can develop a deeper understanding of the aspects of your course that did or did not work for your students.

JotForm offers a template of an e-learning feedback form that can be used to gain insights into how your online course is perceived by students. You can then use this information to make changes to your course structure and improve student satisfaction levels.

You can also use online survey tools to engage students in learning by creating polls for students to interact with, or by using surveys to understand student learning styles, habits and interests.

4) Cloud-based storage

When taking your learning online, it’s important to consider how you’re going to share resources with your students. As a result, you’re going to need a cloud-based storage solution such as Dropbox. This will allow you to store course materials, resources, printouts and worksheets for students to access as and when they need them. You can even organize course materials into folders to help students find the resources they need based on topic or lesson.

Creating a hub of resources can be advantageous for distance learning by providing students with resources they can use to complement their learning. Students with learning disabilities benefit from having more control over their web-based learning, therefore providing students with a hub of learning resources could increase accessibility as they are able to choose which learning resources works best for them.

5) Learning management platform

Finally, if you want your students to succeed in your distance learning program, you may want to set up a learning management platform.

A learning management platform streamlines all of the tech tools and content that teachers and students need for a connected learning experience. Digital learning management platforms can help simplify the process of distance learning by providing one solution of integrated products for online learning.

People Dynamics’ Learning Management System is an online platform for e-learning. With a learning management platform, your students will be able to access course material in one place and submit assignments online. As a teacher, you will be able to host course material on the platform, see performance reports and understand how each of your students are performing.

Learn more about the Learning Management System and available courses here.


  • 0

Career Guidance and Assessments in the Philippines

The Philippines have been developing at an incredibly fast pace in recent years, scoring well in the Human Development Index and uncovering new and exciting job opportunities for its residents. The country has a high employment rate of 95.5% and has a very well-developed Information Technology sector.

With this in mind, it is logical to assume that young people (i.e. students) and unemployed people have access to a wide variety of possible jobs. At the same time, when presented with such a choice, it might be hard to reasonably assess oneself and choose a position that corresponds to their certain set of interests, skills, and personal traits.

This is where career guidance and assessment services step in to help people navigate through possible options and choose the most suitable one.

The role and benefits of career guidance and assessment

One should not underestimate the benefits that career guidance services bring:

  • Evaluation of strengths and weaknesses
  • Identification of interests
  • Matching of interests and possible career options
  • Identification of the most suitable careers
  • Analysis of one’s personality and advice on career choice

Career guidance is especially relevant for young people who do not have real-life working experience and often have absolutely no idea about what they will do in the future.

Thus, it is important to provide assessment services in order to help people find the best career options and strengthen both the community and the country’s economy.

The Secondary School Career Guidance and Counseling Act

In 2019, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Secondary School Career Guidance and Counseling Act that is valid for public and private high schools across the country.

The act is aimed at helping students make wiser and more accurate decisions regarding their future careers. To achieve that, the career guidance and counseling program was institutionalized in schools.

The act also imposed the establishment of a National Secondary Schools Career Guidance and Counseling Program (CGCP) to providing high-quality guidance and counseling services to students.

Such a decision standardizes and organizes the career guidance process and places emphasis on its significance. The recognition of the role of such services is great as it proves the government cares about the country residents and is ready to help them make a balanced decision that will lead to satisfaction with the future career.

Assessment Options

The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator is one of the world’s most popular methods to assess one’s personality and identify how exactly one makes decisions and perceives the surroundings and people. It analyses whether a person is an introvert or extrovert, thinking or feeling, judging or perceiving, and more to help students understand themselves and their strengths better.

The Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation instruments help people improve their personal relationships by understanding their needs and how those influence their communication and behaviors. It focuses on how you behave around others and how you want others to behave around you in order to provide students a clear emotionally intelligent roadmap for collaboration.

The EQ-i analyzes emotional intelligence. This comprehensive assessment tests five distinct aspects of emotional and social functioning, and then breaks those down further into 15 subscales. Students and career counselors can use these results to learn about leadership potential, team building, and student development, among other things.

The importance of career guidance services in the Philippines

As stated above, career guidance and counseling services bring immense benefits to students. However, if we speak about the Philippines, there are other factors that double the importance of such services in the country.

Lack of involvement from the parents’ side

It is common that parents are the biggest influences when it comes to the career choices made by their children. And this problem is relevant to the Philippines as well.

As the Development Asia outlined, it is necessary to enhance the involvement of parents in the career counseling process and involve them as early as possible so they have enough time to discuss the possible career options with the children.

An important note here: career guidance services should not provide over-complicated information but rather speak in a clear manner that can be understood by anyone. As well, it would be a good idea to provide relevant role models to the students as this can facilitate their decision.

Lack of knowledge about the possible governmental aid

One of the biggest constraints that prevent students from choosing the desired university and hence, occupation, is a poor financial situation. There are many events in the Philippines that might impact one’s financial status: failure of a family business, socioeconomic issues, even extreme and unprecedented weather conditions. All that may seriously affect whether one can afford the desired college.

The financial issue is closely interlinked with another one – a lack of knowledge about the possible governmental financial aid. In the recent survey, only 14% of the respondents were aware of the financial aid program and that means, 86% of the people do not even know the government can help them. Hence, career guidance and counseling services should also inform both the students and their parents about the possible financial aid options, thus, eliminating the bottlenecks in the career selection process.

Summary

The availability of career counseling and guidance services in the Philippines is a great indicator of the country’s development process. It showcases that the government is genuinely interested in providing young people with all the tools and information necessary to make a wise and data-driven choice regarding the career that will bring tangible benefits in the future.


  • 0

Best HR automation tools: a quick review

Human resource management involves many processes, from resume screening to actual hiring. While some of these processes demand human involvement, others can be easily automated or performed by a machine.

The automation of certain HR processes eliminates mundane tasks and helps HR specialists focus on establishing a long-term relationship with candidates and employees. This, in turn, can bring immense benefits to a company, such as increased retention rate and employee loyalty.

In this article, we will go over some HR automation tools that help specialists deal with their everyday tasks in a faster and more efficient manner.

Company branding

One of the first things for every company to do is to brand itself among potential and current employees.

Company branding plays an important role in the recruitment process. If the candidate can see the company’s expertise from the content that it posts, and if the company is among the first in search results, chances are high a candidate will be interested.

Unfortunately, many companies do not have enough time or desire to build a strong personal brand. Use automation tools to enhance your branding and reach the candidates more efficiently.

Try: TalentLyft

TalentLyft positions itself as a recruitment marketing tool. It offers the following features:

  • SEO optimization
  • Content marketing management
  • Creation of team pages and blog
  • Employer branding
  • Creation of a career site

All of those features are designed to help companies better brand themselves and get candidates interested. With the help of such a tool, you can focus on the actual message that you want to pass to the candidates and leave the mundane tasks to a smarter system.

Candidate search

Sourcing candidates is one of the most important, yet tiresome, tasks of any HR specialist. With thousands of resumes, it may seem impossible to find the right fit for the right position.

That’s where artificial intelligence steps in and saves the day. Due to its ability to process large volumes of data (quickly), AI-powered tools can immediately process and analyze massive sets of data and extract the exact CV that will match your position.

Try: Google Hire

With Google making such huge strides in AI and machine learning, their hiring software is an excellent AI-based tool for recruiting.

Google Hire uses AI to find the right candidates more quickly and reliably, saving your HRMs time. In addition, the tool lets you synchronize your Gmail, Google Calendar, and other services for better management of administrative tasks.

Candidate assessment

Once you find a great candidate, you’ll want to check their skills and knowledge.

Candidate assessment is an integral part of the recruitment process. It lets HR specialists assign the tasks to the right people, speed up onboarding, and reach business goals faster.

Assessments also help gauge an individual’s level of emotional intelligence, which is an incredibly important skill for any employee to have.

While personal assessment may seem like something that should be performed by a manager, automation tools significantly accelerate the assessment process and help HR specialists analyze the results.

Try: Profiles Asia Pacific

Profiles Asia Pacific tool helps organizations better assess their employees, develop their full potential, and make data-based decisions regarding task assignment and employee management.

The tool contains numerous skill tests, EQ assessments, and other products that will become a valuable asset for any HR specialist who wishes to learn more about candidates and employees.

Management of expenses

HR specialists know everything about the employees’ perks but they also have to manage them. Benefits, vacations, insurances, and all similar expenses demand careful tracking.

In order for all this data to be organized and kept in order, an HR specialist needs a system that would centralize the data, keep the track of the workflows and make corresponding updates.

Try: Orange HRM

Orange HRM is a comprehensive tool that helps HR specialists better organize their day-to-day operations, including expense management.

Some of their features include:

  • Expense tracker
  • Travel tracker
  • Benefits tracker
  • Disciplinary tracker

With the help of this tool, HR specialists can always learn about the current state of expenses for a certain employee and can rest assured nothing was missed.

Management of daily operations

As said above, HR management includes many operations. Some of them happen on a daily basis, and it’s quite easy to lose sight of them.

Time tracking, performance reviews, communication, and feedback – all these processes demand attention and cannot be ignored. Tools that keep all of these talent management aspects in one dashboard are increasingly valuable for keeping everything organized and avoid letting things slip through the cracks.

Try: Zoho People

Zoho People states it’s a “360-degree HR automation solution” and, judging by its features, we can agree with that!

The tool takes full care of all administrative HR tasks and centralizes them. An HR specialist can access any employee’s profile at any time and see the current status of all related operations, like tracked time or provided feedback.

Summary

HR automation tools are great for middle to large companies with lots of processes going on. In this case, tools and automation can save time and resources, allowing your HR specialists to focus on more specific and complex tasks.


  • 0

5 Reasons all students should take career assessments

In today’s world, there is an incredible variety of occupations to choose from that needs a certain set of skills and knowledge. At the same time, such diversity can also cause confusion as people and especially students simply do not know where to start and what to choose.

As the famous jam experiment states, the overload of choice leads to confusion, and someone is less likely to choose something if presented with too many options.

So how do students narrow down the possible career options to make a wise choice that will correspond to their strengths and personality? The answer is career assessments.

Not only do they help match skills to a certain job, they bring other valuable benefits – read about them below.

Identification of one’s strengths and weaknesses

It is rather challenging to assess oneself as we tend to perceive ourselves in a certain manner, not objectively. Assessment tests solve this issue and provide an unbiased analysis of one’s strengths and weaknesses.

With the help of such tests, students can identify their strengths and weaknesses and better understand their own personality. As a result, they can start thinking about the most suitable career, work on the desired skills in accordance with the test results and estimate whether their personality matches their career of choice.

An assessment test can also reveal surprising facts about the student’s personality that can motivate them to try something completely new.

A starting point in the career search

Today, students have access to a tremendous variety of possible career options to choose from. The choice of a future career is stressful enough, and if there are too many options, the students can easily get frustrated or make the wrong choice.

Career assessment tools serve as a great starting point. They narrow down the possible options and provide a few occupations to choose from or, at least, take into consideration. As well, some of the career tests eliminate certain job options which also narrows down the possible options and facilitates the decision-making process.

Evaluation of marketable skills

Career assessment tests not only reveal strengths and weaknesses, but also help evaluate marketable skills in an unbiased manner.

By marketable skills, we mean the ones that are valuable for a future employee such as quick decision-making, ability to work independently or in a team, stress tolerance, etc.

Such tests reveal what kind of skills may be valuable for future employees and what kind of skills need to be worked on. In this way, students can better understand what is their competitive advantage comparing to other candidates. In addition, they can include these marketable skills into the resume and mention them during a job interview which will contribute to the employer’s decision.

An option to learn more about oneself

Students are young people who are willing to learn and are open to new ideas and feedback. Personality tests give them a chance to have a different view on their personality and better understand themselves.

The biggest assessment tests like Myers-Briggs or EQ-i provide students with a detailed report on their emotional intelligence and describe their strengths and areas for improvement in a conversational and friendly manner. In this way, a student does not feel pressed about own weaknesses and can gain more confidence upon learning about the strengths.

The indicator of the EQ

Career assessment tests are used not only to identify skills for a future job. These tests also provide a report on emotional intelligence and soft skills, which is really important in the modern world.

These tests assess skills like leadership, opportunity to work in a team, empathy, negotiation skills and much more. In this way, a student can not only improve the practical skills but better understand what soft skills are critical and which ones demand improvement.

Career assessment tools: the most efficient ones

There is a variety of available tools online that can within a few minutes give you a report on your personality, traits, strengths, and weaknesses. But to get a really informative report with deep insights, we recommend looking at some of the most popular and efficient tools.

The Myers-Briggs type indicator

This assessment tool is very personality-focused and gives users an insight into whether they are more of an extravert or an introvert, how they communicate with people and what kind of soft skills are their headmost.

This test evaluates the users by four indicators:

  1. Introvert vs Extravert
  2. Sensing vs Intuitive
  3. Thinking vs Feeling
  4. Judging vs Perceiving

The tool describes the results in an easy and understandable language and provides a great amount of useful information.

EQ-i

This tool is focused on the assessment of emotional intelligence and helps the users improve their skills in such areas as leadership, management, and coaching.

The EQ-i test analyzes the user by five composite scores and thus, gives a 360-degree view on one’s social skills. This tool is great not only for the students but for anyone who wishes to progress at work and improve communication with peers and colleagues.

FIRO

FIRO stands for Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation™ and is also focused on helping the users determine how they interact with people and what can be improved. This is a great tool for a better understanding of oneself and identifying the possible issues that prevent you from building efficient relationships with people around you.

Summing up

Career assessment tools are something any student should use. They reveal hidden talents and possible ambitions, help build confidence and better understand one’s own “self”. With the help of such tests, students can not only choose the most suitable career option but also get a deep insight into their soft skills, get a direction of how to improve them and understand their importance.


  • 0

7 Ways Employers Can Reduce Stress In The Workplace

What are the Effects of Work Stress?

Work-related stress occurs when an employee’s demands at work exceed how much they are able to cope with.

Research shows that 83% of workers in the US suffer from work-related stress. If left untreated, work stress can have serious mental, physical and emotional effects for employees.

The effects of stress include:

  • Feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope with workload
  • Feeling depressed
  • Feeling anxious (especially in regards to work)
  • Lacking energy and feeling tired
  • Headaches
  • Chest pains or chest tightness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Drinking alcohol, smoking or other negative coping mechanisms

Workplace stress can also be a burden for your company. Work stress can lead to a drop in productivity and performance, increased employee sick leave or resignation and can end up costing your company a significant amount of money.

As an employer, it is your responsibility to make sure your employees are happy, healthy and stress-free at work. Ensuring your employees are free from stress will have positive benefits for the success of your team and company. This article highlights seven ways employers can reduce stress in the workplace.

7 Ways You Can Reduce Stress In The Workplace

1. Help Employees Manage Their Workload

Juggling lots of tasks, wearing lots of hats and working non-stop can wear down your employees. Your employees need to be able to effectively manage their workload, otherwise they will burnout and suffer from work-related stress.

You can help employees balance their workload by fairly distributing the workload among the team and frequently checking in with your team members to see how they are progressing with their workload. Make sure you offer reasonable work shifts and ensure employees have enough time to rest in between shifts and don’t work too many hours at once.

2. Better Understand Your Team With Employee Assessments

Using employee emotional and personality assessments like the Everything DiSC assessment, you can better understand your employees and how to improve your workplace to suit their needs, personality and learning type.

Employee assessments allow you to learn which communication and management strategies work best for each of your employees. By being able to tailor your management style to the people you are dealing with, you can improve the working relationship and help combat stress in the workplace.

3. Improve Communications At Work

Communication plays a crucial role at work. When employees are able to effectively and positively communicate with their co-workers and managers, it increases performance and reduces work-related stress.

If you don’t already, schedule weekly meetings with your team so you can share ideas, work-wins, updates and feedback. Giving your employees a chance to speak up and be heard can work wonders for employee wellbeing.

Other ways to improve communication at work include encouraging open communication, keeping employees updated about organizational changes, having one-to-one employee reviews and asking your employees for feedback.

Non-verbal communication is always important for managers and employers to master. Your body language can have a huge impact on your employees and co-workers so be sure to communicate with positive, open and approachable body language.

4. Make Wellness a Part of Work Culture

There’s no denying that small changes like exercising more or eating healthily can reduce stress. By introducing various wellness programs into your work culture, you can help resolve stress in the workplace by making your worksite a happy, healthy place to be.

As an employer, you could offer employees a free/discounted gym membership as a work perk or host weekly yoga sessions in the office to help get those endorphins flowing. By hosting weekly yoga or meditation sessions you can encourage employees to embrace mindfulness which, in turn, can help reduce stress.

You can easily promote healthy living habits at work by providing free healthy snacks in the break room and by encouraging employees to take regular breaks, get away from their work station and stretch their legs. A 10-minute break can decrease stress, encourage productivity and improve work performance.

5. Recognise Your Employees Contributions and Successes

When employees feel valued at work, it can reduce their likelihood of work-related stress. Job security can play a huge role in workplace stress. So, it’s important to communicate with your employees that they are a valuable member of the team.

By recognising your employees specific contributions and successes in the workplace, you can improve their morale and make them feel like a valued part of the team. Offer employee incentives for reaching milestones, have an employee recognition board or employee-of-the-month program and congratulate them when they do a good job, no matter how small. Showing employees that you value their contribution will help reduce work stress and increase work morale.

6. Offer Flexi-Time and Remote Working Options

By having control over their work schedule and being able to fit work around other life commitments, remote working and flexi-time can reduce employee stress levels.

We know that remote working doesn’t suit all industries or businesses. However, if your company is capable of offering employees the chance to work remotely, it can really help to boost employee positivity.

Offering flexi-time or remote working options has been proven successful at increasing company morale and profitability. It’s a great way to combat workplace stress and allow your employees to have improved work-life balance.

7. Effectively Resolve Workplace Conflicts

Whether you manage a small close-knit team or a large-scale business, conflict at work is inevitable due to people having different personalities or opinions. Effective employers are able to take workplace conflicts or disagreements into opportunities for growth and development.

Resolving workplace conflict will encourage a supportive, productive workplace and reduce employee stress, absenteeism and future conflict.

You can use employment assessment solutions to understand the causes of workplace conflict and how to effectively implement a conflict management strategy to provide conflicts from escalating and negatively impacting on your organization.

As you can see, there are a number of steps employers can take to help reduce stress in the workplace. It’s important to have a strong, supportive employee network and to offer your employees a comfortable, positive working environment. There are many benefits to reducing stress in the workplace.

To better understand your employees and how you can tailor your work environment to reduce employee stress, talk to us today to learn more about the employee assessment solutions we offer.


  • 0

4 Best practices for running a remote team

Remote work can seem like a dream come true. No more 2-hour commute each day. No expensive parking or rail pass fees. Instead, you get the freedom to work the way that’s most productive for you.

Running a remote team, however, can be hard. Because you don’t get to see your team every day, you need to rely on individuals to meet deadlines. Plus, getting everyone on the same page can be an uphill battle. So let’s stack the deck in your favor and walk through five of the best practices for running a successful and thriving remote team.

1. Create a clear onboarding process

Systems are vital for remote work. Without them, it’s hard to know if someone on your team is struggling or if work is getting missed. Clear project workflows keep everyone moving at the same pace and let your team know what they can expect next. Because while working without the distractions of a traditional office can actually increase productivity, you can only experience the benefits if everyone is on the same page.

The key to getting your team all on the same page is to dedicate time to a comprehensive onboarding process. Introduce your team to all the processes and equipment they can expect to use day-to-day. Training on software should be part of your onboarding process so make sure to set aside time during induction to get everyone up to speed on what they’ll be using.

You can create a training plan that includes a simulated project that requires every tool you’d use in a day to complete it. You can also use software like Stormboard or WizIQ to develop your new hire and continuing education program.

2. Set clear expectations

When there are no clear expectations, people struggle. That’s why it’s crucial to let your team know what you expect from them.

Set clear working hours

Encourage everyone to share their working hours – either in a shared document, in Slack or through a shared company calendar. This makes it easy to know when people are available for questions, meetings or updates. Setting work hours helps your team work together instead of getting into a silo on their own projects.

Set your team up with the right tools and set clear use expectations

To stay productive, your team needs access to efficient tools for video conferencing, scheduling, and project management. But getting set up is not as simple as adding team members to the account. Create a clear onboarding process that outlines the best company practices and expectations for each tool. For example, if you’re using a tool in Slack tell your team how often you expect them to log in.

3. Create a clear feedback system

You need an effective way to give feedback to individuals and teams. And – depending on the size of your remote company – you may need a system you can train your executives on too.

Introduce regular stand-ups

When you work remotely, it’s hard to keep up and create a sense of teamwork. You can’t just stop by someone’s desk and ask them what they’re working on. That’s where regular stand-ups come in. This can be done at the small team level or the department level, depending on the size of your company.

In a stand-up, everyone quickly shares what they’re working on that day and gets to ask any clarifying questions. It’s an opportunity to get everyone on the same page, make them feel involved and clear any obstacles blocking people from doing their best work. If daily stand-ups don’t work with your schedule or team distribution, you can try weekly or every other day.

Make the time for regular one-on-one with key staff

Talking to key staff members needs to be a bit more structured in a remote setting because it’s not as simple as stopping by their office when you have a question. How often you meet will depend on your needs and the pace of the company. If you’re not sure how often you need to meet, start off with bi-weekly one-on-ones with team leaders and then adjust up and down from there.

4. Create time for the team to get together outside of project work

All work and no play makes for a less productive team. To make sure you’re getting the best out of your people make sure you take the time to organize remote social activities.

Socializing is one of the benefits of a co-located workplace. It’s also something your team may feel they’re missing out on. Social isolation is one of the big hurdles to productivity in a remote team so make sure you consider your people’s emotional well being. Here are a few ideas and tools you can use to build a cohesive team.

Create a digital watercooler

Create a chat space where teammates can talk about work and home life with each other. Both zoom and Slack have fantastic facilities for this.

Run a Secret Santa (or another “secret” event)

It doesn’t have to be the holiday season to engage in some gift-giving and team building. Pairing up teammates to give gifts or spend time together can help break the ice among remote workers. Especially if they can open gifts on camera.

Host a movie night

Netflix party lets viewers sync videos across devices letting your team see the same movie at the same time. There is a built-in chat function that helps simulate the joint viewing experience.

You’re all on the same team

Remote work has a lot of benefits. It can increase productivity and employee happiness and give you access to top talent who doesn’t live anywhere near your headquarters. But for things to run smoothly, you have to keep everyone on the same page. This means clear, consistent communication and plenty of “virtual” engagement. When you put these things in place, work quality – and team happiness – will stay on the up and up.


  • 0

How to use different assessments to optimize your workplace

You’ve probably heard the phrase “work smarter, not harder” before. Working smarter is beneficial to your business. New technologies and business strategies are making it easier than ever before to optimize your workplace and your workforce.

Workforce optimization can be defined as a business strategy that utilizes key business performance metrics and insights in order to get the maximum benefit out of their employees. In other words, workforce optimization is understanding how your employees work and how to leverage their skills to reach your organizational goals.

Assessments are one of our favorite tools for strategically optimizing the workplace. The versatility of personality tests and assessments lends well to various company optimization goals. The behavioral data points generated by personality tests will enable you to make informed decisions for your business. Whether you’re looking to increase productivity, hire the best talent, encourage strong departmental bonds or help your leaders manage their teams, personality assessments will give your company a competitive advantage.

How can assessments help with hiring new talent?

One way you can use assessments to boost the success of your workplace is to use personality tests as part of your recruitment process. Around 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test to determine the personality of their potential new employees.

Created by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers, the MBTI assessment categorizes participants as one of 16 personality types. Many well-known companies, including the CIA, have used it in their hiring process suggesting that it’s a highly regarded measure.

It has been reported that 30% of new employees have left a job within 90 days of their start date. One of the main reasons provided for this short turnover was company culture. New employees that aren’t the right fit for a job will eventually underperform when it comes to productivity and role engagement. As a result of this disconnect with company culture, new hires that are a poor fit for your company may be tempted to leave in search of a new job not long after their start date.

Personality tests, such as MBTI, can be advantageous for your business as they help you identify candidates strengths and weaknesses, and how well they will integrate into the team dynamic. Using personality assessments to screen job applicants in the early stages of your recruitment process can improve your selection process.  When using personality tests in their screening process, Amtrak found that 2,000 out of 5,000 applicants were deemed to be a “strong fit” for their organization. Combined with résumé analysis and in-person interviewing, personality tests will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of a candidate and whether they will be a good fit for your business.

Can assessments help you increase employee productivity and engagement?

In their global study, PwC found a better talent fit between employer and employee resulted in a greater return on an organization’s investment in people, unlocking an additional $130 billion in productivity for the 11 countries covered in their report. If personality tests used during recruitment can help you hire employees who are the best fit for your company, what steps can you take to ensure you retain that talent?

Periodically using personality assessments as part of your employee training process or performance reviews could be helpful in improving employee engagement and productivity. Some personality assessment solutions will help you analyze an employee’s emotional intelligence. This insight into emotional intelligence can then be used to develop, manage and motivate employee performance. Research shows that emotional intelligence can have a significant positive impact on an employee’s performance levels and can also boost employee productivity.

How can employee assessments aid leadership development and succession planning?

If you want to stay ahead of the competition then you need to ensure your employees are performing to their full potential. Although employees are hired on the basis of having a certain set of skills, knowledge and ability, it is the employer’s responsibility to further nurture and develop those skills.

You can plan for business success by:

  • Understanding an individual’s inherent capabilities
  • Putting each employee in a role that builds on their strengths
  • Providing targeted developmental opportunities
  • Helping front-line managers coach and motivate

With personality testing, you can understand an employee’s capabilities, motivations and behaviors. Once you know how an employee interacts with others or behaves in certain situations, you can tap into your richest resources and create a tailored plan for professional development based on employee temperament.

Employee personality assessments can also help you decide whether an employee has the right skills required to effectively lead others. The Ignite Leadership Development Program covers the optimal personality traits of an effective leader. This program can be used to help professionals develop emotional intelligence skills and improve their impact, influence, leadership and resilience.

How can employee assessments optimize teamwork and departmental structure?

By understanding your personality and the personalities of the people you work with, you can improve workplace relationships. The DISC profile is a popular personality test for identifying the individual personalities within your team.

Just like individual employees need development, teams also benefit from having support and evaluation opportunities. The Everything DISC Workplace profile includes a comparison report that enables you to compare two employees’ strengths, challenges and relationship behaviors. The findings from this report can then be used to identify potential communication or teamwork roadblocks and solutions to enable those individuals to work well as a team.

When building an optimal team or departmental structure, you’re not going to want each employee to have the exact same personality. Being unique is one of our best assets and with the help of personality assessments, you can build well-balanced teams within your organization. Tech company, Buffer, uses the Big Five personality test to build a more cohesive working team.

Final thoughts on optimizing your workplace with personality assessments

The decision to use personality tests in your recruitment, development and retention programs is entirely up to you. However, it is evident that having a deeper understanding of employee temperament, working style, behavior and capabilities can provide a multitude of business benefits. By acknowledging the potential benefits of personality assessments, you can evaluate different areas of your organization and determine whether incorporating personality assessments into your existing structure could offer a competitive advantage to your company culture and growth.


  • 0

How to use digital learning to increase employee engagement

In today’s society, technology is rapidly shifting. Interactions, experiences and businesses become more digitized with each passing day. Digital technologies have profoundly changed the ways we do business, buy, work and live. As a result, the landscape of education has undergone a digital transformation. You only need to look at the advancements in mobile phones for evidence of the digitization of education. We have access to a whole world of information at our fingertips through mobile applications and desktop platforms.

Digital learning enables you to make learning fun and accessible for your workforce. By embracing digital learning, you can improve employee engagement for your organization. The importance of employee engagement cannot be stressed enough.

Research shows that engaged employees are happier employees. Increasing employee engagement can also lead to increased attendance, performance, service quality, safety and employee retention. So, if you haven’t yet considered digital learning as an employee engagement method for your organization, you may be missing out on a powerful business opportunity.

The importance of employee engagement

In today’s competitive job market, employee retention is increasingly hard. Digital technologies have made it easier for unhappy employees to find new job opportunities. Almost half of employees considered high retention risk used a mobile app or website to find a new job.

The good news is focusing on employee engagement can reduce employee turnover. Employees who are engaged are far less likely to leave their job and, more importantly, will feel a stronger connection with the company. This strong connection could lead them to be more productive and successful within their role.

One way to increase employee engagement is through digital learning. In today’s age, employees value learning and development opportunities. According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report, an incredible 93% of employees stated that they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. Developing an ongoing digital learning strategy within your organization can be a great way to boost employee engagement.

What is remote learning?

Remote learning allows your employees to learn new skills and enhance existing knowledge without having to visit a physical location. They can undertake training using an online platform. This virtual format offers employees the flexibility to learn from the comfort of their own home or whilst in the office at work.

From mobile-based learning to live webinars, digital courses and virtual educational activities, there’s a wide range of options available when it comes to finding the most suitable remote learning style for your employees. In the past, all job and development training happened in person.

It was often expected that the entire department would complete the training at the same time, in the same place, as a team. It’s unlikely that the rigidity of traditional learning would be able to accommodate different employee learning styles, capabilities or requirements. Therefore, the increased choice and flexibility provided by digital learning could work wonders for your employee engagement levels.

3 key ways to use digital learning to increase employee engagement

To help you discover the benefits of remote learning, we’ve crafted this list of 3 ways digital learning can increase employee engagement.

1) Gamification of corporate training

Gamification in corporate training isn’t a new concept. The term gamification references the integration of gaming elements in non-game applications. Games have an amazing ability to capture people’s attention for a long time. Moreover, video games have been shown to improve cognition, creativity and sociability. These benefits of gaming are all factors that would be equally beneficial for the workforce. Therefore, it’s plausible to surmise that gamification could benefit corporate learning.

The gamification of online learning helps to create a more engaging learning experience for your employees. Using gamification methods such as scoreboards can make employees feel more ownership and purpose when engaging with tasks. This focus on gamification in the workplace can allow organizations to attract and retain the best talent, build a high performing workforce and reduce the cost of employee turnover.

Large corporations like McDonalds have incorporated gamification into their business model and training processes. McDonalds used gamification for till-training exercises. From this till training game, McDonalds employees reported having a deeper understanding of the new till system, improved performance and they felt increased employee engagement. The implementation of this game also resulted in an increase in business performance and average order value.

In a more digital application, Salesforce used gamification techniques to drive user adoption of their CRM system after customers reported employees were not using the platform as often as desired. Named Trailhead, this gamified approach allowed users to gain Trailhead badge of achievement, compete with colleagues and win prizes as they progressed through various stages of the learning process. By gamifying the learning and usage of their digital system, Salesforce was able to increase this customers total log-in percentage to 84% – a significant increase on the previously reported log-in percentage. Further to this, the users of the Trailhead learning platform reported feeling more engaged and empowered.

2) Interactive video content for employee training

As effective as online tasks may be, sometimes your training simply needs live interaction. With 50% of YouTube users in the U.S. admitting to using YouTube to learn something new, it’s evident that video content can be beneficial for corporate learning. Many organizations have recognized the positive implications of video content usage in business, especially short, engaging and interactive video formats.

According to Forrester Research, employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than read documents, emails or articles. Based on these findings, if you want to encourage your employees to engage with your training program, using video format can help make training more interesting for users.

Videos are versatile and can be used for a variety of business training and development purposes. From introducing new services to employee onboarding, demonstrating how to use a new system and assisting employee development, video content can be used across various employee development initiatives.

Providing employee training via video could help increase employee engagement rates for your organization. A recent study found that 94% of employees enjoyed having at least one event live streamed. Live-streamed video content allows for authentic and impactful communication amongst employees.

With screen-sharing and recording capabilities, you can save your video training sessions for attendees to refer back to at a later date. Recording your video training will also provide evergreen training materials as you can use these recordings for future employee learning programs.

3) Self-directed learning for employees

Self-directed learning is when the responsibility of learning is transferred from the instructor to the learner. This transfer of responsibility gives the learner, or employee, the opportunity to make the decisions about their learning. Giving learners choice and control over their learning allows them to adjust the program to suit their needs and provides them with autonomy. This increased autonomy can further increase their interest in and motivation for professional development.

Examples of online self-directed learning for employees includes letting employees set their own completion dates for assessments, allowing them to complete online courses in their own time or having an online training platform where employees can choose the modules that interest them most.

Autonomy is essential for employee engagement. To support this notion, Effectory found that 79% of autonomous employees felt more engaged and thus more accountable for their work and performed better. Therefore, you can boost employee engagement by providing employees with autonomy over their online learning.

Next time you are reviewing your employment training initiatives, it may be worthwhile considering the potential benefits of digital learning. Incorporating online learning into your employee development programs can be a great way to increase employee engagement, as demonstrated by the above examples.


  • 0

How to look after your employees’ mental health

This is a guest post from Alicia Christine. Alicia is a human resource professional with expertise in employee experience and wellness. She writes for BestTechie and Techie Doodlers, and shares how businesses can be better to maximize their potential of helping better their communities and society as a whole. Find her on LinkedIn.

The discussion about employee wellness and mental health is becoming more and more important all over Asia. In fact, the Department of Labor and Employment in the Philippines issued guidelines for employers on how to ensure good mental health and well-being in the workplace just last February. This is in line with the spread of the occupational phenomenon known as burnout.

The World Health Organization defines burnout as a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. This often results in exhausted workers, reduced productivity, and an increasing apathetic attitude towards one’s job. Now, what do you do if you’ve been noticing the same things with your employees in the workplace?

Don’t fret, you can still turn all of this around. Read on to know more about how to look after your employees’ mental well-being.

Open Up the Discussion on Mental Health in the Workplace

One of the best things you can do to address mental health issues is to provide an environment that is open and receptive to your employees’ struggles. In most cases, employees will never come out and discuss these issues with their employers, as they may be seen as a liability to the company. This will then lead to the problem worsening and negatively affecting both the employee and the company as a whole.

One way you can address this is by opening up the conversation on mental health. This proactive approach to employee wellness will certainly improve the way your workplace handles these issues. A great way to do this would be to educate your managers, team leaders, and supervisors on mental health issues through seminars held by professionals. This way they’ll be able to determine the signs of mental health issues and address them appropriately.

Promote Work-Life Balance

Another thing that’ll go a long way in promoting a healthy workplace is a focus on work-life balance for your employees. The thing we have to remember here is that employees that are physically and mentally healthy tend to work better than those who are not. So while it may seem wise to praise employees that overwork themselves, it may eventually lead to their undoing due to burnout.

So how do you promote work-life balance in the workplace? Well, one thing you can try is a flexible work arrangement. Pain Free Working highlights how flexible work hours allow employees to live more well-rounded lives. They’ll come to work, execute, and then will be free to do whatever they want with their spare time. This will do wonders for their mental health, as they’ll have more time to invest in other things aside from work. In turn, this makes them more productive as they’ll come back to the workplace fresh and recharged making this a true win-win situation.

Bots for Mental Health

Lastly, another way you can push for an overall improvement in your employees’ mental health is through the use of the right technology. Technology has often bridged the gap between society and its needs, and mental health is no exception. Various apps have sprung from the growing mental health crisis that, for the most part, have done an adequate job of curbing the issue.

In the corporate setting, one piece of technology has been surprisingly effective. Fast Company highlights how the use of chatbots make it easier for employees to talk about their issues. This is mainly because the AI is geared towards addressing these issues. Couple this with the fact that the discretion that comes with talking to someone who isn’t a person and you’ll find that you’ve created a safe space for your employees.

Make Use of Assessments

Lastly, one thing that you have to consider when things are going awry is if your employees are in the right roles. While it’s easy to put the blame on the employees or the systems that you’ve put in place, sometimes it’s really just a matter of whether or not something is the right fit. Inc highlights how being in the wrong role often leads to disengaged employees.

One way you can alleviate this problem is through the use of assessment tests. These will give you a good grasp on whether or not someone is in the right role by seeing if their skills and personality are up to par with their current role in your team. Another way to do this would be to just ask your employees whether or not they think their current role is right for them.

If you want to learn more about how to make your workplace one that values mental health and safety, check out this article on 5 Ways to Deal with Workplace Conflict!


Show Buttons
Hide Buttons