Friday, July 27, 2012

6 Abilities that you need to have to get employed

There are a lot of articles out in cyberspace that are talking about the skills that employers want.  I wanted to discuss the abilities that employers want and nearly demand.  Employers spend a lot of money to hire someone and it costs them even more to have to fire them, but if all  job seekers can prove they have these abilities the job search could end after just a couple of interviews.

1.      Do you have Reliability?  Are you or have you been a reliable employee?  Reliability means trustworthy and able to depend on.  A reliable employee shows up on time if not early, does what they say they are going to do and is trustworthy enough to not have the employer stand over and watch them work.  I have found many job leads that require reliable transportation.  This means will get you to work on time.  Are there any Barriers to your reliability?  Everyone loves kids but in all honesty they can be a barrier to reliability because if they get sick the employee will have to miss work.  Have a backup plan to make sure you succeed.
2.      Do you have Accountability?  People do make mistakes and are often times ready to learn from them, but a person who is accountable will take the consequences that are deemed necessary.  Someone with accountability will answer for any decision made.  If you have made mistakes in the past learn from them and make sure you do not make them again.  Tell the interviewer the things you have done to overcome this issue.
3.      Do you have Responsibility?  Are you a responsible person?  Many times at an interview a person will answer that their strengths involve being a responsible person.  What does that mean to the employer?  Are you holding this work ethic and making sure the tasks that have been provided for you to accomplish are being accomplished?  Responsibility is a key thing that employers are looking for because if you cannot fulfill the duties of the job then why should they hire you?
4.      Do you have Adaptability?  A person who is adaptable is one who would never say “that is not in my job description” or “that is not my job”.  To be adaptable a person has to be willing to take on some additional tasks, or learn some new things to help the company.  I hear all the time that a person is adaptable but how do you prove that at an interview? Easy. Tell of a time that you were asked to do something that you thought “was not in your job duties”, but you willingly did it anyway  
5.      Do you have Flexibility? Flexibility is about an employee and an employer making changes to when, where and how a person will work to better meet individual and business needs. So many times a person will go into an interview with the “I can only work this schedule” attitude.  Or they do not show that they can be flexible to make sure the job is done and done right.  Being flexible means that if you are working on one thing, but another comes up that needs your attention that you can be flexible and change gears.
6.      Do you have Dependability?  We depend on things daily.  We depend on our car to start, our power to remain on, we depend on friends, family and employers.  How can you prove you are dependable to an employer? Dependability says I will show up on time, or better yet, early, I will do my job to the best of my ability, I will hold the proper workplace ethics and do what is asked of me.  Dependability shows that you are the “go to person when something needs to be done.
If you have these abilities and can bring examples of the skills to an interview I think your chances of employment increase.  Remember everyone has skills but how many people have abilities. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Employee Retention and Enhancement for Employers

Employee retention is getting a lot of buzz here lately. There are discussions on hiring, the new EEOC rules, unemployed individuals not being hired due to being unemployed and many other hot topics.  I realize that companies want the best talent and they want to keep the best talent.  This week’s discussion is for Employers to learn to maintain the best talent.  I hear quite often that employers are looking for the best talent and they want to retain the talent.  There are several things that employers can do to obtain and maintain the top talent.

1.       Transparency is an important factor in the world of employment.  When a company keeps their employees informed they will have fewer turnovers and more retention.  Unlike 50 years ago, there are not a lot of people staying on one job 30 years, Companies are not as loyal to their employees anymore so many companies will lose people in the shuffle.  When a company does not have transparency, they will have people who are left guessing what is going on and that can lead to fear and rumors.
2.      Weeding out the problem employees can help make the loyal workers remain loyal.  Allowing a problem worker, the one who misses a lot, call in a lot, or just has that negative attitude can make work a much more enjoyable place to be.  Before terminating someone for being a problem worker I think it is better to provide some job coaching and allow that once great and dedicated worker to return to those roots.  Often it seems that managers tend to take on the attitude that they do not want conflict at work so they ignore unethical and unprofessional employees with the “out of sight, out of mind” Philosophy.  Sometimes an employee has to be terminated due to their behavior, but at least give the employee a chance to succeed.
3.      Having a comment box where employees can drop comments in an anonymous fashion can tell an employer tons of information about where the state of the employees are.  Listening to your employees will give them a greater sense of belonging to the company.  Everyone likes to know that their concerns have been heard and that they are being addressed, but when an employer does not get back with the employees on their concerns, the employees can feel unimportant.
4.      Incentives are a great way of keeping employees happy and engaged.  I am not talking about monetary incentives necessarily, but asking the employees what kind of incentive would benefit them.  Gift Cards for online shopping, to be done off work hours, dress down Fridays, not dress unprofessional, Fridays, Free Coffee or sodas, Or anything that will help the employees feel they a part of the company.
5.      Opening up your hiring pool to those individuals who are unemployed will give you a pool of people who will appreciate the chance.  Often when employees become disgruntled with their place of employment their work ethic goes down and they take the job for granted.  Helping reengage them, providing job coaching and finding out why they are less happy will help an employer, but sometimes the bad apples do have to be terminated.  Hiring someone who is unemployed will get you an employee who will go above and beyond to succeed.
6.      Employee satisfaction surveys are a great way to see where your employees are in the company.  Asking for honest and anonymous feedback can let you know where your employees are.  I have heard of some companies doing this for their employees, but I have never been able to give my employer feedback about concerns I might have, mainly due to never being given the opportunity.

I will often say that a happy engaged employee make for a great bottom line for an employer.  Gaining the happier workers will make not only the company look good but will make the customers feel great also.  Employers I hope you will look at this as a few suggestions on how to grab up the best talent, and how to keep them.