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Traits That Lead to Success in the C-Suite

By | Hiring Strategies, Industry Trends, Interviews, Leadership, Training | No Comments

The modern work environment continues to change around the country rapidly. Workplaces are trending toward remote workforces, focusing on employee health and wellness, decentralized offices, and using more technology than ever before. To stay competitive, be ready to adapt and develop these traits.

Be Resilient

If we learned anything from the pandemic, it’s the importance of resilience. Adversity and stress are unavoidable in corporate America, and resilience can help you adapt and emerge even better than you were before. Although some people might have built resilience through their life experiences in the past, it’s still something that anyone can develop. First, build your connections by prioritizing your relationships or joining a group to gain social support. Resilient people also tend to focus more on personal wellness than others. From getting regular exercise to finding purpose, be proactive to learn better and faster. 

Be Consistent

Becoming a little better each day doesn’t have to be a huge endeavor. Small habits can make a big difference. Spending just ten minutes a day reading can help you finish a book a month. Some of the world’s leading executives prioritize self-improvement and ongoing learning by reading consistently. If you’re struggling with consistency, then follow these rules:

  1. Focus on the process rather than the outcome.
  2. Be present.
  3. Don’t wait around for inspiration.
  4. Surround yourself with people who will hold you accountable.
  5. Forgive yourself.

Be Patient

Patience is often the key to the C-suite. Since many leaders are promoted from within, sometimes it pays to stay the course if you are a great culture fit in a company. Remember that you’re already in line for a promotion, but you have no control over career succession. If you can’t wait for the current leadership to retire, then an executive recruiter can help by sharing other options. Be patient, but keep adapting to the changes going on around you.

Be a Forward-Thinker

Forward-thinkers stand out in their ability to see the larger picture. Don’t hesitate to move outside of conventional thinking to solve problems, because pre-established ideas will only take you so far. Being average is comfortable, but some of the world’s most outstanding CEOs have been eccentric, open-minded leaders.

Finally, don’t be complacent when it comes to developing new skills. Set realistic goals and solicit feedback to learn about your strengths and weaknesses. Career progression is a marathon that requires consistency and patience. Succeeding during uncertain times also requires a certain amount of resiliency and open-mindedness.

 

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Top Tips for Being a Better CEO

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Strong leadership is always the common denominator of successful businesses. Some of the world’s top CEOs stress the importance of creating servant-leadership-driven cultures. You can start to reinvent your company from the inside out by giving employees more autonomy and allowing them to fail as they continue to learn and grow. Still, being a CEO is an ever-evolving journey and requires knowing different ways to approach growth. Here are some specific mindsets and tips for becoming a better CEO.

Beat the Odds

Did you know that companies only have an 8% chance of jumping from the middle to the top of their industry? Start taking more drastic approaches to beat the odds by focusing on making big moves that matter. Winning companies know the importance of their employees. That is why companies are so focused on hiring and retaining the best people. When you have good employees who share a vision and are focused on solving a problem, your company is sure to do great things. However, achieving this goal takes an investment in relationships and building trust within your organization.

Empower Your Employees

Great leaders inspire people to come to work every day. An effective way to empower your employees is to make stronger connections with them. Understand what their work means to them. Then, praise those employees regularly when you see improvements and progress.

Remember, people don’t like being told what to do or being told when they do something wrong. That is why having a relationship with employees is vital. More organizations are looking for managers who help turn employees into problem-solvers and innovators. This transformation can only happen when managers allow employees to make mistakes.

Join in the Recruiting Stage

You are only as good as your weakest link, so surround yourself with the most competent people possible by joining in the recruiting stage to learn what candidates think. Many hiring managers have a track record of recruiting the most credentialed and experienced candidates. Even though these people might appear more likely to succeed, it’s often the untraditional hires that can help you beat the odds by changing the meaning of success. Sometimes it takes unconventional interview techniques to find the best cultural fit for the job, like asking non-traditional interview questions or hosting a group happy hour.

It takes a different approach to beat the odds and lead hybrid teams during times of disruption. Focus on empowering and engaging your employees by promoting a healthy work culture of teamwork, honesty, and transparency. Then, involve yourself in the hiring process to discover genuinely exceptional candidates.

 

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How Informal Check-Ins Can Improve Employee Engagement

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From increased employee health to higher retention, there are significant benefits associated with employee engagement. It also tends to ebb and flow because of the influence of so many different variables. For instance, low motivation and job satisfaction can stem from toxic work culture, poor management, lack of recognition, or various other factors. Fortunately, there are some effective techniques, like informal check-ins, that can improve employee engagement quickly. Let’s take a closer look at some of these strategies.

Plan Informal, Yet Frequent Check-Ins

First, how do you determine if your employees are satisfied? Employee engagement surveys are a good way to elicit opinions about work culture. Since employees crave feedback and recognition, providing them with regular review sessions can improve workplace engagement. Employees that are recognized regularly express the most satisfaction, followed by those that receive feedback once a month. It’s important to let employees know that they are valued by rewarding their achievements. Some organizations are having success with CEO lunch programs to help employees connect with executives. Use this time to gather ideas by asking employees what is working and what needs to be improved.

Recruit the Right Managers

Another key to improving employee engagement is hiring great managers that know how to help employees reach their full potential. Managers are typically the first line of defense against toxic employee-organization relationships since they are the first to see progress and provide feedback. It’s essential to separate egotistical leaders from modest, competent managers.

The best managers have a relationship with employees based on clear communication and a shared vision. When managers ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards a common goal, the progress that can be made is remarkable. Having the right people in place can be one of the most effective ways to keeping employee engagement strong.

Long-Term Engagement Approaches

Improving employee engagement starts during the onboarding process. Always be transparent about company goals, values, and the responsibilities of the role. Then, focus on retaining employees with professional development and career advancement opportunities. Operational inefficiencies can cause engagement to plummet, so leaders are encouraged to analyze and optimize these processes. Find areas where you can improve and fix them.

In addition to frequent recognition, employees also want a better work-life balance. Show respect and consideration to employees by suggesting flexible work schedules to meet their personal and professional commitments.

Combining these fast-track tips with some dedicated, ongoing initiatives can improve employee engagement. It should be built on a foundation of good relationships, hiring exceptional managers, and providing employees with a career map to advance with your organization.

 

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How to Strengthen Your Employer Brand and Attract Better Talent

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Employees are easy to find. All over the internet, there are job postings with interested applicants in the hundreds. Landing yourself skilled talent goes beyond merely publishing job updates.

In a recent survey, 73% of CEOs complained about the shortage of employees with the required skill set. Talented workers do not embrace the first job opportunity that arrives on their doorstep. Instead, they consider many factors.

In the battle to win the top talent for your business, your branding says a lot. You need to understand the various ways you can improve your employer brand to lure skilled individuals to work with your business.

We’ve compiled some of them for you to implement.

Look Beyond Your Business Logo

You shouldn’t rely solely on your brand logo and catchy slogan to attract better applicants. Your logo and slogan must be alluring. But your organizational objectives and governing principles are what pack the punch.

Your focus should stay on creating a unique experience for your workforce and clients. This emphasis will go a long way in strengthening your brand.

Share Your Story

Everyone loves a good story—whether from a movie, a book, or for branding purposes. One of the surefire ways of attracting great applicants is to sell your brand to them. Tell them about your unique history and your vision.

For skilled applicants to be enthusiastic about working for you, they need to learn about your beginnings and how your business became what it is today.

Showcase Testimonials from Your Existing Employees

Building on the last point, have your story told from employees who have experienced it. Interested applicants want to know why people love working for your business. What makes it unique? It would help if you displayed these testimonials on your website and social media accounts.

Stand Out

Every business executive wants to apply the same formula that works. But you need a distinguishing factor to stand out. Your HR and social media manager must focus on what makes your brand unique and make that your selling point online.

Let the world know through high-quality content why it’s a great experience working for your business.

Know the Expectations of Each Generation

According to Harvard Business Review, employers could be dealing with five generations of employees and applicants: Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers, and Traditionalists.

You need to understand these people have different expectations. This insight will help you to create a diversified business. A brand that understands all age groups’ expectations is a brand that people would want to work for. It’s that simple.

Embrace Employee Development

According to a Gallup poll, 87% of millennials agree that employee development is vital in accepting job roles. Everyone is interested in the prospect of personal growth. When your business offers the opportunity for workers to grow, you are guaranteed to attract top talent.

Acquiring skilled workers is a constant battle between the best businesses. But with these tips, you will not only attract but retain the best people for the job.

 

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3 Hiring Trends You Shouldn’t Ignore in 2021

By | Hiring Strategies, Industry Trends, Interviews, Leadership, Training | No Comments

It’s a relief to put 2020 behind us finally. Few were prepared to deal with the global pandemic that put everything on hold. While a lot of businesses were forced to shut down their operations, others deployed emerging trends to stay afloat.

As we now navigate towards a post-pandemic world, we must recognize that nothing will remain the same. Recruitment today has shifted from the norm. Thus, there are certain trends you should take note of when hiring new staff for your business.

Here are 3 of the most important hiring trends you shouldn’t ignore this new year.

Virtual Recruitment is the New Normal

As a result of the pandemic, many businesses have adapted to remote work. Top tech companies like Google, Twitter, and Microsoft have fully embraced this mode of operations. As people can now work from the comfort of their homes, this influences recruitment and even onboarding exercises.

Several companies have utilized virtual board meetings in times past. It is natural to implement the same process for hiring new staff. Initializing an encrypted virtual hiring process is bound to save you time and money in the long run.

Before the virtual interview, send out setup tips to interested applicants. This will help avoid potential tech problems.

Diversity Is Important

While the last year ushered in the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter campaign also took center stage. With several voices clamoring for diversity in the workplace, it has become a necessity to hire people across racial lines.

As your business is looking for ways to broaden its presence, you need input from a diverse workforce to create products and services that will suit everyone. A diversified workforce is vital in making that possible. Diversity is a profit driver for businesses, and you should quickly adopt this during recruitment.

Focus on Employer Branding

Applicants are now looking to work for a reputable brand and not just any company that offers juicy incomes. Now, more than ever, businesses should focus on their branding.

There are several ways you can attract the best people to work for your business:

  • Taking stronger stances on societal issues
  • Showcase testimonials from your existing employees
  • Deliver high-quality content on your website and social media pages
  • Tell your applicants what they stand to gain working with you.

The landscape for recruiting and retaining employees has made a significant shift from the way it used to be. Working with an experienced recruiter can help you find the best talent in this evolving scene.

 

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Important Questions to Include in Your Interview Process

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Having the right skills in itself isn’t enough to make someone right for a job. As an employer, you will interview a lot of people who have the right skills and experiences. The best talent also has high emotional intelligence. Unfortunately, many of the generic interview questions that managers ask do not provide enough insight. The best advice about interviewing you can get is to customize the question list in a way that gauges the candidate’s emotional intelligence. Below are some questions to ask candidates.

What Failures Did You Learn from the Most?

One way to assess someone’s emotional intelligence is to see how they react to adversity. Listen closely when a candidate talks about their weaknesses and failures. Failure is the heart of success. No one is successful right away. They learn from mistakes and become better. Someone who breaks down at the first sign of failure is not going to be a good employee. Look for candidates who view failures as opportunities.

Have You Ever Noticed Someone at Work Was Struggling? What Did You Do to Help?

Ask questions that will give you an insight on how the candidate will interact with co-workers. This is just one example. You can also ask about a time they had a conflict with a colleague, among others. These types of question will tell you a lot about the candidate’s attitude and interpersonal skills. You don’t want an employee who stirs up drama and can’t be a team player. Find someone who will build people up and be a positive influence on the team.

Have You Had a Boss You Found Difficult to Work with? How Did You Deal with the Situation?

See how the candidate handles authority. The employee-employer relationship can sometimes be tense. You don’t want to hire someone who is uncooperative and resistant to authority, but you also don’t want someone who is so servile that they never speak their mind. In some cases, employees will have to work with multiple managers and will need to juggle different personalities. There is a lot of opportunity for conflict there, so you need employees who have high emotional intelligence.

It’s easy to find a candidate who checks all the right boxes on paper. But you can’t tell someone’s emotional intelligence by looking at their resume and cover letter. Find someone who will respect managers and colleagues, learn from their mistakes, and navigate conflict and disagreements gracefully.

 

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4 Ways to Improve Your Email Etiquette

By | Career Guidance, Executive Assistant, Leadership, Training | No Comments

Email etiquette can have a major impact on workplace communication. When colleagues and clients read emails you send, they make assumptions about your professionalism, trustworthiness, competence, and more. These tips to improve your email etiquette will help you maintain a solid reputation within the C-suite while improving your communication skills.

1. Avoid Being Too Personal or Casual

Even if you are friendly with the people you work with, it is important to remember you are representing your organization when you send emails. Keep your communication professional and formal. For example, avoid discussing your personal life and overusing exclamation marks and emoticons. Also avoid using too much industry jargon, slang, and of course don’t use curse words.

2. Keep Emails Brief

Few people enjoy reading long emails. In general, emails should not be longer than 3 short paragraphs. Recipients will start to lose focus after that. If you have more to say than can be contained in a brief email, it is usually better to have the conversation in-person or over the phone. It also helps to read through the email before you send it. Are there sentences that aren’t necessary? Do you wait too long to reach the main point of the message?

3. Tell Recipients Who You Are

Unless you’re emailing someone that you work with daily, it is a good idea to introduce yourself at the start of an email message. It doesn’t need to be long. Just provide a short sentence giving your name and role. We often figure that if we met someone before, they know who we are. But in the professional world, it is easy to forget a name if you meet new people regularly.

4. Proofread Emails

Grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors are some of the fastest ways to lose credibility with your recipients. We have gotten used to relying on tools like spellcheck and autocorrect. While these tools are helpful, they are imperfect. Make sure you carefully review email messages before you click send to check that they are free of errors. It might take an extra minute or two, but it is better than having to explain confusing or embarrassing typos.

The etiquette you use when you write and send emails can say a lot about who you are as a professional. It’s important for your colleagues, managers, and clients to view you as organized, credible, and well-spoken. You can improve your email etiquette by practicing writing in a professional tone, keeping messages brief and to-the-point, introducing yourself to email recipients, and proofreading all of your messages before they go out.

 

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Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

By | Career Guidance, Executive Assistant, Leadership, Training | No Comments

Emotional intelligence is one of the most beneficial skills you can have as a professional in C-level support. Emotional intelligence improves self-awareness, allows you to communicate with clarity, and helps to control your emotions in challenging situations. In addition, emotional intelligence can improve your ability to collaborate and regulate stress. Here are some steps that you can take right now to strengthen your emotional intelligence.

Active Listening

Many people listen without fully processing what the other person is saying. You can foster emotional intelligence by listening carefully when others speak and making sure you clearly understand them before responding. Listening also involves observing nonverbal communication, such as facial expressions and gestures. Active listening can improve empathy and reduce misunderstandings in the workplace.

Self-Awareness

Emotional awareness is a critical component of emotional intelligence. One way you can improve emotional intelligence is to regularly ask yourself how you feel in a given moment. As you become more self-aware, you gain a better understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes. Over time, you will learn what activities trigger happiness and which ones fill you with dread. You’ll also become aware of what stressors you should try to avoid. Likewise, you will gain insight into what types of people relax you and what personality types bring you down.

Attitudes and Habits

As you become more self-aware, you can start to cultivate a positive attitude as a habit. There are steps you can take to improve your mood, such as eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining a regular sleep pattern, which in turn will help improve emotional intelligence. When you practice keeping a positive perspective, you will work better with others, maintain focus easier, and improve your overall motivation. Other activities such as meditation can also improve your daily mood.

Responding Instead of Reacting

Reacting to triggers is a habit that can cause a lot of tension and stress. It is important to monitor how you react to things like requests and constructive feedback. Instead of reacting impulsively, practice receiving information, taking a deep breath, and responding without emotion. For example, if someone gives you negative feedback, instead of becoming angry, receive their criticism with an open mind and thank the person for taking the time to help you improve.

In C-level support, improving emotional intelligence can make you a healthier, more productive professional. You can begin to foster emotional intelligence by practicing active listening, learning to self-reflect, making positivity a habit, and responding thoughtfully.

 

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4 Skills That Will Make You the Leader Others Want to Follow

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There are a few traits all great leaders in the c-suite have in common, such as excellent communication skills and the ability to take charge. But not all great leaders inspire people to want to follow them. These four underrated skills will help you become the best leader you can be.

1. Nimbleness

The business world changes rapidly. For this reason, the most effective leaders know how to identify and make sense of complex and dynamic business environments. Great leaders are nimble; they have the ability to respond quickly to change. Essentially, the best leaders can sense opportunities when they present themselves and then take advantage of those opportunities by acting decisively.

2. Receptivity to Feedback

The best leaders continually work on improving themselves. They know there is always room for improvement, so they listen closely when people give them feedback and are not defensive in reaction. As a leader, when you listen to criticism and take it in stride, you also encourage your employees to embrace constructive feedback. Thus, receptivity not only helps you improve your leadership capabilities, it also helps to improve performance of your team members.

3. Diplomacy

Diplomacy is one of the most under appreciated leadership skills. Few things can impede the success of a team as much having a toxic work environment. While there will always be conflict in the workplace, leaders who are diplomatic know how to mitigate conflict without alienating employees. Diplomacy also help leaders get along with all of their team members, even if their personalities clash. Ultimately, great leaders need to be able to stay professional.

4. Accountability

Excellent leaders practice accountability. They follow through on their commitments, keep their promises, and take responsibility for their mistakes. One way to improve accountability is to plan for the unexpected. For example, it’s smart to assume tasks will take longer than you think in case you encounter any roadblocks. When you show accountability, people are more likely to see you as trustworthy and responsible. These are the kind of traits that make people want to follow you.

There are many different skills and characteristics that can make someone an effective leader, but not all great leaders are exceptional. Nimbleness, receptivity, diplomacy, and accountability are four skills can make you an exceptional leader who inspires your employees to be their best.

 

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Embodying Cultural Awareness at Work

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As the C-suite becomes more and more diverse, companies and their employees need to actively work on raising their cultural awareness. Truly embodying cultural awareness in the workplace means understanding differences in cultures and giving everyone an equal level of respect. It also involves eliminating unconscious biases and normalizing the idea that diversity makes an organization stronger.

Benefits of Cultural Awareness

When your company embodies cultural awareness, everyone benefits. Employees feel more comfortable in their work environment and are encouraged to learn from each other. Cultural awareness is also the first step in creating an inclusive work culture. When everyone on your team feels valued and respected, the team works better together, and employee engagement and productivity increase. Cultural awareness can also improve a company’s ability to solve problems because the team can approach problems from many different perspectives.

It Starts with Research

The first step is to recognize that everyone has preconceived notions about other cultures that may not be true. In developing cultural awareness, you have to set aside assumptions and research with an open mind. Part of this requires you to talk to people with diverse backgrounds and listen. As you work on advancing cultural awareness in the workplace, monitor your own behavior in interacting with people from other cultures. This is the easiest way to identify any unconscious biases you may have. Research cultural practices to better understand how to show respect to employees from different backgrounds than your own.

Learn How to Communicate Flexibly

Communication practices differ from one culture to the next. It’s important to take the time to learn about communication variations related to culture because it helps avoid misunderstandings and workplace conflict. For example, a word in one culture can be a compliment but, in another culture, it could be an insult. With this in mind, when a company embodies cultural awareness, overall communication improves over time. This, in turn, helps employees work harmoniously as a team, allowing for more cooperation.

The C-Suite is becoming more diverse, which means it is more important than ever that companies start thinking more about how they can improve cultural awareness in the workplace. Cultural awareness and inclusivity helps ensure all employees feel respected, improves communication, encourages teamwork, and more. The key is to promote self-reflection and interaction because it is the best way to learn about different cultures and eliminate unconscious biases.

 

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