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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

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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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How to Ace Your Next Virtual Interview

By | Career Guidance, Interviews, Leadership | No Comments

Working from home has been quite an adjustment for many people, but it can be especially challenging for those seeking new employment opportunities. While finding a job that fulfills your ideal work situation can be difficult, making it past the interview process is the biggest hurdle for most. Just like interviewing in person, it takes the right strategy and techniques to impress a potential employer into letting you onboard. Here are some of the best ways you can conduct your virtual interview for success.

Create an Ideal Virtual Environment

Your home office should reflect the nuance of any professional corporate environment that would be acceptable for a meeting situation. That includes choosing a space free from background noise and that is well-lit. Making sure your internet and phone connection are working without disruption is also vital. Any software used in the process should be practiced beforehand, taking account for any requirements and browser adaptations. Lastly, don’t stumble into a situation in which you need to download an add-on 5 minutes before an interview. This would reflect poorly and show a lack of preparedness. As an additional step, create a backup plan in case of malfunction of any part of technology.

Be Ready to Play the Part

Just like participating in an in-person interview, make sure you are making the most professional impression possible. Preparing a pre-interview checklist is greatly advised. Set a certain amount of time allotted for rehearsal of conversation, or questions that you may want to ask or plan on receiving. Look presentable in proper attire. A suit may not be necessary, but make sure to avoid clothing that reflects a non-professional attitude like logo t-shirts or anything that would be deemed inappropriate for the corporate environment. Having an upbeat attitude is also key to making a good impression on your interviewer. Make sure they see you as enthusiastic about the job prospect and happy to be in the interview process.

Having a Connection is Important as Ever

Interpersonal communication is a deciding factor for who is successful in an interview and who is not. Maintaining eye contact is challenging online. However, focusing on the camera is preferable to glancing off regularly (even if it is for notes). While sharing about yourself, do not be afraid to mention topics that you are passionate about, even if they are not directly related to the position. This could lead to a positive reception with the interviewer and yourself and help build a connection between you. Most importantly, don’t forget to smile. Nothing communicates a positive mood like brandishing a beaming smile on camera.

Being put through the interview process can be a stressful ordeal, but by following techniques like being prepared and maintaining proper communicative behavior, you can ace your next virtual interview and be on your way to a career opportunity that could change your life forever.

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Why the Best Leaders Ask Great Questions

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A common perception among those in charge is that asking questions can be perceived as a sign of weakness. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The true markings of a leader are shown by asking questions to gain further knowledge and using that knowledge in problem-solving. There are many advantages of asking powerful questions, whether it be to improve understanding between you and your team or for team problem-solving and building bonds with each other. Below are some reasons why the best leaders ask great questions.

Increase Insight

Questions not only provide insight into situations that may arise but also paint a picture of how your way of thinking works, giving an opportunity for other team members to understand your leadership strategy and implement it on future tasks. This also in turn provides them a blueprint to solve problems on their own without your involvement, saving your time for other areas of work that may require attention.

Provide Inspiration

By incorporating an emotional element with the questions that you ask, you allow others to examine themselves and help them grow as individuals. This not only builds your status as someone to follow, but also builds their loyalty as they see you as someone who challenges them to grow into a better team member and keeps them enthusiastic about work. Furthermore, by asking questions you are also giving your team the chance to develop their own problem-solving skills. Eventually, asking questions will become a part of your team culture, and team members will adopt a solution-oriented mindset instead of stopping at the problem.

Become a Better Listener

Sometimes when you are always the one dictating tasks, you can forget to pay attention to other thoughts and opinions. One way to ensure a good rapport with others is to ask open-ended questions that require answers other than just “yes” or “no”. This technique lets you become a better listener in addition to fostering ideas that are creative, unique, and open to constructive criticism.

Being a leader doesn’t always mean that you’re the one with all the answers. By engaging with others in the form of asking powerful questions, you gain insight into their thinking, provide inspiration to be more inquisitive and solution-oriented, and become a better listener in the process. Next time you are in a leadership meeting, remember that you can help yourself and your team achieve by asking the right questions.


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3 Tips To Become a Better Communicator

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Few skills are more important in C-level support than the ability to communicate effectively. If you can communicate your ideas in a straightforward and compelling manner, you can inspire the people around you and earn the trust and respect of your team members. Here are three ways you can become a better communicator.

Listen Carefully

Active listening is an essential aspect of effective communication because it facilitates understanding and empathy. To build trust with your audience and form a lasting connection, you must understand what is important to them. During conversation, listen carefully to what the other person says and take the time to reflect on their words before responding to them. By practicing active listening, you show your team members that you respect their opinions, knowledge, and feelings. Active listening will also hold back any urges you may have to interrupt, which is important because you don’t want your team members to feel like you’re talking over them.

Practice Body Language

Most communication is non-verbal. Make sure your facial expressions and body language match what your mouth is saying. For example, if you’re trying to inspire or motivate someone, wear a genuine smile, but if you’re giving bad news, keep your expression solemn. In most cases, your body language should be welcoming, so lean forward, relax your muscles, and avoid crossing your arms or using extraneous hand gestures. In contrast, if you step away from your audience, tense up around them, cross your hands, or tilt your head backwards, you risk making your team members feel threatened, inferior, or anxious. Practice speaking in front of the mirror. This will help you become more aware of how your body language can affect your communication.

Be Transparent

Transparency leads to better communication. As a leader, it is important to practice being open about your goals, the goals of the company you represent, problems that arise, and more so that you can cultivate trust within your team. Transparency also helps the team set goals and understand what is expected of them. As a leader, you can promote clear, open, and honest communication by trusting your employees to perform their work independently, encouraging team members to ask questions and speak openly about problems and concerns, and regularly meeting with your team members.

Effective communication is an essential leadership skill because it allows you to create a team that has a strong foundation of mutual trust, while minimizing miscommunication in the workplace. You can become a better communicator by listening more carefully, by becoming more aware of body language, and by being more transparent.

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How to Improve Your Remote Team Meetings

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More professionals in C-level support are working from home now than ever before. Leaders in the field have had to adjust their approach rapidly to ensure meetings remain focused, engaging, and effective. Below are some tips on how to improve your remote team meetings.

Keep Meetings Small

Remote meetings work best if there are fewer than twelve attendees. Before sending out invites, think about who needs to be in the meeting and who doesn’t. Larger meetings tend to be ineffective in a remote setting because it becomes harder for leaders to maintain the team’s focus. In addition, when there are too many people, not everyone will be able to participate equally, which may leave some of your team members feeling like you’re wasting their time. If the information discussed in the meeting is important but specific team members don’t need to be part of the conversation, you can also record the meeting and have them listen to it later.

Establish Guidelines

Many of your team members probably have an unclear understanding of what behaviors make virtual meetings successful. It helps to have periodic discussions with your team about meeting etiquette. For example, team members may need to know how long to make their responses and when it is alright to interrupt a speaker. Guidelines like this prevent meetings from lasting longer than they need to and ensure your team knows what to expect from remote conferences. Other guidelines you should address include whether attendees should have their video turned on, when should they mute their mic, and how they should approach disruptions, such as a phone ringing or baby crying.

Set Time Strategically

Long meetings put everyone in a foul mood, especially if the team has a lot of other tasks they need to complete for the day. Thus, you have to be strategic about time. Make sure necessary technology is set up before the start of the meeting and all documents are ready to go. Have a clear agenda and distribute the agenda to the attendees. Strict agendas keep the meeting focused and ensure everyone is on the same page. Adequate preparation is the key to hosting an effective virtual meeting. Technical difficulties that push the start of the meeting back stresses everyone out, hindering the team’s ability to create and cooperate.

Check for Understanding

It is a lot easier to tell if someone is confused in-person because you can see facial expressions better. In a remote setting, not everyone may have their cameras on. Even with video, images may be small or distorted. Additionally, not everyone will be comfortable interrupting you while you’re talking to ask for clarification. For these reasons, it is crucial you to pause for questions periodically throughout the meeting. This will ensure no one feels lost and everyone feels heard.

It can be difficult to lead team meetings in general, but it is especially challenging when the meetings are virtual. In a remote environment, there is more opportunity for technical difficulties and other disruptions and a lot of nonverbal communication is lost in translation. You can improve virtual meetings by limiting the number of attendees, setting clear guidelines, being strategic about time, and checking for understanding.


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4 Cliches about Leadership to Avoid

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There are many clichés about leadership. Often when advice and buzzwords become overused it’s because they come from a place of wisdom, but this isn’t always the case. Here are 4 cliches about leadership you should avoid.

All Opinions Count

The idea of a democracy makes us all feel good. It is nice to think that ever employee has a voice that should be heard. The reality is a company is not a government. You cannot consult all your employees whenever a decision needs to be made. This creates inefficiency and disorganization. Sometimes you will need to make quick decisions that might even step on other people’s toes. Ultimately, you have to if you want the company to grow.

There’s No “I” in Team

This saying has been used ad nauseam. There is no denying that teamwork is essential for a successful workplace. Yet every member of a team is also an individual, which needs to be recognized. Encourage cooperation and collaboration, but not to the point that the people just become cogs in a machine. There needs to be a balance.

The Customer Is Always Right

You want your clients to be happy, of course. But you also need your employees to be happy. Even more importantly, you need their trust and respect. If you consistently take the side of your customers over the side of your employees, they will start to feel like you do not trust or value them. Sometimes the customer is right and sometimes they are wrong. Assess the situation and be honest about it.

Don’t Come with a Problem Unless You have a Solution

This cliché can be tricky. While having a team that can problem solve is ideal, not every problem has an easy solution. Shutting down employees when they have problems does not always encourage accountability. Instead, it can discourage them from speaking up. You want the team to come together to solve problems. They can’t do so if the individual employees are afraid to speak up.

You’ve probably heard these four clichés more times than you can count. They come up often in the workplace. Take clichés with a grain of salt. They’re not all without merit, but you are better off avoiding them.


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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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How to Increase Workplace Resilience

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For many people in C-level support, work is a major source of stress. Like numerous other jobs in today’s world, jobs in executive support are fast-paced and exacting. Many employees experience burnout at some point in their career. While there is little you can do to make your work environment less demanding, there are ways you can improve your ability to endure stress and resist burnout. Below are some tips to increase workplace resilience.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a form of meditation that involves training yourself to be more aware of your emotions and state of mind in the present moment. Mindfulness tools promote workplace resilience by facilitating stress management and improving mental health. Spending a lot of time planning for future tasks or obsessing over past mistakes is mentally exhausting. By focusing on the present, you become more engaged and more resistant to negative, toxic thoughts.

Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance will also help you become more resilient in the workplace. Technology has made it harder for most people to create boundaries between their work life and home life. In the past, once you left the office you were done. Now most people continue to do work-related tasks on their computer or smartphone, such as answering work emails, after they leave for the day. While it might not be possible to keep your personal and work lives separate, it is still important to allow yourself some regular time to relax and recharge. Doing so will help decrease stress and improve productivity.

Practice Reflection

Although it usually isn’t healthy to dwell on the past, reflection is an important way to develop strong emotional intelligence. The goal should be to think about emotional reactions you have had in the past to better understand what situations provoke stress, anxiety, or other strong emotional reactions. Fostering emotional intelligence will enable you become less reactive in general, and also help you avoid certain triggers that will likely cause you stress. In addition, if you know what triggers negative emotional reactions in you, you can develop coping mechanisms that will allow you to recover more quickly in instances when triggers are unable to be avoided.

Stress has become a natural part of work for most people. You might not be able to control your workload or the pace of the work environment, but you can control how you react to stress. Practicing mindfulness techniques, nurturing a healthy work-life balance, and taking steps to improve your emotional intelligence can allow you to become more resilient to stress in the workplace.


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