Getting ahead within your own company – How to climb the ladder once you’re in

I’ve talked to numerous candidates who love the company they are with; however, just can’t seem to get ahead within the company no matter how well they perform. The frustration of receiving excellent performance reviews, yet, continually overlooked for the big or small promotions.   Does this sound like you? You may be a great employee, but without taking initiative and exuding the right characteristics, you’re likely to get stuck. Most people want to be successful but simply don’t know how to go about doing it. The following advice will get you on your way to obtaining your dream position.

Demonstrate confidence

Employees are more likely to support the efforts of their co-workers who are confident, which includes championing their success. It is easy to be your own worst enemy. When you believe that you won’t get ahead at work, your chances of getting ahead are low. Stand up for yourself and take credit where credit is due so that you receive acknowledgment for your great work and ideas. If you struggle with self-confidence, consider your skills and talents, focusing on your strengths and abilities. Think about why the company hired you in the first place.1 Then concentrate on your weak areas. What is holding you back at work? For example, if you have poor public speaking skills, take a class.

Make climbing the ladder a top priority

Wanting a higher position at work is not enough to get it. Very few people stumble their way into great opportunities in life. Most individuals who have achieved success have worked very hard to get there. Is there a specific position that you want at work? Do you have a salary figure that you’re working toward? Regardless of the goal, it needs to be your number one work priority now. Take a look at your weekly schedule and figure out how you can make changes to devote more time to this pursuit.2

Steer clear of office politics

Avoid office politics and petty gossip at all costs so that you can maintain focus on growth, opportunity, and innovation. Far too many people believe that staying involved in politics and gossip keeps them in the know. It is important to be aware of these issues, including unspoken rules,3 and the people who spur them, even going so far as to form necessary alliances. However, you don’t want to get involved and risk being associated with some sort of negative image or dynamic that can stagnate your career.4

Present yourself for the job that you want

One of the oldest job tips in the world is to dress for the job that you want, not the job that you have. If you’re an hourly worker who wears jeans and old t-shirts to the office and clocks out at 4:57 each day, bosses aren’t going to believe that you have a strong commitment to your current position, let alone have any desire to move up within the company. Presenting yourself professionally goes beyond dress. You should also be professional in your written and verbal communications and in your actions. Taking a few extra minutes to re-read an email and correct grammatical mistakes or to stay late and finish up an important deadline goes a long way.5

Network with decision makers

Identify ways to add value to leaders within your organization and seek out opportunities to connect for breakfast or lunch to discuss.   Listen to the organizational leaders to understand priorities and initiatives so you are well versed on what’s important to THEM while you have face time. Demonstrate your commitment to the organization to leaders every chance you get.   When the ideal job is presented; before you apply, set up 20-30 minutes with them to receive their input on your candidacy. At the end of the day, it’s not what is said to you that will get you the job, it’s what is said about you when you leave the room.

If you’re struggling with any of the previously mentioned concepts, consider talking to a kp companies, Executive Recruiter, job coach or other professional consultant. The time and/or money that you may spend on these sessions will be well worth it when you secure that next promotion.

1http://www.careerpath360.com/index.php/the-importance-of-confidence-in-the-workplace-3-7637/

2http://garfinkleexecutivecoaching.com/articles/advance-your-career/4-ways-to-get-ahead-in-your-company

3http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/careers/sns-jobs-steps-promotion-story.html

4http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2013/10/14/6-ways-to-immediately-get-noticed-at-work-without-self-promotion/

5http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/careers/sns-jobs-steps-promotion-story.html

How to Manage A Multi-Generational Workforce

Many employers aren’t aware that it’s the first time in history that they’re likely to be confronted with up to five different generations of talent—all under one roof.

What exactly are the differences between each generation? How do they affect the workplace culture? What’s the best way to manage a multi-generational workforce?

To answer these questions, we need to start by defining each. As we begin to examine each generation’s core values, we’ll discover how each has been influenced by a single common factor: technology.

Generations in the Workforce

The Silent Generation is the oldest of the generations. Born prior to 1945, they value discipline and stability. They are the farthest removed from technology and are least likely to engage with digital trends. The Silent Generation is hard-working—having been raised during the Great Depression—these individuals are loyal to their employers and usually have only one or two of them throughout their lifetime.

Baby Boomers—or ‘Boomers’—as they’re often referred to, are the next generation of workers, born roughly between 1946 and 1964. These are the early adopters of technology. With the invention of the television, this generation set the stage for the future of technological innovation. Boomers are work-centric and value job security. They hold many positions of power in the current workforce and are generally well-established in their careers.

Generation X is the generation born between 1965 and 1979. They were the first generation introduced to personal computers (PC), and mark a pivotal point in communication preference. Most Gen Xers prefer digital forms of communication over telephone and letters. They value autonomy in the workplace and flexible work environments.

More recently, the term ‘Xennials’ has been coined to describe the generational cohorts born between 1975 and 1985. These individuals exhibit characteristics of both Gen X as well as the Millennial generation. Career Planner refers to them as the “crossover generation”, with “the idea being that Xennials are more like the preceding Gen X than they are like Millennials”.

Generation Y “Millennials” were born between 1980 and 1995. This generation grew up in which almost every home had access to a computer and an internet connection. Often referred to as “Digital Natives”, Millennials are very familiar with technology and prefer it over traditional forms of communication. In addition, Millennials are seeking a greater work-life balance. They want jobs that are rewarding in both their professional lives as well as their personal lives. Many Millennials will have a number of different employers throughout their lifetime.

Finally, Generation Z—the generation born post-1996. This generation has never known the world without technology. This has led them to become nearly dependent on it in their everyday lives.

How to Manage A Multi-Generational Workforce

Managing a diverse group of individuals isn’t always easy. But it’s crucial for companies to have a basic understanding of how their workforce functions and why in order to maintain positive working relationships.

These four strategies will help nurture a multi-generational workforce.

1. Respect Core Values

The number one rule in fostering an inclusive work environment is to respect your employee’s core values. Younger generations value better work-life balance than older generations. As an employer, you can support this by offering a variety of benefits to suit the diverse needs of your workforce. Consider offering PTO in addition to sick leave if you don’t have this option isn’t already available.

2. Balance Communication Styles

Communication style preferences have shifted over the years. Traditionalists and Boomers prefer face-to-face interaction, while Gen Xers, Millennials and Gen Z prefer less personal interaction, such as email, text messaging and social media. In order to foster an inclusive workplace, you should implement a variety of each of these communication styles. Your older generational cohorts will appreciate the more personal interaction and your younger generational cohorts will appreciate the opportunity to communicate quickly and efficiently.

3. Provide Support

There’s nothing more frustrating than wasting time trying to figure out how to use technology. Employers need to provide support options to their employees so that they can spend their time working instead of troubleshooting.

4. Encourage Employee Feedback

Finally, take the time to listen to your employees. Find out what is working and—more importantly—what isn’t. Take an active role in mitigating problems that do arise. Ask your employees for suggestions on how to improve the business; then use those suggestions. When you make it clear to your workforce that you value their opinion, they’ll feel more confident in coming to you with their questions and concerns.

Generational diversity and tech are two sides of the same coin. While they are not mutually exclusive, we’ve discussed the various ways in which they are influenced by each other.

Practicing these strategies will help you cultivate a generationally-diverse workforce and will strengthen your relationship with your employees.

 

(Image via: Barclays)

Seeking Administrative, Clerical or Customer Service hires? Here are 6 things to look out for

When you need to bring in the best talent to fill an administrative position, your approach will be vastly different than hiring for other skilled workers or executives. There is a unique set of characteristics you’re looking for, not to mention certain personality qualities to ensure a good fit. You might benefit from reviewing the best practices for hiring administrative, clerical or customer service staff before you begin the process.

  1. Write up the qualities of your ideal candidate before you review resumes and conduct interviews.

Create an imaginary person who would be perfect to fill the position you need filled. Jot down notes on all the qualifications this employee must have, as well as other qualities that are desirable. This process will help you develop a job description for screening purposes.

  1. Start off with email communications.

This tip is one of the best practices for hiring administrative, clerical or customer service staff. Emailing back and forth will give you an idea of how well this employee communicates with others, which is likely to be a large part of their daily tasks.

  1. Consider personality when hiring an administrative, clerical or customer service employee.

It’s up to you to decide the personality traits that you value for your employees, so think about what type of person suits your company. If your own personality is serious and no-nonsense in the office, you’re not going to be happy with someone who’s more free-spirited and has a sense of humor. Determine the personality type which would be the right fit before you start conducting interviews.

  1. Look for a problem solver who can work independently.

While an employee in an administrative or clerical position will require some guidance from you, it’s also important for him or her to think independently under the right circumstances. Someone who’s constantly asking questions before undertaking routine tasks or waiting for instructions isn’t ready for responsibility. You want a person who can act when necessary and solve problems without the need for hand-holding.

  1. Don’t underestimate the significance of references.

You’ll obviously want to reach out to the people a candidate presents as references, but you need to dig deeper when hiring for an administrative employee. Ask colleagues in your industry whether they’re familiar with the references and can verify who they are.

  1. Keep in mind that you’re hiring your replacement.

Whether this person actually does replace you at some point in the future, you should still approach the hiring process as if they will fill your shoes eventually. This methodology moves your business forward, as constant promotion from within is one of the characteristics that raises a company above the rest. You would look for leadership skills, dedication and commitment in hiring your replacement, and you should do so as well for an administrative position.

Of course, you might find that partnering with a staffing firm is one of the best practices for hiring administrative, clerical or customer service staff for your company. These agencies can be useful for busy business owners who can’t invest the time and money involved with hiring an ideal candidate for the job. Please contact the experts at KP Companies for all your administrative staffing needs. We also specialize in recruitment in the fields of accounting, legal, IT and executive search.