Tag Archive: employee

Donna Fuscaldo, Glassdoor

With the job market extremely tight, even the small stuff counts, especially when you’re on a job interview. That’s why it’s so important not to say or do the wrong things, since that first impression could end up being the last one.
With that in mind, here are seven deadly sins of job interviewing.
1. Don’t Be Late To the Interview
Even if you car broke down or the subway derailed, do everything you can to get to that job interview on time.
“If you have a legitimate excuse it’s still hard to bounce back,” says Pamela Skillings, co-founder of job coaching firm Skillful Communications. “People are suspicious because they hear the same excuses all the time.”
On the flip side, you don’t want to show up too early and risk appearing desperate, but you do want to be there at least five minutes early or at the very least on time.
2. Don’t Show Up Unprepared
It seems simple, but countless people go on job interviews knowing very little about the company they are interviewing with when all it would take is a simple Google search to find out. As a result, they end up asking obvious questions, which signal to the interviewer that they are too lazy to prepare.
“Don’t ask if the company is public or private, how long it’s been in business and where they do their manufacturing,” says Mark Jaffe, president of Wyatt & Jaffe, the executive search firm. “Sharpen your pencil before you go to school.”
3. Don’t Ask About Salary, Benefits, Perks
Your initial interview with a company shouldn’t be about what the company can do for you, but what you can do for the company. Which means the interview isn’t the time to ask about the severance package, vacation time or health plan. Instead you should be selling yourself as to why the company can’t live without you.
“Your interest should be about the job and what your responsibilities will be,” says Terry Pile, Principal Consultant of Career Advisors. “Asking about vacation, sick leave, 401K, salary and benefits should be avoided at all costs.”
4. Don’t Focus On Future Roles Instead Of The Job At Hand
The job interview is not the time or place to ask about advancement opportunities or how to become the CEO. You need to be interested in the job you are actually interviewing for. Sure, a company wants to see that you are ambitious, but they also want assurances you are committed to the job you’re being hired for.
“You can’t come with an agenda that this job is just a stepping stone to bigger and better things,” says Jaffe.
5. Don’t Turn The Weakness Question Into A Positive
To put it bluntly, interviewers are not idiots. So when they ask you about a weakness and you say you work too hard or you are too much of a perfectionist, chances are they are more apt to roll their eyes than be blown away. Instead, be honest and come up with a weakness that can be improved on and won’t ruin your chances of getting a job.
For instance, if you are interviewing for a project management position, it wouldn’t be wise to say you have poor organizational skills, but it’s ok to say you want to learn more shortcuts in Excel. “Talk about the skills you don’t have that will add value, but aren’t required for the job,” says Pile.
6. Don’t Lie
Many people think its ok to exaggerate their experience or fib about a firing on a job interview, but lying can be a surefire way not to get hired. Even if you get through the interview process with your half truths, chances are you won’t be equipped to handle the job you were hired to do. Not to mention the more you lie the more likely you are to slip up.
“Don’t exaggerate, don’t make things bigger than they are and don’t claim credit for accomplishments you didn’t do,” says Jaffe. “You leave so much room in your brain if you don’t have to fill it with which lie you told which person.”
7. Don’t Ask If There’s Any Reason You Shouldn’t Be Hired
Well meaning career experts will tell you to close your interview by asking if there is any reason you wouldn’t be hired. While that question can give you an idea of where you stand and afford you the opportunity to address any concerns, there’s no guarantee the interviewer is going to be truthful with you or has even processed your information enough to even think about that.
“All you are doing is prompting them to think about what’s wrong with you,” says Skillings.
Read more: http://www.glassdoor.com/blog/deadly-interview-sins/#ixzz1tXC9HzfK

Geoffrey James writes the “Sales Source” column on Inc.com, the world’s most-visited sales-oriented blog.  

Here are the rules for keeping your boss happy:

1. Be true to your word.

Your boss wants to trust you. Really.  Therefore, whenever you accept an assignment, follow through religiously, even fanatically. Do what you say you’re going to do. Never overcommit, and avoid hedging your bets with vague statements like “I’ll try” and “maybe.” Instead, make your word carry real weight.

2. No surprises, ever.

The secret fear of every boss is that employees are screwing up but are not saying anything about it.  So even if you’re afraid some bad news might upset your boss, make sure he’s informed. Note: If your boss consistently “shoots the messenger,” you can ignore this rule–because his behavior shows he doesn’t really want to be in the know.

3. Be prepared on the details.

Your boss wants to believe you’re competent and on top of things.  That’s why she sometimes picks an aspect of your job and begins randomly asking penetrating questions. Therefore, whenever you’re meeting with the boss, have the details ready so you can answer these queries with grace and aplomb.

4. Take your job seriously.

Bosses appreciate individuals who truly care about what they do and willing to take the time to achieve a deep understanding of their craft. Bosses need people who have unique expertise. You don’t have to be a pro at everything, but you should definitely have a specific area of knowledge that your boss values.

5. Have your boss’s back.

When you see your boss about to make a foolish decision, it’s your responsibility to attempt to convince him to make a different one. Make your best case, and express yourself clearly. However, once the decision is actually made, do your best to make it work–regardless of whether you think it was the right one.

6. Provide solutions, not complaints.

Complainers are the bane of your boss’s existence. Nothing is more irritating or more boring than listening to somebody kvetch about things that they’re not willing to change.  So never bring up a problem unless you’ve got a solution to propose–or are willing to take the advice the boss gives you.

7. Communicate in plain language.

Bosses are busy people and have neither the time nor the inclination to wade through piles of biz-blab, jargon and weasel words. When dealing with your boss, speak and write in short sentences, use the fewest words possible to make a point, and make that point clear and easily understandable.

8. Know your real job.

Regardless of what it says on your job description, your real job is to make your boss successful. There are no exceptions to this rule. None.

And, by the way: Your boss’s real job is to make you more successful. The reversal of these priorities is the source of almost all organizational problems.

As posted on:  www.onlinecollege.org

10 Biggest Myths About Employee Motivation

Managers ignore employees’ motivation at their own peril. Gallup estimates that disengaged workers cost businesses $300 billion in profit each year. With the recession discouraging them from quitting for fear they won’t be able to find another job, it’s very likely that either you or one of your coworkers is drudging through the day, uninspired and doing the bare minimum. Unfortunately, incorrect assumptions about motivating employees perpetuate the problem. Here are the 10 most commonly-believed myths about rallying the troops.

  1. Money is the best motivator

    Americans have never met a problem they didn’t think could be solved by throwing money at it. The myth that high pay is the biggest motivator in the workplace persists partly because it’s such an easy fix from a management standpoint. It’s a cop-out for managers so they can say, “We’re paying you a lot of money. You shouldn’t need any help from me.” But raises are not a long-term solution to a lack of motivation. In a few months, most people have spent them and can’t even recall what they bought. Surveyed workers consistently rank pay in the middle of the pack on the list of what they really want from their jobs.

  2. One size fits all

    In their private lives, customers have grown used to being able to customize what they buy. The traditional business practice of “take it or leave it,” limited-option service is fading into night. Companies should recognize that their employees desire the same treatment regarding motivation. Using blanket motivation tools with all employees won’t work for all of them, because they’re all individuals with different needs and goals. The most successful management comes with finding what makes each person tick and focusing on those factors to help them succeed the way they want to, and rewarding them the way they want to be rewarded.

  3. Making progress is not very important to employees

    In an early 2010 survey, the Harvard Business Review asked 600 managers from a wide range of industries what they thought most motivated employees by asking them to rank five management practices. Their No. 1 choice was “recognition for good work,” while they rated “support for making progress” the least important manager tool. HBR compared the results to a multi-year study of 238 employees from seven companies and found that while the managers were nearly right about recognition (it was ranked second), what they considered least important was most important to workers. Even “small wins” that make work more meaningful for employees motivate them more than recognition or pay incentives.

  4. Surfing the web hurts productivity

    By now it has been well established that employees who are happy are more productive. Yet many employers still forbid “time-wasting” activities that help people enjoy their workday more, like checking Facebook or conversing on Google Chat. But studies at the National University of Singapore and the University of Melbourne have found that surfing the Internet for leisurely, non-business purposes for no more than 20% of a workday actually improves employees’ concentration, relieves boredom and exhaustion, and enables them to produce more than those who take no such breaks.

  5. You don’t have to motivate smart employees

    Think how different the world would be if high intelligence was always accompanied by high motivation. Talent would never be wasted; the world would be hundreds of years more advanced in every area. Even though we know this isn’t the way it works, reality is often thrown out the window when it comes to managing “smart” employees. People with high IQs need to be motivated as much as anyone. Even if their output is already great, neglecting to set goals for them or give them positive feedback is just begging for their productivity to suffer.

  1. Employees should set their own goals

    Speaking of goal-setting, there is a school of thought that employees should create their own work objectives. The thinking goes that this forces workers to compete with each other and gives them more of a say in their job experience. But the fact is the setup of most companies does not lend itself to such participatory management. Employees have to have the time, the skills, and the support from the company culture to set their own goals. There’s also the danger that they will shoot too high (and feel embarrassed or depressed that they couldn’t meet their own expectations) or too low (and either under-achieve or require a manager to “correct” their goals).

  2. All motivation is created equal

    In tough economic times there is a tendency for bosses to believe the myth that all motivating incentives are equal, and therefore interchangeable. Instead of giving bonuses at the end of the year, they might instead give out hats with the company logo, or give a hearty “good job!” instead of a raise. Yes, pay is not the most important motivator, but there’s also no substitute for cold, hard cash. In the same way, cash is not a substitute for praise for a job well done when it is merited.

  3. Hiding bad news is best for motivation

    It’s natural for companies to want to downplay negative results and focus on the positive. However, employees don’t live in a vacuum and (hopefully) are smart enough to know when things aren’t going well. Sooner or later they will find out what managers don’t want them to know, and they will resent being treated like children. Many companies are fond of saying employees are their most valuable resource. If that’s really true, they should be informed of bad news and trusted to put their skills to work to do what they can do help the business.

  4. Motivation is a panacea

    Thinking that all a company’s problems can be solved with 100% employee motivation is an easy trap to fall into. The examples of highly successful companies that are very public about the lengths they take to keep employees happy and fulfilled are numerous, and people begin to associate motivation with guaranteed success. But success depends on employees, and “motivation is a cure-all” is a myth that fails to take into account management, culture, work systems and processes, and individual capabilities, all of which contribute to employee performance.

  5. Anyone can be motivated for any job

    When interviewing prospective employees, smart bosses know to investigate whether the applicant is truly interested in the job and the associated type of work for which he or she is applying. If not, the entire process is an exercise in futility. However, some people who are a fit for a job when they start may lose interest over time, either because of the work itself, the company environment, the pay level, or a host of other reasons. And when they’ve “checked out,” they can’t be motivated. Throwing resources at the problem is only delaying the inevitable. They should be moved before they drag down output and others’ morale.

April 10th, 2012 written by

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