September 30, 2014 by Jenna
Once you have been considered for the interview process, it is important to know that the employer or recruiter will ask questions to assess your suitability for the role.
One of those questions they tend to ask is: ‘Why did you leave your previous position?’ Depending on your current situation there can be a variety of answers associated with this, but what answer will best get your foot in the door?
I decided that it would be best to ask the experts in my team for their point of view when it comes to screening a candidate with this particular question. This was their feedback on suitable responses:
- Looking for a new challenges/ Wanting more responsibility – You may have been excelling in your current role but the opportunity was not available to take on new challenges or move up in the company. You are taking on the initiative to pursue new options and take on more responsibilities.
- Something different/ change of scenery – This is fine to admit, but not in the event that you are applying for a role that exactly matches the outline of your previous one.
- Redundancy/Restructure – Of course this can be a sensitive subject but the recruiter can often relate to these situations.
- Cultural change within the company – This can also be an acceptable answer, just make sure you try to be diplomatic and where possible try to avoid sounding too negative about the situation.
- Career Change – if you have any transferable skills that you could bring to the new role it can always be advantageous to mention them.
- The role became too demanding/long hours/not enough work-life balance – Think carefully before describing what ‘demanding’ or ‘long hours’ mean to you. Make sure it is relevant to why this new role is more appealing and fits with your career prospects.
Do keep in mind there are also responses that should be avoided and this is why:
- Being negative about a company or person within your previous employment – There may be circumstances where you have had a bad experience, however, how you relay this information is important. You don’t want to appear bitter about management or your previous work environment. Try to make your answer is more diplomatic rather than accusing.
- A higher salary – Most managers/recruiters won’t hold this against you however, if it appears that money is the only driving force for behind you pursuing this role then the chances of getting this new position may be slim.
- Not being able to give a valid reason – This can be a concern to the employer if you have a history of moving employment frequently. It may cause the employer to question your longevity in this upcoming role.
Try preparing answers to these types of questions before the interview takes place so that you are not caught off guard. It is the employer’s way of trying to get to know you, what your interests/passions are, and whether you are the right fit so make sure to put your best foot forward.
What have you learned from these types of questions in an interview? And for employers, what are some of the responses you have received from star candidates?
Tags: Assessment, attitude, Behaviour, candidate, career, challenges, change, communication, company, confidence, culture, employees, employer, employment, environment, experience, feedback, flexibility, goals, guidance, impression, information, interests, job, management, opportunity, organisation, people, performance, Personality, productivity, Professional, Recruitment, redundancy, reputation, Research, responses, success, workplace
September 23, 2014 by Jenna
If you have decided it is time to leave a company and move on, I tend to find that one of the two reactions can occur:
A) You are so excited to get out the door that organising a proper handover and process is the last thing on your mind or
B) You don’t know the best way to approach management about it and are worried about the outcome.
It can always be difficult to leave a company especially if you are mindful of the value of keeping the relationship on good terms when you leave. If you have been with the organisation for some time, you don’t want to throw away years of good experience by creating a bad reference do you?
So while doing research on the topic, I found seven tips on potentially damaging avenues to avoid when you resign:
1. Don’t Quit Unexpectedly and Without Notice
Even if you’ve reached your wits’ end in your current position, quitting without warning just isn’t acceptable. The standard practice for resigning involves giving notice (the amount of time will be subject to your role and what your contract outlines) — failing to do so could result in a bridge being burned. It’s true that a trail of respect often follows you from job to job and word can get out within your industry about how you handled your resignation.
2. Don’t Forget to Weigh Your Options
Many individuals find that leaving a job they’re unhappy in for a new opportunity wasn’t necessarily the answer to their problems (as outlined in my previous blog). Before you decide to quit, assess your situation and look for way to improve it — don’t be afraid to approach your manager with a potential plan.
3. Don’t Forget to Put It in Writing
Simply telling your manager that you are quitting just won’t cut it. Write a formal resignation letter and set up a meeting with your manager. There are many scenarios for resigning, and putting it in writing will act as a professional and respectful way to express your terms.
4. Don’t Forget to Ask for an Exit Interview
Many companies require every employee participate in an exit interview prior to leaving. If your company doesn’t require this, it’s still a good idea attempt to set one up. This is your chance to be respectfully honest about your experience with the company — good or bad. Your answers to a variety of questions could help benefit current and future staff.
5. Don’t Disregard Asking for a Reference
Never quit without asking your boss and colleagues if they would be interested in acting as a reference for you in the future. Don’t miss out on the chance to use someone who truly knows about your qualifications — especially if you’ve worked with them for a long time. Be sure to gather their information, stay in touch at least every quarter, and contact them when you actually give their name to a company during the hiring process.
6. Don’t Spread Gossip
There can certainly be a lot of negativity involved with quitting, but do your best to ensure that all of your conversations about moving on are positive. Never brag about your new job, talk poorly about management, or express anything less than a positive outlook. Gossip moves fast in a work environment, and you wouldn’t want anyone to lose respect for you.
7. Don’t Forget to Tie Up Loose Ends
Quitting your job isn’t always a smooth transition, but there are many things that you can do to avoid a burned bridge. Stray from these mistakes to ensure a professional resignation that leaves you with strong references. Follow a proper handover process, let you clients/customers know that you are leaving, and avoid leaving anything unfinished or avoid delegating tasks to someone else after you leave.
Have you resigned within the past five years? What steps did you follow to ensure a smoother transition?
Category: Career Choice
Tags: Assessment, attitude, Behaviour, boss, business, career, colleagues, communication, company, confidence, culture, employees, employer, experience, feedback, flexibility, goals, impression, information, management, office, opportunity, options, performance, Personality, productivity, Professional, qualifications, reference, relationships, reputation, Research, resignation, success, Team, workplace
September 16, 2014 by Jenna
Expectations are set high when it comes to finding a successful and fulfilling career. Personal happiness is above all else and often if that level of expectation is not met than the decision can be made to look elsewhere. However, if you find that you have a record of doing this on a regular basis without finding that level of satisfaction in the new role, then perhaps you are wondering – Is the grass really greener on the other side?
While expectations are high to find a satisfying career, so too is the mindset that this will happen right away. In a society where we have instant access to everything, a dream job shouldn’t be any different, right?
If you look at any successful business owner, entrepreneur, inventor, client etc. you will know that in order for them to get to where they are today they had to fight the ‘hard yards’ and work their way up to land that meaningful career.
No job ever encompasses 100% satisfaction, but finding the balance of what you do love about the role and lining it up with your future prospects can often outweigh those tasks or items that you may not necessarily favor. The step we often tend to miss when it comes to getting there however, is that your needs have to be outlined to begin with. Then you will have to work to find that balance of satisfaction because it is personal for every individual, and management will not be able to deliver something that they are not made aware of.
If you haven’t establish what job satisfaction means to you then changing roles may not necessarily be the answer you are looking for.
While conducting research on the topic I found an article that outlines seven steps to finding job satisfaction wherever you work:
1. Know Thyself
What are things that motivate you? Companies can find ways to drive motivation but personal motivation is important as well. Only you know what keeps you awake at night and what makes you jump out of bed in the morning. When you know yourself, it is easy to increase your own job satisfaction as you will know what works for you.
2. Keep Challenging Yourself
Work has to be challenging enough but not so overwhelming that you find it insurmountable. Challenges at an optimum level keep you going. Perhaps you find that your work is not challenging anymore. In that case, learn to get more projects that are challenging now since you know the importance of job satisfaction in your life.
3. Cross Learn
Make cross learning and increasing your competency at work a culture you adopt. That means learn other skills that are only expected from people in other departments. If you are a sales person, learn to read financial statements. Cross learning can keep you challenged and will also open doors previously not an option to you. By knowing that options are open you become more relaxed and feel better about yourself.
4. Improve Other Areas of Your Life
When you are unhappy with other parts of your life you will also bring it to work. It is usually easy to blame other parts of your life on the low level of job satisfaction you have. Analyse yourself, are there other parts of your life you can improve?
5. Stay Positive
Whenever you feel you aren’t very satisfied with your job, learn to stay positive. There are many things to be thankful for when you have a job. Remain positive that things can change for the better. Look forward to good things like a possible promotion or salary increase or completion of a project. You may just see your job satisfaction level increase.
6. Know the Role of Work in Your Life
Work means different things to different people. Know the role of your job in your life. What does it allow you to do? Pay for the bills? Serve people in the community? Allows you time to pursue your hobby? Know what is the role of your job in your life and you will put it in the right context.
7. Work Allows for the Search of Purpose
Not many people are mindful enough to know what their purpose in this world is. Why not let work become a medium to allow you to search for that purpose? Imagine having eight hours a day just doing an exercise that slowly reveals what you are here in this world to do?
If you still find that after exercising various steps that you still can’t find that level of satisfaction in your role that you are looking for, then it may be wise to look into alternative options. However, if you are still in early stages of a role and have not allowed yourself the chance to truly grow or find out where it will lead you then my advice is to not jump the gun. You could end up making a choice that you may regret. Weigh up your options, write down your goals. Let your organisation help to develop you further and commit yourself to the role, after all, you never know where it may lead you.
Tags: attitude, Behaviour, candidate, career, challenging, communication, competency, confidence, culture, employees, employer, experience, feedback, goals, guidance, impression, management, motivation, opportunity, performance, Personality, productivity, Professional, Recruitment, satisfaction, skills, success, Team, temporary, Training, workplace
September 2, 2014 by Jenna
Typically, the term ‘employee turnover’ has negative connotations, usually related to cost: the cost to re-hire and the cost to re-train.
However, is an organisation with low or no turnover really a good thing? Perhaps it is due to one of the following reasons:
• Lack of employment opportunities within an organisation.
• Financial constraints preventing employees from moving.
• Bad company image that keeps recruiters away.
• A high concentration of older workers reluctant to change jobs later in their career.
Dr John Sullivan, the internationally known HR thought-leader, writing on ere.net, classifies employee departures into desirable, neutral and undesirable outcomes. Below are some of his key points for consideration:
Studies show that at least 25% of turnover is desirable. Situations where this may occur include:
• A low-level performer leaves on their own accord (therefore avoiding the need to terminate them).
• An average or lower level performer gets replaced by someone that becomes a superior performer (referred to as a talent swap).
• An employee with key skills working in a non-critical job/business unit transfers to a strategic job/business unit.
• A lower-level employee is replaced by promoting someone inside that needed more challenge or growth to develop (thus improving the organisation, increasing internal movement).
• The exiting employee is a retiree who led a fulfilling career and has agreed to consider ‘fill-in’ work during retirement.
Neutral or OK Turnover
Such situations include:
• Turnover of an employee or contractor who was hired to provide short-term coverage.
• Turnover by an employee who provided sufficient notice, enabling an exceptional replacement to be sourced, hired and trained prior to the employees exit.
• Turnover by an employee leaving a more generic role with a short learning curve.
• Turnover of a top performing employee who has a high probability of returning in the future.
• Turnover of an employee who left as a result of major illness or something that could not be predicted or prevented.
Critical or Highly Undesirable Turnover
This is the key area upon which focus retention efforts on. Situations falling under this category include:
• Turnover of a top performer with little or no advance notice.
• Turnover of a critical team leader or manager.
• Turnover of an employee that possesses the only knowledge or experience in a critical field in the organisation.
• Turnover of an employee in a revenue generating or revenue impact job.
• Turnover of a top performer or a key individual that goes to a direct competitor.
• Turnover of a high-potential individual who left due to a lack of development opportunities.
• Turnover of an employee who subsequently files a credible government or legal complaint against the organisation.
Labelling turnover ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depends primarily on the business impact caused by the departure of the employee. If employee turnover means losing an individual who is a ‘bad actor’, the impact can be beneficial to your company. For the remaining staff members, the departure of an employee with a negative attitude can seem like a breath of fresh air. For the business owner, it means no longer having to deal with the problems that employee caused. Employee turnover can also have a positive impact if it means replacing a long-term employee who is simply going through the motions or biding their time until retirement.
By regarding turnover as an opportunity, employers can rest easy knowing that new staff will ultimately bring new life to their businesses, nurturing its growth and development.
Category: Efficiency, Performance, Retention, Workplace Matters
Tags: attitude, Behaviour, company, cost, culture, Dr John Sullivan, employee turnover, employees, employer, growth and development, image, impression, learning curve, opportunity, organisation, performance, productivity, reputation, retention, skills, turnover
August 4, 2014 by Jenna
Interviews can be scary. For some, it’s comparable to the shower scene from Psycho or being trapped in the hotel from The Shining.
Ok, so maybe I’m exaggerating.
Conversely, sitting on the other side of the desk can be just as horrifying. If I had a dollar for every time a candidate didn’t meet some of the basic ‘interview 101’ requirements, I would be as rich as Stephen King.
Hold on, I know what you’re going to say … and I get it. Interviews can be nerve racking, uncomfortable and just plain awful. Therefore it can be difficult for some to shine at the interview and demonstrate that they are the best person for the role. However, after the hundreds of interviews I’ve conducted, I’m still amazed at how many candidates still get the basics wrong.
If you don’t repeat these horror stories, you’ll be way ahead of the pack.
1. You don’t need to follow fashion but the outfit counts. Prepare your outfit the night before. Make sure it is clean, ironed and appropriate for an interview. For corporate roles this means no purple tights, sneakers, doc martins and Kermit green suits (I’ve seen it all. And hey, you shouldn’t be wearing Kermit green suits anyway!). If unsure, keep it conservative.
2. Cleanliness is next to godliness. First impressions are made quickly. Have a shower or take a bath, whatever floats your boat. Don’t forget to wash and comb your hair, clean your nails and brush your teeth. Am I sounding like your mother yet?
3. Don’t bring your lunch. I know it’s nearly 12pm and it’s almost sandwich o’clock but please don’t bring half a loaf of sliced bread to the interview and plonk it on the table (yes this really happened). Further to this, try not to eat a heavy lunch prior to the interview which might make you burp consistently throughout.
4. Know your CV. Remember that job you did last year? If you have a memory of a goldfish go through your CV before the interview to ensure you know your dates and responsibilities. It doesn’t look professional and authentic if you have to consistently refer to your CV during the interview.
5. Is common courtesy dead? Be respectful and friendly. I once opened the door for a candidate who greeted me rather rudely, but as soon as she realised I was interviewing her, her attitude immediately shifted.
6. Ego at the door? Check. A good interview does not consist of you telling me about every single achievement you’ve had since Year 4, the moment we sit down. You may be an accomplished individual but it’s not necessary to dramatically take off your solid gold ring, place it on the table and tell me how much it costs (true story, which he followed up by also showing me his pilot’s licence which was also irrelevant for the role). Remember to be patient and wait for your turn to speak. There will be a chance for you to speak about any relevant achievements you have made.
7. Why are you difficult? I know filling out forms can be annoying and answering competency questions tiresome but, most companies have an interview process. And if you choose to make a fuss “because all that information is on my CV” then you’re just proving to be a challenging, uptight and a demanding person. Who wants to work with one of those!
8. Don’t be like Debbie Downer. If you don’t know who she is click here. I know that interviewing is tough, particularly when jobs in the market are scarce but don’t bring a negative or desperate attitude to the interview. I once interviewed a candidate who was so bitter throughout the entire interview she was muttering things under her breath. I just had to give her constructive feedback – which was to be more positive at interviews. Let’s just say she didn’t take this well and any sympathy I was feeling for her ended there.
9. Robots have no personality. Be human. Yes you need to be professional, but don’t overdo it (I often see this in young Graduates trying to make a good impression). I want to see your personality and don’t need to hear your over rehearsed or textbook answers.
10. Blah Blah Blah Blah. Please don’t waffle. If your answer goes beyond two minutes it’s more than likely I’ll be thinking about whether I feel like fish or chicken for dinner. Be concise and make sure you’re answering the question that has been asked.
Rather than creating the next scene for Wolf Creek 3, prepare and use some common sense and you just might come out the other side alive. Oh and most importantly, you may nab your dream job and create your own Happily Ever After.
Category: Performance, Selection
Tags: achievement, attitude, authentic, Behaviour, candidate, career, challenging, common sense, communication, company, confidence, constructive, culture, employees, employer, experience, feedback, guidance, impression, information, job, manager, office, opportunity, people, performance, Personality, Professional, Research, respectful, responsibility, skills, success, sympathy, Training, workplace
July 22, 2014 by Jenna
Building effective teams is on the to-do list of nearly every manager I know and an effective team can be more productive than an average team. One of the tools often offered to managers to enhance their team performances is off-site team building exercises. The sort of exercises I’m talking about are those that are supposed to enhance your trust, communication, problem solving etc. by attempting team based physical or mental challenges. But do they work?
Well my opinion is a decisive, yes and no. I think that there is value for newly formed teams or teams with new members, but not because the exercises are effective at changing the long term behaviour of members or that they uncover previously undiscovered personality traits. I think the value comes from the participants spending time together outside the work environment completing a focussed task. In short I think the value is in the fact that they get to know each other away from the pressures and preconceptions of the office environment. They get to know the person not the position or role they play at work. This has the potential to break down barriers and to speed up the relationship building process and this can result in a team that is more tolerant of each other and communicates better.
In saying that the value is not in the exercise, I do think the nature of the exercise is important in that it establishes the environment for the team to communicate. A session of paint ball does not foster open communication.
I’m not alone sitting up on the fence though, a quick scan of articles on the internet shows that are just as many people fiercely in favour of team building exercises as there are against.
So how do you effect change to an established team that is not operating effectively? Well I think the answer is, the old fashioned ways, careful selection of team members including consideration of their personality types (e.g. using Myer Briggs Type Indicators), establishment of clear roles and goals, public celebration of team success and private counselling when things don’t go as planned.
There have been hundreds of slogans used to motivate and recognise the value of teams by many notable people over hundreds of years but I think at the end of the day what counts is hard work and a common determination to succeed.
Tags: attitude, Behaviour, business, candidate, career, challenges, communication, company, culture, determination, effective, employees, employer, environment, exercises, experience, goals, guidance, participants, performance, Personality, preconceptions, productive, Professional, relationship, skills, success, Team, team building, workplace
July 15, 2014 by Jenna
When it comes to taking on responsibility in a team environment, you quickly realise just how important personal accountability is. Each person on the team needs to play a part, it means taking on the tasks, following through and being responsible for the outcome.
It means that there are certain bad habits that you need to banish, these include:
Making Excuses/ Blaming Others
• ‘I have a lot to manage at the moment; therefore I won’t attend the team meeting. I’ll catch up next week’
• ‘I’ll sleep in instead of going to training and I’ll make up for it later’
• That you are ‘too busy’ to commit to the task and put it on the back burner, falling behind.
• ‘So-and-so didn’t finish their part of the assignment so we fell behind’
What could happen as a result of excuses: You will be considered unreliable or the group will not be able to trust that you are capable of delivering outcomes on time. Trust in the team is very important and once it is broken, it can take time to earn back.
Possible solutions to excuses: We are all guilty of excuse making at times. When you find that you are starting to think or react this way, it is important to reflect on the task at hand and why you were chosen for this role. Reflect on how this task contributes to your team. Understand the implications of what could happen if you do not follow through.
Do you have someone that you report to on a regular basis? If not, buddy up with someone on your team so that you both collectively can help keep one another on track. Sometimes a simple push is all you need.
What could happen as a result of blaming others: Blaming others instead of trying to find a solution can create all sorts of unfavorable results. It can create tension in the team, break trust, communication etc. When problems occur, teams should be collectively looking for solutions together, not turning on one another.
Possible solutions to blaming others:
• If you have someone sharing a task with you and find that they are not performing then you need to address this issue directly with them. Start off one on one, as often the person may not realise they are doing it. If it still continues then get a manager or third party involved.
• If you have a problem and choose not to communicate the issue or find a solution then you won’t achieve the desired outcome. Speak up if you are struggling, ask others for advice, after all, that is what your team is there for.
• If you are being held accountable for a result of a group task that has failed a task, sometimes the simplest thing to do is say you’re sorry and offer to work on a solution for the future. Apologising does not make you weak, it shows courage. It shows responsibility.
Lack of Motivation
Examples are running late, being unprepared for meetings, not focusing or listening to what others are sharing, nor contributing thoughts or ideas to the team discussions.
What could happen as a result of this: You appear distracted or disinterested to the team activity and other members will question your commitment levels. If you are unenthusiastic, others will not feel comfortable approaching you for help or provide you with further responsibilities. They will assume that you don’t care.
Possible solutions: Organising yourself can be the best way to keep your goals on track and set your path towards success. If you have your tasks written down in front of you, it will remind you every day of what you need to achieve and keep you focused.
You can start by asking yourself some simple questions:
• Are you setting daily targets?
• Are you writing the information down on a checklist?
• Are you following up on your own progress regularly?
As part of the team, members also have a right to know your progress, which should in turn keep you motivated knowing that not only does your work impact you but those around you.
I personally become motivated when I see the time and dedication that my teammates are putting into their tasks. It makes me feel excited that goals are being achieved, and it challenges me to step up my level of commitment.
Any great leader or manager that you know will tell you that they have to go through stages of being accountable for their team. It requires making decisions for the overall well-being of your team, taking responsibilities for mistakes or set-backs and collectively working together to find solutions.
Remember these points next time you are in a group situation so that you can let the best part of you shine.
Category: Performance, Workplace Matters
Tags: accountability, Assessment, attitude, Behaviour, boss, business, candidate, career, commitment, communication, company, confidence, culture, employees, employer, environment, experience, feedback, goals, guidance, impression, information, management, opportunity, organisation, people, performance, Personality, productivity, Professional, progress, relationships, reputation, Research, skills, solution, success, Team, temporary, Training, workplace
July 14, 2014 by Jenna
The world of temporary work might be completely unknown to you or one you might not fully understand, however the use of temporary workers is on the up in Australia and has firmly established itself within labour markets worldwide. Challenge Consulting has offered temporary staffing solutions for 21 years and we’ve noticed a significant and consistent increase in awareness and demand for temp staff across most industries.
A ‘Temporary Worker’ is an employee who is only expected to remain in a position for a certain amount of time. Temporary workers may have the opportunity to obtain a permanent position after that or they may have a set end date:
- They work the hours that you need (Full-time/Part- Time)(Minimum 3 hours per day)
- They get paid for the hours that they work and are not entitled to holiday pay or sick pay
- They do not have a contract with the host company
- They are on the agency payroll (i.e. Challenge Consulting pay them for you)
Significant research has gone into the use of temporary workers as part of the workforce globally (www.staffingindustry.com). If you are wondering why you would ever need to use a Temporary Worker, research has found that the main motivation behind employers’ use of temporary workers goes further than just answering short-term issues. The numbers are compelling and the most common reasons for the use of temporary staff are:
- Flexibility (89.4% of employers);
- Value in answering short-term needs (87.8%);
- Benefit in identifying candidates for long-term positions (75.7%);
- Cost-effective solution to HR challenges (61.2%)
- Bringing external expertise into the business (49.1%).
From the candidate’s point of view, there are significant benefits for professionals who offer themselves for temporary employment. The research found that professionals who chose temporary employment or an interim management position over a specific permanent assignment did so for pragmatic reasons;
Availability of short-term employment positions even during times of economic difficulty (72% of employees);
- Opportunity for individuals to develop their professional network (70.7%);
- Opportunity to develop professional skills (66.7%)
- Possibility of finding stable employment (59.1%).
Out of the 17 countries surveyed for the report which included the USA and UK, Australia had the most positive attitude towards temporary employment. Generally, the positive response was more common in countries where Temporary Employment has been more established. On a global scale, Australia has the 2nd largest proportion of temporary employees as a percentage of the total working population (2.8%), just behind the UK (3.6%). Employers and employees now know and understand the benefits of temporary employment and accept it as a positive fact of working life.
Whether you are using temporary employees to replace a member of staff taking leave or to cope with an unexpected increase in activity; the speed of turnaround from agencies providing temporary employees was listed as the most important factor for employers seeking to recruit. Previous relationship and cost were both secondary factors.
Temporary employment in Australia is predicted to increase and temporary staffing agencies like Challenge Consulting are likely to become more essential to support business. The ability to provide highly trained employees to sophisticated sectors at short notice is valuable and Challenge Consulting has the experience and resources to respond to your need quickly. If you are looking to employ temporary staff for your business or you would like to hear more, please contact our Temporary Services Recruitment Specialist – Melissa Lombardo on 02 9221 6422 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags: Assessment, attitude, awareness, benefits, business, candidate, career, company, culture, employees, employment, experience, labour, motivation, opportunity, pragmatic, Professional, Recruitment, resources, staff, support, temporary, valuable
July 8, 2014 by Jenna
I love putting teams together for adventure races and sporting events. Whether the teams are people I have known for years or complete newcomers, I have found great value in teamwork in this kind of environment. It brings me a great deal of satisfaction to make it happen.
I have learned a lot about myself – what my limits are as a team leader, the different personality types of others and different skill sets that a group can collectively put together to achieve a goal. That is how any great team starts, establishing the goal you want to achieve, and working together to accomplish how to get there.
I also found that for great teams to reach success, each individual in the team needs to possess the following qualities:
- Have a good attitude – Showing up to a team event with an open mind and positive attitude can make a world of difference! It allows new ideas to be shared, it keeps other team members motivated and determined and overall positivity spreads. In sporting events, you can get run down and fatigued and it is so important to stay positive and encourage one another so that you don’t give up.
- Be determined – To not only be willing to take on the task but to follow through. To stay as focused as you can, knowing that what you achieve in the end is worth the hard work and effort that you are putting into it.
- Develop courage – To face obstacles, to show your true colours (your opinions, passions and sometimes vulnerability) and most importantly, the courage to ask for help when you need it.
- Know your limits – Both physically and mentally. We want and most often believe that we can ‘do it all’. But in reality, if one person is trying to take on too many tasks at once without proper delegation, they will end up being more of a hindrance than an advantage to your team. You need to feel your best to be your best. Sleep right, eat right and manage tasks so that you are not continually struggling with stress or anxiety.
- Know when to listen – As a team leader it is so important for me to know the needs of my team members. If they have a problem I want them to feel like I am approachable to talk to regardless of how ‘busy’ I may look. If they have a problem or something has happened I want to know about it to find a solution. Otherwise problems can go unresolved. It also makes individuals feel valued if you allow them to express their opinions. No one deserves favour over the other and each person deserves respect and time.
- Be observant – Keeping aware of what is going on in your environment. To address potential threats and weaknesses with your goal, to be aware of the feelings and behaviours of your teammates (is anyone run down or require assistance?) and be alert to any changes that may take place.
- Be respectful/humble to one another – There is no ‘I’ in team so keep in mind the effort of your teammates to help achieve the overall goal. Enforce gratitude and encouragement when needed to one another. Also be sure to keep in mind that if something does not work according to plan that emotions do not get the better of you and that you do not take out those emotions on your fellow team members. We are all human, we all have feelings, and as the saying goes, ‘Treat others the way you want to be treated.’
What has teamwork taught you so far? Are there any defining qualities/abilities that you think lead a team towards success? What is your best team experience so far?
Tags: Assessment, attitude, Behaviour, career, colleagues, communication, confidence, culture, delegation, determined, employees, employer, encourage, environment, experience, feedback, flexibility, goals, guidance, impression, information, management, opportunity, organisation, passions, people, performance, Personality, productivity, Professional, qualities, relationships, Research, skills, success, Team, Training
July 1, 2014 by Jenna
In theory when we choose members for a team we should only select members who have the skills and experience needed to achieve the team goals, and the behavioural traits that fit the required team functions. But in the real world for small to medium enterprises having all the people with the required skills is often a luxury, and then having enough of them to be able to filter on behavioural traits is just a dream.
So what do we do?
Well the reality is building teams without the ideal members requires us to sharpen the focus across a number of key areas. Extra effort is required with:
- Defining the goals vision and goals for the team
- Defining the roles of each team member
- Defining the success criteria and critically
We are asking people to work outside their comfort zones so to maximise the team’s chance of success we have to make sure that all team members are pulling in the same direction and are aware of all the issues that will affect them.
But there are some traits that cannot be compromised on. All team members must have these if the team is going to succeed. They include:
- Willingness to compromise for the good of the team
- Willing to learn
- Willingness to commit to the team goals.
In small team that is reliant on the input of every team member I believe these traits are more important than technical skill or experience. A team that is willing to work together will gain synergy from their communal energy and drive that will far outweigh a fragmented but highly skilled group of people.
Category: Workplace Matters
Tags: Assessment, attitude, Behaviour, boss, business, candidate, career, colleagues, communication, company, compromise, confidence, culture, employees, employer, experience, feedback, flexibility, goals, guidance, impression, information, management, office, opportunity, organisation, people, performance, productivity, Professional, Recruitment, relationships, reputation, skills, staff, success, synergy, Team, Training, vision, workplace