Here’s how to get your employees to perform better

It’s no secret that mindfulness, the quality of present moment awareness, is a powerful force for positive change. What was once a practice reserved for the spiritual has now become essential in mainstream life. Today, mindfulness practice has stretched beyond our personal lives and into company culture by world leaders including Google, Nike, Apple and Intel- and for good reason. Mindfulness has been shown to have a positive impact on business- improving employee productivity, concentration and patience, while reducing stress. As a manager, implementing a mindfulness culture can make your job not only easier but also more enjoyable. This article will give you three things to practice to set a tone of mindfulness at work.

Patience

As a manager dealing with employees with different working styles, patience is essential in maintaining good relationships with your team. Employees don’t want to work under an irritable or testy manager, so you’re much more likely to have your employees respond favourably if you’re patient with them. But patience takes conscious effort, especially when you’re busy, so it’s something you must continually work at.

So, if you’re about to have a challenging conversation or feel impatience bubbling up, acknowledge the feeling, pause and breathe.

Try this:

Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts and breathe out for six counts. Repeat this ten times to refocus your attention and bring you back into the present moment- your conversations will be better for it.

Active listening

How often are you planning a response instead of fully listening to what someone is saying? Whether or not we realise it, this tendency holds us back from having meaningful conversations and can make them longer and more complicated than they need to be. Active listening is listening with full attention, without interruption, judgement, or planning a response, and is important in and outside the office.

As a manager, you may feel you already have an answer for an employee before they’ve finished explaining. It’s important though, to practice active listening- giving full attention to the words, body language, and meaning of what the speaker is saying. In doing this, you’ll give yourself the best chance to understand what’s being communicated, and makes them feel truly heard. Active listening also has the power to diffuse difficult conversations, so it’s important to include in your managers toolbox.

Self-awareness

Being a successful manager also requires a good level of self-awareness. How do you respond when faced with challenges or obstacles? How do your co-workers and employees perceive you and your actions? Practicing mindfulness allows you to tune in to how you’re coming across to those around you. With this awareness, you’ll be able to act more thoughtfully and communicate with the impact you intend.

Throughout your day, check-in with your mood and emotions and think about how they may be affecting your interactions. If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, chances are that stressed energy is spilling over into your interactions. This can have a ripple effect on your team, so it’s important to stay on top of it. 

Take time to pause, take those conscious breaths and re-evaluate how you can approach the day with intention and clarity. Ten minutes to check-in with yourself and develop a plan can save you a lot of time throughout the day.

 

Being mindful allows you to choose how you interact with your employees and the energy you spend on things. Now, you’ll hopefully have a better understanding of how mindful managing can benefit you, and a few tools to help you implement it. Think of mindfulness as a muscle- the more regularly you exercise it, the stronger it will become. And the stronger your mindfulness muscle is, the more useful it will be in the times you need it most- be it a busy week or a company-wide crisis.

The First Few Months and What Employers Are Looking For

So, you’ve started a new role and want to impress your employer. There’s a lot of truth in the saying ‘first impressions count’, so how can you make sure you make a good one? We’ve got some tips to get you started off on the right foot.

Be on time

It’s easy to slip into the habit of sneaking into work just a little bit late, but that kind of thing is noticeable- especially when you’re the newbie in the office.

It might seem trivial, but making an impression as someone who is punctual is important for a number of reasons. Being punctual shows respect, that you take your work seriously, and sets you up for a reputation as someone that is organised and good at managing their time. All of these things have a part to play when you’re being considered for more responsibility or even a promotion somewhere down the track.

Making a conscious effort to wake up a little earlier to give yourself the time you need to get sorted so you can head out the door on time is important. The little things matter, so pay attention to how you show up in the workplace- your employer and peers will, too.

Get to know your team

Outside of your ability to fulfill the responsibilities of your role, employers are also looking to see if you are a good fit for the team, culture and organisation. To show that you are, spend a bit of time getting to know and building relationships with your team members.

Not only does having great relationships with your co-workers make your time spent at work more enjoyable, but there are also other benefits that have been linked to person-organisation fit. These are related to cultural fit that benefit both you and your employer, including:

  • More efficient collaboration amongst team members
  • Increased levels of engagement
  • Higher quality work

On the flip side, poor relationships and lacking person-organisation fit have been linked to low team morale, motivation and productivity. Showing that you are a good match for your team is a great look for you, and a relief for your hiring manager; especially if they can see that productivity has increased within the team since your arrival.

Learn, learn, learn

Having a willing and open attitude toward learning new skills, software and ways of working will show your employer that you are adaptable and flexible- great qualities to have in today’s rapidly changing environment.

Your attitude in the first few months will set the tone for the rest of your employment. Employers want to see someone that approaches the unfamiliar with a ‘can-do’ attitude; someone that says “I’ve never done this before, but I’m happy to learn- is there anyone in the team that can teach me?” instead of passing off challenges to others. Work on learning new skills and taking on as many challenges as possible. In doing this, you’ll impress your employer while also upskilling yourself for other roles throughout your career.

Understanding what employers are looking for can be a powerful tool for making a great impression and building positive relationships. Work on getting into the habit of incorporating these things into your daily work life and you’ll not only impress your boss but also set yourself up for success in the future.

 

Enrolments Now Open for New Zealand Certificate in Cranes (Level 4)

Skills recently made some changes to the crane qualification to make sure it’s up to date and the best it can be. With the construction boom in full force these changes have improved the qualification at a time where New Zealand needs more crane operators.

The New Zealand Certificate in Cranes (Level 4) qualification will enable trainees to work in specialist crane operator or advanced dogman roles.

The available strands are:

  • Advanced Dogman
  • Crawler Crane
  • Mini Crane
  • Mobile Crane
  • Non-Slewing Articulated Crane
  • Tower Crane
  • The training normally takes around 9 months, depending on the strand chosen.

 

Want to find out more?

We’d be more than happy to answer any questions you have, contact us today.

Enrolments for Rigging Recognition of Current Competency Level 5 now open

The enrolments for the Rigging Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) Level 5 programme are now open for those with experience in rigging who would like to apply for a formal qualification.

What is RCC?

An RCC allows you to get official recognition and qualifications for the skills and experience you already have. This may be experience from working on the job, or from overseas rigging qualifications. Whatever your level of experience, there’s a pathway you can work through to stay at the top of your game.

Who’s it for?

The New Zealand Certificate in Rigging (Level 5) recognises advanced rigging skills and knowledge. You will be competent to plan, prepare documentation and control complex rigging. This qualification is the third step in the New Zealand load-lifting rigging qualification pathway. It is suitable for people who have gained the New Zealand Certificate in Rigging (Level 4) with optional strands in Construction Rigging.

How does the RCC process work?

All you need to do is send in a portfolio showing your experience and/or overseas qualifications. If these are deemed satisfactory, you’ll be required to sit an assessment. Based on your results, you’ll either be awarded the qualification or made aware of the areas that need a bit more work. If you have any questions along the way, we’re here to help.

Get your years of hard work and experience backed by a nationally recognised qualification.

Click here to start the process today.

Getting a job and why it’s good to be a tradie

The other day, right out of the blue my partner was approached to consider a new job. That happens. Not to me, but to him, it does. What was different about this time is that they asked him to send across his CV.

He was surprised. No-one has asked to see his CV since he finished his apprenticeship in 1993. I couldn’t believe it! I’ve needed mine dozens of times! In the course of my working life I have had my CV re-written, re-purposed, coloured coded, you name it, many times.

Why then do potential employers chase him and not me? It is because he is a tradesman and I am not. The difference between our experiences in the job market is night and day. I told him about the things I have to do to get a job.

First I have to find a position for which I think I would be a good fit. I have to do this myself because nobody comes chasing after me waving contracts.

Once I have found a suitable job vacancy, I send my CV and if I am lucky I might get an acknowledgement. If I’m even luckier, I might get an interview. If that goes well, there will be a second interview and possibly a third. There will be presentations, pitches, psychometric testing, panel interviews, the lot.

You can do all these things and still not get the job. But whether you do or you don’t the whole procedure takes ages. Months even. The partner listened patiently but not, I think, impressed.

His experience is that he hasn’t had to apply for a job since finishing his apprenticeship in 1993 – the work and jobs have always come to him, built on relationships. On this occasion though, the company asked him to fire through his CV. Obviously it must need refreshing.

So we fished out the ancient, document, circa 1993 (which included such arcane information as his mother’s maiden name) and put together a one page CV to share with his prospective employer and here’s what happened.

Prospective employer phones next day for a chat. They scheduled an appointment for the following day to have a face to face and within 7 business days of initial contact they had a great written offer for him to consider. Sealed and sorted within a week!

While from my experience applying for a new job is a slow process with lots of moving parts, from my observation it is not like this for tradies.

There’s work everywhere. More people are needed now and far into the future. With the demand for construction workers predicted to increase by 70 per cent in the next decade we need more young people to consider careers in the trades.

When I think about my career – Gulp! I have been made redundant three times. I’ve worked through two recessions where the supply and demand were at polar opposite to our friends in trades. There is so much work for them and not enough people to do that work.

I saw this first hand on the home front where we (my partner and I) recently built a fence and a deck. On the weekends we were working on the project he was invited to quote for work or consider a building project three times from people walking past! And we live in a quiet street! I have never known that level of appeal from potential employers!

If you want to be wanted right now and in the future, choose a career in the trades, I say.

Jane McCarroll