Developing Employees

When a company wants to advance their employee’s skills, they are not only making their employees better, but they are also making their company better. When developing an employee they will gain skills to help maintain their job, be qualified for their job, along with being able to do the requirements that go along with their employed company. Developing an employee enables them to be able to reach goals in their career and even advance in their career level, such as making them assistant manager or manager. There are different types of skills an employee can take on, along with training to help them do a better performance at work, such as; coping skills, communication skills, development skills, leading skills, and even computer skills.

Training and developing an employee’s skills, will help encourage employees and allow them to be able to perform their job correctly. An employee can train for a management job or even be trying to move up the ladder. When an employee is able to grow along with the company they are working for, then they feel as if they belong, meaning their performance will change to outstanding. When developing an employee a company can even offer classes, such as communication to help their employees with communicating to customers or clients. Training is an important part of a business, it can increase their sales, create reliable team members, along with having a better production. When an employee is qualified to do the work they are assigned in a company, it does not only make the employee look better, but it makes the company more reliable, better quality, and honest.

When a company is to develop an employee’s skills then this gives the employees the chance to enhance their skills through training without having to pay. This is because the company will pay for their employees to be more qualified to work for them. Developing an employee shows them that not only are they a part of the company, but they also have a chance to become successful and advance right along with the company. Employee’s get bored and tend to lose motivation when they are not advancing for the company they are working for. Companies can prevent this from happening, by offering them training on certain required skills, which will allow them to move up in the company.

Developing a 30 60 90 Day Plan

Applying for a job can be a little stressful, especially with all the competition there is, but it does not have to be that way. Some applicants are choosing to give themselves the edge by submitting a 30 60 90 day plan to their prospective bosses, in the hopes of landing that perfect job. The purpose of this plan is to generate more interest in you, as a candidate, as you show the company that you are ready to produce results.

The Plan

Consider this as an opportunity to elaborate on a goal for both your personal ideals and how you expect to translate that into a positive employment experience. Your plan should include what your boss expects from you, how you associate employee collaboration with success and your plan to cultivate and improve customer relationships.

The Goals

Bosses like to know that you are organized and that you plan on being fruitful, so when you inform them that you intend to raise the bar, things will only look better for you. The goals you set should be specific as it relates to the company, with a detailed mapping out of any planned activities such as dealing with coworkers and looking to further your knowledge about the company.

The First 30

Your employer will be looking for immediate results in your performance, so you should be ready to hit the ground running. Stay focus on the people that you work with, learning from their mistakes and benefiting from their achievements and knowledge. Properly familiarize yourself with the laws of the company and develop strong relationships with the customers.

The Next 60

By this time you should be familiar with many aspects of the company, so much so that your experience will begin to show. Draw from that knowledge and prove to your new boss that you are capable and that they made the right choice by hiring you. Explore new possibilities, as you share your ideas for areas that you feel could benefit the company, while making yourself more indispensable.

Completing your plan

The last 30 days is all about solidifying your position within the company. By now you should know everything there is to know about the company, who works there and many of your customers. This is not the time to let down your guard, instead you should be looking for ways to get more involved, like volunteering for new projects and tracking your own achievements.

Delegating Effectively

Asking someone to do something is as naturally a part of conducting business as being asked. Employees need to know what is and is not negotiable in a way that defines specific requirements without dictating too tightly their way of accomplishing it.

The most obvious approach to asking someone to perform a task is simply to ask them. Differences in why some requests are met with contempt, complacency, or anxiety while others are well-received vary with each personality. Expressing the request as a need with a deadline can communicate a sense of trust in their ability to fulfill the task. It recognizes their need to prioritize their workload. It sets up a natural order for monitoring progress and follow up. It places the principles above the personalities.

The C.E.O. of one of the world’s largest apparel makers said that an environment of uncertainty produces a lot of fear. Some people need more direction than others, but all need an idea of when a task needs to be completed. Managers need to control some variables more than others. Employees need to know whether there are any specifics or if they are to use their own judgment. Deadlines are not reserved for time-sensitive tasks with dire consequences if missed such as those by physicians, news journalists and other professionals. Knowing when a task needs to be completed is a tool to help employees plan their time wisely. Communicating this points employees in the right direction. Ask if they have questions. Answer them directly. Avoid over-explaining unless prompted. Agree on a time to meet to review progress. This tact helps ensure they are comfortable with the work. Training involves more than teaching employees how to do a job. It means conveying how you want it done and why.

Managing people with finesse includes taking time to understand and acknowledge their strengths. People appreciate being recognized not only for their contribution, but also having their talents noticed. The chairman of a top hotel empire put it this way: Motivate your people, train them, care about them, and make winners out of them.

There is another piece of information most employees will not request, but that every human being needs once in awhile. Tell them what they are known for doing well within your company and thank them for it. Send a clear message that they are valued not only for what they do, but for who they are.

Assembling a Career Portfolio

The main goal of a career portfolio is so that an applicant can show off their skills and accomplishments to an employer in an attractive format. It is important to choose the format that serves as the best platform for the individual’s prior work. They will want to show that they are the ideal candidate, a solution to the employer’s problems.

Benefits of a Career Portfolio
A career portfolio is a physical collection of evidence of an individual’s professional achievements. It serves as a tangible record of where they have been and what they have done; a portfolio therefore enables the easy transition from one job to another. Essentially, it provides a prospective employer with a reconstruction of the applicant’s professional life. A recent college graduate may not have much in the way of a professional life to reconstruct but they can use their portfolio to display their classroom accomplishments and interests.

What to Put in a Career Portfolio
The applicant should consider how best to present their skills and experience in a paper format. Evidence of prior accomplishments can come in the form of screenshots of work or as articles that the applicant has written. If they have designed products or have other materials that display their competence in a way that is relevant to the job, those should be included too. Such items as charts that display measurable improvements at a previous place of work may also be useful for filling up a portfolio. While the contents will differ from person to person, a career portfolio should focus on an individual’s ability to get a specific type of work done. It should provide all the data needed to convince the employer that the portfolio’s owner is right for the job.

Items in a portfolio should be in summary form if possible as it is unlikely that an employer will want to spend too much time on just one applicant’s presentation. It is also important to include those items that lend themselves to an easy, quick explanation.

Presentation of the Portfolio
How a portfolio is packaged is one of the crucial factors that decide how it will be received. The proper presentation of skills and abilities will require that the applicant pay attention to detail in every part of the portfolio’s assembly including the portfolio’s outward appearance. The applicant can go for a simple plastic binder or they can opt for something that adds something to the portfolio, like having it professionally bound. This kind of binding is a service offered by some office supply stores.

Job-applicants who are serious about providing a good first impression should carefully select and organize the contents of their portfolio and ensure that it is packaged to place them in the best possible light.

Creating a LinkedIn Profile

It’s easy to create a LinkedIn profile that enables prospective employers to find you. Begin by writing a detailed description of your skills; highlighting your work experience, education and industry. Upload a representative photo of yourself that must be no larger than 80×80 pixels. These items help to create your “professional brand”.

At the top of your profile page put a Headline and Professional Summary that targets your primary area(s) of experience. Include your industry here, as this is where recruiters often commence their search. A LinkedIn signature in your email will add greater visibility to your profile. Consider LinkedIn your online “resume”. Include recommendations from your professional network. All of your pertinent information will be accessible in one glance.

LinkedIn is user friendly, featuring search headings that you or visitors to your page can navigate through easily. You should regularly update your profile as new career information becomes relevant. Keywords that relate to your skills are important, and will optimize your profile for the search engines. Continue to build your network, choosing contacts that you have some history with. It’s more effective than trying to link to people whom don’t know you. Join groups that relate to your interests, skills and goals. List the groups you belong to. Make your profile public and customize your URL like this, www.linkedin.com/myname. Consider contact settings that show your availability like job inquiries, consulting offers, project management, new ventures. These descriptors demonstrate your flexibility and openness to a variety of opportunities. Add Links to any websites you are associated with. This might be a personal or professional website a blog or an affiliation within your particular industry.

Marketing yourself is what each of the above items is designed for. Check the “News” and “More” categories. They offer up-to-date information on business and job trends, industry concentration by location and also an area where you can ask a variety of questions. There’s a Basic Plan and also pay-per-month plans that allow for greater SEO of your profile. Inform, Connect and Network. It all happens here!

Common LinkedIn Profile Mistakes to Avoid

LinkedIn is a business-centered social networking website that allows you to search for and connect with recruiters, hiring managers, clients, and co-workers. LinkedIn makes it easy for you to communicate with professional contacts, which makes reference letters easier to obtain for potential jobs. Additionally, the site allows hiring managers and recruiters to find you, potentially giving you more employment opportunities. Ensure that your LinkedIn profile looks professional by avoiding these common mistakes.

Typos: Unfortunately, LinkedIn doesn’t have a spell checker. However, some web browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox, will underline misspelled words in red. Be as careful as you possibly can to spell everything correctly in your profile.

Profile Pictures: Research shows that profiles containing a picture get clicked on more often than profiles without one. Remember that LinkedIn is a professional networking site, so ensure that the picture you post is appropriate. It’s best to use a good headshot of yourself. Avoid posting pictures of you with your significant other, children, or pets.

Absence of a Custom URL: Having a custom URL makes it easier for recruiters and potential employers to locate you. To change your LinkedIn URL, log into your account, and go to, “Profile,” located at the top of the page. Click on, “Edit Profile.” You will see your current LinkedIn URL underneath your profile picture. Click on the, “Edit,” link next to your URL to change it. Change your URL from the combination of your name and numbers to your name only. Once you’ve changed your URL, ensure you put it on your business cards and resume so that potential employers can find you easily after an interview.

Lack of Keywords: LinkedIn has millions of users, which is why hiring managers and recruiters search the site with keywords to find potential employees. Ensure that keywords relevant to your industry appear somewhere in your profile, such as in your summary, current and past jobs section, skills and experience list, or education section. For instance, if you are a teacher looking for a new teaching position, some keywords you may want to include in your profile are, “teacher, teaching, and education.“ If you aren’t sure which keywords are best for your industry, search for other people in your field to discover what keywords they are utilizing.

LinkedIn is a valuable tool for social networking as well as finding employment opportunities. Maximize the benefits of your profile and get seen by recruiters more often by avoiding these common profile mistakes.

The 90 Day Career Development Plan

Career development is about taking what’s essentially a job and establishing how to turn it into something meaningful, something with growth that will enrich you personally and professionally. This means determining what you hope to get out of your employment situation and how to proactively go about getting it. It’s about setting both short and long term goals, building a foundation one brick at a time.

  • Career and educational planning.
  • Ask yourself who you are and what matters most to you.
  • Find things about your job that encourage you— or any potential employment — and, with a clear understanding of that job, the best ways to utilize current responsibilities as a piggyback to bigger and greater things.
  • Cultivate yourself by your own invention through initiative, positivity and leadership.

While long term plans are sound fundamentals, short term preparation can demonstrate what can be done if you put your mind to it. Here’s a 90 day career development plan that can help you identify, promote and encourage yourself and others to push you in new directions.

The First 30 Days

If this is a new job, hopefully you established during the interview process what you hoped to get out of your new position besides the paycheck. It’s always a good idea to let potential employers see that you’re ambitious, hard working and looking for a career and not simply a job.

If this isn’t a new job, hopefully you’ve been putting your best foot forward all along. There are far too many of us who show up, get the work done and go home. It’s what we’re paid to do, but it also projects an image that you’re a good worker bee, not a leader with growth potential. Worker bees have their place, and it’s not in management running projects.

Your first goal will be to establish yourself as an asset. If that means turning over a new leaf, turn it over. Go into work every day, every week and every month with a determination to leave your mark. The first and most critical step in any career development objective is being recognized as an asset with great potential.

While you’re establishing your new status as go-getter, research what’s going on within the organization.

  • Who’s who and what are they doing?
  • What projects are on the drawing table and which ones could be vital in your planning and execution?
  • Understanding the company mission, what would be the best way for you to play a part in its success?
  • What programs, educational opportunities, forums, etc., is the organization offering that can aid in achieving your professional objectives?

Take extensive notes, jotting down ideas and inspirations. Look for motivational resources like characteristics, habits and attributes of highly successful people. There are plenty of books and information on the web on this subject that can benefit your personal effectiveness. Use them to track your own plans.

Once you believe you’re ready, it’s time to approach your supervisor or manager, a source in human resources or anyone with strong connections. If your performance is up to par, they’ll already have an idea of your value and potential. It will be easier for them to accept that you have goals that you’d like to achieve over the next 6 to 18 months.

Begin a dialogue about what types of positions could end up in the pipeline, what projects you can contribute to and pin point the training or certification you’ll need to prepare for the openings. Cultivate these new relationships without being overbearing. Look to them for counsel and recommendations. Be prepared to get involved in any activities that will put you help build your reputation.

The Second 30 Days

It’s time to kick stage two of your career development plan into gear. At this point, you should have:

  1. Prepared a strong plan
  2. Developed a thorough log of activities to focus on over the coming months
    • Training
    • Certifications
    • Classes
    • Peer networking
  3. Met with the right people that can help you achieve your career goals
  4. Established yourself as an asset

Continue developing relationships with hiring managers and well regarded peers that offer the possibility to sponsor you. Larger organizations may have a career counselor in human resources ready to work with you on your goals. Build connections, including mentorships, outside of those with hiring managers. Their advisement can be critical to ensuring your plans are moving in a positive direction.

Ideally, you want to enhance the prospect that when opportunity knows, the right individuals will think of you. This means far more than glad-handing. You need to be on the front lines, highly visible, working hard, attending meetings and company offered seminars and keeping a high profile.

You want individuals in the right places to advocate on your behalf should a new position, business opportunity or team project opens up. You need to keep your ear to the grindstone so that you’ll be up to speed on these developments as well. Do not be afraid to openly ask about any opportunity that crops up.

Job shadowing may be helpful here. That’s a process where you explore and study career opportunity by spending time with someone already in that field. You not only get a chance to see the day-to-day responsibilities and activities of the job, you have the opportunity to ask questions and meet all the right people. It’s not necessarily a convenient opportunity for anyone already expected to fulfill their current job responsibilities, but it’s ideal for college graduates or students looking at career exploration.

The Final 30 Days

By this point, you should have a firm comprehension of what courses you will need for any certification or training. A lot of organizations are willing to pay for this education with the understanding you’ll use the knowledge to build the company. They may even offer you the time from work to attend classes.

You should also be attending as many company sponsored seminars and events as you can without interfering with your duties. This will definitely help you network and learn about the happenings throughout the business. Keep an eye on the company calendar, getting a go-ahead to sign up for anything you believe will be beneficial.

Document all your experiences and share them with the right people. Be earnest about seeing if supervisors and managers are happy with your performance and where there’s room for improvement. You especially want feedback on the progress of the development actions that you’ve discussed in detail previously. This should be on as frequent a basis as you can manage.

Keep a close eye out for chances to work closely on any project that will demonstrate both your capabilities and willingness to prove you’re a team player. It may seem a cliché and a burden, but there is truly nothing more appreciated among the hierarchy than an employee dedicated to improving the brand. You will be remembered and thought of when the time is right!

Throughout this last stage, continue to seek out learning opportunities. Find objectives, goals and ideas that can be added to the plan. These first 90 days will be the stepping stone to where you want to be within the next year and a half.

Be prepared to take one step at a time. If you’re looking to become a project manager, don’t let that give you reason to pass up the chance to become an assistant project manager, or even the chance to be on the team. If necessary, should a new project pop up, offer your services in some capacity.

A Few Notes

There are many aspects of the career development cycle.

  • Abilities
  • Skill
  • Interest
  • Goals
  • Personal style
  • Family
  • Values

Family is indeed an important component of growing within a company. An individual looking to improve their life with family in mind is considered a safe bet for reliability. Personal style is also critical as it will determine if you fit into the corporate structure. No one’s asking you to stop being yourself, but you should be aware of your environment and how individuals that are where you want to be conduct themselves.

Conclusions

It may seem like a lot of work in a short period of time, but aggression and enthusiasm is a huge aspect of career development. It also plays a massive part in success.

  • Develop your plan
  • Ascertain what needs to be done to execute the plan
  • Connect with those who offer the greatest chance to see the execution through
  • Let colleagues and managers know you’re looking for career advancement
  • Keep a positive spirit as the path to success will always be paved with obstacles

Always be proactive about your career goals. Be ready to collaborate, using your talent and demeanor to exert influence in the process. Have a solid comprehension of the skills, education and any other requirements that will be necessary to hold the wanted position.

A successful career doesn’t happen without forethought. Getting up every day with a determination to do your best is the first true path to successful career development. Take the right steps and achieve your career goals.

Building an Effective Cover Letter

A cover letter displays the summary of information for the specific individual including their name, address, and contact information. Typically, a cover letter also incorporates a briefing for why the individual finds themselves a valuable asset to the company, as well as contributions that an individual can make. When writing an effective cover letter, it is important to include the information in the correct format; this not only allows the potential employer to quickly see the individual’s contact information, but also a quick summary of their skills.

Before an individual writes a cover letter, they must decide which format of letter they should write. An application cover letter is used by the individual when applying for a published job opening; while a prospecting letter is used as an inquiry letter for various positions. Lastly, a networking letter is used to find information, or assistance pertaining to the particular position. It is important for an individual to choose the correct styling of cover letter so their information is represented correctly and addressed for the right motive.

Once the format has been chosen, the individual may begin writing their cover letter by addressing the official in regards to their motive. Also, one must properly write their details among mission briefing in the right format. Including the proper details in the correct format will ensure the information can be read clearly and understood well. It is also important for one to remember that a cover letter is meant to supplement a resume, not clone it; a cover letter should effectively represent what the ensuing resume and other documents will entail. Finally, the individual should remember that the cover letter is not purely about themselves, but mainly about their inquiry and personal briefing with the specific company.

An example of a cover letter might be:

“Dear Human Resources, or Hiring Manager:

I have enclosed my resume within for the position of cashier clerk.

I am currently employed with Grocery Unlimited where I perform a variety of cashier related duties; I am responsible for handling cash, coins, checks including corporate checks as well as credit card transactions. My duties are to receive the correct payment amount, while giving the correct change back to the customer. Before working with Grocery Unlimited, I worked at a similar grocery outlet where I utilized customer service skills and was also in charge of setting displays.

I am seeking a position that will utilize my skills as a cashier, and to help me further my career.

I look forward to hearing from you with any additional questions.

Sincerely,

John Smith”

Building Your Brand

The world is changing rapidly. Now more than ever people have to resort to self-promotion if they want to be successful in the business world. It’s called building your brand and it includes doing whatever you can to make yourself stand out in the marketplace. For many people building their brand begins right in the office where they work. Like any other product in order to build your brand you must show that it has value. It’s often wise to take on and complete high profile projects at work which allow you to showcase your skills. This can be of great help as it will be something you can point to when you begin to market yourself in earnest.

Building one’s brand takes planning. It requires a series of systematic steps designed to highlight your skills and your ability to handle responsibility with aplomb. Building one’s brand also requires networking with management and with people working on special projects in the workplace. One must also create a dynamic resume which highlights one’s strengths and experiences. If you have a series of degrees they can be featured. If not your resume should focus on your accomplishments. Once you have created a good package which showcases your talents, skills and experiences you are ready to market your brand.

Marketing one’s brand can take several forms. Part of it can be something as simple as handing out your resume and/or promotional package to human resources. This is a signal to them and to you that you are ready to take the next step in your career. Gradually you can widen the circle of people to whom you deliver your promotional package. Check with your employer to ensure you are not violating any workplace rules. Next you can begin to apply or bid on specific projects. Even if you do not receive the project your presentation should mark you as a rising star worthy of attention.

Creating a website which promotes you and your skills, talents, education and experience can also help. It starts the process of introducing you to the world at large. It also allows you to gauge the level of interest people have in what you have to offer. You should also have your presentation, promotional package and website assessed by a professional. Be prepared to continually tweak and update all elements of your brand building and marketing plan. Brand building is not a destination, it is a journey. One which can be lots of fun and very profitable.

How To Build Relationships At Work

Workplace managers are in a position to build an efficient team who work together to meet the goals within the company. While managers must keep in mind and respect the differences in all employees and remember that each person is indeed a unique individual, they also must remember to motivate all employees, encourage everyone to excel, and always enforce the notion that working as a whole to accomplish the many tasks in a day is much more efficient than one person handling everything.

The position of manager is one that takes time and effort to truly perfect. The first step of any new manager is to earn the employees’ trust. Begin by building a rapport with the employees. Show the staff that the position of manager is not simply one that dictates the office with rules and deadlines. Listen to the employees. Take the time to get to know each person’s personality, strength, weaknesses, and concerns. Taking this time will help in the future when deciding who should take certain responsibilities or who can handle particular projects. A very crucial piece of information for any manger is to be sure to do exactly as promised. This not only demonstrates to the employees that you are listening to their needs or issues, it also shows that you keep your word. This is the beginning of a trusting professional relationship.

Another terrifice piece of advice is to take the time to help overwhelmed employees. This is crucial to the teamwork approach many companies strive for as a means of success. If an employee feels overwhelmed, he/she is stressed and productivity is going to be lower than usual. Help the employee prioritize his/her duties and offer some assistance to help him/her complete his/her tasks. This is a demonstration to the entire staff that you are not only preaching teamwork, you also believe in it enough to take action.

Always offer positive reinforcement and recognition. The staff works hard for the company. They sacrifice and want to succeed, so let them know that their efforts are appreciated. Showing support and appreciation will empower the team and keep them motivated.