Autonomy – What It Really Is and How to Encourage It

Autonomy What It Really Is and How to Encourage ItAutonomy sounds great to employees and employers alike, but is it really achievable? Bosses think if they could just turn projects over and employees would do what’s needed that would be the next best thing to heaven. Workers feel like they could get so much more done if their boss would quit micromanaging.

Part of the problem is that both sides don’t always understand what autonomy really is. That makes it hard to achieve. Let’s start with defining the goal and then explore ways to reach it.

What Autonomy Is and Isn’t

Autonomy is the ability to make choices that help you perform at your best. Here are some of the areas where employees might have the freedom to choose:

  • Project types
  • Flexibility in timing and work location
  • Work pacing
  • Preferred client or industry focus

Autonomy isn’t employees doing whatever they want and making all the decisions. It doesn’t mean any of these things:

  • Employees can show up and leave whenever they want
  • Individuals can work in isolation without seeking approval or clarification from management
  • Employees have to figure out what to do without input from the boss
  • Every staff member has the same amount of freedom

A University of Birmingham study indicated people who had flexible schedules and work pacing had higher job satisfaction. Happy employees are more engaged, innovative and productive. An autonomous workplace is better for everyone.

4 Ways to Encourage Workplace Autonomy

People want to direct their own lives. It’s possible to create autonomy at your business without sacrificing leadership. Here’s how.

Hire for autonomy. Not everyone can handle the choices you want to offer. Look for people who have faced challenges and persevered. Ask interview questions that encourage them to explain how they deal with hardship or frustration. When you call their references, ask questions to explore how they act when no one is looking.

Make expectations crystal-clear. Some businesses have safety concerns, governmental regulations or compliance issues that are never up for discussion. Others would lose business if employees didn’t behave or dress in line with company values. Identify the non-negotiables and make them part of onboarding and regular training. In areas where you offer choices, set boundaries and hold employees accountable.

Allow employees to earn their choices. You don’t have to give everyone the same amount of freedom. You probably already know the person who always gets work done on time and the one who almost never makes a deadline. The first employee literally can’t stand to be late. The idea causes him or her physical pain. That employee would be successful with a flexible schedule. They’ve earned it with their consistent excellence.

Instill a feeling of ownership. Ask for employee feedback on company goals, projects and processes. Recognize staff individually and specifically for how their contribution caused improvement or profit.

Find Employees You Can Trust

At Brelsford Personnel we’re committed to excellence when it comes to employee screening and selection. During our interview process we find trustworthy candidates for your professional, administrative and temporary staffing needs. We perform background checks and in-depth reference checks and verify skills as part of our candidate assessment. Get in touch to find the employees who meet your business needs.

Why Brelsford Personnel Supports Coats for Kids

Why Brelsford Personnel Supports Coats for Kids

When you donate to PATH’s Coats for Kids program, you do so much more than help a child stay warm. You make a difference in their future.

Brelsford Personnel is proud to be a drop-off location for the Tyler coat drive because we know it’s not just about outerwear. We support PATH’s program to invest in tomorrow’s leaders and show we’re a community that cares.

Tyler’s Most Outstanding Citizen

This year, like every year since 1952, the Tyler Chamber of Commerce presented the W.C. Windsor Award to Tyler’s most outstanding citizen under the age of 40. This year’s recipient was Yaziri Orrostieta.

The 34-year-old University of North Texas graduate has a master’s in business administration in international marketing with a certification for doing business in Mexico and Latin America.

Yaziri is marketing director at Heritage Land Bank and when she’s not working, she’s making a difference.

She has served on the board of the Hispanic Business Alliance, chaired the entrepreneur committee of the Hispanic Professional Association of Tyler and was an advisory member of Tyler Police Department’s Hispanic Outreach program.

Why does this young professional feel so driven to give back? When Yaziri was a child, she came to Tyler from Mexico with her family. Her parents struggled, and sometimes they needed help to provide for their children’s needs. Yaziri says PATH and Coats for Kids played a part in both her professional success and her heart for the East Texas community.

“It wouldn’t have happened if this weren’t a giving community,” she said when she received her award. “I’ve always said the reason I give back is there was some day, some leader, one day that chose to give, and my family was a beneficiary of that giving heart.”

Coats for Kids and Tyler Business

PATH Executive Director Greg Grubb says Yaziri’s story isn’t the only one. “My staff gave me a report about a young man who managed a large restaurant in town whose mother died in Mexico,” Greg said. “His father brought him to be raised by family here. His family worked hard and they paid their taxes, but he needed a coat. He didn’t have one coming from Mexico. He says the PATH coat drive is where he got one those first few years.”

Greg tells of another business owner who contacted PATH wanting to know how he could help. Volunteers explained how he could offer his business as a coat drop-off location or sign up to help with coat distribution. Then the businessman revealed why he was so driven to participate. He said when his family came to town, the only way he got a coat was through Coats for Kids.

“Coats for Kids is about more than just keeping somebody warm, which is important,” Greg finished. “It’s the act of kindness that’s the really touching part of this.”

How You Can Help

East Texans can participate in the Coats for Kids drive in a variety of ways.

  • Provide coats — Drop off a new or gently used coat at drop-off locations like Brelsford Personnel. You can also click the “Donate” button on PATH’s page and they’ll buy coats for you.

 

  • Help prepare for coat distribution – PATH starts setting up for the November 17 coat distribution several days ahead. Every year they hand out more than 1,000 coats, and that takes work. You can volunteer to help with moving, sorting, lifting and setup.

 

  • Volunteer November 17 – At North Tyler Development Academy PATH sets up 10 stations, each manned by volunteers. They call families one at a time and talk to them about sizes and color preferences. Then they go to the coat storage area and choose the best ideas for that family, usually bringing back armloads of coats. It’s a meaningful, uplifting experience to help so many families in need.

The best coats to give are the heavy, insulated type. During months the weather is only cool and damp, kids can get by with layers. What they need for bitterly cold days is an actual winter coat.

The coat you donate could go to the next Yaziri, the next Tyler business owner or young professional. They’ll be leaders tomorrow, but today they need you. Your contribution can make a deep impact. Bring donations to Brelsford Personnel at 3600 Old Bullard Road Suite 301, Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.

 

Should You Change Careers? Ask Yourself These Hard Questions

Should You Change Careers? Ask Yourself These Hard Questions

All jobs have difficult days, but if you feel like work is sucking the joy out of every other part of your life, it may be time for a change. For some people it’s hard to know when to tough it out and when to head for the nearest exit. If you’re not sure which way to go, look inward to evaluate what’s best for you.

How do I feel about doing this for five more years?

Really picture your future. Can you see a way things might get better if you stick it out? If so, maybe you don’t want to abandon your current time investment. However, if the thought of sitting in that same chair day in and day out for five more years makes you feel panic, maybe it’s time to go.

What exactly is making me so unhappy?

If you’re not using your skills or doing something you’re passionate about, a career change might mean a better fit. If you hate your job because your boss has grumpy days and your co-workers are selfish, you’ll probably run into the same problems wherever you go.

Is fear what’s keeping me here?

Are there days you still enjoy what you do or is the only reason you show up that you don’t know what you would do otherwise? Do you stay in your current role because you’re afraid of ridicule or criticism if you decided to change? Do you long to do something else, but you’re afraid it wouldn’t work out?

Can I afford to quit?

In a perfect world everyone could follow their heart and achieve their dreams, but in this reality we all have to buy groceries and pay bills. Do you have the money to take time off or change careers? If you think you might, actually sit down with your budget and make sure it works as well on paper as it does in your head.

If you can’t afford to make a change, plan to save. Cut spending, do without or work overtime now so one day you won’t be stuck in a job you hate.

Is a career in my target field attainable?

Remember when you were a kid and you wanted to be a ninja, an astronaut or a billionaire? Some goals are harder to reach. If you don’t have the skills, education or background for the job you really want, be honest with yourself. What’s an entry-level position that might get you where you want to be? If you need more education, how can you fit that in?

Are there opportunities for growth here?

Maybe you can’t see yourself staying at the same desk, but your current employer might have opportunities that are more aligned with your goals, interests and values. They already know what you bring to the table, so they might be willing to train you for another department or position. Talk to someone you trust to find out your options. When you know something better is in the future you’re not just marking time, you’re getting closer to a better tomorrow.

Does Brelsford Personnel have my dream job already posted?

That one’s not actually a hard question. The job you’re looking for might already be available. Click here to browse our online postings.

Sources:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140806165720-15454-the-right-and-wrong-reasons-for-changing-jobs
https://www.careerbuilder.com/advice/5-tough-questions-to-ask-before-a-career-change
https://www.careerattraction.com/should-you-stay-or-should-you-go-how-to-decide-if-its-time-to-switch-jobs/

How to Rock Your First Day on the Job

How to Rock Your First Day on the Job

No matter how excited you are about starting your new job, you’re probably also nervous. It’s hard being the new kid, and you want to make a good first impression on the people you’ll be working with for in the foreseeable future. Try these tips to make that first day a success.

The Night Before

Your nerves are already prickly, so use that extra energy to make the next morning go smoothly. You’ll sleep better if you know you’re prepared.

Dress code varies by workplace. Take your clothing cues from the people who sat in on your interview.

Don’t just pick out what you’ll wear, try it on. If you bought something new to make a strong first impression, make sure it looks as professional in your bedroom mirror as you remember it did in the store. Locate the belt, scarf, shoes and jewelry you intended to wear with it.

If you wear brand new shoes you take the chance you’ll be limping by lunchtime. It’s better to select a pair you know will get you through the day with a spring in your step.

Set your alarm for at least half an hour earlier than you will on most days. Aim to arrive much, much earlier than you are required to. At best you’ll be there early, enter relaxed and make a great first impression. If something goes wrong, you’ll still be on time.

When You Arrive

Take a deep breath before you walk in the door and remind yourself no one expects you to learn everyone’s name and master every procedure on the first day. Show your positive attitude and enthusiasm for your new job and the rest will follow.

Nervousness makes people hunch their shoulders, look down and avoid eye contact, none of which looks friendly. Keep your head up and shoulders back as you meet people. Make eye contact and offer a welcoming smile.

Lean in when people are speaking to show you’re actively listening. Offer a handshake when you meet people, then allow your arms to hang at your sides instead of crossing them.

When you meet people, repeat their name back to them to help yourself remember. Say something like, “It’s great to meet you Samantha, how long have you been with XYZ Company?” If their name is unusual, ask how they spell it to help etch it in your memory.

Throughout the Day

Ask questions and seek help when you need it. People understand you’re new and will likely see your questions as eagerness to do a good job. If you attend training, show up with a note taking device and use it. Stay off your cell phone and don’t use your work computer for personal use.

If people invite you to eat lunch with them or attend an after-hours activity, join them! Express appreciation for the invitation, and for other ways people help you your first day.

In the evening, if the company website includes employee photos, review names and faces. Plan as thoroughly for your second day as you did for the first and you’ll find yourself in a positive routine that brings success in all the days to come.

Sources:
https://www.themuse.com/advice/what-you-must-do-the-night-before-starting-a-new-job
https://www.salary.com/articles/first-days-on-the-job-15-ways-to-make-a-great-impression/
https://www.livecareer.com/career/advice/jobs/first-days-working

Become a Human Lie Detector During Recruiting

Become a Human Lie Detector During Recruiting

Sometimes what candidates say sounds a little fishy. Other times they omit key details that would probably influence your hiring decision. A bad hire is costly, so recruiters should know how to spot an untruth.

Find Their Baseline

An actual polygraph (lie detector) test works by measuring a person’s breathing, pulse, blood pressure and perspiration. Some also measure body movement. After the technician attaches sensors to the subject, they ask simple questions to establish what is normal for that person. Try doing a similar evaluation the next time you conduct an interview.

Start with low-stress questions like how long it took them to get to your office or how they heard about the position. Notice how they sit in their chair, how they breathe and what their eyes do when they’re comfortable. Since you’re interviewing them for a job not interrogating them for murder, candidates probably aren’t going to break a sweat when they lie, but they might show subtle changes in body language.

Signs to Watch For

There’s a myth that when people are right handed, they look to the right when they’re telling the truth and look to the left when they tell a lie. Unfortunately it’s not that simple. Each person is different. Watch for deviations from the baseline in these areas.

  • Speech – When people feel nervous their pulse speeds up and sometimes their throat gets tight. Their voice might have a higher pitch when they give an invented response. If they pause frequently or keep clearing their throat, they might be stalling while they try to think of a response.

 

  • Body language – If your candidate was calm for the first part of the interview and they suddenly start shifting in their chair, shuffling their feet or fidgeting with their hands or clothing, pay extra attention to their words. If they were animated for most of the conversation and suddenly become still, that might also signal dishonesty.

 

  • Micro-expressions – Sometimes you see a flicker of emotion that happens so quickly you question if it was ever there in the first place. Learn to trust your gut. If you asked a question and saw a split second of panic, fear, concern or irritation, listen very closely to what comes next.

Keep in mind that it’s natural to be nervous during an interview. When you suspect an untruth, ask more questions until you feel you’ve either given the candidate a chance to talk through their anxiety or give more evidence they’re being dishonest.

Listen to that inner voice that says there might be something going on. Make a note to fact check before you make a final decision.

Grammar Giveaways

Honest responses tend to use first person pronouns and be rich in details. When someone is lying, they have to invent their response on the fly. The answer might be vague and use second or third person pronouns as they unconsciously distance themselves from their lie. They also might add qualifiers to make the story seem more impressive than it is. Compare these two responses:

“I once worked for a group of real estate professionals who wanted to improve their online presence. Their mobile load speed was slow, they had old information on their website, data just wasn’t arranged logically. They wanted to be involved in the improvement process. So I sat down with their team. They have this conference room with huge windows and we used those as a work surface. We put all their site elements on post-it notes and used that to make a sitemap.”

That response has first person pronouns and details like the post-it notes that indicate it’s a genuine memory. A dishonest response might be more like this:

“There were these helpful people at a company who really contributed to what was done. They had a lot of ideas for their website redesign, and everyone was super happy in the end.”

The second response is short on details. It uses second person pronouns and qualifiers like “really contributed,” and “super happy.”

Skip the Struggle

At Brelsford Personnel, we have over 30 years of experience helping companies and job seekers find the perfect match. We conduct thorough background and reference checks and we spend time getting to know candidates one-on-one. Hiring strong employees doesn’t have to be a struggle. Get in touch to find out more.

Sources:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/markmurphy/2017/11/12/how-to-tell-if-a-job-candidate-is-lying-in-the-interview/#5dc06ac111e0
https://hiring.workopolis.com/article/7-telling-interview-questions/
https://www.coburgbanks.co.uk/blog/assessing-applicants/5-ways-to-tell-someone-is-lying/

Why Someone Else Got the East Texas Job You Wanted

Why Someone Else Got the East Texas Job You Wanted

You thought it was a sure thing. You had all the qualifications and felt like your background and experience made you a perfect fit. You felt a connection with the interviewer. They may even have indicated you could expect to hear good things soon.

That’s why you felt stunned and confused when you heard they gave the job, your job, to someone else. Everyone’s situation is different, but if it happened to you, identifying what went wrong might lead to a better result next time.

The Other Candidate Was an Exact Match

The person interviewing you might have genuinely felt you would probably be their next hire. You already had most of the skills they were looking for and your personality seemed like it would fit well with their existing team.

Then the next person they interviewed seemed like they were tailor-made for the position. You were a good fit, but they were perfect.

They Hired the Most Prepared Interviewee

Think back through your interview. Did some of the questions catch you off guard? Employers hire candidates who have done their research and ask questions like the following:

  • What do you most value about our company’s mission?
  • What about the job description caught your eye?
  • What can you bring to our company?

The candidate they hired may have spent time before the interview in intense study. If they researched the company and had a firm grasp of how their background and skills related to the job description and you didn’t, you may have been outshined.

Employers are looking for specifics. Before your next interview, be sure you can articulate what you bring to the table. Pay special attention to the job description. Think of several specific examples where you have displayed the job characteristics they’re looking for.

The Other Candidate Had These Characteristics

CareerBuilder interviewed 2,076 hiring managers and human resource professionals in a number of industries. They asked if they were evaluating two candidates and both had the same skills, educational background and work history, how they would decide who to pick. Here are the top three most influential characteristics:

  • 27 percent of hiring managers said they would pick the candidate with a better sense of humor.
  • 26 percent showed preference for people who are involved in the community.
  • 22 percent of interviewers said they would choose the candidate who was better dressed.

If you’ve been passed over for a position, next time show how you have those characteristics. Interviews are stressful, but don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself and show your good nature.

When questions involve your hobbies and interests, mention how you work with your son’s little league team and volunteer unloading cars at the elementary school. Dress for success with the guidelines on our resources page.

Find a Job in East Texas

At Brelsford Personnel, we help East Texans reach their career goals. Submit your resume to us and become one of our registered candidates today.

Sources:
https://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=8%2F28%2F2013&id=pr778&ed=12%2F31%2F2013
https://www.warnersearchgroup.com/news/20-reasons-someone-else-got-the-job-instead-of-you-26503