How to Improve Your People Skills At Work

How to Improve Your People Skills At Work

A huge part of how you feel about your job involves the people you work with. Positive work relationships will make you look forward to doing what you do. When the workplace contains undercurrents of tension and dissatisfaction, everyone suffers.

The beginning of a new year is a great time to work on building positive, effective relationships with co-workers and administrators. You may not be able to be friends with everyone but there are always steps you can take to strengthen the work relationships you have while forging new ones.

Evaluate and Improve Soft Skills

Building better relationships doesn’t start with your co-workers and managers. It begins inside when you take an objective look at your soft skills.

Hard skills are the ones you trained for. They’re things like your certifications, degrees, second languages and the number of words per minute you type. Soft skills are harder to measure. Here are a few examples:

  • Leadership
  • Problem solving ability
  • Strong work ethic
  • Strategic thinking
  • Competitiveness
  • Calmness under pressure
  • Compassionate listening

You may not have put them on your resume, but they’re crucial to building strong work relationships. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and look for ways to improve.

Steps for Better Communication Skills

No matter where you are on the communication skills spectrum, there’s room for improvement. You have the power to build better relationships when you make your goals specific and measurable.

Speak positively about your co-workers and administrators. It’s not kissing up, it’s being encouraging. Look for three ways to provide positive feedback every work day. Set a reminder on your phone to note whether you met your goal before you go home.

Ask questions. If you know your co-worker has a skill you’re curious about, give them a chance to share how they learned it. When working as a team, pause and ask other members what they think, and listen to what they say.

Express appreciation. Thank at least one person every day for something they do. Be on the lookout for little things that might normally go unnoticed. When presenting teamwork, let others hear you be appreciative for their individual contributions. Share credit when things go right, but when they don’t, avoid the temptation to place blame.

Avoid gossip like the plague. Office politics kill relationships. If you have a problem with someone, speak to them in private. If the situation doesn’t involve you, don’t add fuel to the fire by passing on information.

Improving work relationships takes consistent effort, but it’s worth it. When you make an intentional effort to pour good into the lives of those around you, it creates a ripple effect that will spread throughout your entire organization.

Looking for Work? Find Out How Low Unemployment Numbers Affect Your Search

Looking for Work? Find Out How Low Unemployment Numbers Affect Your Search

If you’re thinking about finding a new job, now might be the best time to do it. The national July jobs report showed employers added fewer net jobs last month than economists forecast, but unemployment still dipped near an 18-year low.

That means there aren’t as many people looking for jobs, so employers with openings have a reduced number of candidates to choose from and you have less competition for the position you want. Learn how that might affect your job hunt.

Referrals Matter More Than Ever

When unemployment is low, employers need to make every hire count and retain current staff. Recruiting software manufacturer iCIMS wanted to know factors contributing to a good hire, so they conducted surveys and studied data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their resulting Modern Job Seeker Report found employees who were hired because of a referral were more likely to stay put.

Employers often ask their current employees if they know someone who would be a good fit. They’re more likely to hire based on a referral than on a resume submission because those hires tend to align with current culture and don’t move around.

In the iCIMS report, 70 percent of the employees surveyed were still in the role for which they were hired. If you know someone already employed where you want to work, ask for their help in getting the job.

Higher Wages, More Perks

In July of 2018, wages were at an all-time high with an average of 22.65/hour. A tight labor market and strong demand for goods and services means employers are willing to pay more for top talent.

Employers aren’t just using increased pay to sell themselves to candidates; they’re emphasizing company culture with perks like flexible scheduling and competitive benefits.

Expect Additional Scrutiny

Employers want to fill vacancies quickly, but when the applicant pool is small and getting smaller, they aren’t just looking for bodies. They may ask you to attend more than one interview to make sure you’re the best fit. The whole team might want to evaluate your skills and qualifications before making a final decision.

Industries Adding Most Jobs

Not all industries are hiring at the same rate. When you’re applying for a high-demand position, you have an advantage, but it might be harder to find work in sectors that show signs of a struggle.

According to last month’s report sporting goods, hobby, book and music retailers are losing jobs. Two sectors showing growth are construction and manufacturing.

Even though the housing market has shown a decline in the last three quarters, employers in the construction sector added 19,000 jobs last month across the nation. Manufacturing added 37,000 jobs. Healthcare employment, professional and business services and food services are also up.

Find a Job in East Texas

What East Texas job are you looking for? Brelsford Personnel has employers seeking administrative assistants, customer service representatives, accountants and more. Search our online job postings today.

Sources:
https://www.businessinsider.com/us-housing-slowdown-economy-2018-7
https://www.icims.com/sites/www.icims.com/files/public/hei_assets/Modern-Job-Seeker-Report%20Final.pdf
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/04/business/economy/jobs-report.html
https://www.businessinsider.com/us-jobs-report-july-2018-2018-8
https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/articles/2018-07-20/how-a-low-unemployment-rate-may-affect-your-job-search

Succeeding At Work Even When You Have a Difficult Boss

Succeeding At Work Even When You Have a Difficult Boss

Last year Gallup’s World Poll released staggering statistics. They surveyed employees from 160 countries and found only 15 percent of them said they felt engaged at work. Of other 85 percent, many were okay with their company or organization; they just said they don’t like their boss. If you’re in that 85 percent, maintain your focus and keep a tough boss from ruining your week with these tips.

Step Back and Evaluate

Sometimes employees get stuck in a loop of working hard hoping to gain approval, praise or promotion and receiving the opposite. They get angry, resentment grows and conflict may occur. After a while, the employee might decide to do better, work harder or put in more hours and the cycle starts over again.

If that’s you, it’s time to break the cycle. Take some time to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What motivates your boss to exhibit the behavior that causes problems? Do they have higher-ups applying the same pressure? Are there factors or requirements making them feel out of control, so they take it out on those nearby? Understanding motivation might help you be patient with them.

 

  • How do you react when you feel opposition? Do you resentfully take longer to do a task or hide until things blow over? Are there other more positive ways you could respond?

 

  • Are there pet peeves you could be extra diligent to avoid? If dress code violations set him or her off, don’t see how close to the line you can skate before you get an email rant. If deadlines make her nervous, don’t wait until the last minute to turn in your part of the project.

Dealing with a difficult boss is like many other relationships. Sometimes finding an acceptable compromise or putting in extra effort isn’t about giving in to unreasonable demands; it’s about preserving your sanity.

Communicate More Effectively

If you feel like you need more feedback or direction, ask your boss if you can schedule a meeting to help improve your job performance. Have a frank discussion about what your boss feels are your most important duties and why.

Listen for the goals behind the words. If you feel your boss is willing, explore ways to prevent future misunderstanding and frustration without placing blame.

Further improve communication by repeating back the message. For example, if your boss says, “Get me that now,” compliance might not be possible in the next 60 seconds, but don’t panic. Repeat back something like, “Sure, I will before lunchtime be okay?”

Enlist Support

Find a trustworthy person who is thriving in the workplace and learn from them. Don’t choose the group that gossips or gripes, look for someone who can listen and support from a position of positivity and understanding.

If your job is making your life miserable and nothing you do seems to help, it may be time to change positions. Watch for openings within your company and see if there’s the possibility of a transfer or start researching employment at another organization.

Brelsford Personnel places qualified candidates with top East Texas employers. Browse our online postings or get in touch today.

 

Top 7 Mistakes on Your First Day of Work That Make You Seem Inexperienced

Remember… first impressions matter!!

THE INC. LIFE

Certain actions can give off the impression that you’re less competent than you really are.

Top 7 Mistakes on Your First Day of Work That Make You Seem Inexperienced

By Peter Economy

Top 7 Mistakes on Your First Day of Work That Make You Seem Inexperienced

CREDIT: Getty Images

Even though we all have first-day jitters, there are some things that we can do that make us seem more experienced than not. Regardless of how prepared you are for the role, certain actions can give off the impression that you’re less competent than you really are. What are the things that make you seem inexperienced on the first day of your new job? Check out the top 7 here.

1. Going out the night before

If you’ve been out and about the night before, it always shows. You’ll be less attentive, alert, and able to respond. Don’t risk one night of fun for a potential career–even if you think it doesn’t, it’ll show.

2. Jumping in before you’re ready

Even if you think you can, don’t embark on a task without making sure you completely understand the instructions, and that you’ll be able to execute what your boss is asking for. Otherwise, he or she might think that you’re unable to exceed the expectations they had in mind.

3. Dressing incorrectly

Whether it’s overly dressing up or down, the way that you present yourself your first day immediately shows whether or not you’ll be able to fit in at the office. Make sure that you know what kind of image the company is trying to project of itself, and dress your part.

4. Being negative

Before the rest of the office knows how eager and positive your demeanor may normally be, showing a different kind of attitude the first day of work definitely leaves a negative impression. Take care not to be negative, or to avoid any kind of complaining while you’re going about your first day.

5. Acting overeager

Even if you are enthusiastic, there’s something we all dislike about the person that tries too hard. Show that you’re able to complete everything the company asks and demands of you, but don’t go too overboard.

6. Not admitting your mistakes

Even though we all are sure to make mistakes when we just start somewhere, being able to own up to them and amend for them correctly is an important skill that only the most professional of employees possess. Don’t make the rookie mistake, and own up to them too.

7. Talking trash

There’s nothing someone dislikes more than someone who runs their mouth at any chance they get. Don’t be that person in the office. And definitely don’t be that person on the first day.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

PUBLISHED ON: APR 20, 2017

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