The TASK-based approach and tools for effective remote team management

Managing a remote or hybrid team can be challenging. Team members not being physically present presents its own set of challenges. It’s hard to measure how much time your team members have spent on their work without direct supervision. It can also be hard to get a sense of what they’re working on, and you may not be able to offer them the same guidance when they’re not in the same room. Although, with the right set of tools and processes, managing teams remotely doesn’t have to be difficult. There are steps and tools to help you track and follow proper processes while you keep your remote team engaged.

The TASK-based approach is a set of processes for each project:

  • Take the time to do research & plan before setting project directions
  • Allocate & communicate the scope of work & deadlines
  • Solve anticipated problems in advance
  • Keep all stakeholders informed on the project status, feedback & post-mortem reviews

According to Harvard Business School Researchers Robert Pozen and Kevin Downey, working longer hours does not necessarily mean higher productivity, but that working smarter is the key to being more effective. Therefore, it is more relevant to measure the effectiveness of your remote workers based on how well they complete each task than monitor the hours worked.

Applying the “TASK-based” approach could help you create a systematic process for your remote team to identify the specific challenges, get the work done, and measure the effectiveness or output of each member. When you manage a remote or hybrid team, it’s not realistic to measure staff performance based on the number of hours they put in. Rather, it should be measured on the output or quality of their delivery.

  • Take the time to do research & plan before setting project directions

This is the most important process of managing a remote or a hybrid team when beginning a project. First and foremost, all resources should be compiled under ONE virtual platform or “drawing board” for everyone’s reference which includes useful resources to support the project. This may include researched information, customer feedback, competitor activities, job scopes of team members, strategies and objectives, budgets, and others). An example of a collaborative virtual platform is Trello – a web-based Kanban-style project management software with a built-in collaborative function. Kanban is a Japanese word for “signboard”. Trello has digital signboards, lists and cards for users to create tasks, share files, collaborate and communicate with all remote team members to stay organised. It can also be integrated within Microsoft Teams.

  • Allocate & communicate the scope of work & deadlines

Make known the deadlines and your expectations for each part of the project to all team members. Don’t assume team members know their scope of work, deadlines and what you want if it hasn’t been explicitly communicated. Leaders lacking in communication skills can cause huge costs or delays to projects. For example, each team member may think that the work is still pending from someone else, but in reality, no one is working on it because the scope of work may be a shared responsibility. Give each team member realistic deadlines for deliverables. You may want to use an online gantt chart to track the timeline and get an overview of the team’s calendar, project status, and any pending approvals. Aside from Trello, Asana is another online project management tool that has this inbuilt timeline view.

  • Solve anticipated problems in advance

Once you have laid out the scope of work and deadlines for your team, it’s time to solve anticipated problems in advance. This is the stage is where you need to identify any and all roadblocks even when your team members are working remotely. Usually, the best way to discern this is by monitoring the timeline. When there’s a delay in whichever part of the scope of work, it’s a signal for you as manager to dive in to diagnose and treat the problem quickly.

  • Keep all stakeholders informed on project status, feedback & post-mortem reviews

Although everyone may be working remotely, with technology, you can communicate with anyone at anytime from anywhere. You can keep all your stakeholders informed on the status of the project and get their feedback using online communication tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype and Slack. Interval updates and feedback from all stakeholders can also help during post-mortem reviews. It can be useful to analyse the causes of failure and determine corrective steps while helping to navigate more effectively for future projects.

There are plenty of online project management tools available today, which help in managing an entire project remotely. However, having a great tool without the right processes will not help in increasing the effectiveness of the entire remote team. The TASK-based approach is a framework for a systematicprocess that helps you to manage your entire project team remotely to ensure effective management and quality delivery of projects.

PERSOLKELLY is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading staffing and recruitment providers. If you’re looking for work, explore our jobs, or register your details, search and apply for jobs on GO, available free from your App store. If you’re looking for staff, get in touch with us to find out how we can support your business with great people.

Workforce Insights Report: Building agility with a contingent workforce

We’re pleased to launch our latest Workforce Insights Report, which shows that the Contingent Workforce will play an even more critical role for businesses moving forward on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over 1,000 employers from 12 markets across the APAC region were surveyed for our report, and provided their opinion about Contingent Workforce. These included Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

You can download the full report here, which highlights the trends and adoption of a contingent workforce during and after the effects of the pandemic.

Key Takeaways

  • The effects of the pandemic and technological forces are reshaping business models and the nature of work across APAC. The speed of these changes, alongside economic uncertainty as supply and demand fluctuates, has encouraged companies of all sizes to rethink their traditional workforce strategies and embrace fresh hiring approaches to stay competitive.
  • A Contingent Workforce is already an important part of workforce strategies in APAC, with over 50% of all companies across the region surveyed saying they turn to it when experiencing a headcount shortage.
  • This trend is accelerating, with around 25% of companies across APAC who are already using a contingent workforce, saying they plan to expand on this over the next two years. Almost half of all companies surveyed are currently turning to a contingent workforce for up to 10% of their workforce, and are also planning to continue to expand their contingent workforce to 15% and above in the next two years.

Recruitment agencies bring speed and efficiency to the talent acquisition process and free up companies’ Human Resources and other internal teams to focus on their core competencies, leaving the specialist recruiters to do what they do best.

The Contingent Workforce forms a core part of the fast-growing Gig Economy that continues to reshape the world of work. Many contingent workers are now highly skilled in specialised areas, where they are increasingly seen by businesses as part of the mainstream workforce, and not secondary to full-timers. Our survey reports that Asia Pacific companies are most likely to offer the same or better rewards to attract the right talent for long-term assignments.

The survey findings clearly show that the contingent workforce will play an even more critical role for businesses moving forward, and that to succeed in this fast-evolving landscape, companies need to be ready to adapt quickly and have a robust Contingent Workforce strategy in place.

Download the full report here.

PERSOLKELLY is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading staffing and recruitment providers. If you’re looking for work, explore our jobs, or register your details, search and apply for jobs on GO, available free from your App store. If you’re looking for staff, get in touch with us to find out how we can support your business with great people.

Invest in our planet this Earth Day

Earth Day 2022 is Friday, April 22nd and this year the annual event is all about investing in our planet to build a safe and prosperous future for everyone. Unless businesses around the globe act now, the effects of climate change will impact economies, increase scarcity, drain profits and dampen job prospects. That’s in addition to rising sea levels which will have severe impacts on coastal communities as well as far-reaching effects on every single person on Earth.

This year the team behind Earth Day is promoting the Earth Day Climate Action Summit, which is centred all-around reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century to keep global temperature rises below 1.5 ° Celsius. This is the required greenhouse gas reduction needed by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement.

While undoubtedly much of the progress needed to effectively tackle climate change must come from corporations and governments, that doesn’t mean that we as individuals don’t have important roles to play.

There are a multitude of ways that you can get involved, from attending Earth day events, joining in the movement on social media, downloading the Earth Day 2022 toolkit, helping plant trees or perhaps organising a clean-up. While Earth Day is one day a year, there are many ways you can invest in our planet to combat climate change any day of the year. Why not talk to management at your company about implementing more recycling, getting rid of single-use plastics and other sustainable initiatives?

When choosing which politicians you want to represent you from a council level all the way to the federal level, choose ones that align with your views on climate change, sustainability and the environment. As well as voting in elections, you can also vote with your feet too. Many companies aren’t doing enough to tackle environmental issues, so you can choose to avoid supporting them with your custom and buy from companies that are putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to climate change and sustainability.

The Earth Day website has a list of 52 ways you can invest in our planet. One day for every week of the year; things you can implement on a weekly and even daily basis to ensure the impact of Earth Day is felt year-round. You can read the full list here, but below are a few favourites to inspire you:

  • Email, don’t print
  • Reduce food wastage
  • Calculate your carbon footprint
  • Calculate your plastic consumption
  • Ask for green power
  • Switch to reusable bags
  • Organise a community clean up
  • Compost
  • Switch to online bills and statements

Explaining a career break

Career breaks are common and often necessary for a variety of reasons. However, you’re not alone if the thought of addressing a break in your resume or an interview gives you anxiety. Hiring managers know that caregiving, having children, travelling and redundancy are legitimate reasons to have a gap in your resume, it’s all about how you choose to disclose this information that can help or hinder your job search.

It’s common

Remember having a break from work isn’t rare and there are many other job seekers out there in the same boat, so don’t be tempted to try and hide it. It is much better to be upfront about your career gap, why it occurred and make it clear that you’re excited to get back to work.

People are sometimes happy to mention positive reasons for a gap such as having a family, travelling or further study while might be less inclined to talk about being unable to find employment, being fired or made redundant. The effect the pandemic has had on workers globally has impacted the way we’ve all treated job loss. Even if it hasn’t happened to you, you likely know someone who has lost their job since the start of 2020 and people, including hiring managers, are more understanding of people who have been through this recently.

A Fast Company study discovered that job applicants who disclosed the reason for their career break on their resume and cover letter received nearly 60% more interviews than those who did not provide a reason.

Show what you did while between work

If you studied or completed a course, even volunteering, during a gap in roles, these are all good to declare because it again shows that you’re not wallowing in your circumstances and instead bettering yourself to make yourself a more well-rounded person and professional candidate. LinkedIn recently introduced a career gap feature so you can add what type of break it was and what you did to the experience section of your profile.

Explain why it occurred

Almost all career breaks or gaps are explainable, whether you were ill, or caring for someone, staying at home with children or travelled. These are all legitimate reasons to not be working for a time. The most likely concern any employer will have if you haven’t worked for a while will be the fact you may not be up to date on the latest information in your industry. This is where you can comfort a hiring manager by telling them you regularly read articles, journals and periodicals to stay up to date with news and advances in whatever industry you worked in. This also shows that you’re passionate about your field of work if you actively engaged in it while not working.

Think of the positives

Another thing to think about if feeling like your lack of recent work is a detriment to your job hopes is that recruiters might look favourably upon your application as they may you to be less likely to take leave soon after starting due to burn out or needing a holiday compared to a candidate coming straight across from an existing role without a break. The way you adapted to your potentially unique circumstances during your break could also play to your advantage.

Consider when it occurred

If you are currently in the middle of a break from work, being more forthright in a cover letter and interview is more important, however if you had a few months between work a few years ago, but have been employed since, it’s not as crucial to address.

You may be tempted to extend your time at each company on your resume by a few months to cover up a break, however being honest ensures reference checks don’t bring you undone. You are however within your rights to just put years on resume for each position, such as ‘Company x 2017-2019’. Therefore, if you had several months between jobs in 2019, any gap will not jump out as much if at all.

Be confident

If coming off a break, state in your cover letter or regularly reiterate in an interview that your break has finished, whatever the reason, and you’re motivated and excited to renter the workforce. However, be careful to still talk about why the role you’re going for is an exciting opportunity and don’t display a desperateness to take any job to get back to work.

Knowing what you’re going to say when asked about any gaps in an interview can avoid you being caught off guard. Even offering up this information freely before being asked outright can show initiative and honesty and displays that you’re not trying to hide a break or shy away from it.

PERSOLKELLY is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading staffing and recruitment providers. If you’re looking for work, explore our jobs, or register your details, search and apply for jobs on GO, available free from your App store. If you’re looking for staff, get in touch with us to find out how we can support your business with great people.

#BreakTheBias this International Women’s Day

Tuesday, March 8th is International Women’s Day. A day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women globally. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere.

Experience the impact when you #BreakTheBias
Imagine a gender-equal world; a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality and collectively we can all #BreakTheBias. Whether deliberate or unconscious; bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field.

What is gender bias?
Bias is prevalent in every aspect of our lives. Our brains naturally categorise things we experience in order to understand the complicated world around us. However, biases can mean that we form prejudices that can perpetuate inequalities. Gender bias is the tendency to prefer one gender over another. It can be a form of unconscious or implicit bias which occurs when someone unconsciously applies attributes and stereotypes to a person or group of people. Gender bias can also be demonstrated through explicit bias where a person is aware of their bias and operates consciously. An example of explicit bias may be someone who believes that women who are mothers are not serious about their careers. Whilst an example of implicit bias or unconscious bias may be favouring male applicants over female applicants even though they have similar skills and experience.

How you can help #BreakTheBias:

Start with yourself!
Examining our unconscious bias can be complex and confronting. We need to be open to the realisation that we do have biases. Reflect on your own biases and prejudices and take action to address them.

Gender stereotypes
Gender stereotypes whether hostile (such as ‘women are irrational’) or seemingly benign (‘women are nurturing’) directly contribute to gender inequality. For example, the traditional view of women as caregivers means that childcare responsibilities often fall on women. Take the time to think about tasks that may be easily affected by gender stereotypes at work and home and actively look at ways to achieve equitable outcomes.

Language matters
Language that conveys bias towards one sex or uses stereotypes can be demeaning or result in a person feeling excluded. Using gender-inclusive language is a simple way to create a positive change and encourage respectful relationships.

The language we use can easily trivialise one gender or another, such as using terms like ‘just a stay-at-home mum’. Additionally, calling adult women girls, where adult men are referred to as men, can be demeaning. Some easy changes to make are: Instead of ‘girls in the office’ use ‘staff in the office’. Instead of addressing the team as ‘guys’ use team, folks, gang or people. Avoid using terms or phrases like: ‘pretty good for a girl’, ‘she thinks like a man’ or ‘he played like a girl’.

What can you do?

  • Host an event to celebrate the diversity of our people. Encourage conversation and awareness surrounding gender inequality and gender bias.
  • Use the IWD selfie cards to pledge your commitment, display around the office or post to your socials.
  • Start the conversation and keep it going at work and at home.
  • Educate yourself about implicit/unconscious bias and how to recognise and challenge these behaviours.

There are MO ways to change the face of men’s health this Movember

As well as make us realise we haven’t got long to get Christmas presents sorted, November’s arrival also signifies that time of the year where many of the men in our lives grow a moustache in the name of men’s health.

However, getting involved isn’t limited to men anymore. As well as growing some choice facial hair, you can ‘move for Movember’ and walk 60km over the month to raise funds. Each kilometre represents the number of men lost to suicide around the world each hour. You can even create your own challenge to get involved, it can be literally anything! It could be a test of physical endurance or something else altogether, but your efforts will help change the face of men’s health. You can also host a ‘Mo-ment’ by getting a group together and doing something fun whilst raising funds.

Starting from humble beginnings back in 2003, Movember has since funded more than 1,250 men’s health projects around the globe. The initiative aims to challenge the status quo and shake up men’s health research by transforming the way health services reach and support men. Movember supports mental health and suicide prevention, with the aim to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25% by 2030.

Another area of men’s health the cause raises funds for is prostate cancer. Globally, more than 1.4 million men are diagnosed with the disease every year. The third area Movember focuses on is testicular cancer. Also by 2030, Movember aims to halve the number of men dying from prostate and testicular cancer and halve the number of men facing serious ongoing side effects from the treatments of these diseases.

As mentioned earlier, there has never been more ways to get involved in Movember and raise vital funds for men’s health to help prevent deaths from suicide, prostate and testicular cancers. While many people are motivated by the cause alone, others might find the prizes and rewards up for grabs might inspire them to flex their fundraising muscles.

If you want to get involved in Movember by growing an 80’s moustache (or a regular one), doing a challenge or hosting a ‘Mo-ment’ you can do so via the Australian and New Zealand websites. If you’re not keen to change your facial appearance or perhaps don’t want to shave your beard or do a challenge, instead attend a ‘Mo-ment’ if you can or donate to friends, family members and colleagues during their fundraising journeys. You can also donate directly to the Movember campaign in Australia and New Zealand via the links.

Changing careers in the age of working from home

The pandemic has disrupted the process of changing your career dramatically. The newly developing culture of working from home and the threat of lockdowns are slowing our transition back to the office, preventing businesses from using traditional recruitment methods.

While there are new challenges impacting how we now live our lives, you can still change careers and begin your dream job. Our guide will be able to help you on the path to starting the next chapter of your career.

Seeking a new job

Before you start looking for available job positions, take the PERSOLKELLY career pathfinder quiz to help you understand the kinds of jobs that match your skills and passions. Once you understand the sort of roles that will suit your professional goals and align with your training and qualifications, it is time to search for positions being advertised.

Today, roles are generally advertised on either online job boards or through staffing and recruitment providers. Recruitment providers such as PERSOLKELLY offer depth and breadth of expertise across a diverse range of industries. Browse new job opportunities to find the right role for you.

Applying for advertised roles

When applying for a position, you will generally need to put your best foot forward with a professional resume and cover letter. Your cover letter should explain how your skill set and personality will suit the role you are applying for, not simply be a rehash of your resume. Often these two documents are all you have available to make a first impression; make them count!

Creating a LinkedIn profile can assist your job application as it provides a profile of who you are in a more personal way than a resume. It will also help you develop a network with other professionals that could provide career and sales opportunities as well as professional advice to assist your further development.

Virtual interviews

You will most likely conduct your interview virtually over a video call. Before your virtual interview, it will be important to test your technology as it can easily fail. Ensure that your computer, microphone and camera is set up so that you can have clear video and sound. Make sure you choose a quiet area of your house with an appropriate backdrop behind you.

When on your call, first impressions still matter. It is important to maintain a sense of professionalism with your attire and body language. How you speak with your body is just as important as what is being said verbally and may influence your interviewer’s impression of you. Throughout your interview, be authentic and try to build positive rapport to show who you are as a person and how you can fit into the team.

Starting your new career

Starting a new job can be daunting when you are working from home. Your management will have set up processes to properly onboard you to help you perform your new role effectively. Work with your manager and team to create social events online to get to know and interact with people and feel that you are a part of the team.

At PERSOLKELLY, our passion is to help people move forward in their careers. Our expertise and capability can help you to source the next job for you to progress in your career. Contact us today at PERSOLKELLY to learn more.

PERSOLKELLY is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading staffing and recruitment providers. If you’re looking for work, explore our jobs, or register your details, search and apply for jobs on GO, available free from your App store. If you’re looking for staff, get in touch with us to find out how we can support your business with great people.

PERSOLKELLY turns one!

A year ago, the Programmed Professionals team and the white-collar arm of Kelly Services Australia and New Zealand joined forces to become a bigger, stronger business, operating as PERSOLKELLY.

To celebrate PERSOLKELLY’s first anniversary, members of our senior leadership team share their favourite moments from the past twelve months.

Kurt Gillam, Executive General Manager

I’m constantly inspired by our PERSOLKELLY team who have worked together to establish a business that’s becoming well known for propelling our partners forward by delivering quality service, innovative solutions, and the best people.

We established our entire brand and team in 2020, all via remote working during the pandemic. And despite this, the way that everyone has embraced our vision has me forever grateful and incredibly proud.

I’m genuinely pr​oud of the passion our team have for supporting the careers of our candidates and employees, combined with supporting Australian employers.

Wendy Hewson, General Manager, New Zealand

For me, PERSOLKELLY New Zealand really took shape with the appointment of our National Manager, Audrey Noakes. Having worked with her previously, I knew her experience and passion for our industry would mean PERSOLKELLY New Zealand would have a terrific foundation and sustainable future.

Watching the team grow has been a real joy. Their hard work and dedication to our customers and candidates is something we’re incredibly proud of.

Jodie Mott, General Manager Queensland

Moving into a new office in Brisbane was a big highlight of mine! It’s been great to see the team enjoy our new office, and support all our customers and candidates across Queensland from there!

Ashely Speers, Business Development Manager Western Region

Some of my favourite moments include hosting a client event at the Fremantle dockers premises to share the Workforce Insights Report.

I also loved being a part of hosting our Solider On Prep for Pathways event, to support veterans to gain meaningful employment.

We received our own branded polos, which was another highlight this year.

Attending the Nathan Sharp Awards ,Western force Rugby, on behalf of Programmed, was also terrific.

Mitsuru Katada, Business Development Manager

When PERSOLKELLY was launched last year, we became one of the largest white-collar workforce solutions providers in the APAC region, spanning over 45 offices across 13 markets including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

The breadth of our expertise creates opportunities for our clients and candidates, something I’m excited about.

Sarah Swiderski, General Manager Western Australia

It’s been a big first year for PERSOLKELLY in the West, with our WA and SA teams working together to kick some big goals!

Along with supporting our clients and candidates throughout the past twelve months, we’ve had two new babies added to the Perth family – and they arrived just two days apart.

Trevor Bradley, General Manager NSW/ACT and Executive Recruitment

The first year for PERSOLKELLY has been a tremendous success. Building on our rich heritage, we have grown significantly across Australia despite the challenges faced primarily in Victoria and New South Wales.

In Sydney, we have welcomed many new faces and celebrated milestones – such as my 10-year anniversary, Arek received his Australian Citizenship and we were recognised at the RCSA National Awards, attended by both PERSOLKELLY and Programmed staff.

We re-calibrated the Sydney business during our first year, and despite working remotely for extended periods of lockdown, we have built a collaborative, engaging, focused and caring team environment to build on in our second year.

As we embark on year two, you can expect to see PERSOLKELLY continuing to deliver greater value to our customers and candidates across Australia and New Zealand.

We’re also focused on continuing to expanding our team, and have already started our search for experienced recruiters, looking for a new challenge with a leading staffing and recruitment provider.

We’re always on the hunt for great people to join our team. If you’re confident and caring, proactive and passionate, smart and resourceful, and want to kick-start or continue your career in helping others achieve their career goals, then we’d love to hear from you.

To register your interest in a future with PERSOLKELLY, visit our careers page.

What universal job skills can help you succeed in your career?

In a hotly contested job market, having a comprehensive skill set can give you that competitive edge. But what skills can you focus on to give you a leg up on others? Developing universal skills will make sure you can apply them to any job throughout your entire career.

Communication and teamwork skills

Communication is everything in a team and business. Developing excellent communication skills will help you to advise, train, listen and empathise with your coworkers. Don’t overlook listening and understanding! So often we focus only on what we’re saying to others, that we forget listening is just as important in building trust and quality relationships with our coworkers. If you’re looking to develop your emotional intelligence, you can read our guide about empathy.

In a survey of 350 executives across nine industries, the World Economic Forum (WEF) found emotional intelligence and coordination with others to be among the top-most desired employee traits for businesses. Every job involves working with others, whether it’s your manager, co-workers, or customers. If you can collaborate with others as a team-oriented employee, you’re boosting your value in the eyes of recruiters.

Critical thinking skills

Critical thinking skills are desired by employers and will help you stand out. When you’re using critical thinking skills, you’re assessing all the details of a situation, understanding the connections between these ideas and using that to make decisions to solve problems. No matter your position, in any business, you’ll need to utilise critical thinking to resolve everyday issues and put out fires in times of crisis. This does not mean making decisions alone. Seeking insights and advice from others is just as important when assessing a situation. Once you’ve reached your decision, you’ll also need to communicate your reasoning with others so that they see can your vision. 

We’re also now moving to an age where technology and automation are solving the smaller tasks. You now need to know how to work with technology, as it helps us identify patterns and gather data while we analyse and conceive new ideas from the information provided.

Computer skills

Even if you work in an industry that does not typically use computers, you’ll probably need digital skills. Technology is all around us today and is being used to automate certain tasks and streamline communication in the work environment. Video communications are becoming a key tool due to the pandemic. While using video conferencing is becoming a staple for office jobs, as employees work from home, even industries such as healthcare, retail and education have moved online or over the phone to comply with restrictions.

It’s important to be flexible when it comes to working face-to-face and remotely, as we deal with the uncertainty of the pandemic and beyond. At the very least, developing skills such as using the Microsoft Office suite will go a long way to increasing your value as a job candidate.

Learning skills

Learning is a skill in itself. No matter how much experience you have, you will always be learning new things as you step into new roles. This can be learning the processes of your new company or even learning fresh skills in your first job. Having skills such as being able to read properly, listen effectively, retain information and think critically as you apply what you learn, all make up the skills of learning.

Being able to proactively develop yourself is also a desirable skill to have in any workplace. The ability to honestly reflect on your past performance and self-assess to improve for the future will help develop you into a sought-after professional.

Time management skills

Managing your time is incredibly important, as we all need to meet deadlines while keeping our work to a good standard. If you can effectively manage your time, you’ll not only fit everything into your workweek, you might also find you’re not as stressed and produce better work.

If you have a large project that needs to be completed by your team, you’ll need to use time management skills such as planning out key deadlines, knowing what tasks need to be prioritised, delegating and outsourcing tasks to meet your deadlines. To learn how to properly schedule your time and eliminate issues such as decision fatigue read our blog.

Whether you’re looking for permanent or short-term positions, we can help you find the right job for you. Our recruitment specialists at PERSOLKELLY are here to help you by providing roles in a range of industry sectors including professional services, ICT, government, STEM and management roles. If you are looking for assistance with finding an employer, contact us at PERSOLKELLY today.

How to develop and practice empathy with colleagues during COVID

Working from home and lockdowns have made us isolated from each other, creating loneliness and challenging our mental health. Someone you’re working with may be silently struggling with their mental health, so practising empathy and emotional intelligence is more important than ever as we work together through the pandemic.

Developing emotional intelligence skills

Empathy is our ability to recognise or feel the emotions another person is experiencing. Developing an understanding of how others feel will help you to develop stronger relationships with others.

Recognising people’s emotions – Making an effort to observe the emotions your coworkers may be feeling will help you work with them effectively. Look at their body language, what they’re saying and recognise how other factors in their life may be influencing their mood; such as financial pressures, or their family to name a few.

Anticipating actions – Identifying other people’s emotions will help you predict how people will respond to you. Knowing what may happen will help you make better decisions about your own actions in addition to what is appropriate to say in certain situations.

Keeping oneself calm – The ability to remain calm when in challenging situations, such as dealing with a hostile coworker, is a form of emotional intelligence. If you can remain calm, you can make better decisions about how you communicate with this person and avoid escalating the situation into something worse.

How to practise empathy with coworkers

Stay Connected – While working from home, try to stay in contact with coworkers to maintain that social connection you had in the office. If you feel someone is struggling, going through a traumatic event or experienced a loss, you might want to send care packages, groceries or meals to them to express your support and show that you care about their wellbeing throughout this difficult period. 

Good person, bad circumstances – If someone is being negative, confrontational or absent-minded, it’s best not to jump to conclusions about the person’s character. You may want to remind yourself it is a “good person experiencing bad circumstances,” and make the assumption that a negative situation is causing their actions. For example, if someone is acting hostile, they may be stressed about the pandemic. If they’re ignoring your emails, they may be snowed under with work or distracted with managing home school for their kids. We truly don’t know what someone is going through until we walk in their shoes, so assume the best and don’t let this negative experience impact your working relationship.

Starting the conversation with those struggling

It’s not always easy to keep the conversation going when someone says they’re not OK, but it could change a life. RUOK provides recommendations to begin the conversation with someone that may be struggling mentally.  

1. Approaching someone you are concerned about

Try to be friendly but concerned in your approach. Help them open up by asking questions like “How are you going?”. Using phrases such as “It looks like” or “It sounds like” is a non-confrontational way to express what you see without sounding critical or malicious. If they don’t want to talk, don’t criticise them as it is difficult for people to open up.

2. Listen with an open mind

When listening to what the person is saying, take what they say seriously and don’t interrupt or judge them for what they are saying. They won’t open up if they don’t feel you want to hear everything they have to say. If you need to encourage them to say more, ask open questions such as, “How are you feeling about that?” or “How long have you felt that way?”

3. Encourage action

If they seem to be struggling for more than two weeks, suggest they go see a professional for help. Talking to a GP is a good place to start, while Lifeline is also a great resource. Offer support to help them through this process and don’t take it personally if they don’t want your assistance.

4. Check in

Stay in touch and provide genuine support where you can. If they haven’t done anything, don’t judge them.

PERSOLKELLY is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading staffing and recruitment providers. If you’re looking for work, explore our jobs, or register your details, search and apply for jobs on GO, available free from your App store. If you’re looking for staff, get in touch with us to find out how we can support your business with great people.

How to tackle burnout and boost your energy while working from home

From time to time, it’s not uncommon to experience burnout and a lack of motivation. The pandemic has brought many challenges that impact our mood, such as loneliness from being isolated at home and juggling homeschooling while working from home. If you need some help increasing your energy, motivation and enjoyment of work, we have some simple tips and strategies that you can incorporate into your day.

Get a quick win

Start your day with a win. Studies have shown that one of the top ways to boost your mood and motivation is making progress in meaningful work. When looking for your quick win, ask yourself “what is the smallest first step I can take to achieve what I need to do today?”. This may be something as simple as writing an email.

This small step is like pushing over the first domino and will create the momentum for the rest of your day. When you complete a task, make sure to cross it off a list. It’s satisfying crossing things off, as you can see your progress, which might motivate you to achieve more.

Mindfulness and gratitude

Practising mindfulness puts you in the present moment. Mindfulness has been found to increase relaxation and reduce anxiety, helping you navigate the stresses of the day. Make an effort to dedicate some time in your day to meditate, relieving the stress you may be feeling. To learn how to incorporate mindfulness into your day, read our guide.

Exercise regularly and eat a good diet

It’s no secret that eating well and exercising are good for us physically and mentally.

As we spend more time indoors due to working from home, getting outdoors and exercising is going to make a difference to your mood. Exercise releases endorphins which improves mood and helps relieve stress.

Studies have found that certain foods such as blueberries, salmon, eggs and dark chocolate contain nutrients and vitamins that can boost your brain health as well as improve your mood. Fitting these into your diet will help with your energy production and make you feel good.

To help you create healthy habits around exercise and eating habits, Headspace has some guides that will put you on course to a healthier lifestyle.

Schedule your day

Planning out your day strategically will keep you energised throughout the day. A big killer to mood and motivation is working for long periods, which can lead to fatigue, poor decisions and procrastinating.

Simple tips for scheduling your day include:

  • Schedule periods in your day for intensive work, for no longer than 90 minutes. This is the average amount of time that we can effectively create quality work.
  • Don’t book meetings back-to-back. Giving yourself as little as 5 minutes between meetings allows you time to reflect on what happened in the previous meeting, and take any necessary notes. It will also help you mentally prepare for the next one.
  • Schedule downtime in the middle of the day. Allow yourself to recharge your batteries so you aren’t fatigued towards the end of the day.
  • Create blocks of time where you exclusively respond to emails. Constantly going back and forth between a task and looking at your email can slow you down, as it takes time to refocus on what you were doing previously.

Human interaction

Humans are social creatures. Better Health highlights proven links between having strong social connections and lower rates of anxiety and depression. Conversely, loneliness can have dramatic consequences on your health as it may disrupt your sleep, increase stress, blood pressure and lead to depression. If you are feeling a bit down due to the isolation of working from home, make a deliberate effort to regularly be in contact with friends, family and coworkers. Have a quick coffee with someone, jump on a Zoom call or go for a walk with someone.

Looking upward

Our brain is connected to our eyes and is hardwired to respond to simple cues. When our eyes begin to droop, this tells our brain that we’re tired and need to sleep. Today, we’re looking down at a laptop or tablet which means lowering our eyelids for long periods. Unknowingly, we’re telling our brain that we’re weary and need to sleep, which is why we feel drowsy.

A simple trick for you to prevent this is to have a monitor that’s at least parallel or slightly higher so that you’re looking up for the majority of the day. If you’re feeling tired, a fast fix is to look up at the ceiling for 15 seconds. It’s that easy. For a complete rundown on this eye and brain relationship, you can learn from Stanford neuroscientist Andrew Huberman.

Getting into good habits will help you to feel a greater sense of motivation while working from home, as we navigate our way through challenging times.

If you are looking for a job that creates a greater sense of purpose, we can help. PERSOLKELLY is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading staffing and recruitment providers so take the next step in your career with PERSOLKELLY today.

PERSOLKELLY is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading staffing and recruitment providers. If you’re looking for work, explore our jobs, or register your details, search and apply for jobs on GO, available free from your App store. If you’re looking for staff, get in touch with us to find out how we can support your business with great people.

Mentorship: Why you should consider it

Mentorship has long been a focus in the professional world. It provides the opportunity for all parties involved to grow professionally and personally. Encouraging mentor programs helps develop employees and ultimately benefits the business.

Why consider mentorship?

Mentorship gives the opportunity for junior professionals to develop a relationship with a seasoned individual who’s willing to assist them achieve success by applying the expertise they’ve gained through their time in the industry. The two should meet regularly to set goals, exchange ideas and overcome any issues the mentee may face throughout their career. Both mentor and mentee will see benefits professionally and personally throughout the life of the mentorship, so it’s a great idea to get involved.

Benefits for mentees

Being mentored will provide you with a wealth of knowledge and support. Having access to the guidance of a mentor can provide exposure to ideas and advice to help you achieve your professional goals. A mentor can help anyone, no matter where you are in your career, as professional goals change over time to reflect where you are currently. Their experience will also help you avoid mistakes your mentor has overcome.

When choosing who will be your mentor, consider the following:

  • Does this person inspire you and do they have achievements close to what you hope to achieve? Before asking yourself this question, have a think about what you consider to be successful in all aspects life and ask, has the candidate achieved something similar? For example, if you value having strong relationships socially, you might want to consider someone who also shares this value, as well as taking their professional accolades into account.
  • What expertise do they offer and can they help you to achieve your goals?
  • Does their personality fit with yours? Good communication is key to having a successful relationship with a mentor, so it’s important that you both get along with each other.
  • Are they willing to invest their time into you? You don’t want someone who can’t commit to helping you, so look for someone who will genuinely take time out of their day to help you.

As you begin to work with your mentor, have discussions with them to assess your strengths and weaknesses, which will help you develop a strategic plan to further your skills. If you’re looking for a mentor internally, it will provide you with exposure to your company’s management, which might help with promotion opportunities.

Benefits for mentors

If you’re considering becoming a mentor, you have the opportunity to help someone grow and succeed. Providing your knowledge and experience may create a sense of joy and pride as you’re able to help shape young talent. Additionally, working with a younger person, you may find yourself exposed to different perspectives and ideas that you can apply in your own work. You’ll also be able to improve your teaching and communication skills. Presenting information that others can understand is a skill that will help in other facets of your work such as presenting and pitching ideas. 

Benefits for businesses

Running a mentorship program in your business can create an opportunity to further develop the skills of your staff. The improved skills and knowledge that come from mentorship programs lead to better work outcomes, helping you achieve the business’ goals. It will also highlight individuals who have the drive and ambition to further their development in your business, providing potential management candidates.

Mentorship programs provide benefits to all parties involved.

At PERSOLKELLY, we can propel your business forward with our staffing solutions. To learn more, contact us today.

PERSOLKELLY is one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading staffing and recruitment providers. If you’re looking for work, explore our jobs, or register your details, search and apply for jobs on GO, available free from your App store. If you’re looking for staff, get in touch with us to find out how we can support your business with great people.