A Networking Guide for People Who Hate People

Jamison Vann
Source: Huffington Post

Effective networking is a skill that every professional should attempt to improve on. Talking with strangers and making quick connections may come easily to some people but prove to be quite difficult for others.

Unfortunately, I fall into that ‘other’ category…

I will be the first to admit that I have a hard time talking to people when I first meet them. No, I don’t necessarily hate people, it’s just that I would rather sit back and observe the scene first. Although this type of behavior might be acceptable at social gatherings, business functions are not the place to be a wallflower.

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The Only 3 Employee “Perks” That Matter

perksAuthor: Luke Smith
Source: Brazen

Ditch the bells and whistles. When it comes to employee satisfaction, these are the three things that actually matter.

In today’s competitive job market, many companies are looking beyond salary and benefits to stand out to top candidates. Top-tier companies like Google and Apple have revolutionized the perks that employees enjoy in order to attract and retain their elite workforce — offering employees everything from unlimited time off to free automotive maintenance. One company even offers free scuba lessons!

But what perks really matter to employees?

While your company may not have the means that Google has, you can offer the employee perks that make the most difference in their job satisfaction career growth. Here are a few suggestions:

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Work Smarter, Not Harder


Author: Steve Blank
Source: Huffington Post

Measuring how hard your team is working by counting the number of hours they work or what time they get in and leave is how amateurs run companies. The number of hours worked is not the same as how effective they (and you) are.

I had been invited by Rahul, one of my students from long ago, to stop in and see how his startup was doing. Actually startup would be a misnomer as Rahul had built a great company, now over $50M in annual revenue with hundreds of employees.

We were scheduled for dinner, but Rahul invited me over in the afternoon to sit in on a few of his staff meetings, get some product demos, admire the furniture and the café, and get a feel of the company.

Before we left for dinner I asked about the company culture and the transition from a startup to a company. We talked about how he was on-boarding new employees, managing scale by writing operations manuals for each job function, and publishing company and department mission and intent (he said he got the idea from reading my blog posts on mission and the one on innovation culture). It was all impressive – until we got on the subject of how hard his employees worked. His response reminded me what an idiot I had been for most of my career – “Our team knows this isn’t a 9-5 company. We stay as long as it takes to get the job done.” I looked a bit dumbfounded, which I think he took for impressed, because he continued, “most days when I leave at 7 pm my employees are still hard at work. They stay all hours of the night and we often have staff meetings on Saturdays.”

I cringed. Not because he was dumb but because for most of my career I was equally clueless about what was really happening. I had required the same pointless effort from my teams.

Our dinner was scheduled for 7:15 around the corner so we headed out at 7, announcing to his staff he was off to dinner. As soon as we got outside his building and into the full parking lot I asked Rahul if he could call the restaurant and tell them we were going to be late. I said, “Let’s just wait across the street from your company’s parking lot and watch the front door. I want to show you something I painfully learned way too late in my career.” He knew me well enough to patiently stand there. At 7:05, nothing happened. “What am I supposed to be seeing?” he asked. “Just wait,” I replied, hoping I was right. At 7:10 still no movement at the front door. By now he was getting annoyed, and just as he was about to say, “let’s go to dinner” the front door of the company opened – and a first trickle of employees left. I asked, “Are these your VPs and senior managers?” He nodded looking surprised and kept watching. Then after another 10-minute pause, a stream of employees poured out of the building like ants emptying the nest. Rahul’s jaw dropped and then tightened. Within a half-hour the parking lot was empty.

There wasn’t much conversation as we walked to dinner. After a few drinks he asked, “What the heck just happened?”

21st-Century Work Measured by 20th-Century Custom and Cultural Norms

In the 20th century we measured work done by the number of hours each employee logged. On an assembly line each employee was doing the same thing, so productivity simply equaled hours worked. Employees proved they were at work by using time cards to measure attendance. (Even today the U.S. government still measures its most creative people with a time-management system in 15-minute increments.)


Why Your Sales Staff Should Be Using Social Media

SMAuthor: Jörgen Sundberg
Source: Undercover Recruiter

As the power of social media tightens its grip on the modern workforce, the need for companies to make the right kind of noise becomes more important than ever. Social media though, isn’t just the role of the wider marketing team – employees and sales people in particular, should ideally be right in the thick of it, making the most of the online marketplace. How is social selling changing the way B2B organizations engage with decision makers? To get some answers, I’ve had a chat with Sophie Barnes of Xchanging.

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What Steve Jobs Can Teach You About Overcoming Challenges

SO2Author: Vlad Ninov
Source: LinkedIn

Steve Jobs had a vision beyond our understanding. His idea right from the beginning was to change everything. During his life he changed at least 4 things that most of the population in the world uses every day – he developed the PC, the iPod, the iPhone, and iPad.

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What’s More Important Than Money? These 3 Things.

career-dreamsAuthor: Josh Tolan
Source: Brazen Blog

With the unemployment rate at the lowest since 2008, today’s job seekers have more choice — and more power — than ever before. According to CareerBuilder, one in five employees plan to change jobs in 2016, so the job seekers are out there. The real question is, how do you make sure your company is what they’re searching for? What matters to job seekers?

Believe it or not, it’s not salary. Or at least, it’s not salary at the expense of everything else. When 3,252 employees were asked what mattered more than salary when looking for a new job, they rattled off a list of factors including non-salary benefits, location, and management, among others. But three factors stand out above the rest — these three factors matter more for your employer brand and your employees’ happiness (and, subsequently, your employee retention) than any others.

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The New HR: Human Capital Development

HRAuthor: Caroline Stokes
Source: Undercover Recruiter

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend among Human Resources professionals recently. They are leaving tech companies due to professional dissatisfaction. The trend signals that these companies don’t have an active, engaging role for human resources beyond administrative tasks. A gap is emerging between the next generation of human resources defined as ‘human capital developers’ and the human resources born out of the 20th Century.

Today, HR is undergoing a seismic shift driven by the changing nature of work and the impact of technology. Many companies, even forward-thinking tech companies, are struggling to define the role of HR, and engage the department in the organization’s overall vision. As traditional roles becomes outdated, companies have to reconfigure departments to meet workforce needs. A huge gap is developing between the old and the new model, and in the midst of it, a lack of clarity among many senior managers on how to effectively reconfigure human resources.

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