Category Archives: Human Resources

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Are you being underpaid? – 5 Ways to Find Out

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Financial reward is a huge motivational factor for most people, regardless of what line of work you are in. They say money makes the world go round and let’s face it, not many people choose to work for free. So it is obviously a high priority for employees to ensure they are getting paid the going rate. For years there has been a growing awareness that there is an equality gap when it comes to pay, with many women being left short-changed. Unfairness with respect to salaries is not just a gender issue either; there are many people who find themselves in the situation where they are being underpaid for their services.

 

Here is how you can find out if you are being underpaid:

 

  1. Salary Comparison – It is much easier these days to find out the average salary for your role. Unless you have a very unique and uncommon type of job, you should be able to use apps like Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth.

 

  1. Advertised Jobs – Do a bit of research on what the typical salary is for your role by checking job websites and apps. You might find that salaries have changed significantly for your type of role. For example, there is a much higher demand for highly skilled IT based roles and this has been reflected in pay structures at most businesses.

 

  1. Speak to recruiters – Even if you’re not looking to move to another company, get linked up with a recruiter and they may be able to give you some inside knowledge into what you should expect to get paid. You may even find that they have a job that is perfect for you and with a better salary!

 

  1. Self-evaluation – You should have a fairly good idea of how well you are performing against other colleagues in the same role. If you know that you are performing better and not seeing financial recognition for that, or you have been in the same role for a while without a pay rise, you should be asking questions.

 

  1. Colleague lifestyles – People don’t usually openly discuss their salaries, but if you can see that your same level colleagues are enjoying the high life and you are struggling to make ends meet, then ask yourself why. There could be a simple explanation like they are living beyond their means or you have outgoings that they don’t have, but if there are no obvious reasons for the lifestyle gap then you could be getting underpaid.

 

Nobody should have to accept being underpaid, and there are so many options to check average salaries that make it easy to work out if you are affected. If you don’t take action now you could be losing out on a huge amount of money over the remainder of your career.

Project Management and Change Management – Both Vital To Strategic Change

Project Management and Change Management – Both Vital To Strategic Change

By Morgan International Staff Writers

It is common for the terms ‘project management’ and ‘change management’ to be used interchangeably, but they are actually two different disciplines. They encroach on one another when an organisation implements strategic change, but their objectives are completely different.
One focuses on implementing change on a practical basis, and the other on how people are affected by that change:
• The aim of a project manager is to ensure that project goals are met on a practical level, using a fixed strategic plan and timeline of events. It is easy to see if a project is falling behind, as milestones are included between the fixed start and end dates.

• A change manager, on the other hand, does not follow such a rigid plan, although they do use processes and methodologies to achieve their goal of minimising impact. Change management has to be fluid by nature, to address the ongoing concerns of staff and other stakeholders about the project and its effect on them.
What does a project manager do?
The role of a project manager is to ensure the project is delivered on time, using well-established and clearly-defined methodologies. They use their leadership, organisational, and communication skills with the aim of effecting a seamless transition.
• Arranging meetings and communicating progress to other members of the project team, corporate executives, stakeholders, and anyone else involved in the strategic plans
• Ensuring deadlines are met, and that the project stays on track
• Managing the risks inherent in any large-scale project
And what is the role of the change manager?
Reorganisation and transformation can affect staff on many levels, and it is the role of the change manager to make the physical process of making changes smoother, minimising delays caused by stakeholder reluctance.
Change managers will be part of the overall project team, attending meetings, and working to help staff accept and better deal with the forthcoming changes on a day-to-day basis.
• Encouraging stakeholder acceptance of the change
• Promoting the value of its implementation
• Minimising the anxieties and concerns of staff
Project management and change management each require specific knowledge and expertise. Learn the skills needed in a project or change management role and further your career by enrolling on one of our accredited training programs.

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Maximising Human Capital in the Middle East

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

The importance of having the right people in the right job is instrumental in the success of many businesses around the world. Different workplaces may take differing approaches to how they rate and nurture talent, but few would disagree that people are one of the top assets any business has. Research shows that people management and development is prioritized in different ways according to the area of the world they are in. For example, in the Middle East top management levels are increasingly seeing the importance of talent management and the whole recruit > retain > develop cycle.

 

There are mixed views on distinguishing between people and talent. Some say that due to the fact that people’s circumstances can change, they should not be labelled as ‘talent’. They could be performing well in one role but then move into another where they are less able to perform at the required level. So categorizing specific people as ‘talent’ is not considered beneficial by some.

 

Furthermore, it can have a negative impact on those who find themselves to be left out of that designated talent pool. It can be hugely demotivating to see other employees get preferential treatment such as promotions or development programs based on a level of performance they demonstrated at some point in the past. This limits the ability for those deemed as not talented to progress in any way and therefore is cutting off development pathways for many who could have otherwise flourished.

 

It is interesting to reflect on the current human capital trends in the Middle East. The fact that many workers are expatriates impacts the way that talent is perceived. There is a huge concern that local workers become alienated by the ‘more talented’ people moving to the area to take up high level roles. Due to these worries, the governments in the area encourage a strategy that sees all employees as talent. Rather than closing off opportunities, they keep career pathways open to anyone that can show potential in the future.

 

According to Deloitte’s 2016 Middle East Human Trends report, The Middle East human capital trends have seen Organizational design take the place as the top overall trend. The global ranking sees Leadership as the top trend and Culture ranks at 6th in the Middle East compared to the global ranking of 3rd. The differences in the trends across the world and in the Middle East are fascinating and next year’s results will be highly anticipated to see how things progress.

 

3 Top Tips to Start Currency Trading

3 Top Tips to Start Currency Trading

By Morgan International Staff Writers

When most of us think about forex trading, we think of fast paced excitement – the market itself is indeed open 24 hours a day, 5 days per week (except for holidays). For many it is a job, and for others it is more of a sport that they dabble in at the weekends. There are plenty of apps available for those who want to have a go with play money – just to see if they are cut out to be Wolf of Wall Street material. However, playing with hard cash is a different matter altogether, and whilst some may make it look easy, the reality is that those who are successful have a sophisticated understanding of how to buy and sell currencies. These are our top 3 tips to start successfully currency trading:

 

  • Find a trusted broker

Do your research and find a broker or large market maker who is regulated – preferably in at least two countries. It is paramount that your investment is in good hands, therefore ensure you pick a trusted broker who can evidence good practice and results for their clients.

 

  • Learn, learn and learn some more

All trades should be made upon a strong foundation of research. Blindly trading is gambling in its purest form. It would be like backing a horse without reading the form first. Forex is a complex market and therefore undertaking advanced analysis is imperative. As it is real time, it is useful to set up news alerts from the internet onto your phone so you know what is happening on the move, and react accordingly.

 

  • Pick a trading platform that suits you

Brokers use different types of software, and some invest more or less heavily in functionality, cross platform use, and the user interface. Most brokers allow you to set up a demo account and test out the software before committing to trading with real money. It is advisable to have a demo of their software and check that it works for you.

 

The media does a great job at making the Forex markets seem like an exciting and lucrative place to be. However, it is typically lucrative only for those who are experienced and well researched in the market itself. That said, a great place to start is with a demo account, having a go, and then taking it from there.

 

Masters of Scale

 

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4 Tips to Personalize the Employee Experience

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

The importance of personalizing the employee experience is often overlooked and underrated by employers with severe and often unacknowledged consequences. Providing a personalized experience to an employee plays a vital role in their overall engagement with the company and ultimately influences whether they choose to remain working for them. When you consider the financial implications of recruiting new employees, putting more effort into retaining employees makes huge commercial sense.

 

  1. Utilize recognition schemes

 

Recognition takes many forms and even a small gesture can go a long way in personalizing an employee’s experience. Even if you don’t have a large budget to work with, improvise with alternatives to financial rewards. A popular way to do this is to use intranets or similar digital platforms to enable colleagues to provide peer-to-peer recognition as well as management acknowledgements.

 

  1. Develop a talent management program

 

Professional development is a major motivational factor for employees. An employee who feels that there is no career pathway or way for them to further develop their skillset will become disengaged and demotivated. Developing an effective talent program will not only boost engagement levels of existing employees, it will also help to attract high calibre job applicants.

 

  1. Conduct regular evaluations/appraisals

 

Dedicating time to review and feed back on employee performance is hugely beneficial for both enhancing the personalized experience and to help reach business targets. Constructive feedback from management on a regular basis will help to boost performance and make the employee feel valued and more motivated.

 

  1. Build strong relationships

 

Whilst all of the first three tips are highly effective, for some employees they will still feel it is part of a corporate process. To really personalize the employee experience, putting in genuine effort to know and understand an employee can make a huge impact.

 

In summary, providing a personalized experience for employees is a critical aspect of a successful business and should never be taken for granted. The business benefits that can be gained are huge and although the overall results can be difficult to measure, the costs of employee retention vs. recruitment will ensure that it is a very worthwhile exercise.

Let Criticism Nourish Rather Than Destroy You

Let Criticism Nourish Rather Than Destroy You

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Criticism can be draining, especially when you feel it’s unjustified, but learning to deal with it in a healthy way helps you grow as an individual, in everyday life and business. Unfortunately, as a leader or business figurehead, you’re a perfect target for criticism.

Accepting this, and making plans to deal with it rationally and intentionally, will reduce the damage some critics hope to inflict. So here’s what you can do to deal with your critics, maintain your composure, and carry on.
• Acknowledge the criticism
Show respect by acknowledging your critic’s words, even if you don’t agree with them. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and as long as they aren’t being too aggressive, remaining calm and collected will place you in a good light.
• Don’t take it personally
Some criticism is designed purely to extract a reaction from you, so don’t give them the satisfaction. Your instincts should tell you whether the comments were made in the heat of the moment, or intentionally derisory.
• Don’t lie or become defensive
You don’t need to defend yourself against criticism - take a step back, retain your composure, and have faith in your own abilities. Don’t lie about any past failures and stay true to yourself, as people will know if you’re not being genuine.
• Be open-minded and truly listen
Active listening is a useful skill when you’re being criticised. It allows you to absorb the overall message without taking every word to heart. Having had their words truly heard rather than simply brushed off, you may develop a mutual respect with your critic.
• Consider whether there’s any truth in it
Decide whether you think the criticism might be accurate. You could ask your colleagues or business partners for their opinion, to get a better idea of whether the comments are justified.
Your own perspective on criticism shapes the way it affects you. Reacting negatively all the time could ultimately affect your health, but if you reframe criticsm as ‘feedback’ you can view the message in a more positive light.
Being able to deal calmly with criticism is invaluable in business. Search our website for courses and qualifications that could help you stay in control, even when faced with the harshest critic.

Battling Climate Change with Lean Six Sigma

Battling Climate Change with Lean Six Sigma

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Six sigma methodologies are widely used in business to improve processes, reduce waste, and increase efficiency. The techniques employed are also transferable to other areas, and one issue currently benefiting from their application is climate change.

Six sigma uses hard data as the basis for managing a problem and improving outcomes. So what specific techniques and methodologies are helping climate change scientists tackle the issue on a day-to-day basis?

·        Root Cause Analysis

Root Cause Analysis exposes problems within a system, allowing scientists to find the cause of a certain aspect of climate change. This aspect could be the reason we’re experiencing warmer summers in the UK, or why high levels of smog are lingering in certain cities around the globe.

The methodology involves asking multiple questions to find an explanation for an issue, and reveal its basic cause. In conjunction with the following six sigma methodologies, it covers the groundwork needed to expose issues at their roots.

·        DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control)

DMAIC allows scientists to focus on a specific problem, for instance the release of methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Having identified where these gases originate - landfill sites or cattle, for example – they determine how to measure the problem scientifically.

Results are then analysed with a view to improving and controlling the situation more effectively. In the case of landfills this might involve having stricter control over the number of landfill sites and levels of toxicity, or incentivising the public to change the way they dispose of waste.

·        DFSS (Design for Six Sigma)

This process has no defined steps as with DMAIC, but uses a technique called Critical Parameter Management (CPM) to predict the likely success of a project. DFSS also concentrates on the ideal outcomes for everyone involved, including those companies whose activities add to the climate-change issue.

Learn more about how six sigma methodologies can help your business. We offer a number of courses and certifications for you and your staff - take a look at our website for the full range of training opportunities.

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Identifying Your Best Employees

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Not all employees are made equal and one of the biggest challenges organizations face is identifying who the most productive employees are and ensuring they get what they need to continue being the best, and not deciding to leave. By the same token, it is important to identify the weakest employees and have strategies to try and improve their performance, or ultimately manage them out of the business. In small organizations identifying the best employees is easier, but in large organizations it can become far more challenging. This is one of the reasons that many businesses have implemented company-wide performance management systems. However this in itself has a number of inadequacies that can miss the real stars in the organization. So outside of formal performance management, what traits should you look out for to identify the best employees?

1) They go beyond their job description
The best employees know when something is outside of their skill set, yet they won’t refuse to undertake a task because it is not in their job description. They naturally want to expand their input and do what they can to drive forward organizational performance.

2) They don’t hide from conflict
They do not create conflict unnecessarily but they recognise when it can be used productively. They do not hide from conflict and they can harness its power positively.

3) They don’t play the blame game
Things go wrong sometimes, and whether they were at fault or not, they don’t play the blame game. Their focus is on getting the project or task back on track – not whose fault the issue was in the first place.

4) They see the bigger picture
They are not myopic – they appreciate and understand how the many functions work together and how external forces also impact the organization.

In Summary
Organizational wide performance management should not be solely relied upon to identify the best employees. There are a number of other ways to distinguish employees who are high performing and should be invested in so that they stay.

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Tips on Asking for a Promotion

By Morgan International Staff Writers

So you want a promotion? Asking your boss for a promotion can be a very daunting prospect and I would certainly advise anybody in this situation to consider a few things in advance of even approaching the subject.

  • What do you want to be promoted to?
  • Are you confident you have the skills, attributes and experience to be worthy for the promotion?
  • Are there any organisational blockers to your promotion? Such as a temporary block on hiring and promotions.
  • Do you think your boss is expecting this conversation? Have you primed them in advance?
  • How will you feel if you don’t get the promotion and what will your follow up actions be?

 

Considering and answering all of these questions provides a good foundation for the conversation you are planning to have with your boss. It is not to say you will share all of this information, but you should have considered it. Interestingly the tips for asking for a promotion are not actually about the conversation itself, but rather they are the things you need to do before asking the question to increase your chances of success.

 

  • Performance targets

As part of the performance management process, you should seek to understand the skill and/or experience gaps you have between your current role and the one you would be interested in being promoted to. First of all this will alert your boss to the fact you are actively seeking promotion, and you can agree clear attainment goals to achieve that promotion.

  • Feedback

Ask for real time feedback on your performance. A good time to ask is in your regular one to ones. Do not wait for the periodic performance reviews as typically this will not allow you sufficient time to adjust your behaviours.

  • Successors

If you are invaluable, your boss may be wary about promoting you and leaving a skill gap. Consider if there is somebody more junior on the team who you could train/coach/mentor so that you have a natural successor to your role – or at least someone who can cover whilst a replacement is found.

  • Timing

I mentioned in the introduction that there may be times when companies have freezes on promotions and hiring. This of course would be an inappropriate time to ask the question. However if your company has a yearly cycle for promotions, asking just ahead of when you think the decisions are made would likely lead to a far more fruitful outcome.

 

In summary, whilst asking for a promotion may seem like a scary prospect, if you are sure of your value and worth, and you follow the preparation tips above, you should have a good chance of success. By working out your back up plan in advance, if you are not successful you will have the security of knowing you have alternative options to pursue.

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How to Secure Employee Loyalty

By Morgan International Staff Writers

High Turnover is a Global Problem

There is a global problem with employee turnover rates. All businesses should expect a certain level of turnover, for retirement, poorly performing employees, and some natural change. In fact some attrition is positive as it brings new people and their ideas into the organization and avoids stagnation and groupthink. However what we are witnessing in the Middle East specifically is higher than the global average and this is of course raising questions as to why employees in this region are so keen to move on so quickly.

 

The Research

Research has shown that employee turnover rates are predicted to rise to 23.4% by 2018, which is up from 20.6% in 2012. A report by Hays CGC showed that 31% of employees in the UAE changed jobs in 2015, with 57% saying they planned to make a move in 2016. Employee turnover at this level is problematic and extremely costly for businesses in the UAE. In fact it is estimated to cost $2.7billion per annum according to figures provided by Bayt.com and YouGov Siraj.

 

The next obvious question is, why is employee turnover so high in the Middle East compared to other regions? There is no universally accepted answer to this question, but there is one dominant theory which relates to supply and demand. In recent years, a high number of skilled workers have found employment in the UAE, which for the first time has saturated demand, causing wages to flat-line. This has meant employees have not received the pay rises of the past and are perhaps looking elsewhere to get that salary increase.

 

4 Tips to Secure Employee Loyalty

Many organizations are now seeking ways to increase employee loyalty and reduce attrition.

  1. Invest in the hiring process

Hiring can be a long and expensive process, but getting the right candidate in the beginning can save a lot of time, trouble, and cost later on down the road.

  1. Invest in your employees

Spend money on training and other professional qualifications they might be interested in undertaking that have a synergy with the role they are doing.

  1. Promote promotion

Have clear succession planning and make paths to promotion clear and attainable.

  1. Empower employees

Give them responsibility and ownership with tasks. Help them to understand how their contribution is important to the success of the organisation.

 

In Summary

High turnover is a global issue but it is a particularly prevalent issue in the UAE at the moment. One way to tackle this is by implementing the tips above, and using the expertise of a professionally qualified HR professional who can implement a retention strategy.