Category Archives: Human Resources

Blog Category

HR Skills Required to Manage Challenge-02

HR Skills Required to Manage Challenges

 

By Rebecca Langdon

As professionals we operate in a business environment that arguably has many challenges than ever before. We are still recovering from a devastating global economic crisis, and political uncertainty is now rife. These wider macro-economic issues have huge impacts on businesses and the individuals working within them. So what skills do HR professionals need to manage these challenges?

1   IT Skills

IT allows us to be far smarter in a number of ways, such as e-learning, cloud based employee surveys and analytics and so on. There is huge opportunity to find IT solutions to manage challenges but one must be equipped with sufficient technological knowhow to appreciate how they can leverage these offerings within their organisation.

2   Agility

Things change far more quickly than they did a decade ago, and business agility is critical to respond. The change might be technological or perhaps company merger activity, or even wider macroeconomic events such as legal changes, currency fluctuation, or inter country trade deals.

3   Interpersonal skills

This is one that is always going to pop up on the list and interpersonal skills are even more important in times of challenge. This is because a wider and more developed range of skills are needed to manage conflict, challenge and change.

4   Global business awareness

Many businesses operate globally and are regularly seeking business in new territories. With this comes a range of challenges such as different legal jurisdictions and diverse business practices. Of course having prior global business experience is very useful.

5   Management of diverse cultures

Working globally naturally means that you will be working with a range of cultures, some of which may be rather different from your own. For example the culture of a Japanese workforce is very different to that of a workforce in Lebanon. Being respectful of these differences and finding a way to work together as a broad global team is a skill to be mastered.

In Summary

Managing challenges can be incredibly interesting and rewarding. It is certainly an exciting time to work within an HR role, and a great foundation to get you started is an HR qualification.

Workplace Trends in 2017-02

Workplace Trends in 2017

By Bilal Sadiq K

2016 had witnessed the rise of new talents, different employment opportunities, compensations for over time, as well as a shift to the on-demand workforce. These trends are very significant in determining how the work culture evolves, how recruitment and training are carried out, and how far you can go in retaining the best talents. 2017 has brought various workplace trends with it and we will shed some light on them.

Trend 1: Peers will hold more significance than ever in your workplace. It has also been estimated that the employees who will have more connections in their organisation will tend to be the highest performers, attaining more success. This method will also ensure which employees have more leadership potential to step ahead. Peer-to-peer recognition to help build bridges between the employees is going to be a must.

Trend 2: Transformation of the Human Resource function will be a significant trend in 2017. Use of data science in HR to make small improvements, and even use in recruiting and engagement will reap huge benefits for firms. Tapping into the workforce analytics to estimate the progression of an employee through his training will also be evident. A sentiment tracker can also be used to gather feedback on their views and emotions towards the workplace and culture.

Trend 3: Increased diversity, indicating a blended workforce, with people pouring in from all parts of the world will be seen as a new workplace trend in 2017. This would mean a more and much better “flexible teaming”, in turn enhancing the efficiency of the organisational output. Freelance workers teaming up with employees will also be taking place.

Trend 4: All the complaints about huge wage gaps might mitigate this year. The wage gap is estimated to narrow down as the provision of equal pay is a necessity to retain talented employees. Coupled with this, gender equality will also get better, especially in the work culture.

Trend 5: The trend of telecommunicating and flexible schedules will continue to increase in 2017, with higher dependence on the digital mobile world, to bring about more efficiency and effectiveness. Learn more about the digital world with the PDDM program.

Trend 6: This year, firms will finally realize the drawbacks of the traditional performance review system and will come up with a better, more simplified, objective and comprehensive system that tackles inefficiencies.

 

5 Tips to Improve Employee Satisfaction-02

5 Tips to Improve Employee Satisfaction

 

By Rebecca Langdon

Employee satisfaction is an interesting concept and one that businesses have worked hard to understand and measure in recent years. What we do know is that employees who are satisfied are more productive, are more likely to positively promote the company, and are more likely to stay. Employee retention is important as it reduces ongoing costs of recruitment and allows business knowledge to be retained.

  • Ask them

This probably sounds basic but unless you ask the employees how they are feeling you will not know if they are satisfied or not. Similarly, if they are not satisfied you have no hope of improving the situation unless you ask for guidance. By using the likes of a survey you can establish a baseline of satisfaction that you can work from.

  • Give them opportunities to progress

There will always be employees that do not seek progression and are happy to remain in the role they are in. However there will be a larger body of individuals who do want to progress and will be dissatisfied if that is unavailable. Therefore it is important to design progression plans, introduce job swaps, enhanced roles and so on.

  • Provide flexibility

We live in a day and age where technology enables people to work from home or on the move far more easily. This flexibility means employees can benefit from increased work life balance. There are unfortunately still many organisations that resist offering flexibility for fear of employees taking advantage. However if you employ individuals who are self-motivated and trustworthy, there should be no resistance to offering flexibility.

  • Shun the blame culture

This is a wider point than simply avoiding a blame culture and is primarily about encouraging a positive and productive organisational culture. Businesses that have negative environments which thrive on ‘scape goating’ and laying blame are likely to have a negative impact on employee satisfaction.

  • Provide fair and commensurate remuneration

When you ask employees what causes them dissatisfaction, remuneration is very often right up there at the top of the list. There will always be people that complain however much they are paid. Yet what is important is fair pay, i.e. not discriminating based on gender, religion, race, and so on. Furthermore employees should be compensated for the role they do in line with available market data.

In Summary

Very often it is the challenge of an HR professional to understand the level of employee satisfaction and to ensure that policies, processes, procedures and so on support enhancing that satisfaction. We have provided a few top tips, but there are plenty more to consider, and you can find out more if you decide to study for an HR qualification.

Don’t-Panic-Part-Two-02

Don’t Panic! Top Relaxation Techniques to Calm Your Pre-Exam Nerves

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

As the big day of an important exam approaches, it’s only natural for stress levels to rise. But, stress can have a negative impact on exam performance, and ideally needs to be managed so you can focus on achieving optimal results. In Part 1 we explored top tips for avoiding panic the day before your exam and now in Part 2 we take a closer look at a variety of relaxation techniques to help.

Tip 1: Take some exercise

Any form of exercise is good for the body and good for the brain, as it releases feel-good chemicals that help to combat stress. Even if getting sporty does not appeal to you, then consider just stopping what you are doing and going out for a short walk – the change in air and scenery will have a positive effect.

Tip 2: Use your imagination

Your brain is going to be your most useful tool in your exam, but even before then it offers a powerful recourse for stress management. Within your imagination lies the potential to unlock a sense of calm – just start by visualizing anything that makes you feel good. Maybe it could be your ideal holiday destination, or a memory that evokes warm feelings of happiness. Keep the visualization going and feel your stress start to fade away.

Tip 3: Master breathing techniques

Deep breathing can help lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate down, thus counteracting the effects of stress. Start by inhaling deeply through your nose, keeping your shoulders relaxed. While doing this you will feel your chest rise. Breathe out slowly through your mouth while keeping your jaw relaxed. Repeat this exercise ten times.

Tip 4: Stop thinking!

We don’t recommend you stop thinking during an exam, but in the run-up to sitting one if you find yourself with too many thoughts swirling through your mind, it can definitely help calm you down. The breathing techniques in tip 4 are a useful complement to stopping your thoughts. So take a deep breath and try to switch off by looking into the distance, just as if you are staring into space: stay like this a while without thinking of anything except looking ahead.

Tip 5: Watch what you consume

Diet plays a role in how your body functions and therefore what you eat in the run-up to your exam can help you more than you think. For example tests have shown that eating berries can reduce stress levels, as can cashews and drinking chamomile tea. Meanwhile green tea is said to improve mental performance, while walnuts have been studied for their role in preventing memory loss. And the good news is that dark chocolate can lower blood pressure, giving a great excuse to reach for everyone’s favorite snack.

And finally, don’t forget to go back to Part 1 of our tips to make sure you are as well prepared as you can be for the big exam ahead. Good luck!

 

Top Learning Trends of 2017-02

Top Learning Trends of 2017

By Rebecca Langdon

As we make our way through Q1 of 2017, and many organizations are in the middle of agreeing training budgets, it seems like a good time to look at the top learning trends to keep an eye on.

1   Micro learning

The trends of 2017 follow a common theme and that is based on utilizing technology to make learning experiences more interactive and tailored to the individual. First up on our list is micro learning which recognises that employees learn more when content is provided in bite size chunks. When an employee is pulled out of their day job for a 2 day course, it puts pressure on them from a workload perspective, and it is near impossible for individuals to retain the volume of content shared with them. Therefore learning is far more effective when done little and often.

2   Gamification

When you throw anything at somebody one way, it is pretty boring for the individual and they very often switch off. Gamification introduces interactivity in the learning experience through gaming. This might be a quiz or another type of challenge. It is not meant to be fun per se, but it is meant to be engaging. Of course, this is an area that has grown as a result of technological advances.

3   Adaptive Learning

People learn at different speeds and have varying levels of existing knowledge. Adaptive technology responds to the real time interaction of the individual. So for example, on the basis of responses to a quiz, it can determine which areas of knowledge need additional work, and serve content on that basis. This gives individuals learning experience based on their own requirements.

4   Content curation and aggregation

Organisations tend to have a huge amount of useful learning resources, and employees want this to be at their fingertips, classified in an intelligent way. Employees are so used to googling when they want the answer to a question and they expect the same responsivity in work.

In Summary

The trends above are not new to 2017, and all of these were being spoken about in 2016, with early start ups popping up and trialling new products. However 2017 will be the year that organisations take the trends above seriously and begin wide scale implementations. It is an interesting time to be responsible for learning and development within an organisation, and many individuals in these roles have HR background and qualifications.

Don’t-Panic-Top-tips-for-the-day-before-your-exam-02

Don’t Panic! Top Tips for the Day Before your Exam

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

You wouldn’t be alone if you found your nerves kicking in the day before a big exam. In fact, there’s even a clinical term for the feeling – “anticipatory anxiety”. But, just how much nerves will affect your performance varies from person to person, and in the worst case scenario it can induce physical symptoms, lack of concentration and even have a negative impact on results. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to overcome the panic and ensure you walk into the exam room at your best. Read on for Part One of our top tips for keeping a cool head.

Tip One: Use your mind

Anticipatory anxiety is linked to what is going on in your thoughts – it’s a focus on negative scenarios and ‘what if’ kind of questions, such as what if I get questions I haven’t revised for? To combat this you need to ask yourself rational questions, such as what is the best result that could happen, the most likely outcome and what could you do to cope if the worst did actually happen. This will give you some perspective that will curb the irrational negative thoughts.

Tip Two: Distract yourself

A neat way to switch off those unnecessary negative thoughts is to distract your attention elsewhere. Find something to occupy your mind, which could be anything as simple as counting to one hundred to running an errand or doing a piece of work.

Tip Three: Sleep well

It’s fairly common for students to want to stay up revising through the night as the exam day approaches but this will not help you on your big day. Lack of sleep will put your mind and body under stress, so schedule a normal night’s sleep for at least the last two nights before your exam.

Tip Four: Don’t change your routine

The day before an exam is not the time to try or do something new – this alone can cause additional stress. Try to act as you would on any other day, eating a normal diet, not overdoing your caffeine intake, and avoiding any meetings or outings that can be postponed for another day.

Tip Five: Plan ahead

To settle your nerves and leave nothing to chance, make sure you are well prepared for exam day. Look up where the exam centre is and familiarize yourself with how to get there, plan to arrive early, decide what you will wear, and make sure you have all the necessary papers, pens and any other essentials all gathered together in one safe place one day before.

Tip Six: Have confidence

Remember that having a solid study plan is essential to success, and if you are a Morgan International student, your studies have been designed by professionals with the aim of giving you the maximum chance of success. So walk into the exam room with a feeling of confidence and belief in yourself.

Tip Seven: Relax!

It sounds simple enough, but there are many techniques to make you relax. Finding one that works for you will enable you to use it whenever your panic starts to rise. In Part Two of our tips, we will explore different ways to bring calm when you need it.

How to be an Outstanding HR Professional-02

How to be an Outstanding HR Professional

By Rebecca Langdon

There are a lot of HR professionals out there and sometimes standing out from the crowd can feel like a daunting and impossible task. However there are 4 top tips we can share with you to not only stand out, but be outstanding!

  • Specialise

There are many generic HR roles and we are not saying that being a generalist is bad. However if you can be a generalist accompanied by a specialism which sets you apart from the crowd, then that is the way to go. Think about what niche you are really interested in, and what is in scarce supply but highly demanded. It could be HR transformation as a result of merger or acquisition, or perhaps employee grievance. There is plenty to choose from, just make sure you do your research.

  • Be personable

The nature of the role means that you will be dealing with people a lot; whether it be employees, or other stakeholders. If you are in an HR role that is involved in disciplinary procedures and/or redundancies, this may make you naturally want to avoid personal relationships, and that is fine. However, the art is to still be personable and build business relationships, whilst maintaining the necessary distance.

  • Be business minded

This one is to some extent the reverse of the last point, as there are HR professionals that will find it difficult to detach themselves from the personal nature of some of the things they are required to do in their role. Fundamentally people are resources and the requirement for those resources will inevitably change. When that need reduces it might result in redundancies; and that is never going to be an easy process to manage. However it is business and that should stay front of mind.

  • Gain a qualification

There are lots of people working within HR roles that do not have professional qualifications, so this gives you a constructive way to stand out. There are different paths you can take in this regard but we would welcome you to have a look at the content covered in the SHRM course. Before you decide what to pursue, thoroughly compare different courses and the content you will cover.

In summary

HR is a great career, and being a generalist is not a bad thing, but by taking on board some of our top tips, you should be on the right path to being a stand out professional.

Work Smart, Not Hard-02

Work smart, not hard

By Bilal Sadiq K

We all know how difficult it can become to cope with numerous things at once; not everybody is good at multi-tasking. You would have been working harder and harder, yet that goal doesn’t seem close enough. This is how this article can help you as it's time you start working smarter, rather than dwelling on hard and long working hours. These 12 tips will for sure help you in attaining your goals the smart way. Master these concepts well in order to succeed.

  1. Prioritise your life: You must understand that every task comes with a priority tag on it. You cannot simply pile up everything and think of accomplishing them simultaneously. A step by step approach is necessary to ensure that every goal is attained one step at a time.
  2. Expect failure: Failure is a part of life, and yes, it can get ugly, but you must learn to deal with it. It should not be feared but rather considered as a learning curve.
  3. Right questions: Always remember to ask the appropriate questions. This way you can save up some time, collect more information, and eliminate unnecessary details.
  4. Learn to say no: Try to avoid over-scheduling yourself and be more pragmatic about it. You must cut off activities that are not beneficial, tiresome and unfruitful.
  5. Your Phone: You might be implementing this already, but it’ always worth mentioning. Instead of always referring to your laptop or computer to respond to emails, keep everything updated on your phone in order to save time.
  6. MACRO usage: Working on excel, and that too very hard? Try learning MACROS to get everything done in single clicks.
  7. Be concise: Stop rambling, and try to sharpen your ‘elevator speech’, which means telling the entire story in around 30 seconds. Save your time!
  8. Valuing your greatest resource: If you think your biggest resource is your time, you’re wrong. It’s YOU. You must nurture yourself by getting proper sleep and nutrition. Value yourself!
  9. Shortcuts: You must have heard people saying that there is no shortcut in life. Well, if you can find some to help get your work done faster and easily then what’s the harm then?
  10. Avoid procrastination: It’s not a new word to our ears but we all need to avoid delaying and consider prioritisation to get things done.
  11. Be flexible: Your day might not go as you would have planned that’s okay. Try a new approach without being to harsh on yourself. Be smart about it.
  12. Diminishing Returns: Understand this term and stop working yourself to the point of exhaustion, where you would not be able to put in more effort. Rest, get fresh, and realise that you might have gotten prone to mistakes, so it’s normal.
HR’s Hidden Truth-02

HR’s hidden truths

By Leanne Howe

HR professionals, are they there for the good of management or the workforce? Well actually neither.  Why, because HR is a strategic function, the role is to maximise output from the human capital resources for the greater good, in this case the organisational objectives.

These hidden truths illustrate the importance and influence of the HR function, how it is more than merely administrative and how HR professionals need to possess the knowledge and skills to deliver on the role. There are many opportunities where HR professionals can seek assistance and development for career development and for the good of an organsation.

  1. Dispute resolution

During times of change or turbulence this aspect of HR is called upon more often. Whilst HR is there to ensure that there is a positive outcome. Ultimately the decisions made from this process are those that are best aligned with the company’s objectives and not one individuals (accused or accuser).  If this is an area you consider needs more development, the strategic HRM courses offered (SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP) can help develop this competency.

  1. Wiggle Room!

Whilst there is always a ‘company policy’ on contractual arrangements, salaries etc. Organisations and HR departments will always have room to create the ‘right’ package to attract and retain talent they consider as essential. Whilst this seems unfair, knowing that a key role of HR is to make the most of the organisations’ human capital it is quite understandable.  Considering it costs more to train than to retain staff, it is important to remember that doing what you can in a competitive recruitment environment is imperative. Remember as people and families are time poor, these packages do not have to be purely monetary offers.

  1. Remember who signs off the Performance Appraisal

Whilst HR looks after the organisational welfare and development policies throughout the year, they also deal with the annual appraisals. The opinion HR has of an employee is based upon the data held by the department; attendance, punctuality, team performance, work rate, disciplinary and grievances raised can all build a profile of an employee. This is important as this can influence the outcome of the appraisal and any promotion decision.  Therefore, HR professionals need to be aware of how to use data effectively.

  1. Digital Stamp

Whilst HR has can listen in confidence to any issue an employee has, the department is not obligated to retain this confidentiality. HR has access to digital profiles and social media accounts of potential and existing personnel and whilst HR cannot dictate how much to spend out of work time, any behavior that constitutes illegality or against company interest then action can be taken whether it has been found on these sites or confided to them.

Whatever the outcome of any decision or process that HR is involved in, it is made in the best possible scenario for the organisation as a whole.

Your-success-powered-by-yourself-02

Why Self-Study is For You

 By Morgan International Staff Writers

Choosing which method of learning to reach your ultimate goal of professional certification can feel difficult at times. With several options on the table – live classes, online learning and self study – it’s important to take the time to pick the one that suits you. When it comes to self study, though, the benefits and reasons for choosing it are very clear-cut.

One of the biggest advantages self-study offers is freedom. With no fixed timetable or schedule, you are free to study whenever and wherever you feel like it. This is ideal for anyone who has a busy schedule or hectic lifestyle: there is no one dictating what to study or when – it is all down to you.

Of course the flip side to this is that as the only person driving your studies, you need to possess discipline and motivation. For this reason, those that opt for self-study should not do so lightly. You will need to take responsibility for setting your own schedule and making sure that your scope of study adequately prepares you for the exams ahead. Here, though, lies another major advantage of self study, too. As the person in charge of your own learning schedule, you are free to study at your own pace. Perhaps you know there are certain areas that require more time to absorb the information, or you feel the need to go over a course module again: anything is possible when you are the one in control. Likewise you can also speed up in places where you feel on top of the subject matter and are comfortable enough to move ahead. Therefore, self study really gives you the power of versatility, letting you tailor the program to your own specific needs and speed.

Although your success depends very much on yourself, don’t forget that even with the self study option you are supported by Morgan International’s reputation for quality courseware. This is a reputation built on 21 years of expertise in helping professionals gain certification in their chosen fields. Between your own determination and Morgan International’s trusted support, the self study option should place you well on your way to achieving your career goals.