4 Tips for Building Strong Work Relationships

When it comes to the professional workplace, the differences that atmosphere creates lends to automatic tensions. This is why it’s important from the beginning to build strong work relationships.

Here are four tips that you can use in order to ensure that your work relationships are solid and thriving.

Initiate Personal Conversations

In a professional working environment, most people feel as though they should not ask personal questions of their colleagues. With the correct amount of foundation and sensitivity, personal conversations can help to increase how connected co-workers feel to each other and also create a better connection between bosses and their workers.

When you begin to initiate personal conversations, the key is to remember to start small. For example, if you know that the person you’re speaking with has children, then ask how that child is doing in school or ask them about a school break that their child was on recently. This builds trust and confidence and can open the door to broader conversations in the future.

Understand the People You Work With

Different ideals in the workplace often lead to questions of differences in personality. It’s a good idea for everyone in the work environment to take a personality test and set aside a day to share their results.

Doing this process as a team will help each person see better ways of communicating with each other and what values each person places significance on in the workplace.

Learn or Practice Emotional Intelligence

Once you understand the personality types for each person, study on and learn more about emotional intelligence.

By combining emotional intelligence and the results of the personality test, you can create a thriving workplace where communication barriers are decreased and productivity, efficiency, and better workplace relationships are increased.

Seeking help from a company that focuses on professional management development can help with learning about how to implement emotional intelligence in the workplace.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try

Creating a strong working relationship can seem very scary at first. The key is to not be afraid to try. People appreciate being thought of and they appreciate communication. Don’t be afraid to try to increase your communication with your coworkers, boss, or workers. If you’re feeling trepidation about the process, communicate that. Everyone in your workplace will appreciate it.

Conclusion

These are just some of the ways that you can build better work relationships. The process won’t be fast, but it will be beneficial in the long run.

Emma is a business strategist-turned blogger. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Emma is a  passionate traveler and yoga aficionado. She is in love with coffee, interior design, books, and good vibes. 🙂 

Why Coworking Spaces Are Perfect For Entrepreneurs

The coworking space has been described as many things. For one, it is known as a great place that can help foster relationships that lead to collaboration. It is also known to be a very functional space that is one of the most affordable office plans around today.

However, there is a reason the coworking space is more than trending. It is one of the fastest growing sectors in Australia’s real estate market. In fact, it got its popularity through the number of start-ups that found it to be the perfect place to work and meet other professionals. Take a look at Servcorp’s coworking spaces in Australia by clicking on the following link at https://www.servcorp.com.au/en/coworking/ and looking at the various amenities on offer.

Continue reading to learn why coworking spaces are an ideal solution for entrepreneurs to take their business to new heights.

Access Without Expense

While not the most expensive real estate market, Australia’s rents can be pretty steep, especially the closer you move to some of its urban centres. The coworking space, alternatively, provides entrepreneurs of all budgets the chance to work in prestigious locations around the country while saving a lot on office overhead. The coworking space usually provides businesses with all of the amenities of conventional office space, and the only difference is that the office is shared space.

A Platform For Making Connections

An entrepreneur is always on the search for relationships that will connect him/her to new relationships. These business relationships are going to provide the leverage and growth needed for a new venture. Relationships fostered in the coworking space can potentially lead to collaboration and lead to building multiple teams in the space. The coworking space is fertile ground for establishing a framework for partnership.

Inclusive Agenda

The coworking space is one of the few spaces that engender community. If the person fits in with community members, it is very easy to get pulled into a community that can be very supportive. Not only in terms of developing business relationships, but the coworking space can be a great resource. With a diverse range of professions and backgrounds in a space, the entrepreneur benefits from just being exposed to a variety of experience and information. More importantly, the coworking space’s emphasis on community can pull entrepreneurs struggling to gain traction in the community a means to do so.

Access To The Worldwide Landscape

The entrepreneur also has access to the online community through coworking spaces internet connection. The online community can be a place to perform research, to build your company’s brand, and to connect with your public using social media marketing. In fact, industrious entrepreneurs can manipulate the online platform, even creating a presence by building their own website that can do a number of tasks.

Tasks related to taking payments, allowing clients and customers to have an account online, and allowing the general public to complete a number of tasks can also be done in the coworking space. The only thing the online platform does is extend your reach into communities outside of the geographical location. This reach also lends itself to being able to tap into worldwide talent, which can give you more choice in whom you chose to hire.

The Traction Needed For Success

The coworking space can give businesses the traction they need to launch their ventures. The person only needs to come to the office with their best interpersonal skills to do well in the coworking space. Moreover, being able to access resources in the space and online makes it possible to leverage business potential.

10 Networking Tips for Your Next Business Conference

Conferences are one of the best places for networking. You’re surrounded by people with similar interests, including many who can help you advance your career. There’s plenty of opportunity for the taking at conferences. You can learn a lot from your fellow attendees and may even land yourself a new position, since 46 percent of jobs get filled through traditional networking. Here are 10 networking tips to use for your next conference.

1. Have a Plan

Attending a conference can be overwhelming, especially if it’s a large one with a lot of people and events. Do yourself a favor and schedule your time beforehand. In addition to deciding which presentations to go to, build some time into your schedule for networking. You can also plan some of the specifics of your networking. Before the conference, research who’s going to be there and decide who you want to talk to.

2. Start Early

You don’t have to wait until the conference to start networking. Connect with other attendees on social media beforehand and post about the event on your feeds. Send fellow attendees a message saying you hope to see them there and ask them which sessions they plan on attending. You can also reach out to presenters and tell them you’re looking forward to their talks. That way you’ll have the foundations of a relationship already in place when you get to the conference.

3. Elevator Pitch

The elevator pitch is a tried and true networking tip. Your pitch should be about 60 to 90 seconds long, or between 150 and 250 words. Keep it to the point while still showing a bit of your expertise, passion and personality. You can memorize it and practice before you go, but do your best to keep it genuine and natural-sounding too.

4. Look Approachable

Networking has two main purposes — maintaining relationships you’ve already started and meeting new people. To increase the number of people you meet, look approachable whenever you can. Only look at your phone or laptop when you have to. A lot of people look at their devices when they’re bored or uncomfortable, but situations in which you’re waiting around are often some of the best opportunities for networking. Other attendees are probably looking for something to do at these times too.

5. Ask Questions

Conferences are excellent opportunities to tell other people about yourself, but of course, you also want to get to know others. When talking to people at your conference, be sure to show interest in them, engage with what they’re saying and ask questions. Try to think of some things to ask before you go. Often, people lead with basic questions like “what do you do?” and “where are you from?” You can also try asking people what their favorite presentation or session of the conference was so far.

6. Reach Out Right Away

Often, after a conference, people come home with a stack of business cards that ends up gathering dust. They put off reaching out to the people who gave them cards, and the connections end up getting lost. Instead, reach out as soon as someone gives you a card. Send them an email with your information and a reminder of who you are to get the conversation started and help them remember you. This strategy can help keep your networking efforts from going to waste.

7. Take Notes

At conferences, you typically meet lots of different people, so it’s easy to forget details about some of them. To help you remember your connections, write a few notes about each person on their business card, on a notepad or on your phone. Jot down something you talked about, what they were wearing, a funny joke they told you or anything else that will help you remember them.

8. Just Go for It

Networking can feel awkward, especially at first. It’s natural to worry about how someone might react if you walk up to them and introduce yourself. One of the great things about conferences is that it’s acceptable — and even expected — that people will come up to you and start conversations. If you see someone you want to meet and they don’t look overly busy, just go for it. Don’t miss out on the networking opportunity your conference offers.

9. Supplement With Social Media

While you want to focus on face-to-face interactions, you can also use social media to your advantage. Post about the conference and use event hashtags. Tag presenters when you tweet about their talks. Ask questions. Doing so can garner online interactions and may have even lead to face-to-face meetups.

10. Follow Up

Just as you want to start your networking before the event, you should also continue it once it ends. Post on social media or your company blog about the conference and reach out to the people you met. This will help keep the relationships alive following the event itself and help you make the most of your conference experience.

Do what you can to make the most of your conference experience, and you will likely come away with lots of contacts, business leads or even a possible new job.

Bio: Nathan Sykes is the editor of Finding an Outlet, a source for the latest in IT and business news and trends.

Toasting at The Office: A Guide to Responsible Drinks in the Workplace

Can you have a drink at a work event—and still be responsible? It turns out yes, but your company leadership needs to help you. They can do this not by banning alcohol, but by creating a policy and addressing it with employees frequently and clearly.

Here’s how you do it. Most companies have what’s called a code of conduct. It’s how they expect employees to function at work and while they’re being representative of the company. But the thing about a policy is, many people forget about it—which is why it’s important to share it again before events that may involve the availability of alcohol. If necessary, it’s helpful to have a meeting talking not just about the policy, but about consequences, too, and about how to report violations and maintain confidentiality.

Need more ideas and outlines about how to create and institute this? This graphic offers some ideas.

Please include attribution to https://zerocater.com with this graphic.

Toasting At The Office Infographic

Best Ways Managers Can Motivate Their Team

It’s hard to keep everything right on schedule when the office morale is low and people are slacking at half of their work capacities. According to Gallup, only 29% of millennials are engaged at work, 55% of them are unengaged and as many as 16% are actively disengaged. So, how do you get the other 71% to wake up? Simple, by following the instructions below:

Make it worth their while

No matter how interesting your employees’ job may be, sooner or later, their initial enthusiasm will fade, and they’ll feel like dogs chasing their tails. As a result, their productivity levels will drop, leaving you with a workforce operating at half-capacity. To avoid this, you need to constantly be raising the bar and setting new challenges for your employees. According to these statistics, 86% of millennials would keep their current positions if their employers provided them with career training and development, while 87% of them stated that professional development and career growth opportunities are very important. This could be anything ranging from specific job-related skills, languages, computer skills, and so on. In essence, by investing in your employees’ development, you’re effectively hitting two birds with one stone, as their newly acquired skills will keep them both motivated and more productive at the same time.

Provide them with regular feedback

Providing your employees with a steady stream of feedback will show them that their efforts aren’t going unnoticed. According to PwC, 69% of employees stated that they would work harder if their efforts were better recognized. Give praise where praise is due and acknowledge all of your employees’ hard work to keep the morale afloat. Also, don’t hesitate to hand out constructive criticism to those employees who might be slightly under-performing, as 92% of people surveyed agreed that, when appropriately delivered, negative feedback is an effective performance booster. So, skip the dry formalities of the annual and quarterly reviews, and call up a meeting face to face. Just be wary, as some employees are more sensitive than others. Always give positive examples of their performance first, before criticizing them, in order to avoid hurting any egos.

Give out incentives

For some of your more competitive employees, a simple pat on the back simply won’t do. Instead, they’ll want a more formal sign of recognition for their troubles that they can share with their friends and families. Show them that you care and give them a master gift card, take them out for a fancy dinner, or offer them some paid time-off to spend with their loved ones. This will give them a sense of accomplishment that will motivate them to work even harder. Also, don’t forget to commemorate important milestones with your employees, both company and individual ones, as they are the ideal time for you to be generous and thoughtful.

‘Laissez-faire’

One of the worst possible things you could do inside the office, is to try and micro-manage each and every one of your employees. This is not only highly demotivational, but counter-productive at the same time, as frankly, no one likes having someone breathe down their neck while they’re working. What’s more, employees will get the opinion that you don’t trust them and as such lose confidence in their own abilities. Rather, what you should be doing is giving them some increased autonomy by letting them do things their way. Be flexible, let them organize their own schedules, don’t choke their creativity with unnecessary rules and regulations, and they’ll respect you more for it. According to this survey, 89% of companies reported better employee retention due to the implementation of flexible work options. So, focus your attention on more important matters, and cut your workers some slack every once in a while.

Create a positive working environment

Nurturing a healthy office atmosphere is vital for the overall productivity of your employees, and their mental well-being as well. Team-building events are an excellent way to break up the monotony of the daily grind and let your employees have a bit of harmless fun. Mind you, it doesn’t have to be something elaborate and expensive, but something as simple as a casual Friday, or a spontaneous night out. The most important thing, however, is that it’s something totally unrelated to work, as the main idea is for people to let off some steam and get their minds off work. All in all, these events present the perfect opportunity for your employees to bond with their co-workers and improve their mutual working relationships.

To sum up, different strategies appeal to different people. What works for one employee may not be the case with the rest of the lot. Therefore, it’s vital to keep experimenting with various combinations of these methods, in order to find just the right concoction for your specific workforce.

Guest author, David Webb, is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.

Keeping Remote Employees Happy And Productive

Keeping your online team happy, engaged, and productive doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, two-thirds of managers say their employees actually become more productive once they go remote, SurePayroll reveals. Being in control of their own schedule — and eliminating the daily commute — gives remote employees more time and flexibility, which increases motivation and productivity. However, remote teams still require conscientious management. You want them to feel valued and part of the team even though they’re not on-site. With the following tips, you can cultivate a happy, engaged, and successful online team.

Communicate effectively

Communication is key in every aspect of business — and online teams are no exception. In fact, poor communication is one of the prime reasons employees get frustrated in their jobs. It also leads to feelings of isolation which means employees are less likely to contribute to the team. The solution? Effective communication channels. Let your team know which situations require video chats or phone calls and which situations can be dealt with via online chat. Email is still useful, but not always ideal as messages can be missed. With online chat, team members can instantly ask questions and get answers if they need guidance. This is great for productivity since they’re able to continue with their work right away rather than having to hang around for an email response.  

Define expectations and goals

Although they’re not in the same building as you, remote employees need the same amount of guidance and direction as you give you regular ones. In order to encourage your online team to work efficiently and independently, you need to be clear on the specifics of their working arrangement. Defining the expectations you have for your remote team — preferably with them being mutually agreed upon — will help your employees stay on track with their work. This also includes explaining your mission and goals for the company. Your remote team will therefore feel included in the company culture, but be comfortable and efficient working elsewhere.

Recognize great work

If your remote team does great work, make sure it doesn’t go unnoticed! Failing to give positive feedback where due can leave employees feeling undervalued and even increase your turnover risk. Appreciating exceptional work can motivate your team to maintain that standard. You can also use bonuses or raises as an incentive. It can help to make the recognition public on company-wide channels, so your other employees are informed about the valuable work the remote team does each day. Your online team will then continue confident their hard work is going noticed and appreciated.

A productive online team can be a huge asset to your business, so make sure you take the steps to make yours the best it can be. While creating an engaged and motivated group of remote employees can be a challenge, once you put the above appropriate systems into place, it’s more than possible to achieve. Once you get into the swing of things, you’ll soon have a motivated, engaged, and high-functioning remote team.

Guest Author, Jenny Holt, is a former HR executive turned freelance writer, who now spends more time with her young family and ageing, but ever eager Labrador, Rover.

How to Find Work and Jobs Abroad

The idea of working abroad and leaving the U.S. is one that appeals to a lot of people. Maybe you’re a new graduate and you’d like to go overseas and utilize your skills, or perhaps you’re further along in your career and you’d like to make a change.

The idea is similar to people who come to the U.S. for work. Many people come to the U.S. on temporary work visas, and then they’re able to send money back to their families using services like Remitly and develop valuable skills in the process.

The following are some ways employees in the U.S. can take a page out of foreign workers’ books and go abroad to work.

Learn the Language

The sooner and the more thoroughly you can work toward learning the language of where you want to work, the more appealing you are going to be to prospective employers. You don’t necessarily have to be fully fluent, but if you are bilingual in both English and the native language of where you’d like to go, it’s going to be much easier to find employment.

Some employees may have the plan to go abroad from the start so they’ll start studying a foreign language while they’re in college. If you didn’t do that, don’t worry. There are plenty of online courses and classes that can help you with your foreign language skills as you’re searching for employment.

Consider U.S.-Based Employers

When you want to work abroad, you might automatically start looking at companies that primarily operate where you’d like to go. That’s fine, but there are also plenty of companies in the U.S. that have a reputation for sending employees abroad for a period of time.

For example, Deloitte is one such company. They have partnerships in countries throughout the world, and while their headquarters is in New York City, they also often send people on international placements. You don’t have to be a top executive, either. They send everyone including interns and entry-level employees abroad if they’re interested.

Another example is HSBC, which has an international management program.

Frequent Travel Jobs

Even if you don’t find employment with a company that will place you overseas for a year or two, there are jobs where it’s all about travel. One example is the Uber Launching Team, and another is Airbnb. These companies are known for having positions that are almost entirely travel-based, and they may even offer travel-based perks and benefits to employees.

Finally, you might explore a working holiday visa as well. A working holiday visa is something that people aged 18 to 30 or sometimes 18 to 35 may be eligible for, depending on the country. These options let people work abroad in different positions around the world as they’re traveling. You will have to show that you have a desirable skillset to get one of these visas, and you may need to show your resume as well.

It’s definitely possible to work abroad in different settings and ways, so if it’s a dream you have, doing some research can help you make it happen.