Start your job search off on the right foot. Here’s what you need to know.
Job seeking is never fun, of course, but a well-prepared job seeker is more likely to find the process less stressful. Looking for work is not a science and there are many factors that come into play, but in conducting a job search in today’s current market, there are a number of things that everyone will be happier to know from the outset.
Let’s start with something that may be out of your control. More and more positions are being filled without being advertised. You would have a hard time conducting a job search now without hearing about networking and how important it is, and that’s especially true in the market as it stands. A referral is more likely to get the position, simply because HR staff are busy and why not hire someone who already has an advocate within the company? Since informal hiring is happening on a greater scale, if you’re currently looking for work, remember that you are always looking for work. That 4th of July cookout? Perhaps your volleyball teammate knows of an opening that would fit your skill set. Don’t focus only on the old ways of looking for a job – get out, get to know people, and treat every interaction as a potential opportunity!
Companies often Google search a candidate before hiring, and social media can be an immediate red flag. Before starting your job hunt, clean up your Facebook! Many people respond to this advice defensively, feeling that it’s Orwellian to have your actions monitored even on social media, but the truth is, once it’s out there, it’s hard to remove it. Review your privacy settings and if it’s questionable, maybe leave it off the Internet.
Standards for resumes change all the time and just because it worked three or ten years ago doesn’t mean your resume will work now. Since a vast majority of positions that do make it out to job boards will be using online applications, the look of your resume matters far less than the content. It certainly should still be attractive and easy to read, but color and artistic flair are just going to confuse the computer screens. In fact, some of the ATS software doesn’t read serif fonts at all, so your amazing career background is not even reaching a person just because your font isn’t one the computer recognizes. Keep your resume simple! Content is key in the digital age, not the visual bells and whistles.
Another element that will impact how likely your resume is to get past the applicant tracking software is your use of keywords. When advice columns tell you to utilize keywords or to read the posting, they mean it! If the ad states you need experience with x, y, and z, then be sure X, Y, and Z are on your resume if you have that experience! It may be more work, yes, but sending out a resume to be rejected by a robot isn’t an effective use of your time, either.
Another resume tip: If you are applying for a position as a nurse or as a sales manager, we all have a basic understanding of your job description. Sending in a resume with a generic list of nursing or sales responsibilities isn’t going to make you stand out. Why are you the perfect nurse? What makes you different from the other 200 sales managers applying for the position? The answer is simple: accomplishments. Did you create a new training module for new nurses on HIPAA compliance? Was your sales team the first to tap into that challenging market? These are the key points to focus on in your resume. While the job description details can hit the keywords, they should not be the meat of your resume. What makes John Smith different from Joe Jones? John was the first sales manager in the region to secure a contract with Google. That’s worth noting!
So you’ve gotten your resume updated and it’s working. You started getting interview calls! The first interview you go on if you’ve been out of the job hunt for a while may feel very different. First of all, you may be expecting to go in and meet with one person, only to be greeted by an entire department. Team interviews are more common because it’s not just about the job. It’s also not about how you do with one person, but how you fit with the team. Work is collaborative, so why would interviews not be? This can take some getting used to, but remember, no matter how badly you want or need this job, if you don’t feel comfortable with the interview team, do you really want to work there long-term?
The interview is done. They’ll call in a week, right? Very likely, they will not. Not only will it take a while to hear back – if you do – but the interview process takes longer than it used to take. If you go into the interview thinking that will be it, you may be surprised when they tell you the next step is another interview – and then there are three or four more steps. In fact, companies are often now having candidates and finalists come in for trial periods. Sometimes it’s an hour and sometimes it’s a full day of shadowing. It may feel time-consuming, but in the end, the goal is that you have found something you will be able to do for a while, and the company has found someone who will want to stick around.
The hard truth is that this is a terrible job market for job seekers. The salaries are lower in general and more positions are being reduced to freelance or part-time. The work you have always loved may not have the same title and may be shared by a team now. Instead of viewing this as a negative, though, consider the opportunities. Maybe you like sales, but always wanted to do some consulting. With the market as it is, you may be working harder, but you will also be able to open yourself up to new things. And new things bring new skills and connections. The lower salary is an adjustment, but less hours means volunteer work or pursuing that entrepreneurial idea you’ve had. In the end, that may be a blessing.
Another difficult reality is that this means it’s even more competitive. It’s not unheard of to show up for an interview and realize you’re interviewing with other candidates for the same job. You may think you are one of five who was called for an interview, only to discover they are interviewing 100 people – out of 500 applicants. Keep it all in perspective, but again, chances are if you don’t get the job, another position just opened when the candidate they selected left their position for this one.
The final thing it’s helpful to know, and probably the most important, is that it’s not personal. It’s very hard not to get discouraged. You may go on hundreds of interviews, send out thousands of resumes, and still be waiting for that call. Friends and family will offer advice and say things like, “The right job will come along,” but it is hard to believe it sometimes. You’re not alone – and the truth is that it only takes one. For every rejection, remember it’s just not the right fit. It’s not you. Someone suggested keeping a tally – every application or every interview that’s a no, mark it down. When you reach 100, start over, but chances are, as much as it may seem endless, it’s unlikely you will reach 100 without an offer. It will feel like it’s inevitable, but the job is out there. Somewhere a hiring manager is looking for someone just like you. Jobs aren’t that different from dating, though, and all those frogs you have to kiss? They’re the interviews that don’t pan out for whatever reason. This is the hardest piece of advice to believe, but it’s imperative because some days, it does seem like there’s no end. If it gets really hopeless, allow yourself a day off from the search to do something that makes you happy. Then dust yourself off and get back out there.
Written/ Contributed by Tara Clark, a writer and former operations associate for Talent, Inc.
In this day and age, there are a lot of people looking for jobs. With universities pumping out hyper-qualified people in all fields, any little advantage you can get in searching for a job can go a long way. Avoid these 10 common job-hunting mistakes to get on the path to success!
Your resume should clearly tell a hiring manager why you are qualified for the position being offered. You may have been a great fry cook at that fast food chain, but that experience isn’t relevant to a job at a tech desk. Ideally you should have a few versions of your resume that are tailor-made for jobs in different fields.
Proofreading your own writing is incredibly difficult. Your brain knows what you intended to write, so it will often skip over blatant errors that will jump out at anyone reading your resume. Enlist your friends to help you proofread your resume. Read all your emails backwards one word at a time. Doing everything you can to communicate clearly and without mistakes can separate you from the pack.
There was once a time when you didn’t need to use the Internet to find a job, but that time has passed. Hiring managers will Google you, and the only thing worse than finding pictures of you doing a keg stand is finding nothing at all. At the very least, every job seeker should have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile with a few connections and maybe even a few recommendations.
When you finally get an interview don’t forget to find out everything you can about the company beforehand. Showing that you have taken an interest in the company and know about their mission and values will help prove that you are taking the opportunity seriously. Most companies have in depth “About Us” pages on their websites which are a great place to start!
If you walk through an apple orchard and only collect the fruit that has fallen on the ground, you are going to miss out on a lot of juicy apples still hanging in the trees. Don’t be afraid to be similarly proactive in your job search. Make a list of companies you would like to work for and email their HR people to inquire about current and upcoming jobs. Show them you want to be a part of their long-term vision and aren’t just applying to everything.
Part of knowing what companies might be hiring and which companies you actually would want to work for is talking to people with first-hand experience. Talk to friends and family working in similar fields and try to use your connections to get in touch with the right people. If you don’t know anyone working in your field, find some networking events and shake some hands. Who you know goes a long way.
Spending all day writing cover letters and cruising job boards with limited success is enough to frustrate anyone. However, it is important to stay positive. If you have a negative attitude about the entire job-hunting process, that will come through in your writing and in your interviews. Don’t take rejections personally and view each application as a new opportunity.
No one likes to be hounded constantly by an overeager stranger. Don’t spend your valuable time calling the same hiring managers over and over to stay on top of an application. One phone call to follow up is acceptable; anything beyond that gets you too close to the “annoying” pile.
It may seem obvious, but an often overlooked element of applying to jobs is the email address you use. You may indeed use your email@example.com email more than any other account, but it is not what your potential employers want to see. If you don’t have a university email to use, make a simple name-based account (firstname.lastname@example.org). It will make a world of difference.
One of the easiest places to get lazy is on your cover letter. First of all, you always need one so never send in a bare resume again. Second, pay attention to what you are sending. If you are applying to a large number of jobs, you may use a form cover letter where you replace the company name and job title each time, but make sure you don’t miss an incorrect piece of information. Pay attention and proofread.
Contributed by Steve Kux
In an ideal world, we would all have fantastic managers—bosses who helped us succeed, who made us feel valued, and who were just all-around great people. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. But, whether the person you work for is a micromanager or just isn’t very competent, you still have to make the best of the situation and get your job done. To help out, we’ve gathered the best advice from around the web for dealing with a difficult manager. Try one or more of these tips to find some common ground with your boss—or at least stay sane until you find a new gig.
Before trying to fix your bad boss, make sure you really are dealing with one. Is there a reason for her behavior, or are you being too hard on him or her? Observe your boss for a few days and try to notice how many things she does well versus poorly. When s/he is doing something “bad,” try to imagine the most forgiving reason why it could have occurred. Is it truly his/her fault, or could it be something out of his/her control?
Identify Your Boss’ Motivation
Understanding why your boss does or cares about certain things can give you insight into his or her management style. …if the rules are totally out of control, try to figure out your boss’ motivation. Maybe it’s not that he really cares about how long your lunch break takes; he actually cares about how it looks to other employees and their superiors.
Don’t Let it Affect Your Work
No matter how bad your boss’ behavior, avoid letting it affect your work. You want to stay on good terms with other leaders in the company (and keep your job!). Don’t try to even the score by working slower, or taking excessive “mental health” days or longer lunches. It will only put you further behind in your workload and build a case for your boss to give you the old heave-ho before you’re ready to go.
Stay One Step Ahead
Especially when you’re dealing with a micro-manager, head-off your boss’ requests by anticipating them and getting things done before they come to you. … a great start to halting micro-management in its tracks is to anticipate the tasks that your manager expects and get them done well ahead of time. If you reply, “I actually already left a draft of the schedule on your desk for your review,” enough times, you’ll minimize the need for her reminders. She’ll realize that you have your responsibilities on track—and that she doesn’t need to watch your every move.
Make sure to document interactions with your boss—be it requests or criticisms—so you can refer back to them if she ever contradicts herself. When your boss asks you for something, get it in writing. You need to create a paper trail of all requests as well as everything you produce. If your boss is the type who gives you directions verbally, follow up with an email that outlines the discussion to ensure that you heard everything correctly. Cover yourself at all times and be prepared to pull out your documented proof if your boss questions your outputs.
Wait it Out
Dealing with a conflict? Make sure to give it some time before reacting. Timing is often everything when managing conflict with a boss. Sometimes it makes more sense to wait it out than confront the situation head on. If your boss has a lot on her plate this month, her stress level may be high and she might not take as kindly to your issues.
Act as the Leader
When dealing with an incompetent boss, sometimes it’s best to make some leadership decisions on your own. If you know your area well enough, there is no reason to not go ahead creating and pursuing a direction you know will achieve good results for your company. People who do this are naturally followed by their peers as an informal leader. Management, although maybe not your direct boss, will notice your initiative. Of course, you don’t want to do something that undermines the boss, so keep him or her in the loop.
If your boss has anger management problems, identify what triggers her meltdowns and be extra militant about avoiding those. For example, if your editor flips when you misspell a source’s name, be sure to double and triple-check your notes. And if your boss starts foaming at the mouth if you arrive a moment after 8 AM, plan to get there at 7:45—Every Single. Day.
When dealing with disagreement, pull on some tenants from couple’s therapy to work through the issue. Simply repeat back to him what he said and ask “Is that what you meant?” (a standard trick ripped from couples’ therapy). If he agrees to your recap, ask him to tell you more about it. When you repeat someone’s perspective back to him, you give him a chance to expound and, crucially, to feel heard.
Avoid Future Bad Bosses
When interviewing with a new company, do your research ahead of time to make sure you’re not getting into another situation with a less-than-ideal manager. Have coffee or lunch with one or more staffers at the new company. Ostensibly, your purpose is to learn general information about the company and its culture. However, use this opportunity to discover as much about your potential boss as possible, without appearing creepy, of course.
Contributed by Adrian Granzella Larssen
Job Evaluation is a systematic method designed by organizations to compare jobs with a view to assessing and establishing their relative worth.
“Job Evaluation is the process of analyzing and assessing the content of jobs in order to place them in an acceptable rank order which can then be used as a basis for a remuneration system” – The British Institute of Management.
Again, job evaluation is a method of comparing jobs (not a method of assessing a single job in isolation) with the motive of assisting organizations in the design of their structures. It aims to arrive at a wage or salary structure that the rate of pay for a job, would be felt or perceived as being fair in comparison with other jobs within the environment and industry.
It entails ranking jobs in their order of importance so as to arrive at each job‘s appropriate worth.
Job Evaluation assesses the relative difficulties or responsibilities about a number of jobs, so as to put them in ordered ranks on which a pay structure can be based on. With this, company’s pay structure can be reformed or given a new framework.
Job Evaluations sets out to produce appropriate and acceptable job ranking that would be used as the basis for rational pay. Resulting from job evaluation, individual contributions in the production processes are evaluated and each compensation is structured to reflect individual contributions to the growth of the organization as it relates to skills, responsibility, length of training and other factors.
Note that job evaluation is the ranking of the job and not the people nor job-holder; it stands to assess the normal performance of the job by a typical worker – it is a means to an end and not an end in itself.
There are important factors that have to be taken from a representative cross section of all the jobs in a particular job hierarchy and ranked according to its rationale and reason.
Job Evaluation sets out to answer such questions like, is the Human Capital Manager’s job more demanding than the Chief Auditor’s? or should specialized and in-depth job be placed on the same level with a broader but shallow job?
All job evaluation systems tend to lean heavily on job analysis and job description – job description on its own part provides the essential information on which job is rated and evaluated. The resulting measures of value then translates into wage and salary structure.
Job evaluation does not usually price jobs and does not provide a simple answer to the question: what is the monetary (Naira) value of this job? Rather, it takes one step in that direction in a large job structure.
Salient Issues Worthy of Note in Job Evaluation:
These are very salient issues that must be noted about job evaluations:
- Job evaluation analyses and assesses the content of the jobs, not the individual job-holder i.e. it is not a performance appraisal exercise;
- Job evaluation is most times conducted by a constituted committee or group (Job Evaluation Committee rather than an individual);
- Job Evaluation Committees use concepts or principles such as logic, fairness and consistency in the assessment of the job objectives;
- Job Evaluation deals with relative positions not in absolutes;
- Job Evaluation cannot in totality determine the pay structure or levels but only provides information upon which decisions and policies can be taken.
Job Evaluation, it must be mentioned, is not the only means of determining the pay structure of an organisation but it is one of the means through which decisions on salary scale can be taken. There are other means like collective bargaining between union and its management. This is a very strong determining force in a unionized environment and boils down to the final analysis to favour the side that has the strongest bargaining power at a particular point in time.
Custom and practice is another means of arriving at a pay structure and level. Although this tends to produce an incomplete structure resulting from ad hoc and atimes conflicting pressures resulting from industrial or employees’ pressure groups that are at the lowest ebb of the organization (junior staff).
Some other means through which decisions on salary scale can be taken are equity, negotiated pay scales, market rates, government legislation and policy etc.
Sometimes organization management tries to conduct remuneration survey so as to have an insight into what the “going rate” is in the industry or local market is and atimes, this survey works out reasonably well for the overall level of pay in the organization but it does not seem to settle or manage the issue of pay differentials existing between the categories of employees within a given work organization.
Job Evaluation Systems:
In evaluating jobs in an organization, some very fundamental job factors have to be identified before being considered. In this wise, questions like:
- What are the contributions or working conditions?
- What are the available skills within the organization?
- What are the responsibilities, difficulties, hardship, inconveniences and unpleasantness for which we pay wages and salaries?
When we have a list of such job factors, job evaluation would still elicit more questions like: how much of these factors does each job involve? How does each job compare with all others?
Employees and unions frequently participate in job evaluation programmes. Sometimes, to douse and reduce tension and gossip, employees may be included or drafted into the committee that plans the development and installation of a job evaluation system. They may also be members of a committee that applies comparative rating procedure to individual jobs.
There are about five (5) principal job evaluation systems and are listed in the order of their complexity below:
- Job Ranking System;
- Job Classification or Grading System;
- Point or Manual System; and
- Factor Comparison System.
- The HAY-MSL
System A and B above are non-analytical while the other two are analytical.
- Job Ranking System:
Job Ranking System is commonly thought to be the simplest method. Each job is considered as a whole (rather than in terms of job elements) according to its relevance and contributions to the organization. After listing the jobs in their descending order of importance, they may be divided into groups, with job in each group given the same grade and salary. This system requires composition of an effective committee and not an individual alone. The evaluation committee discusses and agree on a final ranking order and the remaining jobs are slotted into the rank order.
The cost of introduction is low, simple and unscientific and can easily be applied with fairness in a small organization
The job evaluators are expected to have adequate personal knowledge of every job that is to be evaluated and in a large organization it is almost impossible to have. The absence of this knowledge could lead to production of unfair evaluations.
The disadvantage of the job ranking system is that job ranking does not provide analysis of jobs to explain why they have been ranked in a particular order and can only indicate that one job is more difficult than the other and not much more difficult.
The limitation of this method again lies in its unimaginability when there are a large numbers of jobs; a scenario where there are hundreds or thousands of jobs and the difficulty in ranking them!
The subjectivity of the system is another set-back. It can only be effective in a relatively small organization structure as there are no definite or consistent standards to assist one justify the rankings.
- Job Classification or Grading System:
The job classification or grading system is similar to ranking system, except that instead of ranking jobs in their order of importance and then dividing them into grades, it reverses it – it starts from the opposite end. The classification system starts by first deciding what grades to be used e.g A, B, C, D, E and F with each grade well defined and agreed as to which each individual job should be classified or fitted into – is the job a grade A or a grade E job?
The disadvantage of this system is that it is difficult to apply over a wide range of jobs, or where duties and skills overlap.
c) Point Assessment System:
The point assessment system is possibly the most popular system of the formal job evaluation. It entails listing a number of factors which are thought relevant to represent the qualities being expected in the job to be evaluated. Always remember that it is the job that is being evaluated and not the job-holder. In most cases 8-12 factors are listed for evaluation but this may vary depending on the organization.
The factors to be evaluated may include:
- Skill: education, experience, dexterity, qualifications;
- Physical or mental efforts;
- Dealing with others;
- Responsibility for subordinates, or the safety and welfare of others;
- Responsibility of equipment for a process or product, for materials;
- Job conditions – such as monotony of work, working in isolation, unavoidable work hazards;
Percentage of point is allocated for each factor as its maximum score based on how important the factor is perceived and according to predetermined scales and the total points decide a jobs place in the ranking order and remuneration structuring.
Points system is flexible to administer in that the factors selected are best suited for that particular type of job being evaluated and importance attached to each job is decided by the allocation of points.
Again, it provides a ranking order of jobs according to the number of points without determining the monetary value of the job. This facilitate the pattern of grades and salary grades to be determined at separate operations.
If this method is used properly, it can be more objective than the others.
The disadvantage of this system lies in the selection of factors, the points score method allocated to a job, and the points weighting given to each, remains a subjective judgment.
- Factor Comparison System:
Factor comparison system is an analytical method of job evaluation and starts with selection of a number of qualitative factors on which each job will be selected and benchmarked in the organization as a matter of standard practice. The selected jobs that are supposed to be known with attached pay rates in the industry and ought to consist of a representative cross-section of all jobs that are to be evaluated – from the lowest to the highest paid job; from the most important job to the least important job and covers the full range of requirements of each factor as agreed upon by a committee that is representing the workers and Management.
Unlike point assessment, factor comparison system uses only a limited number of factors such as skill, responsibility and working conditions.
The system is considered complete when the allocations to the key jobs are explicit and comprehensive and thorough agreement is reached amongst committee members and judgment on how many criteria each job has.
The advantage this system is that it requires a unique set of jobs for each organization and so it is a tailor-made approach i.e. this method is designed to meet the needs of each organization. Invariably, with this method, jobs are compared with other jobs to evaluate their relative worth and since relative job value is what job evaluation is all about, this method is highly appreciated.
The disadvantage with the factor comparison job evaluation system is its complexity as it is difficult to conduct and administer. Again, the use of the factor comparison factor if the same criteria in assessing all the jobs when there are great differences across and within the organization.
More also, the factor comparison job evaluation system depends on key jobs as anchor points to the extent that one or more key jobs change over time either without detection or without correction of the scale. The users of the job comparison scale base their decisions on what might be described figuratively as a badly “warped rule”.
e). HAY-MSL SYSTEM:
The HAY-MSL System is a point method type of job evaluation as points are allocated to important elements of a job and the importance of individual job relative to others and measured by comparing their total points score.
These are the job elements by which the jobs are compared:
- Technical know-how: this is the level of skill, knowledge and experience required to perform the job and effectively handle the people;
- Problem Solving Ability: this is about the level of discretion and judgment the job-holder must exercise, frequency of problems that calls for decision by the job-holder and the extent the job-holder is expected to contribute fresh ideas;
- Accountability: this is about assessing the job-holder to know if he/ she is responsible and accountable for small or large areas of work and whether his/ her activities affect the organization to a larger or smaller extent in terms of funds (revenue and expenses).
HAY-MSL system lean more to higher level of management than to the lower ranked jobs. A good example is the Accountant, technical skill, ability to solve finance-related challenges and stewardship over the Company’s money place him/ her on high pedestal on the HAY-MSL scheme.
Advantages of Job Evaluation Pay Structure:
The major advantages of job evaluated pay structure are:
- It provides a defensible basis for allocating pay differentials between groups;
- In a unionized organization where the structure is developed, the job evaluation result assists both management and trade union representatives defend the gradings that may be drawn up;
- Moreso, when conflict arises relating to compensation and compromise become necessary, job evaluation can provide an objective standard from which modifications can be made;
- With the availability of the analysis of the job content and worth, it becomes easier to conduct recruitment, selection, training and other human capital exercises;
- In a sense, job evaluation tries to settle the issue of out-right-pay-variations and discrimination between different categories of employers and protects an employer from undue accusations.
- Periodic job evaluation ensures that the salary structure reflects current changes in the work content of jobs and not outdated so that pay differentials remain fair;
- Job evaluation pay structure ensures that salary structure is well balanced even in an organization that is staffed with wide range of different technical skills;
- The job evaluated salary structure most times protects an employer from undue accusations that rates of pay discriminates between different types of workers – men and women who by law should be paid the same amount for like work and work rated as equivalent or work on equal value.
- It is based on job content and not personal merit of job-holder. The job-holder may be paid bonuses in reward for his/ her efforts and when he moves to another job in the organization, his/ her replacement on the job may be paid the same rate for the job, and will not inherit any personal bonuses of his predecessor.
Disadvantages of Job Evaluated Pay Structure:
- Job Evaluated salary structure can be outdated. Periodic reviews have to be conducted so as to ensure relevance to current situation. In real practice, most organizations fail to review jobs often enough;
- In the real sense of it, there is a great degree of subjective judgment involved in awarding points or ratings and the evaluation process may be unfair irrespective of the fact that many job evaluation methods suggest that it is scientific and accurate technique;
- Job evaluation structure pays a fair rate for a job, only in the sense that the differentials are set according to relative worth. It makes no recommendation on what the general pay level should be in monetary terms. In fact, it cannot do so without referring to external factors such as rates fixed by collective bargaining, statutory obligations or local customs.
The core process of job evaluation lies in the determination of what criteria to be used to arrive at the job ranking. It is easier said than done that jobs are valid and ranked according to the relativity of the job worth. There is more to it than this as lots of ambiguity and uncertainty beclouds the exercise when attempt is made to state what makes one job higher than the other in the job hierarchy.
In most cases, job evaluation plans use skill, efforts and working conditions as major criteria. These can be further sub-divided and broken down into specifics. “Skills” for instance is sometimes measured by education and experience; mental effort is most times differentiated from physical effort; responsibility of various kinds are delineated. Other criteria can and have been used including difficulty, time span of discretion, size of subordinate staff and level of creativity needed.
One must expect the above stated criteria to change across jobs and environment. As there are different types of jobs, it is better and normal to separate jobs into common groups. This translates to evaluating separately the jobs of a Clerical Officer, Secretary, Driver, Sales Executive and Managerial jobs. The evaluation of related groups enables one to obtain valid rankings within groups but leaves the issue of criteria between categories unattended to.
Through proper separation of groups, we are in a better position to say that the position of Electrician in a factory environment is more mental sapping or needs more concentration than that of a Supervisor and hence gets higher ranking. This method has not been able to resolve the issue of whether greater mental effort is required by an Electrician than that of Admin. Manager in the evaluation of their duties.
Nevertheless, the challenges posed cannot diminish the important values the job evaluated salary structure brings.
Being Black is truly a soulful, eye-opening, and enriching experience. But behind all the #BlackExcellence, #BlackGirlMagic, #BlackBoyJoy tags, TikToks, and beautifully shot images, there are often struggles that most don’t see because they’re blurred by social media filters.
The last several years have been stressful for all of us. From pandemics to unexpected unemployment to rising tensions to police brutality, and, most recently, rising inflation, nothing has been easy. While this stress impacts us all, regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity, Black Americans are often statistically impacted more than other groups, due to structural inequalities that have persisted over generations. Simply put, being Black in America is stressful. Constantly being perceived as a threat, stereotyped, and oversexualized from an early age can take a toll on the mind, body, and spirit. When they were younger, many Black men were taught to “man up,” learning to never show emotion or talk about their feelings. And with society’s long-held stereotypes about masculinity, the concepts of self-care, mental health and wellness are often viewed as “unmanly” or worse yet, unnecessary. It’s a one-two combination that quietly beats us up from the inside out, issues you can learn more about in Bevel’s “Get Your Mind Right” campaign clip below.
Thankfully, the stigma surrounding open and honest conversations about mental health have begun to fade in recent years. Tasnim Sulaiman, a licensed psychotherapist and founder and CEO of Black Men Heal, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing men of color with mental health treatment and resources, and Tristan Walker, founder and CEO of Bevel, a head-to-toe grooming brand specifically for Black men, have a shared vision of supporting Black men through their mental health journeys. Both Sulaiman and Walker are committed to providing Black and Brown men with the tools they need to treat themselves from the inside out.
Recently, Sulaiman and Walker came together to discuss Black men and the best ways for them to maintain their mental health. Read on below to see their thoughts on why so many men of color avoid talking about their emotional struggles, what we as a community can do to change that for future generations, and why it’s important to create a safe space for men to ask for help.
Tasnim: We’ve tailored our mental health resources across both in-person and virtual [platforms] to help us meet men where they are. We have an Individual Therapy Program, [which includes] eight free therapy sessions. [There], we match men up with clinicians of color that can relate to the unique presenting issues and cultural needs of each individual. Our proprietary matching system ensures each man is matched up with the therapist they are most likely to have a productive relationship with, which, most-often, leads to successful therapeutic outcomes.
We also offer a free weekly virtual group session for men called Kings Corner. The Kings Corner group provides a safe space for men to fellowship, create, and hold space for one another while developing tangible mental wellness tools. Each virtual session features a different guest host [who covers] a variety of mental health-related topics. [Lastly], we also do an in-person version of Kings Corner that travels from city-to-city.
What Signs Men Should Be Aware of Regarding Their Mental Health
Tasnim: There are many signs to keep an eye out for. Some of the common signs are or can be: feeling chronic states of stress, sadness, guilt; helplessness or emptiness; constant worry or overthinking (especially worrying about things you have no control over); fatigue; difficulty sleeping; loss of interest or joy in family/relationships, work, hobbies, etc…; [and] difficulty concentrating or completing tasks. [Other signs are] an increase in agitation or angry outbursts; becoming more controlling or abusive in relationships; and numbing behaviors such as alcohol, drugs, gambling or irresponsible sexual behaviors.
Men should also pay attention to a “work obsessively” mode. Because working and providing for family and self are such highly defining traits of masculinity, often men can miss that obsessive work with no breaks or time for rest or self care can be avoidance/overcompensating for not wanting to face what comes up if you are still. Black men often carry a lot of intergenerational trauma and can be constantly triggered and retraumatized regularly within their daily existence.
Why It’s Challenging for Some Black Men to Open Up About Mental Health Struggles
Tasnim: Life is hard, and it’s challenging to be vulnerable in the face of uncomfortable things. Everyone is going through something, especially the last few years. Conversations about mental health force people to look in the mirror and really see themselves. Historically, mental health has been synonymous with “weakness.” For a Black man, the world can often not feel like a safe place to be vulnerable. We founded Black Men Heal to create more of those safe spaces for Black men.
Tristan: As a founder and entrepreneur, I’ve spent my adult life becoming very familiar with the idea of “investing” (in other start-ups, brands, etc). For me, mental health is just a personal investment into myself and in support of my family [and] loved ones. My community needs me to show up in the world in a way that is authentic, transparent, and empathetic. I can’t do that if my own mental health is clouded. When I think about mental health as a personal investment into myself, as a form of self-care, all of sudden these conversations aren’t hard or impossible, they’re absolutely vital.
Experiences That Can Trigger Mental Health Stressors
Tasnim: Trauma is the key. We are constantly retraumatized and having our deepest wounds triggered by what we experience or see in the media. Other triggers might include developmental stages, rites of passages, or major life transitions. For example, moving [away] from home for the first time; getting married; having a child; a break-up; the death of a loved one; getting sick or having an accident; are all examples of experiences that can trigger mental health stressors.
Tristan: The last two years have been both traumatic and stressful for everyone. You pair a pandemic with the on-going challenges of being Black in 2022 and that equals a lot of stress on your mental health. Everyone is engaged in some type of shared suffering and it’s important for us to realize we are all in this together.
How Can Black Men Regulate Their Mental Health to Achieve Black Boy Joy
Tasnim: Therapy is just one tool to help with healing and overall wellness. It’s also important to think about holistic healing, head to toe, inside [and] out. This means paying attention to the eight dimensions of your wellness: physical, spiritual, social, intellectual, emotional/mental, occupational, environmental, and financial.
Tristan: Accept that it’s okay to be a little selfish about your own joy and mental health. Understand that no one has more control over your joy than you do. You have to consistently invest in yourself.
How Black Men Should Address Mental Health With Their Sons
Tasnim: It starts with the example that the father or parent gives—not only what you say, but what you do. Your children will ultimately imitate how you care for your physical, spiritual, and emotional health. Your son should know that it’s ok to not be ok.
Tristan: I think all good parenting leads with embracing empathy, and by letting your children see you being comfortable working on or dealing with your own mental health. If my sons, as they’re growing, mimic what I say and do, why wouldn’t I give them the best example possible of addressing my own mental health?
Tasnim: Black Men Heal is definitely an option for men [without insurance] because all of our services are free. There are other amazing groups that offer free or low cost resources for people such as Alkeme Health, The Loveland Foundation, The Boris L Henson Foundation, and Open Path Collective. There are so many amazing podcasts (Let’s Talk Bruh, etc.) and social pages (@ExpressYourselfBlackman) that provide free content aimed at helping improve your mental health. Something that works well for me personally, is to set up my social media profiles to only follow accounts that provide what I wish to feel, think, or be.
Why It’s Important to Understand Your Mental Health
Tasnim: Understanding your mental health is your personal blueprint to knowing your triggers, how your thoughts work, [how you] make certain choices, and why you react to certain things but not others.
Once you learn how to master your own personal mental health, you free yourself. You can control negative or irrational thoughts of doubt or fear; you know what to prepare for and how to manage your triggers; and most importantly you learn how to respond instead of react while making better decisions.
Tristan: Life is about growth and it’s challenging to grow into your best self without understanding the impact of your life’s experiences on your own mental health. We can’t do it all on our own, and it’s, at times, difficult to ask for the help we might need.
Tasnim: Often, when we’re physically hurt or injured, we go to see a doctor or [something] similar. Mental health is no different, and asking for help opens the door to healing.
Tristan: It reminds me of something often credited to the great James Baldwin: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” Without ever talking about mental health or asking for help, it is almost impossible to address any needs you might have. We are more powerful together than we are alone.
Contributed by Anslem Samuel Rocque, Amber MCKynzie
Digital literacy is fundamentally changing business models, how work is performed and managed, and the kind of skills needed in the workplace. It is also changing the expectations we have of business owners’ traditional leadership skills and models which are no longer enough to foster market-leading innovation and entrepreneurial returns.
The Digital Economy is expanding across the globe, albeit at an uneven pace across different countries. In most countries, however, the digital economy is constantly being developed. According to a 2016 report by Oxford Economics, the global digital economy is valued at $11.5 trillion dollars or approximately 16% of the Global Economy. The global digital economy is also projected to account for a quarter of the global economy in the next 10 years. Nigeria currently does not have a large slice of the global digital economy but effort is being made to position the nation to play a leading role in contributing to this economy.
The World Economic Forum predicts that over 60% of global GDP will be digitized by 2022 and that over the next decade, digital platforms will be used to create close to 70% of new value. Furthermore, according to a report by Ericsson titled “How Important Are Mobile Broadband Networks for Global Economic Development,” 10% increase in mobile broadband penetration results in approximately 0.6% to 2.8% rise in gross domestic product (GDP).
Today we live in an information society in which more people must manage more information, which in turn requires more technological support, which both demands and creates more information. These developments have affected the whole essence of an individual’s life. Every individual uses digital devices from cell phones to digital cameras and computers; they are changing our everyday lives. Computers are used for virtually every aspect of life. They are also used in banking, mass media, publishing, communications, and they bring about quality in music, photography, marketing, film making and other businesses.
Although there have been various arguments on what digital literacy should be, it is a set of skills that enables individuals to operate effectively in information retrieval tasks in a technology-oriented environment. Digital literacy is critical for a nation’s workforce in today’s digital world. UNESCO (2011) defines digital literacy as the ability to access, use and disseminate information in the digital age. Digital literacy is about understanding information when it is presented in different formats, and figuring out how to use it in secure and productive ways.
For instance, in running businesses, digital technologies can be used to: sell goods or services (e-commerce, including apps), source materials, manage finances and employees and market businesses online (including social media) in order to boost entrepreneurial returns. Entrepreneurial returns are the benefit derived by business owners as a result of investing their time, money and education into their business. These benefits could be measurable in terms of gaining more customers, having more business outlets and making more profit.
In developed countries, research has shown that both large enterprises and small businesses have successfully adopted digital literacy or skills to gain competitive advantage, transform business models and improve relationships with customers and suppliers. These skills are an essential success factor for many successful small business owners (SBOs).
Digital literacy continues to be one of the major challenges faced by developing countries. The importance of digital literacy to the successful implementation of Nigeria’s digital economy was underscored by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mallam Isa Pantami, at the one-day virtual workshop, organised by the Nigerian Software Testing Qualifications Board (NGSTQB), themed: “Role of Software Testing in Nigeria’s Digital Economy.” Pantami noted that, for Nigeria to achieve its ambitious target of 95 percent digital literacy level by 2030, “we will need to build the literacy of citizens, in order for them to understand and consume digital services.”
However, numerous research studies have been conducted on SBOs, and most findings maintained that despite their significant importance and contribution to economic growth, SBOs across the world, and in Nigeria in particular, are still faced with numerous challenges that inhibit entrepreneurial growth.
Regardless of each employee’s function, information and communication technology (ICT) competencies are becoming more and more crucial for many organisations. The variety of technology tools and resources used to communicate, create, distribute, store, retrieve, and manage information demonstrates the significance of digital literacy.
Each technology has a different potential, depending on how it is used. Knowing how to evaluate internet sources for the accuracy and reliability of information would be considered to be good digital literacy. For instance, utilising a computer requires procedural skills (file management), cognitive skills, and emotional-social abilities. Digital literacy is a mix of these talents (intuitively reading the visual messages in graphic user interfaces). As such, Nigerian educators must constantly adapt the curriculum to integrate the most recent technological developments because the components of computer literacy are changing as a result of technological advancements.
Despite the efforts of the government in creating small business development agencies in Nigeria, small businesses continue to face challenges that threaten their survival. However, several interventions have been launched in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, to assist entrepreneurs to grow sustainable businesses and become more digitally literate.
Various agencies were created to stimulate the development of the small- business sector of the Nigerian economy, including the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN). Others are National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Peoples Bank of Nigeria (PBN), Microfinance Banks, National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND), and National Bank of Commerce and Industry. In spite of the effort of the government in Nigeria, small businesses continue to face the challenges that threaten their survival.
The key-issues affecting SBOs include: Lack of funds, low entrepreneurial and managerial capabilities, poor and unreliable infrastructure, harsh business environment, poor service delivery and lack of access to modern technology.
Universities should open their doors to small business owners for technological development and innovations through diploma programmes, seminars and workshops. This can help to increase their entrepreneurial returns. Government should reinvent the future of small business owners by extending its current education reforms to make it more functional and need –oriented driven. Emphasis should be on social networking services (such as Facebook, Whatsapp, You tube) and how they can be used to foster entrepreneurial returns among SBOs.
- Curled from The Nation Newspaper and written by Felix Oladeji (Lagos)
In real life situations, performance appraisal is a daily activity as it is also to organisations. We evaluate our activities daily, weekly, monthly or yearly to see our achievements and, challenges, correct our mistakes and set new targets.
More so in organisations. The continued success of organisations is dependent on its employees who in all thinking is the primary resource and, the focal point as all decisions revolve around her. Their development and retention is a critical success factor if it must meet with its present and future requirements and surpass same.
Performance appraisal sometimes referred to as performance evaluation or personnel evaluation, is very important in HR Management; a tool that places high in people Management. Other factors / functions which contribute to employee development are staff orientation and career development and all these add-up to enhance organizational effectiveness.
Infact, performance appraisal is a fulcrum on which major HR activities revolve. Many informed decisions such as promotions, wage hikes, transfers, terminations, job rotation, job enlargement, succession planning etc emanates from this. Again, allocation of organizational resources is facilitated by performance appraisal.
What is Performance Appraisal?
“Performance appraisal is the process by which an organization obtains a feedback about the effectiveness of its employees”. It is the evaluation of employee’s job performance and contributions to the organisation. In other words, it is a mechanism through which employees and the organization obtain feedback and provides organisation with assessment data for present and future use. It is the measurement of performance against set and agreed target over a given period of time so as to obtain to obtain feedback.
The purpose of Performance Appraisal stems from the need to improve organizational efficiency by ensuring that employees perform to the best of their ability and also develop their potentials for improvement. A good performance appraisal or management system is designed to serve two (2) main purposes:
- Evaluative purpose and
- Developmental purpose
Evaluative Functions: This function helps to promote or reward higher performances while at the same time assists to determine low performance.
Development Function: On the other hand, this performance appraisal function is useful in determining training needs of the subordinates while at the same time motivates them to higher performance.
Unfortunately, many people lay more emphasis on the evaluative function to the neglect of the developmental function.
A good organization should have a well laid down policy on employee performance management and the potential of each employee to access his/ her future development.
Performance appraisal must be seen as a result-oriented machinery for the growth of individual and company and not as firing squad or punitive measure. You should note that organisations decide on what performance appraisal system to be adopted based on its laid down policy, suitability and operational modus.
Performance appraisal is either open or closed. The open system is profound in the private sector while the closed system is more practiced in the public sector.
Performance appraisal can be classified under two broad systems: Individual and Multi-Person Appraisal Systems.
Individual Appraisal Method:
In the individual appraisal method, employee’s performance is studied over a given period. This is aimed at identifying their strengths and weaknesses. Examples of these are Annual Confidential Reports, Essay Evaluation, Management by Objectives (MBO) and Check List Methods.
- Confidential Reports:
Perhaps, this is the oldest method. It is a report prepared by employee’s senior/ supervisor wherein he/ she highlights the subordinate’s strength and weaknesses in the past year. The flaw about this method is that the feedback on the report prepared is not disclosed to the employee for whom this has been written because every report is kept confidential.
- Critical Incident and Checklist Techniques:
In the critical incident technique, the superior studies and analyze the subordinate’s best and worse incidents of behavior in the past year; analyzing the most critical incidents while in the checklist method, the supervisor is given a paper that has set of statements that are expressive and purpose in nature, and the answers to which are either YES or NO. Here, the usual and typical questions are whether/ or not the performance was satisfactory and whether or not the standards were met.
Multiple Persons Appraisal Methods:
The multi-person appraisal method compares the performances of the employees in a particular department and are pitted against one another to identify the best performers and the worst performers. Examples of multi-person appraisal methods are Ranking System, Paired Comparison, Forced Distribution, Performance Tests and 360-Degree Appraisal.
- Paired Comparison Method:
In this technique, the superior compares each individual to all the other individuals working in the team and the subordinates are all ranked on the basis of criteria and traits analyzed. The comparison method could be from the best to the worst or the worst to the best.
- Management by Objective (MBO)
The Management by Objective (MBO) is the well-known technique for setting goals, then judging how they are met; it emphasizes on tangible and measurable goals. The Key Result Areas (KRA) and the means to attain maximum results are concentrated upon. This system gives the superior the opportunity of knowing his/ her team’s KRAs and the results expected at the end of the year/ or given period. In this method, the job is delegated and the authority, responsibility and relationship is defined.
In this method, both the supervisor and the subordinate discuss, negotiate and agree the goals to be attained over a period. The objectives/ target are expected to adhere to the SMARTER rules – Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic, Time-bound, Ethical and Recorded.
- 360-Degree Method:
The 360-degree appraisal method involves various stakeholders – the employee’s immediate supervisor, other supervisors who are not the bosses but comes in contact with the employee/ appraisee on a daily basis, the top management, and the employee’s subordinates as all provide data/ information on his/ her performances.
All 360-degree of employee working and working styles are analyzed involving the whole cycle of individuals with whom the employee comes in contact or interacts with on the course of work. The feedback from the appraisal is passed on to the employee for increased performance.
Why do we conduct Performance Appraisal?
Performance appraisal aims at regularly assessing and reporting on subordinate’s performances, attainment, abilities and potentials for future development. It further seeks to:
- Clarify the Key Result Areas (KRA) of the job and provide basis to agree on targets and standards of performance for a given period;
- Assess performance of employees and agree on how to foster continuous improvement;
- Provide opportunity for a formal recognition and documentation of performances (the subordinate has opportunity to bring certain achievements or constraints being experienced on the job to the attention of the boss, his/ her career plans and aspirations);
- Generate information for management’s decision-making on issues like promotion, transfers, succession planning, job rotation, job redefinition, job enlargement, disengagement etc;
- Determine employee potentials and provide guided development;
- Provide opportunity for identifying individual training and developmental needs;
- Take stock of skills and talents available, strength and weaknesses of employees in the organization
- Provide feedback to employees on how organization view their (employee) performances;
- Improve communication by compelling superiors and subordinates to hold periodic dialogue/ meeting and provide feedback;
- Provide basis for reward decisions – merit increases, reassignment and expatriation
- Generate data/ information upon which workplans, budgeting and HR Planning can be based
- Inform job distribution/ redesign, job enlargement, career planning and development;
- Provide a ready tool for evaluating the effectiveness of selection and placement decisions;
- Identify training and development needs for individual employees and entire teams/ divisions within the organization;
- Provide a good criteria for assessing the success or otherwise of previous training and development efforts
- Help in determining salary related decisions;
- Serve as a counseling forum;
- Emphasize the strength and weaknesses of employees;
- Improve motivation
Without mincing words, it must be stated that performance appraisal is key to the success of organisations as managers constantly make judgments about their subordinates based on performance appraisal and are expected to provide periodic feedbacks.
Note that performance appraisal system to be adopted by any organisation, could be predicated on its policy and developmental plans. There is no perfect method and several methods could be combined..
To make feedback a powerful instrument in performance appraisal and in improving the level of satisfaction, performance appraisal must not only be based on an objective criteria, but such criteria should have been jointly put in place and agreed between the supervisor and subordinate as employees who are involved in actually setting their own goals tend to perform at higher levels.
Contributed by Agolo Uzorka, CEO/ Lead Consultant, Eugene + George Consulting Limited
The Nigerian Teachers Union (NUT) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts to restore the glory of Nigerian teachers.
The union’s general secretary, Dr. Mike Ike-Ene, delivered the eulogy at a symposium organized by the Ministry of Education on Thursday in Abuja.
The symposium was part of the activities commemorating the next World Teachers’ Day 2021 with the theme “Teachers at the heart of the recovery of education”.
Ike-Ene, who was represented by NUT member Okoroafor Okechukwu, noted that efforts to conclude work on the 2020 promise to teachers by the president were commendable.
He also praised the guarantee provided by the Federal Government that the implementation of the improved salary structure for teachers, extended years of service for teachers, assignments and other incentives would begin in January 2022.
According to him, updating incentives will go a long way to repositioning the teaching profession, as well as giving teachers the confidence to compete globally.
“If the years of service for teachers, for example, are increased and sustained to 40 years of service or 65 years before retirement, there will be a huge benefit.
“In addition, increased motivation increases the momentum, ego needs of teachers and encourages them to focus and treasure their work.
“The teaching profession deserves its place of honor in attracting the best brains.
“Where attractive conditions exist, the lost glory of the profession will undoubtedly be recovered.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that President Buhari, on the commemoration of World Teachers’ Day on October 5, 2020, approved a special salary scale and special pension plan for teachers.
He also said that the Trust Fund for Tertiary Education (TETFUND) would begin to finance teaching practice in universities and colleges of education.
In addition, he promised to secure provisions for the rural employment allowance, the science teacher allowance, and the special allowance.
The president also promised to sponsor at least one refresher training, the construction of low-cost housing for teachers in rural areas, and the reintroduction of the scholarship.
Other promises are the expansion of the annual awards for teachers and presidential schools and the payment of stipends to students of bachelor of education and automatic employment after graduation.
As part of the effort to make the promise come true, the president issued a letter in June about a bill to raise the retirement age for teachers from 60 to 65.
The bill also seeks to extend the years of service of teachers from 35 to 40 years.
Meanwhile, relevant stakeholders are working on other incentives, which are policy matters, to ensure their implementation by 2022. (NAN)
HR Analytics, People Analytics and Workforce Analytics are all same terms interchangeably used. HR Analytics is about using data to make better business decisions; it is a data-driven approach geared towards managing people at the workplace.
Many HR professionals have variously defined it and they have been unanimous in their definitions. It is “the systematic identification and quantification of people drivers of business outcomes”. “HR Analytics is a data-driven approach towards HR Management“. “it is the quantification of people drivers on business outcomes”. It measures why something is happening and its impact.
Again, Workforce Analytics is about analyzing people data to answer critical questions about people in your organization. For instance, What is your annual employee turnover? Or What percentage of your employees are likely to resign their appointments from your Company in the next six months? These questions can only be answered using data.
HR Analytics starts with an opinion and data helps to confirm the opinion. Thereafter, we compare the data and make valid judgments. This is where metrics come in.
HR Metrics are measurements used to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of HR policies – they compare different data points. For instance, if last year’s labour cost was 10% and it is now 15%, it then means that it has increased by 50%. Metrics measure the difference between numbers and compare different data – they don’t show you the cause. Measures or metrics without analysis has no true value.
It is a fact that HR Departments are very good at collecting data (for example the Performance Appraisal) but how much of these data are put into use?! A lot of them remain unused. As soon as organisations start analysing these collected data, they are involved in HR Analytics.
HR Analytics assists HR professionals in making data-driven decisions to attract, maintain, develop and motivate the workforce and improve ROI; enables managers make better business decisions, create conducive and better work-environment and maximize employees’ productivity.
What I have learnt as a Consultant over the years is that applying HR Analytics changes how Companies do business and add values to the business. it helps organisations identify different levels that they can turn better decisions. In effect, when HR Analytics is well utilized, it creates positive impact on the bottomline.
Truly, Talent Analytics is connotative and more often used in the academic environment, while workforce analytics is more used by software providers whilst assisting in workforce planning. People Analytics and HR Analytics simply refer to the statistical analysis of people data. Of these, HR Analytics is more globally used and popular according to RS Research and ranks highest in Google search while People Analytics ranks second. Although, People Analytics is increasingly becoming popular because HR Analytics is becoming overused and everything referred to HR data is now being referred to as HR Analytics!
Again, the term HR analytics is very narrow because it only refers to Human Resources. Ideally, analytics go beyond HR as it includes financials, and other data. Infact, HR department sometimes don’t have the skill-set requisite to carry out data analysis hence it requires professionals with experiences in IT, Finance and other related data analytical areas.
Whether you are looking at performance, calculating productivity trends, employees’ turnover, reviewing ROI or engaged in long-term workforce planning, you are involved in studying and analyzing people. HR Departments have focused on people-related matters that transcends Human Resources for decades.
Without mincing words, the responsibility of managing people in the workplace has always been a shared responsibility between the business and HR. An attempt to distinguish between HR Analytics and People Analytics appears to be a bit difficult because it is a matter of semantics. Rather, we should focus on the value that analytics bring or adds to the overall business performances by improving the overall decision-making process.
- It changes the way people are managed in a significant way as you no longer rely on emotions, gossips etc in decision-making;
- Helps HR professionals in making informed data-driven decisions and also tests the effectiveness (HR output) and efficiency (input) of HR policies and interventions;
- Engenders better compensation, incentive and drives employee performance
- Minimises the incidence of making decisions based on intuition
- Promotes better employee development and improves engagement
- Identifies causes and its impact on the business;
- Tracks the effectiveness of HR metrics on HR business outcomes;
- Provides answers to very salient questions;
- Enables better workforce planning
- Points out the effects of metrics on business performance
- Helps create a business case for HR interventions, moving from operational partner to strategic partner;
HR departments these days simply focus more on reporting employee data but this approach is outdated in today’s data driven economy. Mere keeping records is not sufficient to add strategic value. The data should be turned into information and the information into insight. Turning data into insights enables HR to be more involved in decision making at a more strategic level and adds value to the organization, enhancing its efficiency and effectiveness.
I must state at this juncture that any monies spent on general business analytics delivers multiple values in return.
Contributed by Agolo Uzorka, CEO/ Lead Consultant, Eugene + George Consulting Limited
Succession Planning – When your plan is to retire in the nearest future, for whatever reasons, then there is that need to carefully plan for your successor, so as to protect the values of your organization and limit the incidence of vacuum creation in its general performances.
As the business owner of your organization over time there would have been several things that have been very dependent on your personality, skills, and decision-making. To ensure that there is no gap nor breach but continuity and seamless transition, there is that choice to ensure that a proper succession plan is put in place to engender and foster continuity when you exit the business, when you so desire, without negative effects on the business operations.
“Succession Planning is the process of identifying high-potential employees, evaluating and developing their skills and preparing them for advancement”. Succession planning is about planning towards transition of leadership positions which includes recruiting new talents or training employees of the organization to successfully takeover roles of exiting employees. It is an important aspect of talent management process.
Succession plan in other words describes and clarifies the succession process and it is developed as an overall strategy for the entire business; it spells out roles thereafter, the responsibilities of teams that will be involved, the manning levels, structures and functions of every position.
Human Resources Department of organisations are most times saddled with the responsibilities of searching internally or recruiting external candidates that are right for the position with the right culture-fit. Sometimes, organisations groom potential employees internally to replace exiting employees.
A lot of organisations hardly engage in this and sometimes informally. According to a 2019 article in Forbes, two-third of companies have no formal succession plan. It is supposed to be a task that organisations evolve as it is designed to curtail the unforeseen and unexpected absences of employees who occupy key roles in the organization. In most organisations talent’s growth and development are accelerated and development plans are put in place for them.
In succession planning, there is need to have a clear understanding of the organisation’s long-term goals and objectives. It is equally important to identify high-potential candidates, talents within the organisation and their respective developmental needs and requirements and also determine the workforce trends and predictions.
Identifying a Successor:
When considering a successor, these are some of the steps you take:
- Write out the job description: describe the functions and responsibilities inherent in the job;
- Person description: identify skills, interests and abilities required to perform the job;
- Draw up list of candidates: their experiences, qualifications and career history. This is made easier if the potential successor is an employee or family member. In this wise, you have to be more objective in your plan and choice;
- Identify skills-gap and training needs;
- provide development plans and monitor performances.
- provides means of identifying key roles, employees with the right skill-mix and positions requirements to fill within a given time;
- ensures that vacuums are not created in key positions in organisations thereby always creating stability in business operations;
- provides meaningful developmental opportunities;
- acts as reward to employees for dedication, commitment and long-service to organisations;
- gives insights to management on the future constitution and makeup of the organistation.
- assists reduce costs on recruiting and enables organization manage recruitment in-house;
- provides data for management decision-making.
- reduces labour turnover and allows for continuity.
In succession planning you should ensure that you discuss with as many people as possible who would be affected by the plan; consult widely and seek opinion so as to get reassurance and reduce misunderstanding amongst stakeholders, gain confidence and explain the essence of the succession plan.
You also require to have a time-frame for the transition process. What is the timeline for training of your successor, resignation of the current job-holder so as to avoid a succession plan that is timeless which could also lead to loss of key accounts.
Succession planning could also be complex if not well handled more especially if you don’t know the right steps to take. Seek advice from experienced professionals, consultants, lawyers, colleagues, friends who have a good understanding of the subject matter, whose experience may be relevant.
In choosing a successor you must do proper person-evaluation – you should look critically at candidate’s:
- commitment to the business ideals;
- ability to develop further;
- leadership qualities and interpersonal skills they have to motivate others;
- how independent they can operate and how appropriate etc.
Common Mistakes in Succession Planning:
There are common mistakes made whilst carrying out succession plan and these are some of them:
Reacting to crisis: Some are reactive and wait for crisis to occur within the organisation before hurriedly engaging in succession planning. This is not supposed to be so. It is advisable to engage in succession planning whilst the business is still in good stead, and profitable as it allows for smooth transition and gives good range of options instead of rushing into it, trying to ameliorate the situation and sometimes compounding the already compounded situation.:
Taking the Wrong Path:
In succession planning, you should be open-minded in your decision-making so as to objectively select a good successor. Don’t rush into putting your relations, children, son in the position just because he is heir-apparent … “I want my child to continue from where I stop”. These are undue sentiments we get involved in and it has led to the fall of many businesses! Sometimes they (relations) have different plans, very different from yours! You should be more concerned about the ability to run a successful business and the effects the decision would have on long-serving employees. The answer to this is to allow for good time to do a wider consultation with relevant staff and business partners.
Consulting an outsider who understands your business and the market will also suffice as he would be in a better position to independently identify the best hands to succeed you and also make recommendations; he is positioned to give an objective judgement on qualities of employees you could select as your successor.
Holding on to position because you feel you are indispensable may be detrimental to the organization. This is the worse you can do to your business. Don’t wait till it is too late and even when you leave don’t interfere in the business except if the business is truly failing and its in dire need of your assistance.
I understand letting go of power may be a bit difficult but if succession plan in properly put in place and executed accordingly, you should be confident that the business will be on a good pedestal and it will do well.
Contributed by Agolo Uzorka, CEO/ Lead Consultant, Eugene + George Consulting Limited (www,eugenegeorgeconsulting.com)
Termination of Employment contract is one of the most difficult aspects of Human Resource Management, depending on the side of the divide you are. It is one assignment many HR Managers or whoever that manages the assigned role of workforce management deplores because it is a negative role, but a difficult aspect of the job that must be executed. This was one of my albatross as a Human Resource Manager, when I worked in one organisation because the Managing Director always used it wrongly as a threat to employees which should not be – it could be very demotivating!
According to Wikipedia, “termination of employment is an employee’s departure from a job and the end of an employee’s duration with an employer. Termination may be voluntary on the employee’s part, or it may be at the hands of the employer, often in the form of dismissal (firing) or a layoff”.
“Termination of employment refers to the end of an employee’s work with a company. Termination may be voluntary, as when a worker leaves of their own accord, or involuntary, in the case of a company downsize or layoff, or if an employee is fired” – Investopedia.
Termination of employment according to Oladosu O. in his book, The Nigerian Labour and Employment Law, “is the bringing to an end the employment relationship”. It is the severance of relationship between the employer and employee.
Termination of employment could occur from either the employer or employee but should meet the written terms of the contract. The employer nor the employee is neither under any obligation to give reasons for the termination of employment contract.
You should know that Section 11 of the Labour Act in terms of contract of employment, provides for a compulsory issuance of notice or payment in lieu of notice by either party. Section 11(6) of the same act provides that “the right”to notice may be waived by ether party to the contract of employment by a payment in lieu of notice“.
Be reminded that contract of employment may not always be a written document; all that is required is that parties involved should reach an agreement and abide by the terms of engagement.
The termination of employment and dismissal brings the contract of employment to an end. The law on termination and dismissal in Nigeria is built around Common Law.
i). Expiry of Contract of Employment: at the expiry of fixed term contract for which the employee services may no longer be required, termination may be the next option;
ii) Mutual consent/ agreement: this could be occasioned by retirement or may be a “constructive dismissal”, a situation where employee is advised / forced to resign by the employer due to some irreconcilable differences.
iii). By notice e.g.
- Redundancy (when an employer ceases to carry on the business)
iv). Breach of contract, necessitating the employer to dismiss the employee without notice.
a). willful disobedience of lawful order, evidencing total disregard for the terms of contract and utter disrespect for constituted authority;
b). dereliction, abandonment or desertion of duty;
c). serious negligence or prolonged incompetence;
e). misrepresentation or falsification of information supplied in any official document;
f). on the receipt of unsatisfactory report(s) from the previous employer of the employee on probation;
g) giving out or divulging confidential information about the company’s trade secrets to a third party or person not entitled to know;
h). conviction for felony or any other criminal offence by a competent court of law;
i). dishonesty, misconduct or any act likely to bring the company’s name into disrepute or ridicule;
j). frustration emanating from the death, illness or imprisonment of employer or employee.
The Webstar’s Dictionary and Thesaurus defines dismissal as the act of removing a person from office. Nigeria Law refers to dismissal as the determination of a contract of employment due to the employee’s misconduct and it is carried out summarily without advanced notice nor payment in lieu of notice. Employers adopt this to erring employees in cases of gross misconduct. In most situations, it takes immediate effect and it is the sole right enjoyed by the employer. The principle of fair hearing and natural justice must apply in such situation.
Dismissal does not only include the termination of an employee’s contract by his employer; it is also ending a fixed term contract without a renewal on the same terms.
Secondly, it is the termination of employment by the employee where the employers conduct forces him/ her to do so. This is referred to as “constructive dismissal” significantly precipitated by employer’s breach of contract, signifying that the employer no longer wants to be bound by one or more terms and conditions of the contract. The employee may decide to leave immediately depending on the gravity of the breach and ability to meet up with such conditions and responsibilities that appertains thereto (if any) to such actions.
Summary dismissal: This is when the employer dismisses the employee without the required notice period and as such, the employee may also not be entitled to payment(s) – entitlement(s). This occurs and can only be justified if the employee has committed a serious breach of contract otherwise he or she could seek redress in a competent court of law.
Unfair dismissal: An employee may approach the National Industrial Court to bring claim if he/she believes that he/she has been unfairly dismissed. The onus will lie on the employee first to prove that he/ she has been dismissed; and the employer’s responsibility at this point will be to prove that the dismissal was fair.
Wrongful dismissal: The employee can lay claim for wrongful dismissal if he/ she can prove with evidence that the dismissal was without justification as he/ she has not breached any part of the contract. The employee will also have to prove that it was not with appropriate notice and that that was ignored by the employer, thereby suffering losses as a result. The employer will be liable to wrongful termination in the Court of Law.
If wrongful dismissal can be proved, the employee may be able to claim some damages resulting from loss of earnings payable during the notice period or balance of wages due under fixed term contract.
In dismissing an employee, the employer is not justified except there were some serious offenses.
Resignation is a form of termination of contract by notice. Contracts are expected to specify notice periods. Be that as it may, termination of employment during probationary period carries minimal notice period or none, depending on several variables – position, company policy, reasons for resignation etc. Notice may be waived, or payment made in lieu of notice.
Employees may resign appointment for any number of reasons, personal or occupational which could be a reflection on the management style, company’s culture, harassment, increased work hours, new work location etc.
When an employee announces his/ her resignation, verbally or by letter, it is pertinent for Management to find out reasons why he/ she is leaving through the exit interview so as to make possible adjustments, where necessary.
In managing termination of employment, the Human Resource Manager and Management generally should consider how the factors above apply in a given situation, depending largely on the individual concerned, the responsibilities of the incumbent job holder, cost of replacement in terms of time and finance, public perception and corporate image, company’s policy etc.
Contributed by Agolo Uzorka Eugene, CEO/ Lead Consultant, Eugene + George Consulting Limited, a front-line Human Resource Company, providing world-class services to a wide-range of clients (www.eugenegeorgeconsulting.com)
No matter how desperate you are for a job, or how annoyed you may be at your current gig, there are some companies you’re better off not working for. Even if the money is good, the role seems irresistible, and even your friends say it’s worth a shot, accepting a role at a crappy company can set your career back and even jeopardize your future success.
So how do you know which companies to steer clear of? Here at Glassdoor, we don’t like to point fingers because all companies have the tools to change. Nevertheless, here are 7 types of companies that might as well have “Do not apply” flashing on a neon sign in the window.
Red flags: Key roles pop up consistently on a company’s job site.
How bad is it: A company should not be on the hunt for the same important roles in management or leadership every six months, and if they are that means that they have fallen into a hire-and-fire cycle. This can indicate a few things.
- One, leadership may be very fickle; unable to land on the specific qualities they want in a candidate.
- Two, the company may have a bad internal culture which makes retention nearly impossible, no matter how talented the new hires may be.
- Three, top level goals may be as fleeting as the talent.
What to do: Companies with high turnover won’t deliver on their promises and may just be a waste of time.
2. The Culture Clash Corp
Red flags: Negative employee reviews, lack of focus on a true employee experience, recruiters evading your questions.
How bad is it? A poor company culture may not seem like a deal breaker, but it should be. Recently, we’ve seen a handful of examples where company culture has significantly handicapped public perception. Even if a company’s poor culture hasn’t played out publicly, it can be bad for your career. It’s well known that a positive company culture can drive financial performance and a productive workforce. Therefore, a negative culture can do the exact opposite.
What to do: Avoid companies who tout their ping-pong tournament but won’t allow you speak to existing employees about their experiences. Consider ending interview discussions with companies that evade questions about culture. And just say no to places who define “hard work” as 15-hour days and long weekend email threads.
3. The Curb Appealer
Red flags: Pristine and ideal image in marketing materials and publicity, however, the day-to-day operation is far from glamorous. Only the leaders have what can pass as offices, staff is dispersed amongst shoddy cubicles, lighting is awful, technology is from the ’90s, and let’s not get started on the break room.
How bad is it? We’ve all seen them: the amazingly beautiful house on the block with the pristine lawn and the paint job that always manages to look fresh, even in the winter. These are the homes with curb appeal. They are the envy of every neighbor and look like a million bucks. But, have you ever been inside a home with massive curb appeal? Unless you’re in a really impressive neighborhood, they can have less-than-ideal interiors. The same can go for companies that are featured in all the top publications, have the coolest website, the most cutting-edge ad campaigns, and marketing materials. However, inside might tell another story.
What to do: Do your due diligence before you apply to a company to look inside its offices, get a sense of the digs and see if it’s a place you want to spend 40+ hours a week.
Red flags: Too many executives brainstorming, too few employees tasked with executing.
How bad is it: The three leading drivers of long-term employee satisfaction include culture and values, career opportunities, and trust in senior leadership. That does not mean, however, that all of the emphasis should be placed on attracting top executives to a company. Sure, it’s important to have phenomenal leadership, but when you read reviews of a company, be sure to note how much emphasis is placed on rank & file employees. All team members are important and you should see that reflected in employee reviews of the company and in their hiring practices.
What to do: Ask yourself: Who’s getting promoted internally? Or are outsiders filling key positions? Why are there 10 SVPs, but only 100 employees? If the answers to these questions puzzle you, then you may be looking at a top-heavy company.
5. The Perpetual Promisor
Red flags: Unfulfilled corporate expectations, employees report a lack of trust in CEO, inability to live up to brand promises.
How bad is it? In the era of transparency, most companies are fully aware that they must attract the best talent with full, robust and competitive packages. In order to do this, they make promises. Companies make promises around the job, the compensation package, the culture and the brand. Furthermore, companies have a brand promise that is a manifestation of its core business strategy. The problem with promises, however, they can be broken. Beware of companies that make promise after promise after promise.
Let’s boil this down to something tangible: a promotion. Your boss at XYZ company promises you a promotion based on your hard work and value to the company. You start to get excited about the new role and, of course, the increased pay. However, a month goes by and no one has mentioned anything. You follow up, and your boss routes you to HR. All you get from HR is blank stares and shrugged shoulders. Finally, weeks later you’ve been sent an email stating that your promotion has been delayed. Sigh. Broken promise.
What to do: Consider leaving. A company is only as good as its brand promise and the trust of its employees. Without these two things, it is doomed to fail.
6. The “Stagnator”
Red flags: Lack of learning opportunities, fails to promote mentorship, offers little more than the role you’ve applied for.
How bad is it? You’ve got the offer from the firm or company of your dreams. The money is right, the role is perfect and your future co-workers are people you’d absolutely grab a beer with after work. So what, there’s no learning-and-development offerings. So what, the hiring manager evaded your questions about your future goals. No big deal, right? Hardly. The stagnant company is one to stay away from as well because it places little to no emphasis on helping you meet your long-term career goals. While this type of company may work for some job seekers looking for a very particular type of job, for many it presents a dead-end.
What to do: Working at a “stagnator” means that you’ll likely be back on the job hunt in 12 to 18 months. Remember, to stagnate is a verb that means, “to cease developing; become inactive or dull.” This is not what you want for your career.
Red flags: No clear plan for the future, employees don’t know long-term goals, senior leadership fails to adequately communicate.
How bad is it? Beware of the Titanic companies that tout all the bells and whistles, but lack a clear direction. It’s these companies that inevitably hit the icebergs or big challenges over time and can become in danger of sinking. Companies should be forthright about where they stand financially, where they see themselves going, and should be willing to talk about any major challenges. If the hiring team is unable to discuss openly what direction the company hoping to go, it may be a clue that they lack a plan for growth and that the foundation may be shaky.
What to do: No matter how promising a company looks to the media or how much buzz surrounds the company’s latest product, if the value proposition and forecast are unclear, the company does not have a winning strategy.
The National Industrial Court on Friday fixed Sept.19 to deliver ruling on Federal Government’s prayer asking the court to order the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its seven months strike.
The matter which was first mentioned on Monday was adjourned until Friday for further mention before Justice Polycarp Hamman.
When the matter came up, Mr J.U.K Igwe (SAN) informed the court that going by its directive on Monday that the claimant should file its process latest by Tuesday, that they had filed two processes.
He added that the first one was motion on notice dated and filed Monday for an interlocutory injunction.
Igwe further stated that the claimant also filed on the same date an affidavit of facts in support of the referral sent by the Minister of Labour and Employment.
He also averred that some questions were raised with a full complement of a written address.
He also submitted that the defendant had been served with proof of service before the court.
The counsel said that however, as at the time the court was sitting, he had not received an response from ASUU.
Igwe proceeded to urge the court to take the applications as it was ripe to be taken, stating that the matter is of national interest and urgent as millions of students have been at home since Feb.14.
Mr Femi Falana, SAN, counsel to ASUU in response acknowledged receiving process from the claimant and stated that they were already filing their reply in the court’s registry.
Falana added that the Minister of Labour and Employment lacked the power to ask the court in his referral to order the defendant to go back to work.
He also informed the court that ASUU will be meeting stakeholders in the House of Representative on Sept.20 to ensure that the matter is resolved.
Earlier Mr Ebuolu Adegoruwa SAN, counsel to Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) had raised the issue of joinder and consolidation of the suit, citing section 36 of the 1999 constitution to fair hearing
He submitted that the court should invoke the cited section in SERAP’s favour to be joined in the suit as a defendant and urged the court to take his application to that effect before entertaining any other application in the suit
Adegoruwa said relief 3 of their application is for stay of further proceeding for the court to determine whether or not they will be a party in the suit.
He added that the process had been served on the claimant on Thursday.
He proceeded to seek to withdraw an earlier filed process dated Monday and sought to replace it with the one served on Thursday.
Igwe in response objected to Adegoruwa’s application, stating that he was in receipt of the application he filed on Monday, that was served on them on Thursday by 5pm.
He also argued that it was the same application Adegoruwa was applying to withdraw.
He added that he had not received any process dated Thursday as claimed by Adegoruwa.
Adegoruwa in response stated that there was proof of service of said application on the Attorney-General of the Federation on Thursday.
Falana said he was not objecting to Adegoruwa’s application seeking to be joined as a party in the suit and for the suit to be consolidated with the other one filed by SERAP as a claimant.
The court after listening to the submissions of counsel ruled that the application was not ripe to be taken as it was served at the Attorney- General’s office on Thursday.
The court in addition stated that the application for interlocutory injunction will be taken first on Sept. 19 by 11am.
The judge therefore adjourned the matter until Sept.19, for hearing .
Recall that the Minister of Labour and Employment on behalf of the Federal Government had filed the matter before the court by way of referral to resolve the issue of the ongoing strike by ASUU.
Courtesy: Fresh News Channel
Ad hoc staff include supervisory presiding officers, presiding officers, assistant presiding officers, registration area technicians, and registration area centre managers.
In a letter to all resident electoral commissioners (RECs) signed by A.T. Yusuf, INEC acting secretary, the commission said the online portal for applications will open on September 14 at 8am and close on December 14 at 8pm.
“The Commission has approved the use of INECPRES and its reactivation for interested applicants who wish to serve as ad-hoc staff for the 2023 general elections,” the letter reads.
“Consequent upon the above, the Commission has directed that all interested applicants with the exception of collation/returning officers must register on the INECPRES to be eligible for selection and deployment as ad-hoc staff in the 2023 general elections.
“To achieve the required number of ad-hoc staff per states, it is important that robust engagement/sensitization by the admin. secs/HOD EOPs/EOs & AEOs under the leadership of the RECs is commenced with the authorities of Federal, State Tertiary Institutions and the NYSC offices (state/government levels).
“The INECPRES is available via 2 links located on the INEC website: www.inecnigeria.org (a link for the Mobile App and the other link is for the web portal).
“The URL of the registration web portal is https://pres.inecnigeria.org. The download link for the INECPRES Mobile App installer (android phones only) is https://inecpres.app.com/pres.
“The help desk/technical support details — Vanity number: 0700-CALL-INEC; Email address: email@example.com. Other helpdesk mobile numbers are as indicated on the portal.”
Courtesy: The Cable
Chelsea legend Didier Drogba is delighted seeing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang move to Stamford Bridge.
After completing the last-minute move from Barcelona on deadline day, Aubameyang posted a photo of him wearing the Blues’ No 9 shirt.
Drogba in response, wrote: “Finally!!!!! Remember the time we spoke about it years ago. Happy for you brother.”
Drogba and Aubameyang are close friends, with the Chelsea legend once describing the latter as his “little bro” after the Gabon striker did Drogba’s trademark celebration after scoring a goal during his time at Arsenal.
23 Grand Slam winner, American super star, Serena Williams has played her last professional Tennis match after being knocked out of the US Open by Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round of the tournament.
Tomljanovic needed six match points to deliver the knockout punch and end an engrossing three-plus-hour slugfest, winning 7-5 6-7 (7-4) 6-1.
After crashing out, Serena waved goodbye to her fans at the Arthur Ashe Stadium whilst the track ‘Simply The Best’ played over the loudspeakers as background song.