Humanity in the Workplace

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How Great Companies Take Care of their Employees

The cost of replacing employees is between $15 – 25,000. 60% of millennial’s will leave after three years either for more money or for a better work situation.

Think about it: when asked to do more with less, be accessible 24/7, and respond to emails the moment they hit our inboxes, we sacrifice our personal priorities. We’ll put healthy habits – exercising, eating healthily, getting enough sleep – on the back burner because we’re squeezed for time, overwhelmed, and stressed out. The result? A disconnected workforce that feels unappreciated, and can’t engage in the first place.

Large companies have finally woken up to the concept that creating a flexible, caring and inclusive environment is the way to keep their people working for them. They have realised that being kind, respectful, encouraging and supportive create happy employees – the key to a great business

 

Here is what makes people want to stay:

Freedom

Allowing employees to be individuals by setting overall guidelines and then allowing the employees to express their individuality from within those guidelines.

Setting Logical Expectations

The only thing worse than being criticized for doing something you were supposed to do is not knowing what is expected of you. Good companies are clear about their guidelines and take the time to explain what is expected of their employees.

Building a Great Sense of Team

People work more effectively with others than they do on their own. The key is to create a sense of value for each employee and how their efforts impact everyone else’s contribution. This includes building an environment of trust and effective communication. Relate to your employees, don’t be the big I Am.

Encouraging Unique Ideas and Input

The difference between employees who care and those that don’t is whether or not their ideas are taken seriously. Asking individuals what could be done to make something better or if they have suggestions for improving on an idea allows employees to feel their input is of value. When a proposition isn’t feasible explaining the reasons why it won’t work usually triggers a better idea. Employees who provide input care about the company and want to make ‘our company’ better.

Treating Employees Fairly

Each employee is different. Some come in late and do a stellar job while there while others come in on time but occasionally flounder. Sometimes a confidence boost is required, other times a reality check can do the trick. Recognizing that people are people and not machines are treating them so gets the best out of everyone.

Positive Feedback

Hearing that you have done a good job never gets tired. In fact it inspires employees to work harder so you can tell them again how great they did. Giving clear praise for a specific undertaking rather than a mere “nice job” goes a long way to foster great relations in the workplace.

Showing that you really care about your employees causes them to care about you and the company that they work for.

Looking Ahead: The Top Accounting and Finance Jobs for spring 2016

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If you are looking for a job in accounting or finance this year, the following positions are predicted to be in high demand:

  1. Accounting clerk: Provide support to help organizations meet financial obligations
  2. Accounts payable: Prepare and keep financial transaction up to date
  3. Bookkeeper: Maintain accounting books and financial records for companies
  4. Collections specialist: Working for a collections agency, you will provide administrative support for business operations
  5. Financial analyst: Analysis of financial data and forecasting of future results
  6. Staff accountant: Work with senior accountants to prepare for audits
  7. Tax accountant: Preparing federal and provincial tax returns for businesses and individuals
  8. Mortgage and loan professional: Work with homeowners to secure mortgages, loans, and other financial products

Regardless of where you are in your career, there are opportunities for finance professionals.

Learn more about careers in the finance and accounting industry in Toronto by reading:

Holland Group Inc won the best recruiters award for Toronto and is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm with offices in Toronto and Vancouver. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more www.hollandgroup.ca

Canada’s Best Financial Jobs of 2015

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By Liz Holland, Toronto Accounting & Finance Recruiter
Finance and accounting jobs are popular career choices. There is a wide selection of career options and titles within the finance industry and finance careers in other industries. Whether you are a new graduate, looking for a promotion, feel that it’s time to move on the next chapter in your career, or even if you are happy where you are – it’s important to keep an eye on the top jobs and opportunities in your profession.
As we look at the year that was and set our career goals and objectives for 2016, it’s important to understand where the job market is and what it has to offer finance and accounting professionals. We have put together a list of some of the top jobs in the industry:
According to the Canadian Business Top 100 Jobs list, there were a number of financial and accounting jobs that made the list. For finance professionals, this is a great place to start with a job search. The accounting and finance jobs that made the list were:

Financial Administrator
Real Estate and Financial Manager
Accounting Executive
Accounting Consultant
Financial Analyst

Many of these titles will likely continue to be popular career options in through 2016 and beyond.

Don’t Mock the Millennials

girl relaxing on a sofa

Millennials now represent the largest workforce.
Born between 1980 and 2000 this new generation has developed their workplace attitude from doting parents who raised them in a secure environment where everyone was a winner and no one was a loser and where differences in people was to be celebrated not shunned.
We may look at them as a group with an overblown sense of entitlement wanting to dress their own way, listen to their ipods while working (preferably from home). They even want flexible work schedules and longer vacation time. Unbelievable!
And yet, they are also confident and ambitious and know way more than anyone else when it comes to being tech-savvy. This is a valuable addition to any company as long as that company is able to change and expand the way they want things run.
For instance, Millennials entered into the workforce during the recession when the only way to stand out was to learn skills that out-stripped the competition.
They want career advancement and they want the opportunity to develop the professional skillsets to get there.
Millennials have a very entrepreneurial mindset. Think about it – their peers started companies such as Facebook, Apple, Tumblr – career achievement is no longer about years of loyalty climbing the corporate ladder, it’s about having skills and being able to hustle. Time is everything and nothing.
Growing up during the the war in Iraq and all the related new age disasters has caused these 20-30 somethings to feel personally responsible for making the world a better place. They want to do work that matters and to make a difference.
And one more thing: these Millennials are not tied down. Most of them do not own cars, homes or have families.

So how do you as an employer stop complaining about limited attention spans and start making it work for you?
1.  Get out of their way – they are faster than you and a lot smarter about the new and constantly evolving world of technology. Lighten up on dress codes and office etiquette. Who really cares anymore? Get the job done by people who want to do it and do it well.
2.  Introduce more transparency. Millennials grew up with the financial crash and political scandals – they do not believe that the company CEO is a wise and wonderful wizard. Let them in on what the company has done and where it is going and welcome their input on how to make it better.
3. Respect works both ways.  Millennials have a need for structure and leadership but at the same time they expect that their ideas be considered and respected.
4. Millenials are great team members. Encourage them to get involved and run with their “can-do” attitude. They will accomplish more and in a better way.

The buttoned-up, conservative business world is changing and changing fast. The future is looking very Millennial so get behind it.

Dealing With Criticism in the Workplace

Technological devices, financial document with pen, glass of wat

 

If a colleague or superior tells you that you are doing something wrong, the immediate response for most of us is to become defensive. Don’t. No one likes to be criticized, but often there is a level of merit to another person’s viewpoint (regardless of what you think about them on a personal level). So take a breath and listen to what they have to say. Look them in the eye to show that you are paying attention and allow them to finish without interruption. If the criticism is to do with your behaviour rather than your methodology (calmly) ask them for examples to better understand exactly what they are referring to. Repeat what they have said back to them so that there is no misunderstanding. This will show that you are willing to learn a better way to do the job and that you have respect for their opinion.

 

There are always bully-types in the work environment but there are also a lot of people who have your best interests at heart and genuinely want to see you succeed. Remember that what you may initially perceive as a verbal assault may be a caring suggestion from someone who is finding it difficult to bring up the subject in the first place. Ask them how the situation could be improved and then listen to what the person says.   Once the feedback has come to its conclusion do not say “OK” and walk away – that just makes you look like you couldn’t care less. Thank them for their suggestion/opinion – and mean it.

 

Over the next day or two, instead of complaining to your coworkers or family about the incident, ask them if they have noticed similar behaviour. If through reflecting about the incident you recognize that there was merit in the criticism go back to the person and let them know that you understand what they were saying and that you are working on improvement. This shows you as someone who wants to do their best and is appreciative of constructive comment – who knows, you just may find you have a mentor on your side!

Why Resumes Are Rejected

 

Your resume must convey a first impression of who your are, what you have done and how you benefitted the company in which you were employed. If your resume does not attract the attention of the reader in the first 20-30 seconds the chances of an interview are greatly reduced. What an employer wants to know is why they should invite you to an interview.The following are common mistakes made in resumes that will guarantee you do NOT get an interview:

• Typographical errors, mis-spellings and poor grammar make you appear lazy and careless.

• Too much information. While a potential employer needs to understand the fullness of your experience in the workplace, a lengthy life history becomes tedious. Remember, an employer will have dozens of resumes to go through and probably only a couple of hours in which to make a selection.

• Badly organized information. If people cannot find the information they need to know quickly and easily, they will move on. How your resume looks says a lot about you and if it is uneven with some headings bold and others capitalized, etc., it will tell a prospective employer that you have little attention to detail.

• Not results oriented. Your resume is your initial sales tool. Job descriptions without the achievements made will relegate you to the elimination pile. If your resume does not convey to the employer the benefits of hiring you, it has failed.

How Your Body Language Can Affect Your Interview

Consciously or unconsciously your body expresses your inner thoughts and attitudes. Being in control of what your actions convey may save your interview and further impress the person interviewing you.

• A firm handshake will give a good impression – but not too firm which can appear aggressive and arrogant.

• Arms folded across the chest translates as defensive.

• Leaning forward shows that you are interested in what the person is saying.

• Head tilted to the side shows interest as does nodding the head. Holding the head straight up signals a neutral attitude to what is being said while the head down reads as negative and judgmental.

• Bringing a hand to the back of the neck shows that you are trying to pull out of the conversation.

• Legs crossed can make you look lopsided and therefore lacking in confidence or feeling defensive. Sit straight facing the interviewer directly.

• Picking imaginary fluff from clothing signals that you don’t agree with what is being said.

• Thumb twiddling, finger drumming and other means of fidgeting show that you would rather be elsewhere and are not paying attention.

Body language works both ways. If you observe the person interviewing you display any of these tendencies showing that they are bored or are in disagreement with you, use this knowledge to turn the interview around in your favour.