Friday, February 7, 2020

How social media can make you unproductive?

social media policies

The social media channels provides the most common ways of communication, easy to share knowledge, news and what's happening around the world. However, it changes and affects each person in a different way, or ways. Social media can be very distracting, with the majority of people openly admitting that they do check it at some point during their working day. This is based on the statistics that show that the average person spends over 2 hours on these platforms daily. 

Productivity and social media


Keeping in touch with family and friends is not the only thing that people use social media for, and it has its benefits when it comes to keeping everyone informed about current events and the social media activities of a business. However, since many people abuse it, many companies have responded with firewalls to monitor how their employees use the internet at work.
Studies have shown that social media use can be addictive. Because some people cannot control their addiction, they end up spending more time using it, than working. 

How social media abuse in the workplace affects companies


If employees keep taking time off their work to check on their feeds, it creates a problem for customer service and affects the business reputation. The time wasted on social media could be used to complete tasks, and often employees feel anxious and disconnected if they find that at the end of the day, they have not completed their daily schedule. This could mean that they have to stay later to complete their work, or take it home. 

Admitting to the problem and solving it


If an employee controls their social media time to when they have their usual breaks, then there is no problem. However, if it is starting to affect their work, then like all addictions, they need to admit to the problem.
Companies that require social media engagement should ensure that they have a person or department in charge of it, by having social media policies and guidelines. Many companies opt for the unpopular blocking of social media platforms to ensure that there are no distractions. Special employee phones are also used at some companies to discourage them from looking at their personal devices, but this can be expensive for smaller businesses.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

skills ontology - a data science to enable work force management

Skills Ontology-

Internet-enabled Job seekers and Job providers to interact and share their goals. However, these large amounts of job descriptions and biodata / CVs have become an enormous clutter in the communication process. A large number of disseminated data are often poorly exploited because of CVs with unstructured data. Often, management tools are purely syntactic and remain limited in front of the large mass of documents to be processed and the need for more interpretation the semantics of their content. Skills Data Science / Skills Ontology based process can solve this challenge

Skills Ontologies are schemas of data which, when instantiated in a field of knowledge, support the production of a competency profile for a profession or task, or an educational program. Their area of application is, therefore, considerable. Each skills profile is used to assess the current skills of an actor involved in the knowledge management of an organization or a digital learning environment. The same skill profile can then be associated with activities or tasks, as well as resources used in a work or learning scenario. Once this is done an algorithm for comparing the current skills and the pre-requisite can be mapped. 

Skills Ontology-based HR learning process enables the single most key goal in training - personalization of training recommendations. The result is by taking the right training programs to the right audience. This will enable profiling of skills of jobs and people in a precise manner. Skills profiles created indicates the skills and proficiency rating. 

So there will be two types of data sets available. It is employee skills profiling, and the other job skill profiling. One can identify the skills gaps of the individual to a current job. Alternately, one aspires for a job or that the organization plans for the individual. Considering the above, improving proficiencies in skills one already has and two, developing new skills that may not have, one can create a development plan for up-skillingre-skilling and cross-skilling.  Training companies prepare programs based on the skills ontology to make the matching of the training programs to the individuals' skills profile more personalized and precise. Our society and organisations can adopt this data science in human resource development, skills development and training applications.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Which skill sets should I acquire?


The specific skill sets that make people highly employable today may change from one profession to the other, but there are some skills that are essential to making you employable and effective.
These skill sets are hard for employers to teach and include critical thinking, soft skills and competency in some areas and they seek them when recruiting people. 

IT skills

Proof of this skill is vital in most jobs today. 

Communication skills and confidence

Communication is one of the most important skill sets and includes listening, speaking and writing. Confidence doesn’t equal arrogance but going about your work in a positive way. 

Awareness of business and analytical skills

An understanding of how a company or industry works and how it competes in the market place is an essential skill. Working with information and seeing trends and patterns is also invaluable. 

Teamwork abilities

Teamwork is not only about working with others, but also about being responsible. You also need to be able to manage and delegate others to achieve the required task on time. 

Negotiation and problem-solving skills

Negotiating with others in order to achieve the desired result is an important skill for most positions within organizations. A logical and analytical approach to problem-solving and resolving issues from different angles is crucial too. 

Leadership and organizational qualities

Leadership is about being able to motivate people to be more productive and you should always be a good example. It also includes the delegation and assignment of tasks and setting deadlines. Prioritizing and finishing tasks efficiently shows essential organizational skills. 

Keeping up under pressure

The ability to keep calm and not stress when work builds up is crucial. Perseverance and motivation are skills that allow you to plod on with the task at hand, even when things get tough.
Make sure that your skills are clearly shown on your CV and be confident when you present yourself to the company.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Burnout at work can affect health


Burnout is a common problem that can be triggered by a number of things. For some, it could be related to having worked too hard on projects, leaving them depleted and unable to tackle another one, while for others it could be related to personal issues. Some times there will a staff burnout! Team will be no more productive. What options do people have if they need to take time out? 

Definition of burnout


Overwork and stress can cause burnout which can lead to physical or mental collapse. The initial symptoms are trouble sleeping, appetite loss and an inability to focus. The World Health Organization recognized burnout as an “occupational phenomenon” as of May 2019. 

Effects on health


Burn out can have both physical and psychological symptoms. Some of the physical symptoms are related to a lowered immune system where the body is more prone to infections, colds, and flu. People often also complain of chest pains, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
Psychological symptoms include irritability, anger, pessimism and a sense of detachment from others. People also tend to lose enjoyment in things that they previously enjoyed. 

Best ways to prevent burnout


Firstly, short breaks during the day are essential. This could be a lunch break or a short walk or a jog. Most people are more able to tackle their toughest challenges in the morning, and for them it’s best to undertake their most demanding tasks then.
Secondly, constant interruptions can cause severe stress. The experts all agree that putting devices somewhere where calls, messages, and social media posts can’t be seen is the wisest decision.
Thirdly, Long weekends and short breaks are very effective in reducing stress. However, these breaks require that you switch off from work completely.
Lastly, when not at work don’t just laze on the couch. Take up an interesting activity that will require you to tax your mind or body. With this you can avoid staff burnout. Challenging activities increase energy.

Monday, February 3, 2020

How to tap your inner strength?

inner strength

The workplace can be a place of constant challenges. Challenges need not become obstacles if you are able to deal with them. You can cultivate your inner strength to help you make the most of the good times while meeting those challenges head-on. 

Workout your mind with some of these exercises that will help you build a strong inner core. 

Be comfortable with who you are 


Know your personality and understand who you are. This is the best way to get rid of insecurities and to feel comfortable with yourself. That way you will be a happier person ready to take on challenges and never worried about what can damage you. 

Learn to take time off to focus


The workplace is always full of disruptions and distractions. Once in a while you need to set time aside to unwind in absolute silence. Take this quiet time to connect with your thoughts and focus on your goals. 

Tasks must be delegated in your mind


Daily we are all faced with tasks that can be separated into repetitive and thinking tasks. Create a routine where you set aside time for getting repetitive tasks out of the way. It is amazing how great you feel once they are completed, giving you time for the more important thinking tasks. 

Fill your life with positive people


Have a circle of friends who don’t drain your energy but who fill you with positive energy.

A strong mind requires a strong body


Make sure that you eat well and exercise so that your body’s strength matches that of your mind. Dressing well is also important. 

Get your personal life in order


It is essential that your home and personal life are in order so that you have a relaxing time when not at work.

Connect with what gives you spiritual strength


Spiritual strength can come from many sources, religion included. Whether its prayer, meditation or a deep focus on thoughts, make the time to connect with it.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Reinvent yourself at work

Master new skills

If you started work a few years back and are still stuck in the same position at the office and feeling uninspired, then perhaps it’s time to reinvent yourself. You know that you have more potential and that you can offer so much more, so now is the time to change. 

Find out how others view you


This is the best place to begin. You may have strengths that you are not even aware of. Ask your co-workers what they deem your hidden strengths are, and you will most likely be pleasantly surprised.
Now, work on these and polish them up! 

Master new skills


You cannot improve and reinvent yourself if you don’t learn at least one new skill. Seek new skills that will be useful to the company where you work and take a course or classes. Once you have mastered them, let your co-workers know and look to include the skills into your position or volunteer for projects or a job that requires them. 

Connect with other professionals


Your friends may not always be an inspiration when you are trying to find new skills to master, but connecting with other professionals or a mentor sure will. Look to people that you admire and see what skills they have that interest you. These people can be from the same industry as yours or, even better, from another industry. 

Power dress

One of the best dynamics in any job is to power dress for the position. These changes need not be drastic or expensive, but enough to give you the confidence that will make an impression on those around you. 

Beat the competition


Competition is healthy in the workplace, so, look for that one person that is your biggest competitor and aim to beat them, proving that you are better.
Reinvention cannot be completed in a week. Keep at it and persevere until you start getting noticed.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Will you job slip through your hands or will scale new heights?

Will your job be secure for the next decade?

Considering the technological changes that have taken place over the previous decade, you may be wondering how secure your job will be over the next decade. Automation and chatbots are already taking on more of the mundane tasks that were previously done by office employees and many traditionally labour-intensive jobs are also undertaken by machines. Where does that leave you? Will your job be secure for the next decade?

New technology upskilling


New technologies embrace a whole range of industries and require a whole new set of skills. Software developers and cybersecurity are two areas where there is currently a short supply of skills. Renewable energies are another area where there is a lack of technicians that can install solar panels and wind turbines.
Chatbots are taking over many tasks in the office, especially those of clerks and customer assistants. However, digital assistants will be very much in demand and staff will definitely be needed in distribution and transportation according to many economists. 

Most will require specialist knowledge


What is considered as emerging technologies now will probably be mainstream jobs a decade from now. Autonomous vehicles, blockchain, cryptocurrency and robotics will be normal jobs and design is going to boom as more internet connected devices are needed.
Data collection and analysis will remain important and doctors and lawyers will need to have far more tech knowledge in the future. 

The importance of higher education


Even though some new jobs don’t require a university education, lifelong training and upskilling will be important for many health and machinery technicians, construction managers, and machine operators.
As Artificial Intelligence and automation continue to grow and change things, the workforce will have to be adaptable and prepared to continue gaining new skill sets into the future. This will ensure that they feel less threatened of losing their jobs and to be able to see any new opportunities as they arise.  

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Increasing productivity using New Age skills

New Age skills

New Age skills and technology allow us to complete task in less time than ever before and to be more productive. Here’s how today’s technologies can help: 

Collaboration tools


Whether everyone works from the same building or not, collaboration is essential to productivity. Document sharing through Google or other cloud-based solutions offers a safe way to remotely share documents and sensitive data. Consistency in all aspects of the business allow for better customer relations, increased productivity and profitability.

Working offsite but remaining connected


As communications technologies improve the way we all can keep in touch, so physical business spaces are getting smaller and more people can work remotely. These technologies also allow employees to have remote mobile access to conference calls, data and instant messaging.

Organization is key


Data systems which used to only be available on spreadsheets on desktops, are fast giving way to cloud-based data systems that can be accessed, changed, and updated by everyone in the office, as needed and in real-time. This is crucial to ensuring that accurate information is available to everyone, from any device, anywhere. No more lost information or forgotten information.

Stay connected


Mobile devices and their support solutions ensure that everyone is connected. No more missed calls and missed business opportunities. Smartphones can offer everything from voicemail, Emails, caller ID, and find-me-follow-me technology so that there is a consistent level of professionalism and service throughout the business.

Stay up to date and outsource task to experts


Upgrades of software and hardware are essential and these need to be assessed by an expert regularly to ensure that the company is up-to-date. Virtualization of an older system on an external server can help companies to move into the future at a cost saving, and without fear of losing any information.
When changes are decided on, its best to get expert advice so that they can be implemented correctly, costing less in the long-run.

How to earn new skill sets while studying or working?

new skill sets

In order to succeed today, you need to continue learning new skill or emerging skills sets even as you study or work. You might ask, where to find the spare time? And the answer, it is essential that you make the time. 

The benefits of earning new skill sets


Doing your current job correctly is one of the best benefits, but then again you could also receive a raise for being more efficient or find an even better job. If you are studying while earning new skill sets, it will make you more employable once fished. 

What skill sets should you focus on? 


Finding out which skill sets to focus on will need a bit of research. Emerging skills can be found by looking at what qualifications are been sought in job postings. You can also reach out to people that work in a field that you are interested in and find out from them which are currently the most important skills in their field. 

Look for courses, whether online or at centres that, will have practical value. Often course only offer academic value without giving you any practical experience. Secondly, look for instructors who are known as experts in their field or for courses that are created in conjunction with leading companies. 

Finding the time


Online learning is a great option for someone who is studying or working because you can work through the course when its most convenient for you. If you find that you don’t like this solitary approach, then look for courses that need more interaction and collaboration. Doing the course together with someone is also a good way to have interaction. 

Final say

Once you have learnt something new it is best to start using your new skills immediately and then start looking ahead to learning the next skill.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Reducing stress at work

 stress at work

Stress at work is detrimental to your health and can deplete you of energy, concentration and confidence. The symptoms can be both psychological, physical, or both and can range from sleep disorder to anxiety and headaches to high blood pressure. 

The causes of stress at work


A huge work load, uncertainty, and interruptions are some of the main causes of work-related stress. Typically, people stress over things that they cannot control.
The good news is that there are some things that you can do to reduce stress at work.

Take action against stress


·       Deep breathing is one of the best ways to relieve and stress after a difficult situation or meeting at work.
·       Reduce interruptions by turning off your phone and ensuring that you have certain times in place for meetings or responding to emails.
·       The more you push, the less work you are likely to do. Ensure that you have some brief breaks during the day so that you can reboot your energy levels. Use these to walk, stretch, and clear your mind.
·       Ensure that you eat correctly and concentrate on high-protein and low-sugar foods which can help lower stress.
·       Ensure that you get sufficient sleep every night, it is essential for reduced stress levels.
·       Don’t take situations at work personally. The more objective you remain, the better you will be able to cope with them and to find solutions.
·       Don’t allow heated situations to fluster you, practice your breathing techniques and before you know it, you will have cooled down.
·       Priorities need to be reviewed regularly and can be changed if certain things have changed. This will take the pressure off if you know what is really important and what not.
·       Be a good influence to others and encourage them to resolve issues at work by requesting, in a nice way, that they change their behaviour.
·       Steer clear from negative thoughts and encourage only positive ideas. You will reduce stress and be an inspiration to everyone around you.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

How to use social media productively?

social media for employees


Even though social media is addictive, and so engaging that it can take up a lot of your time, it can be used productively too.  Clever use of social media technologies can ensure that you avoid mindless scrolling and that you can take charge to get the most out of your accounts. 

You can’t be on every form of social media


Choose the social media accounts that best suits your work, lifestyle and fulfils your social, business, entertainment and information needs. 

Stay away from distractions


Frequent interruptions from work allow more room for error. If you cannot resist looking at your phone every time a notification comes in, rather silence your phone and use tools to limit the amount of time you spend on it.

Scale back and watch your free time increase


The best way to scale back is to schedule the times that you will allow yourself access during the day. This allows you to catch up with your feed, engage with your audience, and catch up with any work. Ensure that you adhere to the time that you have set. For example, an hour in the morning and evening. 

Plan ahead and always be a winner


A social media strategy can be planned ahead, especially if it’s an important part of your work. Scheduling posts ahead with social media marketing tools ensures that you spend less time on social media but have better results. 

·       30 minutes a day can be allocated for planning and finding content.
·       Creating content needs no more than 30 minutes a day.
·       Measuring the success of social media efforts needs approximately an hour a week.
·       Responding and engaging should not take more than an hour a day.
Save time and stay focused on productivity by cleverly using social media to your advantage.