We All Have 3 Basic Career Paths to Choose. How Do We Decide?

Navigating career paths seems like an overwhelming task nowadays, no matter what professional niche you’re in. There is so much information, opportunities that seem endless but contradictory, a wealth of advice and career coaching that goes in widely different directions, and so on. [Read more…]

5 Reasons Why You Should Opt for Flexible Work Hours

In this ever changing working world, being present in a physical work location seems to matter less and less. Last year’s statistics showed that a powerful global trend of switching from the traditional working hours to flexible working opportunities with Generation Y employees openly asking for flexi time rather than for higher pay. Earlier this year, an article on Blogging4Jobs emphasized the fact that even company managers perfered this shift in work hours. Companies created more and more remote teams, offered more flexible work hours, and choose technology to virtually lead their companies. Additionally, technology was used to keep in touch with everybody and measure results. The focus of employers has shifted from higher pay and promotions towards keeping employees happy, engaged, and support so that they may deliver the best results.

This is why recent data show that almost 15 millions of Americans have chosen flexible working hours over traditional working schedules. When they deliver the results is crucial but where they deliver them from doesn’t matter anymore. So if you are being seduced by the perspective of working from home as part of a new remote team, but you’re still bound to your traditional ways of going to the office no matter what, here are five reasons why you should opt for flexible working hours.

1. Flexible Work Hours Offer a Better Balance Between Professional and Personal Life

This is the big drama everybody complains about: in truth, work hours aren’t limited from 9 to 5. People have complained about work cutting in to their personal lives for years as they are almost suffocated by their jobs. Many people who chose flexible work hours do so they may gain more time for themselves and for their families.

2. Flexible Work Hours Relieve Workplace Stress

It’s good to go to work every day. Sometimes it can be also be fun. But, choosing flexible working hours means not having to endure annoying coworkers face to face anymore. You won’t have your boss coming up from behind you three times a day. The shenanigans of daily morning/evening nerve breaking traffic, interminable face-to-face meetings and those dead moments in a day when there is little or no work to be done aren’t there either. Working in remote teams that stay connected through technology means efficiency and time management are of essence. While you can be a rock-star programmer working from home, nobody will have a clue that you deliver incredible results wearing only pajamas.

3. Flexible Work Hours Will Give You Your Own Rhythm

Some people hate the drudgery of having to wake up and work in the morning. Others fail at almost everything they do when having to work after the lunch hours. This kind of flexibility will allow you to find your own working rhythm. If you are a morning person, finishing your daily tasks at lunch allows you to go to the gym, take the kids from school or even cook dinner for the whole family. If you’re more productive at night, you won’t have a manager scolding you for being late again in the morning.

4. Flexible Work Hours Allow You To Engage in Your Favorite Activities Once More

Flexible work hours basically buy you time for everything you want to do. Be it arts and crafts hobbies, sports, writing, watching movies or playing with the dog in the back yard; as long as you deliver your results in due time with due proficiency, nobody will question your choice of going to those dancing lessons three times a week starting at four o’clock in the afternoon. And because you set your own time limits, you can also go to those medical check-ups you have postponed for far too long.

5. You may get an extra freelance job

You can do everything you want on the side, provided you’re committed to your company and you give 110% to your job. But in those extra free hours you can start getting involved in personal side projects which can monetize at some point. Or, you could even learn new things.

There are even more good reasons for choosing flexible working hours. Before that, be sure you are aware of all the drawbacks this choice entails. Test yourself to see if you’re up to it.

3 Mistakes Made by The HR Manager You Should Try to Put a Stop To

Sometimes it seems that the HR world and the employee world are completely different and opposing sides, even if they meed daily in the company’s offices. There are tons of literature addressing HR specialists and a double amount of data addressing the employees, and yet it seems that this information doesn’t correlate and doesn’t make things better. A recent article published by HR News Daily speaks about 7 capital sins any good HR manager should avoid making and today we will take a look at these mistakes made by the HR manager and try interpreting them from the employee’s point of view, as if the said manager unknowingly keeps doing those mistakes, it’s your task to put a stop to them, for your own benefit.

1. The HR manager makes performance evaluations only once a year

And what’s it to you, you may ask, as nobody likes these evaluations anyway, nobody wants them and everybody fears them. Your benefit from multiple and repeated evaluations throughout a year comes from the fact that if you are a talented employee, your results contributed to the company’s overall performance and you had some good ideas to push the company forward, the HR manager should know about these achievements and evaluate talent, skills, development and engagement. And these evaluations are not only good for you, but for the company as well. Don’t be afraid to ask for more than just an evaluation a year (unless you’re the sloppy one in the bunch running away every time annual performance assessment comes to town).

2. The HR manager plays the role of the monster under the bed and the unforgiving deity all at once

Good HR strategies involve communication, transparent exchange of facts, openness, reliable feed-back and so on. Bad, sinful HR strategies can be narrowed down to the HR manager coming over the employees like a hawk, delivering a monologue about everything that is going bad and should be improved, placing some threats, bashing people around and instilling fear in the hearts of the innocents. That’s why nobody likes the HR people. If this is the case in your company, you should take a stand and openly talk about all these problems. The HR manager is there to nurture talent, support the people in doing things better, to communicate with the employees, listen to them and find solutions to all the issues. Playing the power card is one of the biggest mistakes made by the HR manager and you should try to put a stop to, not by complaining around, but by constructively making points backed up by facts, figures and other companies’ examples.

3. The HR manager takes rumors and gossip into account when evaluating

Now this one is one of the worst mistakes made by the HR manager and you should proactively try to draw their attention over this harmful attitude and behavior. The HR manager’s role is to support the human resources, to back them up, find improvement means for their performance and work to build and maintain the employees’ engagement towards the company. Hearing that John from Accountants is lazy and does a poor job should be not enough to take actions against John. Rumors and gossip are quite hard to eradicate from a company, so everybody hears everything about the others, with the usual “I work more and better than the rest of you” routine. So it can happen to you what it happened to John and this is inadmissible. Try to talk the HR manager into studying the facts, the numbers, the statistics and the concrete information on somebody’s performance, not only to sum – up the co – workers complains, gossip and corner whispers in the cafeteria. If you want to stay in that company and do a good job, this HR sin should be constructively pointed out and eliminated.

Easier to be said than done, isn’t it? Shouldn’t it be better to let the HR manager read all the specialist advice out there while you stay out of this business? Perhaps, but HR managers are also humans, just like you, and just as they can give you feedback, point out your mistakes and share their opinions on your performance, so can you.

Taking Career Advice is Good, But How Good Is The Advice?

As a young professional who is at the beginning of a career path, taking career advice is recommended and even strategically wise, as today’s economical and financial landscape is unpredictable enough to mandate people to be prepared for the unexpected. From the tons of advice available on how to write an outstanding resume, to the impressive volume of literature treating topics like preparing for interviews, best industries and companies to work for, emerging markets and recruiting trends and so on. But an interesting question that is on everybody’s lips these days is how good are these advice and how well do they suit your own personal career path and vision? An article on Brazen Careerist, written by Gerald Buck sets an interesting and valid premise: how do you make the difference between good career advice and bad career advice, in the context of your own personal life and choices? Starting from the obvious truth that not all “advice and guidelines” match 100% an individual’s goals, needs and expectations, they should be interpreted as general guidelines and be viewed less in terms of “laws” or “fail-safe steps” that guarantee career success.

The article’s author emphasizes on some key – points anybody should be aware of, no matter they are looking for their first job, their fourth, or trying to get a promotion. Who are people taking career advice from is extensively debated and what are the mandatory grains of salt to add to any “expert advice” need to be thoroughly analyzed. But beyond this match between general advice and a person’s individual situation, there are a few other points to be made by anyone taking career advice from online sources or other people.

Taking career advice from your parents is good, but not always useful

Your parents simply lived in different times, with different rules and a completely different economical landscape. They may be insisting on you choosing an “established” job (following basic principles such as “everybody needs engineers”) or, on the contrary, doing exactly what you love and are good at, even if that particular job or industry isn’t the most profitable one. Listening to our parents is always a good advice, but making career choices needs a bit of deeper research.

You have to find a job in the field you studied for

This is ideal, of course, but reality shows that changing career paths and doing something else than is written on your graduation diploma might be a better idea. Being afraid to try something new is not the road to success and can lead you to dead – ends. Listening to career advice from experts, just as the previously mentioned article’s author say has to follow some common sense rules, the most important, in our opinion being the one related to the information being current and updated to your present situation. There may be emerging markets you never heard about where competition is still on low levels. Research, talk to people able to give you the right answers and ignore all the advice that pushes you to high levels of conformism in a world that resembles nothing with conformity.

Before deciding upon a career path, listen to yourself before listening to others

Your friends might tell you that the IT industry is on the rising and there is the future of any beginning professional. Your news feed will let you know about the hottest workplaces in successful and profitable corporations, while society will insist you become a responsible citizen paying bank rates and health insurance. Taking career advice that sounds legit financially on the long term is also recommended, provided you listen to your inner voice that says that you can’t buy a car without test – driving it or can’t buy into a house without a previous pest control. So before plunging into something that sounds good on paper, get involved in activities that will shape your vision upon reality and test your abilities to make it in one field or another. There are entry – level jobs, internships, volunteering actions, freelancing projects you can get involved in. Maybe the IT industry is profitable, but maybe it’s not for you. Test drive your career path and don’t be afraid to stir in the opposite direction if you realize the path isn’t leading you to the right direction.

It is easy taking career advice blinded by external pressure, allegedly expert recommendations and general statistics that speak to large numbers of people but not to yourself personally. Take a step back and before suiting up to rock that interview you managed to be called at, look at all the cards in your deck.

Entrepreneurial Mistakes that Can Cost You the Business

Being an entrepreneur in today’s challenging economy (to say the least) is no easy feat, especially for the ones who want to start fresh and don’t know much about what they are getting themselves into. Without intending to demoralize anyone, we have to mention that many new ventures faced failure because a whole range of reasons which have a lot to do with the ever – changing and unpredictable landscape of our national (and even global) economy and, no matter how harsh this sounds, with the entrepreneur’s inability to see the big picture and build a back-up plan to overcome all possible obstacles. Specialists fill in countless numbers of online and written pages with countless of advice focused on new entrepreneurs, highlighting the fact that a good idea doesn’t always translate into a good, profitable business. So today we will see some entrepreneurial mistakes that can cost you the business, even if you’re planning to open a restaurant in your neighborhood or build an online store with hand – made products, the principles are the same.

You don’t assess well the business plan

Many new entrepreneurs have a good idea, sometimes original, many times put in practice already and viable (in the case of others) and start building a business plan around that idea. Opening a cafe or a restaurant in an area where there are few or none looks like a brilliant idea, one that cannot miss. But a business plan, as you already know, means assessing all variables, obvious and hidden, making extensive and complex calculations, financial projections, risk – assessment, positive and negative projections and so on. Doing a business plan on a model is one thing, testing your business model is another one. You can hire a specialist to analyze your business plan or evaluate it with SCORE or other tools available for small enterprises to see where you might get wrong and where your projections don’t match the reality.

You don’t save enough money for back – up

This is a common mistake many people do: they invest everything they have in a business or worse, they get themselves into serious debts that have to be paid at some point, while the business is still growing and not making a profit. Before starting anything, make sure that you have financial reserves to sustain the business at least for two years, until it becomes profitable. Many entrepreneurs fail because they invest and invest and get stuck because the lack of money to roll. Perhaps the business model you rely on shows you are going to make a profit in the next three months, but being prepared for the unpredictable is just good strategy. Entrepreneurial mistakes that can cost you time, money and even your health consist in not having a back – up plan even when everything looks perfect on paper.

You are not committed to your business 110%

If you believe that a start-up or a growing enterprise is something you can get yourself involved into a few hours a day, you start on a wrong path. Having your own business sounds great in movies, where the main character has a full time job and manages to become a millionaire working from time to time for his own venture. Reality is that you will have to dedicate your business your entire time and efforts, and then some. Successful ventures need dedication, no matter if you have to spend all your days and nights in your restaurant or every given weekend for creating hand – made jewelry. If your personal life style doesn’t comply with the true requirements of managing your own business, the people you hired, the money you’re rolling and the time needed to strengthen your position on the market of choice, maybe you need to re-evaluate your future as a successful entrepreneur.

Before jumping at the opportunity of making money fast and easy, look around you, identify the successful businesses that seem to be solid and profitable and ask advice from people who are already playing this game with ease. Of course, one business model doesn’t resemble another and copying exactly a plan might be a very wrong idea, but asking for advice and learning from others’ mistakes is a good start to avoid the most common entrepreneurial mistakes that make the difference between a successful venture and a money pit.

Career Oriented Women, Are You Still Working in a Prejudice – Oriented World?

career oriented women

In today’s world, according to recent data and statistics, for women to still believe that they live and work in a men-driven world, where men are paid better and favored in the job marketplace is not only a mistake, but a self – imposed obstacle in their path to success. It may come as a surprise, but besides some happy stories of women who turned into successful entrepreneurs, all other ladies out there aiming to become career oriented women have to fight only their own prejudice, as the world have changed dramatically and now it’s the time to buckle up and start ruling the world. Starting with negotiating a raise or a better position.

What do the numbers say?

A new Pew Research Center survey and analysis of Census data released at the end of last year shows at least ten mind – blowing trends regarding women’s true place in an ever-changing and cruel working world. We will focus on three of them, as they seem to be the key – features of a lesson all career oriented women need to learn for their self empowerment.

1. Making it to the top is still a reason of concern for women

Young women today are more likely than young men to say women are paid less for doing the same job and men have easier access to top executive jobs.

However, research shows that all women, no matter their age, want a secure job. However, data shows that women are less inclined to ask for raises or to work their way to the top and position themselves to management and executive levels. Indeed, there are signals that being a parent is a decisive factor for women to choose between their personal and professional life, but also the same statistics and success stories also show that women can reach top working positions even as busy mothers.

2. Career oriented women are getting paid better than men

A few years ago, everywhere you looked, you would hear somebody talking about gender gaps in the working marketplace, gender inequity in the U.S., women’s low chances to get paid better or become company managers and execs. This research has shown that

While a significant share of Americans (45%) still think society favors men over women, attitudes have changed considerably in this regard over the past 20 years. When Gallup asked a similar question in 1993, 62% of the public said society favored men over women.

Not a long time ago, Forbes Magazine published an extensive article giving women advice on how not to feel like true impostors, as they are so shattered by the prejudice they are women, and nothing more, that they endanger their own career path and place themselves, willingly, on an inferior position, no matter the company or the business they activate in. So while society might still even believe women are less favored when it comes to their career, other specialists warn women that sometimes they can be their own worst enemies.

3. Bringing the bread to the table – career oriented women’s privilege

We can talk from here on end about success female entrepreneurs who got a lucky break, a brilliant idea, a side – hobby they turned into a profitable business, a network that helped them grow and so on and so forth. But since this world is not solely comprised of the female versions of Bill Gates, Richard Branson or whatever other business man behemoth, there are also women working for no matter what industries, companies or businesses who are bringing the bread to the table, as recently, women make more money than men. The research showed that

Young working women today are also making more money relative to men their age than their mothers and grandmothers did. This is due not only to the rising earnings of women, but also to the falling earnings of men. In 2012, young women earned 93% of the average hourly wage of men the same age.

Is there a future for career oriented women, both satisfying and prejudice – free?

Are these trends going to be maintained in the future? There is a great likelihood that they will. Career oriented women need to step up and claim what is theirs, without falling into the trap of what their mothers or grandmothers had to deal with. Changes in attitudes, behaviors and self – perception are the engines of change. Will the business men feel threatened by the women’s success? If they learned something in the past 50 years, they probably shouldn’t…

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Looking for a Job

mistakes to avoid when looking for a job

With the tons and interminable tomes of literature, research and statistics able to be found everywhere with a click of a button in the field of recruiting, job hunting consultancy and human resources management, one would consider that at some point, there is no need anymore for such a fuss. People should have learned by now all the tips, tricks, do’s, don’t’s and how – to’s of finding a job. However, managers and HR specialists are still complaining about the candidates’ poor performances when applying for jobs, while many people are still frantically sending resumes and cover letters to whomever might be interesting. HR consultants seem to be busier than ever and this is why, yet another article on mistakes to avoid when looking for a job seems necessary still. In a world driven more and more by the concepts of online recruitment, talent hunt, employee engagement, results vs. experience, let’s see 3 mistakes to avoid when looking for a job from an updated perspective.

1. People don’t curate their online profiles

A few years back, everybody was talking about grammar proofing your CV, and while still many job searchers still send unedited resumes, full of grammar and spelling mistakes, in today’s world there is a higher focus on proofing your online presence. The woman who got fired because of a very unfortunate Tweet came with a bang and the sudden realization that it is true, companies and head – hunters actually take some time to check up on your online profile. Not to mention that with the new trends of People Aggregating software, any recruiter can access a comprised and relevant version of who you are and what you did in the last years, according to your online activity. So posting nude selfies is out of the question, together with thoroughly thinking before typing a belligerent, discriminative or angry status. Among the biggest job searching mistakes identified by Lisa Arnold (director of recruiting at Versique in Minneapolis), ignoring your online presence is unforgivable in today’s world.

Sharing information through your social networks about issues in your field can show hiring managers that you are plugged-in and keeping up with changes in your industry. “It will display your brand,” Arnold says.

2. Turning the CV into a travel diary is one of the biggest mistakes to avoid when looking for a job

Long gone are the days when recruiters or HR managers and even CEO’s were impressed by a resume unfolding like a roll of toilet paper, listing all previous past jobs and experiences, relevant or not for the job. We work in an era that starts shifting its focus not on past and humongous working experiences, but on results, skills, talents. You can be the lousiest employee on the planet and showcase numerous past jobs, while one can have numerous talents and yet, a very short travel log from one company to another. If you actually play the CV card, spare the recruiter from the ordeal of traveling through your past and emphasize on problems you solved and results you achieved, skills you master, potential areas in which you can grow and so on.

3. You settle for less than you deserve

Asking your future employer about the salary in the first interviewing session is one of those mistakes to avoid when looking for a job that has been so overly – repeated along the years, you would have to have lived under a rock until today to still be making it. However, new and beginner employees are so desperate to get a job that they would settle for less, and this is not only about money, but everything else that comprises a good job. You should stay informed on what similar positions pay for the specific set of skills you’re getting hired for, what are the advancement options in that respective field, what side opportunities the job offers and what is the general development trend related to that job or position. Lisa Arnold talks about knowing your market value and striving for more.

Among other mistakes to avoid when looking for a job, there are, of course, the candidates’ lack of interest in knowing the company they are applying to, adjusting your CV to the company’s requirements and, obviously, giving a poor performance during the interview.

5 Tips on Acing the Personality Recruitment Test

personality-recruitment-test

Personality tests and quizzes used to be fun when you took them in a magazine or online, to kill some time. However, nowadays more and more companies are using them in the recruitment process and many such tests comprise over 200 questions. They’re not light-weight either: their questions are targeted so as to get right to the core of your values, beliefs, and personality traits. According to recruitment managers, they are great predictors for whether or not a new hire will fit in at their new job. The personality recruitment test certainly does not allow for any cheating, say psychology experts, but there are a few tricks you can employ, if you’re vying for success.

#1 Be absolutely honest

The biggest mistake candidates make, when confronted with the personality recruitment test is trying to ‘game’ it. If you’re sitting there, looking at the questions, and wondering what this prospective employer might want to hear from you – you’re doing it all wrong. Of course, you can try your hand at such guesswork, but the point of these tests is to see what kind of position your personality traits recommend you for. The recruiters have a specific profile in mind for a sales manager, and another one altogether for an IT expert. Why ruin your chances at fitting their expectations to a tee by making up a personality you don’t actually have?

#2 Ask all the questions you want

Remember that it’s your right to ask (and be told) what the company’s going to do with your answers to the personality recruitment test. Is the test just a tool they’re using for hiring purposes? Are its results going to stay on a future employee’s permanent file? Either way, you have the right to know and to decide whether or not you’re comfortable with the way in which your results are used.

#3 Relaxing is the true personality recruitment test

One of the biggest challenges, when taking such a test, is to simply relax and be yourself. Sure, that might sound easier said than done, and it could also strike you as a cliché. Then again, if you go back to the first point on our list, you will understand that trying to fabricate your way through it is not the right way to go. So simply relax, look into your true personality and try to answer all the questions truthfully. And, remember: no question has a right and a wrong answer, when it comes to recruitment tests such as these.

#4 ‘So, how did I do?’

The results of personality recruitment tests are forwarded by HR (or the recruitment company you’re applying through) to your employer. Now, during a face-to-face interview and meeting, you’d usually ask for feedback right? You have every right to ask for the same thing in the case of such a written, standardized personality test. You, too, can receive a copy of your profile, but you need to make sure and ask for it right from the get-go. Don’t assume you’re going to receive any feedback or profile if you don’t demand it, since some companies don’t include this on their standard policy.

#5 The right person for the right job

As previously mentioned, the point of any personality recruitment test is to come up with a complete, coherent profile of each applicant. Following the test, the HR employee in charge with overseeing the procedure might decide you are not, in fact, right for the sales position you had initially applied for. However, you might be perfect for another kind of position, such as back office jobs. Make sure to ask the person that administers the test if you would be considered for another job altogether, based on your profile and experience notwithstanding.

How to Deal with Incompetent Managers – A Guide for Employees

deal-with-incompetent-managers

Though we’d all like to avoid dealing with people we dislike for one reason or another, unfortunately life proves this is next to impossible. Such situations become especially aggravating when they happen at work: good ideas are turned down without an explanation, employees become stressed out and inefficient, some turn vindictive, while others simply resign themselves to the notion that their career is going down the drain. Luckily, Forbes magazine has got a few tips and tricks for employees that are forced to deal with incompetent managers. So here’s the checklist below – use it wisely and turn a conundrum to your advantage.

Use their weapons against them

Some bosses literally feed off the misery of their hierarchical inferiors. In plain English, they love to see them suffer, whine, complain, and be absolutely miserable. To this end, they will do everything in their power to make sure they reach the above goals. The best way to deal with incompetent managers of this kind is not to play into their power-plays. Do not, for the life of you, cry or whine. Instead, simply walk around the office looking miserable. This won’t stop them from making everybody else feel horrible, but at least it will keep them from lunging into a vicious attack against you.

Deal with incompetent managers by moving up and away

The best way to deal with a boss that’s just sadistic and seems to enjoy making people suffer at work is to flee their presence. If you’re not faced with a manager that will do everything in their power to keep you from advance in your career, then take this as an opportunity to flee the scene. Usually, such people are entirely disenchanted with their own evolution and will stop at nothing from making you feel the same. Since they have absolutely nothing to teach you, don’t waste any time trying to teach you a lesson, it will only emotionally deplete you. Instead, focus all your energy in moving as far from as possible.

Paranoid android

Some bosses suffer from conspiracy theory syndromes and are convinced just about everybody in the organization, from the CEO to the cleaning lady, is out to get them. Usually, they are also reluctant to see employees get transferred, for fear they might divulge secrets about them to other people around the office. Your best approach is to promise them you will hand over a list of everybody in the organization that’s out to get them. Of course, you don’t have to turn into a snitch – just make your promise seem believable and realistic.

How friendly is too friendly?

Some bosses are not evil, nor paranoid, but they seem to be oblivious to the existence of that fine line between professional and friendly relationships. And, of course, a boss that oversteps such limits might prove impossible to get rid of, in the long run. Your best bet? Get them a dog for Christmas. Get them to sign up for classes or find them a hobby of some sort. Just make sure to carefully remove yourself from the situation in the process. If you don’t do this in a timely manner, you’ll most certainly regret it later.

Avoid the scheming type

Nothing quite compares with a scheming, vindictive, Machiavellian type of boss. While we’d love to have some advice on how you could one-up such a person, they often seem far too detached, devious, and uncaring to be affected by any action taken against them. So if you have to deal with incompetent managers of this type, perhaps you would be best advised to consider transferring to another department, or simply steering as clear from them as you can.

Employee Engagement: The Holy Trinity of Successful Organizations

employee-engagement

Are you a happy person every morning when you have to go to work? Do you have that winner’s feel and just can’t wait to rock your job, or are you going there like you’d go to a slaughterhouse to be sacrificed? Maybe we exaggerate a little, as many people go to their jobs like they go to their jobs, not feeling like Hollywood celebrities, but not totally hating the air they breathe in that office. We have to work, don’t we, like it or not. We have to do the best we can and even get a raise or a promotion, be happy if we work in a friendly environment and be proud to have made good friends among colleagues. So are you a satisfied employee? Maybe you are even a happy one. But do you qualify for employee engagement? Does your name sit on your manager’s secret list of employees that need to be retained and strategically kept even more engaged?

What are engaged employees?

Well, if you listen to Forbes experts, they are not only the satisfied employees who check in their Christmas bonus checks and break the door on their way out to forget everything for some days. They are not even the happy employees who are willing to stand for their company in times of good or bad, just because the company turned casual Friday into casual all week. They are not even the false – loyal proselytes who’d strangle anybody saying bad things about the company and who are clanged to their jobs like addicts only because they have nowhere else to go. You are an engaged employee if and only if you are “committed to your organization’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organizational success, and are able at the same time to enhance your own sense of well-being.”

What does a company do to engage its employees?

If this answer would be that simple, everybody would do it and many experts would be currently unemployed. However, they are more productive than ever in their efforts to explain companies and managers that people are different, they need different things and just paying them well and hosting parties and team – buildings a few times a year doesn’t mean engagement. In truth, it is not an unidirectional relationship. It’s not some magic some CEO’ do and suddenly, all their employees are engaged, committed, loyal, respectful, willing to earn less and work more, available for overtime and giving 200% of their talents to the company. It’s a vicious circle actually, a continuous process that takes place between the managers and their employees.

Maybe the best way to describe this process is this: “attitudes, behaviors and outcomes – are part of the engagement story. There is a virtuous circle when the pre-conditions of engagement are met when these three aspects of engagement trigger and reinforce one another”.

The Holy Trinity of Engagement

There is not only one way in which a company manages to engage and thus retain its employees. There are success stories quite popular among the specialists and a famous one is Netflix’s strategy to engage its employees, or Google’s own employee engagement approach, which offered people what people praise more in this life, and was not money: it was freedom, time and respect, thus promoting self – discipline, self-responsibility, choice and true commitment.

What are you missing from employee engagement?

As we said, this is not a magic trick belonging to companies, but a process that has to also find the right people to engage. If you are working solely for the money and nothing that happens in that company doesn’t move you as a human and doesn’t address your attitudes, behaviors and even feelings to influence your outcomes, you may not feel the real engagement strategies that are at work there. Look around you and see what is missing for you to feel truly engaged, if you so desire. Don’t just look at your bank account or the number of days off you can get. Look at it like you’d look at a personal relationship: do you want to be there? Do you want to exchange vows?