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Diversity in the workplace
DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE

Diversity in the workplace is all about creating a workplace environment that is inclusive of everyone’s individual differences in order to enable them to achieve their greatest potential. Studies have shown that businesses with more diverse workplaces are known to perform better both culturally and financially. A diverse workplace provides employees with various learning opportunities as they interact with each other. In addition, having a diverse workplace fosters a positive working environment for your employees where they can grow as individuals. In this article we’ll look at some of the benefits of having a diverse workplace.

BROADEN YOUR TALENT POOL

When your business is diverse, you have vast talent resources at your disposal. This is because your employees will have a multitude of skills and experiences from their various backgrounds. This will in turn enable them to collaborate and learn from each other making earning your organisation a team of well-rounded employees.

PROMOTE INNOVATION

Diverse teams become are better prepared for decision-making and accomplishing the task at hand. A sense of complacency and sameness in thinking is more likely in homogeneous teams than in diverse teams. Differences among team members force each person to anticipate that there will be alternative and unexpected viewpoints to consider and evaluate. Reaching consensus takes effort. People will work harder to communicate their own thinking, and as a result broaden their own views to consider unexpected perspectives of others. This takes more work and preparation, but it’s more significantly valuable for businesses. s

GROW YOUR BUSINESS

In most cases, businesses with a diverse employee workforce are known to also have an equally diverse customer base. This is primarily due to the fact that customers are attracted to business that demonstrate solutions for their needs. Ergo, by understanding the diverse needs of their customer base, these businesses are able to flourish. Diverse employees can also help grow your business by synthesising communication specific to their various socio-economic groups.

IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS REPUTATION

A business is only as good as its reputation. A diverse workforce enables your employees to form positive and meaningful relationships. These positive relationships turn into positive stories that will be shared and spread which then propagates a positive relationship for your business. In addition, potential employees and customers are drawn to employers and businesses that are accepting and tolerant of individuals from different backgrounds.

EMPOWERS MARGINALISED WORKERS

In many instances, members of the workforce have found themselves marginalised and experienced some form of discrimination due to racism, ageism, ableism, sexism and sexual orientation. This discrimination, and its various combinations is both unethical and illegal [in most territories]. Having a diverse workforce allows people in these diverse marginalised groups to showcase their talents and support themselves financially in order to improve their standard of living while still earning their organisations a profit.

ENCOURAGE POSITIVE CONFLICT.

When a group of people are around each other for extended periods of time, conflicts will inevitably occur. The workplace is no different. However, employees who work in a diverse environment are able to acknowledge others’ differences and can find similarities, among them that will enable them to quickly move past the disputes and get back to work.

ENRICHES COMPANY CULTURE

A diverse workplace is generally happier and more productive. This is because it is open to people of all backgrounds, ages, cultures etc. which serves to ensure that everyone id represented and each voice is heard. A diverse workplace fosters a more accepting and adaptable company culture as people are more tolerant towards each other. This in turn creates high performing teams.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesinsights/2020/01/15/diversity-confirmed-to-boost-innovation-and-financial-results/?sh=2d0039bc4a6a

Navigating office politics
NAVIGATING OFFICE POLITICS

In as much we like to believe that office politics do not exist in our work place; they do and can be a nightmare to deal with especially if you don’t know how to negotiate them.  Too many ambitious professionals try to navigate office politics by pretending corporate politics don’t exist and end up buckling under the pressure and hostility.  Once you know how to navigate through the office politics arena, your work life should improve. In this article we’ll be looking at some of the ways in which you can deal with office politics.

YOU CAN’T AVOID OFFICE POLITICS

It is important to face reality and know that we cannot avoid office politics. Granted, when we first set foot in to the job market, we all have a vision of a corporate meritocracy where everyone does their absolute best at their job and promotions are awarded to those most hardworking, diligent employees but this is sadly not the case. That being said it is therefore possible to use office politics to your advantage. Put yourself out there and engage with individuals you are more likely to gain success from.

RETHINK OFFICE POLITICS 

For the most part, office politics are viewed negatively and most people do not want to get involved. This primarily due to the fact that the individuals involved are mean spirited and will stop at nothing to climb the corporate ladder. This doesn’t have to be the case. When used effectively and for good, office politics can be an extremely powerful and effective tool to advance your career goals. Seek out more positive interactions with your colleagues and discuss ways in which you can all succeed. Look for like-minded individuals and form strong alliances with them.

DEVELOP A STRONG PERSONAL BRAND   

A great way to set yourself apart and avoid the drama is to develop your personal brand. Do this by demonstrating high quality work daily. If you are known to be someone who is consistent and diligent at their job and produces quality work, then you are more likely to be trusted by your seniors. This will in turn lead to more independence and autonomy because you can be trusted to do your job well. This will likely lead to you getting more responsibility in the workplace.

PICK YOUR BATTLES WISELY   

If you truly want to be someone who can demonstrate your value, influence and level of importance in the workplace, then you cannot afford to keep your head down and ignore all the emerging issues in an effort to stay neutral and avoid discourse. There are two types of conflict that may arise in the work place i.e. professional conflict and personal conflict. By all means avoid all personal conflict in the workplace, however, do not shy away from professional conflict that directly affects you or the company. These can include conflicts relating to work quality, company time and resources as well as various issues that may be hindering you from doing your job well. Engage in important conflicts and avoid the petty ones.

BE FRIENDLY, GRACEFUL AND COURTEOUS

The workplace environment is made up of people from various cultures, socio-economic backgrounds etc. Each of these individuals have their own sets of beliefs and views on various issues. Sometimes it will be difficult to get along with everyone you work with, however at the end of the day you must remain professional in order to achieve your own career goals as well as the company goals. In this regard, try to be civil as you engage with your colleagues and feel free to distance yourself from individuals you don’t necessarily see eye to eye with while still maintaining professionalism. Remember, you don’t want to come off as rude and unapproachable.

KNOW WHEN TO LET GO

Even though this article makes it seem simple to navigate intricacies of office politics, it has been vastly oversimplified. If you’re struggling to stay above the unproductive fray of un-useful politics and personal babble between your colleagues and/or superiors consider finding a more conducive work place. If these tips aren’t helpful, perform a cost-benefit analysis on your work life to get perspective on your next steps. They are plenty of workplaces that match your personality and work ethic, so don’t ‘stick’ it out when you’re unhappy. Remember to approach your HR department when you’re uncomfortable or feel targeted by politics – see how they can help.

https://www.livecareer.com/resources/careers/planning/dealing-with-office-politics

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bonniemarcus/2017/04/04/what-i-learned-about-office-politics-that-changed-my-career/?sh=16e89a7a6168

https://www.lifehack.org/articles/work/7-habits-to-win-in-office-politics.html

Ethical Leadership
ETHICAL LEADERSHIP

Ethics plays a huge role in the leadership process. This is because leadership involves influence and the ability to take charge and get things done. This places an ethical responsibility on leaders in regards to how they affect other people. Leaders need to engage their followers in order to accomplish common goals; therefore, it is important that they treat their followers and their ideas with respect and dignity.

Leaders also play a major role in establishing the ethical climate in their organisation; that role requires leaders to be particularly sensitive to the values and ideals that they promote. It is the duty of leaders to treat others with respect and to listen to them closely and be tolerant of opposing points of views. Ethical leaders place fairness at the centre of their decision making, including the challenging task of being fair to the individual while simultaneously being fair to the common interests of the community. In this article we’ll look at some of the characteristics of ethical leadership.

  1. RESPECT FOR OTHERS

One of the most important aspects of ethical leadership is respect for others. An ethical leader respects all members of the team by listening to them attentively, valuing their contributions and being compassionate. An ethical leader considers opposing viewpoints and works to find ways to consolidate these oppositions.

  1. HONESTY

It is safe to say that anyone who is ethical will also be honest. Honesty is an important trait to have in order to be an ethical leader. This is because a leader who is honest is also considered trustworthy and dependable. Ethical leaders are transparent and convey facts and information no matter how unpopular they may be. 

  1. FOCUS ON TEAM BUILDING

Ethical leaders promote a harmonious community and team spirit in the workplace. Ethical leaders strive common goals rather than personal ones through the promotion of a team effort. They make goals that aim to benefit the organisation as a whole. This can be done through team building exercises, team projects etc.

  1. LEAD BY EXAMPLE

An ethical leader leads by example and is not just about talking the talk, but also walks the walk. The ethical leader sets high standards and expectations for their employees and the same also applies to them. In order for employees to perform well at their jobs they must have a leader who they can look up to.

  1. ZERO TOLERANCE FOR ETHICAL VIOLATIONS 

An ethical leader expects their employees to do the right thing at all times, not just when it is convenient for them. It would be counterproductive and against company regulations for an ethical leader to overlook or tolerate ethical violations. Ethical leaders promote standard practices in the workplace and work to provide a conducive work environment for their employees.

  1. VALUES INITIATIVE

Ethical leadership provides an opportunity for employees to grow and flourish. This is because ethical leaders value employee input and encourage their employees to be creative and innovative. Under ethical leadership employees are rewarded for coming up with ways to improve or benefit the organisation rather than waiting for someone else to do it. 

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5537-how-to-be-ethical-leader.html

https://www.wgu.edu/blog/what-is-ethical-leadership2001.html#openSubscriberModal

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2020/01/09/five-ways-to-be-an-ethical-leader/?sh=734515ba1f8d

IMPORTANCE OF A CORPORATE LAWYER
WHY YOU NEED A CORPORATE LAWYER

Corporate lawyers, also known as business lawyers provide a broad range of legal services for businesses and companies. A corporate lawyer represents the corporate entity. This is because in company law, companies are viewed as a legal person capable of suing and being sued in their own name. Running a business often involves various legal situations such as lawsuits as well as the various laws regulating the type of business being conducted. A corporate lawyer ensures the protection of those involved and invested in a business/ company by giving legal advice on various issues relating to company law. In this article, we’ll look at some of the reasons why your company should hire a corporate lawyer.

  1. LEGAL DRAFTING

Every company needs a lawyer to aid in the drafting of legal documents such as contracts. All business documents, whether for employees, customers or vendors should be reviewed by a company lawyer to ensure all the appropriate formalities are captured. Experienced lawyers help make the process of drafting corporate documents more efficient. Documents drafted by a skilled lawyer can also help to ensure that the paperwork is enforceable by law, legally binding and well suited to your company and its needs.

  1. PROTECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Intellectual property is the term used for a set of intangible assets or assets that are not physical in nature. It is any product developed from human intellect that the law protects from unauthorised use, theft of plagiarism by others. If your business is in the field of media, design or any other creative field, consider hiring an intellectual property lawyer. This lawyer will help you register your products and services for state trademark and copyrights protection.

  1. PREVENTING LAWSUITS

One of the biggest challenges most companies face is employment lawsuits. This is usually brought about by a breach in employee rights and various labour laws. A common rule of thumb is that ignorance of the law is not a defence. This means that everyone has a responsibility to be aware of the law and ignorance of this fact is not a reasonable defence in case of a lawsuit. Hiring a company lawyer is one way to prevent these issues down the road as they are well versed on these laws and are able to spot any possible issues that may arise.

  1. AID IN CHOOSING THE APPROPRIATE BUSINESS FORM

Corporate lawyers also deal with various business entities in the forms of partnerships, limited companies, limited liability companies and business trusts. Each business form has its own set of legal rights and responsibilities, organisational structure and tax burdens. Corporate lawyers help clients with businesses to decide which of these legal forms is best suited for the business they want to run. Choosing the appropriate business structure for your business is important because if you do not structure properly from the get-go, you may find yourself with unnecessary legal issues down the road.

  1. NON-DISCLOSURE AND CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENTS

In the course of running a business, there is some information that a company may not want revealed to people outside of the business or even outside of the managerial circle. There are various reasons why a business may want information to remain confidential. Confidentiality agreements can be written to protect the details of a new invention, new product or service ideas or a business partnership. For instance, some organisational information also known as trade secrets give a business a competitive edge in the market and the disclosure of this information may give competitors an upper hand.  A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a legal contract drafted by a corporate lawyer that offers protection to parties that will be disclosing confidential information. Corporate lawyers also provide legal counsel in case of a breach in this contract.

Mshimba Michelle

Employee Assistance Programs
EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

As an employer, it is easy to forget that employees have lives outside of the workplace and sometimes have troubles and difficulties that they may be dealing with. If an employee is dealing with some personal issues, this may sometimes affect the quality of their work and impact their performance. It is important to ensure that your employees are doing well in order to promote a safe and conducive work environment. Employee wellness is not only geared at preventing work incidents or creating a safe work environment. It is also about supporting the well-being of your employees in both their personal and professional lives. This can be achieved through Employee Assistance Programs. An employee assistance program (EAP) is a work-based intervention program geared towards assisting employees in resolving personal problems that may be adversely affecting the employee’s performance. In this article we’ll look at some of the benefits of these programs.

  1. IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY

Sometimes, an employee’s personal life problems can greatly affect the quality of their work and lead to lower productivity. It is no secret that when productivity suffers, your business suffers. Research has shown that employees who have access to EAP services have a significant increase in work productivity. Aside from boosting company productivity, this will also strengthen morale in the workplace as everyone is in good spirits.

  1. INCREASE EMPLOYEE RETENTION RATES

Creating a positive work environment is a key factor in retaining talented employees. A study conducted by the American Health Association found that 51% of employees stay at their jobs due to good relationships with their colleagues. EAPs keep employees productive, present, and happier while on the job. In addition, these programs are especially useful in attracting and retaining millennial employees. This is due to the fact that many millennials are more open to discussions about mental health and will therefore appreciate and make use of these programs.

  1. EFFICIENT RESOLUTION OF WORKPLACE ISSUES

At some point, every company is bound to encounter some challenges with their employees or with a traumatic event. It is important to be prepared with an EAP in order to handle these challenging situations in order to efficiently resolve the problem. Having a skilled EAP provider will ensure that these issues can be avoided and prevented.

  1. PROMOTES A SUPPORTIVE CORPORATE ENVIRONMENT.

Employees who know that they can count on their employer-provided benefits to help them navigate life’s difficult moments develop a deeper connection with the company and are more engaged and committed to their work. EAPs that provide help for both personal and professional issues are an effective tool for creating a caring and supportive work environment.

  1. REDUCES ABSENTEEISM

When employees are in good health and spirits, they are less likely to miss work. Having EAPs also enable employees to feel supported in their work environment and are more likely to show up and do what they are required to do. This also means that employees do not have to leave work to seek the kind of assistance that EAPs provide elsewhere as it is readily available in the office.

Depending on the specific type of Employee Assistance Program you choose to adopt into your company, you can help your employees deal with a multitude of sensitive issues they may have in their personal lives. Generally, EAP programs work to eliminate the major challenges employees face that compromise the quality of their life as well as their work productivity. Some of these issues include mental health issues, financial concerns, drug and substance abuse as well as relationship problems.

Kindly follow this link to find out more about Employee Assistance Programs and for contact information should you seek to incorporate these programs into your company.

https://oasisafrica.co.ke/services/employee-assistance-program/

https://blog.montridge.com/employee-benefits/benefits-of-employee-assistance-programs

https://www.empathia.com/7-reasons-an-eap-is-a-strategic-advantage/

PROFESSIONALISM IN THE WORKPLACE

It is always important to carry yourself with the utmost professionalism in the workplace especially if you want to get ahead and advance in your career/ field. The truth is that sometimes working hard and being great at your job just isn’t enough to get you ahead. Most times it is about presenting yourself more professionally so that your employer can see you as more of a leader and a person who is deserving of more opportunities and responsibilities in the workplace. In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways you can be more professional in your workplace in order to get the recognition and promotion you desire.

  1. BE RESPECTFUL

In any professional setting it is important to treat your colleagues with dignity and respect. Keep in mind that everyone is there because they possess both the skills and qualifications required for the job. Be polite and observe office etiquette. In addition, be sure to respect company policies whether you agree with them or not because they are there for a reason. Avoid office gossip as this is highly unprofessional and will only lead to squabbles and will even create a hostile work environment.

  1. BUILD MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR COWORKERS

When you’ve been working at the same place for a long period of time, it is easy to get into a routine. Where you just want to come in, get your work done and go home. If you’re not careful, you can easily isolate yourself from your co-workers. Take some time out of your day to socialise and get to know the people you work with. People love to feel acknowledged and this will be a great way to integrate yourself into the workplace community. Remember it’s all about making connections and employers generally notice employees who are well liked by their colleagues as this demonstrates company unity and team spirit.

  1. TAKE ON BIGGER CHALLENGES

Employers are always on the lookout for star employees. it is rare for people to get promoted unless they are already putting in the work. Take initiative and volunteer your time to take on extra projects and do what to can to help. This will put you on your boss’ radar and may even lead you to a promotion. Alternatively, if you’d like to advance in your career, you could even speak to your boss on ways you could incorporate a personal development plan into your work in order to build your resume.

  1. BE A LEADER

Leaders are typically charismatic and sociable people, however, this does not mean that you have to be loud or an extrovert to be a leader. In order to be a leader, you need to carry yourself with a certain level of confidence. Speak with confidence and purpose and eloquently articulate your ideas. Remember that leaders are empathetic and are ready to serve as well as lift others up so everyone can succeed as a whole. Keep in mind that leadership is not just about speaking but listening as well. Be patient and allow others an opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas in order to promote a cohesive work environment where everyone has an opportunity to present their ideas and take part in the company’s development.

  1. DRESS FOR SUCCESS

 Peoples first impression of you is based on how you look. It is important to ensure that you’re properly dressed at work. Look up your company’s dress code guidelines and be sure to dress accordingly. Dressing well and appropriately for your job will ensure that you are taken seriously. Dressing well make you stand out, remember, when you look good, you feel good and this translate in the quality of your work.

Maintaining professionalism in the workplace only servers to do you good. It ensures a conducive work environment. Being professional ensures that you leave a good, long lasting impression on your employers and colleagues.

https://www.careeraddict.com/workplace-professionalism

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/professionalism-526248https://smallbusiness.chron.com/become-professional-workplace-22087.html

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