Highly Skilled workers
ROADMAP FOR HIRING HIGHLY SKILLED WORKERS

Any CEO or director worth their salt will tell you human resource is the ultimate resource. Skilled workers are an asset for any business. They play a large role in setting you apart from your competition, develop your business’s reputation and maintain its ongoing success. A skilled worker is someone who holds the necessary qualifications to produce exceptional results in their work and consistently goes above and beyond in the performance of their duties. Every organisation needs a skilled workforce. This is because the success or failure of any business highly depends on the quality of labour available to it. Having access to staff who are well-trained, able to adapt and knowledgeable in their roles ensures you can maintain high levels of performance, no matter what the current challenges of your industry may be. Here’s how you can have the best of the best working on your team.

  1. DEVELOP A RECRUITMENT STRATEGY

A recruitment strategy is a formal plan of action involving an organisations attempts to successfully identify, recruit, and hire high-quality candidates. With no shortage of  job seekers, you’ll need a strong recruitment strategy to build an engaged workforce that will give your business a competitive advantage.[1]

Begin by closely examining your business needs, goals and objectives as this will enable you to hire a team that will help you realise them. You should avoid being vague about what the job requires. Write a detailed job description that’s clear about the required skills and experience and what the job entails; including hours of work and responsibilities.[2]

The beauty of running a business in today’s society is that there are many technological resources available that will help you in the recruiting process. Social media for instance can be a great tool for posting job ads as well as collecting data on potential job candidates.[3]

  1. MAKE YOUR COMPANY A TOP PICK

Employees want to work for a company that they’re passionate about, but they also want a company that’s passionate about them. By making your company attractive to prospective employees, you enable your company to hire high-performing workers who increase productivity and sales and allow your company to grow.

For companies that want to stay competitive and attract top candidates, it’s becoming more and more important to have the kinds of benefits and perks that employees are looking for in today’s market. These include healthcare benefits, paid leave, vacations etc.[4]

People generally feel appreciated and motivated when their good work is acknowledged. Provide a competitive salary and opportunities for personal growth within your business for employees to showcase their skills. It is also important to highlight your company’s strengths as this will emphasise to potential employees the advantages of joining your team.[5]

  1. NARROW DOWN YOUR LIST OF CANDIDATES

In a perfect world, it would be easy to make hiring decisions. You post a job description, a handful of qualified people apply and you begin the recruiting process. Unfortunately, we don’t live in perfect world. Some job seekers just blast resumes off for jobs they’re not entirely qualified for and hope for the best. The recruiting team then has to sort through numerous applications to find the handful who have what it takes to do the job.[6]

In order to avoid the hassle of sorting through numerous applications, ensure that you provide a clear job description. The job description should communicate the essential job tasks, duties, responsibilities, and qualifications of the position. Effective job descriptions are professional and relatable. Before publishing, double-check your job description to ensure clarity and accuracy. In an effort to try and find the best workers, be realistic about your expectations so as not to scare away potential employees.[7]

  1. CARRY OUT INTERVIEWS

After narrowing down your pool of potential candidates, you should have a short list of potential hires that you want to formally interview. The candidate interview is a vital component of the hiring process and can be carried out in a number of ways.[8]

You can conduct face-to-face interviews where you can ask more in-depth questions about the candidate’s background and skills to really find out if they’ll be the best fit for your company. Hiring qualified employees is an art that also requires certain skills. Remember to also give your interviewees a chance to ask questions they may have about your company. You have to be a good listener; you need to know how to redirect a conversation; and you must be able to make a distinction between a person who simply wants the job and the perfect candidate who can get the job done.[9]

  1. MAKE AN OFFER

When you are satisfied with the results of the interview process and have made your final hiring choice, it is time to make an offer to the job candidate. Be sure to make an offer that is worthwhile as highly skilled workers are in high demand and chances are that they may receive better offers elsewhere. While the candidate considers your job offer, stay in touch. The purpose is for you to reinforce your enthusiasm about having them on your team.[10]

Hiring highly skilled workers can be a lengthy and daunting process and we understand that. With the right tools and guidance you can be sure to have top tier employees working in your corner. Here at The Manpower Company, we pride ourselves in recruiting the best for your business. Drop us an email and begin skilling your business.

Did you know you can submit a job posting directly to our website? Click here to try it out!

CREDIT to Insperity for providing these steps.[11]


[1] https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/recruitment-onboarding/top-employee-recruitment-strategies/

[2] https://toggl.com/blog/recruitment-strategies

[3] https://recruitingdaily.com/9-employee-recruitment-strategies/

[4] https://www.getkisi.com/unlocked/important-benefits-that-make-your-company-more-attractive

[5] https://learnaboutus.com/9-ways-make-company-more-appealing-job-seekers.html

[6] https://www.womenonbusiness.com/fast-ways-to-narrow-down-a-big-pool-of-job-applicants/

[7] https://www.huntclub.com/blog/6-strategies-to-narrow-down-your-candidate-pool

[8] https://www.allbusiness.com/tips-for-interviewing-potential-employees-2556-1.html

[9] https://www.go2hr.ca/recruitment/preparing-conducting-interviews

[10] https://www.insperity.com/blog/hiring-highly-skilled-workers/

[11] https://www.insperity.com/blog/hiring-highly-skilled-workers/

REASONS THAT HINDER EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP

Everybody thinks they’re a leader – most are far from it[1]. Like anything else, you can learn and practice effective leadership. While they are many paths to leadership, listed in this article are pitfalls ineffective leaders commonly find themselves in.

  1. You’re impassioned about your work and therefore your team.

“Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple and it is also that difficult.” – Warren Bennis

Passion and zeal are infectious qualities and effective leaders know how to leverage them. By only focusing on the process rather than your team you fail to unlock the bond great teams share. It’s no secret that teams hit slumps quite often and impassioned leaders will find themselves frustrated. Frustration doesn’t run teams and neither do impassioned leaders. It’s you and your team against the world and not against each other.

  1. You’re not a role model

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
-John Quincy Adams

Transformational leaders are greatly revered[2]. People want to be them, learn from them or work for them. An effective leader exemplify’s the behaviours and characteristics they encourage in their teams. As a result, people admire them and aim to replicate their behaviours.

If you want to become a better leader, work on modelling the qualities that you would like to see in your team members.

  1. You don’t listen thus communicate ineffectively

“When people talk, listen completely.” –Ernest Hemingway

You might have noticed that great leaders aren’t necessarily experts in their fields. Steve jobs was not a computer programmer, Elon musk is not an automotive engineer and Angela Merkel has a PhD in quantum chemistry. Leading is less about you’re acquired knowledge and more about getting people to apply theirs. Effective leaders communicate their visions to inspire their teams.

  1. You’re not clear about your expectations

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” – Rosalynn Carter

Articulately communication your vision helps employees visualise the end goal. Your team can hardly track their progress if they don’t know where they’re headed. However, transformational leaders go beyond this and have their employees set clear goals serving the bigger vision. This way you can monitor progress and adjust their approach accordingly.

Ineffective leaders will usually expect their team to adopt an entirely proactive approach. This becomes a problem if one or more of them are unclear about your expectations therefore working towards a different goal.

  1. You don’t teach your team

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” -John F. Kennedy

While your team should be made up of qualified professionals, developing their skills even further is characteristic of an effective leader. If people gain nothing from working with you, how can you expect their full commitment? Companies are continually growing so why shouldn’t their employees. Let’s not forget that developing employees results in higher engagement levels and added value to teams.

Effective leaders don’t just bark orders but encourage growth by teaching. Teaching is essential in growing new leaders to take your place.

  1. You don’t know your own motivation

“If you’re not sure where you are going, you’re liable to end up someplace else.” — Robert F. Mager

If a leader views their role as “just a job”, it’s going to show. To be an effective leader, you need the right motivation. Truthfully, you can hardly expect to lead your team if you can’t lead yourself. So just as you would find out what motivates your team, perform a thorough self -examination. Channel the result and tie this into your vision.

  1. You don’t nurture talent

“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” –Ralph Nader

If you’re intimidated by the talent around you, you’ll tend to work against it. Real leadership serves as a talent magnet. If you don’t attract talent, you can’t develop it and retain it. You’re competition probably can.

  1. You don’t give credit, you take it

“There is no investment you can make which will pay you so well as the effort to scatter sunshine and good cheer through your establishment.” – Orison Swett Marden

Effective leadership is hardly about the trophies on your shelf. Leadership is not about seeking the spotlight, and it should never be about the recognition. True leadership is about elevating others for their contributions, rather than crediting yourself. You’ll get a lot more out of your team being liberal with praise than selfish with it.

  1. You don’t get results

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” –John Maxwell

This is probably the biggest indicator of ineffective leadership. Where-in poor performance is influenced by the above-mentioned factors. When evaluating your skills, your results are the best place to start. Communicate with your team and get their take on what you can improve.

Do note, results are not necessarily achieved with good leadership. If you get your results by abusing your influence, manipulating or bullying your team – you’re ineffective. The ends do not justify the means. You’re career as a leader will likely end sooner than expected if you place optics over ethics.

If you want to be a good leader, work your team to their strengths and motivate them with your vision. Results will follow.

Having outlined the characteristics of an effective leader, fill in your own gaps and aim to put your team first. Do it right and you’ll see your effort reflected in the results.

Thoughts?


[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2013/01/23/why-youre-not-a-leader/#1c5bde926fb8

[2] https://www.verywellmind.com/ways-to-become-a-better-leader-2795324#citation-2

5 tools for working remotely
TOOLS FOR WORKING REMOTELY (Part 1)

Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goals.

 –Mario Andretti

Dealing with a global pandemic also means that we all must learn to adapt to the changes around us and make the best of things. Government issued lockdowns and curfews have led many companies to switch to remote working to ensure that work still gets done. Luckily there many tools available to ease the transition from the office environment to working remotely. Find out about these handy tools in this blog post.

  1. SKYPE FOR BUSSINESS

Skype for Business is a trusted enterprise solution designed by Microsoft to enable efficient communication in companies and connects employers, employees and customers effectively around the globe. It combines phone calls, video conferences and messaging services into one entity to increase efficiency and promote business growth.[1]

Some of its features include:[2]

  • HD video streaming
  • High level security through data encryption to protect valuable company data
  • Video conference options that can accommodate up to 250 meeting attendees

A major advantage of this software is that it does away with travel and communication costs with its video conference option. Additionally, the software is secure, very user friendly and portable – it can be accessed on many devices as long as a Wi-Fi connection is available.[3]

  1. EVERNOTE

Evernote is a free app for your smartphone and computer that stores everything you could possibly imagine losing track of – a boarding pass, receipt or article you want to read. You can create a to do list, or even a simple typed note. The app works brilliantly, keeping everything synchronised between your computer, smartphone, or tablet. The app is also ideal for managing projects and productivity.[4]

For companies, Evernote Business is available and allows teammates or members of a company to access, upload, share and edit notes from any device. This app is especially resourceful for those who are working remotely because it automatically syncs up with all your devices when you add or upload new content. This means that you are not limited or tied to just one machine.[5]

  1. GOOGLE DRIVE

It goes without saying that running a company results in the generation and collection of large amounts of data. Therefore, companies need a safe and reliable place to store all this data – in comes Google Drive.

Google Drive is a cloud-based software application that lets you create, store, and share documents and data from around the world in one place. This is ideal for companies as it enables teams to access files from anywhere as long as they are connected to the internet. Additionally, it is possible to edit documents and get replies and feedback and therefore increasing collaborative productivity. It is also protected by SSL encryption that operates on both Gmail and other Google services so you can rest assured that your valuable data is safe.[6]

  1. HUBSTAFF

As an employer, when making the transition to remote working, you’ll want software that can keep track of employee’s work hours, progress and productivity as easily as it’s done in the office.  Hubstaff is a time tracking and work management app built to help teams make the most out of their time, build trust, and provide accountability. 

Once the app is running, it monitors which websites and applications your team is viewing, their screen activity, and how much time they spend at their desktop. It then gathers all this data and creates individual reports for all your employees. Your team members can also track how much time they spent on a particular task or project.[7]

  1. HEADSPACE

When working from home it can sometimes be difficult to disconnect after a long day of meetings and work tasks. Headspace is a meditation and healthy living app that aims to reduce stress, improve mindfulness, and save remote workers from burn-out. It’s important to step away, especially when working from home.

Studies have shown that taking time to practice stillness and meditate using the Headspace app can increase focus by 13%. Meditation also promotes increased awareness, clarity, compassion, and a sense of calmness.[8]

The right remote work tools will make you and your remote colleagues more productive. They’ll also allow you to experience the human connection of office work, while preserving your freedom to work from home. For any companies making the transition to working remotely, try out these efficient tools to ensure success.

Found this helpful? Try this: Working from home: How to do it successfully

If you’re a manager/business owner check this out: How to manage remote employees: best practices

As Usual, The Manpower Company (TMC) is here to support you and your business through this unprecedented time. With innovative consultancy, guiding you is what we’re here for. Let us know what you need in the comments below or email: info@tmc.ke

Mshimba Michelle


[1] https://searchunifiedcommunications.techtarget.com/definition/Skype-for-Business

[2] https://www.nimble.com/blog/skype-for-business/

[3] http://www.freedomcomms.com/blog-post/skype-for-business-advantages-and-disadvantages/

[4] https://lifehacker.com/whats-all-the-fuss-about-evernote-should-i-be-using-it-5964285

[5] https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-evernote-3485736

[6] https://www.goskills.com/Office-Productivity/Articles/Google-Drive-features-review

[7] https://hubstaff.com/faq

[8] https://www.headspace.com/meditation/benefits

How to hire an intern graphic
How to Hire an Intern

An intern is a trainee who signs on with an organisation to gain some work experience, or for a  course requirement and/or, to get a general feel of the industry they are interning in. Contrary to popular belief, interns can play an integral role in growing your company. When hiring an intern it is important to hire a person that you can learn from; a person that has the ability to execute tasks and contribute to the company. In this post you’ll find everything you need to know about hiring an intern.

  1. KNOW THE LAW

When hiring an intern many questions arise – what tasks should they do? Should they be paid? Are they entitled to any work benefits? Like in any case, it’s important to know the law. Thus, ensuring their rights are protected and their duties are clearly spelled out.

Section 2 of the Employment Act states that an employee is a person employed for wages or a salary and includes an apprentice and an indentured learner. An intern is therefore not an employee. However, there are guidelines set out by the government regarding the rights and duties of interns. These guidelines can be found in the Internship Policy.

Payment of interns for instance, is an issue that is constantly in question. It is important to distinguish between paid and unpaid interns and who exactly fall in these categories.

  1. CREATE AN INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

Before you hire interns for your company or organisation, you must first define the specific job and the skills your internship program will feature. Set up training courses so that the interns can have an opportunity to learn how to perform various tasks within the company and grow their skill sets.[1] Have the intern set out specific goals and learning objectives they hope to achieve through the internship as well. This will motivate them to take the program seriously and give them a sense of responsibility and accountability.

It’s also important to look at your organisations’ needs and determine what you hope to achieve with an internship program. This will ensure that the internship is an educational and rewarding experience for both the intern and the organisation.[2] Commonly, companies use these programs to recruit talented graduates as employees before they’re snatched up by the ‘talent-deficient’ market. This is as much an opportunity for your organisation, as it is for the student interns.

  1. LOOK FOR POTENTIAL

Potential is a hopeful word that looks to the future. It is the ability to transform. The term “Potential” is typically used to suggest that an individual has the qualities to effectively perform and continually contribute in broader or different roles in the organisation. When hiring interns, pay close attention to those who show great enthusiasm for their work, and have the drive and ability to improve.

When hiring interns, ensure you identify those with the highest potential and maximise on this.[3] Untapped potential in robust youthful interns is a resource you cannot afford to miss out on.

  1. SELECT A SUPERVISOR

Interns are in your office to learn and it is exceptionally beneficial and fulfilling to step into the role of a mentor. When selecting a supervisor, find someone who enjoys teaching and mentoring others and also understands the ins and outs of the organisation.

Supervisors are also important because they will help in orienting the interns and enable them to familiarise themselves with the company.[4]

A good supervisor is patient and can come up with quality work assignments for the interns. This supervision will further provide the company with information on the intern for future hiring.[5]

  1. REVIEW APPLICATIONS AND INTERVIEW

When looking to hire an intern make sure to carefully look over their application papers. Hire interns who are interested in your particular field. Related interest can often lead to higher performance levels. Interns who enjoy their duties tend to execute with greater enthusiasm. Passion yields positive results.[6]

Interviews are a great way to find out an intern’s passion and interest in your company and whether they are a good fit for your organisation.

Remember that the purpose of hiring interns is not to exploit them for cheap labour or, to shove them in a corner and give them pointless work to pass time. Internships are programs that are supposed to give students meaningful work experience and the opportunity to prepare for the job market. Interns provide you unprecedented, first hand access to the next generation of employees, they’re quite literally the future of your organisation. If you understand the role interns play in your brands sustainability, you must invest in them as a resource.


Mshimba Michelle


[1] https://www.internqueen.com/how-start-internship-program-your-company

[2] https://careers.usc.edu/employers/recruit-interns/learn-how-to-develop-an-effective-internship-program/

[3] https://talentguard.com/how-to-maximize-employee-potential/

[4] http://info.parkerdewey.com/supervising-interns

[5]http://www.ucdenver.edu/life/services/ExperientialLearning/foremployers/Pages/Steps.aspx

[6] https://mileiq.com/blog/hire-intern-small-business/

How to get hired on the spot graphic
HOW TO GET HIRED ON THE SPOT

You’ve done it; you landed that job interview. After all the resumé sprucing and cover letter writing, you finally got the call from HR and your first interview with your dream company is on the books. Now, it’s all about getting hired. Everyone, at some point in their life, will have to prepare for that uncomfortable and often intense meeting with a company they’ve applied to. But where do you begin? Here are some tips on how to get hired on the spot.

  1. TREAT YOUR INTERVIEW LIKE A SALES PITCH

Unless you’re actually in sales, the very concept of selling yourself can be daunting. You don’t want to sound arrogant or corny, or worse – desperate. But learning how to self-promote in a convincing manner is what the job interview is all about. Your interview is your chance to sell yourself and convince your interviewers of all the good you can do for the company. Interviews are not the time for modesty!

Have an elevator speech ready. Before you walk in the door, you should be ready with a short, punchy sentence or two that not only wraps up your skills, qualities and talents, but also entices the interviewer to listen to more of what you have to say. “You can’t create a single elevator pitch that will work for every audience,” says Anne Marie Segal a Connecticut-based executive coach at Stamford. “You have to be speaking to the pain points of the company.” After all, your goal is to present yourself as the solution to their problems.[1]

If you’re not especially comfortable talking about yourself, the job interview is going to feel much more awkward than it really needs to be. The key to finding your rhythm? Practice.

  1. DRESS FOR SUCCESS

When you feel good about the way you look, you naturally convey confidence and a positive attitude. These nonverbal messages are as important in the interview as the verbal skills you use in selling yourself. While there are no absolute rules, a good tip is to dress as you would if you were working at the company.

What you wear depends on what kind of interview it is and what it’s for. Keep in mind that it is always better to be overdressed than under dressed. If you are confused as to what to wear, don’t hesitate to ask. Call the person who scheduled you for the interview, or human resources to ask.

How you dress for an interview does make a difference. You’ve heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” When it comes to a job interview, nothing rings truer. First impressions matter and dressing up shows that you actually put some effort. The first judgment potential employers will make, is based on how you look and what you are wearing. This is why it’s important to dress professionally for a job interview even when the work environment is a casual one.

  1. KNOW YOUR WEAKNESSES

A common job interview question you might get asked is, “What is your biggest weakness?” Even if you want to come across as the candidate to hire, no one is perfect, and trying to present yourself as such will put off the hiring manager.

So, just as you would keep track of your former glories, you should also have an example or two to present to a potential employer of things you need to work on. You can say something like, “In looking for a remote job, I’ve found that learning how to self-manage is very important. I’ve become much better at being able to meet all of my deadlines.” This doesn’t show failure, per se, but it does make you more human as you portray a weakness and how you’re working to make it better.[2]

“Hiring managers who ask about weaknesses during interviews are looking for examples of how a person faced obstacles in the past. Interviewers ask about weaknesses and failures because resiliency is a critical skill set which employees must have. As a manager, you expect to give constructive criticism to your employees and the ability of a person to take that and improve is important when choosing who you will manage.” says Dylan Schweitzer, a group talent acquisition manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car.[3]

  1. BE PREPARED

The most important step to getting hired is being prepared for your interviews. By doing some preparation you’ll feel more in control, and will appear cool, calm and collected as a result to your prospective employers.

At the very least, have a look at the company’s website to familiarise yourself with their history and what they do. Showing that you’ve taken the time to learn about the business is always a good way to impress your interviewers. Look into developments in the industry as well, as this will show that you are engaged and clued-in.

Additionally, make sure you fully understand the duties of the role and what is expected. If the interviewer asks ‘what do you know about the role’ and you’ve not read it, it’s a sure-fire sign you’re unlikely to get hired! Also, by reading the job specs you can start to anticipate the questions the interviewer may ask and be better prepared to answer them.[4]

  1. SOLVE PROBLEMS

You won’t always be the most qualified candidate; however, you can still ace an interview by focusing on what skills you can bring to the role. Solving problems is an analytical skill that many employers look for when conducting interviews.

Managers would far rather hire a member of staff who can take action to resolve a problem than someone who doesn’t act and relies on someone else to think of a solution. Even if it isn’t outlined as a requirement in a job description, many employers will still be evaluating your problem-solving ability throughout the application and interviewing process. Effective problem solvers are those who can apply logic and imagination to make sense of the situation and develop a solution that works. Even if it doesn’t prove as successful as you had hoped, resilience is important, so you can reassess the situation and try an alternative.[5]

During the interview, you may be asked about times when you ran in to problems in the course of your work and how exactly you handled these situations. Potential employers aim to find out how you would handle future problems that may arise in the company. Always show that you are a quick thinker and are able to come up with innovative ways to deal with various issues.

Use these few tips to build your confidence and lay the foundation for a positive and influential interview. Remember that a job interview is not a test of your knowledge, but your ability to use it at the right time. So just go in and remember – you’re fantastic!

Feel free to email us your CV to keep on file incase we have the perfect position for you

If you end up landing that dream position, you’ll need to turn your focus to progressing up the ladder. Find out how to get promoted here.

Michelle Mshimba


[1]https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/sell-yourself-job-interview-hot-jobs 

[2] https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/how-to-sell-yourself-in-an-interview-without-being-an-egomaniac

[3] https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/02/19/how-to-talk-about-your-biggest-weakness-in-a-job-interview/#6cda44f05a80

[4] https://www.glurecruit.co.uk/candidate-advice/interviewing-for-a-job/importance-fully-prepared-interview/

[5] https://www.wikijob.co.uk/content/interview-advice/competencies/problem-solving

How to get your team out of a creative rut
HOW TO GET YOUR TEAM OUT OF A CREATIVE RUT

Lack of inspiration can be your worst enemy, and it can hit you anytime. Teams get stale from time to time for all sorts of reasons. After all, everyone is looking at the same data, interacting with the same people, and having the same conversations. So, it’s no surprise that the ideas coming up feel as though they’ve been done before. If you want to unlock your employees’ creative potential, try these simple tips.

  1. SWITCH UP THE ROUTINE

Routine, although structuring, can easily become mind numbing and consistency can morph into complacency. In the process, employees can consciously or unconsciously forgo the possibility of further progress or change and in turn lose their sense of creativity. Sometimes, all you need to boost innovative juices, is change things up a bit.

Have your employees participate in workshops, courses, seminars and read materials that are outside the scope of their area of expertise. From time to time, have them volunteer, participate in team building & training exercises and even travel to different countries. The more they can get out of their routine, the better it is. They will be exposed to completely different ways of thinking. This will greatly boost their creativity and problem solving capabilities.

And remember, creativity doesn’t come from doing the same things the same exact way. Getting a little uncomfortable even in small ways can help spark your employees’ creativity.

  1. ENCOURAGE FRIENDLY COMPETITION

Competition is a big driver of motivation, creativity, performance, and innovation. It pushes people to be better. A little competition among the employees would not hurt. A competitive environment is a productive environment. Encourage employees to participate in competitions or challenges as it’s healthy from time to time and may actually lead to increased camaraderie.

Friendly competition amongst teams helps with employee engagement and employee participation. Additionally, the more competition influencing your employees to accomplish something, the more motivated they will be to head to work each morning and think up new innovative and creative ways to stay on top. Incentives push people to become more creative and find new ways of doing things. Competing with each other will inspire employees to get creative, put in more effort, work harder, and become more productive.[1]

  1. BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS

When you hear the word “brainstorming,” what comes to mind? People in a room yelling out random thoughts? Chaos? An exercise for designers and creative types? In other words, something OPD (other people do—not you). Maybe it’s time to give it a second look.

Brainstorming is typically conducted in a facilitated session or workshop environment to stimulate creative thinking, to create novel or innovative solutions to a problem, and to introduce “controlled chaos” into the thought process. It is the most widely used technique to cultivate ideas. It is based on the principle that “many brains are often better than one.”[2]

Brainstorming is a business technique that can work for any department, in any type of business, especially HR. Schedule a meeting with employees to bounce ideas around. Having regular idea-generation sessions keeps the flow of inspiration and creativity going.

  1. EMBRACE FAILURE

“Recently, I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire his experience?” – Thomas John Watson Sr.

No one truly likes to fail. It can drag you down mentally and physically. At the same time, failure gets a raw deal. Even though it hurts, it’s one of the best and most effective ways to learn and grow. Don’t be afraid to let your employees experiment and try new things. If something doesn’t work, they can learn what went wrong and try again. Who knows? The second time around, they may knock it out of the park. But the truth is that they may not have been so successful if they hadn’t stumbled during their first attempt.

This is where managers and senior leaders can play a key role in helping change attitudes by sharing their own blunders and mishaps. Just because you’re in a senior role doesn’t mean you’re immune to mistakes either. The difference though is how you deal with it afterwards, and that’s the point to be made.[3] Changing your attitude towards failure will switch up your employees’ thinking, and show them the benefits the inevitably bumpy journey will bring.

  1. ENGAGE THE SENSES

Employees are most engaged when all five senses are stimulated. Most creative experiences come from combining two seemingly unrelated ideas. Encouraging the flow of non-sequitur ideas through sensory experiences can help employees find new inspiration.[4] When you deliver a sensory experience to the workplace, you transform purely functional spaces into energising environments where employees find more meaning, fun, success and fulfilment in their work.

For example, you might hang thought-provoking abstract art on the walls, regularly fill the office with new scents or play unconventional music through your loudspeakers. Doing so will help employees think in new ways and become more stimulated by their environment. As an added bonus, most of these additions have a calming or satisfying effect on people — so your team will feel happier and will be more productive in addition to being more creative.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”- Maya Angelou

Inspiring creativity within your team isn’t a luxury. It’s imperative if you want to boost employee productivity and stay top of mind with your customers and thrive as a business for years to come.

Mshimba Michelle


[1] https://www.hubgets.com/blog/healthy-competition-improves-productivity-atwork/

[2] https://www.projectmanagement.com/wikis/233029/Brainstorming

[3] https://www.forbes.com/sites/voicesfromeurope/2018/12/03/why-embracing-and-discussing-failure-is-good-for-your-company-culture/#4a5a03b068ae

[4] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/271905

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