Employees are taking to resignation as a way of avoiding the sting of being dismissed, but as Nicol Myburgh, Head: CRS Technologies HCM Business Unit, points out, this is not an approach that’s going to work. In fact, if a person has such a poor track record of performance or behaviour that they sit on the cusp of being dismissed, this will reflect on whether or not they use this company as a reference in the future.

“People think that the benefit of leaving before employment is terminated is that they won’t have a dismissal on their record,” he adds. “However, the reality is that there is no permanent record – it doesn’t exist. The issue really lies with references and, if they’ve left under a cloud, it’s unlikely they’re going to even use this company as a reference. And if they did, it wouldn’t matter.”

What’s interesting about this situation is that companies aren’t allowed to give overwhelmingly negative references. The worst they can do is say that X employee worked for the company from X date to Y date, and that’s as bad as it will get. So, if a person resigns instead of being fired and then uses the company as a reference, the company can’t slander them anyway, at least not without exposing themselves to undue risk of the employee potentially making a civil claim.

“People should ask themselves why they are going through the whole resignation process when this can take away their options,” says Myburgh. “If they believe they have been unfairly dismissed, they can take their case to the CCMA and discuss the dismissal, but if they resign, it’s their problem. They’ve closed the door themselves.”

However, for many people, resignation is a far easier choice. The process of dismissal can be difficult and unpleasant which can negatively impact a person’s wellbeing. Even if the dismissal doesn’t necessarily impact the person’s career or references, they may want to leave the situation as quickly as possible. That said, if the working situation is tenable, it can be in the employee’s favour to stay at the company and go through the process, as they’ll be employed – and have a guaranteed salary – for longer.

“Another area that needs to be considered by both the employee and the company is if an employment contract has a notice period,” says Myburgh. “If a person has to work a notice period before they can leave their job, then the situation becomes trickier. The company can force the person to work out this notice time, but it can become very unpleasant for everyone involved. It’s often not worth it for the company to put both the employee and the other members of staff in an untenable situation.”

This can vary, of course, according to the unique business situation. If that employee occupies a high-end role and can’t be easily replaced without loss of income, the situation will need to be handled differently. But, in most cases, the departure of an employee in these circumstances is best made as smooth as possible to make life easier on every side.

“Whether they are resigning or being dismissed, the important question here is to ask which step is in the best interests of the company’s culture and the employee’s wellbeing,” concludes Myburgh. “If a person genuinely can’t handle the environment, then leaving early will benefit them. But they must remember that resignation removes options, so think carefully before taking this step.”

 

By Steve Prentice for CEOWORLD

The concept of working from home ricochets around the media like an echo in a canyon, and the stories reveal an interesting duality. First, most employees whose jobs can be done from home actually enjoy it and would like all or at least some of their job to exist there; and second, most managers and corporate leaders want their staff back at the office.

This isn’t surprising given that the culture of work for the past century has been for employees to come to an office or physical place where they can be led and supervised. But for those whose jobs are based largely on the use of a computer, the lockdown events of Covid showed an interesting new possibility. This is starting to shape this century’s second decade into something new and different, one that delivers some truths that many managers don’t want to admit.

Here are five facts about the new work-from-home paradigm:

Most employees actually want to do good work

The fear among many in management is that employees, if left unsupervised, will slack off, as if work itself is a punishment they would rather avoid. Though there will always be a few like this, most employees take pride in doing a good job, are self-motivated, and are enthusiastic about learning new skills. They don’t need to be monitored in order to do good work.

Everything that can be done at the office can be done from home

We all know that we can meet online through video chat and do self-directed work outside the office. But the component that managers always warn is missing — casual time where employees and managers can interact, chat, and create spontaneously — is also available. While some take place in the formal video chat platforms used in great number over the past two years, these interactions also happen in the newer, less formal, and more immersive online environments designed specifically for existing together in a virtual and casual place.

Work and life are blending

The 2020s aren’t the same as the 2010s or earlier. The world has changed and has become much more connected and certainly more expensive. Professionals who struggle to balance jobs with home responsibilities are looking for opportunities that are flexible in terms of work hours and times, as well as those that don’t incur commuting. Not all change is brought about by novelty. Some happens due to realities of today’s life.

Managers are responsible for many employee-workplace failures

In general, managers call meetings and send emails that interrupt the flow of concentration. They make additional requests and announce unplanned urgencies, requiring fast reprioritisation. They approve training and meeting sessions that include too much information too fast or that don’t fit an individual’s working and learning styles. This doesn’t apply to all managers, but sadly is more common that it should be. When teams and individuals are left alone more often, they actually get more done.

People are choosing to work from home anyway

The Great Resignation represents an uptick in the number of people who are resigning from their current job because the ROI just isn’t there. Their desire to do good work has been stultified by the traditional processes and pressure of the workplace. So, in greater numbers than ever, they’re voting with their feet, seeking and finding work that they can do on their terms.

To be fair, there are many great managers out there who are working hard to evolve and to create a better work environment. But many, as well as the organisations they work for, find it difficult to pivot quickly, especially when there’s so much legacy — including processes, traditions, buildings, and floor space to account for.

What can managers do? They need to dispense with the idea of being monitors and focus instead on becoming mentors. They need to establish and demonstrate trust through better, more personalised relationships with employees. And frankly, they need to step back and let their teams do the work that they truly want to do.

 

By Serah Louis for Yahoo! Finance

It’s been over a year since the American workplace turned upside down, with employees quitting en masse in search of more fulfilling jobs and flexible work arrangements.

But as inflation hits a 40-year high, stragglers have found yet another convincing reason to jump ship.

“It’s a worker’s market,” says Andrew Flowers, labor economist at job advertisement firm Appcast. “And this bargaining power, it means that, with high inflation, this is the time to either ask for a raise or to potentially find a better offer elsewhere.”

Another 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in April, the latest numbers show, nearly unchanged from the month before and still among the highest levels in decades.

While job vacancies decreased, there remain almost two jobs available for every worker who’s looking.

With the rising cost of food, gas and everything else giving all Americans a pay cut, workers who haven’t yet made a move have every reason — and every opportunity — to act soon.

The window remains open for now

The consumer price index surged to a spectacular 8.6% in May from a year earlier, putting pressure on workers who would otherwise be happy with the status quo.

Globally, one in five employees is likely to switch jobs in the next year, with most leaving for a better salary, according to a recent survey by accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Over a third are planning to ask for a raise in the next year, though that number is significantly higher in the tech sector (44%) and lower in the public sector (25%).

“Employers know that quit rates are high. They know that job openings are plentiful. And so they know their employees can be choosier,” Flowers says.

The added pressure of rising prices means employers may consider proactively hiking wages to avoid losing employees. Wages and salaries in the private sector increased by 5% for the 12-month period ending in March.

“Employers have a really insatiable appetite at the moment to hire,” Flowers says.

However, he adds, it’s unclear how long the labor market will remain so tight, especially as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to cool off the economy.

How to go about asking for a raise

Whether or not it’s a good time for you to request a raise can really depend on your industry and whether your organisation is thriving, says Chelsea Jay, a career coach based in Lansing, Michigan.

The accommodation and food services and leisure and hospitality sectors have seen the highest quit rates, reports Harvard Business Review, while retail and non-durable manufacturing industries have experienced the most growth in their quit rates. Workers in professional and business services are also leaving in droves.

Flowers says it’s fair to bring up rising prices when asking for a raise, though Jay argues that shouldn’t be the focus of the conversation.

“You can talk about inflation — but more than inflation, I encourage professionals to talk about their skill set and what they have brought to the organization,” says Jay.

She recommends talking to your coworkers about your salaries and doing research within your company, industry, city, state and career level. It’s also a good idea to look into when your company typically gives out raises and bring an estimate to the table at that time.

Nearly half of workers who tried to renegotiate their salary last year were successful, a survey by the job search site FlexJobs found.

What if you can’t get a raise?

If your request is denied, consider renegotiating your benefits. You can look into a hybrid working arrangement or more paid time off, or ask your employer to pay for a professional development opportunity, like a certification course.

That said, Jay warns against relying on short-term handouts, like retention bonuses.

“It’s a Band-Aid to cover up the bigger issue,” she says. “Companies don’t give bonuses every single year. So if you are not happy with your salary, either you need to get a raise from them, or you need to move on to a company that is willing to pay you right.”

She adds that everyone’s priorities are different, and you need to determine what’s most important to you if you decide to seek work elsewhere. In your interview with a potential employer, ask about the company culture, leadership, expectations of your role and the benefits and perks you’re interested in.

“Don’t settle. You’re in a time where you do not have to settle anymore,” she says.

What can employers do to retain talent?

Employers may see higher retention when they promote from within, Flowers emphasises.

“It’s one thing to say, ‘Hey, I’m going to leave this job and get a 10% raise elsewhere.’ But if a worker sees that they have a future and that they can move up the ladder through internal mobility … then maybe they won’t just go take the highest offer.”

Jay also advises employers to give quitting employees the space to be transparent about why they’re leaving in their exit interviews.

It’s important that companies actively respond to feedback by implementing new policies and making changes to avoid losing even more workers in the future.

“[The Great Resignation] really shone a light on the issues that corporate America and these companies are having when it comes to the way that they treat their employees and how they show value and how they show respect,” says Jay.

“So if anything, what it did for a lot of companies was made them realise, hey, we’re slipping in these areas. We need to step our game up here.”

 

The multigenerational workforce demands balance The pandemic has underlined the importance of values in the workplace – a factor made even more critical as we go through a generational shift in the business space.

The current workspace is usually mapped across four generations: a few Baby Boomers, some Generation X, and an ever-growing cohort of millennials and Generation Z. Each is characterised by its varying values and unique approaches. A challenge facing modern managers is in ensuring quality output, innovation, and teamwork in such a diverse workplace.

The key to managing a multi-generational workforce is leadership. Nokwanda Shabalala – the first woman commercial general manager at Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa – is a prime example of such a leader.

Shabalala has learned to navigate several multi-generational workspaces, the legacy of male domination, and the Covid-19 pandemic using versatility and an open-minded approach.

“This is the first time we have had so many generational groups working together – and it can be quite a challenge,” she says. “Generation Z and Generation Y place great emphasis on the impact of their work on the environment, and on communities. These generational groups also demand a work-life balance.”

Shabalala says that while earlier generations might have always prioritised work as a definition of a good work ethic, the values of the current generation are forcing professionals to re-evaluate that mindset.

“My professional career started in investment banking, which is renowned for being output driven, but my professional journey since then and my role at CCBSA has encouraged me to re-evaluate my understanding of work ethic. It is an ongoing process for me.”

She says she has learned to value balance, boundaries, and compromise – not just between work and home life, but between the sometimes-competing needs of her team members.

“My leadership style is collaborative and places a lot of emphasis on allowing people I work with to apply themselves and grow, rather than just doers. I prefer not to give answers but rather collaborate with my team to derive answers. It promotes ownership of the solutions and greater desire to perform from the team.”

By Faeeza Khan for Flux Trends

The earlier months of the pandemic saw younger workers moving from mostly service-based industries to better paying positions or relying on government subsidies in what has been dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’. Since then the US has begun to see a shift towards older workers mostly in permanent positions, particularly knowledge workers, resigning in what is now being dubbed ‘The Great Midlife Crisis’ by Columbia Business School professor Adam Galinsky. He says, “At the midpoint of life, we become aware of our own mortality, and it allows us to reflect on what really matters to us.” The pandemic has amplified this phenomenon. Dan Springer, the CEO of DocuSign, suggests that leaders are looking at this in the wrong way and that it should be reframed as what can businesses do to attract staff instead of what can they do to stop them from leaving in the first place. He calls this ‘The Great Embrace’.

Quirky, novelty benefits such as sleep pods and ping pong tables are less important to workers in the current post-pandemic landscape. People are resigning for more substantial benefits such as flexibility and meaning. The cost of failing to understand the needs of the workforce is a loss of access to the best and brightest talent. Employees will resign in the search for better benefits or meaning, and new employees may be difficult to attract. Mandating that workers return to the office, for example, has been facing a backlash from employees, the vast majority of whom, according to research, prefer more flexibility.

Businesses need to clearly understand what their employees need and offer them benefits accordingly; the most significant one being added flexibility. Consider a more hybrid approach instead of mandating employees back to the office, and offer employees the support they need to work effectively remotely. The pandemic has given people a taste of remote work and employees are not ready to give this up. Workers are choosing companies whose mission aligns with their personal values. Businesses should consider taking a stand on important societal issues which will attract and retain staff who support these causes. Overall, being supportive of a healthy work life balance will go a long way towards keeping employees happy.

 

By The Bharat Express News

New data from Microsoft shows a clear shift in South African work habits over the past year, as what employees expect from work and what they are willing to give back has changed dramatically.

“We are simply not the same people who returned home to work at the start of 2020. Employees in South Africa are rethinking what they expect from work and voting with their feet when these new expectations are not met.

“The challenge facing every organisation is to adapt to changing employee priorities while balancing business outcomes in an unpredictable economy,” says Colin Erasmus, director of modern workplace and security at Microsoft South Africa.

Microsoft data shows four key labor trends in South Africa right now.

It’s not worth coming to the office

While most employees in South Africa are supportive of the idea of ​​a hybrid working model, data shows that people are generally unsure when to come to the office and why. Many employees also find the commute unnecessary and prefer to spend valuable time with family.

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“That means leaders face a key challenge – make the office worth the trip. The data reveals, however, that few companies around the world have created new team norms, such as hybrid work meeting etiquette, to ensure time spent together is intentional.

“The biggest opportunity for business leaders is to rethink the role of the office and clarify why, when, and how often teams should meet in person,” Microsoft said.

Is it worth it?

Perhaps one of the most valuable insights from the index is that employees have a new “worthwhile equation” and are more likely to prioritise health and wellness at work than before the pandemic.

This is particularly the case in South Africa, which is part of a region where 50% of employees report a high sense of daily stress, Microsoft said.

“It’s also clear that employees are acting on this new priority to achieve a better work-life balance. In fact, more than half of employees in the broader Middle East and North Africa region say they will prioritise a new job in 2022.”

Big disconnect

“Managers feel stuck between leadership and employee expectations. They think leaders are disconnected from employees and don’t feel empowered to help their teams. Employees agree, with about 84% of workers across the region saying they are not engaged,” Microsoft said.

The group noted that managers can help bridge changing employee expectations and leadership priorities, but according to the data, most lack the influence and resources to make changes. on behalf of their team.

In fact, nearly 70% of managers in the Middle East and Africa say they struggle to empower their employees, Microsoft said.

Flexibility versus always on

Although employees appreciate their new flexibility, there is still a need to combat digital burnout.

Leaders in South Africa are reporting productivity levels equal to or better than before the pandemic, but this has hurt employees’ work-life balance.

For the average Teams user, meetings, chat, length of the workday, and working after hours and on weekends have all increased over the past two years. In fact, since February 2020, the average Teams user has seen a 252% increase in their weekly meeting time.

“If leaders want to give employees true flexibility, they need to focus on activities rather than impact. Opinions about productivity are changing and according to the Work Trend Index, most employees believe it’s important for employers to reward the impact on hours worked,” Microsoft said.

 

22 May is send a letter Sunday

The history of postal services in Southern Africa can be traced back over 500 years. In 1500 the captain of a Portuguese ship, Petro D’Ataide, placed a letter in a milkwood tree at Mossel Bay.

However, the first clear use of a device that could be called an envelope dates back to 2 000 BC in ancient Babylon. This envelope was made of a clay wrapping that could protect deeds, bookkeeping forms, mortgages, financial accounts and even letters from the elements while in storage.

Envelopes can also be used for other purposes, like:

• Scrapbooking / memory books – use the envelopes to create pockets and mini-folders in a scrapbook
• Wedding guestbooks
• Notebook/diary storage pockets
• Receipt organising
• Noticeboard organiser
• Place cards
• Advent calendar
• Budgeting

And so, as we celebrate write a letter day today, take a sheet, jot down a special message for someone you care about and send it in an envelope! The recipient will feel extra special, and you will know that you supported an industry that has been around for a very long time.

 

Can your boss read your emails?

Source: The Bharat Express News

Several South African companies have implemented an email monitoring policy in their employment contracts. This policy often covers private and professional use of email, but people often wonder how intrusive it should be, says Roy Bregman, director at Bregman Moodley Attorneys.

“Our Constitution respects a person’s right to privacy. The Personal Information Protection Act (POPIA) further strengthens personal data protection rights,” he said. “An employer has the right to expect that employees will not use their email to violate company policies, use inappropriate language, breach confidentiality, or run their own business during working hours. .”

Bregman added that employment contracts typically contain clauses dealing with monitoring and interception of emails.

These clauses generally provide that employees should not expect confidentiality when sending, receiving, downloading, downloading, printing or transmitting e-mails. And that employees should use email only for bona fide business purposes.

In terms of POPIA, an employer who processes an employee’s personal information must:

  • Do so in a reasonable manner and without negatively impacting their rights as data subjects.
  • Do so with the informed, express and voluntary consent of the person concerned.
  • Explain the purpose of such surveillance interception, to enable employees to perform their duties and to assist the employer in meeting its legal, commercial, administrative and managerial obligations.

WhatsApp and privacy

These policies may also include other forms of communication, including messaging services such as WhatsApp and Slack.

An employer is generally liable for its employee’s conduct when employees act within the scope and scope of their employment, said Karl Blom, senior partner at law firm Webber.

For this reason, if an employee uses WhatsApp to conduct their employer’s activities, the employer must ensure that those activities are POPIA-compliant, he said.

He added that several provisions may apply under the POPIA, including requirements for:

  • Transfer of data to third parties outside of South Africa;
  • Retention of personal information;
  • The security of personal information;
  • The purpose for which the personal information is used.

“If an employer uses WhatsApp, they should treat these messages like they treat any other technology – like email, VOIP, regular mail, etc.”

Employers should also be aware of any contractual privacy provisions that may apply to them – including those that may restrict its use of certain technologies, such as WhatsApp, he said.

“Finally, it is important to remember that WhatsApp and other messaging tools are operated by third parties, so employers should always be aware of any regulatory requirements that may restrict how they provide data to third parties. .

“For example, employers in the legal, education, medical or insurance sectors should be aware of the specific requirements that apply to these sectors.”

 

For many workers, the informality of the “water cooler” chat was the common connection point for the office environment – but as more companies adopt hybrid work, how do we make meaningful connections when our colleagues are just images on a screen?

“We have to ask what happens when a good chunk of the workforce isn’t anywhere near a water cooler or a break room,” says Linda Trim, director at Giant Leap, one of South Africa’s largest workplace design consultancies.

“What happens to laughs, gossip, innovation and creativity in the absence of a workplace?

“Think about all the relationships in your life that stemmed from work. Now think about how many of those relationships formed in person. It underlines the importance of developing relationships at work and just how much we lose when we try to do that without sharing the same physical space.”

Trim says companies now need to take particular care in fostering employee relationships when everyone is scattered to the four winds.

“The assumption is that proximity equals connection. But it really doesn’t. You can be in an office next to someone and really have zero relationship with them or only interact on messaging services anyway.

“When you make a connection a priority, you really have to create space for people to show up in authentic and vulnerable way. And that really starts at the top. For effective managers, that means letting people know when they have had a hard day and talking about their lives outside of work.”

Trim adds that this gives permission to everyone in the offices – and particularly in teams – for managers to show up in a way that’s the basis for true connection at work, whether in an office or on a video call.

“That doesn’t mean you have to give everyone your life story,” Trim notes.

“You can choose what level of vulnerability you want to have with colleagues, but it does prompt you into a space of sharing your history, your background and the big things going on in your life. In short, it is sharing all that you’re bringing to the workspace.”

Trim says that the idea that you can check your life at the office door if your are working in the office of literally at the door or virtually at the door is a false notion.

“Whether you’re in person or you’re online, it’s really about how people show up in a way that is authentic,” Trim concludes.

 

By Warren Bonheim, MD of Zinia

The world of work as we know it is has changed dramatically and with it a growing number of productivity killers that impact your success. With the pace of work, increased digitisation and time pressures, these productivity killers can derail careers and businesses.

Entrepreneur Warren Bonheim, managing director of Zinia, shares his top six productivity killers you need to get on top of today:

Incorrect use of focus and energy

Every person’s body and mental rhythm is different, we all have times throughout the day where we have more energy to focus, and times when our energy dips. When our energy is low our focus is impacted.

Yet most people are unaware and do not utilise peak energy times to their advantage. Using your peak energy times to focus on high impact activities and low energy times to do tasks that don’t require huge mental focus, will dramatically increase productivity.

If your peak energy time is first thing in the morning, then driving in traffic will negatively impact your focus time. It may be better to use that time to your advantage and set your travel time for later.

Also, I find that people who work flat out and do not take breaks are in fact draining their energy. While it may seem like you are being productive, in fact you are becoming less effective and can lead to burnout. It is far better to take short breaks to boost your energy then go back to your desk to resume tasks with more focus.

Stuck in the capacity trap

Having too much work and not available capacity is an absolute productivity killer. Yet most of us just put our heads down and try to tackle everything; what suffers the most is your ability to achieve.

We relentlessly rush through tasks to meet deadlines, never really giving every task or project the time it deserves to be done thoroughly. Not to mention the emotional impact of not being fully satisfied with the work we have done.

Also, find ways to create efficiency and better ways of working which ultimately generates more capacity. Productivity tools that analyse where you are spending too much time can help you create efficiency, whether it is by changing a work habit, using work applications more effectively, or even changing a cumbersome work process.

By taking the time to evaluate your available work hours and ways of working realistically against the work you have, and understanding your true capacity, you can now implement solutions to improve your productivity and that of your teams.

Help, too many distractions

Distractions can affect your ability to focus and get work done, so it is important to be aware of the distracting influences in your environment. If you work from home your distractions are obvious, like being interrupted by kids or domestic duties, so it is important to have a private space where you are undisturbed.

In a work environment, people interrupt you, especially if you are in an open plan office. It is so much easier to walk over to talk to someone and get a response, even if you can see they are busy with something.

What you may need to do is set some clear boundaries such as wearing headphones that signal you wish not to be disturbed, or work from a boardroom when you need focus time.

Another common distraction is messaging apps and email whose presence is immediately felt with a sound signalling the arrival of a new message. By putting notifications on silent for a short time, or resisting the urge to keep checking emails, you give yourself focus time after which you can attend to any incoming messages.

Where did the time go?

Whether you work remotely or in the office, time management is an issue that affects everyone. Many people struggle with time management faced with different aspects in their day like long meetings, managing deadlines, new work projects, interruptions and remaining focused.

The key to time management is being aware of where you spend most of your time and then finding a way to manage your time throughout the day effectively.

This is far more difficult to do when you don’t use a productivity tool as the day goes past so quickly that it is virtually impossible to remember what you worked on, when, and on which day.

However, awareness of where the problem lies is a key factor in helping you manage time better.

Micromanagement

This has to be one of the biggest productivity killers of the day. While micromanagement has its place if a person is not performing, it places immense stress on you and therefore produces the opposite desired result.

Have you ever felt your heart rate rise when someone stands over your shoulder or asks where something is which you haven’t gotten to yet? It is natural for the body to respond negatively.

Understanding why people micromanage gives some insight; it is usually driven by a lack of information / the fear of the unknown. And this is further exacerbated by the shift to remote working where people are disconnected.

The fact is that constant check-ins are an interruption to the flow of work and can hinder progress of work.

Use of technology systems or processes

While no one likes to admit that technology or processes can sometimes result in a lack of productivity, the fact is that it does happen.

There is nothing worse than trying to complete an important task and it takes an hour instead of a few minutes. Or be told to follow a process which in fact adds more time not less.

Whether it is inconsistent internet, an inefficient process, slow computer applications, or lack of technology training, this is often a silent productivity killer that flies under the radar.

Today, there are productivity tools like WorkStatz which can help by measuring where you spend your time on your computer, like a fitness app that monitors your physical activity so you stay on track of your fitness goals. WorkStatz provides valuable insights on time challenges such as too many meetings, long meetings, applications that hinder success, high or low workloads, ineffective processes, too many administrative tasks, multitasking challenges and so on.

Productivity leads to success and embracing tech tools to help you may be just what you need to banish those productivity killers forever.

 

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