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Retaining Top Talent in Your Team

As the economy has bounced back after the global slowdown, options for talented workers have improved too. As a manager or business owner what you can do to ensure that your best employees stay with you over an extended period? We have collected a few points that might help you make work conditions better and keep your employees from looking for greener pastures elsewhere.

• Train your managers – A good manager provides a nurturing environment for the employee to succeed, and keeps any supervision from turning suffocating.  

• Provide practical benefits – instrumental benefits, like good health insurance or paid leaves, can give any company an edge in a market competing through high pay packages to attract and retain talent.

• Create a stimulating work environment – Cubicles for workers who prefer privacy to work, a café for occasional breaks or a gaming room to de-stress, or even allowing flexible timings or work-from-home options, are just some of the ways to make the office a welcoming place.

• Reward good performance – Despite being the prime motivator for continued excellence, many firms fail to ensure this, probably to avoid appearing biased.

• Connect employees’ work to the larger picture – Regular feedback that helps employees be clear about the firm’s expectations is essential for a sense of engagement and avoidance of stress.

• Listen to your employees – Engage regularly with your staff to know their needs and aspirations – the best way to implement the other employee retention pointers mentioned above.

Retaining your best employees has a direct positive effect on the firm’s bottom line. While some of the steps above may appear costly, the value of your best employees staying with you for a long time far outweighs the cost of any investment you might have to make.

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Working Hard Vs Overworking

Symptoms

Do you work late most weekdays and over weekends? Take phone calls from work regularly during your family time? Keep checking office emails on your phone every few minutes, and get restless if you aren’t able to respond immediately?

What could be more alarming while doing this you probably think of yourself as an efficient, hard-working, committed worker? Most organizations today expect their employees to be responsive every second of the day, just because technology allows one to. The modern office culture also encourages the belief that the more time employees spend at the workplace, the more valuable, ambitious and successful they are, with being overly busy considered a badge of honor.

Diagnosis

If you proudly (or sheepishly) answered yes to the questions above, there is a good chance you are working harder than what your mind and your body can sustain, and are teetering on the edge of burnout. There is also a good chance its effects show up at other places in your life – you could be prone to one or more of the following conditions:

  • Stress
  • Irritability
  • Lack of motivation
  • no family or social life
  • Constant tiredness
  • Erratic work performance

There is a fine line between working hard and overworking. Unfortunately, it has become increasingly common for many of us to cross it, and fall into a repetitive pattern of working ever harder and finding, even more, work left to do.

Working beyond what you can or should, in turn, leads to graver problems. Overworked employees are at a much higher chance of having issues like depression, anxiety, and immune system problems. And, perversely, it hurts your work performance too – judgment, creativity, efficiency, overall productivity, all have been scientifically proven to come down in constantly overburdened workers, defeating the very purpose of working very long hours.

Remedy

Like a lot else, this problem is also largely of your making, so playing the victim might not do. Instead, you are the best person to take the first steps towards a saner work environment for yourself, and here are a few practical ways to help you do it:

Realize there is such a thing as working too hard. Everyone’s capacity for working without a break is different. If you hardly spend time with your family, have no time for interests beyond work, or feel tired much too often, you have gone beyond yours. The first step towards finding a cure is always the realization that you need one.

Set some boundaries. Stick to basic rules like ‘no checking of a phone during meals’ and designate certain periods during the day as off-limits for office issues.

Prioritize work. Some things at your office need your undivided attention. Others, not so much. Not all meetings need to last as long as they do. Not every client needs to be engaged on a call for an hour. Most ‘nice to do’ work can be avoided.

Take breaks. Firstly, short, but meaningful ones at your job. A long break spent discussing office politics is probably not an ideal break from the grind. You might prefer a quick walk around the block, or read a couple of chapters by your favorite author. Secondly, go off the grid, either alone, with your family, or close friends, once in a while. Both kinds of breaks help your mind replenish its resources, and also give you time to focus better and stop being an automaton.

Be an example. How you handle your work life can be an inspiration to others, especially if you have people working for you. Don’t encourage the culture of weekend meetings and staying late every night at the office. Don’t try to shame people leaving before you, and don’t get cowed into staying back if someone does it to you. Long working hours do not necessarily mean greater productivity.

It is not easy changing a pattern set over the years. Workaholics – and this is an actual thing – go through withdrawal when weaned off their unhealthy working system. To make matters worse, workaholism, unlike other addictions, is not disapproved.

Finally, working hard is a great thing. It helps you achieve greatness. But, are you working hard on the right stuff? What could be greater than working on yourself, and your relationships, to maintain your health and happiness?

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How to prepare for an interview


By Doug Hardy, Monster Staff Writer
Even if you have less than a day before your job interview, you can outshine the competition with a little interview preparation. The following four tasks will take you about four hours (plus five minutes) to complete, making this the best approach when it comes to how to prepare for an interview.

How to prepare for an interview

1. Conduct basic interview research

To prepare for an interview, find out as much as you can beforehand. Call the person who scheduled your interview and ask:

Who will you be talking to? Will you meet the manager you’d work for, or will you just talk to HR? What are the interviewer’s expectations?
What’s the dress code? Dress better than suggested. Most times, it’s best to wear a professional suit. You’d be amazed how many candidates show up looking like they’re going to class, not presenting a professional demeanor.
Get directions to the office. Plan to leave early. Keep a phone number to call if you get stuck on the bus or in traffic. If you arrive late and stressed, the interview will not go well.
If you don’t have a detailed job description, ask for one.
That’s a five-minute phone call.

2. Learn about the company online

Do some fast research, which will give you something to talk about in addition to the job description. Go to the employer’s website, or Google information such as:

How big is the company in terms of annual sales or employees?
What does the company say about its products or services?
What recent news (such as a new product, a press release, an interview with the CEO) can you discuss?
If the company is public, the boilerplate at the bottom of its press releases will tell you a lot.
Basic research should take you about an hour.

3. Think of some stories

Be ready to answer typical interview questions with a story about yourself. To prepare, write down and memorize three achievement stories. Talk about times you’ve really felt proud of an achievement at work or school. These stories demonstrate all those hard-to-measure qualities like judgment, initiative, teamwork or leadership. Wherever possible, quantify what you’ve done, e.g., “increased sales by 20 percent,” “cut customer call waiting time in half,” “streamlined delivery so that most customers had their job done in two days.”

By the way, non-work achievement stories are good too; if you volunteer for the local food pantry, write down a time you overcame a big challenge or a crisis there.

Achievement stories make you memorable, which is what you want. There’s an exercise in Monster Careers: Interviewing called “Mastering the Freestyle Interview,” which helps you develop these stories into compelling sales points.

Take the time you need—at least three hours on this task.

4. Pick your outfit, and go to bed early

Lay out your interview outfit the night before, get a good night’s rest, and always get an early start. The last thing you want is to waste all of your interview preparation by arriving flustered and panicked because you couldn’t find a parking space.

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Hadoop for Big Data Success?

Welcome to the SunSoft LLC newsletter program. With everyone talking Big Data and productivity, SunSoft LLC is working hard to deliver consultancy services and the right IT talent for making Business Intelligence a success in the wider enterprise world.

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Versatile Program Managers Drive Businesses Out of the Economic Slump

Many business organizations have adopted a proactive approach in battling the ongoing economic slump. Instead of cutting cost by shrinking workforce and reducing expenditures to survive the wave of economic crisis, enterprises have stepped their game up in pursuit of business success.And the strategy of expanding business to overcome economic challenges has paid off for most of the successful organizations globally.

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Tech News-letter

Welcome to the first SUNSOFT newsletter. SUNSOFT LLC specializes in IT staffing and enterprise technology solutions for a variety of industry verticals including IT, Telecommunications, Financial, Health Care, Education, Automotive, Consumer Resources and Government organizations. We are excited to announce this bi-monthly email newsletter as a way of keeping in touch with our valuable clients, customers and employees.We will discuss the latest enterprise technology trends and IT solutions we can leverage to streamline your business processes while we strive to better serve the wider IT community.

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Heading to New Directions with Mobile Gadgetry

Focusing of the latest technology trends and IT solutions, SunSoft has made foray into the next-gen mobile computing sector by inviting writers for Glassware, the software that runs on Google Glass, as well as Apple’s iOS 7 and Google’s Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

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Relationships based onTrust

You never close a sale. You only begin a long-term relationship where both parties win.

Can you think of a successful relationship without mutual trust? Break that trust and you break the relationship. Subvert it and it’s almost impossible to put together again. Creating a long-term relationship takes two or more people—whether they’re executives, representatives of labor and management, or husband and wife—who are grounded in and operating on the same non-situational honesty.

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