Search

How to re-engage your employees post COVID-19

Slowly, but surely, we are heading back into the office. The world is reopening and we’re ready to embrace it with open arms. After months of lockdown, you might assume that employees are keen to get back to work. Unfortunately, that is not the case. In this guest post, Natalka Antoniuk) shares about the challenge that Quadrant2Design, an exhibition stand company, are facing with no restart date for their industry yet. She shares insights from their experience with tips to re-engage employees and get your business up and running again.Employee engagement is key to rebuilding a business however, a study by Dr. Nick Keca shows that on average only 29% of employees in your company are actively engaged. They are loyal, committed, more productive and easier to retain which is why they are vital to business regrowth.Employee engagement as per a study by Keka Research  Just over half of your team are likely not engaged, meaning that they can be productive, but they are not psychologically connected to their company.These are the employees who will miss workdays and are more likely to leave.  A fifth of your employees are actively disengaged. These are the employees that you need to work with. These individuals are physically present but are unhappy and psychologically absent. Furthermore, these employees share their unhappiness with others which can influence others who are not engaged. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” - Steve JobsAs a business owner, employee engagement might not be at the forefront of your mind given the current situation. With businesses starting back up, and huge VAT reductions to encourage economic growth, you are probably more concerned with customer relations and closing deals.  If you don’t actively work towards re-engaging your employees, this might not be possible.After almost five months working from home, employees have realized benefits such as saving time and money by not commuting. They are asking for flexible working patterns, the ability to work remotely, and an openness to new working styles.   This shift in attitudes is going to have a ripple effect when offices do reopen. Although individuals have missed the social aspect of the office, they have made it clear that they want a change. Admittedly restructuring your business amidst a global pandemic isn’t the smartest choice, employers are going to have to do something to keep their staff engaged.  How do you engage employees? Trying to engage your employees, and keep them engaged, was hard before the global pandemic. Now, with the looming recession, job losses, two months of working from home and a virus still in circulation, it is going to be even harder.How do you engage employees?Nevertheless, the traditional methods that employers have used for years will still be effective and shouldn’t be ignored in your struggle to reengage your team. Reopening your office will take some getting used to after the lockdown. Trying to keep on top of the basic pillars of engagement will go a long way towards keeping your employees happy and motivated. Recognition Employees are more engaged when they feel like their contribution has been recognized. Although remuneration, benefits and rewards are common ways to show your employee that your value their input, you might not be financially stable enough to give these kind of rewards post-COVID. So, what do you do? Fortunately, over 80% of employees value recognition above any rewards or gifts. As long as your employees feel like you appreciate the work they are doing, they will be more actively engaged.  The type of recognition that you give your staff also matters. Over two-thirds of people believe recognition as an individual was more motivating than recognition as a team.Almost 90% of people find praise from their managers to be very or extremely motivation. And three quarters said the same thing about praise from their peers. Recognizing your employees and praising them for their contributions doesn’t cost you any time or money. Look at everything that has been achieved whilst we’ve all had to work from home and get ready to offer individual praise when your doors finally reopen. Growth Employees are more engaged if they feel like there is the potential to grow and develop their career within your organisation. In fact, the majority of people listed opportunities for growth as a more motivating reason to stay at a company than receiving a pay rise.  This is why employee engagement tends to be better in a growing company, as staff members understand the correlation between business growth and new job opportunities. The problem that most businesses will have is that the post-pandemic recession is likely to halt any growth. Whether you are open with your employees or not, there will always be tell-tale signs whether your business is growing or taking a hit. If your staff feel like the business is struggling financially, they will likely disengage quickly. Although growth and career progression might not be on the cards right now, job security is becoming increasingly important as we enter a global recession. Where possible, you need to make every member of staff feel like their job is safe. If you have made any redundancies, then they will likely feel insecure about their position within your organisation. Continue offering praise and recognition for their work so that they feel confident within their role at your company. Fun Without a doubt, the easiest and most effective way to keep your team motivated and engaged is to provide a fun working environment. Nine out of ten employees list fun working environments to be very or extremely motivating.  This doesn’t mean that you need to turn your office into a trendy London agency or Google HQ overnight. Simply building strong relationships and encouraging their out-of-work hobbies can go a long way. Most people are just looking for a healthy work environment. Fun with employeesRemember, the vast majority of people have enjoyed the time and money that they have saved by working from home. They have had more time to develop new hobbies and will likely be looking for a better workand life balance.  One of the things you can do to create a more fun working environment is open new avenues of communication. Make your employees feel comfortable coming to you to discuss ideas like flexible working. In building relationships with immediate supervisors and colleagues, your employees will be happier, more motivated and you will notice increased employee engagement.Expect unengaged employees One of the problems business owners are facing is the shift in attitudes that has led to previously engaged employees feeling unmotivated and disengaged. With all of the changes that 2020 has already brought, employees are looking for a sense of normality. Having spent months out of the office only to return to a new socially-distanced environment will take its toll. It is understandable when you look at the three pillars of employee engagement listed above. For months, each team member has been working from home without their colleagues around them. This segregation will have led to a decrease in praise and recognition both from management and on a peer-to-peer level. Furthermore, they are likely to have lost confidence in their job security. With media headlines focussing on the looming recession and the vast number of job losses, many employees are worried about the safety of their own roles.  Finally, any element of fun that was provided in your work environment before has been stripped bare by the 2m social distancing requirements, plastic screens and lingering smell of hand sanitiser. Employees got used to a life working from home where they had more free time available for their family and new hobbies. Now they are back in the office with regulations in place to stop any kind of relationship building.  Of course, the measures we listed above will help you overcome these difficulties. But the truth is that you have a lot of things to consider at the moment. This is a global pandemic and you’re working hard making the right business decisions. Nobody blames you for letting employee engagement slip. But in doing so, you will cause more damage to your business.Expect unengaged employeesHow do you motivate a disengaged team? It is much harder to motivate an individual who has recently become disengaged. Although we can make assumptions as to why this has happened, you can never be completely sure. That means no employer will ever know a quick fix. The problem is, once an individual becomes disengaged it is hard to get them back on course. A disengaged employee isn’t satisfied with the job that they are doing, they don’t find it exciting and they spend their day clock watching.  Under normal circumstance, when an employee reaches this point, they are likely to be searching for a new job. In the current situation, disengaged employees may feel trapped or threatened by the decreasing job pool. This can lead to further problems down the line as they will vocalise their issues to the other employees, and their negative attitude could start to rub off. Although you don’t want negative people on your team, cutting staff could lead to further disengagement. It is also incredibly cost-effective to actively reengage a current member off staff rather than recruiting new people. So how should you do this? Career development Okay, so you might not be in the best situation to start promoting your employees and dishing out pay raises and bonuses – but you can still let your staff know that their position within your business is safe. Encouraging your staff to attend training programs that enable them to develop new skills will make them feel appreciated. It shows that you intend to have them working for you in the future, giving them a sense of job security.   Be open Share all the company news, good and bad, with your employees. In doing so, you are telling everyone that they are a valuable member of the team. It will help them to engage with the business, company goals, and align themselves with your mission and values. Furthermore, you may find a handful of hidden talents hiding amongst your team. When an employee is disengaged, they pass the day by doing the bare minimum and clock watching. Engaged employees go above and beyond for their company. By being open about the current business situation, your team will become more actively engaged and could even provide solutions to company problems. Lay out your expectations Your business goals will have to be adjusted to help you face the crisis. You may find your product offering, your distribution methods or your marketing strategy have to change. If you are open with your employees, they will already understand that their roles may change slightly moving forward. Make this transition easier by sitting down with each of your employees to discuss their new roles and setting clear expectations, goals and objectives. In doing so, you reiterate the importance of every member of staff and they feel more secure in their job roles with clear targets to work towards. At Quadrant2Design, we are patiently awaiting a reopen date for our industry. Normally at this time of year we are busy designing exhibition stands, however our day-to-day working pattern has changed. Rather than designing stands, we have been creating free resources to help individuals with their exhibition planning and budgeting.  It has been a great exercise for our highly creative team, and something that has seen different groups working together. Overall, we have found this to be extremely helpful in re-engaging our employees. In summary Believe it or not, your employees want to engage at work. Nobody wants to be sat at a desk clock watching for a third of their life. Engaging your team will not only boost your business but make your office a better place to work. The truth of the matter is your employees will find it much easier to stay motivated and engaged at work if you provide the right atmosphere for them to do so. You can do this by following everything that we have outlined above.   Providing an open atmosphere by working on colleague relationships, particularly with supervisors and managers, and keeping the team up to date with the current business situation will be key to this. Furthermore, adjusting to the changing attitudes of staff by encouraging hobbies and becoming more flexible may also benefit engagement. Offer employees the opportunity to grow and develop their career, even if you currently are not in a financial situation to promote and reward them. Letting employees know that their job is safe and there will soon be an opportunity to progress will also be key to maintaining employee engagement.  Finally, take it upon yourself to have a one-to-one with every individual. It could be that their job role has changed as you’ve had to adapt your business offering. Set your expectations and give them personal goals and targets to work towards in this new role. Keeping everyone on board will be crucial in business regrowth post-COVID19.
How to re-engage your employees post COVID-19
KnowledgeHut
Rated 4.0/5 based on 13 customer reviews

How to re-engage your employees post COVID-19

Slowly, but surely, we are heading back into the office. The world is reopening and we’re ready to embrace it with open arms. After months of lockdown, you might assume that employees are keen to get back to work. Unfortunately, that is not the case. In this guest post, Natalka Antoniuk) shares about the challenge that Quadrant2Design, an exhibition stand company, are facing with no restart date for their industry yet. She shares insights from their experience with tips to re-engage employees and get your business up and running again.Employee engagement is key to rebuilding a business however, a study by Dr. Nick Keca shows that on average only 29% of employees in your company are actively engaged. They are loyal, committed, more productive and easier to retain which is why they are vital to business regrowth.Employee engagement as per a study by Keka Research  Just over half of your team are likely not engaged, meaning that they can be productive, but they are not psychologically connected to their company.These are the employees who will miss workdays and are more likely to leave.  A fifth of your employees are actively disengaged. These are the employees that you need to work with. These individuals are physically present but are unhappy and psychologically absent. Furthermore, these employees share their unhappiness with others which can influence others who are not engaged. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” - Steve JobsAs a business owner, employee engagement might not be at the forefront of your mind given the current situation. With businesses starting back up, and huge VAT reductions to encourage economic growth, you are probably more concerned with customer relations and closing deals.  If you don’t actively work towards re-engaging your employees, this might not be possible.After almost five months working from home, employees have realized benefits such as saving time and money by not commuting. They are asking for flexible working patterns, the ability to work remotely, and an openness to new working styles.   This shift in attitudes is going to have a ripple effect when offices do reopen. Although individuals have missed the social aspect of the office, they have made it clear that they want a change. Admittedly restructuring your business amidst a global pandemic isn’t the smartest choice, employers are going to have to do something to keep their staff engaged.  How do you engage employees? Trying to engage your employees, and keep them engaged, was hard before the global pandemic. Now, with the looming recession, job losses, two months of working from home and a virus still in circulation, it is going to be even harder.How do you engage employees?Nevertheless, the traditional methods that employers have used for years will still be effective and shouldn’t be ignored in your struggle to reengage your team. Reopening your office will take some getting used to after the lockdown. Trying to keep on top of the basic pillars of engagement will go a long way towards keeping your employees happy and motivated. Recognition Employees are more engaged when they feel like their contribution has been recognized. Although remuneration, benefits and rewards are common ways to show your employee that your value their input, you might not be financially stable enough to give these kind of rewards post-COVID. So, what do you do? Fortunately, over 80% of employees value recognition above any rewards or gifts. As long as your employees feel like you appreciate the work they are doing, they will be more actively engaged.  The type of recognition that you give your staff also matters. Over two-thirds of people believe recognition as an individual was more motivating than recognition as a team.Almost 90% of people find praise from their managers to be very or extremely motivation. And three quarters said the same thing about praise from their peers. Recognizing your employees and praising them for their contributions doesn’t cost you any time or money. Look at everything that has been achieved whilst we’ve all had to work from home and get ready to offer individual praise when your doors finally reopen. Growth Employees are more engaged if they feel like there is the potential to grow and develop their career within your organisation. In fact, the majority of people listed opportunities for growth as a more motivating reason to stay at a company than receiving a pay rise.  This is why employee engagement tends to be better in a growing company, as staff members understand the correlation between business growth and new job opportunities. The problem that most businesses will have is that the post-pandemic recession is likely to halt any growth. Whether you are open with your employees or not, there will always be tell-tale signs whether your business is growing or taking a hit. If your staff feel like the business is struggling financially, they will likely disengage quickly. Although growth and career progression might not be on the cards right now, job security is becoming increasingly important as we enter a global recession. Where possible, you need to make every member of staff feel like their job is safe. If you have made any redundancies, then they will likely feel insecure about their position within your organisation. Continue offering praise and recognition for their work so that they feel confident within their role at your company. Fun Without a doubt, the easiest and most effective way to keep your team motivated and engaged is to provide a fun working environment. Nine out of ten employees list fun working environments to be very or extremely motivating.  This doesn’t mean that you need to turn your office into a trendy London agency or Google HQ overnight. Simply building strong relationships and encouraging their out-of-work hobbies can go a long way. Most people are just looking for a healthy work environment. Fun with employeesRemember, the vast majority of people have enjoyed the time and money that they have saved by working from home. They have had more time to develop new hobbies and will likely be looking for a better workand life balance.  One of the things you can do to create a more fun working environment is open new avenues of communication. Make your employees feel comfortable coming to you to discuss ideas like flexible working. In building relationships with immediate supervisors and colleagues, your employees will be happier, more motivated and you will notice increased employee engagement.Expect unengaged employees One of the problems business owners are facing is the shift in attitudes that has led to previously engaged employees feeling unmotivated and disengaged. With all of the changes that 2020 has already brought, employees are looking for a sense of normality. Having spent months out of the office only to return to a new socially-distanced environment will take its toll. It is understandable when you look at the three pillars of employee engagement listed above. For months, each team member has been working from home without their colleagues around them. This segregation will have led to a decrease in praise and recognition both from management and on a peer-to-peer level. Furthermore, they are likely to have lost confidence in their job security. With media headlines focussing on the looming recession and the vast number of job losses, many employees are worried about the safety of their own roles.  Finally, any element of fun that was provided in your work environment before has been stripped bare by the 2m social distancing requirements, plastic screens and lingering smell of hand sanitiser. Employees got used to a life working from home where they had more free time available for their family and new hobbies. Now they are back in the office with regulations in place to stop any kind of relationship building.  Of course, the measures we listed above will help you overcome these difficulties. But the truth is that you have a lot of things to consider at the moment. This is a global pandemic and you’re working hard making the right business decisions. Nobody blames you for letting employee engagement slip. But in doing so, you will cause more damage to your business.Expect unengaged employeesHow do you motivate a disengaged team? It is much harder to motivate an individual who has recently become disengaged. Although we can make assumptions as to why this has happened, you can never be completely sure. That means no employer will ever know a quick fix. The problem is, once an individual becomes disengaged it is hard to get them back on course. A disengaged employee isn’t satisfied with the job that they are doing, they don’t find it exciting and they spend their day clock watching.  Under normal circumstance, when an employee reaches this point, they are likely to be searching for a new job. In the current situation, disengaged employees may feel trapped or threatened by the decreasing job pool. This can lead to further problems down the line as they will vocalise their issues to the other employees, and their negative attitude could start to rub off. Although you don’t want negative people on your team, cutting staff could lead to further disengagement. It is also incredibly cost-effective to actively reengage a current member off staff rather than recruiting new people. So how should you do this? Career development Okay, so you might not be in the best situation to start promoting your employees and dishing out pay raises and bonuses – but you can still let your staff know that their position within your business is safe. Encouraging your staff to attend training programs that enable them to develop new skills will make them feel appreciated. It shows that you intend to have them working for you in the future, giving them a sense of job security.   Be open Share all the company news, good and bad, with your employees. In doing so, you are telling everyone that they are a valuable member of the team. It will help them to engage with the business, company goals, and align themselves with your mission and values. Furthermore, you may find a handful of hidden talents hiding amongst your team. When an employee is disengaged, they pass the day by doing the bare minimum and clock watching. Engaged employees go above and beyond for their company. By being open about the current business situation, your team will become more actively engaged and could even provide solutions to company problems. Lay out your expectations Your business goals will have to be adjusted to help you face the crisis. You may find your product offering, your distribution methods or your marketing strategy have to change. If you are open with your employees, they will already understand that their roles may change slightly moving forward. Make this transition easier by sitting down with each of your employees to discuss their new roles and setting clear expectations, goals and objectives. In doing so, you reiterate the importance of every member of staff and they feel more secure in their job roles with clear targets to work towards. At Quadrant2Design, we are patiently awaiting a reopen date for our industry. Normally at this time of year we are busy designing exhibition stands, however our day-to-day working pattern has changed. Rather than designing stands, we have been creating free resources to help individuals with their exhibition planning and budgeting.  It has been a great exercise for our highly creative team, and something that has seen different groups working together. Overall, we have found this to be extremely helpful in re-engaging our employees. In summary Believe it or not, your employees want to engage at work. Nobody wants to be sat at a desk clock watching for a third of their life. Engaging your team will not only boost your business but make your office a better place to work. The truth of the matter is your employees will find it much easier to stay motivated and engaged at work if you provide the right atmosphere for them to do so. You can do this by following everything that we have outlined above.   Providing an open atmosphere by working on colleague relationships, particularly with supervisors and managers, and keeping the team up to date with the current business situation will be key to this. Furthermore, adjusting to the changing attitudes of staff by encouraging hobbies and becoming more flexible may also benefit engagement. Offer employees the opportunity to grow and develop their career, even if you currently are not in a financial situation to promote and reward them. Letting employees know that their job is safe and there will soon be an opportunity to progress will also be key to maintaining employee engagement.  Finally, take it upon yourself to have a one-to-one with every individual. It could be that their job role has changed as you’ve had to adapt your business offering. Set your expectations and give them personal goals and targets to work towards in this new role. Keeping everyone on board will be crucial in business regrowth post-COVID19.
Rated 4.0/5 based on 13 customer reviews
7038
How to re-engage your employees post COVID-19

Slowly, but surely, we are heading back into the o... Read More

How companies can become truly Agile in the wake of COVID-19

Agile is touted as one of the best, most important work methodologies. In what ways is it relevant (or not?) through a crisis like the one we’re facing brought on by COVID-19? We caught up with experienced Agile Coach and KnowledgeHut trainer, Kumaresh Krishnamoorthy, on why an agile mindset might be one of the most important skills for the emergent new normal.  Kumaresh is a leading industry expert in Agile with experience in IBM, General Motors and Hewlett Packard. He specializes in Agile Transformation from Waterfall to Agile to Scaled Agile using (Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®), Disciplined Agile (DA®) and other Agile frameworks and processes. In this interview, Kumaresh talked to us about what it means for a company to be truly agile, the crucial role that leadership plays in agile transformation and the need for enterprises to upskill their workforce to face the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities in the post COVID-19 world. In this article, we share excerpts from the interview along with the video for you to follow along. Watch our interview with Kumaresh Krishnamoorthy, Agile Coach and KnowledgeHut TrainerCustomer centricity at the heart of the Agile mindset What I observe during this challenging time is that different companies seem to have different approaches towards dealing with the sudden and massive disruption. In smaller companies and start-ups, the focus is always customer centricity and they build in a design thinking framework around this. The company is this network of people and every single person in the network is focused on providing value to the customer, irrespective of how many changes come up from the customer’s side. This is how small companies start growing. But as companies grow, a hierarchical structure emerges with processes to be followed. There are policies and departments and as companies keep growing, the focus on customer centricity slowly starts diminishing and instead, they start focusing on the process itself. This is where the issue lies, and the company struggles to deliver true value to the customer. What happens is that the process has taken over, the hierarchy has taken over, the traditional way of thinking has taken over.  Now, when the customer wants a change, the bigger companies will usually insist on a change management process. Every change will probably take around two months to be implemented.What agile brings about here is a change in mindset which helps every person in the network focus once again on customer centricity and design thinking enables this.  It isn’t that hierarchy is bad. Structures, policies and procedures are very important for every company, but we also need to realize and learn from the things which worked well when the company was small. It is true that change is inevitable and is the only constant in life; the important thing for us to understand is how to adapt. The company that adapts fastest keeping the focus on the customer is the one that will be successful. The customer focus is what Agile brings about. Why do so many organizations fail with their Agile transformations? If you notice some of the big companies like Blockbuster, the video rental company - they did not adapt and eventually fell apart. But look at Netflix, which started after blockbuster - they understood the reason for change; they understood the Agile way of thinking. They truly adopted Agile. They trained their employees to be truly agile and to be innovative. They trained their employees to take chances and this is how they grew to be so big today. Similarly, companies like BlackBerry and Nokia, all these companies fell apart while Apple, Samsung, and the like have thrived in adapting to change and been immensely successful. It is most important for companies to understand what the drive for them is to change. Don't change just because others are changing. Understand the reason for you to change. If you don't, someone else will overtake you. That's the drive that every company needs to understand. And based on that understanding, they need to provide their workforce with autonomy and give them the chance to succeed. Train them, educate them and give them the leadership support, which is often missing.  Don't change just because others are changing. Understand the reason for you to change. There is a big difference between “doing agile” and “being agile”. Many companies feel they that they are agile because they have adopted some of the frameworks and methodologies in their working until it does not work or they find they are not able to deliver value to customers. If these companies do a deep dive, they will soon realize that they are just “doing Agile”, not “being Agile”. “Doing agile” boils down to external reasons – I’m doing it because my neighbour is doing it, my friend is doing it or my competitors are doing it – without an understanding of the reason behind the need to become agile. So,the first and foremost important thing is to recognize your need for change. Unless you are convinced, you will not be able to do justice.  The second reason companies struggle is because they do not understand the true principles and values behind agile. When companies make decisions without understanding the principles behind them, they are not able to make right decisions. The thing I always tell companies is that if you want to be truly agile, you need to understand what the values and principles behind agility are all about. Once you understand these and start believing in them, the decisions you then make, based on these principles and value statements are what will make you truly agile.The difference between “being agile” and “doing agile” is understanding the principles.With companies that are struggling, you will notice that these companies are trying to be agile only at the team level. The management feels that they don't have to be agile and that it’s only the IT team who actually has to be Agile - that's a huge misconception. And that's why companies are struggling quite a lot, because ofthis kind of hybrid model wherein on the top, you are traditional,but at the bottom, where the work is actually happening, you try to be Agile. This causes a huge disconnect between the thought process at the leadership and management level and the team that’s actually delivering value.Agile is not process implementation. It is a shift in mindset.Enterprises need to adopt the agile mindset because it's not just the teams who are doing the work – the whole enterprise needs to be agile. This is where the Scaled Agile framework or SAFe® comes up. The reason Scaled Agile has made a lot of progress and has become really popular is because it’s a framework which caters to all levels of an enterprise, not just at the team level. Scaling is not an option nowadays; if you don’t scale, you’re dead. It's important for leadership to understand what it is that they must do to be Agile; it’s not just about the teams.  And what leaders must then do is to provide the right environment - an environment of trust, an environment of respect and an environment of support. This is what brings about the passion in the team to actually deliver true value to the customers. This is where the magic happens and transformation begins. It all begins with the mindset at the leadership level.  Make the best of the lock-down and slowdown to upskill Unfortunately, we are in the middle of an economic slowdown and companies are struggling. But this gives an opportunity for companies to make sure that their employees take the time to introspect in terms of how they have been doing the past - have they been delivering true value to their customers? Are there perhaps better ways to do it? Investing in training and education helps the company grow. This is very important and now is especially a very good time to focus on this. You must do it to prepare for what comes after the crisis.Companies will then have to ramp up and deliver things really fast, faster than ever before because they have to catch up with the economy that will look to rebound rapidly.  When companies want to ramp up, especially in scaling Agile, it should not be just at the team level. It should not just be, for example, Scrum. While that’s one of the skills, there are several other frameworks – there’s Kanban, Lean thinking, Disciplined Agile and several others. So, there’s multiple areas they need to upskill themselves on. It’s also important for companies to learn how to choose the right agile solution for their situation. Not every project is “agileable”; the idea is that teams need to understand which projects Agile must be applied to and which projects they must continue in maybe a Waterfall fashion. Even in projects where Agile must be applied, you need to have different strategies as required - one project may require Kanban and the other Scrum, the third may require Lean or even SAFe®. There are different ways to apply your knowledge but the only way you can make this decision is to gain that knowledge.  The way to gain that knowledge is by talking to professionals, enrolling for training, and learning about best practices through case studies.  How can companies best prepare for the new normal post COVID-19? The next 6 months to a year is going to be really crucial in terms of how companies wrap themselves around the problem. To build character, adaptability, and flexibility and deliver true value to the customers, the work must happen now. When things come back to the new normal, things will need to really speed up. Enterprises will then need their work force equipped with the skills and the right frame of mind to really help the company grow at double the speed. That's why this transition period during the lockdown is crucial for companies to prepare their employees for what's coming up in the future. The best part is that all training which has traditionally been delivered as classroom training, whether CSM® or Leading SAFe® are all being delivered online now. People don't have to get out of their homes anymore; they can get trained safely and from the comfort of their homes. So, as companies are trying to adapt, this is a great opportunity for people to make use of their time and upskill. Ready to start or grow your Agile career? Check out our latest courses, learn the skills and get the personalized guidance you need.
Rated 4.0/5 based on 13 customer reviews
5459
How companies can become truly Agile in the wake o...

Agile is touted as one of the best, most important... Read More

Integrating Realm with Xamarin (Includes Realm Sync)

When it comes to mobile applications with database support, the first thing that comes to mind is SQLite. However, there are a few drawbacks with SQLite such as no support for data encryption and low performance when dealing with large data.In this article, we take a closer look at Realm, a non-relational database and a solid replacement for SQLite and core data. It is quite efficient and works seamlessly even with a large amount of data.Why use RealmEasy to use Provides data synchronization Fast and Efficient Provides Encryption of data Ways of using Realm Using realm locally: This creates a local file in your mobile app. Using realm cloud: The data lives in realm cloud and will be synchronized with the local database. In this article I will show how to integrate realm in the Xamarin Forms project. I will also show how to use realm as local database(Part-1) and realm cloud(Part-2) Prerequisites Visual Studio 2015 Update2 or higher for windows Visual Studio for Mac 7.0 or higher Part-1: Using Realm Local Database Firstly, create a Xamarin Forms project in Visual Studio for Windows or Mac. Go to the NuGet packages and install the realm package in all your solutions. Always prefer to install the latest one. It automatically adds fodyweavers.xml. If not added, please add it manually in all your projects.  Go to PCL project>—>Right click—>Add—>New File—>XML File—>FodyWeavers.xml Go to Android project>—>Right click—>Add—>New File—>XML File—>FodyWeavers.xml Go to iOS project>—>Right click—>Add—>New File—>XML File—>FodyWeavers.xml Add the below code in the fileFodyWeavers.xml        Let's create a model  public class Animals: RealmObject  {          public string Name { get; set; }          public int Age { get; set; }  } Opening Realms  Opening a Realm can be done by instantiating a new Realm object.  // Get a Realm instance   var realm = Realm.GetInstance(); Note: If nothing is passed, it creates the default realm. You can add realm name as below var realm = Realm.GetInstance(“Animals”); This will create realm db with “Animals” name To add/delete/update or do any operation of realm, first you need a Realm instance. 1) Add elements var _realm = Realm.GetInstance();  Add elements  _realm.Write(() =>                      {                          var entry = new Todo{ Name = “Dog”, Age =3 };                          _realm.Add(entry);                      }); 2) Delete elements  var param = _realm.All().First(b => b.Name == “Dog”);   using (var trans = _realm.BeginWrite())                   {                       _realm.Remove(param);  trans.Commit();                   }   3) Update elements  _realm.Write(() =>                      {  param.Name = “Cat”;                          _realm.Add(param);                      }); Part-2: Using Realm Cloud Now let's see how to use realm cloud. The setup is still the same. Here we need a few more additional steps. 1) Create an account in realm cloud at https://cloud.realm.io/ (one-month free trial account).  2) Create an instance in realm cloud by clicking on create an instance This instance ID will be further used for authentication  There are two types of Realm sync Full Sync: All the data present in the cloud will be synced locally Query Based Sync: Only partial data i.e the result set that is queried will be synced into the local copy. Here I am going to show you how to use full sync as Realm recommends using Full sync. Client Authentication:  Realm supports two types of authentication Simple Authentication: To simply get started one can use simple authentication which uses username, password and other one is anonymous login. JWT Authentication: It is recommended to use JWT Authentication for a better experience. The below code shows how to use simple authentication with username and password.  var authUrl = new Uri("https://myinstance.cloud.realm.io");  var credentials = Credentials.UsernamePassword(username, password, createUser: false);  var user = await User.LoginAsync(credentials, authUrl); To authenticate, you must supply a server URL. This is the base URL for your server, such as https://myinstance.cloud.realm.io Note: Here “myinstance" would be the instance id that you generated while creating your account  Create Realm through realm studio or through code. If the realm has not been created, while calling the realm instance it will automatically create. If you have already created through realm studio, you can just call the instance. Example: public static string realmPath = "realms://instanceId/realmname; Here the realm path consists of instanceId followed by realm name. Something like this public static string realmPath = "realms://instanceId/Animals; Now let’s login and call realm instance public async Task GetInitialize() { await StartLoginCycle(); } private async Task StartLogin() { do { await Task.Yield(); } while (!await LogIn()); }//Call the login methodprivate async Task LogIn() { try { user = User.Current; if (user == null) { var username = "DevUser"; //Pass your username var password = “User123"; //Pass the password var credentials = Realms.Sync.Credentials.UsernamePassword(username, password); /// Log in as the user. user = await User.LoginAsync(credentials, new Uri(RealmConnectionString.AuthUrl)); } Debug.Assert(user != null); Console.WriteLine("Login successful."); await GetDataFromRealm(); return true; } catch (Exception ex) { ///await Application.Current.MainPage.DisplayAlert("Error", ex.Message, "OK"); return false; } }//Call or create realm instance: public static async Task GetDataFromRealm() {                  var configuration = new FullSyncConfiguration(new Uri(realmPath, UriKind.Absolute), user);                  Var   _realm = await Realm.GetInstanceAsync(configuration);               var param = _realm.All();  //Adding/updating/deleting operations are same as above  } ConclusionIn the above sections, we have seen how to integrate realm local db and realm cloud into your xamarin forms project. You will also be able to perform operations like adding items, updating items and deleting items (showed in Part-1). These code snippets are the same for realm local database and realm cloud. You can find how to use linq queries in the below reference link. However, few features are not supported such as: groupby, union, intersect, distinct,except,  select, selectmany, join, group join, concat, skipwhile, take, skip and takewhile.  Note: Opening the realm instance asynchronously for the first time is recommended. Once the data is synchronized, the instance should be called synchronously.  You can also download realm studio, create a realm file, and add the data. This helps to minimize the code in your application.   Below are a few reference links that might help with further information Using realm with xamarin: https://realm.io/docs/dotnet/latest/ Linq support: https://realm.io/docs/dotnet/latest/api/linqsupport.html Realm Encryption: https://realm.io/docs/dotnet/latest/#encryption 
Rated 4.0/5 based on 13 customer reviews
6555
Integrating Realm with Xamarin (Includes Realm Syn...

When it comes to mobile applications with database... Read More

8 Career Tips During the Coronavirus Era

The situation is extremely challenging, as the Great Depression in the 1930s. However, we must have faith in our resolution to not let this Coronavirus outbreak turn as bad as the Great Depression. Presently, the job market has been going through a phase of rapid layoffs and working remotely. Both large-scale and small-scale, companies are working remotely to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Searching for a job during this terrible and chaotic outbreak is leaving people with nothing but anxiety towards an uncertain future. Companies are recruiting at a sporadic pace and number. However, the search in hiring strong new talents required to take over and solve challenges remain as the priority. Companies are hiring lesser candidates, thus spurring a lot of competition to get the job slots. So the necessary thing for the applicants to do is to be strategic, intentional, and go for a job type that they will love to do. Yes, people will get multiple options to work now, either as full-time employees or part-time, as freelancers as companies are hiring to have their project and contract-based positions filled in. There is always a silver lining at the end of a rainbow and similarly, during this pandemic, there is a great scope for people to enhance their skill set, connect with professionals on platforms like LinkedIn and show people that they are up for the next challenge. This results in a quicker hiring process and cycle. Below are the 8 career tips to pursue jobs during the period dominated by COVID-19. 1. Timing the job search based on the level of urgency This one is crucial for people who feel a sense of urgency to restlessly looking for jobs if they are currently unemployed. They can also consider searching for a full-time job if they just need a position quickly. The best suggestion for a candidate would be to stay calm and set a timeline for when he or she would like to get a new role to match up to the expectations of the hiring companies. Instead of blindly applying, candidates should focus on managing their network to get additional opportunities and keep track of their progress. 2. Build-up connections with online networks Check the job networks online, some could involve friends, mentors, and colleagues. This helps in spotting someone who employs or to find open roles in organizations. Looking for professionals in a similar field of work would allow candidates to talk to potential contacts about job opportunities, events, and virtual networking. Joining online communities, like Facebook or LinkedIn, will further facilitate the need of seeing jobs and networking. This provides the perfect opportunity to build fresh and genuine links and revive old ones during this epidemic. 3. Identify and apply for companies that are adapting well during Covid-19 This is the perfect time for candidates to recognize and submit their job applications to companies that are coping well with the COVID-19 outbreak and get used to the new work environment. To keep things running as normal, most professional firms have their offices moved to work remotely. Furthermore, the demand for multiple roles in the healthcare and manufacturing companies is also growing fast due to the emergency caused by COVID-19. 4. Upgrading resume and online profiles Applicants should patiently update their curriculum vitae and online social networking profiles to reflect their career’s recent successes, preparation, interests, and abilities. If they market your skills and brand to the employers, then this will stamp the fact that you are on a quest to embracing better opportunities. Such applicants will also have an edge over the others. Reading the job description carefully when applying for remote jobs to demonstrate the skills relevant to the job description is also a good protocol. 5. Upskill with online courses to build up your professional skillJob seekers should utilize this spare time to take up legitimate online courses related to their profession. This will allow them to hone existing skills and learn new ones as well. Applying for new positions with the added credibility of these certifications will greatly boost your chances. Due to the current situation, a variety of online training companies have been providing free technical education and courses. 6. Flexibility in working and utilizing temporary opportunitiesIt is recommended to the job applicants to stay in the flow by embracing freelance jobs. Entering as a freelancer for the first time means that job seekers should have the best skills at their disposal and search for ways to use them appropriately. They can think of ways to use their hobbies too. In these hard times, agility and flexibility is the key to save and rejuvenate your career. 7. Virtual interviewing and working remotelySince we are practicing socially distancing, the new method to attend interviews will be virtual, so job applicants need to adapt accordingly. Before the interview, it is necessary to watch out for the surroundings to find a spot that is quiet, comfortable, and well-lit - almost simulating an interview room. The required video call software should be installed in the compatible devices before the interview. Ensure a fast internet connection is available for a smooth interview. 8. Be patient during the hiring process Lastly, it is necessary to stay calm and patient during the hiring process. As much as this is a tough time for us, so is it for the companies. The challenges being faced by the hiring companies are quite daunting and going through so much change in a short time and adapting to the same is quite difficult. Keep in mind that the hiring and onboarding processes will take some time as everything is being done remotely and without any face-to-face interaction. Moving AheadAs Joseph P Kennedy has famously quoted, when the going gets tough, the tough get going - as humans, we can endure the global pandemic with our perseverance, tenacity, and zeal. This mass pandemic has given people the chance to look at their opportunities on a broader spectrum and utilize the skills that they never thought they could harness. Thanks to the option of working remotely due to technological advancements, the COVID-19 outbreak has indirectly given us the chance to test our resilience under an unexpected situation and grow even stronger, mentally, academically, and professionally. Stay safe and keep learning!
Rated 4.5/5 based on 0 customer reviews
3575
8 Career Tips During the Coronavirus Era

The situation is extremely challenging, as the Gre... Read More

How to Keep Your Project Moving During the Coronavirus Outbreak

The Coronavirus outbreak has put the world into testing times and quite a frustrating one as well. People are being laid-off from work due to companies suffering from financial and production losses. Some still are directed to go to work and risk being infected with this terrible disease. The biggest challenge is companies facing difficulties to keep their projects running during this pandemic, especially with how teams work and communicate.Current SituationMultiple companies have given their employees instructions to work from home to avoid being infected with the COVID-19. This has brought out the possibility of hiring new employees remotely.  Additionally, the virus could fast-track the remote hiring trend. While the World Health Organization (WHO) works with leaders from every nation to discover initiatives to precisely analyze, adequately contain, and build up a fitting response for this infection, workplaces are gearing up approaches to effectively deal with issues related to their projects.  COVID-19 is the worst outbreak to date that is changing how people work, pushing humanity towards working from home for good. How can companies coordinate and work remotely, while also keeping their projects in sync? Read on and find out. A. Provide timely and clear communication with accountability from team members For companies that have never practiced remote working, it would take some time to get used to. It can be challenging for certain project managers especially those who micro-manage. Remote project managers believe that a deep sense of confidence is built from their teams’ and individual members' skills. A company with self-motivated members who are highly disciplined and possess good communication skills makes remote working easier. Additionally, managers taking a step back to allow team members to carry out their work helps in building self-reliance and self-confidence.  Moreover, it is essential to interact with the teams with timely and clear communication while working as a remote leader and trying to maintain timely delivery and completion of the project tasks, thus ensuring everything is on schedule.B. Devise and implement clear plans to form remote work policiesCompanies should define specific policies and implement them to ensure that the best practices and concerns related to working remotely are addressed. The policies should be able to handle security problems and should have a backup plan to implement infrastructure, workflows, and interaction strategies. C. Use online project-collaboration tools to stay in touchProject teams working remotely need the necessary cloud-based tools from the companies that they are working for. Below mentioned are the ways with which companies can work with their teams to manage their projects collaboratively and handle the challenges that they may be facing while working remotely:Virtual meetings and video conferencing: Scheduling interactions with remote employees can be challenging. With video-conference resources, team members can stay connected to tasks and address general topics and events around the organization. GoTo Meeting, Zoom Meetings, and Cisco WebEx are some of the platforms that enable video conferencing, video chat, live and private chat, streaming, and screen sharing.File sharing and synchronization: To keep projects running smoothly, Cloud-based platforms can be used to share resources and files, which are easy to work with and quite affordable too. Cloud-based platforms like Google's G Suite, Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, NextCloud, Wimi, and Samepage are handy to regulate tracking access, auditing, communication, and cooperation. Moreover, these platforms use encryption, search filters, and process management. Teams can easily exchange files from all over the world in no time at all.Project status tracking and status reporting: Many cloud-based tools provide remote teams around the globe with ways to interact, track, collaborate, report project status, share files, video chat, and carry on daily face-to-face activities whenever required. With certain Project Portfolio Management (PPM) solutions such as Changepoint, and project management tools including Trello, and Wrike, apps get the power to facilitate hard-pressed activities so that teams working remotely can finish their projects before the deadline, be it anywhere or from any device.Before planning for remote team collaboration and workflows, companies must develop policies and select tools that have cloud security and data storage enabled as this protects your information with governance and compliance rules.The way going forwardLife is unpredictable and so is the way people work. Flexibility and improvisation are the gifts imparted to humans. Amidst this unprecedented Coronavirus outbreak, companies should stay positive and resort to alternate methods to carry on with their projects while working remotely with their teams. A lot of opportunities can emerge during challenging times. When companies can efficiently work with their employees remotely, it helps in strengthening their sense of discipline, maintaining the ultimate trust and accountability of each employee’s work, and building confidence in one’s ability to perform optimally. Not only this remote working is now a growing trend and can contribute greatly towards business growth even in the future.
Rated 4.5/5 based on 45 customer reviews
1807
How to Keep Your Project Moving During the Coronav...

The Coronavirus outbreak has put the world into te... Read More

Stay Sharp During the Covid-19 Lockdown

Very often, we find that life doesn’t go as planned. There may be sudden changes in employment status, unexpected illness or injury, or even something as unexpected as the novel coronavirus crisis. Several countries around the world have announced nationwide lockdowns and  large organizations  have set a mandate for their teams to work remotely to combat the spread of COVID-19. Some are better equipped than others to deal with prolonged periods of disruption from their regular working routines. Many may perceive times such as these as “speed-bumps” to their professional development. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can leverage on remote learning to make best of the circumstances and forge ahead professionally.  The reality of being remote Remote work has become the norm during these days of the lockdown across countries. While it has been largely accepted as a practice within the technology industry, it comes with its pros and cons.  On one hand, remote workers can be more productive, waste less time in commute and be less likely to spread illnesses, have less of a negative impact on the environment and overall feel more fulfilled. However, they can find it harder to communicate and engage with others about the latest technologies. Many a time, they can find themselves stuck with a problem without teammates around to bounce off ideas or solutions. Communication and collaboration take way more energy to initiate and coordinate, which also makes them a lot less likely to occur. How does this relate to remote learning? Replacing inherent social structures of a physical office, team stand-ups and in-person collaboration with tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams and Proofhub, knowledge sharing and learning new things can become much harder. If we aren’t careful, remote work can quickly lead to isolation and knowledge silos. Worse even, our skills can become irrelevant, outdated and unpolished. Opportunities for learning and skill development Thankfully, there are some solutions to these problems. There are several ways to grow your skills remotely and build momentum in your professional growth. You can continue to stay industry-relevant and connected with the technology development world even while remote. Here are some ways you can effectively learn and grow while working remotely on a short-term or long-term basis. Find your tribe on Social Media Consuming volumes of information online on Covid-19 can drain one’s mental health. Instead, use this opportunity to find your community on various channels. It is not a surprise that most of us tend to give our best work when our ideas are heard and valued. Finding a larger community not only helps in discussing such ideas, it creates a sense of oneness, at a crucial time like this.Twitter, for instance, can be used to open a conversation for any technical questions with several responses and as much helpful information as possible.  Get active on platforms or forums such as LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Groups to connect with individuals of similar interests. Build your network on professional platforms like LinkedIn, AngelList and several other open forums. Seek counselling or counsel others in your area of expertise. Having a community to remain connected with helps us stay passionate and challenge ourassumptions, giving us the benefit of everyone else’s continued learning and growth.   Beat the mundane with podcasts and audiobooks Podcasts and audiobook have been around for quite some time now, and many listen to these during their commutes. With remote working, though there are no such commutes, that does not have to stop one from listening to podcasts all the same. Instead, listen to these handy hands-free resources while working on chores. Find podcasts in whatever area interests you.  There are several high-quality podcasts on leadership, business and communication as well as future technologies, project management, data science and  programming. These are invaluable resources freely available for you to benefit from, especially at times like these.  Reskill and upskill from home According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the growth rate of the global economyhas declined to  slowest rate since 2009  due to the coronavirus outbreak. The IT industry is said to be the most impacted by this slump, with projects being shelved  at least until 2021.  Against such a backdrop, it becomes even more imperative to focus on reskilling and upskilling wherever you are.  Utilize the quiet environment to consume dedicated learning content without distractions. Online videos can help you stay connected and inspired even while separated. Live instructor-led modules enable more engagement and when paired with hands-on practice and assessments, it can be a great combination to reinforce practical skills for the future of work. Preparing for the post-digital transformation era, you can now stay abreast of the latest trends in fields like data science and big data analytics. Businesses are increasingly investing in a mobile-first approach, which helps them accelerate new product rollouts. This is in turn increasing the demand for full stack developers. Globalization, despite the slow growth, has opened up opportunities for new-age project managers across sectors and geographies. The ones with certifications will be equipped to take the lead especially in times of such crises. Consistent learning effort adds up over time and helps you stay connected, aware and enthusiastic about the latest technologies and skills. Dig deep with books and blogs Books teach you to a greater depth and help you cross reference. Learn new ways of doing things and in greater depth while always having a reference point to get back to. Buy a few books related to topics you’re interested in, then keep them around for a rainy day. Read a section over lunch, or even just a couple of paragraphs during short breaks. Books can teach you new ways of doing things, help you learn things over time at a greater depth, and serve as a reference point when you are stuck. For those who prefer reading online, there are umpteen amounts of resources or blogs that can be used for personal growth and professional development.  Using remote learning to impact your future Working remotely can be stressful, frustrating, demoralizing and isolating. But it can also be one of the best opportunities to turn lemons into lemonade from a career development perspective. According to a recent Tech Jury  survey, e-learning increased retention rates by 25% to 60%. That’s double the learning in a compact time, at almost half the cost! In this age of technological disruption and digital transformation, 'upskill or perish’ is the new truth. But out of crisis comes opportunity. Make the best of the lockdown while you gain new skills and greater confidence that can eventually lead you to seek growth and leadership.  Use your time well and it will open the doors to many opportunities you may not otherwise have. 
Rated 4.5/5 based on 13 customer reviews
6635
Stay Sharp During the Covid-19 Lockdown

Very often, we find that life doesn’t go as plan... Read More