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Embracing Agile Principles at an Organisational Level 2 | Webinar

Learn how to embrace Agile principles at an organizational level from our Agile expert. Also, know the appropriate working culture for your organization and the way managers and leaders motivate the team during the project.
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Embracing Agile Principles at an Organisational Level 2 | Webinar

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Learn how to embrace Agile principles at an organizational level from our Agile expert. Also, know the appropriate working culture for your organization and the way managers and leaders motivate the team during the project.

KnowledgeHut

KnowledgeHut

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KnowledgeHut is an outcome-focused global ed-tech company. We help organizations and professionals unlock excellence through skills development. We offer training solutions under the people and process, data science, full-stack development, cybersecurity, future technologies and digital transformation verticals.
Website : https://www.knowledgehut.com

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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.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. Remember, 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.How 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.
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How to re-engage your employees post COVID-19

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

The Coronavirus Lockdown Guide: When Life Gives You Lemons

With the Covid-19 pandemic on the rise, self-isolation or quarantine seems to be one of the key strategies in slowing the rate of infection or “flattening the curve”. While no single individual can accomplish this, each of us acting rightly and collectively, can make a big difference. As Zeno famously said, “Well-being is realized in small steps, but it is no small thing.”In self-isolation, individuals or families are required to stay within the confines of their homes and avoid any physical contact with those outside. Schools and day-cares have closed, and workplaces are shutting down or moving to remote working.Some are better equipped than others to deal with these periods of isolation. No amount of yelling at the TV, cursing the origin of the virus or hoarding of essentials will help. Spending too many hours on social media doesn’t help. Neither will sticking our head in the sand with an “it’s not really that bad” attitude.What we can control, as always, is how we respond. Here are some tips not only to remain calm in the face of chaos, but to make the best of the quarantine.Get on the same pageWhether you live with your family or in a co-living habitat, it would be helpful at the very start to sit down and devise an arrangement with your co-habitants. Have a discussion around what the biggest challenges maybe and what strengths each one has as an individual that can help. Discuss concerns and expectations about the quarantine, and what role each person can help everyone involved be better prepared, emotionally and practically.Set up a structure Maintaining a routine is important but it need not be strict. Routines provide structure and order which is reassuring for everyone involved. They make the day predictable, especially for those who may have experienced chaos and help them to be calm. So, while it is okay to become more relaxed, it is important to keep up a certain level of routine.Give each other spaceIt can be hard for families or groups who are used to going away to their own activities to be forced into this intense time together. Try to think of things you can do by yourself and as a group. Creating spaces within the house, like ‘play zones’, ‘study zones’, ‘TV zones’ and the like could help. While respecting time alone is important, it could also be a time for reconnecting with family rituals. Meals together, perhaps with a new recipe that all have been involved in preparing could make this more fun.Get things doneThe feeling that something has been accomplished during an isolation period is important. It could include working from home, assignments or getting down to long-avoided chores, repairs or tasks. A “corona journal”, in which you document your experience may especially help. It’s also an opportunity to indulge - have a mandatory tea in the backyard sunshine. It is essential to make time for activities that just make you feel good.Keep movingStaying physically active is critical to boosting one’s mood. Frustration and boredom can quickly seep in when there are not enough opportunities to be physically active. Getting creative with exercise ideas, like setting up an obstacle course in the backyard can transform a mundane activity into something fun. Families or groups can consider things to do together – plan for a movie night, take on a project such as building something together, or even just rearrange the furniture. Work remotelyHome-based working is beneficial for several tasks, especially those that need deep focus. Augmenting this, the development of cheaper and more widely available video-conferencing technology and collaboration tools ease up numerous tasks. There's a bright side to this for sure: working from home reduces commuting time, social interaction time and the number of interruptions that normally happen in an office environment. Upskill with comfortUse your time wisely: don’t let the possible weeks or months of isolation be for nothing. You can’t control how long you’ll need to engage in social distancing, but you can control if you spend that time productively. The version of you who steps out of quarantine at some future date can be better than the version that entered it, if you try. Invest in virtual training programs and build your portfolio with added certifications. Capitalize on the opportunity to equip yourself with skills required to get ahead in the future of work, all within the safety and comfort of your home. Overall, bear in mind that it’s not whether bad things happen, it is how we respond to them that makes all the difference. In this time of crisis, let’s do our part and inspire those around us to do the same. And when life gives us lemons, let’s make lemonade. 
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The Coronavirus Lockdown Guide: When Life Gives Yo...

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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
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Stay Sharp During the Covid-19 Lockdown

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

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