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12 Indicators That You’re Working For a Great Company

12 Indicators That You’re Working For a Great Company
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There has been a new fad rising among companies around the world. It benefits the customers, the employees and the management. This new popular trend is catching on from company to company and is spreading like wildfire. What is this new trend? It is the focus on employee happiness.

Great companies are changing the way they operate by developing policies to create a happy work place. The University of Warwick conducted experiments in a recent study that proved happy workers are 12% more productive. It is easier to work a company that treats you well, does yours? Here are some indicators that you work for a great company.

1. The leadership is honest, approachable and fair.

It is easier to follow someone that you think is honestly wanting the best for you, themselves and the company. They are there to answer any questions that you have and if they do not know the answer, they will find it for you.

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2. There is room for growth.

Room for growth can be with promotions or education for the benefit of you and also the company. There are some companies that are willing to give scholarships away, as long as it is for classes in the same field of work. Why are they doing this? Simply because it will help your credentials, your pay and their customers by giving them trained professionals.

3. There is open collaboration between everyone.

Occasional meetings to collaborate on what needs to be addressed between you and the rest of the office are important. Your voice is important to management and they are there to hear what you have to say and what has been bothering you.

4. There is constructive feedback.

If you work for a company that gives you monthly, quarterly or annual reports of progress, it is a good thing. This means that they care about keeping you around and making sure you know what steps need to be taken in order to go further into the company. It is important to take this as constructive criticism and not personally. Your management is giving you an opportunity to find out what needs to be done in order to move forward with the company and genuinely care that you make it as far as you can.

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5. There is an extensive hiring process to prevent toxic workers.

If you had to go through a couple interviews to start working for your job, it is more than likely they are putting a lot of effort into the hiring process to prevent any toxic workers coming into the office. These are the ones that are negative and spread it quicker than a cold in preschool. They are the ones that call in sick all the time and make you work doubles because there isn’t any coverage. They are the ones that put office politics into play because they love the drama and most of all, they do not have any passion to do a job well done. Companies that focus on employee happiness will make sure that you are working with passionate and hardworking people just like yourself.

6. There is a small company feel.

If you interact with your upper management with more than just the occasional policy change email, it’s definitely a good thing. Companies that have their CEO or general manager do little things like friendly competitions with a bonus for a prize or a friendly dinner to touch base with a group of employees shows that they really care about how their employees are feeling.

7. There is a large focus on morale between employees, management and their families.

It is a good thing if you find yourself at an occasional family day or event that includes your work and home life. That means they really want to know who you are as a person, not just an employee. It boost moral and gives a sense of community in and outside of the office.

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8. The atmosphere is fun and rewarding.

It is a great feeling to be appreciated and rewarded occasionally for a job well done. Some companies are starting to do raffles for TV’s, vacations and gift cards to boost employee happiness and activities. If you have been given a pat on the back, words of appreciation or even have won a TV, it means you are working for a great company.

9. There is a diverse environment.

A diverse environment means that your company hires based on who will best match the goals of the company and boost the moral of the team. This is regardless of their race, age, sex, experience and occasionally education.

10. The pay is fair for the job that is asked.

Nobody likes being paid very little for a lot of effort. A company that makes sure their wages are fair and puts the occasional bonus out there cares about their employees and their welfare.

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11. There are clear expectations set and instructions on how to meet those expectations.

It is very simple to stick to expectations and follow instructions. When you are given a clear goal and the steps you need to take to get there, that means your job isn’t just throwing numbers, tasks or meetings at you just to keep you busy. They really do want to see you succeed and will work with you every step of the way to make sure that happens.

12. There are occasional breaks in the work-day.

Though it doesn’t seem logical to take more breaks to be more productive, some companies believe that it does. If you have more than that one lunch break, it means they care about more than just your nutrition needs. They care about your productivity, stress levels and efficiency. Everyone needs that occasional coffee break, or just that fifteen minutes to talk a walk after a bad moment.

In conclusion, if you find that you are working at one of these companies, consider yourself lucky. They are there for the welfare of everyone in the organization and care about your happiness specifically. Some don’t have it so luckily, but who knows, maybe that will change in a few years.

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Featured photo credit: Team Spirit- Gerd Altmann via pixabay.com

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Margielyn Musser

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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