Resolving Conflict in the Workplace

Conflict happens. Differences of opinion and different work styles can create the problems. This strains the relationship between coworkers and reduces their efficiency as well as their productivity. They may become demotivated and dread coming into the office. But conflict can be an opportunity to more toward a better organized work environment if properly handled.

Below are some steps to help in avoiding or resolving conflict in the workplace:

Communication
This plays an important role in avoiding conflicts in the work place. Be very clear and specific with your message and communicate in a way that everyone can understand. When talking with your colleagues, make sure they understand all the information, since misunderstandings can lead to more problems later on. Provide all necessary data to avoid this.

Clarify Misunderstandings
When conflicts arises, bring both parties together and let them have a professional and respectful. Make sure each part understands the other’s point of view. At the end of the discussion, make sure an agreement should be established and that any misinterpretations are addressed.

Consider All
Speak with each party individually to understand the issue behind the strife. Ask them, what their suggestions are to avoid this situation in the future. After listening to them, analyze and focus on the problem itself rather than who did what. Aim to improve the work environment. Meet again with the parties involved and provide your solution to the problem. Be impartial and focus on what’s best for the company in order to avoid future complications.

Eliminate Negative Feelings
Solve the problem in a manner that helps both parties resolve their bitter feelings. Everyone needs to be satisfied with the solution, so that the work environment will remain friendly and respectful.

Be Cooperative
Everyone has their own ways of working and accomplishing tasks. Do not ignore this and let them express their opinions. Do not impose your ideas on others and instead of consider their views. Avoid bias, treat everyone equally and be fair with all your employees or co-workers. Bring it to their attention when they make mistakes but also applaud them for a job well done. If you make mistake, apologize and accept your part in causing the problem, everyone involved in the conflict has done something knowingly or unknowingly, so try to see the bigger picture. Never assume any conflict is insignificant. Always try to solve it as soon as possible, don’t let it fester. Try to always use written notes or emails to help your peers understand the solution to a problem.

Structure
Encourage collaboration. Create a structure of team work that requires staff to work together to complete tasks. This is one of the most effective conflict resolution techniques and will make the employees realize the importance of working as a team to support each other.

Wherever you work, everyone expects a friendly and healthy environment. It’s everyone’s responsibility to create a healthy office environment. It eliminates stress and keeps employees cheerful. More importantly, it brings out the best in people on a daily basis and helps increase productivity.

 

U. Lakhia | DBPC BLOG

Writing A Cover Letter

A recent human resource study shows that about 70% of applicants who submitted their resumes with a cover letter landed a job interview. This figure indicates the importance of presenting a cover letter with every resume submission. However, preparing one can become time consuming and tedious.

A cover letter is a one-page document that the candidate submits to a company in addition to their resume, to express interest in the advertised opportunity or to explore future vacancy. Writing a cover letter is an opportunity for the aspirant to present themselves as suitable candidates for the job, stating in detail relevant experience, major accomplishments, significant achievements, skills and competencies – highlighting at least 75% of what is essential for the post. The ultimate goal is for a recruiter to take a glance on the enclosed resume and eventually asked to come for an interview. This can be compared to a door that, once opened, will lead to an individual’s professional journey.

While your resume is an overview of your credentials, your cover letter is equipped to serve as a sales tool. It should establish why you are a perfect match for the position. Remember, one job posting is seen by hundreds of passive and active job seekers, making it crucial to use this to market yourself to potential employers. Demonstrate why the hiring manager should utilize your services than other candidates vying for the post. Not all companies have time to train newcomers, if you possess the technical and transferable skills needed to be successful on the job, display that on a cover letter, this will sets you apart from other candidates.

Nonetheless, it is not always enough to simply know the job and have proven your expertise in the field. Expressing specific knowledge or background about the industry and company is definitely an advantage. This displays your genuine overall giving the employer the impression that you have a clear understanding of the kind of organization you want to be part of.
In more detail, here are some basic things you have to know about and include in your cover letter:

  1. It is ideal to provide the name and designation of the hiring manager on every cover letter. However, if this information cannot be obtained, your alternative should always be: “Dear Hiring Manager:, Dear Recruiting Team:, or Dear (Company Name) Team:” Do not use “To Whom It May Concern”.
  2. Always put a colon after a name in the salutation and not a comma.
  3. Your cover letter must have the same format as your resume. The header, footer, borders, font style and size should look exactly the same.
  4. Never present your cover letter in a coloured and/or fancy sheet. Print on a standard 8 ½ x 11 short bond paper.
  5. Never exceed one page. Make it elaborate but not too long and narrative.
  6. Follow a business format in dating and addressing your cover letter.
  7. It is a business letter therefore, do not indent. Use formal block paragraphs with spaces in between.
  8. The letter in total should never exceed three paragraphs:
    –   The first one should always consist of the position that you are applying for, your interest to join the company and how you learned about the opening. When referred by a specific person, acknowledge that person with their permission. Research the company and determine why it is well-known and recognized in their line of business. Use simple but catchy terms such as: “leading retail company”, “forerunner in the cement manufacturing industry”, “undefeated telecommunications enterprise”, etc.
    Be sure to articulate your strengths in the workplace supported by your background and emphasize the value that you will add to the organization.

    –   Next, briefly outline your qualifications vis-à-vis job specifics. Accentuate on the talents and experiences that matches the needs. Your letter should sound that you are the best person for this job. Use bullet points to enumerate your assets. You can say: “Some of the key strengths that I bring to the table include but are not limited to:” The list must catch the hiring manager’s attention enough to immediately call you for an interview.
    Own your accomplishments. Instead of saying: “This exposure increased my skills in”. Make yourself the active subject in the sentence: “In this role, my technical capabilities have greatly improved”.

    –   In your closing paragraph, wrap up the ways in which you will proceed with the application. In bold statement emphasize again why you should be considered. You should be assertive too by expressing that if you don’t hear from the person within a week (put the specific date), you will take initiative to follow up. Otherwise, you can say: “Looking forward to hearing from you soon or to meeting you in person to further discuss my qualifications in more detail”. Do not forget your contact information – your email and phone number where you can be easily reached. Thank the person for taking his/her time.

  9. End your letter with: “Sincerely,” and allocate a space for your signature.
  10. Make a notation at the bottom of the letter that your resume is enclosed with this letter.
  11. Proofread your letter. Do not rely too much on the computer’s “spelling and grammar” feature. If possible, ask a friend or a family member to review, correct or comment.
  12. Sound professional and educated. Use technical terms when necessary. For example, “in-depth knowledge of targeted selection, strong ERP background, extensive supply chain management exposure, CHRP or CPA designation, etc.” Avoid all forms of slang, unnecessary abbreviations, and avoid texting lingo at all times.
  13. Refer to sample cover letters online, but never plagiarize.

To summarize, it is important to always tweak your cover letter to correspond your desired position. Make it visually appealing and well-coordinated with your resume. Sell your expertise and value to the organization, but remember it is not your autobiography and should not exceed one page. Be very specific and concrete about what you can offer and bring to the company. Do not exaggerate or use generic language.

A potential employer’s first impression of you is the cover letter you submit. By following the guidelines above you can be certain to create a cover letter that will stand out and best exhibits your potential for future employment.

 

M. Beltran | DBPC Blog

Why Job Enrichment Matters

Known as an employee motivation strategy developed by psychologist Frederick Herzwig, job enrichment has been utilized by employers all over the world. It taps into people’s natural desire to succeed by helping them take advantage of their workflow. Its main focus is creating jobs with meaningful tasks, a range of diverse challenges and consistent feedback and communication between workers and supervisors. While it isn’t suitable for every businesses or every role, it can be a huge boon if used properly with the right people. Below, we outline some of the reasons why you might want to adopt a job enrichment process for your next role and why job enrichment matters.

Reduce boredom and increase engagement
Let’s face it, no matter how interesting it might be initially, performing the same duties day in and day out gets tiresome. Job enrichment allows a single role to take on extra dimensions and become less rote and mind numbing. Engaging work has a tendency to keep people interested, and a more focused workplace is always a plus.

Personal growth
Having a wider variety of responsibilities naturally requires the employee to expand their skill set. This is not only beneficial for the company, but for the individual as well, since it will give them real-world experience performing all sorts of tasks that they might not otherwise have been exposed to. These skills can be key to helping them advance their careers in the future. They will also feel more valued by a company that invests effort into developing in this way. This is especially true when they are offered constant feedback, so that they are constantly aware of what their strengths and weaknesses are. By allowing them to monitor their own progress, they will naturally take a greater interest in where their development is headed.

Increased autonomy
Micro management is bad for business, and job enrichment is a great way to allow workers to slowly develop their role into a more autonomous one. Employees function better when they’re given real responsibility and the freedom to overcome challenges in their own way. Likewise, companies can breathe easier knowing that their employees can handle multiple facets of the business without constant supervision. This enables them to focus their attention on the bigger picture rather than having to supervise every little action.
Be careful not to confuse job enrichment with increased workload. The idea is to attach more depth to a role by allowing the individual to develop on their own. That doesn’t necessarily mean just piling on extra things for someone to do. Also, keep in mind, there is no “one size fits all” with job enrichment. Some jobs and employees just aren’t built for it. There has to be a real desire to stretch the boundaries of a role on the part of both employer and employee for it work. It should never been forced on anyone – especially if the role is already particularly demanding. As long as you keep this in mind, job enrichment can do wonders for both the company and your next hire.

 

L. Wang | DBPC Blog

Payment Systems

Over the years, the Canadian payment structure has taken big leaps that prompted banks, e-commerce companies and global payment providers to offer more options to the public. Each decade is characterized by a specific “evolution” – paper instruments (cash and cheques) dominated the 60’s; the 70’s birthed credit cards; ABM usage increased during the 80’s and 90’s, paving the way for a period of convenience and security; and huge technological advancements led to innovations such as chip and PIN technology, electronic, online and mobile transfer from the 2000’s to the present.

Transactions can flow between individuals, businesses and governments; each party may use different systems when transferring funds. The following are the most commonly utilized:

Cash
Cash consists of paper notes and coins issued by the Bank of Canada. In spite of a remarkable decline in usage, it is still widely used especially when making retail purchases particularly low-value acquisitions. Zero transaction costs, instant processing time and “privacy” help cash relevant as an integral part of the payment landscape.

Cheques
Cheques are traditionally employed in business-to-business and certain person-to-person transactions. These are paper notes “directing” a bank to reimburse x-value of money to a stated individual(s). Cheques still exist in material form but processing has gone digital thanks to imaging options and computerized recognition systems.

Debit Cards
Debit card (Interac, Cirrus, Plus and Maestro) has become the more preferred way of paying for goods and services, bill payments and withdrawals. It eliminates the need to carry cash all the time and it ensures that funds are readily available at the point-of-sale, as well as allowing easy access to ABM networks.

Credit Cards
Credit card (MasterCard, Visa, AmEx) functions through a revolving account where a financial institution grants an individual with an account from which to draw funds. Aside from flexibility and access to capital, one of its advantages is enabling the user establish and earn a good credit history. Additionally, in case of fraudulent activities, it offers zero liability.

Nowadays, the most commonly used method for regular and recurring activities, such as mortgage, bill payments, payroll deposits, tax refunds and government benefits, is through Automated Funds Transfer (AFT). Transfers are done based on the payer’s authorization and instructions. Due to its traceability, there is a lower risk attached to AFTs. And since the funds go directly to the recipient’s account, the risk of losing the money is significantly reduced.

Online banking. Mobile payments. Wire transfers. All these fall under Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), which allows for a fast and safe way of processing or receiving remittances. Business dealings are settled instantaneously, guaranteeing a seamless transfer within organizations, between parties, across the globe or banking networks. The sudden boost in EFT transactions over the past decade has created many paper-free systems (public and private).

The emergence of smartphones and the increasing need for protection and convenience has driven the popularity of digital wallets or e-wallets, which has both a software (security and encryption) and an information (user-inputted data) component. This processed is utilized for online or point-of-sale purchases. Essentially, it functions in the same manner as a traditional wallet but without the physical cards or papers.

From bartering or exchanging goods to the hi-tech world, payment systems have indeed adapted to their environment. Each mechanism has its own benefits and disadvantages. We may be moving towards 100% automation, but the future is still unclear. One thing’s for sure, expect more innovation.

 

Z. Ricafrente | DBPC Blog

Division of Labour

The functional partitioning and specialization of responsibilities has been an area of marked interest for numerous social experts, economists, philosophers and capitalists over the years. This system of departmentalizing and delegating tasks according to expertise, skills and available resources has become increasingly common and is almost the norm in hectic industries like manufacturing and services.

Society recognizes the positive implications of cooperating within a community. More efficient outcomes are created when strict independence gives way to collaboration. The theory of two heads being better than one applies well to performing better at tasks. Motions to compromise such individuality were very unconventional during the early days and unacceptable to some. However, good results were observed when a complex project was done by several groups of worker with each unit bringing its own expertise.
The economist Adam Smith, who is known to be one of its early proponents, described in his book, The Wealth of Nations, how this concept is responsible for the “universal opulence” of many industries, including enriched productivity, increased trade, shorter training periods and cheaper costs. It also helps to encourage increased innovation.

On the other hand, some experts would argue that like any other principle, it has its own set of drawbacks. An employee who is doing the monotonous task every day will, sooner or later, get tired of the job. Efficiency declines as a result of decreased interests, challenge and drive, resulting in a lack of self-fulfillment. Dividing jobs too much among employees create unproductive hours and redundant roles. It can also contribute to a lessened accountability, since a finished product or a project is of several worker’s input and efforts, and it can be tough to assign responsibility to specific individuals. Furthermore, there can also be issues regarding work-flow. If production in a certain phase performs at a lower pace, other phases connected to it slow down too.

For well-balanced performance, it is then recommended that the division of labour is implemented cautiously by companies with good judgment. It good to distribute subtasks to avoid overworked and underpaid workers, but only up to a point people need to be given opportunities to bring their learning and self-enhancement to the next level, and they need more substantial roles to accomplish that.

No one can finish an entire project on their own. They will always require support either from another individual or machine. Whether working alone or in a group, employees are expected to perform at their best and produce the greatest output possible.

 

S. Queyquep | DBPC Blog