We all know that office politics can be complicated, especially if you’re trying to create a fair workplace. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, there are ways you can help to create better equality at work, with a balanced, diverse workforce.

1. Take a look at your current workforce.

What sort of balance is there? Look at management positions as well as general employees. What ratio of your senior staff are women or minorities? If there’s a big gap, you might need to ask yourself some hard questions about why. 

2. Get an equal employment policy in place.

If you don’t already have one, get something into your company policies to ensure fairness in decisions about hiring, firing or promoting. Make sure you have policies to protect minorities at work, and to protect reasonable allowances. Review any system you put in place at regular intervals to be sure it’s up to date and remains fair. 

3. Offer diversity training.

Make sure current staff understand company policy, and give employees training in sensitivity to diversity issues. 

4. Make sure there are set consequences for discriminatory behavior.

Whether that’s a staff member using homophobic or racist language, or behaving in an inappropriate manner to women in the office, make sure you respond to any complaints, and discipline staff involved. This means other employees feel there will be a consequence if they are made to feel harassed at work, and increases their trust in you. 

5. Be aware of other religious and cultural holidays when planning office events and closures.

If you close for Christmas, make sure staff of other faiths are able to take time off for their own celebrations. Don’t push staff to take part in the office Christmas party if they don’t celebrate. 

6. Communicate.

Staff need to feel they will be listened to and taken seriously if they need to make a complaint. Invest in your HR team to make sure that happens. 

7. Take inspiration from community leaders.

Look to leaders in minority communities, such as Cynthia Telles of the Latino Victory Project, who are working to promote diverse interests across the country. 

8. Train your managers to spot tension

…or issues in the team and how to deal with them effectively and with sensitivity. 

9. Think about work/life balance.

Women in the workplace often take the hit as the ones in charge of childcare, so be sure you’re offering suitable flexibility to allow them to excel at both. You could offer childcare vouchers to help offset the cost, or provide some on-site facilities. Allow staff to work remotely to avoid them having to take days off to care for sick children. Flexible working hours so they can still make the school run will also make a real difference. 

10. Make sure family leave is available to both men and women.

Allowing fathers to take time off to care for their children will allow them to be more present in their children’s lives, and gives some relief to working moms who might be desperate to get back behind their desks. 

11. Ensure you’re offering equal pay for equal work.

Help to close the gender pay gap further by making sure you have fair practices when it comes to hiring, pay rises and promotions. Each level should have a pay bracket that everybody gets, regardless of gender.

12. Offer mentorship.

Allowing your employees access to mentors will help them develop and excel in their roles. Make sure male and female mentors deal with employees to stop one group being spread too thinly. Mentoring is a key part of helping staff to progress in their careers. Offering the right people to guide them can make sure minority staff aren’t left behind, and has the added bonus for you of creating loyal employees who can be promoted within the company and are then retained longer by you.

13. Re-evaluate job specifications.

If you’re getting a high number of male applicants, look at your descriptions and see what could be putting women off for applying. Are you asking for more experience than the position really requires, or suggesting the workplace is a bit of a boy’s club? Be careful with your job adverts to encourage a wider variety of applicants. 

14. Give staff some predictability.

If you can’t offer a flexible working schedule, make sure staff do know well in advance when they’re required to be at work. With shift work, like retail or hospitality, offering details of shifts early gives parents time to arrange for childcare and will minimize the need for shift swapping. 

15. Be open about salaries.

This doesn’t mean you need to tell everyone exactly what everybody else earns, but don’t be secretive either. Clearly advertise jobs with a salary range that lines up with the salaries of current staff. Allow your staff to openly discuss wages with you, and with each other. If people felt free to talk money, they won’t worry they’re earning less than their colleagues, due to discrimination. 

16. Lead by example.

Examine your own biases and see if there are any behavior changes that you could make. Seeing you make the effort will show employees you’re taking new policies seriously. Check your language use; do you automatically lean on gendered terms? Do you ask men about their wives without knowing if their partner is female? Consider who you ask to do things. Is it always a woman that you ask to sort out coffees for a meeting or to arrange the office Secret Santa? 

17. Attract younger talent by making sure company is keeping up with modern technology and ways of working.

A young workforce could invigorate your offices, and bring in some new ways of thinking and approaching your projects. 

18. Mix up your teams.

Encourage staff to work with different people who they might not usually work with. Do this with varying groups for projects to help staff communication between different areas of the office. Forging new relationships with a variety of people will foster more effective teamwork and less likelihood of discrimination rearing its ugly head. 

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Whether you are just starting out in a new position, or you have been in your role for a while and are beginning to feel that it’s time you receive a promotion, you are going to want to take active steps to ensure that your employer sees your potential. This tends to be easier said than done, especially if you are working within a particularly large organization. Chances are that your employer has a whole host of tasks to focus on and you’re going to have to do a lot to stand out from the crowd. But it is possible and you could greatly benefit from recognition and acknowledgment of your achievements. Here are a few steps that you can do to help your employer to see your potential!

Request Progress Meetings

Most companies will offer progression meetings through your probation period. The purpose of these meetings is to ensure that you are settling into your role properly, that you correctly understand what is expected of you, and that you are keeping up with your workload. If you haven’t received these, now is a better time than ever to request them. They help you to keep a track of how things are going and ensure that you and your employer are on the same page. If you have finished your probation period, you may want to continue these meetings on a more informal basis. Put in a request with your employer—they may be able to accommodate this.

Understand OKRs

OKR stands for “objectives and key results.” When you begin any project, your employer should set out OKRs. These will help you to understand what you should be aiming to do within your position and with your work, as well as what results are expected to exemplify that you have reached the objectives that have been set out. When you are provided with OKR objectives and key results, you should do your utmost to meet them. Most companies will have specialist software that allows you, your manager, and your employer to track your progress. This ensures that your hard work will be acknowledged and recognized, as it will be laid out for everyone to see.

Undertake Extra Training

Training in areas pertaining to your role shows dedication and commitment to your position. Short courses, or even extensive courses, can also provide you with knowledge, skills, and an in-depth understanding of your field that can greatly benefit the business that you’re working for. A qualification on your resume can also officially qualify you for positions higher up in the chain of the corporation you may be working for. So, why not engage in a little education or pursue higher education associated with your role? Sure, this will be intense. Especially if you are currently working full time. But it’s a pretty effective means of climbing the career ladder.

Dedicate Yourself to Presentations

If you have to give a presentation, don’t engage with it in a half-hearted manner. Very few of us actively enjoy giving presentations. But it’s a great opportunity to showcase your talent, project yourself as a confident and competent individual, and carve a space for yourself in your employer’s memory. So, go all out and really make an effort. This is a great opportunity!

Steer Clear of Office Politics and Gossip

Office culture generates tensions, friction, rivalries, and gossip. But avoid this at all costs. While you may spend a lot of time with the people you work with, you should remain professional at all times. Getting involved in arguments, pettiness, or becoming problematic in the workplace can lower your employers’ opinion of you. Just remember that serious problems do not fall within this category – if you have experienced harm at another’s hands or if you feel that someone is treating you in an inappropriate manner, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact HR.

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Request a Promotion

As the old saying goes, if you don’t ask, you don’t get! So, if you feel that you are capable of taking on a promotion and that you deserve a promotion, you can simply ask for one. There is, of course, etiquette surrounding this type of interaction. You can find out more about this here!
It can be extremely frustrating to work hard and feel that your potential is going unrecognized. But you do have to play an active role in making yourself noticeable to your employer. Hopefully, the above advice and information will help you to stand out to your employer!

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Good management skills can be the difference between excelling in your career or stagnating in a job you hate. There are many ways to become a better leader and boost your management skills.. Explore these five reasons why brushing up on your managerial techniques might just help your career for the better.

1. Your Employees Will Learn More

Part of good management skills is supporting your employee’s growth. Knowing how to educate your employees will always be beneficial to both them and you as a manager. Exploring different training techniques and educating yourself on the microlearning description will put you in a good position to teach your team effectively, depending on their current skill levels. Try to use video content wherever possible so that you can maximize their interactive learning experience.

2. You will Inspire Productivity

It is proven that a good manager produces a more motivated team, who are in turn more productive in their roles. This is because they feel at ease with their working environment and they genuinely enjoy coming into work everyday. Having good management skills means hiring the right people and then getting out of their way so they can do their jobs. Hold less meetings, support your team, and you’ll be amazed how productivity increases—all because of your good management skills.

3. Your Days will Be Smoother

When you can work cohesively with the members of your team you will find work much more enjoyable too. Imagine not having to battle against an uncooperative and unappreciative team of people; your job becomes that much easier. When you are a good manager your team will respond to you more positively, making your day a hundred times smoother.

4. Everyone will Want to Work With You

People will soon be fighting to work for you when they realize how good of a manager you actually are. When people want to work for you it is a huge compliment and huge sign of your personal growth and success. If you can keep growing your management skills you will soon have people flocking to work with you.

5. Good Management Skills will Inspire Respect

Earning the respect from others will always be the goal of most career-driven people. When people acknowledge your hard work and give you the respect you deserve, there is no feeling more rewarding during your career.

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Everyone wants to be respected in the workplace, so gaining good management skills will always have a positive impact on your career. If you are hoping to build your own business one day or simply make it to the very top of the corporate ladder, you should definitely consider taking a reputable management course sooner rather than later. The opportunities that will open up for you as soon as you become a fully fledged manager are endless. Not only will you be able to earn more money, but you will also become extremely well respected in your field of work. Consider becoming a manager in the near future and your career will look brighter than ever.

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Being a good leader means constantly looking for ways to become a better leader. While some people are natural born leaders, even the best leaders look for ways to improve. Here are four easy ways you can continue to grow as a leader:

Take a Training Course or Attend a Conference

The best leaders are always learning, so try taking training courses to improve your leadership style. Look for training courses at places likeSix Sigma. Leadership courses can teach you the newest management techniques, ways to improve your own productivity, and ways to influence your team positively. 

You can also attend conferences to continue your life-long learning. Conferences give you a chance to get away from the office for a couple of days and consider new possibilities. You can attend training sessions and have meaningful conversations with other leaders in your industry. 

Consider Emotional Intelligence

Today’s leaders need to be emotionally aware. You are managing diverse teams with differing ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds. Being able to relate to your employees makes you a stronger leader. 

One of the most recommended books on emotional intelligence is Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry. If you haven’t already read it, you should read it soon. It’s one the books most many workplaces assumes you’ve read, so it may come up in conversation. Whether you agree with the theories or not (we struggle with them too), it’s still information you should know.

Improve your Meetings 

If there is one thing that wastes more time and costs business more money than anything else, it’s meetings.You don’t need to meet with your entire team all the time, especially when you’re in constant contact with them all day anyway. Instead, send an email with updates, and save your meetings for when you need team collaboration to solve a problem. 

When you do hold a meeting, send out an agenda the day before the meeting so your team can prepare. You’ll have a more productive meeting if your team arrives ready to jump right into the discussion. You should never “talk at” your team. They are your most valuable assets, so value their opinions and let them own their solutions.

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Lead by Example

Last but not least, the employees you work with are not your children. You can’t say “do as I say, not as I do.” In fact, this approach is one of the quickest ways to ruin any harmony in your business and stent your career progress as a leader. Instead, you need to lead by example. Leaders do not merely tell—they show. If you want your employees to get to work on time every day, you should make sure that you are punctual. If you set the tone, your employees will follow it.

Show yourself as a good listener and a collaborative leader. Empower your team to work together and lead their own small projects. Everyone wants to feel like their work is important and appreciated, so always remember to show appreciation. A simple “thank you; this looks great” can go a long way.

Are you a born leader? If you’re not sure, try a career and personality test. Katie likes Career Fitter, but there’s others out there, like Career Key.

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If your career goal is to climb the corporate ladder, you can succeed easier than you think. A growing number of people have little interest in climbing the corporate ladder, and instead focus on work-life balance and lifestyle design. This leaves big opportunity for those who want to move up to management roles.

If you want to rule the corporate world, here’s a few tips to help you on your way up the ladder:

1. Show Up

‘Just showing up’ might sound simple, and that’s because it is. Woody Allen famously said, “80% of success is simply showing up.” What he means is that if you show up, you better your chances of being in the right place at the right time. You also increase your chances of having your work seen by the right people.

Showing up means don’t be the person that calls out to go to the movies. It also means being the person that goes to conferences, interviews, networking meetings, and any other extras. It means showing up early, and sometimes staying late. You can’t win the corporate game unless you are there. Show up!

2. Don’t Wait To Be Told

Follow-the-leader might get you out of the mailroom, but it won’t help you climb much further up the corporate ladder. Take the initiative by looking at what’s coming and preparing for it. Don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do—figure out your next step and start doing it immediately.

Is your boss going to need a sales update on Friday? Have it on her desk before she leaves on Thursday. Is your team running low on supplies? Fill out the order form and get it to purchasing, then CC your boss on the correspondence. Show that you’re not only a team player, but you’re a born leader who wants to succeed.

3. Don’t Complain and Don’t Gossip

Whatever you do, don’t put yourself in a situation where anyone can cast you in a negative light. That means not complaining at work. If you’re given a task you hate, remember the bigger picture: It’s a step toward your goal of climbing the corporate ladder. If you hate a coworker, treat the coworker with kindness and respect—be the bigger person. Your coworkers will respect you for it.

Never gossip at work. It’s not high school, and there’s no reward in it for anyone. Gossiping makes you look small minded and like you don’t have enough to do. Plus, in the right situation, it could get you fired.

4. Get A Coach Or A Mentor

Mentorship can be a very helpful tool for those who want to make their way up the career ladder. They can be your guide and help you to navigate the corporate landscape effectively. Make sure you do your research, and try to ensure that your coach or mentor has experience in your specific industry or niche so that they can give you appropriate advice.

Perfectly Employed offers career-coaching services too. Our coaching focuses on helping you construct a plan to reach your goals and figure out your next steps. We help people from all walks of life and in all industries.

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5. Earn Extra Credit

The best way to ensure your ladder-climbing success is to do more than your job description says. You can speak at conferences, write research reports, write for blogs in your industry—you name it. Work on crafting your personal brand and making a name for yourself in your industry.

When you take on extra tasks in your job, make sure your employer doesn’t take advantage of you. You can learn more about your employee rights by visiting HayberLawFirm.com. Take a look so you know where you stand.

6. Help Others

Some people think that they have to have a cut throat attitude to get to where they want to be, but what goes around comes around and that rarely brings with it the positive energy you need if you’re going to advance up the ladder. Instead, aim to help others. They will begin to see you as a leader and this can be very effective for you. Your colleagues won’t resent you when you get the promotion over them, either!

7. Be Willing To Do What Others Won’t

If you really want to get ahead at work, you need to make sure you’re willing to do the things that others aren’t. This will help you to stand out and you’ll be given the chance to further your career. Make sure you are willing to go the extra mile.

This may mean creating boring spreadsheets or working with a problematic client. Remember your end goal and power through it!

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8. Chat With Your Boss

Your boss is not a mind reader. You need to have discussions with your boss about your career goals. Your boss can help you reach your goals by giving you tasks that align with your aspirations, and recommending you when a superior position opens. Your boss can be a great ally in your climb up the corporate ladder, so whatever you do, don’t be afraid to let him know that you have your eye on the corner office!

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If you’re just out of college and considering taking a leadership role, or if you’re managing a team for the very first time, knowing what to do can be tricky. Good leaders focus on supporting their team to reach their collective and individual goals. Support means kindness and compassion, but it also means making 1,000 decisions—both small and large—every day. It’s not a role for the wishy-washy.

If you’re a new leader, there are four basic things you must know to manage your team, whether your team is sourced from manufacturing labour hire, freelancers, or even senior management, and whether the team you manage are part time or full time.

1. Lead: You are the Boss

To lead for the first time, you have to think of yourself as a director, not a dictator. You aren’t a ruler and no one has handed you a crown. You are a part of your team just like everyone else, and you should work with your team to accomplish your collective goals. But, you are the boss. That means that your team will look to you to direct them on what needs to be done. When a decision needs to be made, you must make it.

Some leaders think of themselves as a captain. Of course, there are many sorts of captains, and the term captain is often associated with pirates who bark orders to their crew. Think instead about the captain of an airplane; they are civil and respectful, yet assertive and bold in terms of their leadership style. They respect their team, and they aren’t afraid to ask for advice, but they also direct the different tasks during takeoff, cruising, and landing, and everyone aboard their flights listens for their directions and immediately follows them.

Don’t be afraid to take the lead. A lot of new managers fail because they can’t make decisions or crack under pressure. Be the boss.

2. Don’t Micromanage

It’s important you allow people to “own their task” as nobody likes to be micromanaged. In fact, in some company cultures micromanagement is considered a form of implicit bullying and even emotional abuse. When employees take ownership for their work, they do a better job. They feel pride in what they do, and they are more committed to it. As a leader, you want your team to feel like their work is important, and more importantly, that it’s theirs. 

That said, it’s important you retain your role as the directional leader that provides tasks for people to complete, but once a task has been set, leave it for the other person to complete.  If you start micromanaging someone they will start resenting you and your leadership.  This behavior infers a lack of trust and respect; it also suggests you feel they require hand-holding, which feels patronizing and demeaning. The last thing you want as a leader is for your team to feel like you don’t respect them.

3.  Use both the Carrot and the Stick

You may have heard the metaphor about the carrot and the stick, which describes the polar forces of motivation theory.  In psychology, there are two broad types of people; those who prioritize moving toward pleasure and those who prioritize getting away from pain.  

Of course, most people have a mixture of both, but there is normally one predominant force that motivates a person – and it’s different for everyone.  Get to know your team and see what makes them take action; is it the possibility of reward or is it the fear of being fired?

That said, you should never rule through fear. Make sure your employees feel that you support them, and that you have their back. While we’re talking in metaphors, never throw an employee under the bus. If you have their back, they will have yours. That’s the purpose of teamwork!

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4.  Work Collaboratively with Your Team

The important thing to remember is that, as a team, you should be making decisions together, standing side by side as teammates—not sitting at opposite ends of the table like adversaries debating and arguing over who does what. Just because you have the authority to be the final decision maker doesn’t mean you aren’t part of your team. It’s important that you don’t just stand back and give orders. Work with your team, and find ways to support them every step of the way. 

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