COVID-19: Your Role as an Employer

COVID-19: Your Role As An Employer

The COVID-19 pandemic has gradually become a global one. Spreading from country to country and affecting or finding its way into every single daily human process and routine, including the workplace.

Already, a lot of companies locally and internationally have had to change their work pattern and process to adjust and help curb the spread of the pandemic. The world health organization and international and even local bodies have advised Social Distancing and many other safety precautions.

Since the workplace is a place where people spend most of their time, the workplace has an important role to play in curbing this pandemic.

How Does COVID-19 Spread?

When someone who has COVID-19 coughs or exhales they release droplets of infected fluid. Most of these droplets fall on nearby surfaces and objects – such as desks, tables or telephones. People could catch COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces or objects – and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. If they are standing within one meter of a person with COVID-19 they can catch it by breathing in droplets coughed out or exhaled by them. In other words, COVID-19 spreads in a similar way to the flu. Most persons infected with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and recover. However, some go on to experience more serious illness and may require hospital care. The risk of serious illness rises with age: people over 40 seem to be more vulnerable than those under 40. People with weakened immune systems and people with conditions such as diabetes, heart, and lung disease are also more vulnerable with high severity.

Source – WHO (World Health Organization)

The question now is, as an employer of labour, what is your role to help curb the spread of the pandemic in the absence of a known and potent vaccine?

ENCOURAGE REMOTE WORK

Looking on the bright side, COVID-19 could be an eye-opener for the workplace in general into the possibilities and the efficiency of remote work. Encourage your staff to work from home if they can. Provide need equipment and support to facilitate this process.

In a scenario where you cannot afford to work remotely, the following will suffice.

MAKE SURE YOUR WORKPLACE IS CLEAN AND HYGIENIC 

Surfaces (e.g. desks and tables) and objects (e.g. telephones, keyboards) need to be wiped with disinfectant regularly. Surfaces are the fastest ways a virus can spread when touched by employees and customers.

Encourage regular and consistent thorough hand-washing by employees, contractors, and customers by providing washing equipment, sanitizers, and disinfectants to easily accessible places in the office.

Make use of posters and office sign items if you have to, and also brief your staff (at least once daily) about the status of the pandemic an also or look to WHO’s Situation Report to get the latest news and advice.

IF THERE IS EVER A CASE OF COVID-19

Develop a contingency plan of what to do if an employee shows symptoms within the NCDC or WHO listed symptoms of COVID-19.

The plan should entail putting such employee in a place where they are isolated from others in the workplace, totally reducing contact with such person and contacting the right authorities.

Don’t forget to do this without stigmatization, discrimination and the spread of panic.

You can also talk to your local health authorities (NCDC) handling the pandemic about your initial plan and as for the help with the approved guide.

Leveraging digital tools for business growth

Leveraging Digital Tools for Business Growth

A vibrant online presence is a powerful marketing and communications tool for any business. Not only is it a cost-efficient platform, it is also an irreplaceable requirement necessary for business growth. 

As a matter of fact, in the last 5 years, the growth of internet usage has permanently changed the way businesses go about their communication. 

Businesses now use the internet as an asset to drive growth as well as amplify their objectives.  

The following are some digital and online tools you should consider for your business:

Social Media Strategy 

The effective use of Social Media could translate to free advertising with its attendant organic growth, thereby bolstering quick ROI. 

This means it’s a good channel to determine where your audience is and what kind of content resonates with them. 

One of the most distinct advantages of social media is the availability of a direct connection with your audience. You can also learn a lot about your competition, build authority,  attain thought leadership and create awareness using social media.

Blogging 

Blogging; a many-sided advantageous strategy to further showcase your expertise and be noticed beyond social media. 

Having a blog can also help you drive your content strategy and marketing efforts.

This means telling the world that you are who you are in the knowledge area. With this, you are known and trusted for certain kinds of content and knowledge base. 

The impact to your audience translates to you building strong authority, thought leadership and SEO. 

Paid Digital Advertising 

Pay-per-click advertising can be tricky when you have to determine your Return On Investments, especially when you have not outlined goals from the beginning.  

However, when your goals are aligned, with assistance from tech experts, (TWPC Tech) you will reap the benefits of investing in advertising.  

Be it Google Ads, Social media channels or email marketing, paid advertisements can give you a reach beyond your immediate audience and bring with it the promise of filling your sales funnel with new leads and conversions. 

Local SEO 

Local SEO is leveraging digital tools in a way that pulls local customers to your business at the exact time they are looking for your products or services. 

It makes your local businesses visible to local customers when they search for services/products online. 

Most search engines consider the location of the searcher before showing search results.  

Your Local SEO strategy is to make sure that the business listing or website shows up when a search happens. 

Leveraging local SEO when you have a physical office location is essential for your business. 

Digital Analytics 

It’s important to know your business from the data you generate.

With analytics, you get to know “if”, “where” and “how” your business is doing well.

Good analytics helps you make better business decisions.

Digital analytics tools include Google Analytics, Moz and Webmaster. 

Data from these tools can help you determine the right audience for your business as well as their behavioral patterns.

When doing analytics for your business, the following metrics will help you:

  1. Audience Demographics 
  2. Consumer behavior.  
  3. Online and Web traffic 

In conclusion, you should visit this blog regularly for an astute insight into informed business decision making, with the right digital tools. 

Classes of unemployment

Classes Of Unemployment And How To Thrive In It

There are three main classes of unemployment: cyclical, structural, and frictional. Cyclical unemployment is, unfortunately, most familiar. It occurs during an economic downturn and has been seen to be common in the banking sector in our country.

Frictional unemployment is the period when a person resigns from his or her current job before getting another one – this is also politely referred to as ‘between jobs’.

Structural unemployment happens when there is a paradigm shift in the skills needed in the workplace and it causes a category of people to become irrelevant.

This article will cover these main types of unemployment and show you how to stay on top of such a situation.

CYCLICAL UNEMPLOYMENT

As mentioned earlier, cyclical unemployment has been seen in the Nigerian labor market on many occasions, especially in the banking sector.

Top banks in Nigeria have been known to lay off thousands of staff at the same time. This has left a lot of people hanging out to dry.

Cyclical unemployment is usually always caused by a number of things, but majorly an economic downturn. Other causes include cash flow within a company that can force a company to sell and be acquired by another company, or downsizes; and hereby laying off excess load.

HOW TO SURVIVE

It is very good to follow a career path and have a job.

However, the best position anyone can be in life is to have options. Create options for yourself. Be it a side gig, or skills that can get you another employment and get you back on your feet in the shortest possible time.

STRUCTURAL UNEMPLOYMENT

Structural unemployment exists when there is a shift in the economy and then this shift causes a disparity between needed skills and the skills possessed by the labor force.

This type of unemployment is most common during paradigm shifts. For example, the shift or move from analog processes to digital processes has pushed many professions out of business.

Autor et al. (2003), computers have displaced workers in a wide range of routine work, including many clerking and manufacturing jobs — work that is typically concentrated at the middle of the income distribution.

Accompanied with employment growth both at the top and bottom of the skill and income distribution, the automation of routine work has contributed to a hollowing-out of labour markets across the industrial world (Goos et al. 2009).

Many third world countries will face structural unemployment in this current era of the digital revolution.

An example of this is the industry’s replacement of machinery workers with robots. Professions like Typing, Cartography, and routine based profession has been made redundant by more computerized approach and automation.

Workers now need to learn how to manage the robots that replaced them. Those that don’t learn need retraining for other jobs or face long-term structural unemployment.

HOW TO SURVIVE THIS

Keep growing and learning. Keep yourself up to date with new technologies. For example, it is estimated that in this age of seamless translation from one language to another aided by technology, the future will not be about who understands human languages. It will be about who understands computer languages.

FRICTIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT

Frictional unemployment occurs when workers resign from or leave their current jobs without having new ones.

This can happen for many reasons, varying from individual to individual or scenario to scenario.

The reason could be a miscalculation, a risk, a naïve move, not fully ascertaining the new contract, poor workplace culture or people, or they’ve saved up enough money to enable them to seek a new job.

Frictional unemployment also occurs when students are looking for that first job or when mothers are returning to the workforce. It also happens when workers are fired or, in some cases, laid off due to business-specific reasons, such as a branch or business location closure.

Frictional unemployment is short-term and a natural part of the career journey. As a matter of fact, frictional unemployment is good for any economy, as it allows workers to move between, jobs and to jobs where they can be more productive.

HOW TO SURVIVE THIS

What to do when you’re between jobs plays an important role in this picture. Make use of your unemployment phase productively. Increasing your productivity level by learning and acquiring new skills, also, being mentally and emotionally balanced will help you thrive and manage this phase well, and even get the best of it.

Are you a Professional? Join this conversation and add the other types of unemployment you know. Also, share how they affect the economy and how to survive it.

5 things you need to remove from your CV

5 THINGS YOU NEED TO REMOVE FROM YOUR CV

Most of the time when you make a job application, you don’t get a call for an interview. Have you ever wondered why? Come on, it’s not your ‘village people’, it is your CV.

Your CV can get you dropped off a job application even before it began. Your CV can also get your foot in the door.

Most of the time, the tips you read and hear about are the things that should be in your CV. This article, is about the things you need to remove; as soon as possible – preferably, before your next job application.

Personal Details

As much you would like your new employer to know you, avoid including personal information that can get you removed before you get selected.

Personal information like Your marital status, your age, your religion, can trigger bias and discrimination. You can never tell who is at the other end of the email.

Moreover, the above information is of no use to anybody including you. It also occupies more space on your CV. Therefore, just do away with it altogether.

Irrelevant Experience

We’ve all had one irrelevant experience or the other in the course of our career. Most of the time just because we need to pay some bills.

However, it makes no sense – especially to your employer, to list an experience that is not relevant to the role you are applying.

Remember, the goal is to have relevant work experience and not to just have work experience.

However, if you have just started your career and see a similarity or some relevance of your previous experience to your new role, articulation is key. You must be able to – in the first few lines, explain how that experience is relevant to your new role.

It is wise not to confuse your employer.

Unprofessional Email Address

This is a serious issue amongst many job seekers. Especially the younger generation. Something as little as a funky email address on a serious workday can get your application disqualified.

Remember, most job applications are voluminous and cumbersome for recruiters. Stand out of the crowd as much as you can but not in a bad way.

An example of an unprofessional email address can be: swaggydude09@gmail.com and sweetbabe01@yahoo.com

Rather, create an email that has your first name and last name or vice versa.

If the mailing platform you are signing up with doesn’t have that address, add a few numbers but keep your email address sane.

Cliché Phrases

There was a time when cliché phrases meant something to everyone. However, people, including employers have understood that words are cheap.

Articulate yourself on your CV with simple and understandable words. No Cliché words like “Go Getter” or “Self-Driven”

Lies

Do not lie. Be very honest with your application; your CV, about your qualifications, experiences, skills and so on. Do not falsify information.

Two things will happen when you make an application, you are either accepted or rejected.

However, what will not play out well for you is when you give false information that you cannot defend or live up to when interviewed or even employed.

Don’t forget, your CV puts your foot in the door. Getting called for an interview at all depends on how well your CV is presented to your potential employer.

Building New Habits

Building New Habits In The New Year

We put up a post last week about making new habits. This week we would like to elaborate on it.

Habits are important parts of our lives, they determine a lot of things about us, ranging from our health to our success; and ultimately, who we are. 

Good habits are important because they make you a better person. Good habits when accustomed to, become good behaviors, lifestyle, ethics, and practices that consequently result in making you the best version of yourself.

On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. However, how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances.

Today, we will talk about the steps to follow in building a new and good habit.

You can change any bad habit you already have by following these steps.

Take Baby Steps

A very important part of new habit development is to make micro-commitments and focus on small wins. Start small, don’t set big goals and targets when creating new habits, it can get overwhelming and discouraging.

The idea here is to create very little commitment that can be done easily and then consistently build on your success. It’s more important to stay consistent with a little commitment needed than it is to hit a huge target. 

Examples of baby steps in your habit changing journey include: taking a five-minute walk every day, drinking a glass of water, writing a paragraph of your book, taking one short course in line with your career, reading a page of a book you’ve always wanted to read.

Commit For A Minimum of 30 Days

Some people say it takes three weeks (21 days) to build a habit. Others claim it takes up to 66 days. The truth is, how long it takes to make something habitual depends on the habit, the person in question, and a few other things.

In all of these, we believe a minimum of 30 days, which is well in-between all other claims should do justice to any new habit you’re trying to create.

However, just ensure you are disciplined and consistent.

Have An Accountability Checker

There will be days when you see no point in continuing your journey towards building a new habit. There will be days when you are not naturally motivated to carry on with your task. Your accountability checker’s job is to check your level of progress and consistency.

Your accountability checker could be a person, an activity or even a reward. However, your best option here would be another person, as this is a factor that is outside your control and can check you effectively.

Reward Your Small Wins

Building a new habit should not be a boring journey. You can make it fun! Ensure you reward your small wins after each one. This will help you realize how much progress you’ve made and keep you a lot more motivated to carry on.

Fix Your Mind On The New And Forget The Old

As you keep winning, your challenges will keep growing. You will need to change your state of mind about yourself, the environment, and the people that relate to your new habit.

It doesn’t get easier, you get tougher. Your mind will be your greatest asset, you have to keep your mind on growth.

Straying from an old habit is not an easy task. Consistency will be your greatest weapon.

Finally, you should know that you don’t need a new year or season to bring changes to your life. You can change and create new habits whenever you want.

So go all out and win. You have our permission.

How to stay productive when you’re between jobs

How To Stay Productive When You’re Between Jobs

Sometime in your career, you will find yourself between jobs, in other words, unemployed. It happens to the best of us for diverse reasons.

A gap in your resume does not have to be a red flag to your new employer.

So, what should you do when you’re between jobs? How should you spend your time?

Productivity is a habit, and it cuts across disciplines and fields of work. In essence, you don’t have to be employed before you are productive.

If you read up to here, it means you will eventually learn how to fully maximize your unemployed phase.

Any two of the tips below will help you use your unemployed-phase productively:

Take a Class

Acquire a skill. Learn something new. Learning something new gives an immeasurable advantage. It broadens your knowledge base; it can even get you a new and better job by adding to your skillset.

The advent of E-learning has made learning a lot easier to accomplish and more efficient. You can now take courses online and get certifications your new employer will recognize.

Here are some of the platforms you can take online courses EDX, Udemy, Cousera, Shaw Academy, Hubspot Academy, Skillshare.

Volunteer

Most people think volunteering means you’re desperate. On the flip side, volunteering does better to you than harm when you’re between jobs.

The worst that will happen to you is that you will have a low income. As a matter of fact, the workplace is more humane now than before, any organization that will accept you as a volunteer will take of your basic needs. Even if that doesn’t happen, volunteering gives you the needed experience and fills the gap of unemployment.

Follow a Job Platform

Job platforms increase your opportunity of finding a job. They keep you posted with new jobs that might be beneficial to you. Some even do as good as notify you of jobs around you. Job platforms to follow and register on include Recruiterng, Jobgurus, Myjobbag, Jobberman.

Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a platform where a lot of employers scout and search for talents for employment. A lot of candidate selection takes place on LinkedIn. Optimizing your LinkedIn will increase your chances of being found when there is a search.

Start a Business

Not everyone is cut out for being an entrepreneur. However, your unemployment window is a great time to find out.

To us, it is a win-win situation. If you start a business and discover you are not an entrepreneur, you would have gained certain negotiation and communication skills that will aid your new job; then the business can transform into a ‘side-hustle’ and become your extra source of income.

The whole idea of using your unemployment window for the above and more is to stay productive, it is to use that space of time of being out-of-job for something that will not just fill the space in your CV, but make you a better version of yourself.

So, ensure to do what you can!