A few years ago, I worked with a woman named Angela who managed a program that was interdependent with the one I was involved with. Though we didn’t have a reporting relationship, our mutual success was clearly dependent on our ability to collaborate.
It was one of the most difficult working relationships I’ve ever experienced — and an extremely stressful one. As I reflect back on that time, I realize there was one major ingredient missing from our collaboration. The problem was we never whispered those three little words that everyone wants to hear from their closest co-workers:
“I trust you.”
The lack of trust was frustrating to my team and me, and it made everything we did so much more difficult: Conversations took longer, coming to an agreement was excruciating (if not impossible) and negotiating everything, from resources to outcomes, was exasperating.
Maybe you’re in a similar situation. Perhaps you know the relationship isn’t quite right, but you’re not sure why it’s so hard to get along. Every meeting seems to erupt in frustration; you sense there’s a hidden agenda alongside the one on the table in front of you.
In The Speed of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey suggests that trust is essential for a team to function effectively. When trust is high, performance accelerates. Covey describes it as a leavening agent for performance. And when trust is lacking, the opposite is true. As I found with Angela (and likely she with me), because we didn’t trust each other, everything took longer, felt harder and as a result, cost more — emotionally and financially.
You might think, as I did long ago, that it’s the other person’s responsibility to trust you. But it’s not. It’s your responsibility to invite others to trust in you — and you do this by behaving in a way that exemplifies your trustworthiness.
In research at Ohio State University, Roy Lewicki and Edward C. Tomlinson offer a few practical steps to overcome the conflict created by lack of trust. Read on for their suggestions about how to increase others’ trust in you and rectify your working relationships.
Do your job well
Covey says trust is a function of two things: character and competence. Angela and I were certainly competent when it came to doing our respective parts well. However, a big part of our assignment required us to work interdependently and neither of us was getting that right. People trust others who get stuff done, so when you don’t do your job well — even just a portion of it — it’s harder for people to trust you.
This is where the character comes in. When your words are aligned with your actions, people will trust you. Angela and I were both saying, “Yes we want to move forward.” But in all honesty, we both feared that the other was trying to muck our program, so we weren’t doing everything we could to actually move the project forward. That disconnect between our words and our actions caused both of us to seem untrustworthy.
Trust is built on a consistent pattern of each of us doing what we say we will do. People watch for this and make assessments about your trustworthiness based on it. (The researchers call this “Do What We Say We Will Do,” or DWWSWWD.) You promised you’d have the report ready by the end of the day then turn up empty handed? That’s a strike against your credibility.
Remember that hidden agenda perception I mentioned earlier? Yep — total trust killer. When you aren’t transparent about your intentions (e.g. what you’re trying to achieve, what you’re concerned about or what you really want to accomplish in a project meeting), you negate the others’ ability to trust you.
Be compassionate toward others
Trust grows when you show care and concern for others. For example, I never once asked Angela what kept her up at night. We never discussed the business risk or personal vulnerability we felt as we tried to manage these two huge programs. I see now that a simple conversation like that could have been an incredible bridge builder.
When you have to work interdependently — and in this day and age, who doesn’t? — the degree of trust you have with others can make or break your efforts. If you’re looking for ways to up your performance quotient, reduce your stress level and get more satisfaction out of your work, look for opportunities to build more trust with those around you.
Up to 65,000 university students – 30 per cent of graduates – will be jobless four months after finishing their studies, and those finding employment will be earning less, the federal government has forecast.
The predicted major downturn in graduate employment will occur at the same time student debts are expected to soar with the deregulation of university fees and an increased interest rate applied to student loans.
Preliminary estimates also indicate that the amount of student debt owed to the government, which will never be repaid, could jump to $3 billion a year under the new rules.
Tim Higgins, a senior lecturer in actuarial studies at the ANU, said fee deregulation raised concerns about future budget blowouts as students load up on debt. ”There are no incentives for universities to manage the risk of loan non-payment because the government pays the shortfall,” Dr Higgins said.
The budget papers show only 70 per cent of higher education graduates are expected to have a full-time job within four months of finishing a degree in 2016-17 – down from the 78 per cent predicted a year ago. This means 64,800 new graduates will be out of work, 17,000 more than predicted in last year’s budget.
Graduate salaries are also expected to fall.
Starting salaries for higher education graduates, as a proportion of average male weekly earnings, are forecast to fall from 78 per cent this year to 74 per cent in 2016-17.
A spokesman for the Education Department said the figures reflect Treasury forecasts of a softer labour market in coming years, with unemployment forecast to rise to 6.25 per cent in the June quarter next year.
Graduates in full-time employment fell from 76 per cent in 2012 to 71 per cent last year, according to a Graduate Destination Survey.
Education Minister Christopher Pyne has justified fee deregulation by pointing out there are significant personal benefits to having a degree, with graduates earning about 75 per cent more than non-graduates – or about $1 million more over their lifetimes.
Greens higher education spokeswoman Lee Rhiannon said: ”It beggars belief the government would introduce these changes when their own department’s figures show fewer graduates will be employed.”
On budget night the government announced that it would cut its contribution towards the cost of university courses by an average 20 per cent, saving $1.1 billion over three years. It will also reduce the annual indexation of its contribution, switching to the consumer price index.
To compensate the higher education sector, the government is allowing the universities to structure the fees they charge for different courses.
Students borrow money from the taxpayer to pay for their course. These loan payments are expected to increase from $6.6 billion this year to $12 billion in 2018, a Department of Education spokesman said, with another 80,000 participants accessing the system for the first time and the impact of fee deregulation.
Grattan Institute Higher Education program director Andrew Norton, and other academics, said the amount of unpaid debt arising from these student loans had the potential to grow dramatically.
Business groups and job providers warned the government its now-dumped plan to make job seekers apply for 40 jobs a month would lead to “spam applications”, “burden employers” and end the relationship between companies and job connection agencies.
And a jobs provider predicted an added abandoned plan to make front-line staff decide whether to punish job seekers who failed to front for appointments could increase the risk of “aggressive behaviour” towards staff.
The fierce backlash prompted a government retreat on the proposal.
The government received 60 submissions, most of which were scathing and recommended the government dump its plan, which critics said directly contradicted the Coalition’s pledge to slash red tape.
Two leading business groups were among the organisations opposed to the proposal but the strongest criticism came from the agencies that try to connect job seekers with work.
Jobs Australia said the plan posed a “new sort of risk” for staff.
“The prospect of employment-provider staff being directly responsible for the suspension of their clients’ benefits raises new risks of aggressive behaviour towards staff, and could require additional investment in security,” it said.
Employment Minister Eric Abetz said the decision would continue to be made by the Department of Human Services and also dumped a controversial plan to make job seekers apply for 40 jobs a month, or “one in the morning, one in the afternoon”, as previously described by the minister. He said he accepted the requirements would be a “burden” and “diminish” the value of genuine job applications.
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry described the idea as “simplistic” and said it would “result in the unintended consequence of burdening employers with the task of sifting through multiple, possibly less than adequate, job applications”.
ACCI warned: “This may cause employers to withdraw contact with employment service providers altogether.”
The Business Council of Australia said in its submission: “It will divert company resources towards managing ‘spam’ applications and recommended against the idea.”
The Salvation Army’s Employment Plus said the idea was “unnecessarily punitive” and would lead to job seekers being repeatedly rejected for jobs they were never qualified to apply for.
“We believe that the inevitable and substantial increased volume of applications and enquiries from Job Seekers will lead to Employers simply refusing to engage with both individual Job Seekers and with the broader Employment Services sector,” the Employment Plus submission said.
Carers Australia described the plan as “highly impractical” and “counter-productive for employers”.
Labor said the government’s decision to abandon its plans constituted a “humiliating backdown” and the “stupid idea” should never have seen the light of day.
“They’re gradually backing down on some of their dumbest ideas,” Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said.
But Prime Minister Tony Abbott defended the decision and said it showed the government was genuinely listening.
“The only fair dinkum consultations are consultations that can and do result in some refinements and, where necessary, some changes, and that’s what we’ve done” he said.
Jobs Australia welcomed the government’s retreat and said it was a “sensible” move.
University was great fun, although it didn’t really help much with setting up a business – so looking back I wish I’d gone straight to work.
It was during university that I tried to sell a food concept to various airlines. None of them went for it, so while still a student, I spotted another opportunity.
I decided to create a natural energy drink. At the beginning we had no money to spend on marketing, so I thought of the name Pussy to get us noticed. Being normal gets you nowhere and if we had a normal name I felt we would have a 0% chance of working. We were competing against brands who spend tens of millions on marketing.
It took about a year to get the £30,000 I needed to create the product – I borrowed the money from friends and family. During this time I worked out of my bedroom at home. It was a bit of a nightmare, my mum would be hoovering in the background as I took important sales calls or would accidently pick up the phone on my behalf. During my first sales pitch I sat down with a burly nightclub promoter who told me he wanted me to pay him £10,000 a year to stock the drink, or take it for free: “Piss off Pussy I’m busy,” he said. Clearly it’s difficult to get yourself taken seriously when you’re young and just starting out. But eventually we negotiated a decent deal and now the company sells 500,000 cans a month and is worth tens of millions of pounds.
But it is those first years, where you evolve so quickly, where you really have to go for it, that are the most invigorating. My advice to young graduates eager to make in the world of business? Always aim to be the best at everything, and just go for it.
(from: The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jul/05/successful-young-graduates-share-stories)
At the height of summer, when college graduates might be sitting on the beach and soaking up the sun, many are pounding the pavement looking for their first post-college job. This year’s graduating class began college at the height of one of the worst recessions in recent history, and are emerging to find a very different job market than their parents experienced at their age. And because of that, their priorities have shifted.
Today’s new grads aren’t looking for big bucks (many are making less than they would have in previous years)—they’re after security and stability, things that have been in short supply during the rocky economic times of recent years. Some of these graduates are looking to more established firms, like Google, for opportunities, but the majority would prefer working for a small- to mid-sized firm. And with employers looking to recent grads as replacement hires to combat attrition, there was never a better time to infuse some fresh blood into your ranks.
Here are a few ways you can attract, hire, and retain new college graduates.
Get social. Like other applicants, college students are doing much of their job search on the web and through social media, particularly LinkedIn. Find out where your audience is, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other medium, and build a presence there. You’ll want to assign an internal resource to monitor your media, post jobs, and field questions, so applicants don’t get lost in the shuffle.
Build your brand. While you’re establishing a social media presence, you should also be building and promoting your employer brand. Think about what makes your workplace special, and use your branding channels to communicate this, whether through job postings, videos, blogs, Tweets, direct email, or job fairs. For larger organizations, online career centers are an efficient and colorful way to sell the benefits of working for your company, while promoting multiple opportunities and capturing applications.
Look beyond the resume. Because new grads are not as experienced as seasoned hires, you need a few more tools in your arsenal when it comes to evaluating candidates. Try behavioral interviewing techniques to see what makes the candidate tick. It’s also a helpful way of gauging transferable skills. You can also have potential peers within the organization sit with the candidate and walk him or her through the job specs in order to measure interest. Assessment tools might also be helpful in validating your interviewing findings and zeroing in on the right fit for your company.
Take a trial run. If you’re on the fence about a candidate, or want to see how he or she might perform day-to-day, consider offering internship or part-time opportunities. The upfront costs are lower (especially if the student is still in school and looking for college credit), and both you and the candidate have a no-fuss method of determining if you are a match. Keep in mind, colleges may have specific guidelines regarding for-credit internships, so be sure to check with the school’s career center before launching an internship program.
Ease the transition. A formal onboarding program is an effective way of integrating new hires into your company’s fold, and setting expectations and boundaries, especially for new hires who’ve had little professional work experience. Simple gestures, like taking your new employee to lunch the first week, can go a long way to ease the transition from college to the real world. The key to a successful onboarding effort is having an internal team responsible and accountable for specific tasks, such as benefits, payroll, and training, so your new hire feels included and does not fall through the cracks and eventually quit.
Train early and often. Once you’ve hired and onboarded your new college graduate, it’s important to train, train, and train some more. College grads may bring a plethora of knowledge and skills with them, but they won’t have the practical experience necessary to get the job done, unless you guide them. Training programs don’t have to be very formal, but there should be benchmarks for success so you know your trainee is learning necessary skills. Be sure to revisit your training programs periodically, so skillsets don’t become stale. The more your employees know, the more your company can grow.
(from: ACA Talent. http://www.acatalent.com/resources/news/human-resources/how-to-attract-and-hire-recent-college-graduates)
Pamela Nash, MP for Airdrie and Shotts, 27.
I do not envy anyone graduating in 2012; it was difficult enough when I graduated in 2006; even then there were not many jobs for new social science graduates. I was living alone and found it difficult to stay afloat, and was surprised and embarrassed about the situation I found myself in.
I knew it was important to balance earning with improving skills and employability but I found it hard to get a part-time job. While job hunting I wrote to my MP to have a moan about the situation for graduates generally, but also to ask if there were any opportunities in his office. He asked me to meet him and offered me an internship. This was lucky; but also a result of me trying everything I could do to get on. Eventually I landed a part-time job in House of Fraser, Glasgow which allowed me to earn money three days a week and gain relevant experience the rest of the time. After a year I was promoted to a full-time position as a parliamentary assistant.
Pressures on graduates this year are higher than ever before with the number of opportunities being squeezed. At a time like this it is important that you keep clear career goals and do everything in your power to get there; taking on voluntary work or learning additional skills is vital. Get as involved as possible with organisations in your field of work; for example as well as being active in my local Labour party, I also joined associated campaigns and thinktanks and stood for election to the Scottish youth parliament.
Do not worry when you have to take on a job you’d rather not to make ends meet. Sort out your finances as soon as possible and make sure you are getting the benefits you are entitled to if you are still looking for work, and live within your means.
Most importantly, do not lose heart. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity, so be ready.
(from The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jul/05/successful-young-graduates-share-stories)
Greg James, Radio1 DJ, 26.
I genuinely think that the majority of people will decide that their dream job is too hard to achieve, too competitive and “oh well it’s all about luck”. All of these are true actually, but why should that stop you? The really determined people will always succeed and, in many ways, need people to give up and find it too much like hard work to make way for them.
Of course it is a very tough time economically to find employment straight after university, but it is by no means impossible. It might take several months longer to find a job after graduating than maybe it did five years ago, but there is work out there. My chosen career has always been competitive but I never thought about other people going for the same jobs. It’s human nature to compare your progress to your peers but I suppose my advice would be to try not to. Be focused on what you want and how you are going to get it.
You have to have a plan in place, even if it’s a sketchy one. Have short-term and long-term aims. In my final year at university, my short-term aims were to gain experience at BBC local radio, work on the local community station, try and get some real FM presenting experience and get a meeting/pilot at Radio 1. My long-term aim has always been to get a show on Radio 1. It sounds easy for me to say it now, but I always thought that with really bloody hard work, dedication, a willingness to put myself out for them and a load of luck, I could get to Radio 1. You also have to be a complete nerd about the business you want to get in to. Know as much as you can about it, then you can feel part of it and understand how it works.
I hate saying this to people but really, this piece of cliche advice is key. You must never get down-trodden by the knockbacks because there will be loads. You can achieve your dream job whatever it is but … here comes the cliche … you simply must not give up on it. Be prepared to work hard and for long hours and at the start probably for little or no money but it will be worth it in the end. The best jobs aren’t supposed to be easy, that’s what makes them challenging. If you like a challenge, don’t listen to the nay-sayers, just keep your head down and go for it. And look, one day, you might even get to write your own sanctimonious Guardian article.
(from The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jul/05/successful-young-graduates-share-stories)
Hiring a recent college grad OR a more experienced workforce veteran? It is a great business decision with many pros and cons on each side.
There are many reasons to hire a current student or new graduate, with much more job description flexibility, lower salary cost and young, eager employee.
A. Low salary cost.
B. Comfort with new technology.
C. Easier to manage.
D. Working longer, uninterrupted hours.
E. Quick Learners with adaptability.