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RealStreet Hires Don Askey as Program Manager!
Don Askey, recently rejoined RealStreet a Program Manager. He previously worked for RealStreet from 2010 to 2013 as a Business Development Manager for National Accounts. In the role of Program Manager, Don will have overall corporate responsibility for insuring the integration, organization and delivery of the right personnel, to the right client, at the right time. Additionally, he is charged with assisting all RealStreet offices to increase our service offerings to regional and national clients.
To learn more about Don's path back to RealStreet, view his bio on the RealStreet website.
EMPLOYEE APPRECIATION IDEAS THAT LEAD TO MASSIVE PRODUCTIVITY AND TEAM LOYALTY
How do you show appreciation for your teams hard work? While a part of you might question why you should thank someone for doing their job, it is important to remember the impact that job satisfaction can have on an employees ongoing performance and drive.
Taking a moment to showcase employee appreciation helps the business as well. After all, happier workers are often more productive and willing to go the extra mile. Plus, when employees feel that their contributions are regularly recognized and appreciated, morale tends to improve and loyalties grow.
THREE WAYS TO SHOW APPRECIATION FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES HARD WORK
How you demonstrate your appreciation for your team is important. While any gesture is often appreciated, different approaches can have varying impacts. In the end, you may need to embrace several tactics, allowing you to choose the one that is most meaningful to each employee or appropriate for the situation. If you are not sure where to begin, here are some popular and effective employee appreciation ideas to consider.
1. A FORMAL EMPLOYEE APPRECIATION EVENT
Hosting an event is often an effective way to show appreciation for your employees efforts and accomplishments. Something as simple as a luncheon coupled with an awards presentation can be an ideal approach, as it combines free food with public recognition. Plus, if you hold it during work hours, your employees do not have to miss time with their families to attend. This can a done at regular intervals (e.g. annually or quarterly) or after major accomplishments have been made.
2. RECOGNIZE EMPLOYEES PUBLICLY
A simple but sincere thank you or good work after a well-executed task is usually sufficient, but it may fall short when larger projects were completed, significant accomplishments were made and if an employee went above and beyond what was expected of them. If an employee has made a major achievement, recognize them using a public platform. A team meeting is often an adequate venue to make this type of announcement. Showcasing the employee in a monthly newsletter or on the companys social media page is a great option as well, particularly if your team member is more introverted or uncomfortable in front of large groups.
3. OFFER CUSTOM REWARDS
A little personalization can make any gift or perk more meaningful. This does not mean that you need to provide a monogrammed gift (though it could). Instead, it involves selecting a reward that is particularly meaningful to the receiving employee.
A gift card to the employees favorite restaurant shows you not only appreciate them, that you know them. If that level of personalization is not possible to determine beforehand, there are still ways to make it work. One way is to choose between a few preselected options (of equal value). Alternatively, you could offer an award that the employee can customize. For example, you could offer a paid day off, possibly with a particular amount that can be expensed. It may be prudent to caveat this reward to ensure it is not used in undesired way, but it will surely be appreciated. This way, your employees can spend their time off doing something they really enjoy.
ARE YOU WORKING TO FILL VACANT ARCHITECTURE, ENGINEERING OR CONSTRUCTION POSITIONS?
At RealStreet, we are fully dedicated to finding top-tier talent for our clients and partners. If you are in need of high-quality architecture, engineering or construction professionals, we encourage you to experience the RealStreet difference today. Contact us to see how our services can help you find ideal candidates faster and more efficiently than ever before.
Article Originally Published by RealStreet
HOW INCREASING TEAMWORK WILL LEAD TO BETTER PRODUCTION RESULTS
Employees often have to work together to accomplish tasks, complete projects and achieve other organizational goals. With that in mind, increasing the level of teamwork on your architecture, engineering or construction job site can improve production and lead to greater levels of overall success. After all, when everyone works seamlessly as a unit, efficiencies and the quality of outputs are typically enhanced, the culture improves and job satisfaction increases.
THREE WAYS TO INCREASE TEAMWORK TO ACHIEVE BETTER PRODUCTION RESULTS
If you are hoping for better production results, increasing teamwork is an excellent approach. While there are numerous ways to achieve this goal, some may be easier to implement than others, allowing you to gain more ground in less time. Here are a three options that are both practical and incredibly effective.
1. CREATE GROUP-ORIENTED RECOGNITION PROGRAMS
Rewarding your employees for their individual performance is a common approach to enhance engagement and encourage greater productivity. While it is often effective, it does not take the teams efforts into account, and can lead to a more competitive work environment. Typically, a good balance can be achieved by incorporating group-oriented recognition as well.
By creating a team-oriented recognition program, you can acknowledge the successes of various groups. Over time, this encourages more effective teamwork, as everyone benefits from the cumulative efforts of the team. Whether an award is given when a goal is accomplished, or a heartfelt thank you is presented to a group, a little recognition often goes a long way.
2. ALLOW ROOM FOR SOCIAL INTERACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES
While keeping your team focused on the task at hand is beneficial from a productivity standpoint, avoid stifling all social interactions in the workplace. When employees get to know one another on a more personal level, the sense of comradery can increase. Team members will become more familiar with each others work styles, strengths and weaknesses. It often increases empathy as well, further enhancing team cohesion.
3. BE CLEAR WHEN DEFINING ROLES AND EXPECTATIONS
When employees need to work together, having clearly defined roles and responsibilities is incredibly helpful. This reduces the level of ambiguity over who needs to complete which tasks. Additionally, it increases overall accountability, as everyone understands their part in the bigger picture, as well as the roles their teammates play.
Similarly, setting expectations creates a solid framework for your team. Once they have direction and an understanding of how success is defined, they have a clear path and destination. It also ensures there are not any misunderstandings regarding priorities or work standards, allowing them to rise to the occasion appropriately.
DO YOU NEED A NEW ARCHITECTURE, ENGINEERING OR CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONAL ON YOUR TEAM?
At RealStreet, we are dedicated to locating top-notch architecture, engineering and construction talent for our business partners. If you are searching for skilled professionals for your open positions, experience the RealStreet difference today. Contact us to discover how our recruitment and talent management solutions can help you meet your project goals.
Article Originally Published by RealStreet
10 Trends That Will Change How You Do Business Over the Next 10 Years
Some business trends go the way of Formica tables, as we learn in study after study (open office layouts, we're looking at you). But others evolve as the world develops, and those trends are the ones that demand a complete work overhaul. Educator and author Josh Levine, who has spent the past 15 years helping companies grow culture-driven brands, has done the legwork to pinpoint the top 10 upcoming trends worth your attention.
1. Employees and customers will choose brands for their business practices as much as features and benefits.
2. Company culture will become a critical competitive advantage.
3. The chief culture officer will become much more common/visible.
"When employment ratings sites like Glassdoor and social media-powered employee opinions reveal the truth behind 'what it's like to work with us' Web proclamations," explains Levine, "for better or worse, every company's inner workings will become visible to the world."
As an example of how transparency will force companies to think about how people perceive them, Levine points to Lyft and Uber. While the services from these companies arguably are comparable, the latter company has been wracked with devastating scandals that some customers might not want to stomach.
"Even when purpose becomes common," Levine adds, "it won't become a commodity [...There] will be those companies who try and fail, and those who will be skilled enough to use it to their advantage... [And by working with the CCO to focus] their full attention on the business tools that attract and sustain a highly engaged and aligned workforce, organizations will become more productive, coordinated, and agile."
4. Companies will hire talent who live further and further from urban centers.
5. Extreme distributed workforces will become the norm.
6. Work hubs--hyper-localized WeWork style co-working spaces--will replace traditional offices and headquarters.
7. SMBs will become micro multinationals as they hire and work regularly with international teams.
These four trends will be driven by both an increasing scarcity of highly skilled talent and the rising cost of real estate in urban areas. Technology comes into play too, making it easier for people to work from anywhere, anytime. And as individuals enjoy that option and demand schedule flexibility, companies will become even more accepting of remote work.
"It's going to be a gradual but powerful economic lift for non-urban regions, particularly those that have relied on dying or shored industries like coal and traditional manufacturing. The trend gives individuals who might otherwise not have earning potential a way to contribute, and on the other side, creates a market where businesses can seek the best talent at the best price."
But Levine cautions that relationship degradation can happen when the majority of work happens remotely, damaging team efficacy. So while companies must get comfortable with non-standard work hours and learn to accept a variety of start-stop times, they also must budget for in-person efforts to ensure that teams can work well together when they're not face-to-face.
"Even bringing together an entire team once a year will go a long way to facilitating great work the rest of the time."
8. The fight for employee retention will lose economic viability.
9. Companies will adopt "work cycles," a business methodology focused on high-speed, project-based work.
10. The majority of workers will need to build their own books of business and take responsibility for managing their own skills and development.
Levine predicts the average tenure of the American worker will continue to fall to below 24 months -- in regions like the Bay Area, it might even drop as low as 18 months. So, as workers flit to different options and explore, companies will double down on tactics like signing bonuses or paying premiums to headhunters for recruiting.
"If you can keep employees, you should," says Levine. "It is definitely less expensive than finding new ones. [But] it is the growth of the trend [to shorter tenure] that will eventually will drag down the ROI of retention efforts. Inside of a decade, job hopping will be the norm for most employees, and even the most tantalizing retention offers won't compete with the opportunity for new work with new people."
Companies can use work cycles to foster high engagement and productivity in a short time, as workers will be able to see the impact of their efforts fast. But the downside is that companies also have to deal with learned expertise walking out their doors on a regular basis. This is where culture becomes so important--if the worker has a good experience with you, then they'll probably accept another stint.
As for why workers have to shoulder responsibility for their own development and skills in this new environment, it's simply a matter of companies being unable to follow individuals through their career course.
"Once," Levine explains, "it was the company that provided the opportunity to learn skills, provided leadership support and access to mentors, but that ability will be limited when individuals hop from one role to the next. I think the more interesting question is what resources and organizations will the modern worker need. I think there is a business opportunity in filling that need."
As you try to accommodate the above trends, recognize there's as much work in changing attitudes as there is changing your logistics, and mistakes can happen in either area. Every company faces this challenge, and none will be perfect. But the ones who will come out on top are the ones that use every resource to recover from errors at lightning speed, and who are willing to learn from others to prevent new blunders. The more you listen and cooperate inside and out of your business, the easier your pivots will be.
Article Originally Published by Inc.
Construction industry confidence makes a comeback in Q2 report
A renewed boost in confidence, along with some new insight into how contractors view the green building market, is front and center in the second-quarter Commercial Construction Index (CCI) just released by USG Corp. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The turnaround in optimism should come as a relief to contractors since last quarter's survey saw the index's primary drivers backlog, confidence in new business and expected revenue all take a hit to their scores quarter over quarter. The overall CCI fell three points to 72, the lowest mark since it was established in 2017.
But what a difference three months make.
Although the index's measure for expected revenue fell, reported project backlogs are at record highs in the Q2 report, and contractors' confidence in their ability to secure new work during the next 12 months rose to encouraging levels. The overall index made its way back into rosier territory as well, rising two points to 74.
Contractors participating in the second-quarter CCI survey reported a backlog of 10.3 months, up from 9.7 months in the first quarter. The authors of the report note that the increase in the project pipeline, which indicates contractors will have plenty of work well into next year, could be a result of labor-shortage-driven delays more backup than backlog as 61% of participants reported that the lack of skilled workers is negatively affecting their ability to stay on schedule.
More than 50% of contractors surveyed for this latest report are confident that the next year will provide the necessary business opportunities. For large businesses that have $100 million or more in revenue, that percentage increases to more than 70%. While the uptick in optimism about the next year is likely reassuring to commercial contractors, it could be that the first quarter confidence results were skewed a bit due to the federal shutdown that was taking place at the time.
And while fewer contractors are anticipating increases in revenue during the next 12 months, almost none expects it to decrease. Also, 30% of respondents expect an increase in profit margins, which could be driven partially by an environment of reduced competition as companies struggle to manage workloads.
The abundance of work could also be affecting the green building market. It's likely that fewer contractors are looking at this specialty as providing a competitive advantage because, one, they have plenty of work regardless, and, two, green building could have reached a tipping point into the mainstream so that it's no longer the niche it once was.
Other industry reports, according to USG and the chamber, have not shown a decline in green projects, though, so the shift could represent a consolidation of this type of work into a smaller group of contractors. In general, however, contractors are still incorporating green building practices into a high percentage of their projects, and sustainability is a driver when it comes to their material purchases, although 66% of survey's respondents said the price of green materials is prohibitive.
Contractors see a few clouds on the horizon as well.
Even though 60% of contractors expect to add to their payrolls in the coming year, almost 95% reported some level of difficulty in finding qualified workers. The hardship was most severe among specialty contractors. This persistent lack of labor is also forcing some contractors to turn down work and driving up manpower costs.
Contractors are still concerned about rising material costs, but how President Donald Trump's tariffs will impact their businesses has kept them a little skittish as well. Apprehension about the tariffs on steel, aluminum and other products has leveled off, but as the administration ratchets up the rhetoric, that could change in the quarters to come.
Article Originally Published by Construction Dive
Im a hacker, and heres how your social media posts help me break into your company
Think twice before you snap and share that office selfie, #firstday badge pic, or group photo at work.
Hackers are trolling social media for photos, videos, and other clues that can help them better target your company in an attack. I know this because Im one of them.
Fortunately, in my case, the victim of these attacks is paying me to hack them. My name is Snow, and Im part of an elite team of hackers within IBM known as X-Force Red. Companies hire us to find gaps in their securitybefore the real bad guys do. For me, that means scouring the internet for information, tricking employees into revealing things over the phone, and even using disguises to break my way into your office.
Social media posts are a goldmine for details that aid in our attacks. What you find in the background of photos is particularly revealingfrom security badges to laptop screens, or even Post-its with passwords.
No one wants to be the source of an unintended social media security fail. So let me explain how seemingly innocuous posts can help meor a malicious hackertarget your company.
The first thing you may be surprised to know is that 75% of the time, the information Im finding is coming from interns or new hires. Younger generations entering the workforce today have grown up on social media, and internships or new jobs are exciting updates to share. Add in the fact that companies often delay security training for new hires until weeks or months after theyve started, and youve got a recipe for disaster.
Knowing this weak point, along with some handy hashtags, allows me to find tons of information I need within just a few hours. Take a look for yourself on your favorite social apps for posts tagged with #firstday, #newjob, or #intern + [#companyname].
So, what exactly am I looking for in these posts? There are four specific kinds of risky social media posts that a hacker can use to their advantage.
Posting a photo of you and your office besties, whether its on a lunch break, doing some sort of social activity, or otherwise, may be revealing more than you imagine. Think about the types of posters or whiteboards that are up in shared areas of the office. A poster about Team Softball League Starting Soon means you be wont be suspicious if I send you an email with a link to the latest team schedule. Trust me, the link I send you wont be one you want to click.
NEW BADGE, WHO DIS?
This may seem obvious, but youd be shocked to know how many times I see new employees posting close-up shots of their company security badges, particularly on the first day or last day at the office.
Knowing what a company employee badge looks makes re-creating one a breeze. I can copy, paste, and print myself an identical one with my own face swapped in within just a few minutes. While this badge may not work for access, youd be surprised how easy it is for me to simply flash a badge and a confident smile to tailgate my way through the doors of a company.
DAY IN THE LIFE
When an employee decides to video-blog their entire day at a company, youve hit the hacker jackpot. From knowing the building layout and badge-protected areas to whiteboards revealing company plans, this type of view is almost as good as breaking into the company in real life.
Not only that, but laptop screens reveal the types of security tools and software being used, which we can use to tailor an attack by creating custom malware disguised as a fake software update.
In todays review-driven culture, even your own company is on the chopping block. Whether through Glassdoor, job boards, or social media sites, learning what issues are currently making employees tick can help me craft a phishing email that plays to their complaints and desires.
For example, one company I tested had many employees complaining online about a lack of parking spots, so I crafted an email explaining a newly assigned parking policy and warning all parked outside of their assigned spot would be towed. The excitement of finally having an assigned parking spot, plus the fear of being towed, led to tons of clicks on the fake (malicious) parking map attachment included on the email.
After hearing some of these examples, you may wonder why a hacker would want to get into your office in the first place. In short, being within the four walls of an office gives you the keys to the kingdom for gaining trust and access. From shared credentials on whiteboards to Wi-Fi passwords posted in plain sight, being onsite breaks down the walls that divide us from your company data and secrets. Social media posts can even reveal enough that we dont need to actually visit your company to get the information, since youve already let us peek inside the walls, virtually.
So, before you click share that next work-related post, think to yourself, Whats in this post that I wouldnt want Snow to know?
Article Originally Published by Fast Company