Connect with us


Are you and your employee headed in the same direction?

Career development is about identifying what the current strategic goals for your business are and then working with your staff to ensure that they have the right knowledge, skills and abilities to achieve these goals.


officeCareer development is about identifying what the current strategic goals for your business are and then working with your staff to ensure that they have the right knowledge, skills and abilities to achieve these goals. In addition to this, career development is about identifying what the future strategic goals are for the business and then identifying which staff are interested in working towards these future goals and once again ensuring that they have what the necessary skills to achieve them.

The advantages to using career development systems in your organisation are numerous, they:

  • Enable you to develop skills internally rather than needing to recruit skills into the business or outsource your core business
  • Enable your business to develop by growing your intellectual capital
  • Enable you to make good use of your employees’ knowledge and retain those valuable to the business
  • Align individual employees’ career development with the strategic aims of the business, enabling you to determine what skills will be needed in the future and facilitate workforce planning
  • Support the development of succession plans and promotion pathways for high- performing employees
  • Empower and motivates employees who may require greater challenges to achieve job satisfaction
  • Prepare employees for advancement to jobs where their abilities and potential can be fully realised
  • Enable you to work to the strengths of employees, ultimately getting the best out of them

A quick guide to Career Development

Step One: Identify and clearly define the current and future strategic goals of your business.

Step Two: Establish what knowledge, skills, and abilities you require your staff to possess in order to achieve these goals.
Use your existing job descriptions and person specifications to assist you.

Step Three: Determine the existing levels of knowledge, skills and abilities of your staff, to help determine what areas your employees require training. By doing this it helps to ensure that training is aligned to business and employee needs. You can use the regular performance appraisal catch-ups with your employees to determine what training they feel they might need, and to help monitor how employees are doing with regards to the business goals.

Step Four: Often employers use the end of year performance appraisal meeting to discuss with their employees what career directions they have considered. This helps you to determine which employees are interested in development opportunities and you can then determine how these employees will help you achieve the future goals of the business and what training and resources they might require in order to do so. From my experience you want to create an environment where employees feel they can raise this with you at any time as the end of year meetings might be too late.

Factors to consider

The above quick guide emphasises that it is important to establish what your employees’ knowledge, skills and abilities are so you can determine what career development opportunities they might need, but before you rush off and start offering your staff training opportunities, I want you to consider two other important factors – values and motivators.

Values: In the context of business, values are the moral thread which underpins much of our organisational policies and procedures. Ideally what you ‘hope’ is that the values which your employees hold dear are similar to the values which are important to the company, this helps to improve what is called person environment fit (P-E Fit). The better this fit is, the more likely the employee will be committed to an organisation and its goals.

Generally, values are stable by the time we reach early adulthood, but circumstances can change the importance we place on these values. For example, an employee who has recently started a young family might value the importance of friendship and flexibility more than before their new role as a parent, so it is important to check in with your employees, as what was important to them a year ago might be less important now.

Motivators: Motivators are the factors which not only determine what goals we will aim for, but also how much effort we will put in to achieving these goals. From a career development perspective it is important to establish what a person’s motivators are so as to determine whether they will be driven to meet these new goals; it is very costly to provide training to someone for a new role if they are not motivated by the key aspects of the role.

My final words on Career Development

One final tip I have on career development, you don’t have to promise development opportunities to everyone, if the training isn’t aligned to business needs or it doesn’t make sense to invest into an employee, then don’t! However, if you do decide to work with an employee to develop their career it has pay- offs for all involved. For the business it means that current and future business needs are met, for employees it means that their professional needs are being met by their company, all of this can result in increased work performance, job satisfaction, organisational commitment and decreased staff turnover.


4 Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating in the Workplace


foodA healthier workforce is a more engaged and productive one. A lot of people overlook the impact eating habits can have on cognitive functions, mood, and concentration. But by making a few adjustments to your workplace and company culture, you could help your employees make healthier food choices.

Here are a few simple ways you could encourage healthy eating in the workplace.

Use Snack Services

There are plenty of snack services out there that will allow you to provide snacks to your employees for cheap. They allow you to buy various snacks in bulk so you can save on total costs. They’re also a great way to show that you actually care about your employees’ wellbeing.

However, not all of them are created equal and some might be healthier than others. While an office snack service like Naturebox will be focused mainly on providing healthy office snacks like dried fruits, nuts, and low-calorie options, others won’t have as wide a selection and will offer your usual run-of-the-mill snacks with a few “healthy” options. If you want to know more about snack services and which one would be best for you, Bevi has a great article about them. Bevi also supplies beverages for the office, including water dispensers.

Incentivize your Employees

There are plenty of ways you could make things easier for your employees and incentivize healthy eating. Some companies, for instance, will have free fruit around the office or will allow their employees to have access to mineral water. If you have vending machines, make sure that you stock them up with healthy foods as well as the usual snacks. And make sure that healthy options are much cheaper as well.

Do not Neglect Break Time

You have to institute a culture in your business where your employees feel free to enjoy a full lunch break and sufficient screen break time as well. This will encourage healthy eating habits and reduce stress as well. Make sure that they don’t eat at their desk and consider giving flexible break hours so they can get out and stretch their legs. A lunch hour should be long enough to let them go out and enjoy a healthy meal if they want to. Enjoying fresh air will also leave them invigorated for the second half of the day.

Make Sure that it’s a Clear Part of your Company Culture

If you want your employees to truly dedicate themselves to healthy eating, it has to be part of your company’s mission and put down in writing. Make sure that your commitment to healthy eating and overall health is part of the staff handbook. You should also make it clear to your staff that your mission will translate into actual policy. Let them know that healthy eating options will be subsidized or completely free of charge. Also, make sure that you consider adopting a corporate food plan if you have a cafeteria.


Making sure that your employees adopt healthy eating habits is not only an investment in their well-being but in your business as well. If you want to enjoy a happier and healthier workforce that will run on all cylinders, make sure to make healthy eating a must in your workplace.

Continue Reading


How to Make Money from Home as a Freelance Writer

self publish a book

how to overcome writer's blockIf you have ever considered becoming a freelance writer your first and biggest question is probably “how do I begin making money as a freelance writer”? Knowing where and how to look for jobs is the first step in your freelance writing career.

There are plenty of ways to get paid but in this article, we give you 5 of the best methods for getting work as a beginner freelance writer.

Enter Writing Contests

Writing contests are a great option for freelance writers of any experience level because they do not differentiate between beginner writers and established professionals. Winning of these would be a great achievement for any resume and are sure to spruce up portfolios.

There are many competitions open to the public so do your research and see what opportunities are available to you. Prizes range from small cash payments to publications of your written works. Many of these competitions are free to enter so take the opportunity and submit your works today.

Job Boards

There are many ways for freelancers to make money online, you can find out more here. However, a common beginning point for freelance writers looking to get their first clients is to pitch for jobs on job boards. It is as simple as registering for an account and filling out applications or bidding on jobs. There are a ton of wiring jobs available on these boards and the clients are looking for people with a base level writing ability and a strong work ethic.

Start a Blog

Every writer needs a blog and these days bloggers are monetizing their blog through affiliate marketing. Running a blog can benefit you as a writer in many ways including contributing to your portfolio, creating lead generation, build up your credibility and give you confidence as a writer. Your blog will help you develop your style and target audience. The goal to successfully monetizing your blog is to pick a successful niche and developing a strong social media presence.

Guest Post

As a writer you should be following and supporting other bloggers and their sites. Consider pitching a guest post to your favorite authors. Most blogs accept guest posts and a lot of them are willing to pay for quality content from their guests. Before you send your pitch make sure you take the time to research the blog extensively. What is the style of writing? What is the niche? Develop a pitch that fits in nicely with site you are hoping to guest post for.

Self-Publish your Own Books

Amazon Direct Publishing has made it easy for writers of all experience levels to self-publish paperbacks and ebooks. The best part is that it is free to publish through KDP. Al you have to do is upload your book and wait for people to start purchasing it. Write about your book in your blog and post it all over your social media accounts to help gain some traffic and awareness. With KDP you can earn up to 70% in royalties, keep control of the rights, set your own prices and make changes to the book at any time.

Continue Reading


4 Tools That Will Help You Keep Focus in Meetings

stress ball

stress ball

Keeping everybody focused on any kind of meeting can be quite a challenge. People are easily distracted and they get bored, especially in long meetings that drone on. However, there are some tools that can help keep focus during a meeting.

Did you know that whiteboards are a critical part of meetings nowadays? It’s one of the focus tools we will look at today.


One big help when it comes to the meeting is anything visual. There is a reason why people use tools like PowerPoint, graphs, images, and other types of visuals in meetings – because they help keep focus much better than words alone.

Have you ever been in a meeting, or maybe listening to a school presentation, where a person drones on? It can get boring if a person relies solely on words to get a point across. It can become boring and hard to focus on.

However, when you add snazzy visuals and colorful graphs into the mix, it helps to catch the eyes of those watching and listening. It also helps provide a minor break from word-only presentations that are hard to focus on.

Visuals always help with presentations, not to mention that they are great for getting across points and hammering them home, points out that words alone have trouble getting across.

Recording Device

One of the tools that can be used to help keep focus in meetings is a recording device of sorts. This could be anything; as long as it allows you to record a meeting, it should work fine. This could be an old-school tape recorder, a phone, tablet, or anything else that can record voice.

The point here is that during meetings, people often try and jot down notes and write down what the speaker is saying.

However, this actually distracts from the task at hand, because when people are writing notes, they are n’t listening or taking in additional information. It is actually pretty hard to take a new point in when you are also writing the last point down.

Therefore, a recording device to record all things said in a meeting can come in handy.

Instead of having people write down notes and lightning speed and not absorb information; people can actually listen to what is being said. Then, instead of referring to notes for reference, they can simply listen to the recording.

Stress Ball

This might seem like an odd tool when it comes to helping people keep focus in meetings, but it does work. Some people probably wouldn’t qualify stress balls as being tools, but in reality, they are.

Stress balls are those little softballs which people have in their hands and squeeze to relieve stress. They might be stress relief tools, but this is exactly why they can help people focus.

People don’t listen well when they are stressed out, and a stress ball helps to combat this. Furthermore, many people have to be doing something with their hands, which is why they invented those fidget spinners that were a big deal last year. It’s hard to focus on a meeting when you are constantly looking for something for your hands to do.

A stress ball in your hands can solve both of these problems quite adequately. Make sure you don’t get a noisy one, or else everybody else in the meeting room will not be happy with you.


When it comes down to it, one of the most useful tools to help keep people focused during a meeting is undoubtedly the whiteboard. This has to do with our first point – that visuals help to keep attention.

Whiteboards are pretty big, they have great contrast between the surface and the colored markers, and they allow for great organization.

Whoever is leading the meeting can use various colors of markers to jot down the most important ideas, which are easy for everybody to see.

Whiteboards are also highly portable, so they can be moved from one meeting room to another. If you did not already know, whiteboards are becoming a staple of every meeting room and classroom out there today.


These 4 items or tools that we have discussed here today are fantastic for helping you and others keep their focus during meetings. It can be hard to keep focus, especially in a long meeting and in a room full of people. Hopefully, you can put these items to good use to increase focus and productivity.

Continue Reading