4 Proven Tips for Motivating Your Team

Tips on Motivating Your Team

The things that motivate you could be different from what motivates your employees or colleagues, but everyone performs better with motivation and support. Identifying ways to keep your team motivated and highly productive can often be difficult as deadlines approach. However, these high-stress moments in the workplace are the perfect time to motivate and encourage staff. Consider the tips below as you look for ways to motivate those around you. These steps aren’t just for supervisors. They are for anyone who wants to take on a leadership role, become a true team player or are looking for ways to bring different personalities together.

Check out these four proven steps to motivate a team:

1. Observe. It takes time to get to know your team members and learn what may motivate them. Try to learn their work style, what they enjoy, their most productive time of day, and pay attention to when they seem frustrated or stressed. What factors played into them meeting goals, having a productive day or becoming stressed and frustrated?

2. Celebrate. Celebrate achievements. No goal reached or successful moment during the workday is too small to celebrate. Sharing these moments with each other can help a team feel more cohesive and can help motivate others.

3. Offer Support. Supporting your team members goes a long way towards motivation. When your team members are deep in a project, jump in and help. Don’t take the lead, offer assistance. Try to identify ways to offer support – it could be checking in, bringing coffee to all the team members one morning, or finding ways to share the workload so that they aren’t feeling so overwhelmed.

4. Say Thank You. Be sure to thank your staff and colleagues when they help you. Or, did you observe them reaching out to help other staff members? Are you getting recognized for a completed job and have a full team beside you that helped you get there? Be sure they are also praised and thanked for the finished product in public. Give credit where credit is due.

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4 Awesome Icebreaker Ideas to Improve Meetings

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Ice breaker activities have long been incorporated into staff meetings, conferences, and classes as a way to help jump-start a meeting, breakdown barriers, energize the group, and provide a fun way for everyone to get to know each other a little better. Short activities and games can easily be incorporated into your workplace.

Below are just a few ideas that you can easily do with your own team.

1. Commonalities. Pick a number (let’s say 5), and your team must identify five things that everyone has in common. If your group is large, break the group up into smaller groups. Then have a representative from each group read aloud the list of what everyone in their smaller group has in common.

2. Truth and Lie. Have your colleagues name three things about themselves. You can be specific or leave it up to each individual to name any three things. They must provide two truths and one lie. The rest of the group will guess which one of the three things is a lie.

3. Team Building Questions. Identify a list of questions that can help your team get to know each other better. Let the group pick their question from a bowl. Below are five questions to get you thinking about the type of questions and other questions that you can create that would fit your work environment.

  • What is one of your work-related pet peeves?
  • What time of day do you feel you are your most productive?
  • What is a responsibility in your job that your co-workers may not be aware that you have?
  • If a co-worker has a question for you, do you prefer email, phone, messaging or stopping by your office?
  • What is a job that you have had in your past and how has it prepared you for your current role?

4. Career Success Moments. Ask everyone in the room to reflect on a memory (or two) when they experienced success in their jobs. What are they proud of? This can be exceeding identified goals, creating a new program, being recognized by the company, or any experience throughout their career that they are proud of.

You can also create your own ice breaker activities! All of the above can be tailored to what works best for your team or group.

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Career Advice: Say Thank You

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As you reflect on 2016, think of all the people in your personal and professional life who have helped you along the way. When you sit down and consider the number of people who have made an impact on your life in one year, you might be amazed. You probably can’t count the number of times you verbally said “thank you” or sent a note of thanks expressing gratitude for an act of kindness.

This time of year lends itself to reflection on the challenges and accomplishments of the past, and planning for the upcoming year. Did you get a new job? Did you interview for a position? Did someone proof your resume, or did a mentor provide advice as you walked through the job search process? Have you thanked them for their time and for being a part of your career journey?

Do you have a colleague who went above and beyond on a project for you this year? Think about your team, of times when you were on deadline and needed others to step up and help with execution. Consider emailing them a quick note or stopping by their office before the end of the year to thank them again for their teamwork during 2016. A note of thanks is such a cherished way to share with your colleague that their effort made an impact on you and helped you get through that period of time.

Don’t limit yourself to your professional life – it could have been the young man in the checkout line bagging your groceries that you see every Saturday morning. His great attitude, smile and the fact that he always greets your children and asks how they are may have brought joy to your errands throughout the year. Sharing with him that he makes an impact on your life and how much you appreciate his awesome attitude will be so incredibly important to him. Or did a neighbor or friend do something during the year that you now recall with fondness?

In these final days of the year, take a moment to write a note or place a call to a few people who you are thankful for this year. Share a story of their impact on your life – big or small. This collection of people and experiences helped shape your 2016. And, together, just imagine what you can do in 2017!

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Three Tips to Boost Office Productivity in 2017

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The last two weeks of the year are traditionally a slower time for most companies. This often presents an ideal time to wrap up loose ends at the office, do a little “office cleaning” and set goals for January. If your goals include career change then being organized will help you get prepared and feel confident moving forward. Below you’ll find three simple steps to declutter and prepare for the new year, while your phone isn’t ringing and the office halls are quieter.

Clean up Email
Daily news alerts, office supply marketing emails, team messages where everyone is copied, emails with large attachments and daily business emails infiltrate all of our inboxes. You may have filters in place for your inbox and outbox but the total number of emails you have in your inbox may still be significant. The quiet time before the end of the year is a perfect time to delete. Many emails you need to keep – we aren’t saying delete all of them. But, going through your inbox and identifying messages that can be deleted, filed away, or forwarded on will help declutter your email box and give you a good clean slate for your return to the office in January.

Organize magazines, files and loose paper
Monthly business magazines, internal fliers, client files, and loose paper can stack up on your desk. Take time to glance through the publications you have not had a chance to read all year and decide if there is an article or two you want to hold onto or if you have a colleague who may enjoy reading the magazine. Go through all of your paper and desktop clutter to identify what can be read during these quieter days, what can be recycled and what needs to be shredded to ensure company information is not just placed loosely in a recycle bin.

Audit computer files
Are all of your files organized in their correct folders? Have you saved documents on your desktop that need to be moved over to the company server to ensure they are being backed up as well as accessible by the rest of the team? Be sure to follow company policy when organizing your files but this is a good time to ensure that you have followed the format and that you and your team have the most up to date files in place prior to the end of the year.

Taking the time now will help you feel more prepared and organized to kick off the New Year. Great things are ahead, so get inspired now!

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How to Find Fulfillment in a Career. It’s Easier Than You Think.

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It’s Sunday evening and your alarm is set for the beginning of a new work week. Does the thought of going to work fill you with dread, or are you energized by what lies ahead? If you find yourself feeling less than fulfilled in your current career then it’s time to find a job that will inspire and motivate you. Here’s what you need to do.

Decide what you need.
Identifying a career, an industry or company that you feel passionate about may seem unattainable. If you take the time to evaluate what you want to do and set goals on how to arrive at the destination, it is absolutely possible. When you find a fulfilling job you won’t dread that Monday morning alarm. You’ll actually look forward to doing work that has meaning, helps others and keeps you engaged.

Reflect on your passions, interests and what motivates you. What do you enjoy doing, and where do you want to be two, three or even 10 years from now? Do you want to work directly with clients? Is finding an employer that supports professional development important to you? Maybe working on a team with a common mission and goals is more important. Do you prefer a position that allows you to work autonomously? Are you considering a managerial position overseeing a department and team? Do you want a job that gives you time to serve in the community with your co-workers? Is recognition and having a little fun with co-workers occasionally important?

Opportunities are here.
Finding a supportive and positive culture is possible, and you have landed at the right spot on this blog. If you are looking for a fulfilling career, take a look around the Brookdale Careers site.

We offer opportunities to make a difference and are always looking to grow our dynamic team. Our positions range from health care professionals to administrative and managerial careers. We’re a company that looks to promote from within and supports our associate’s desires to learn and grow. You may be looking for a position as a nurse, physical therapist, social worker, financial analyst, receptionist, chef or housekeeper. This is just a sampling of the incredible team that makes up Brookdale Senior Living. Visit our career site for a list of current opportunities, and if you have questions about joining our inspiring and dedicated team, contact us today.

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5 Ways to Stay Calm for a Job Interview

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It’s normal to be nervous about a job interview, especially when it’s a position you really want. Imagining a face-to-face meeting with a potential boss and thinking about the questions they might ask can wreak havoc on your nerves and lead to anxiety. It is often the unknown that takes you down the path of uncertainty. But there are simple ways to control your stress and keep your nervousness at a manageable level. Going into an interview fully prepared and as relaxed as you can be shows an employer that you’ve got what it takes to do the job.

Below are five tips to help you calm down and decrease anxiety before you take the hot seat.

1. Rest Up
Get a good night’s rest the night before your interview. Don’t eat too late, avoid alcohol and get to bed early to get a full night’s sleep. You want to be fully rested and engaged when you walk through the doors for the interview.

2. Practice
Visualize the interview. What questions could they ask? How will you respond? How many people will be in the room? What if you don’t have an answer? Thinking through different scenarios will help you process how the interview may go, and allow you to think through answers.

3. Deep Breaths
Breathe. It sounds so simple. When you are nervous, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your heart rate may be increasing and your breathing may not be consistent. Try a short breathing exercise to relax you before entering the interview.

4. Plan Ahead
Arrive early to the interview. You don’t have to walk in the building too early but leaving for the interview with plenty of time to spare helps avoid anxiety if you are to hit traffic, have to stop to fill up your gas tank or experience any unexpected issues.

5. Believe In Yourself
Remember they saw something great in your resume and want to learn more. They’re looking for the best candidate and are hoping it’s you. Have confidence in yourself. Give yourself a pep talk, listen to music that pumps you up and smile. You’ve got an interview and a lot of others didn’t make it this far.

Extra Tip: Be yourself. The interview is a two-way conversation. You want to learn more about the position and the company culture to better gauge if you would enjoy the position. And, they want to learn more about you as they try to identify the next great addition to their team. Good luck!

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Four Steps to a Professional Online Presence – A MUST for Job Seekers

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Have you searched your name online recently? Have you reviewed your social media accounts to ensure all posts and images are professional? Your LinkedIn and other social media accounts will be one of the first places hiring managers and companies visit in order to learn more about you.

Facebook. Take time to read through your Facebook page. Have you made any unprofessional comments on your page or in response to friends’ posts? Do you have any questionable photographs that you are tagged in or that you have uploaded to your page?

Twitter. Review your Twitter page for any tweets that could be concerning to a potential employer. Have you retweeted anything unprofessional? Have you kept all of your tweets positive?

Instagram. What type of photographs do you post? What are your comments and hashtags? These are things to think about when you are reviewing your photo history. Hiring managers will be looking at all of it.

LinkedIn. This is an opportunity for you to shine. Not only is the biography information and experience on your own page helpful for you to stand out, but it is also the articles and valuable professional information that you share and comment on.

Make the time to review all of your social media activity. Check your privacy settings. Know that employers will be checking it, and may even monitor activity after you become an employee.

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6 Steps to a Flawless Resume, How to Get Hired

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Your resume is often the first way a potential employer will judge whether you are a top candidate for a job. A resume is a valuable tool to highlight your employment history, training and the skills you bring to a new position. But a poorly written resume, or one that contains even the slightest error, can give a hiring manager a reason to discard you from consideration. It’s crucial not to give hiring managers any reason to toss your resume out of the stack, especially when you’re going after a position that several other candidates want. Think about it, if you’re reviewing 30, 40 or 50 resumes you’ll be looking for anyway to thin the pile. So don’t give them an easy rejection.

Crafting the perfect resume isn’t a difficult task, especially if you follow our steps. We’ll assume that you’ve found a good design.

Below are six steps to ensure your resume is flawless:

1. Update
Make sure your job history is updated and correct. Be sure to list what you’ve actually done for an employer and how you’ve helped solve problems or take ownership of a task.

2. Spell Check
This may seem like an easy one but it is crucial. Read back through your resume carefully, and look for any spelling errors. Double-check the spelling of company names and titles. Do not rely solely on the spell checker to catch any errors.

3. Check for Consistency
You need to make sure that you’ve followed a pattern when it comes to things putting words in bold and italics. Have you bolded the first and second company names but not the third? Pay attention to the places you have used italics, underlines or bold font and make sure you are consistent throughout your resume.

4. Keywords
Look for keywords in resume that match the job description. Have you reviewed the job description looking for keywords that they use that you should incorporate in your resume? Many companies will use a search function to filter through resumes quickly for candidates that match what they are looking for.

5. Check Punctuation and Grammar
Review all uses of contractions and apostrophes. These can easily be confused (you’re and your as an example). Also, don’t use exclamation points! No hiring manager wants to read a sentence as if you’re screaming at them. Check to make sure you’ve placed periods and commas where they should actually go, or if you even need them. Be sure you’re used consistent capitalization and not capitalized words that don’t need to be.

6. Ask for Help
Finally, have someone else proof your resume. By the time you’re ready to submit it, you’ve should have reviewed it many times. Having a fresh set of eyes read through the entire document, looking for any errors, consistency and overall flow will pay off. It’s almost a guarantee that there’s going to be something you missed or thought you changed.

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This is What Happens with Multi-Generations in the Workforce

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Economists, social scientists and psychologists look at it as a grand experiment. What happens when you have different generations in the workplace. How will things go when you have Traditionalists and Baby Boomers working beside Generation Xers and Millennials. Many feel like there are just too many differences between people right out of college and older adults nearing retirement. But generational diversity can lead to great things in a work place. Surrounding yourself and learning from each generational category is incredibly beneficial.

When getting to know co-workers, people often engage with others of similar ages, length of time at the company or within the same department. Consider grabbing lunch with someone you pass in the hallway and greet, but you don’t really know. If you are right out of college, consider asking a baby boomer to lunch or for a cup of coffee. They’ll be as curious about you as you are about them.

The older generations have been in the workforce for many years and can serve as mentors for the younger generation coming into the workforce. Boomers and Traditionalists have incredible knowledge to be shared with younger adults to help provide guidance, advice based on their own experiences for others to learn from.

The younger generations bring fresh ideas, a different outlook, new technology and social media savy to the table. Consider asking a younger team member to lunch. Learn what motivates them, what they are looking for in a career, and how they chose their career path. You may learn new ways to engage them to benefit your department, company and their professional growth.

Everyone, no matter your age, has a story to share and can help you grow in your professional path. Step out of your comfort zone, and schedule a lunch. You both will benefit from the conversation.

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Do These Things to Make Work Fun

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There are jobs where the words “work” and “fun” would never be used in the same sentence. But what if there were things you could do to make work more enjoyable, and maybe even more productive? Does this sound familiar? You grab a cup of coffee, greet co-workers then before you know it emails start coming in. New meetings are scheduled and items not already on your to-do list pop up. Incorporating team-building activities into your workplace might be the last thing you are thinking when things get busy.

Although it would be nice, very few companies and departments can take a half or full day for a fun outing or event. But, you don’t need this much time to bring a little fun to your week. A few simple activities can help with overall morale in the office, provide something to look forward to, let you get to know your co-workers better, and boost productivity.

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

1. Acknowledge staff milestones
If you have a large staff, maybe identify one day a month to celebrate all of the birthdays and work anniversaries for the month. Add the team birthdays to everyone’s calendar so that it is a reminder for colleagues to wish staff a happy birthday.

2. Casual day
Is your office business casual? What about incorporating a jeans day on Fridays? At Brookdale’s Corporate office associates can wear jeans for an entire month if they donate to the Alzheimer’s Association.

3. Play games
As an example, you could find holiday BINGO cards online that you can print and distribute to staff. Then once an hour, you can email out a bingo word to all staff. The first person to email the contact with BINGO wins a prize.

4. Celebrate goals
Did your team meet or exceed a goal? Surprise the team and order pizza to celebrate.

5. Hold an Outdoor Meeting
Need to meet with people to bounce ideas around? Change things up by holding a meeting outside. If it’s just a few people you could walk and talk. If it’s a larger group find a place to sit like a few benches or under a tree.

There are many ways to formally and informally have fun in the workplace. Think of your colleagues and come up with a few ideas for your own team.

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