Tag Archives: employees

Motivational speakers: encouraging employees to think positively

A bad day at work is enough to put many of us in a bad mood.

Whether an obstacle is preventing progress on a project or there’s a concerning business announcement, employees often feel they are being tested at work.

Henry Fraser

Keeping people motivated in their jobs is a daily challenge for line managers, the CEO and the IC department.

It’s not every day that motivational speakers get called upon but, for the right occasion, they can be a good way to encourage your workforce to think positively.

Meet Henry Fraser.

Through his talk, Pushing Yourself, he has helped the England cricket and rugby teams, Arsenal FC, Saracens rugby club, schools, charities and businesses to see that when challenges occur, how you rise to them is what counts.

How does he do it?

By telling his story.

On 18 July 2009, Henry was on holiday in Portugal with his friends celebrating the end of their AS levels, when he ran from the beach into the sea – something he’d done many times.

But this time, diving forwards into the water, he went head first into a wall of sand. And then he could not move.

He was airlifted to hospital where it was discovered that he’d dislodged his fourth vertebrae and severed his spinal cord.

In intensive care, Henry underwent surgery twice, his heart stopped seven times, he was put on a ventilator and he contracted pneumonia and an MRSA infection.

After two-and-a-half weeks he returned to the UK, where he was told he would stay in Stoke Mandeville Hospital for 18 months. But thanks to his strength and resilience, he returned home after six.

Henry Fraser

Determination meant that by August 2010, he returned to sixth form at Dulwich College to finish his A levels.

“That was a good year,” said Henry. “I hate leaving things unfinished.”

He ended up working for Saracens rugby club as a writer, and it was there that the CEO suggested that he tried his hand at public speaking.

“Before my accident, I hated public speaking more than anything in the world,” he said.

“Afterwards, I realised that you never know what’s around the corner and I may as well go for it.

“I did my first ever talk to Saracens first team players and staff in April 2014. I was anxious the whole week building up to it. Once I’d done it, I loved it! I had such a buzz.”

In January 2015 Henry fell ill and was bed-ridden for several weeks. During that time, he discovered a drawing app on his iPad. Using a stylus pen attached to a mouth stick, he began to draw.

Since then, Henry’s art has spiralled.

His incredible work has been displayed at private exhibitions, he’s taken commissions, sold prints of his work and has a calendar available in Sainsbury’s. His 47,800 Twitter followers include Jonny Wilkinson, Sir Chris Hoy, David Weir CBE and Andy Murray.

“I’ve come a long way,” said Henry, who is now writing an autobiography.

“In Pushing Yourself, I share the thought processes I went through after my accident.

“I talk about teamwork because of the amazing support I had from friends and family, and about accepting change and adapting.

“People learn that there are different ways of doing things. When something sets you off track, it doesn’t have to set you back.

Using a story to back up a message really helps. Other people’s stories have massively inspired me – so I’m using mine to motivate others.”

• To book Henry for a talk for your business, visit henryfraser.org or email henry.fraser@me.com

How IC can help you find and hire the best employees

Paul Peters from applicant tracking system Betterteam blogs on how a company’s current employees can be an untapped source of excellent job candidates.

We’re living in one of the toughest hiring climates of all time.

It’s taking a record 29 days to find employees and more job openings are going unfilled than ever before.

But what many companies are failing to realise is that current employees are an untapped source; they can identify the very best candidates for your business.

They can help you reach ‘passive’ candidates who are not yet on the market or who aren’t actively looking for jobs – and who make up about 75 per cent of your potential pool.

Leveraging employees can also give you inside information that helps you find and attract better candidates on LinkedIn and job boards, especially for competitive roles.

How to handle referrals

This is the most obvious, tried and tested way of leveraging current employees to attract new ones.

Many companies reward successful referrals, which may be expected in some industries. For me, this puts the emphasis in the wrong place.

You want employees recommending people not because of a bonus, but because they really want to work with those they’re recommending.

Working with great people improves everyone’s day and makes the company more profitable. In turn, people ideally get paid more, receive more promotions and have more job security.

That said, recognition doesn’t cost a thing and can go a long way towards making an employee happy. If a referral is successful, be sure to thank the referring employee when you announce the new hire.

How should you approach asking for referrals?

At an education startup I once ran, we found many of our best employees by putting out a message via email or Slack, informing employees that we were hiring and which positions we were hiring for.

We would generally ask: Where can we find the best person to do this job? Or: Do you know someone you would love to work with?

I’d also recommend sending employees some pre-written copy that they can post to social media to help put the word out. This is an effective way to reach passive candidates.

If you’re hiring engineers, for example, engineers at your company are likely to have contacts from their past or on social. Even if they aren’t seeking employment, they may see your employee’s post and get in touch.

Leverage employees to win at LinkedIn recruiting

This is a bit more proactive than asking for referrals and a great tactic in tough hiring times.

Talk to your very best hires and ask them about the best teams they’ve ever worked in, and where and when it was. It’s likely that their experience links to a high point at the company they worked for.

Through LinkedIn’s advanced search tool, you’ll be able to find out who else worked there at that time.

Ask your current employees to introduce you to anyone who looks like they might be a good fit. Talk to them about why the potential candidate might like the position and use that when you make contact.

How your employees can help you write killer job postings

If there’s any risk to getting help from your employees with recruiting, it’s becoming too dependent on it.

By failing to post your job elsewhere, you may not reach a diverse enough audience and could miss out on potentially great hires.

But yet again, your current employees can help you succeed, by influencing your job board postings.

Nearly all job postings are the same; they read like a bullet pointed list of demands by the employer. This gives you a terrific opportunity to set yourself apart.

Forget writing out all the possible qualifications and requirements for a job – keep them to a minimum.

Instead, ask current employees what it is about the job, the workplace, their fellow employees and the location of your business that would make someone want to work there. That’s what to include in your job posting.

Potential applicants are like customers you’re trying sell to. A little effort into this part of the recruiting process will reap big rewards.

At Betterteam, we’ve helped several clients rewrite their job postings this way.

After taking this approach to an endodontist position that hadn’t received an applicant in months, the company received two well-qualified applicants within three days, and hired a great employee a short time later.

Don’t let this tough hiring climate hold you back! Improve communication with your employees and let them show you the way to making your next great hire.