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  • ....even if you don't 'get' what Employee Engagement is. What actually is Employee Engagement anyway? Whether youe an Engineering Director who fullys understands the concept of employee engagement or think you simply just don't have time for it whilst running a busy engineering firm, either way, Employee Engagement is a term used increasingly within not only large business but also SME's. In a nutshell, it: "is a workplace approach resulting in the right conditions for all members of an organisation to give of their best each day, committed to their organisation's goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, with an enhanced sense of their own well-being."*  Here are 13 tips you can implement to increase your staff's happiness.  1. Clarifying goals and objectives from the outset with each staff member is imperative. If they understand what their job role is, they will be far happier. A lot of employee dissatisfaction comes from not clearly defining what each person's role is and what duties fall within their role. 2. Why not hold a weekly meeting promoting the biggest achievements of the week? If this is tricky timewise, send an email to everyone at the end of the week. This will inform the staff of the highs of the week, ready to start work on Monday from a positive angle.  3. Social events are a great way for staff to interact and build relationships outside of the shop floor in a more relaxed environment. Whether it's a quick drink after work each month on pay day, to lunches with the Managers when targets are met, right through to big Christmas Parties, off-site events build stronger teams and people in different departments get to interact when they otherwise may not outside of the working environment. 'Fuel motivation and have an employee of the month' 4. Have an 'employee of the month' and get everyone to vote for their colleagues. Give the winner a certificate and a prize and announce it in front of the teams. People like to be recognised for a doing a great job in front of their peers whilst fueling motivation. 5. Extra day's off, duvet days, or afternoon's off. Whatever your business calls them - being able to earn an extra day off is a fantastic incentive which will vastly appeal to some staff. Plus you have the added bonus it doesn't cost your business any cash. Letting staff have their birthday off ( or maybe the day after, if they like to celebrate) is a thoughtful gesture. 'Encourage an open door policy - or maybe an anonymous suggestion box' 6. Create an environment where you encourage people to speak up and know that they will not be judged or criticised. By having an open door policy staff are more likely to speak their mind and who knows, some fantastic ideas may come from them. 7. Encourage health, fitness and good eating habits in the workplace. This can be small gestures from providing fresh fruit for staff to have access to throughout the day, fresh filtered water, to gym memberships. If you can't stretch to whole gym memberships perhaps talk to a local gym and agree on a group discount? 8. Being mindful of staff and their stress levels are also increasingly important. Organise a meditation group or bring in massage therapists for the afternoon, are all gestures that could reduce your staff's anxiety and keep stress levels to a minimum. 9. Celebrate work anniversaries - 'Jim, you've been here how long? Congratulations here's a bottle of bubbly." Also looks great posted on your social media pages too. 'Support a local charity' 10. Nominate a local charity and come up with ideas of how you can support them by raising funds. Perhaps choose a local charity that you can build a relationship with. A local homeless charity, food bank or hospice. Ask staff to vote for a charity they feel they would like to support. 11. Arrange for an ice-cream van to turn up at your premises - who doesn't love ice-cream? 12.Holding an awards night is a fantastic way to recognise staff for their efforts throughout the year. You can be creative with the categories as you like and even get your staff to vote for each other. You can hold it at your place of work or go all out and hire somewhere and turn it into a real party! 13. Simply saying 'Thank you' sounds obvious but goes along way. Saying thank you for a job well done should never be underestimated. Keeping your employees engaged is key to a content and productive workforce where ideas thrive and staff are genuinely happy in their work environment. If you would like more information on Employee Engagement contact Precision Consultancy on 0116 254 5411 or email hello@precision-people.uk   * Source: Engage for Success  http://engageforsuccess.org/what-is-employee-engagement Like this article? Why not read 'Precision People add Commercial Director to assist with growth plans.'

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  • Discover these seven little known tips especially for engineers to help boost your career. There's more to being a successful engineer than being good at maths and science. Regardless of whether you graduated recently or 20 years ago, there are tips and strategies you can employ to increase your chances of career advancement, some of which might be surprising. So let's take a look at some of these tips that all engineers can use to assure themselves that their careers remain on the right path. 1. Get to learn the bigger picture. This one might surprise many of you, but the reality is that engineering firms are increasingly seeking out engineers who can think like business people. They want engineers who have been involved with strategy and planning and know their way around a balance sheet and income statements. All engineers need to understand how the total costs to produce your company's products affect business decisions.   2. Think outside the box. In this case, the "box" is your respective discipline. You might have gone to college to study mechanical engineering, but many of today's complex products contain software and embedded electronics so there will be times when design issues will confront you that fall outside of your technical discipline. Learn the basics of other relevant disciplines, such as electronic and software design.   3. Become a team player. Collaborative design is a part of reality for today's product development efforts and design teams have now been expanded to include more and more people, many of which are outside of engineering. All these disciplines must come together to resolve complex issues and formulate solutions to bring products to market. As a result, communication and other "soft" skills are as important as technical expertise. 4. Be an innovator and come up with new ideas Innovation in new products is what sets successful companies apart from their competitors. Always be open to new ideas, even if they come from sources outside your group. Beware of the "Not-Invented-Here" bias that exists at some companies. Companies will reward engineers who encourage innovative ideas, regardless of where they originated. 5. Be an active alum Keep in touch with your alma mater by offering to participate in technical societies to increase your networking reach and writing technical papers and/or organising technical sessions at association conferences to enhance both your experience and your company's reputation. 6. Always keep learning skills  This is crucial as the tools used to do product design and analysis are constantly changing and improving. Stay ahead of the curve and seek out new assignments and opportunities to learn new technologies, sign up for training programs and make the most of company-paid educational benefits. Also, if possible, attend events put on by professional organizations, such as the American Society of Civil Engineers or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. 7. Work on your "soft" skills. All forms of communication–written and verbal–are critical to advancement in engineering. If you're an engineer who wants to eventually advance into a management role, you'll need to be comfortable talking to customers, giving presentations and working with outside suppliers, agencies, etc. So developing these "soft" skills is vital. Toastmasters International, a non-profit organisation, is a great place to get your feet wet in public speaking.  To learn more about hard & soft skills download this free whitepaper here. Want to talk further about how Precision People can help your business contact us on 0116 254 5411 or email hello@precisionrecruitment.co.uk

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  • What every engineer should discover about body language - 7 tips  Body language it's something so important, yet we give it very little thought to, especially at work, whether on the shopfloor or the office. Body language actually accounts for over 55% of the overall message, with tone of voice 38% and the words you speak, just 7%. So being aware of your body language is one of the most subtle, yet important things to master at work. If you're not in tune with what your posture, facial expressions, and other nonverbal cues, you could be revealing your true feelings to your fellow work colleagues and engineers, which means potentially you could be setting yourself up failure. Here are 7 powerful tips to help you in your workplace: 1. Want to sound authoritative? Keep your voice down Before a speech or important telephone call, allow your voice to relax into its optimal pitch by keeping your lips together and making the sounds "um hum, um hum, um hum." Instead, when stating your opinion, use the authoritative arc, in which your voice starts on one note, rises in pitch through the sentence and drops back down at the end. 2. Feelings little nervous? Assume a power pose to boost your confidence Research at Harvard and Columbia Business Schools shows that simply holding your body in expansive, "high-power" poses (leaning back with hands behind the head and feet up on a desk, or standing with legs and arms stretched wide open) for as little as two minutes stimulates higher levels of testosterone—the hormone linked to power and dominance—and lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Try this when you're feeling tentative but want to appear confident. In addition to causing hormonal shifts in both males and females, these poses lead to increased feelings of power and a higher tolerance for risk. The study also found that people are more often influenced by how they feel about you than by what you're saying. 3. To increase participation, look like you're listening If you want people to speak up, don't multitask while they do. Avoid the temptation to check your text messages, check your watch, or check out how the other participants are reacting. Instead, focus on those who are speaking by turning your head and torso to face them directly and by making eye contact. Leaning forward, nodding, and tilting your head are other nonverbal ways to show you're engaged and paying attention. It's important to hear people. It's just as important to make sure they know you are listening. 4. To encourage collaboration, remove barriers Physical obstructions are especially detrimental to collaborative efforts. Take away anything that blocks your view or forms a barrier between you and the rest of the team. Even during a coffee break, be aware that you may create a barrier by holding your cup and saucer in a way that seems deliberately to block your body or distance you from others. A senior executive told me he could evaluate his team's comfort by how high they held their coffee cups. It was his observation that the more insecure individuals felt, the higher they held their coffee. People with their hands held at waist level were more comfortable than those with hands chest high. 5. Want to improve your speech? Use your hands Brain imaging has shown that a region called Broca's area, which is important for speech production, is active not only when we're talking, but when we wave our hands. Since gesture is integrally linked to speech, gesturing as we talk can actually power up our thinking. Experiment with this and you'll find that the physical act of gesturing helps you form clearer thoughts and speak in tighter sentences with more declarative language. 6. Want to stimulate good feelings? then smile! A genuine smile not only stimulates your own sense of well-being, it also tells those around you that you are approachable, cooperative, and trustworthy. A genuine smile comes on slowly, crinkles the eyes, lights up the face, and fades away slowly. Most importantly, smiling directly influences how other people respond to you. When you smile at someone, they almost always smile in return. And, because facial expressions trigger corresponding feelings, the smile you get back actually changes that person's emotional state in a positive way. 7. Trying to get to the bottom of an issue? to learn the truth, watch people's feet When people try to control their body language, they focus primarily on facial expressions, body postures, and hand/arm gestures. Since the legs and feet are left unrehearsed, they are also where the truth can most often be found. Under stress, people will often display nervousness and anxiety through increased foot movements. Feet will fidget, shuffle, and wind around each other or around the furniture. Feet will stretch and curl to relieve tension, or even kick out in a miniaturized attempt to run away. Studies show that observers have greater success judging a person's real emotional state when they can see the entire body. You may not know it, but instinctively you've been reacting to foot gestures all your life. Keep these 7 tips in mind, the next time you're talking to your fellow engineering colleagues to see what their body language is really saying and also be aware of what your body language is revealing to other people. This article is written by Phil Walker, Recruitment Director at Precision Recruitment. Precision are specialist recruiters in the fields of engineering, technical and sales recruitment operating in the Midlands with positions nationwide. Looking for a new engineering or technical role? Check out our latest roles right here. Call us on 0116 254 5411 or email your cv to info@precisionrecruitment.co.uk.

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