How to Avoid Year-End Burnout

The final quarter of the year is here, and you’ve still got deadlines to meet, stuffed calendars, financial targets to achieve and team strategies to align for the next year. Even the holiday season can’t seem to make up for work-related exhaustion, stress, and anxiety. Long work hours and ever-growing to-do lists can take a toll and cause burnout for even the most hardworking and consistent employees.

Here are some tips to avoid year-end burnout, so you can peacefully enjoy the holiday season:

1. Prepare a “Priority List” – There will be several tasks to complete before the year-end but focus your attention and time on the essentials. Prepare a comprehensive “Priority list” that pushes you to complete tasks based on urgency. It’s important to understand what is crucial and time-sensitive before the year-end and what you can hold back until the new year.


2. Use Your Vacation Days – Spend time with friends and family and unplug completely on your days off. Breaks are important to energize your mind and boost productivity. A change of environment enhances creativity and sparks new energy into your work.

3. Schedule Me Time – Recharge your mind and body with a focused work out. Indulge in outdoor activities to fuel enthusiasm and build motivation. Bike rides, walks, yoga, and meditation are great stress busters. Additionally, schedule free time on your calendar and stick to it. It’s crucial to take some time out for yourself, even if it’s just 30 minutes a day.

4. It’s okay to say “NO” – Don’t take on more work than you can handle. It’s easy to say “YES” to everything and wanting to be that person to help others. Set clear boundaries on the things you can and cannot do. If you can’t physically and mentally spearhead another project, it’s better to say “NO” early on than feeling guilty for not meeting expectations.

Year-end burnout is real, but avoidable. Remember that you’re not alone. Confide in a colleague or manager. Be aware of your breaking point and take proactive measures to ensure that you don’t stretch yourself too thin.

In Demand Soft Skills of 2020

When hiring managers assess candidates for fit, they focus on soft skills, behaviours and aptitudes that show them how well you’ll mesh with others at the company. Qualities such as being a good communicator or having a strong work ethic are obvious requirements and often what candidates aim to prove when interviewing for a job. But what other qualities are important to employers in 2020?

We did some digging (and asking) and here are the top 3 in-demand soft skills of the year:

Creativity

Both LinkedIn and the World Economic Forum cited creativity in their findings of top qualities that employers seek in ideal candidates. This is something we hear a lot from our clients too: they want professionals who can contribute innovative ideas and are not afraid to think outside of the box. Creative employees often seek new ways of performing tasks, they are curious, open to learning, and help companies push the boundaries in a very competitive business landscape.

Recruiter Tip!
A good way to showcase your creativity in the finance and accounting industry is to describe a problem or challenge that you’ve solved creatively, using critical thinking and analysis to determine a new, more effective way of achieving the end result.

Collaboration

Well here you have it: teamwork was essential to workplaces 20 years ago and it continues to be important today. Teams can accomplish way more than any individual and so employers want to hire professionals who can effectively and respectfully collaborate with diverse types of people. Roles have become more specialized and according to a researcher at Kellog School of Management companies, to remain successful, are creating bigger working groups with more specializations and encouraging sharing of information within workplaces.

Recruiter Tip!
Show that you are a collaborator by describing a project that you worked on as part of a team. Highlight ways in which you learned from others, how you navigated differences of opinion, and what you find most enjoyable about collaborating with others.

Adaptability

A common challenge our clients experience with hiring finance and accounting professionals is rigidity in habits and expectations. 2020 has taught us that the business world is unpredictable and changes in methods, technology, and processes can happen on a dime. Which is why we chose adaptability as the third important soft skill of 2020. Employees who embrace change and are willing to get out of their comfort zone are more valuable to companies especially now that many organizations are pivoting in new directions to stay in business.

Recruiter Tip!
During an interview, describe how you have adapted to working differently under COVID19 restrictions and what new skills you have gained as a result. Outline any learning and professional development that you’ve engaged it to keep up with new trends.

With the rise of AI and automation of tasks, soft skills are more important than ever. In fact 92% of recruitment professionals and hiring managers polled by LinkedIn agree that strong soft skills are essential to the workplace and bad hires generally have poor soft skills.

For more information and tips on how to highlight your soft skills during an interview, contact one of our recruiters at info@ptcrecruiting.com

5 Tips for Successful Business Continuity During COVID19

By our sister company, ProVision Staffing

Even under these unprecedented circumstances, some businesses are continuing to operate smoothly. What’s their secret? They acknowledge the challenges and also focus on the opportunities to make their company more resilient.

We offer 5 important strategies for businesses on a mission to stay alive, stay relevant, and come out of this pandemic less harmed:

1. Invest in remote work setups – Since 2010, the amount of people that work remotely once a week has grown by 400%. (Hubspot Research) Prior to the global pandemic, only 41% of global businesses offered remote work flexibility (flexjobs.com). Now is the time to increase your company’s investments in videoconferencing tools and collaboration software, many of which do not require a huge budget.

2. Consider contract employment – Contract employment gives businesses the freedom to “hire talent on-demand”. The flexibility and scalability of contract staffing allows businesses to achieve their long-term and short-term growth targets, which makes this staffing solution ideal for challenging economic times.

3. Keep communicating with & supporting your employees – It becomes extremely crucial to calm and reassure your workforce during such uncertain times. Employers must encourage upskilling, boost morale with special incentives and schedule regular video calls etc to maintain your teams momentum.

4. Plan for the future – Use this decrease in pace to re-evaluate and identify new business opportunities. Start building new connections, growing your social media presence and developing a strong comprehensive plan for COVID19 recovery.

5. Support your client base – Show your clients that you are here for them, and that you care about them. Avoid pushing for sales and take the time to listen to their concerns. Strengthen existing relationships by providing solutions that will appeal to them and that are relevant under existing circumstances. It is important to be recognize and plan that your customers’ requirements might change post COVID19.

It’s important for businesses to be adaptable and open to change. Post COVID-19 the world will likely be a different place, at least for the next little while, and businesses that are set up to adapt to the “new normal” will have the competitive advantage.

Smart Staffing Series: Accommodating In-Demand Employee Benefits

Attracting (and most importantly, retaining) top talent isn’t simply a matter of “upload a posting and wait for the applications to roll in.” The most skilled professionals have their pick of options, so to get them to consider you as a potential employer, your benefits package must be appealing. A common assumption is that a high salary is most important, but that’s not necessarily the case – in fact, more than half of employees surveyed stated they would be somewhat likely to take a job with a lower compensation offer in exchange for better benefits. Learn more about the most in-demand employee benefits to help you accommodate top talent: 

Work-Life Balance  

Benefits that aid employees in maintaining work-life balance, such as being flexible with schedules and allowing remote work, are in such high demand that many employees find them more valuable than a higher paycheck. Recent research indicates that 80-90% of workers would like to work remotely at least part time. Millennials enjoy remote work options because they are accustomed to blurring the line between work and home life. Gen X-ers like the independence it offers.  

More Paid Time Off  

Another in-demand benefit is more paid time off – and the ability to actually use it without being frowned upon or seen as uncommitted. Approximately 40% of employees reported one of their top desired benefits was for more paid time off for longer periods, such as leaves of absences or sabbaticals. 

Retirement  

The quality of employer retirement plans are of significant concern to employees, as more than 60% report their primary retirement savings is their employer retirement plan. And with more than half also worried about having enough for retirement, providing options for top-tier retirement plans can alleviate their concerns and make them more committed. Boomers, in particular, are interested in retirement-focused benefits as many of them may be playing catchup with fewer years to work with. 

Wellness Initiatives  

Physical and mental health issues can cause significant stress on employees and impact their ability to work. Wellness initiatives, such as offering healthy snack options, education on health topics, smoking cessation and weight loss programs appeal to the majority of workers. More than 50% of employees stated their employers should actively encourage workers to have healthier lifestyles.  

How Competitive is your Employee Benefits Package?

If you’re finding it a challenge to attract the tier of candidates you desire, turn to PTC’s team of recruiting experts. PTC Recruiting, a division of Bay Talent Group, has nearly 30 years of experience in collaborating with companies across sectors for their accounting, finance, and administrative staffing needs. Contact PTC today to learn more about our recruitment services.  

Smart Staffing Series: Employing a Multigenerational Workforce

Continuing PTC’s “Smart Staffing” blogging series, in which we aim to provide you the insider knowledge that can help you build and manage your team most effectively, there is a timely issue that many managers are facing and not necessarily prepared for: managing various generations within your company. As average retirement ages are pushed back, there are growing numbers of older workers in the workforce, while the youngest generation is now entering the workforce, meaning you may find yourself managing four different generations at once. Learn more about the best practices for employing a multigenerational workforce:

Baby Boomers – Born between 1946 – 1964

  • Preferred training methods – Baby boomers who have been in the workforce may prefer a more traditional approach, like books or a presentation from a speaker.
  • Preferred communication style – This generation tends to prefer face-to-face meetings or phone calls, rather than email.
  • Prepare for their approaching retirement – Sixty-three percent plan to work at least part time in retirement, according to an AARP survey. Helping them transition into working less hours, such as by training them on telecommuting or retooling their responsibilities, can be less costly than replacing them with full-time workers, while allowing you to utilize their institutional knowledge.
  • Encourage them to be open-minded to their younger colleagues – According to CompTIA 2018 report “Managing the Multigenerational Workforce,” 64% of baby boomers say younger workers aren’t loyal and 59% say they’re entitled. Establish mentorship programs or pair them on projects to overcome potential stereotyping.

Gen X – Born between 1965 – 1980

  • Preferred training methods – Gen X falls between boomers and their younger counterpart millennials in terms of exposure to technology in their formative years. As such, Gen X is experienced in both “old school” and more technology-driven methods and can typically do both without issue.
  • Preferred communication style – Another outcome of Gen X sharing experiences with both boomers and millennials is they are flexible with communication styles. They have been accustomed to face to face and phone calls, as well as emails and text.
  • Facilitate their transition into senior leadership – As the boomers who long held the highest-level positions in the company head toward retirement, make sure you’re cultivating your Gen X workers to become leaders. Prioritize professional development so they are ready.
  • Respect their independence but be mindful of cynical tendencies – Gen X is differentiated by a stronger sense of autonomy than other generations, so avoid micromanaging and forced group work, and they’ll be productive without constant oversight. They are also often characterized by a tendency toward skepticism, so don’t let it slide if they automatically are negative about topics – instead, encourage them to focus on developing solutions.

Millennials – Born between 1981 – 1998

  • Preferred training methods – Millennials are typically interested in tech-driven solutions, so consider including interactive or video training to appeal to their learning styles.
  • Preferred communication style – This generation of workers came of age when technology became integrated into personal communication, so they prefer email or group chats to communicate at work
  • Prioritize retention efforts to solidify commitment – Since millennials make up the largest generation, investing in their future at your company is crucial. However, millennials don’t generally tend to feel a sense of loyalty to employers. If you want to prevent turnover, prioritize retention efforts such as flexible schedules and telecommuting options, a positive workplace culture, professional development opportunities and recognition initiatives.
  • Give them a sense of purpose to fuel their engagement – What differentiates millennials from other generations is their tendency to want to do meaningful work. They grew up in a time of social change, and are characterized by their desire to have purpose. If you want to engage them to go above and beyond, communicate the value they are adding to the bigger picture.

Gen Z – Born after 1998

  • Preferred training methods – Millennials came of age during the advancement of technology, but for Gen Z, it’s all they’ve ever known. Their schooling was centered around technology and e-learning using devices, so they are accustomed to training with online, interactive programs, gamification and social collaboration.
  • Preferred communication style – As digital natives, Gen Z has been immersed in social media and being accessible 24/7 via smartphones, texting, group chats and emails align with their preferences and experience. Conducting personal or professional business via phone just isn’t as common for them.
  • Set the foundation for recruiting them – The oldest of Gen Z have just started to enter the workforce within the past few years, but since they make up 19% of Canada’s population, they will soon comprise a significant part of the future workforce. Don’t wait until it’s too late – start efforts for recruiting them now. Work on your company’s online and social media branding, get involved with local schools and universities, and get them in the door with internship programs.
  • Attract them by appealing to their concerns on financial stability – The cost of university tuition is skyrocketing, while the average pay in Canada has barely grown in decades. Gen Z is rightly worried about their financial prospects, so prepare to highlight your compensation, perks and opportunities for internal professional growth and promotions.

The traits of top performers are timeless.

Find the candidates that will be the best additions to your team by working with PTC Recruiting. As a division of Bay Talent Group, PTC has provided staffing services to top employers in the accounting, finance and administrative industries for nearly 3 decades. Contact PTC today to discover how we can help you with your hiring needs.