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Download PDF The Employees Mentor: Your Concise Practical Guide to Work Success, or Making Your Job Work for You

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Consequently, you will get more intense mentoring and will probably be working side-by-side with the PI. The best situation is to be the first Ph. Contrary to what you might have heard, it is not critical to have a spectacular publication record from your Ph. When the time comes to apply for a tenure-track job, the selection committee will focus on the productivity and promise you displayed during your postdoctoral fellowship. Furthermore, a solid Ph. Your focus as a graduate student should be to develop all of the skills you will need to be an independent scientist.

At some point as a graduate student you will need to take responsibility for all aspects of your career and develop the skills of an independent scientist. You need to develop confidence in your ability to make discoveries and learn new techniques, so that you will not be limited later in your career when your findings lead you to new and unexpected areas see Part II ReF 1. You need to do the background reading to place your results in their proper context and determine the next step in the project. You need to learn how to present a seminar in which you convey not only the data and conclusions, but also your depth of knowledge and enthusiasm for your field of research.

Such public-speaking skills are critical for peer recognition of the impact of your research, for recruiting students and fellows to your laboratory, and for effective teaching. Most importantly, you need to learn how to write concisely and lucidly 2 , for without this skill, you will not be able to raise grant money or place your papers in high-impact journals. In many ways the most important decision on the PI career path is where you do your postdoctoral fellowship.

It should be in a field in which you envisage starting your independent career, the success of which will be almost entirely dependent on your ability to attract funding.

5 Books Worth a Read If You Want to Mentor Women

As a newly independent scientist, study sections will be loath to fund you to embark on a project that is not a direct continuation of your postdoctoral studies. This also means that you will need access to the reagents you developed as a postdoctoral fellow. You will also need the blessings of your mentor and, optimally, your mentor should actively support your nascent career. So, in choosing your postdoctoral mentor, it is critical to determine whether a mentor enthusiastically supports, both materially and psychologically, the careers of their fledglings. This is easier to determine if the mentor is an established scientist with a pedigree.

It is essential to visit the laboratories that interest you to gauge the productivity, independence and happiness of the students and postdoctoral fellows. It is a good idea to contact scientists who have left the laboratory to obtain their honest opinion of their experience in laboratories headed by evil mentors, this might be the only way to ascertain their pathology, as the current laboratory members may be too intimidated to express negative opinions. All things being equal, it is advantageous to work at larger, wealthier institutions where there will be better access to expensive, state-of-the-art instruments and core facilities, greater overall intellectual ferment, more laboratories for collaboration and a better chance to impress other established scientists, who can write the crucial recommendation letters for getting your tenure-track application into the interview round.

Sometimes, however, all things are not equal, and if the best mentor is at a smaller institution, this will do just fine. Success in science will require a major commitment of your body and soul. As a graduate student, you should be spending a minimum of 40 hours per week actually designing, performing or interpreting experiments. As there are many other necessary things to do during the day for example, reading the literature, attending seminars and journal club, talking to colleagues both formally and informally, and common laboratory jobs , this means you will be spending 60 or more hours per week in science-associated activities.

The key to success and happiness is that most of this should not seem like work. At the postdoctoral level you will have to work at least as hard, but your most intense effort will actually begin as a tenure-track faculty member, when you are expected to fund your research and at least some of your salary too , teach undergraduates as well as graduate and professional students, serve on committees and run your laboratory, which itself entails learning an entirely new set of skills such as accounting, diplomacy and psychology.

Ironically, you will have more to learn as a fledgling professor than as a postdoctoral fellow. Until you are well into your career, there will be time in your life for just one additional significant activity family, active social life with friends, a sport or a hobby , but probably not for much more than that. Enthusiasm and effort are necessary but not sufficient for a successful scientific career. Talent is a key part of the equation, and at some point in your career not necessarily as a graduate student , you will need to objectively assess your skills and potential relative to your peers.

The inexorable weight of the scientific career pyramid squeezes out all but the most talented from getting the tenure-track job that will offer you the chance of establishing your own laboratory.

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Furthermore, the insanely competitive funding situation is making the previously safe transition between tenure-track and tenured professor a far dicier proposition. Scientific talent is not a single parameter, but a complex mix of innate and learned skills and abilities. Deficiencies in one area can be offset by strengths in another. Some scientists achieve success by their experimental skills or insights, others by their management or political skills. There is no one path to success and each successful scientist has unique combinations of strengths and weaknesses.

If, for whatever reason, you decide that you are better suited for life outside the laboratory, there are numerous career alternatives. Neither you nor your mentor should consider this outcome a failure. It is unfair, and even irresponsible for mentors to expect trainees to emulate their own career paths. Networking plays a key part in providing information about potential alternative careers and in landing such jobs. Alumni of the laboratories and departments you have worked in are the most proximal source of networking partners.

E-mail has opened a great portal into the academic community for initiating contacts that can be deepened by follow-up telephone conversations. It can be difficult to penetrate the corporate world by this path, but conferences provide ideal circumstances for meeting scientists out of the academic mainstream who can provide insight, advice and even job opportunities. It might be possible during your postdoctoral fellowship to develop your skills and attractiveness to potential employers by moonlighting or volunteering in the career path you are contemplating.

So, your cup of coffee should be finished by now. If you are talented and passionate, you will have a good chance of becoming a PI; particularly in the United States, which still provides great opportunities for truly independent entry-level positions.

Now get back to work. The author is grateful to the many junior and senior scientists who shared their insights into scientific success. Ishizuka made valuable suggestions for improvements to the manuscript. Graduate student resources on the web: A business that has employee engagement strategies tends to have less sick days to account for.

TEDxOverlake - Karen Russell - Modern Mentoring: The Good, The Bad and The Better

Companies with engaged employees can expect to see a reduction in the number of days of work missed by an average of four days per employee per year. Those who come to work every day, do so because they believe in what they are doing. They feel as though they have the backing of the company they are doing it for and want to show up and work hard.

How to Engage Employees; A Complete Guide for Managers | Nutcache

They have an emotional commitment to the work, which drives them to help the company reach its goals. This concept measures engagement through an employee survey that works a lot like a personality assessment in that they both rely on benchmark data to interpret scores. When the answers are received, they are compared to the benchmark data. If you are unsure exactly how to measure employee engagement, start with a survey backed with benchmark data to receive an accurate assessment. An extensive style questionnaire with around questions will allow you to have a well-rounded understand of many different areas related to employee engagement.

Now you have your survey and the results, what do you do with them?

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Interpreting the results is another matter entirely. Results will come to you in raw scores and T-Scores. The raw scores will give you the average of all the responses to the survey. In times like this, having the benchmark data comes in handy. If you can compare your data to that of other companies who have completed the same survey, it gives you a better determination whether the scores are low or high.

T-Scores are one method of representing benchmark scores and tell you how your scores compare to other places. Upon evaluation of the survey and results using the above methods, employers can find out which percentile their employees fall when considering the different areas where engagement is measured. Now that you have completed your survey and interpreted your data, you need to know how to increase employee engagement. Once you have determined the areas that need reinforcement, there are many strategies you can implement to help drive your team to success. Now that you know why employee engagement is so important to your business, you can begin to look at the strategies to increase these levels.

A common mistake those in managerial positions tend to make is believing that these decisions need to come from the highest position of the hierarchy. The best way to carry on these strategies is starting with the employees, right up to the chain of command, to the bosses themselves.

Use and share the information from the employee engagement survey with all the department managers, empower them so they can take that knowledge back to their individual teams. When the employees are made aware of the results, you can then talk to them about their ideas for improvement.

When they are part of the solution, they are less likely to be the cause of the problems. As a manager, it is your responsibility to help lead the employees to be a successful, cohesive team.


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That starts with the collaboration of ideas to help rectify any issues that crop up through the survey. Why is employee engagement important? A more detailed explanation is that a strong foundation to every business lies within the goals and values of that organization. From the founder of the company, down to the individuals who answer the phones, every single employee wants to feel heard, valued and trusted. They want to believe that the work they are doing has a purpose and that their time is appreciated. Making your employees feel as though they are part of a team and that their presence in the workplace is necessary is a key factor in maintaining higher levels of engagement.

Finding a survey with aptly worded employee engagement questions, that is also backed up with benchmark data will be of utmost importance to begin answering the question of how engaged your employees truly are. If you understand how to measure employee engagement and find a solution to maintain the levels, your business can grow and rise to the top of the list among the competition. By listening to your employees and hearing their questions and concerns, engaging them in personal conversations, and mentoring and coaching them to put forth their best efforts, you will be helping engagement levels rise.

When the company can mirror the best efforts and reliability of their employees, it culminates in a successful business model where everyone is successful, passionate and engaged. In other words, employee engagement is a necessary part of the blueprints that will produce a workplace free of fear, one flush with ideas and a sense of camaraderie among everyone within its walls. You must be logged in to post a comment. What Is Employee Engagement? Before you can start to measure their level of engagement ask yourself the following: Do the employees understand these goals? Can the employees see how their work ultimately contributes to the success of the business?

Is the leadership of the organization present and able to motivate the workforce? Are the managers equipped with the skills needed to lead a team to success? Why Is Employee Engagement Important?


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  • The Gallup poll conducted in Germany in reported that, on average, people more engaged with their job are absent 3. A study performed in a psychological paper written by J. Engaged Employees Are Likely To: How to Engage Employees Now that you have completed your survey and interpreted your data, you need to know how to increase employee engagement.

    Get to know them. Sounds simple, and it is! Spending time with your employees and getting to know them is an easy and effective way to engage employees. Learning about their families, backgrounds and personal goals enables you as a manager to develop a stronger rapport with them. Find time in the day to say hello, ask them how their families are doing or inquire about their hobbies.

    This is a quick and straightforward practice that can make your employee feel like their presence is known and that you care about them as an individual. Research shows that employees who feel valued tend to be much more engaged in their work and performance. Provide them with the tools for success. As a manager, you not only have to oversee different facets of business, but you should be sure your employees understand what they are doing.

    When one of your team members is unsure of what to do, or how to handle a situation, productivity can come to a grinding halt while they try to troubleshoot the situation. If it becomes too overwhelming, there is a possibility of a small hitch becoming a much larger problem. Low to High Price: High to Low Avg. Available for download now. Provide feedback about this page. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Get to Know Us. English Choose a language for shopping.


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