Corexcel has focused on workplace trends for years, but we’ve never seen anything like this. The pandemic has brought about a workplace shift that’s becoming as widespread as the virus itself. Last spring, businesses, and organizations scrambled to establish work-from-home arrangements for employees. Now, nearly a year later, businesses throughout the U.S. are embracing hybrid and fully remote work options.
For a change of pace, we’re sharing our own work experience as it might serve as a useful example for other businesses.
Our Hybrid Experience
At Corexcel we went fully remote in 2020, and we recently transitioned to a hybrid work arrangement. We’re still ironing out the kinks, but for now, our team is working remotely on Mondays and Fridays and in the office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. So far, we’re finding the three-days-in-the-office-two-days-at-home arrangement to be a good balance.
We decided to try a hybrid format to:
Provide flexibility for employees
Reduce our rent expense
Lower the company’s carbon footprint
Before going hybrid, we polled the Corexcel team and, interestingly, no staff members indicated a preference to work virtually every day. While that might not be the response at every business, we’re finding that our team members aren’t missing a beat. In fact, our employees are comfortable and working effectively with the new arrangement.
We asked why they like the hybrid arrangement and received these comments, among others:
“It’s nice to skip the commute sometimes after being on the go with the kids.”
“I can work more at my own pace.”
“I appreciate the mix. I get quality time with the kids, but I also get time in the office with no kids and no dog.”
“Hybrid is so flexible. We can start a project in the office and finish the work at home at night if that works best with our schedule.”
These benefits would resonate with employees at other organizations as well.
Why Hybrid Instead of Fully Virtual?
As we see how our hybrid arrangement plays out, we might decide to go virtual; who knows. For now, we like coming in part of the week to get a sense of normalcy. Our time in the office works well for meetings, too. Employees who might be hesitant to speak during a Zoom call are often open to speaking at an in-person meeting. For us, the hybrid model seems to be the perfect mix.
A Trend That’s Here to Stay
From our own experience, though brief, as well as input from other businesses, we believe a hybrid workplace could be the wave of the future. We’re hearing that business owners feel hybrid arrangements widen the hiring pool. Candidates who might find the commute too much on a daily basis based on their location might be willing to travel two or three days a week. In addition, if a hybrid structure makes employees happy, they’re going to be loyal to the company. Hybrid workplaces could lead to less employee turnover, and in turn lower costs.
If you’re going hybrid, there are several factors to consider. SHRM’s article, “What to Consider When Moving to a Hybrid Work Model,” is a good place to start. If you’re concerned about hiring when your team isn’t in the office full-time, we recommend using a hiring assessment tool to screen candidates. PXT Select™ lets you assess candidates on thinking style, behavioral style, and interests—from wherever they are. If you’re thinking of going hybrid, please let us know!
The past year has been a lot—at home and on the job. With the pandemic causing substantial changes to the way we live and work, that might be an understatement. But along with change comes the possibility for something new. Maybe you lost your job. Or maybe all this time at home has you contemplating a new career. If you’re looking for a work-related fresh start, here are some of our recommendations:
Update your resume. Does your resume reflect your current position and responsibilities? Make sure it clearly highlights the experience your potential employers would find useful.
Update your references. Check with the people vouching for you that they’re still on board to field calls about you and your work.
Create or update your LinkedIn profile. A current LinkedIn profile is a must as you look for a new job. You can search for jobs on LinkedIn and apply for jobs on the site when it’s an option. If you’re being considered for a job that’s not on LinkedIn, recruiters will still look at your profile to get a feel for your experience. Tip: Your LinkedIn profile should be more conversational in style than a resume.
Brush up on your interview skills. Job interviews are stressful. Going in prepared alleviates some of the stress, so practice answering common interview questions.
Prepare your technology for interviews, too. Chances are, you might have a few virtual interviews. Check your connectivity and your lighting to make sure you’re seen, literally, in the best light.
Join/subscribe to career development podcasts and career-related social media groups. They can provide helpful advice and insight on various careers, and they offer support from fellow jobseekers.
Take a course. Getting an introduction to a field you’re interested in is valuable. It can confirm you’re getting on the right career path—or let you know you’re not. Having a course under your belt can also make you more marketable. If you’re interested in the medical field, for example, our Medical Terminology or Microbiology course is an excellent first step.
With these tips, you’re ready for a fresh start. Good luck!
What a year we just had; businesses and organizations across the board scrambled to revise operations, workers went remote, and hiring in many sectors came to a halt. As we enter a new year, hiring freezes are beginning to thaw. If you’re fortunate enough to be hiring, be sure to hire right.
Employing the wrong candidate comes at a cost. It costs you money. It costs you time. In fact, the cost of a bad hire is considered to be the equivalent of an employee’s first-year salary*. According to surveys conducted by John Wiley & Sons, which questioned 2,000 individuals, hiring practices are a common problem:
39% of hiring managers do not always align job requirements with candidates.
54% say candidates are not always assessed with a structured interview process.
65% of hiring managers rely on their instincts rather than data.
To help ensure that you bring the right individual(s) on board:
Establish a consistent hiring process. This ensures that hiring is fair, and it makes it easier for you to compare candidates. Consider creating a checklist that keeps the position’s requirements and the qualifications you seek front and center.
Use data in the hiring process. We use data to make lots of decisions these days, so why not use it for hiring? While the impression the candidate makes during the interview carries considerable weight, going exclusively with your gut is so yesterday. Data offers valuable input.
Use PXT Select™. This online assessment is designed to help you select the best candidates for your organization. Candidates take an assessment, and PXT Select generates a report that provides insight into their behaviors and interests. It also tips you off to their verbal and math skills so you can see if they’re a good fit for the position.
PXT Select lets you compare candidates to one another and a single candidate to multiple positions. In addition, the reports have ongoing use as they provide tips for an individual’s onboarding, training, and development.
After the year we’ve had, focusing on 2021 is a welcome development. If your organization is growing, congratulations. We’re here to help you do it right.
Relationships are Hard. Need We Say More? (We do when it comes to workplace relationships.)
Anyone who’s watched a traditional rom-com (i.e., everyone) knows that relationships are hard. Through the trials and tribulations, all ends well: Boy gets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy eventually gets girl back. Cue the happy ending with the triumphant music. While there’s somewhat of a formula for these feel-good movies, there’s no formula for work relationships. These relationships are tricky, but essential, in the workplace.
So what’s the trick to productive relationships with coworkers? Like it or not, there’s no playbook. You don’t choose your coworkers, and people with different backgrounds, beliefs, personalities, and communication styles are all thrown into the mix. Fostering an effective work relationship requires being open to learning more about yourself and your colleagues. In other words, getting along with others at work takes, well…work.
The key element to good work relationships is the same as it is for personal relationships: communication. And the key to better communication among coworkers is the Everything DiSC® System. That’s because DiSC delivers insight into your own behaviors and the behaviors of coworkers—and it offers recommendations on how to mesh styles and work productively together.
DiSC looks at each individual in four categories: Dominance, Influence, Conscientiousness, and Steadiness. Each category has specific characteristics:
Here’s how they play out in a workplace setting. Say, two colleagues, Ann and Jess, are working together on a project. Ann is along the “D” and “i” range; she’s fast-paced and outspoken. Jess falls along with the “C” and “S” range; she’s cautious and reflective. Ann also works fast, always has a lot going on, and quickly pivots as developments arise. Jess prefers a predictable work setting and does what it takes to get things right. Here, DiSC would recommend to Ann that when she interacts with Jess she should skip the small talk and focus on the facts.
No matter the particular individuals being assessed, DiSC provides recommendations on:
Adapting your approach to accommodate others
Initiating a dialogue with other employees
and much more.
Once your organization has open, productive communication underway, your teams can thrive. While you won’t have Meg Ryan or Julie Roberts on hand, you’ll still see more smiling faces around the office. In the workplace, good relationships are everything.
Dictionary.com defines agility as “the power of moving quickly and easily” and “the ability to think and draw conclusions quickly.” These are valuable traits to have in an ever-changing workplace. And really, in a world where COVID-19 is dictating new work and school arrangements seemingly every week, being agile can help us get through all aspects of the day-to-day grind.
The reality is that we all have a natural inclination for how we handle new situations as well as conflict that arises. Do you easily adapt to new situations, not just in the workplace, but in society? Your level of agility can affect your relationships with colleagues, family members, and friends. At work, having an agile approach to new projects enables you to successfully manage and execute the tasks at hand. It’s important to note that your agility doesn’t just reflect how you respond to stressful situations—it reflects how you respond to positive developments, too!
If you’re unhappy with your ability to handle various situations, or you’re not sure just how agile you are, you’re not alone. You can’t get out a yardstick and measure agility, after all. The solution is Everything DiSC® Agile EQ™. This DiSC®-based assessment:
Provides awareness of, and insight on, your natural tendencies.
Offers tips for moving beyond your familiar patterns, so you learn how to adapt to whatever situation you’re facing—even when it’s difficult.
Recommends steps for adapting to others’ emotions and effectively interacting with those whose agility is quite different than your own.
Say you’re assigned a new project, and you say, “OK, let’s get this done!” Your co-worker, on the other hand, says, “Let’s do a little bit day by day.” The more agile you both are in this setting, the stronger your relationship will be, despite your differing styles.
You can use Agile EQ for one-on-one counseling or as part of a larger training. Either way, create an action plan, and bring agility to your workplace!
DiSC is a behavioral-based learning assessment which is offered in many forms. The DiSC Assessment helps people identify their DiSC personality type or style by completinga series of questions. Occasionally referred to as the DiSC Personality Profile, the assessment helps people:
Understand their behavior style(s), also often called personality types.
Discover how to adapt their behavior to improve communications.
Learn about other DiSC personality types to help them understand why people do the things they do and why they think the way they think.
Enhance their performance, and their team’s performance, through their new-found understanding and improved communications.
The DiSC model focuses on four distinct personality types. The four types are represented in the DiSC circular model pictured here.
Several DiSC-based assessments exist in the market today and their terminology varies from one flavor to the next. Most of these assessments use similar terms to identify the four personality types. Basically, the general theme is the same. However, the assessments and the corresponding reports vary a lot. Some DiSC assessments even use colors or animals to represent the four personality types. I’ve never been a fan of the colors or the animals but they do appeal to some. These assessments are not all created equally but we’ll discuss the differences in another post.
What does the “D” style represent?
Someone with a “D”, or Dominance style, will be focused on achieving results and taking action quickly. We all know this personality type. It may be ourselves, a co-worker or maybe even our boss. The word dominance is a perfect descriptor because D’s are often perceived as being dominant in the workplace and in their personal relationships. They’re motivated by competition, winning and success.
Individuals having a “D” style are typically direct and to the point. This means they would prefer you to be direct and to the point when you are communicating with them. Imagine how effective a salesperson would be if they adapted their communications to appeal to others. Adjusting tone, or even the number of words, can make communications much more appealing to the person on the receiving end.
If you haven’t noticed already, the dominance personality type, as with all of the DiSC personality types, has its drawbacks. People identifying with the “D” style often come across as having little or no concern for others. Sometimes they can appear impatient and insensitive. Often these people do not realize how they’re perceived. One of the benefits of learning about your DiSC personality type is recognizing the negative aspects of your own behaviors. Understanding their style can help D’s to slow down and be more sensitive to the people around them.
What does the “i” personality type represent?
The small “i” indicates the Influence style. People demonstrating the “i” type often express their enthusiasm openly and they’re usually very friendly people. You might refer to them as people people. Influencers prefer to act on things quickly and they inspire collaboration in the workplace. People identified with the Influence style enjoy talking and working closely with others. It’s important to them to be recognized socially, especially in the workplace. They put a premium on public recognition.
Things you may notice about someone with the “i” personality type:
They often come across as charming.
They show enthusiasm in most of the things they do.
They’re often more optimistic than most.
They can be talkative.
As with the “D” personality type, influencers also have their drawbacks. They can appear to be impulsive and disorganized. If they don’t take deliberate measures to stay organized, they have a tough time following through on tasks and projects. Often people with the “i” style do very well in sales positions. However, it’s important to note that the DiSC Personality Assessment is a tool to help people gain understanding. It’s not a perfect prediction model for success in a particular job. The assessment can certainly help provide that type of insight. Although it’s much more effective to use an assessment specifically designed for selecting and hiring employees.
What does the “S” DiSC personality type indicate?
The “S” stands for Steadiness. You can probably guess the characteristics for the “S” style. These people enjoy providing support and maintaining stability. A stable workplace environment is very important to people with the “S” personality type. As an employee, they prefer receiving feedback from their supervisor regularly. They’re also consistently looking for ways they can help others.
Individuals with the “S” personality type tend to be more concerned by change than most. If you think about it, that makes perfect sense considering they prefer stable situations and environments. They tend to shy away from conflict and may be overly sensitive to feedback. Maintaining harmony and keeping the peace are important for people who exhibit “S” style characteristics.
As with all of the four DiSC personality types, characteristics viewed as strengths can lead to negative perceptions from others. For instance, people exhibiting the “S” personality type are often viewed as over accommodating. Their desire for stability can make them resistant to change. The S’s will often avoid change altogether. They subscribe to the “if it isn’t broken don’t fix it” approach.
The “C” Personality Type
The “C” in the DiSC acronym stands for Conscientiousness. People with the conscientiousness personality type tend to place priority on accuracy, maintaining stability and challenging assumptions. They are motivated by opportunities to use their expertise whether it’s at work or at home. People identifying with the “C” personality type desire activities where they can use their expertise to product quality results.
Being wrong, being criticized and working with slipshod projects are all fears for people possessing the “C” style. They place a premium on doing things the right way regardless of how long it takes. People with the “C” style often refer to themselves as perfectionists. They’re good at tasks that involve detailed analysis and precision but try not ask them to do something that needs to be completed right away.
People often notice that C’s operate in quiet and reserved manner. They prefer to work alone rather than working in a group. Occasionally they can come across as skeptical and overly critical. Sarcasm is a trait that can help you identify someone with the “C” personality type. Colleagues who possess the “C” style can appear as:
Since they place a high level of importance on ensuring accuracy, C’s can tend to overanalyze. Recognizing this potential problem will help people with the “C” style avoid being bottlenecks within an organization.
Learn More About DiSC
DiSC is an assessment model that has been used by individuals and corporations for 40+ years. As people begin to understand their personality type they also begin to recognize other people’s DiSC personality types. This knowledge helps them grow professionally and personally. It improves their ability to communicate and makes them much better at working with others. Relationships improve and they become more effective in their careers. It’s an interesting and amazing transformation.
When you work in the medical field, ongoing education is a must. It’s important to stay up on the latest developments, and sometimes it’s useful to take a refresher class just so your skillset doesn’t get rusty. Healthcare professionals, we know the pandemic has amped up what is required of you. That’s why we want to make it as easy as possible for you to take the classes you need. With that in mind, we’re pleased to introduce our newest online course: Microbiology!
Our Microbiology course is self-paced, so you can access the material and do the work when you have pockets of free time. The course provides the information you need to understand medical microbiology and how it relates to medical practice.
Students read and do interactive, online exercises to learn the science of microbiology, practical applications, infection prevention, and microbiological diseases of major body systems. The course offers practice quizzes, exercises, and interactive components, which students can do as they like to reinforce the concepts.
The course is also useful to high school and college students taking high-level science classes. These days, high school and college are extra stressful, with students learning remotely, in-person with new procedures, or in a hybrid fashion. To alleviate some of the stress, students can take our course prior to taking their classes in school, where grades affect Advanced Placement credits and acceptance into undergraduate or graduate programs. They can access the Microbiology curriculum and become familiar with it at their own pace. When it’s time for students to take their for-credit courses, they’ll be familiar with the material!
No matter your reason for needing a Microbiology course, ours has several benefits. You can skip a pressurized, instructor-led pace and do the work when it fits into your own busy schedule. You have access to the course for a full year! In addition, when you successfully complete the class, you receive a certificate of completion for 3.8 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
For more information about our Microbiology course, or any of our courses or certificate programs, please call us at (302) 477-9730 or email email@example.com.
There has never been a back-to-school season like this one. Schools across the country—from small, private elementary schools to large, public universities—grappled with how to open. There’s no “pandemic playbook,” after all. As plans unfolded, teachers stepped up, ready to educate students, whether their schools opened remotely, in person, or with a hybrid format somewhere in between.
Now, more than ever before, we have so much to learn from teachers. Those working from home had to start from scratch and figure out how to effectively teach students remotely. Longstanding lesson plans had to be revised. “Classroom space” had to be carved out at home. Equipment had to be set up. Talk about a lesson in adapting to circumstances!
Teachers going to their schools to teach in person might be uncomfortable, afraid of getting sick. They must constantly take measures to keep themselves and their students safe. These days, in addition to clearly conveying the curriculum, teachers must ensure that students keep their masks on and remain at least six feet apart from one another. They must learn the names of students whose faces are blocked by masks while struggling to be understood through their own mask.
Last year, being a teacher was just being a teacher. This year, being a teacher is being a teacher, a medical professional, a therapist, and a juggler extraordinaire.
If you’re a teacher, thank you! These unfamiliar routines and long days can be draining, so be sure to take steps to minimize stress. Consider these options:
Answer emails once or twice a day. Checking your inbox all day long can make you crazy. Looking less often can save time and reduce stress.
Schedule “me time.” Set aside time throughout the week to do yoga, go for a run, take a long bath, sit outside with a cup of tea, or listen to your favorite music. Whatever helps you unwind, do it!
Give yourself credit. These are unusual times. With all the unknowns and unexpected challenges you’re sure to face as the school year unfolds, you’re stepping up to handle them. You’re still teaching, and the students are still learning.
All of us at Corexcel are in awe of teachers during the pandemic.
We respect you and we’re learning from you. Thank you Teachers!!!
If you’re like many people, you’ve been working from home for months. And you’re over it. At first, it seemed like a novelty—a chance to skip the commute and work in comfy clothes while staying safe. As the weeks went on, however, you realized it can be tough to work with spouses, kids, and pets around, and it can get awfully boring looking at the same walls.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to get out of your rut and combat the boredom you might be feeling at home:
Plan a busy schedule. If you pack a lot into your workday, your mind will be focused on the tasks. Now is the time to add those often-put-off housekeeping projects, like cleaning out old emails, deleting files, and filing papers, in your schedule. Fill the gaps and avoid the lulls.
Schedule breaks. This means actually put time for breaks on your calendar. Step away from the desk. Get up and stretch. Talk to a family member in the house. Stay put and call a friend. Squeeze in a workout. The point is to use the time to focus on something other than work so you can come back to it fresh.
Change your location. If you usually work in a bedroom, try a day in the kitchen. Or the family room. Or the dining room. Just mix it up! When you feel boredom setting in, take a walk, even if it’s just around the house. A change of scenery, even if brief, goes a long way.
Pursue training opportunities. You’re not spending time going to and from work, so use the downtime to explore training your employer offers. If your employer will compensate you for taking outside classes, take advantage of that. Or, if you want to switch or advance your career, take one of our many online courses and professional certificate programs. All of these options will expand your skill set, bolster your resume, and alleviate boredom.
Set up a fun distraction. Listen to music while you work—rock, jazz, country—whatever lifts your mood. Have a favorite show playing off on the side, if it won’t distract you from work. A little bit of fun can have a big, positive effect on your day.
Working from home might be a lasting trend. Once you learn how to keep boredom at bay, it might be a trend to embrace.
When the pandemic began, it abruptly threw businesses into turmoil. Workers went remote. Hiring in many industries was put on hold. Management focused on how to stay afloat and move forward. Now that states are starting to reopen and move towards a sense of normalcy, businesses are lifting the pause button, resetting, and starting to hire again. If you’re one of them, here’s what we suggest:
Use a hiring tool. In the best of times, it’s a challenge to make sure you bring the right people on board. Now, without meeting candidates in person, you want as much insight as possible at your disposal as you decide who to hire. We recommend PXT Select™, an online hiring assessment designed to help you select the best candidates for your organization. It not only assesses thinking style (e.g. verbal reasoning), but also behavioral traits (e.g., independence), and interests (e.g., technical). It measures verbal and math skills, too.
This is important because you don’t want to hire someone who, although good at the job, ultimately won’t stay because they don’t feel fulfilled or engaged. PXT Select takes a variety of factors into consideration and provides information that lets you know if a candidate is truly a good fit.
Candidates complete an assessment online that takes an hour or less to complete. The system generates reports that let you truly get to know a candidate. It even suggests personalized interview questions for you to ask a candidate to probe deeper for more insight on certain points. You can also use the reports to compare multiple candidates.
So dust off your pre-pandemic hiring practices and reset with these tips. You’ll start fresh and bring in the best new hires for your organization.