August 17, 2018

The Roundup: Micro-vacation benefits, multi-gen workforce survey, and emotional intelligence traits

In this week’s Roundup, how a three-day weekend can be just as relaxing as a week off. Plus, what employees think about an age-diverse workplace, and how to spot an emotionally intelligent candidate during an interview.

Kelsey McGillis

Kelsey McGillis is a writer at Ceridian's Toronto office. An avid reader and writer, she studies English and Communications at the University of Toronto.

The art of the micro-vacation

Two weeks ago, we wrote about maximizing your vacation as a working professional. However, it’s not always possible to take lengthy and distant vacations. In fact, many people find shorter and more frequent vacations more effective than annual or semi-annual trips. Enter the art of micro-vacationing. A recent Harvard Business Review article emphasizes the value of these shorter, simpler breaks from work. Regaining mental clarity and taking a break from the stress of the office is simpler than you might think.

  • Weekend escape: Micro-vacationing can look different to different people. For starters, there’s the classic weekend getaway, or staycation. Whether you book a bed and breakfast down the street or plan a few days at a friend’s cottage, your vacation doesn’t have to be a plane ride away. Taking your Friday off after a busy week to get away can be just enough to unwind and disconnect.
  • Work from home: However, even if you’re not able to take a whole day off, there are other options. Many offices offer employees the option of working remotely, so set yourself up for a commute-free day at home. In these sunny summer months, a day of working outdoors can be a welcome change of scenery and improve your productivity.
  • Half day: During those extra hectic times at work, sometimes all you need is a few hours of peace. This HBR article suggests taking a half day off work to reconnect with friends or family. A social lunch can be the mid-week break that helps you beat the Wednesday blues.

As luxurious as a week at a tropical resort might sound, it’s important to remember that peace of mind and de-stressing can be found anywhere Short and consistent time off work stops stress from building up and the lack of planning required can even further alleviate stress. No massive email backlog, no paperwork, just a little piece of bliss.

Adapting to a multi-generational workforce

Today’s workforce is made up of people of many different age groups. From Baby Boomers approaching their retirement to millennials just entering the workplace, each generation comes with their own distinct set of characteristics. And while companies continue adapting to this multi-generational workforce, how does this diverse workplace culture affect the employees themselves? A new Randstand survey gives us insight into the current climate.

People like it: As it turns out, the majority of workers enjoy a multi-generational workforce. Of all those surveyed, 87% of people see the benefit to such a workplace. Rest easy managers.

People prefer older management: As much as workers appreciate an age-diverse work environment, most (76% to be exact) do prefer their direct manager to be at least a few years older than them –. This is good news for those who may think younger employees are losing elder-respect. In fact, 92% of 25 to 34 year - olds surveyed said they preferred an older boss.

Communication is the biggest obstacle: As some might have guessed, communication remains the largest generational divide. More than 38% of workers agreed that communicating with different aged coworkers proved challenging. More specifically, 49% of men and 27% of women agreed that it was difficult.

It’s important to recognize the different needs of employees of all ages, without dividing and alienating them in the process. By remaining alert to demographic trends, you’re able to encourage harmony and collaboration between all employees, regardless of generational differences. For tips on making sure employees of all ages feel appreciated, read this article.

Three signs an employee is emotionally intelligent

While things like educational background and volunteer experience are clear on paper, intelligence and technical skills alone don’t necessarily make a great team member. Certain skills don’t translate to resumes, and what’s known as emotional intelligence is becoming increasingly valued in the workplace, and for good reason. The skill set of not only managing and expressing your own emotions, but also interacting and navigating the human world of an office is so essential. A recent Fast Company article outlines some ways to display emotional intelligence during an interview – things managers should to look for when talking to candidates.

Engagement and openness: Listening carefully and appearing engaged are great signs of an employee who will show interest and care for their work. Along with engagement, being emotionally open is a great sign of an invested employee. As an interviewer, be wary of buzz words and overly-rehearsed lines, and instead seek honesty and transparency.

Personal growth: Just as emotional openness should be praised, acceptance of flaws and mistakes is another great sign of emotional intelligence. During an interview, the candidate shouldn’t shy away from discussion of conflict, their past mistakes, or the ways they need to improve. Just as the ideal job candidate will embrace the positive side of work life, they should also be emotionally adept to discuss negative things.

Interpersonal skills: Not only will emotionally intelligent people discuss their personal highs and lows, they will have good social awareness. Curiosity and interest in not only the work itself but the workplace culture and social scene are good signs of someone with strong interpersonal skills. Finally, keep an eye out for those with the ability to speak positively of past job experience and coworkers.

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