Constructive feedback an essential “ingredient” for effective teamwork

One of the most crucial elements for building a strong team is feedback. You can help each individual learn and progress by encouraging team members to give each appreciation when things go well and pointing out how things could be done differently. As each individual gets better at what they do, the whole team becomes better. 

     I. What is constructive feedback?

Constructive feedback is a powerful tool for fostering a positive work atmosphere, increasing productivity, engagement, and improving performance. It has a favourable impact on communication and team member engagement. 

In essence, constructive feedback differs from regular feedback in the intent and delivery of the advice. Constructive feedback comes from a place of support, seeking to help the receiver “construct” themselves to become better or grow in some way.

     II. Why is constructive feedback so important? 

By applying constructive feedback practices, not only employees but also managers can encourage, support and redirect each other’s input to ensure the quality of a certain output. Let’s see some benefits of giving constructive feedback: 

  • Enhances performance and assists with professional growth 
  • Improves relationships among team members 
  • Clarifies expectations  
  • Improves employee morale 

      III. 5 steps to giving constructive feedback 

Regardless of role, level or industry, at some point in your career, it is likely you will need to know how to give constructive feedback in the workplace. As most people work in groups, being able to provide constructive feedback is a valuable skill. Here are some of the top ways to give constructive feedback in a productive and respectful way.  

        1. Choose the right time and place for feedback  

The first thing to consider when planning a meeting to give feedback is the location. Small bits of praise and appreciation can be shared among the wider team. However, criticism that is shared in front of an employee’s peers will be shameful and embarrassing. Criticism is much better delivered in a one-to-one meeting and it is best to give feedback as soon as possible while the reference points are still clear.  

         2. Define the purpose of giving feedback  

For example, if the purpose of the feedback is to improve an employee/team member’s behaviour or performance, then it is important to have a clear understanding of points to discuss and potential solutions to offer.  

          3. Feedback content  

The content should be focused on the work rather than the individual. If there is a specific action or problem that needs to be solved, then you can share how exactly it makes you and their colleagues feel. Be specific, give examples of where the person performed well and situations where it didn’t go well and use data or other sources to support the discussion.  

          4. Give suggestions for improvements  

The most important part of giving feedback should be working with employees/team membersto implement improvements. By sharing expectations such as improvements to working speed, accuracy, relationships with colleagues,  the individual can work towards a goal and be able to measure their acheivements.  

           5. Recap key points 

This is a good way to avoid there being any misunderstandings and it provides you with an opportunity to check that constructive feedback was received and understood.  

The “SKS” (Stop-Keep-Start) may be considered as the easiest constructive feedback method to use, especially for beginners. The following three questions should be asked before framing feedback statements to the recipient:  

  • What can I tell this person to stop doing? 
  • What should this person keep doing? 
  • What can I suggest that this person start doing? 

At NashTech, we always maintain a supportive working environment to nurture our employee’s development. We embrace everyone’s way of expressing themselves and facilitate them to thrive by supporting and giving feedback to each other. 

You can explore more skills and tips to be excel at work here. 

How to wisely manage your time and boost productivity

Each of us are granted equally with 24 hours a day and understanding how to make the most out of this time is essential to productivity, especially at work. Time management is more than merely cramming every possible responsibility into your daily schedule but rather figuring out techniques and strategies that allow you to tactfully allocate tasks throughout the day.  

By adopting the right time management method, it enables you to stay on pace and facilities the smart planning needed along the way to ensure that you do not get sidetracked from your initial focus. In fact, being organised in terms of your time lies at the core. Not only does effective time management skills result in better results at work, but it also has advantages outside of the office too. 

Why does time management matter?

In an in-depth workplace survey conducted by Atlassian, it has been pointed out that employees are constantly wasting their time on things that bring about little business value during working hours. Poor time management skills subject them to being drowned in email, stuck in dead-end meetings or easily distracted by non-work-related tasks. 

By spending too much time on tasks of little account, employees are inclined to overlook certain work that requires a higher level of concentration and prioritisation. This phenomenon will hinder employees from making any tangible progress on their important tasks, making it harder for them to move forward in any aspects of their career.  

Additionally, their productivity can take a serious hit if this pattern continues to perpetuate. The lack of effort in time management will greatly debilitate one’s productivity as well as impact the workflow of entire projects.  

Tips for effective time management

Below are some tips that you can start adopting to ensure that your time does not go to waste during working hours:  

      1. Focus on prioritised tasks  

Determining which tasks should receive more attention and efforts is imperative since we always want to put our best foot forward when we start our day. Sorting the most important items can help you see the big picture and avoid spending extra time on emails or unnecessary meetings. 

      2. Set attainable goals 

By setting goals that you know you can certainly achieve that day creates a sense of achievement and allows you to see that you are using your time wisely. This method can also greatly boost your productivity and morale at work, keeping your spirit up to go tackle other responsibilities. 

        3. Limit multi-tasking 

Multi-tasking seems tempting since it gives you a degree of busyness that is often associated with productivity, getting two things done in a time span of one. However, multi-tasking does not always work out the way you wanted it to. Most of the time, this form of working will lead to mixing things up or works that are perfunctorily finished.  

       4. Blot out distractions 

Try to put your phone and mailbox on silent when you are concentrating on a task or in a meeting. You might think it will take only two seconds to peek at your text message preview, but this action might lead to 30-minutes straight of scrolling aimlessly without getting anything done.  

       5. Set time limit to complete certain tasks   

Time blocking can help you gauge the time needed to finish a certain task so you can start planning ahead in the future. This method also enables you to be completely absorbed with the task and gives your colleagues a heads-up as to whether you are available during that time frame.  

        6. Take a break between tasks/sessions 

Taking a break between your tasks or meetings is of great importance in terms of maintaining stamina and focus throughout the day. Getting a coffee, drinking water or chatting with your colleagues can help take your mind off your problems for a while so you can revisit it with a brand-new perspective later on.  

 Explore more on how you can tackle burn out to stay ahead of the game here  

3 tips for saying “goodbye” to burnout at work

Have you ever felt that you wanted to explode, unmotivated to get up and go to work in the morning or tired when entering the workplace? If yes, you may be suffering from burnout syndrome. Experts say other illnesses such as depression may be behind burnout, which affects both your physical and mental health. 

What is burnout syndrome? 

Simply put, burnout is a particular form of work-related stress which makes you feel exhausted in the workplace, reducing working productivity and inspiration.  

  1. Signs of suffering from burnout syndrome

There are some common signs that show you are suffering from burnout such as, lack of energy, negative emotions, feeling of isolation, losing motivation, etc. It will not disappear by itself and ignorance will make it worse.  

  1. Popular causes of “burnout mode”

Right after realising you are in the “burnout mode”, the first thing to do is work out where it is coming from. These are some popular causes: 

  • Unhealthy lifestyles or work-life imbalance 
  • An unachievable amount of tasks 
  • Poor time management 
  • An inactive workplace 

Although the pressure from burnout at work might bring problems and negative influences to our life, WHO has not recognised burnout as a disease but a psychological syndrome. So, what can you do to cope when“haunted” by burnout syndrome? 

Tips to overcome burnout 

1.Schedule your working day

Planning out your day might help you feel more energised while also keeping you motivated during a long day at work. Instead of generating a long list of tasks, focus on prioritising one to make you feel accomplished once you’ve completed it. 

2.Design an exercise and nutrition plan

“Exercises can help you control stress and anxiety and manage feelings of burnout.” – says Dr. Mysore, a physician at One Medical in New York. Having an exercise schedule with an additional eating plan is essential to build a strong body and healthy lifestyle, which helps boost your energy and morale for long working hours. Although exercise isn’t a cure-all for burnout, it will help you feel more balanced by managing your stress on a daily basis. 

3.Create relationships at workplace

If you have a good relationship with co-workers, it’s easier to ask them for help when you are struggling to manage your workload. Assistance between colleagues is completely normal when you work in a team that has close relationships with each other. Therefore, in a friendly, positive environment, the number of people experiencing burnout syndrome is much less than in a fiercely competitive one. 

How NashTech keeps employees away from burnout 

Anyone who is constantly exposed to a high-pressure environment is prone to “burnout”. At NashTech, employees are encouraged as much as possible to stay away from pressure and burnout with a dynamic culture and various activities. 

Meet – Connect – Share 

Joining corporate social responsibility events to give Nashers a break from the office and create stronger connections with each other. This not only provides our people opportunities to relax but also contribute meaningful activities for the community and create memorable moments together. 

Work-life balance with sports clubs 

It is great to be able to work in your dream job and enjoy your hobbies at the same time. At NashTech, there are many sports clubs and games established with the aim to release stress, enhance physical health for work-life balance and bring Nashers together. 

Flexible working: is this new working model here to stay?

The fallout of Covid 19 has been felt by organisations around the globe, forcing changes to their operating models to keep up with the latest developments and retain top talent. These changes have propelled the proliferation of flexible workingrequiring us to gain a more profound understanding of this model.  

Even before the pandemic struck, concerns had been raised about whether the widely accepted norm of a rigid 9-to-5 structure should still be considered best practice in most offices. Flexible working has been making its way into the day-to-day work life of those with greater responsibilities, obligations outside of work or who tend to perform better when not bound by certain hours.  

Flexible working has evolved rapidly over the past few years and the term covers a wide range of working patterns that differ from the usual arrangementThis article seeks to uncover the benefits that this new approach offers and examine whether flexible working is here to stay. 

Define and categorise flexible working 

Flexible working, sometimes referred to as agile or smart working, are terms used to denote the process of adapting new approaches to the current working scheme with the hope of creating a more flexible and reactive operating model.  

The practice enables enterprises to prioritise the wellbeing of their employees by allowing them to tailor their work schedule to meet their personal needs, while still maintaining productivity and commitment.  

Flexible working can be divided into three main categories which stipulates where, when and how one can work:  

         1. Flexible location working 

    • Working from home or remotely for part or all of the time
    • Working across offices
    • Hybrid workplace   

         2. Flexible working hours 

    • Compressed work days 
    • Flexible hours (which allows you to fit your working hours around agreed core times) 
    • Staggered hours (which allows you to start and finish your days at different times) 
    • Shift working  

          3. Flexible tasks

    • Job sharing  
    • Part-time work 

(Source: Flexible working – what is it – Citizens Advice)

What does flexible working bring to the table?

The process of experimenting with different types of working styles is essential for both employers and employees to figure out which approach(es) work best for them. Flexible working enables both parties to take a break from the ordinary working scheme which they might have been stifled by, in order to fuel a shift to an agile operating model for the entire business.  

      1. Employees

Flexible working certainly brings about a sense of autonomy and freedom to employees. It allows them to propose where, when and how they are would like to work and how these changes can help them perform better without having to worry about personal obligations.  

This approach gives employees a sense of control over their own time and how they should allocate it to each of their tasks. When employees can determine how they are going fulfill their responsibilities, it empowers them to be more proactive and productive since there are no constraints on how they should work.  

The frustration from the long commute during rush hours can also be alleviated. Evidently, this approach can also help cut employees some slack in terms of commuting time, as well as fuel costs and consumption  

      2. Employers

By adopting flexible working model, employers decide to entrust their employees with accountability over their own performance, implying that the organisation is receptive to the idea of an agile business model.  

This approach is a great means to boost employees’ morale and builds a culture of openness, as well as an employee friendly brand. Flexible working also enhances the employment process, since there is a pool of talented candidates out there who cannot fit into the 9 to 5 structure, so companies that are open to flexible working stay on top of their list.  

How NashTech promotes and executes its flexible working model

At NashTech, we prioritise the wellbeing of our employees and we always seek to build a flexible and open environment where our people can thrive.  

With thorough examination and consideration, NashTech has been putting the hybrid working model into practice with the hope to assist our employees when the pandemic hits or when they are dealing with personal issues.  

By setting up a lightweight office in Danang, we are seeking to reinforce our hybrid working scheme and facilitate the process of shifting to a more agile operating model. NashTech Danang marks a milestone in our efforts to alleviate the pressure of rigid working locations for our employees.  

Watch the Q&A session featuring NashTech’s Managing Director – Cuong Nguyen and NashTech’s Human Resources Director – Thanh Nguyen on our new lightweight office in Danang here.

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2 key factors to map out your career path

Building a steady root before planning your career path

1. Finding your passion and setting goals 

Passion is like a charger that helps you to stay happy and productive. If you feel unclear about your future and don’t know how to start looking for a dream job, just take a step back and ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you usually love to do? 

The more you are passionate about your work, the stronger motivation you possess to overcome obstacles. If it’s not your favorite field, you will easily get bored and give up early. That’s why working in an area you are interested in is more effective than “just do it for the money”.

  • Where do you see yourself in the future and who do you want to be?

Coming up with both short-term and long-term goals will keep you busy and focused on improving relevant skills. It is important to identify yourself in the future, setting goals and listing out what you need to do to achieve them. This not only saves time but also helps you to clearly see your career roadmap and specific steps to progression. Also, it’s useful to try looking for inspiring people and see what they are doing achieve success. Below is our suggestion with the SMART framework which is the most popular “recipe” to set goals base on five elements (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based). 

NashTech Career path

Source: Indeed 2020

2. Sharpening skills and gaining experiences 

Once you have found your passion and sketched out some goals, it’s timto start your career journey by gaining an understanding of  the your suitability for the job, with three suggestions below: 

  • Do some research to explore the skill requirements for the industrythen identify your pros and cons 
  • Read at least ten job descriptions (JD) on recruitment platforms related to your favorite position to identify the skills desired by employers 
  • Start networking by having conversations with alumni, joining group/communities, finding mentors or anyone who can advise and inspire you  

Now use it rather than lose it! You may gradually lose skills if you don’t put them into practice. Keep learning and do not hesitate to throw yourself into challenges to gain experience. Check out these tips: 

  • Take training courses and workshops to get fundamental knowledge and industry expertise. There is some information that you may never learn from books. In order to motivate freshers who are passionate about IT, NashTech is hosting “The Rookies” – an intensive training program led by industry experts 
  • Actively participate in various projects and be willing to receive feedback so you can understand your strengths and weaknesses. Learning from mistakes is the best way to improvement 
  • Try internships to apply knowledge into practice and learn from experts. This is a great opportunity for you to interact, communicate and raise questions to clarify your doubts 

 

How NashTech builds up the ideal workplace to nurture our people 

Working in a people-oriented company, where you can grow by working and learning with experts, will influence your inspiration and motivation. At NashTech, we facilitate employees to self-develop with free training courses and sharing sessions from industry experts. As a global technology company, we encourage our people to expand their expertise by taking IT specialised courses and gaining certificates with sponsored examination fees.  

NashTech also organises a wide range of activities, notably sport clubs, team bonding and social responsibility events, to facilitate our people to improve work-life balancerelease stress and get to know each other. Visit here for more detailed information and see how we enjoy these interesting activities. 

As one of the best employers in 2020, we are proud to be a happy workplace and a source of inspiration for other talents. We hope the sharing of our inspiring Nashers, who are valued and supported to achieve success, will give you the motivation to transform your own career path.

 

Demystifying self-training and how to utilise it to your advantage

The discussion about employee training and development has commonly attributed this responsibility to corporations, those that seek to upskill their workforce. Nonetheless, the learning options presented to employees have broadened over the years since employers realised that each person has their own leaning pace and needs.  

Employees adopting self- training as a development method has gained momentum recently due to its flexibility in time and space. This method can provide employees with a sense of ownership over their learning and career development.  

Self-training can be powerful and convenient to some people. However, there are numerous possible challenges that can be posed by this learning approach. Grasping how self-training works and how to use it to your advantage is essential to one’s learning and development plan.  

Understanding self-training

Self-training or commonly known in the workplace context as self-directed learning are terms used to denote the process of shifting the responsibility of learning away from the organisation and to the individual – or in this case, the employee.  

By adopting this practice, employees are given the autonomy to shape and organise their learning plan as they see fit. This method of learning requires learners to determine their learning needs, conceive learning goals, prepare human and material resources for learning, apply appropriate learning strategies and evaluate learning outcomes.  

Thriving in today’s fast changing world requires a breadth of both specialised and soft skills. Since the demand for a certain skillset today can become outdated the next day, a company’s learning & development department might not be able to adapt and deploy an up-to-date training scheme on time for their organisation’s needs.  

This is where self-training comes into play.  

Self-structured learning comes across as an individually designed learning method that allows learners to easily incorporate new knowledge into their existing plan.   

Benefits and challenges of self-training 

In the article on “Building capacity: Organizational competence and critical theory”  back in 2000, Jay D Jurie stated that “Organizations which hamper or stunt the free development of their members or constituents … limit their own effectiveness”. This statement points out the correlation between an employee’s liberal development opportunity and a company’s performanceand how the former can reinforce the latter.  

However, the process of integrating self-training culture into a company’s operations is proven to be an arduous task since it requires a great level of independence and commitmentLet’s break down the benefits as well the challenges posed by this learning method on both employees and employers: 

Benefits

  1. Learners can set their own pace: Aemployee can spend roughly 8 hours at the office per day, so time is one of the most important factors behind their decision. Picking up on self-training allows them to learn on their own terms where they are not pressured to stick to a fixed schedule.
  2. Learners can adjust the learning plan to fit their needs: Having a clear understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, employees are more capable than any learning & development officer at assessing which skills they need and establishing a comprehensive plan on how to hone those skills. 
  3. Avoid wasting time on redundant lessons: In order to avoid wasting time on lessons or courses that employees might have taken previously, self-training helps employees avoid the rigidity of “one-size-fits-all” approaches when it comes to employee training  

Challenges   

  1. Some learners can’t learn without assistanceSome people are not as familiar with the notion of planning and implementing their own learning trail. As such, self-instructed learning can backfire if employees cannot effectively manage their learning progress 
  2. Learners might get sidetracked easily: Without the supervision from their organisation, some employees might get distracted easily and might not be able to monitor their own learning without the help of others. This can result in undesirable effects on one’s productivity and his/her organisation performance 
  3. It may offer too much freedom: Being granted with too much freedom can come with a few side effects, for instances, being unable to decide and stifled by a myriad of options, uncertainty and anxiety  

Learning culture at NashTech

At NashTech, we believe that our workforce’s development is vital and integral to our growth. 

Aside from offering intensive and in-depth training programs for our employees from all levels, we also assist with their self-training process through mentorship. On top of that, we encourage our employees to take initiative in their own development through providing materials and sponsorship in terms of IT certification exam fees. 

Explore more about our talent development initiative here