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Written by: Janis Kinnear

As South Africans we shall soon cast our very critically important ballot at the election polls. Your vote ensures simple pleasures like your neighbourhood maintaining a pristine aesthetic. That’s if, of course, your dirt bins get regularly collected – and on the assigned day. Your vote decides who takes charge of your municipality and your city. It’s an invaluable exercise which reminds us that we still live in a democracy. A country where you have the right to justice and my personal favourite – freedom of expression. In the workplace, your voice is that tool to express and give input as a member of the team. Similarly, in any job, use your voice as you would your vote.

Navigating the complexities around the workplace is tricky since many companies now operate remotely. It has thus become even more crucial to speak up and voice your concerns.

Each team member plays a pivotal role in the cog of the business engine. A colleague closely linked to your workflow might not be doing something in a specific way you would like. To ensure continuation or optimal productivity, have a chat with them to iron this issue out quickly. Communication platforms like MS Teams are designed to allow, in particular remote staff, a space to engage. To chat as if you were sitting across from one another. Don’t be afraid to send a message to the individual or make a video call. Discussing the issue over video often proves more helpful when engaging face-to-face.

Use team meetings as a platform to inform and effect change.

Pleading the 5th  won’t help to change anything at your job. Nobody will know what’s eating you if you don’t say anything. Nothing will miraculously transform if you choose to remain silent and hold all thoughts hostage in your head. Team meetings are usually the communal staff gathering. It presents a “roundtable” where you can let the bosses know the workload is more than you can cope with. It is where you have the opportune moment to contribute your two cents to work-related matters. Or where you can offer suggestions or creative ideas that could positively impact the work unit as a whole. In any job, use your voice as you would your vote.

Utilise “pushback” as a way to assert yourself. It’s often necessary to make yourself properly heard. It is also a highly effective technique in the art of negotiation. It can help gain recognition for, and have people see the value in your opinions.

The Recruitment industry is complex as people are our business. We deal with varying personas and degrees of authority and character traits. We have started embracing more “pushback” with our target market. The candidates and clients who make our job possible but sometimes need a push in the right direction.

Our voices are used to kindly persuade a client to perhaps consider revising salaries. This often helps open and widen the market to candidates with the right expertise they seek. We motivate, whilst taking the practicalities and aspects of their personal lives into consideration, candidates to broaden their mindsets and alter their set requirements. We have in-depth conversations for example around the possibility of not only working remote or relocating for a role. If we took a back seat and allowed everyone to get exactly what they wanted – we wouldn’t be offering our unique services. A human voice of reason or rhyme – to connect the people behind the jobs. Employment which ultimately fuels our economy and helps keep it afloat.

Your voice holds immense value, and your opinions can help improve things in your working environment. In any job, use your voice as you would your vote. You have the right to be heard. Ensure that your democratic right contributes towards positive change and to that which matters most.

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