Can your ego allow you to consistently share the truth with your employees? Are you secure enough in your own skin to be able to let people know bad news in a timely manner without sugar coating it? Do you trust yourself and your employees enough that you can be vulnerable and honest about your weaknesses, mistakes, shortcomings or lack of ability or skill to handle a problem, challenge or issue? Or, are you overly concerned what some people might think of you and your leadership ability or management skills that you fail to communicate with integrity, consistency and clarity?
Too often managers and executives hold back information in the hopes of looking good or competent when ultimately most employees already know or have guessed who is the problem and why. So, stop kidding yourself. If you are a manager who tries to look good all the time in every instance, you are not fooling anyone but yourself.
Yes there are times and situations when it is appropriate not to share "all of the news" with "all of the employees." Yes there are financial considerations, things like pending mergers and acquisitions and a variety of critical aspects of any circumstance that every employee doesn't have the need or right to know. I understand this. What I am referring to here are those pieces of information that will directly or indirectly impact an employee's morale, confidence, performance or productivity.
Having said this, it has been my experience with many of my clients that even the sacred secrets were not really secret, they just lived in fantasy-land believing that only a select few of senior management knew what was going on. Sooner or later truth will leak out from any number of sources. Just look at the past 50 years in the political arena. If politicians had been honest from the beginning they would have saved them and a lot of other people a great deal of stress, trauma, frustration, anxiety and yes fear.
Coming clean in the beginning from my perspective is always the best policy, especially if you know that sooner or later the truth will be known. Is it ego or fear that prevents people from sharing truth early or is it a simple case of denial? Don't know, but what I do know is that generally speaking honesty is always the best policy.
When was the last time you shared the total truth with your employees about an issue or situation that was vital to your overall success?
When was the last time you tried to hide some bit of information from your employees and they eventually found out before you were ready for them to know it?
When was the last time the rumor mill in your organization was closer to the truth than you would have liked?
When was the last time your failure to share truth in a timely fashion cost your organization a customer, profits, market share, a competitive position or created a negative response from customers or your suppliers?
When was the last time by sharing truth early, you were able to disarm a potential crisis in confidence or morale?
We are living in challenging and uncertain times. Now more than ever what employees need, want and deserve is truth and integrity. How are you doing?
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Can your ego allow you to consistently share the truth with your employees? Are you secure enough in your own skin to be able to let people know bad news in a timely manner without sugar coating it? Do you trust yourself and your employees enough that you can be vulnerable and honest about your weaknesses, mistakes, shortcomings or lack of ability or skill to handle a problem, challenge or issue? Or, are you overly concerned what some people might think of you and your leadership ability or management skills that you fail to communicate with integrity, consistency and clarity?
Food franchises are the iconic picture of a franchise and, believe it or not, have actually been one of the minute few industries that have shown growth during our recent recession. Before you make the assumption that food franchises are invincible, understand that they have gained the recession-resistant status through the hard work of building strong brand names and products that appease the American appetite without devouring the American wallet. From the classic fast-food titans to the up-and-comers of the food franchise world, you're sure to find that every one of these food franchises can tame your customer's appetite and earn a sizeable income for you and your investors. Here's a quick look at the top 10 food franchises currently available.
5. Samurai Sam's Teriyaki Grill
With the growing trend of teriyaki restaurants quickly sweeping the country, the market is ripe for the picking for anyone with a streamlined, branded teriyaki restaurant that can offer consistent quality across several locations. Samurai Sam's Teriyaki Grill has seen this void in the market and is set to capitalize on it. If you have the taste for teriyaki and would love to get on the ground floor of what could potentially be the next big thing in food franchises, take a closer look at the business plan and quality products that Samurai Sam's Teriyaki Grill has to offer.
4. Great Harvest Bread
A food as old as civilization, truly great bread is still often hard to come by. For those who crave whole grain breads in a variety of mixtures and flavors, Great Harvest Bread offers healthy and tasty alternatives to the bleached and over-processed breads commonly found in grocery stores. In addition to tasty breads, Great Harvest Bread franchisees will benefit from what Great Harvest calls the "freedom franchise." This franchise model allows each individual franchisee to take the foundation of great bread recipes and build their own business with very few limitations, creating the feel of a "mom and pop" small business, while retaining the support and strong track record of one of the country's largest and most successful bread outfits.
3. Bruegger's Bakery and Cafe
A good sandwich, a great cup of coffee and a bowl of hot soup; who could ask for a better lunch? The average working American often seeks out a lunch that is fresh, somewhat healthy, yet not too expensive, and this is where Bruegger's Bakery and Cafe really makes its mark. Their products are made with all natural ingredients and will undoubtedly appease the appetite of plenty of clients, while providing a lunch that won't break the bank.
2. The Great Steak & Potato Company
Few foods are more American than meat and potatoes, and it's the simplicity of this perennial favorite that makes it such a hit with consumers. From fresh cut fries to tasty philly cheeses teaks, The Great Steak & Potato Company offers a great meal at a good price and is currently looking for interested franchisees who can take their simply yet delectable products to malls, shopping centers and storefronts all over the country.
1. Carl's Jr.
When you're craving a great burger, few things will quell your mighty hunger, and Carl's Jr. has reinvented the wheel time and time again to produce some of the tastiest burgers available in the fast food arena. Their "six-dollar burger" combines premium beef with goodies like bacon, guacamole, swiss cheese, and just about any other great burger topping you can think of. With over 3000 locations already all over the country, they're ready to take on more franchisees and spread further throughout the country, bringing burger bliss that's a cut above the competition to their customers.
You've probably heard of at least a couple franchises on this list, but don't discount the lesser know choices in favor of the well-known brands. While the big names are nearly guaranteed to find quick success, they often come with a much higher price tag. Additionally, the lesser known up-and-comers could be tomorrow's Arby's or Carl's Jr., so make your decision wisely. Whether you choose the long-standing champs or one of the more "rookie" franchises, you're sure to find success if you follow the franchisors guidelines and run your business well, according to the training provided by the franchisor.
An efficient courier service has become a cornerstone of modern day businesses. Even for personal use, a reliable courier service is often in demand, which makes a well-managed courier business quite an ideal option as an entrepreneurial venture.
When planning to start a courier business, there are a number of modalities to be worked out that detail upon each different aspect of this particular business. Whether starting up a transport and courier business or only a standalone courier business, you need to pay close attention to these crucial details that will determine the level of success and client satisfaction your business meets with in the near future.
Before you set out to make an actual investment of resources and time as you start your own courier business, it is important that you conduct an initial survey of the area you plan to function in.
Amongst the two most important things you need to ascertain about the area of work are the basic requirements of your target clientele and the affordability level of the customer base.
Terms and conditions
As the next most important thing, it is crucial to work out the delivery rates and other costs of the service you are going to provide. One of the best ways to do this is to contact a few courier operators and study the pattern of rates they follow. You also need to work out what category of objects do you plan to take on for the courier business. A courier service can deal in the transport of various types of merchandise and at times even people from one location to another.
Along with this, you also need to work out the logistics of work, define your area of service and develop a marketing strategy accordingly. Experts suggest that the best way of determining the boundary of service is to lay down the state map, find a location and circle out a diameter from the centre of that location, which can define the area you will operate in.
Equipment and staff
The most important piece of equipment you will need when starting a courier business is a dependable vehicle, which should be in good condition and have appropriate vehicle insurance.
Along with the vehicle, you will also need to have dependable drivers who have the required license and experience to take your merchandise from one location to another. Apart from the drivers, you will also need other staff members such as the ground staff who will coordinate the entire operation.
Build a marketing strategy
Once you have all the details in place, its time to build brand awareness and create a market for your services. Experts usually term word of mouth to be the best form of marketing as a satisfied customer is one of the best possible advertisements. Having fliers and pamphlets distributed in the local neighborhood through the newsletters and bulletins also has a developmental effect. Optimizing a website for traffic for your targeted area is also a wise idea.
Since this category of a business requires that effective communication takes place between drivers, business owners and clients, you will also need to ensure that you and your team possesses the required equipment. For instance, apart from a mobile phone, you should ideally also have multiple communication devices including the likes of pagers and radios to enable easy flow of communication and also handle any emergencies.
Starting a courier business can have challenges but this type of business can be very lucrative and have significant growth opportunities as well.
If you planning on entering the business world will find that you will have to take prospective clients out to dinner quite often in which case, you should be abreast on the etiquette of business dining. This means a lot more than just knowing which pair of shoes and what color tie to wear to dinner. But speaking of ties, dress is the first item on your list of what to address when planning a business dinner with an existing client or a potential client.
Dress for Dinner
Many upscale restaurants require a coat and tie. There can be nothing more embarrassing than showing up in casual wear and being asked rather indiscreetly to wear one of the stock coats and ties.
When dining with a client, you can never go wrong with a smart, well fitting and well ironed jacket with a crisp shirt and a silk tie. A neat little tie clip or a tie pin, will not only make you look suave and sophisticated, it will also help you keep your necktie from falling into your dinner.
If you are invited to a black tie business dinner, you will need to don a tuxedo. In this case, you will need a bowtie.
Find out a little about your client's favorite cuisine and take them to a restaurant that has the best reputation in serving that particular cuisine. This is not the time to check out the new, eclectic Sushi bar that everyone is talking about. Stick with a traditional choice in a business dinner and save the stepping-out-on-a-limb choices for a date. Choose a restaurant with which you are familiar and is ideal for a business dinner. Make reservations, request a good table and don't forget to inform the restaurant that this is an important business deal.
Wait for your Guests
If you happen to arrive early, wait for your guests to arrive. Don't get caught sitting in the bar, half tanked when they get there, tie askew and jacket off. Wait in the lobby for your guests and go with them to the table with the Maitre d. If you have never tipped a Maitre d in a restaurant before for a good table, now is the time to do so. You will be surprised at the choice of table you can get for a mere $20 tip.
Exercise Dinner Etiquette
Allow your guests to order first. If this is a dinner, you may want to start with cocktails and then order food. Go easy on the cocktails though. You do not want to imbibe in alcohol too much at a business dinner - this is not a frat party. One drink is plenty. Be sure to make sure your guests are content with their drinks before ordering.
Exercise Good Table Manners
Place your napkin on your lap. Use the right cutlery. Pass the bread to the right before taking any yourself. If you have to get up during the course of the meal, put your napkin on your chair and ask to be excused.
Apologize for the interruption if you get a phone call and take it outside. Having a cell phone conversation at the dinner table with clients is about the rudest thing that you can do. Put your phone on vibrate and, if there is an emergency, excuse yourself to take care of it briefly.
Have Money for the Bill
When everyone is satisfied and you have asked if the dinner and food was to their liking, then ask for the bill. Make sure that you have enough money on your credit card or debit card if you are not carrying cash to pay for the bill. Not having the money can ruin any potential deal for you.
Remember that you are the host and it is up to you to see that they have a good time. Dress smartly, wear a suit and tie and be sure that your guests get everything that they need and are satisfied. By following these simple rules of etiquette, you can impress your clients and clinch any business deal.
Temp agencies can be a great way to find some extra work and are ideal if you are looking for something that isn't going to be long-term. There are a number of reasons why you might want to use a temp agency to help you find work, but the question we will be dealing with today is how to actually find a good agency.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of temp work agencies out there that just don't deliver. You could end up sitting around for months without a hint of a job with these agencies, so it's important to know what to look for. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you find the right company to help you find work.
- Look for specialties. Many temp agencies only represent one industry. For example, they may only place secretaries. It's a good idea to check for this when looking for a company to work with. Often you'll have better luck finding work if you opt for a company that specializes in your area of expertise, as Boost your skills. You'll be far more valuable as a temp employee if you are already familiar with things on the job. That means you may need to learn a few new things in order to come in higher on the list of job applicants. For example, a secretary who is comfortable with Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint is going to be more valuable than one who is simply a fast typist.
- Find one with support. We all know that there are some truly awful jobs out there. Make sure you know exactly what your chosen temp agency will do if you are uncomfortable or detest a particular job. Will they intervene? A good agency will work with the temporary employees to ensure they aren't being treated badly. If you don't have the support of the agency behind you, it can be very easy to end up in a position you aren't happy with.
- Prepare for your interview. Just because you aren't interviewing for the actual job doesn't mean you should skimp on preparation. Make sure your resume is up to date, dress the part and treat the interview for a temp agency just like you would an interview for a job. This is also a time to get a feel for those in charge of job assignments. It's not just an interview for you, it's also one for them. If you aren't comfortable with the people you'll be relying on to find you a job, then look at another agency.
- Talk to other temp workers. This is your best bet for finding out what the company is really like. Are people happy with their placements? Do they have complaints about the way things are run? It's handy to know what you're getting into from the very start so you can make an informed decision right from the start. Often, you'll learn things you would normally need to spend several weeks there to pick up.
Temp agencies offer a huge advantage to anyone not interested in staying with one job for a long period of time. Whether you are simply looking to earn money while between jobs or are looking to make a career out of temp work, an agency can help you by putting you in touch with far more jobs that you would normally have access to. However, it's important to select the right temp agency for you, which means doing a little research. Ask questions, talk to other workers and get a feel for things before you sign up.
What are the principals to bring out the Hidden Entrepreneur in you? Well, there are a lot of them. What I want to do is focus on four key points
1. Your current reality
2. Your vision
3. Your motivation
4. A world full of choices.
Let me start by telling you a story. To see if you can see these points I will be talking about a 16 year old kid I knew back in 1964. This 16 year old kid knew he didn't have the money but he had a dream. He wanted a 1957 Coal Black Chevy. How many of you know what those look like? He could picture it. He could see it. He could see Polishing it in his driveway. He could feel the wind blowing in his face on a cool summer day with his classmates talking and laughing in the front and back seats during lunch hour on the way to buy lunch out instead of eating the awful school lunch. Jobs were hard to find but he diligently read ads in newspaper until one day he saw an ad - "Salesman wanted for the girls' basketball tournaments." He called the ad and they said come on down. It is a straight commission job we need the help.
There were no separate territories. Anyone could sell in the gym wherever he wanted.
There was no training but he saw what to do and with his creativity figured out what the other salesman couldn't. All he did was go clear up to the top of the stands, the old guys were too lazy to do that. They just stood half way up and yelled "Frosty Malts", Frosty Malts." He guess the people were too embarrassed to yell back from that far away that they wanted one. When someone wanted one, he just stood there a while. Pretty soon someone else raised her hand....and then someone else.....and then someone else. He sold his whole bag in nothing flat. He ran back to get more and emptied his bag again in nothing flat.
Well at the end of the evening his pockets were stuffed full of quarters and dollar bills and he was top salesman amongst all the old guys with their fat bellies and cigarettes hanging out of the corner of their mouth. He had made $10 per hour. That was big money at a time when minimum wage was $1.25 per hour.
I now see that the reason why this kid was off to such an early success is because he applied all these things I am going to be teaching you today. They are clearly demonstrated in that frosty malt story and he didn't even know he was using them.
We are going to go to some degree of detail in each of these areas and some of them may really strike a cord with you. Some might not be for you....they might be for someone else. But I just ask you to sit tight because these 4 areas cover a very broad spectrum of possibilities. So once again we are going to cover 4 areas
1. Your current reality
2. Your vision
3. Your motivation
4. A world full of choices.
What is YOUR CURRENT REALITY? How does that apply to us as budding entrepreneurs? We simply need to look at where we are today and why we are there.
The kid in the Frosty malt story. He knew he didn't have the money. That was his CURRENT REALITY.
We are where we are usually because of self imposed limitations. We don't believe we can be anyone different or do anything different. We have been influenced by our parents, friends and family until we get out of high school. So we end up taking their advice and are today wherever we are.
Everyone tells us we need to go to school. We need to get a good job. We need to get a good retirement. Or we decide to start our own business and we need to work 90 hours a week just to make it go.
So Where are you today? Retired, working 70 hours a week, a stay at home parent, an executive, a blue collar worker? Do you have the amount of money you want to buy what you want? If you are you like most people you are trading time for dollars and that is your CURRENT REALITY. You believe the only way to get more money is to work harder and longer. I used to believe this. I used to work 70 hours a week. I did it for 19 years with my own computer business. I loved what I was doing but I hated that it took so much time. I missed out on a lot of life that now I wish I had had. But several years ago I found an easy to start business for $1000 where I could make more in a lot less than 70 hours a week.
Recession has definitely set in, creating a lot of problems in various industries all over the world. And the effects of recession are certainly inevitable, thereby prodding companies to keep their metric system in check. More importantly, there should then be a revamping of the scorecard so that the system itself would incorporate recession metrics. What would then be the logical step to take next would be to develop an efficient recession scorecard - especially in the arena of recruitment and selection.
There are just so many changes in the economy that companies all over the world cannot help but feel a bit lost at times. This is precisely why a scorecard filled with metrics that aptly deal with the effects of recession should be implemented. These changes also bring about fresh expectations amongst the business partners themselves as well as from the clients. Sometimes, these expectations are reasoned out, which us the ideal case. Most of the time, however, the expectations are not reasoned out nor thought out. Rather, these expectations are just based then on wishful thinking. This is a bit difficult to understand - only those who are attempting to meet staffing requirements and needs would understand this scenario better.
What makes this even worse is that over the last decade, there have been so many automation tools developed that can create and monitor metric systems to measure the performance of the company itself. The main assumption here is that as long as there is a metric system implemented, performance would still improve in spite of the onset of recession. As long as there are metrics implemented, then things would become easier because recruiting becomes easier as well, right? Wrong! This is the biggest mistake that you can ever make as a company because the metrics implemented here would no longer be as effective as they once were - before the onset of recession. The wisest choice would then be to develop a system of recession metrics altogether. If you have no idea how to go about this, then here are some commonly used metrics to deal with recession.
* Cost per Hire or CPH. This is actually one of the more dangerous metrics to use because of its very volatile nature. This is why it is recommended for this metric to be used just for creating budget plans and reviewing improvement of performance on an annual basis.
* Quality of Hire or QOH. This is actually a review of how the candidate matches the description of the available position. Of course, this metric is used after the completion of the hiring process. This is a very important metric when you want to determine if you are indeed hiring the right candidate for the right job.
* Time to Fill or TTF. This is actually the time it takes the Human Resource department to find the new employee - from the time the position was made available to the time the qualified employee starts work.
These are just some of the metrics that you should incorporate in your recession scorecard to deal with recruitment and selection. For more metrics, go ahead and search the web for more information.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sam_Miller
One of my business and personal philosophies is to always be learning something new. Learning a new skill opens my eyes to new possibilities, renews my curiosity, and heightens my joy of exploration and discovery. The challenges excite me and frighten me, taking me quickly out of my comfort zone.
Once out of my comfort zone, uncertainty creeps in. I wonder "can I do this?" I fight the pull my comfort zone exerts, urging me back to the safety of what I know. Gradually, I conquer the new skill and all its possibilities become clear and my comfort zone expands.
Lately, my pursuit of new skills has led me to fulfill an ancient dream, learning to play guitar. Learning guitar is a skill that will take anyone out of their comfort zone. For starters, pressing tender fingers on steel strings is painful. Practice too much and you end up with blisters. Those blisters complain when they are applied over and over to a computer keyboard. The simple act of typing becomes a punishment that probably is outlawed by the Geneva Convention.
Once the fingers become accustomed to pressing down on steel strings, another torture is added. That of twisting your fingers into unnatural positions to play chords. Some of these chords have been aptly named "Satan Chords" by my friend Sarah, a fellow sufferer. One such chord, the B minor had become a bête noir for me. Difficult to achieve but necessary for a number of my favorite songs.
Looking for an easy way out, I begged and pleaded with Chris Bannon, my guitar torturer, er, teacher, for a work around. Some other chord I could play instead that would work almost as well. I wanted the easy answer. Instead, he patiently showed me how to play the B minor chord again. Rats! Is there no escape?
The B minor chord backed me into a corner because it is one of the main chords for my all time favorite song. To learn the song, I had to learn the Satan Chord. So, I did. The "why" was big enough so I stretched my comfort zone (and my fingers) to accommodate the necessary chord.
To take my mind off the pain in my fingers, I thought about how small business owners often try to stay within their comfort zones in the day-to-day running of a business. They get stuck in the rut of "this is the way we've always done it." Making changes is inconvenient and sometimes frightening.
I hear things like "we don't need a website" from businesses that could clearly benefit from having one. Or, "I have to do everything because no one else can do it as well as I can." I even had a client who ran a professional practice who rented a second office so he could do the five years of tax returns he hadn't gotten done. His thinking was that it was too expensive to hire an accountant to do it. We all have blind spots.
The simple truth is that breaking out of our comfort zone involves effort and risk. We'll only do it if the "why" is powerful enough. For me, learning guitar had a big enough "why." It was a dream from childhood that I needed fulfilled. Learning a B minor chord had a big enough "why" because not knowing it meant I couldn't play my favorite song.
For the business owner, learning a new skill or trying a new marketing strategy or learning to delegate has to have a big enough "why" as well. If your goal is to get out of the office in time to have supper with your kids, then learning to delegate becomes an important enough goal to conquer. If your goal is to achieve a certain level of financial comfort, then the "why" becomes powerful enough to encourage you to try new strategies to reach that goal. Business as usual quickly loses its comfort if it can't get you from Point A to Point B. And in the process of leaving our comfort zones, we become better business owners (or guitar players). The personal growth leads to business growth. Each goal achieved leads us to the next larger goal in an ever expanding comfort zone.
Employee Separation is one of the very important and crucial function / process of HR Department. This process, if not handled in an efficient manner, can lead to various legal complications.
Let's understand the term employee. According to various definitions an employee can be defined as:
1. a worker who is hired to perform a job (wordnet.princeton.edu/Perl/webwn)
2. An individual who provides labor to a company or another person (en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Employees)
3. An individual who provides services for compensation to an employer and whose duties are under the control of the employer. (aspa.org/resources/res_news_glossary.htm)
An employee works for an employer and gets paid for his work and nothing else. The relation of an employer and employee has a beginning; they stay together for a while and then they separate. Beginning of the relation is called as recruitment process or talent acquisition that passes through selection phase and followed by induction. Staying together in the relation comprises the various phases such has performance management; career management; professional growth; development and etc. And the final stage of the relation is the separation.
Broadly speaking, in normal scenarios the separation between employer and employee can be due to any of the following three (this will be discussed in detail in subsequent paragraphs):
1) Resignation - Employee decides to leave the organization.
2) Termination - Employer decides to break the contract of employment.
3) Absconding - When the employee decides to leave the organization without tendering his resignation or following the proper process of separation.
Apart from the above mentioned, the relation between employer and employee can also be terminated during the lay-offs (Financial or economic crisis); during the process of mergers, acquisitions and take-over; or any other legal intervention by the state or central government.
Based on the type of employee that has been hired by the company, if local or an expatriate or a national of other country or if an employee is hired through outsourcing agencies, the process of separation and the documents involved in it also differs.
Later in this article we will discuss these things in more detail.
Types of Separation
Resignation - This is the most common way of separation. Employee leaves his job and employment with his employer to pursue better opportunities; a better position at a better compensation package in a branded company (or better known company) in a same city and country or in a different city or different country. So, an employee resigns for:
1) Better compensation and benefits
2) Higher position / level
3) Challenging role
4) To move from an unknown or lowly branded company to a highly branded and reputed company (Top 10 or 25 companies in the world etc)
5) For foreign or international assignments
Termination - Usually, this process is perceived negatively by employees. In termination, an employer uses his right to terminate the contract of an employment. There can be many reasons for an employer to terminate the contract of employment but some of the common reasons are:
5) Theft and etc
Absconding - This is one of the most unethical, unexpected and unprofessional way to terminate the contract of an employment. In this, on one fine day an employee decides not to go to work. He does not care to hand-over his stuff. In case an employee decides to abscond (or run-away), it becomes very important to understand his motives and intentions. Employees can abscond in either or all of the below mentioned circumstances / situations:
1) After stealing the confidential information or documents or database from the company.
2) If the intentions of an individual is to commit a crime.
3) If there is a work-pressure and stress and the individual is not able to cope-up with it (as it happens in call-centers, BPO and other high-stress industries).
4) If the employee has committed any crime outside the office and after working hours (such as murder or getting involved in terrorist activities or theft or any other civil crime).
5) Then, when priorities are different. Employee has asked for leave due to some urgency at his home (or might be he is trying to escape from his work responsibilities) and at the same time his team also needs him in the office and his leaves are not approved.
6) If he has got some exceptionally good opportunity that requires him to join immediately and he feels that the process of separation in his company is a bit too complicated. He assumes few things and do not really try to face the challenge.
7) Lastly, it is a personality issue. Employees that abscond have different personalities. They are low in confidence. They are too weak to face the reality and challenges of life. They feel that running away from the problem is as good as solving the problem. They are cowards to take the problems head-on.
The Process of Separation
Once an employee gives his resignation to the department head or the management, it is important for HR to schedule the first meeting with him. Preferably the meeting should be scheduled within 24 hours or else it will give an impression that "no one really cares". Being a neutral department, the meeting should be administrated by HR Manager (Employee Relations Manager) or anyone senior to him to understand the root cause of separation.
1. If the root cause is an issue with the reporting manager of an individual; or some conflict with a team-member or some other human issue, try to address the same with the concerned person.
2. If the reason for resignation is better opportunity or a higher position, explain to him the Performance Management System and Career Management System of the company. If possible, show him his performance records. Do not make any commitment that you might not be able to fulfill, such as, "we will give you a promotion in this appraisal" or "will send you overseas for an assignment" and etc and etc.
3. If an employee has given his resignation because he is getting a better compensation package, explain to him the grading system and compensation package of your company and also share with him the minimum possible increase that he might get in his next appraisal but do not give any hike immediately. You might be required to repeat this exercise after another couple of months. So, don't show any blood to the lion.
Any other reason of resignation, such as policies of the company, benefits, branding and positioning of the company, working hours and etc are beyond the preview and scope of this discussion with HR. Such issues cannot be changed to suit the needs, demands and requirements of one individual. However, if more employees are leaving the organization for one specific reason then the management should address the matter but this should not be done for one specific employee.
After the meeting give your feedback to the department head and advise him on whether to accept the resignation or not.
Once the resignation is accepted, issue the "letter of acceptance of resignation" to the concerned employee and inform the IT, Payroll and Finance Department.
Responsibility of the Department Head: Now, the department head needs to plan the process of handover of duties, projects and assignments to other member(s) in the team.
1. Let the departing employee complete all the tasks and assignments he has in hand.
2. Do not assign any new project or assignment to this employee.
3. If there is nothing to complete and proper hand-over is done, then relieve the employee as soon as possible.
It is a proven fact that once an employee decides to leave the organization and gives his resignation, they show less commitment, sincerity and dedication in their work. Hence, it is important to relieve them as soon as possible rather than them coming to the office and wasting the time of people who are dedicated to their work and resources of the company.
Responsibility of the HR Department:
HR, on the date of acceptance of resignation letter, should instruct the IT department to keep track on all the outgoing emails from the system of separating employee. All IT permissions and rights should be withdrawn from that employee and he should not be allowed to send any email to any other email ID except the office email ID's. He should not be allowed to copy or edit or delete any file from his system.
HR should ask the concerned employee to obtain no-due letter from all the concerned departments.
HR should calculate all the amount payable to that employee and the payment should be made on the last working day of the employee. On his last day, the company should also give him the relieving letter.
In case of expatriate employees
Even in the case of expatriate employees, the process will be the same except that the involved stake-holders will be more. An expatriate employee is a responsibility of employer and hence care should be taken to ensure that everything runs as smooth as possible, till the very last day of the employee in the organization. Therefore, in addition to various departments within the company, the HR should also inform:
1. the immigration office of the concerned country about the company's disassociation with the employee;
2. the banker, healthcare insurance provider, landlord and other service providers;
(This is to ensure that these stakeholders shall not disturb the company to recover any cost or loss due to its ex-expatriate employee.)
Termination can be challenged in the court of law. Hence, care must be taken to document all the incidents that have led to the termination of an employee.
In case of disciplinary action, the company should take care that the proper procedure is followed. Warnings (oral and written) were issued to the employee and the whole incident is properly documented.
In case of non-performance, the required documents must include:
a. Tasks given
b. Expected performance level
c. Evaluation criteria
d. Actual performance
f. Action required
Parties involved in the termination process include:
1) The Reporting Manager
2) The Department Head
3) The HR and / or
4) Any other senior member of the department
Once the decision is taken to terminate the contract of employment, the company should seize all the belongings of that employee - such as computer, drawer, access cards, laptop, ID Cards, files and etc.
Employee should be given the letter of termination clearly specifying the reasons of termination.
Based on the severity of the case, the company might decide to pay the employee for the notice period. For example, in case of non-performance he must be paid for the notice period but in case of any disciplinary action, theft or misconduct, he should not be. The entire amount due to him must be recovered.
In case of expatriate employees
1. Company should recover all the required documents.
2. Inform the immigration office of the concerned country about the company's disassociation with the employee. Company should also inform the banker, healthcare insurance provider, landlord and other service providers.
3. If possible, arrangements should be made to ensure that the terminated employee take the flight to his home country. This is to ensure that the concerned employee doesn't stay illegally in the country or commit any crime before leaving the country.
This is one of the most complicated ways of separation.
In case of local employee:
If the employee did not come to the office and nor did he informed about his whereabouts, try to contact him on his mobile phone.
If he is not answering his calls or his mobile phone is not working then try to call him on his residence number. Even if that is not working then speak to his friends in the office to assess the situation.
In case you are not able to get any information about the employee then assume that he has absconded. As per the employment laws in various countries, send him three official notices starting from the second day of his disappearance and send every subsequent notice after every three days. If there is no response from his side then strike-off his name from your payroll.
On the first day of his disappearance, confiscate his workplace, his computer, drawer etc. Take the help of Systems and Networking department to analyze all the emails that has been sent from his computer and to whom. Stop his salary immediately.
Seek legal help to recover your costs and /or any other items or products that has been issued to him, such as access cards, ID Cards, Laptop, Corporate Credit-card, House, Car etc, as applicable.
In case of Expatriate Employee
If the employee did not come to the office and nor did he informed about his whereabouts, try to contact him on his mobile phone or any other phone number as available in company records. If he is not answering his calls or his mobile phone is not working and also there is no response from his house, then speak to his friends in the office to assess the situation. Check, if the person is still in the country or he has already left. Stop his salary.
Report the matter to the police within 24 hours. Sudden disappearance can be interpreted in many ways, such as - any accident; he might have run-away from the country for any of the reason listed above; he might have stolen the confidential information from the company; or he might have got himself involved in any civil crime or criminal activity. For all reasons and for the safety of the company, it is important to report the matter to the police. Submit the copy of the police report to the Passport and Immigration Office of your country and also send the copy of the report to the Consulate or high-commission of the respective country. Also inform the banker, healthcare insurance provider, landlord and any other service providers of the concerned employee.
Seek legal help to recover your costs and /or any other items or products that has been issued to him, such as access cards, ID Cards, Laptop, Corporate Credit-card and etc, as may be applicable.
The processes described in this article are just the general outline that must be followed in case of any separation and not any industry or company specific processes. Based on the employment laws applicable in the countries that they are operating in, companies can choose to be more stringent or lenient in their approach. The process described here is more amicable and ethically correct.
Once an employee decides to resign and leave the organization, whatever you may do but he will leave; if not today then tomorrow. On the other hand, if the employer decides to terminate the contract, he might change his mind, provided the case against the employee is not very severe.
Absconding, as mentioned above is in itself is a crime; something that only coward people do; such people just give-up without even making an attempt. These people run away from the reality of life and from the challenges that life offers to get best out of you and to make you master.
As an employee whenever you decide to leave the company, do it in a more professional and acceptable manner.
As an employer, whenever you decide to terminate the contract of employment of any employee, make sure that you document all the incidents in a chronological manner and have in your possession, all the required evidences. Unfortunately, decision of resignation cannot be challenged in any court and it is considered as a right of an employee but decision of termination can be challenged.
Employee separation is a big process and does not involve unilateral decisions. Be accurate. Be professional.
It will be nice to get your feedback and comments on this article and also your suggestions as how one can improve these processes.
I am looking forward to hear from you.
You can not turn on today's news without hearing about the large numbers of employees losing their jobs on a daily basis. More and more companies are having to make tremendous cuts in staffing in order to stay afloat. So what about the employees who are left behind, what can you do to stimulate their full potential?
I have put together a few of ideas that are easy to do and virtually at no cost to your company.
1. A Pat On The Back
A pat on the back can go a long way. This is a great way to reward employees who do an outstanding job. You can then place a notice of the award in their employee file. Studies have shown that recognition is the most significant reward for employees and will prolong their loyalty to a company.
2. Dedicate A Piece Of The Office
Your employees are a vital component to the success of your company so why not remind them everyday. Dedicating pieces of office equipment with a small name plaque will make them feel valued and appreciated. When employees see their name displayed they become proud and thankful which they then share with their colleagues, friends and families for years to come.
3. Adopt An Official Office Mascot
Adopt a large stuffed animal mascot. Have a contest to select a name. Then each week the mascot is taken to a different department with a note from the previous team. This creates teamwork among different departments and also increases employee morale.
4. Go On A Field Trip
Take a short walk as a group outside of the office. This is a great way for employees to interact and get a bid of fresh air. You can even take different groups around the office to say hello to other departments. With more employees keeping to themselves at work, this is a great way to build employee interaction and create conversation.
5. Special Events
Share special employee moments with the team. This could be a new child in the family, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. It is always nice to show others that there is a lot that goes on outside of the work place. Make sure the employee is comfortable with everyone knowing before making any announcements.
6. A Picture Is Worth A 1000 Words
Ask your employees to bring in their baby pictures and place them on a collage in the break room. Have a contest in which employees try to identify them by placing their entries in a small box. The winner (s) can get a $5.00 gift card. This is a great way to demonstrate to employees your interest in their lives outside of work.
7. Plant A Tree
With more and more companies making an effort to go green why not join the cause. You can have each department plant a tree together which they can then watch grow everyday. This is a great way to demonstrate camaraderie and team spirit.
As you use these simple ideas you will notice that your employees will come to appreciate and value them. In these hard times a little can go a long way in helping keep your employees motivated and happy.
When you're new to booklet publishing, it's best to start small. Some expert advice suggests you should print 1,000 copies of your booklet. Still more expert advice tells you to invest heavily in advertising. In both cases this is a mistake. If you are unfortunate to fall victim to such bad advice, your pocket book will suffer the consequences and you'll have nothing but a box of booklets sitting in your closet for all your efforts.
Why Starting Small Makes Sense For Booklet Authors
Instead of printing 1,000 hard copies or investing in expensive advertising, what you need to do is test your booklet and your marketing skills so you can be sure you've got a winner. You want to know how your market will receive it, and which way is the best way to deliver it. And if you've never been involved in sales or marketing, it will take a little time for you to learn what you need to know. Even if you do have sales or marketing experience, you can't know how your product will be received by your specific market until you get out there and test your product.
Everyone makes mistakes when they are just starting out. If you've ever seen a small child just learning to walk, you've seen how many times they fall before they can finally keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going. But, that child doesn't give up. They do learn to walk, and it usually happens pretty fast.
Starting Small Helps Your Booklet Business Grow
The same is true for you when you begin your first booklet venture. Just like a little child, you will fall a few times. That's ok - as long as you don't get hurt in the process. By starting small with your booklet venture, you'll avoid getting hurt in the pocket book. You'll also avoid frustration because you won't feel like you're trying to move a mountain. And then, before you know it, you'll be able to keep your feet under you. You'll be able to stand your ground and keep going; and in time you'll grow your knowledge and therefore your business.
Starting small doesn't mean staying small. Rather, it is a way to avoid losses so you can grow. Starting small means starting smart.
Copyright 2009 Kim Hillman
Six time author Kim Hillman publishes the Writing For Riches With Booklets blog. If you're ready to jump-start your writing career, make more money and enjoy the success you've been dreaming of, get your FREE tips now at http://www.kimhillman.wordpress.com
Starting a company during an economic downturn doesn't have to be as challenging as you think. The key is to build your business with both current and future market conditions in mind. This means not only finding the right opportunity but organizing your operation to respond to changing environments.
Structuring for Flexibility
Businesses are finding a lot of opportunities in using third party services such as outsourced bookkeeping services rather than hiring internal employees. This keeps their operations lean, allowing them to add or remove services as needed without the difficulty associated with hiring and laying off employees.
Outsourced bookkeeping services gives these organizations access to experienced and capable financial professionals without a lengthy search for employees. Outsourcing saves the company money on employee benefits and training costs without limiting access to critical accounting services. Today's information technology allows the company to retain full control of and access to outsourced bookkeeping services while leaving the day-to-day details in the hands of qualified professionals.
Finding The Right Opportunity
Although certain products and services see downturns in a bad economy, there are others that see little change or even growth during times like these.
As the outsourced bookkeeping example shows, business to business opportunities do well in any economy. Business owners, particularly those who own new businesses, often need outside partners to strengthen their abilities in areas they may lack experience in. Businesses such as business coaching, business social networking and IT services may see an upswing.
Consumers still spend money, although they tend to be more careful about where their dollars go so businesses like discount stores do well. People still need luxury, maybe even more so when they are stressing about their jobs, so inexpensive indulgences such as nail salons often find customer numbers remain steady. Debt management services are an opportunity to help people on the brink of financial ruin brought about by a sudden layoff or depressed home values.
Consider The Long Term
Any successful business plan can't be just about today's market, whether it's a boom or a bust. A business that thrives today could be in trouble tomorrow if things change.
As an example, there is a great deal of interesting in alternative fuels and businesses in this industry are likely to do well over the next few years. However there was also great interest in alternative fuels during the gas shortages of the 1970s. As gas got cheap again, interest fell off and many of those companies weren't positioned to survive in the new market. Think about how your business is going to remain competitive as the world changes.
This applies to your business partnerships as well. Plan how you will continue to integrate functions such as outsourced bookkeeping services as your employment needs change. Find service providers with a solid history and a good future, partners who can grow and thrive as your own business does.
Small business growth can be achieved through strategic diversification. Why are many businesses not fully leveraging the advantages of diversification? Primarily because the business owners don't understand the benefits. Increasing profitability and business growth are the two drivers for diversification.
The advantages of diversification can include:
* Economies of scale: for example, in purchasing, in producing, in supplying;
* Minimizing sales peaks and valleys: for example, while one product's seasonality results in slow sales; the other product's seasonality results in high sales;
* Production capacity utilization: for example, if your production facility is under-utilized, then adding new products through a diversified strategy can help you fill production capacity;
* Overall efficiency improvement can be expected: through synergy efforts;
* Reduction of costs: by sharing resource costs amongst the diversified products, services or markets;
* Improved labor utilization: by being able to deploy your human resources in a more efficient work flow cycle;
* Increased opportunities and sales;
* Competitive advantage: by being able to bundle products or services together that provides unique value and unique differentiation.
There are three key diversification strategies: Concentric Diversification, Horizontal Diversification and Conglomerate Diversification.
1. Related diversification and/or concentric diversification. Related products or services, where sales, marketing, pricing, distribution, inventory and/or production can be shared. This works with closely related products or services, such as car sales, the extended warranty and the add-ons (e.g. upgraded stereo system, anti-theft devices, roof racks, etc.). Concentric diversification, where new products or services are added to the business to gain new customers.
2. Horizontal diversification. Adding new products and services to sell to existing customers and markets; the focus is on specific market segments. For example, the book seller who adds coffee services to the store.
3. Unrelated diversification and/or conglomerate diversification. Products or services that have no relationship to each other however through the addition of new products or services, the business spreads its risk. By diversifying into different products, services or markets, if one product is experiencing slow sales or a soft market than the unrelated product is more likely not to be experiencing the same issue. Conglomerate diversification is somewhat more than unrelated diversification; it is focused on acquiring competitors and growing through that process (with unrelated products and services).
The advantages of diversification in your small business are significant to business growth and success. Diversification can reduce your business risk and it can also maximize your opportunities by growing business operations while leveraging resources, materials, and fixed costs.
Diversification costs are typically funded through capital investment in your business. To invest effectively in diversification strategies you need to identify and focus on your expected outcomes and build business performance measures in place to assess successful strategies.
Some costs associated with diversification are new equipment, inventory, new systems, new staff, new distribution, new marketing programs, and more. Some of the benefits associated with diversification are improved productivity, improved workflow, improved customer services, labor and production cost savings, and more.
Your capital investment needs to leverage diversification, and vice versa. If you invest in new product development ensure that the integrated benefits results in an overall stronger unique value proposition. Develop business performance measures to ensure that your return on investment for diversification meets your expectations and supports your business.
Many businesses are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors. If you look around there are hundreds of competitors to your business just in your local area. So why should people buy from you and not your competition?
You could choose to compete on price ... but that is self-limiting as often you end up in a price spiral and cut dramatically into your profits. You could choose to compete on range ... but this means you are caught up in additional costs for stock or administration.
One of the most effective competition means is through service and one of the hallmarks of exceptional service is sharing your knowledge and expertise to make your customer's life easier.
If you have talented staff, they can personally share this knowledge with customers. But they can only serve one customer at a time. The more effective method is to capture this knowledge and to share it with multiple customers. That way, you are extending your service and reputation beyond just one person at a time (and beyond just one salesperson).
One way to do this is through creating a series of Fact Sheets for your business.
Fact Sheets can address:
* frequently asked questions,
* little known but useful facts about your product or service,
* instructions on how to best use the product or service,
* general information about your company and its ethos.
So how do you go about writing Fact Sheets for your business? Here are my top 10 tips:
1. Work out the basics first. Are they going to be electronic or hard copy? If hard copy how big are they going to be A4, brochure style or DL?
All your company Fact Sheets should look and feel the same to give a professional image and to reinforce your brand. Having an eye to design and layout also means you will know if you need 150, 250 or 500 words for your fact sheet.
2. Work out your intent. For each Fact Sheet you are writing, you need to work out why you are writing it. What feeling are you trying to share with your customer? What difference are you trying to make?
3. Brainstorm the key points. Every Fact Sheet has key messages, facts or information that need to be included. It helps to brainstorm the most important pieces of information so that you don't miss anything when you write. Ask your top salesman what are the most important features of the product or service, and jot down their replies.
4. Brainstorm the benefits. Once you have a list of dot points, go back and work out the benefits of each of the main features. So if you have an automatic outdoor umbrella that opens by pushing a remote control (feature) one benefit could be that you can quickly close the umbrella as soon as you see an approaching storm from the safety of your home.
5. Brainstorm the actions. Work out what you want the customer to do with the information once they have read it. Make sure you jot down a call to action, this could be as simple as "To order, call the office on XXXX-XXXX".
6. Write the content. Next, convert your dot points into smoothly flowing sentences taking into account all of your intentions, key points, features and benefits. It is great to break up the paragraphs with bullet points to help improve the readability of your document.
7. Remove the jargon. Ensure you go back over your content to remove jargon and complex language. Aim for about a Grade 6 reading level.
8. Add in headlines. Headlines and sub headlines make a difference. They help to keep people reading, grab attention and reinforce key points. Make sure each headline is as powerful as you can make it.
9. Get someone else to read it! It is easy to miss spelling mistakes, typos and places where you are not as clear as you could be. By getting someone else to read over your document they can help identify areas for clarification and improvement.
10. Distribute widely. When you have a content-rich, powerful and persuasive Fact Sheet for your business, be sure to share it with people. Include a copy on your website, send a copy with quotes or invoices, include it in your business magazine as a feature article, hand it to customers with their purchases and have them available at trade shows. The more widely you distribute your Fact Sheets, the more powerful your marketing becomes.
One of the biggest challenges when moving up the career ladder is knowing how to give up control of the 'detail', i.e. influence and decision making of technical subject matters. To some people, it's losing their edge - their very basis of power and expertise. This can be a big misconception, particularly by those people who are already feeling the pull towards management and leadership positions.
Have you been through this journey yourself?
Breaking out of this mindset can take a long time, yet it can be achieved by eventually realizing that having a strong understanding of the concepts of a subject, and how to make it sound sensible and accessible to the layman, is even more powerful. Our role must be able to influence people outside of our subject matter. Decisions of funding, risk management and acceptance of business cases are generally performed by other people in our organization, so it is these people that we must learn to appeal to and build relationships with.
There are seven steps to take that will take use through this journey from subject-matter expert into a manager.
1) Understand the overall concept and value of a subject,
2) Know how it fits into the big picture and the business environment,
3) Develop messages and models that articulate its value to our organization,
4) Learn how our subject matter impacts other departments in our organization,
5) And how it is influenced by the work of other departments,
6) Understand its costs to our organization and our customers, and
7) Learn how to describe it in simple, plain language
This is the most powerful application of a subject!
It takes a brave person to make these steps, and confidence is the key. We don't really leave our subject behind, rather, we learn how to make use of it in the wider business context and demonstrate its value to colleagues outside of our department. It is then that we can manage our subjects as a Manager.
Do your processes need to be improved? Here are seven time-tested signs:
1. Teamwork: The blame game. When something goes wrong, does it result in fingerpointing? If you have warring departments, you will never have a productive team. In one case, bickering between engineering and marketing departments brought about the closing of what had been a profitable division.
2. Customer Satisfaction: Are Tech Support and Customer Service drowning in calls? If your customers are complaining, they are NOT recommending you. Shipments that don't match the order, products that don't perform as expected, and instructions that can't be followed won't build your business.
3. Loss: Are things "falling through the cracks"? At a mortgage company, the mail clerk emptied the inter-office envelopes and tossed them up on the shelf. Months after a six-figure cashier's check went missing, another employee accidentally found the missing check in one of those envelopes.
4. Training: Training for new employees is too long. Weeks, or even months after the initial training, the not-so-new employee is still asking others how to do something. A new division of a large company used temporary employees as receptionists and file clerks. Most of the time, they lasted only a few days. As time went on, the file drawers got so messy that they could not be closed. Important papers were torn apart trying to retrieve them from the files. One 4-drawer files fell forward, injuring an employee. Seem impossible? It happened.
5. Costs: Costs are too high. Does it seem as if you can't compete? Are you thinking about off-shoring your operation? Will you find new employees who can immediately understand your mission, your objectives, and perform as you want? Labor is rarely the reason a company cannot be competitive. Waste is the issue - wasted time, wasted motion. In one company, a committed effort to reduce waste reduced the time to build their product from six weeks to 18 hours.
6. High Turnover: Losing employees? Issues between managers and employees? It's unlikely that anyone who works for you wakes up in the morning and says: "I think I will perform poorly today." The issue is more likely that they don't really know what is expected of them. Many years ago, I received a poor evaluation for appearance from a manager who was very stylish. She didn't think I wore enough makeup. Most often expectations are not that trivial, but they might not be known.
7. Inventory: Is it a nightmare for you to account for your inventory? Do you spend an unreasonable amount of time trying to reconcile records? In one small manufacturer's operation, there was a single shipping/receiving clerk. When a shipment came in, he had to go to the front office to get the paperwork. Because the trucker was on the clock and the clerk knew the paperwork could take a long time, he would sign and let the trucker go. As soon as the clerk left the area to get the paperwork, the teams with work waiting for parts would "loot" the incoming shipment. Much of the inventory never made it into the records.
Spell out expectations clearly, concisely, and completely and reap the benefits. Now is definitely the time to reduce costs and increase profits. It's time to build the base for success.
Even as many Companies are currently cutting back, and laying off their existing workforce, few employees work well just for money, even in these more difficult times. There has to be an element of job satisfaction, and well being in a Company.
Establishing a sense of well being with employees, could be the difference between a Company surviving, and thriving to closing its doors, and cutting back on existing staff. Here are Three ways to keep staff motivated, without having to increase human resources expenses:
1. Install a sense of reaching a common goal
If the target of your business is to survive, then this can be transferred in a positive way to your employees. Meetings will help, with all levels of Company personnel, and a common agreement could be made, that gives employees an opportunity to share the companies problems, and help solve them.
2. Award Innovation
The business climate has changed, and innovators are needed more now to create business, in a negative environment. Set up an ideas box, and award prizes for the most feasible ideas. Prizes could range from Restaurant vouchers, to a free Mobile phone, something an employee should appreciate.
3. Individual Awards
A simple certificate stating an employee has done a great job, can be more motivational than a cash bonus. It shows that the Company cares, and appreciates the effort employees make in your Business.
4. A Company Picnic/Barbacue
A change is as good as a rest, and some employees may be staying at home and getting depressed, affecting their performance at work. Organize a Company picnic/Barbacue, this installs a sense of togetherness, and fun.
Often simple ideas work, even in the most difficult of times, and within your workforce you could be surprised that someone could have the answer, that may save or even expand your business.
Brings you International Academic recognition for your previous academic, and life experience in the form of a degree.
When wrestling with the decision whether or not to install an attendance tracking system, a business owner's first question will invariably be, "how long it will take to recover the cost of my investment".
Estimates range from six months to one year, depending on many factors, including the size of the company, and how much or little information gathering they did prior to implementation.
Actual returns on the investment, after five years of use, can add up to an impressive two hundred and fifty to five hundred percent, due to increased efficiency. The very fact that attendance tracking is in place can give a company peace of mind when wading through complicated labor regulations. Just being able to comply with labor rules and regulations reduces fines and the risk of litigation.
Here are some very sound reasons as to why employee time clock and attendance tracking is a good thing for businesses large and small:
Tops on the list is that fact that payouts will be lessened due to fewer data entry errors. In other words human error will no longer be a factor.
Administration costs can be greatly reduced by implementing a self serve feature for your employees. Hours worked and breaks taken will no longer be an estimate or a guess. Workers themselves will be entering accurate information each time their fingerprint is scanned, or their personal access card is read.
With modern digital technology, actual paper time cards that require re-keying of stamped information into a separate payroll system, will be eliminated. Gone will be the associated storage costs and printing bills.
With tight controls over start times and end times, unauthorized leave will be reduced. Such things as paid time-off, vacation, and sick days can be controlled more efficiently, making manual tracking a thing of the past. Managers should be mangers, not data trackers. Imagine the saving that can be achieved, if a company could recover a half day, or even a whole day of unrecorded leave per year for every person in their employ.
Companies can even reduce the number of personnel they need in their payroll departments when calculations are done at the time data is collected rather than after. Payroll supervisors now will have the luxury of viewing entire pay periods prior to their close.
Attendance tracking systems can be programmed with the appropriate software so that hours worked, leave taken, and labor data can all be collected through time clocks, telephones, web browsers, or other input devices. Such flexibility becomes very important when a company has more than one location in a town or branch plants in other cities. Data can be input from almost anywhere.
While it is of the utmost importance to input data correctly, it is equally important that corrections to any given time period be easily rectified. Such things as variations in time worked, a simple keying error, an employee who forgot to punch in or out when coming in after hours, or a union contract that is renegotiated retroactively, are all examples of fairly common glitches that could throw an old manual record keeping system into chaos.
A small business can definitely gain a lot from using a self-storage facility rather than keeping old stocks inside an unused building or something similar. Starting out is always one of the hardest phases of running a small business, and the decision on whether to lease a self-storage facility or not remains a dilemma to some. Here are the best reasons why using a self-storage facility is beneficial towards small business proprietors:
* Close proximity with a storage facility spells convenience for struggling business owners because it saves a lot of time and money. There is no need to use your own attic, basement or garage.
* Extended access means that you can send and retrieve items easily without the unnecessary hassle of building your own indoor storeroom.
* Guarantees an added value to your investment: some storage facilities gives you free access to forklifts while others even offer packaging services that most businesses need. This is a handy bonus especially for budding businesses.
* Payment terms are usually monthly, so you do not have to worry about bulky yearly expenses. There are even some self-storage facilities that do not set a fixed price, they are allowing price negotiation if the need arises.
* Most storage facilities have no requirement for a large initial sum for renting a unit. If you will build your own space in your building, that could cost you a fortune.
* Discounts are frequently available depending on your intended usage. You will be able to save a lot of money whether it is short-term or long-term.
* It is highly cost-effective. By storing bulky items inside a storage unit, the space you saved in your place of business can be used to generate more income.
Small business owners do not need to worry about hiring guards to keep an eye on their business while they are away. With a self-storage facility, it is all taken care of. They are assured that the valuable stocks, documents and other items are stored in a safe place.
The use of a self-storage facility allows the business owner to think about long-term goals regarding their business. If they do not have a self-storage unit, they will need to compromise a lot of things including a perfectly designed business plan. But by renting a self-storage unit, no matter what track they take on their business, they still have the capability of altering the storage space they will use.
The American dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, or even the old adage of two cars in the garage and a chicken in every pot is often exemplified in the American small business. Too many people seem to focus on the ideal of "being your own boss" while overlooking one of the greatest benefits there is to owning your own business: financial independence. While it's true that not every small business owner will become independently wealthy, and it's also true that all of those late-night infomercials promising to make you a millionaire over night are promising more than they can deliver, it is entirely possible to achieve your financial goals and love what you do with a small business.
Whether you've always wanted to own your own business, or you're simply curious to see what it entails, the hardest part of starting up is inevitably finding the right small business loan. Small business startups can often be risky, and in an unstable economy, it may be harder than ever to secure a loan, particularly if you've never owned your own business before. There is, however, an alternative to the traditional small business startup that exists in the form of a small business franchise. The typical franchise is essentially a small business for sale where you (the franchisee) select the perfect business and then purchase the right to own and operate your own carbon copy of the business from the franchise headquarters (the franchisor). At first glance, it would be easy to assume that this is a step in the wrong direction, thinking that purchasing a franchise would only add more of a headache to the already difficult fundraising process, but in practice, it makes it much easier to acquire a loan, increases the likelihood that your business will survive and in many cases, a franchise will be cheaper than a similar non-franchise, small business startup.
We'll discuss how a franchise makes the small business process much easier throughout this article, but the actual process of acquiring a small business loan is best broken into three categories. Each one is a question that you must ask yourself, and the answers to these questions will not only help you to think through your small business and figure out exactly what you need from your lender, but it will also help you to build the framework that your business plan will hang on.
How Much Do I Need?
This is most likely the first question any lender will want to know from anyone looking to borrow money, and if you want to gain a vote of confidence from your lender, you will need to know all of the costs associated with the business. It's very easy to become short-sighted when asking how much you need, because the tendency is to think about what is the bare minimum needed to survive, rather than what is the best amount that will set you and your business up for a win. Typically, you will need to figure in startup costs (building lease, equipment, advertising, employee training, etc.) as well as the liquid capital that your business requires to operate for six months. This is because many businesses do not profit within the first six months, and if they do, the profits will generally go towards repaying the bank or investors, and not into your pockets. A franchise small business opportunity simplifies this process greatly by letting you know up-front all of the costs that you will incur as well as laying out the average costs for the business for the first six months so that all the work of asking "how much do I need" is done for you by the franchisor. For example, if you choose to open up a franchise with Famous Uncle Al's Hot Dogs, you may have a rough idea of what kind of location you'll need, but you will receive with your franchise packet a detailed list of all of the required equipment, signage and any other items you'll need to purchase in order to have a successful launch.
What Do I Need It For?
The loan process can be difficult for a first time small business owner for a number of reasons, but most often it comes down to the business plan. If you've never written a business plan, it can be very intimidating, but working through it and making it accurate and attractive to investors will be well worth the time. Your business plan should contain detailed information about the total costs involved with the business, projected income and, perhaps most importantly, similar businesses and what kind of track record they have had in your area. If you're not quite ready to craft your own business plan, consider that with a small business franchise, all of the work of writing the business plan is done for you ahead of time by the franchisor. Detailed analysis' of other franchises will also help you to land the loan you need, since with a franchise, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of small businesses all over the country that have shown great success with the exact same business plan.
Brow Art 23 is a perfect example of how a franchise can help you start your own small business. They offer a decidedly unique line of products and services including eyebrow threading, henna tattoos and permanent makeup. This is definitely a niche market business, so imagine the difficulty you would have trying to convince a bank to loan you the money for such a unique type of small business. Brow Art 23 has done the hard work for you by setting up their small business, proving that it is a viable and money making endeavor and then creating franchises that can get into this unique market with the backing and strong track record of a successful franchise.
How Long Do I Need It?
Finally, lenders will want to know your plan for repaying the loan. Although it would be nice if every small business was an instant success and you could pay back the loan in the first year, often times the lender will need a strict timeline for the repayment. This can be tough to nail down because there are so many variables associated with starting a small business that it will be hard to say with any confidence how quickly you will be able to pay back the loan. Once again, enter the small business franchise. Franchisors will be able to offer many comparable franchises in similar locations to yours, show how quickly they were able to become profitable and then set you up with a good idea of how quickly your business will be able to recoup. Snip-its Haid Cuts For Kids is a successful hair cut franchise with an angle that makes it a cut above the rest. This kid-focused business elaborately decorates the inside of the business to be fun and inviting to kids, which not only puts frightened children at ease, but also allows the small business to charge a premium for its experiential atmosphere. With several new franchisees in the last few years, Snip-its Haid Cuts For Kids will have a very realistic idea of when the business will become profitable, how long it will take to recoup and what kind of profits a franchisee can expect out of the business once the business loans are paid off.
Small businesses of any kind can be financially lucrative as well as personally rewarding, but the security and ease of a small business franchise is often more appealing to the average small business owner than the prospect of having to start everything from scratch. If you're looking to own your own small business without having to take such a large risk or having to re-invent the wheel when coming up with your business plan, take a look at the franchises mentioned above as well as the many other small business franchises available and you're sure to find one that suits you perfectly.
An HR management strategy can involve many wide ranging changes to the way a company is structured. Any change is usually instigated in an effort to improve conditions in the work place for all concerned. A worthwhile HR management strategy can achieve this easily, giving the company a definite advantage.
In essence, this involves a concentration and focus on the employed work force of the company. Part of the strategy will focus on attracting the recruitment of high quality staff members and the continued retention of those already employed by the company. This can ensure better productivity through better customer care and delivery.
Strategic policies may be implemented involving the reconsideration or indeed, the partial removal of company hierarchical structures. This leaves a company with less dependency on giving orders through commands and instructions, which usually leads to a "them and us" attitude among the work force. This can further lead to industrial disputes and ill-feeling between workers and management if there is any increase in tension.
When employees are awarded the respect of being invited to participate more in the company running, and when that is much more open and free, workers are much more likely to become engaged with the company. They will exhibit greater commitment to the company goals, feeling that they share the objectives, being an important and vital part of it all. When this happens, the HR management strategy becomes a definite success for everyone.
The implementation of a management strategy for the HR function that gives workers greater control and respect means that there is a much more cohesive team spirit within the work force. There is usually greater engagement where workers feel they are doing something worthwhile. They feel happier about themselves within the work place and they are much more willing to go that extra mile for the company if asked.
An HR management strategy that takes this approach should concentrate most on a senior management level. Statistics suggest that only one in five workers in large companies is engaged in their employment, and it is largely the attitudes of senior management that is responsible for this relatively low figure. This would appear to be an area where such a strategy can improve the statistics to a company's benefit. When a company has a higher than usual percentage of workers who are fully engaged in their work, there is much greater likelihood that the company will gain higher profits as a result.
Companies often restructure and reorganise in an attempt to lessen the strain of manager bureaucracy. The idea can be that a more entrepreneurial spirit can emerge and improve conditions from the top down. If this effort fails, as is often the case, the reasons are not always obvious. However, it is usually because only one thing was focussed on. There needs to be a strategic overview of the situation, taking in all perspectives. This is what a well thought out and properly implemented HR management strategy can do.
"The first thing you have to do is hire the right people." Have you ever heard that profound piece of advice? Of course you're going to hire the right people - if you know who the right people are. If that's the case, why isn't more time spent defining what the job requires of the right person as the first step in any talent selection?
If you Google the keyword phrase "hire the right people" you will get 76,000 responses. If you Google the keyword phrase "hire the best" you will get 872,000 responses. You will find the great majority of responses deal with ways to evaluate candidates. Lots of information on tools - checklists, questions, how to structure an interview, how to write a job description, recruiting practices, and so on. But very few of those 948,000 Google responses address the key question - How to define the best person for the job - the right person for the job - based on the job, not the applicant?
Most organizations focus on the technical benchmarks. education, experience, industry knowledge, certifications, level of accomplishment and contribution, recommendations - hard information of high value - fairly easily obtained. And so these technical benchmarks and the intuition of the interviewers become the basis for the selection decision.
But the benchmarks critical to success or failure are often treated with a few statements about working in teams, ability to communicate, listening skills, sense of humor, and so on. Hard to define, describe and agree on. So the benchmarks that make the difference in success and failure - ever more so the higher up in the organization the job is - remain only vaguely identified - certainly not agreed to by the interviewers. And that is the weak link in the selection process.
It doesn't have to be that way. The stakeholders of the job, the people that have done the job, the people to whom the job reports, the peers the job works with, all have knowledge of the Behaviors, Personal Skills, and Motivators that make the difference between success and failure. Getting that information in a form that could be used in selection has been a real challenge. But now there are tools and processes that can benchmark Behaviors, Motivators or Attitude and Personal Skills that those in the know feel are necessary for success. And those benchmarks can then be used in the selection process - to see how candidates measure up to the job, not to some measure of "good enough," or "best we could find." And let's face it, no person will bring the ideal profile to the job. The benchmarks can then be used to develop the person selected so they can be more successful, quicker.
Intuition is the force guiding most selection decisions. But intuition is influenced by many different inputs, as well as the biases created through life and work experience. By adding to intuition the benchmarks of Behavior, Personal Skills and Motivators, and the consistent application and comparison of those benchmarks to the selection process, intuition can be much more secure in its decisions. And that leads to commitment toward the person selected - and that's a good thing. The "throw them up against the wall and see if they stick" approach can be replaced with a commitment to success. And when that happens, turnover goes down, retention and productivity go up. And the right people for the job - the best people for the job - strengthen the organization.
With so much more talent available, it's the right time to examine selection practices to ensure the right people are being selected for the right jobs. It's tempting to hire the best people - whatever that means - out of a large talent pool. But it's critical to select the best talent matched to the right job for that talent.
The Six Sigma initiatives could run trouble in various ways. Thus, beware of the potential pitfalls.
Getting hooked on the numbers
Management could prove to be more of fascinating with the statistical measures which are with actual process. Management needs to realize that a better quality wouldn't come about by using any of those more sophisticated statistics.
Focusing on the cost
Do not use Six Sigma, is exclusively for attaining the cost reduction. Cost makes only one factor in equation, although it's very important. However, avoid the diseconomies and don't remain focussed on the cost factor which you overlooked the opportunities for adding customer value.
Ignoring culture of the change
The cultural element of Six Sigma is completely crucial. The employees should be convinced that they are in change of business. The people believing that the process improvement isn't their job then it could prove troublesome.
Ducking the root cause analysis
The Six Sigma could fail in case the team takes up sloppy approach to the analysis of root cause. Natural tendency is jumping from the identification of the problem to finding out solution to it, without addressing root cause. You might be successful at solving the symptom but chances are that you leave behind the disease completely unchecked.
Slip off the soft drinks - pay attention on the so-called "soft drinks" of the human interaction and communication. The great statistical measurements will not do a great deal in case the people lack on meeting the skills, unable to work together and unable to communicate with one another. Blaming completing the black belts - the designated, trained leaders of Six Sigma called as black belts could accelerate adoption of methods of the Six Sigma. However, there is a danger that complete responsibility of Six Sigma would be all dumped on the laps of black belts. Thus could prove to be a huge burden. Management needs to accept the ongoing involvement. The Six Sigma makes an excellent way for changing of organization presentations. As such, careful management is very much needed, as other change of initiative. To get maximum results from the participants, encouragement, participation, involvement and enthusiasm are very important,
The companies would tend on making mostly two classic mistakes while assembling of the dashboards. One of the two is collection of wrong data. Second classic mistake is collection of excess data. The data that is overloaded could be debilitating as the gathering of wrong kind of information. Image the data dashboard mile long. You certainly would wish to know exactly how quickly you would be going, yet need to take your eyes off the road and pore over dashboard for a couple of hours in order to look for right type of gauge - not quite a safe way for driving. One of the best approaches is measuring all those factors that matter actually to the customers. For being meaningful, the efficiency needs to lead, either directly or indirectly for greater satisfaction of the customers. Until and unless the process brings along desirable results from a customer's point.
You probably think that these two items, efficiency and credit crunch have little in common, but you would be wrong. Any downturn in the economy will put some businesses over the edge into insolvency but a sound business can, with some help, often capitalise on the opportunities available.
Here are a few ways to increase efficiency as well as saving money:
* Look at your expenditure on energy - you have been meaning to replace those tungsten light bulbs with the more efficient energy saving bulbs - do it now;
* Look at windows and doors - is there a draught coming through? - buy some draught excluders and you will save on heating;
* Get people to dress for winter - summer clothes are for summer;
* Get people to boil only enough water for hot drinks to serve immediate needs;
* Check the office thermostat - one degree down will save a considerable amount of money without freezing everyone;
* Look at your energy supplier - can you get a better deal?
* If you use a company car or your own car to visit customers, plan your route to minimise the distance and combine visits if possible;
There are other ways to increase efficiency:
These include working from home if possible, video conferencing instead of face to face meetings and better planning of schedules.
If cash-flow is a problem and your Bank won't help then ask your suppliers if you can extend your credit terms.
Order only what you need, buffer stocks are costly in terms of space used and cash tied up.
And finally get someone who is not involved in your business to review your systems. A consultant may cost you a few hundred pounds but may identify improvements that will help you through then tough times. Remember a good consultant will be able to advise you on best practice and will be up to date with the latest technology and methods.
ISO9001, the Quality Standard can guide you to accepted best practice
ISO14001, the Environmental Standard can help you reduce pollution and save energy.
There are many more efficiency savings but using just these few can have a significant effect on your business.