Browsing articles tagged with "employee Archives -"

Tribunal Reforms Win Business Backing

Feb 5, 2011   //   by paulgreen   //   SME News  //  No Comments

Business groups have welcomed proposed government reforms to employment tribunals, saying soaring claims from employees have hampered growth and become too costly for companies to handle.

Business secretary Vince Cable says the changes will ‘debunk the myth’ that employment is geared toward the employee over the interests of the employer.

According to the Department of Business, tribunal claims rose to 236,000 last year – a record figure and a rise of 56 per cent on 2009 – and a business has to spend almost £4,000 on average to defend itself against a claim.

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How To Win Over People

Aug 18, 2010   //   by paulgreen   //   All Articles, Leadership  //  No Comments

You have a great idea that will increase revenue and improve profits, but you have a challenge on how to win over people. There will be the typical naysayers who will be able say exactly why it will not work. There may be supporters but can they overcome the negativity of the naysayers?

There are ways on how to win over people to help implement your great idea despite the negativity of naysayers.

Often people get carried away by a small group of people who are typically very supportive of initiatives that are rolled out. These people do not need winning over.

On the other hand, there are the naysayers who typically know all the reasons why an initiative will fail and are resistant to management initiatives. These people can really drain your enthusiasm and energy if you let their negativity get to you.

The good news is that you do not have to focus on the naysayers! The more you focus on them, the greater the power you are allowing this group.

Other than the supporters and the naysayers, there are a whole bunch of people, who form the greater number of your employees. The technique is to focus on these people.

They are neutral and with the right presentation of the initiative and the benefits it will bring to the organization, this group of people can be won over to help you implement the initiative. Remember to make sure you include benefits to the individuals to motivate them in making it a success.

Of course, the supporters will be a great help in moving this forward. Once the resistors see the rest of the organization supporting the initiative, there is little else they can do but to join in. If they really feel opposed to the idea, they may leave. That, however, may be better for the organization.

While the group of people to focus on is a key part of the technique, it is crucial that the leader is mentally tough. This is a key ingredient in winning over people.

Mental toughness is the ability to remain internally focused, relaxed, determined and confident in the face of the external stress that you will face. You need to be able to perform at your peak even under pressure.

Be mentally tough. Be determined and persevere against whatever objections and the related stress that comes with it.

This is possible if you are convinced that the initiative you are planning has been thought through and thorough. Your sheer belief that it can succeed will give you the motivation and the mental strength to see it through.

In driving the initiative, it is best to work on things that you have full or at least limited control. It is also important to let go of things that you cannot change.

Another point to note will be not to create any more resistance than is necessary by controlling every aspect. While you provide guidance for delegated tasks, make sure that you give enough freedom.

If there is any resistance, do not take it personally. The resistance is targeted at the initiative or the extra work that needs to be done.

If it is against the initiative, take this as a good sign as people are actually giving thought to it. Take some time to study this and you might get some valuable feedback that will help you improve on the initiative.

Resistance to the extra work and needing to learn new things is normal in any organization when change happens. Just go about your normal steps in managing change.

Consider these factors when you next think about how to win over people for the next initiative or project that you want to launch.

via UK Business Advisors Ltd | UKBA – How To Win Over People.

Optimise Employee Training and Development

Aug 18, 2010   //   by paulgreen   //   All Articles  //  1 Comment

With cost cutting being a common occurrence in business, it is important to optimise employee training and  development to ensure that both the organisation and the employee can get the best returns.

Employee development is too crucial to the success of the organisation to be sacrificed. However, there also are not unlimited funds for employees to attend every training that may be deemed useful.

A proper program needs to be in place to identify important training stints required to ensure money is well spent. It will also be necessary to fit in the training programs within the work schedule of the employees so that work is not disrupted.

The best way to do this is by having an employee development program on an annual basis. The key steps in this program should be as follows:

1. Employee Self Assessment

The first step is for the employees to do a self-assessment of the kind of development required. The assessment will be based on the person’s job scope and performance plan for the year.

Based on this, the employee can review both internal and external training programs and identify those best suited. In addition to this, opportunities to work in specific projects should also be included.

The employee should also consider the future role and function that he or she aspires for. The intent is to share this future plan with the manager so that they can also plan for the employee’s future aspirations. All these should be documented in a self-assessment form.

2. Document The Employee  Development Plan

The manager will meet each of the people reporting to him individually, to go through the completed assessment form by the employee. This provides the manager with an opportunity to review and provide feedback on the employee’s plan.

The manager also has the opportunity to suggest other training programs that the employee may not be aware of. This includes opportunities to work with another team as part of skill development, as the manager probably has a broader view of the organisational activities.

In cases where the number of training days exceeds the guidance provided by the organisation, it will be necessary to prioritise the training programs.

This whole exercise provides the  manager with an overview of the training cost. The employees will be able to identify the training programs that are already scheduled and block it off in their calendars, so that they can plan their work activities around this. While this helps, there might be times when the employee may have to forego some of the training due to work pressures.

Feedback should also be provided on the employee’s future plans. Knowing this helps the manager in two ways. In the immediate future, he could arrange for the employee to be assigned to some other project or team to gain experience and exposure on his or her desired future role.

The significance of this is also in the fact that this request can be noted down, so that when such a role becomes available, the employee can be recommended for it.

An employee development planning form should be used to document the training and development plan details. An action plan should be included with planned dates for the training and subsequent reviews of the plan.

3. Periodic Reviews

An employee development plan can be effective only if it is regularly reviewed to ensure that the planned actions are being done or changed as required.

Even if the plan is done with the best of intentions, the daily activities take over and unless these reviews are done, the development activities will not get the priority that they should get. The employee development plan should be reviewed quarterly or at least every four months.

It may sound like a laborious task, but doing these steps streamlines the employee development exercise. The employees also feel that the organisation cares for them.

The best way to do this is to block off these activities in your calendar right at the beginning of the year. Your other activities should be worked around these. However, if you need to miss one of these due to some good reasons, then make sure you reschedule.

Well-planned and executed employee training and development brings benefits to both the organisation and the employee. This, in turn, will benefit your customers who ultimately decide the continued success of the organisation

via UK Business Advisors Ltd | UKBA – Articles: Operations & Resources – Optimise Employee Training and Development.

Effective Training Techniques through Employee Involvement

Aug 18, 2010   //   by paulgreen   //   All Articles  //  No Comments

Employee involvement is key to effective employee training. Employees attending training are preoccupied with their own thoughts and problems. Some are willing to learn and some are not. There are those who are open to new ideas and others who resist. How can you get them involved so that they can take ownership of their own learning during the training?

1. Put Yourself In The Learners’ Shoes

When delivering training, there is course content to be covered. While this is important, priority has to be given to the fact that the learners are able to receive your content.

What better way than to put yourself into the learners’ shoes and ask yourself a few questions that these learners have when attending training:

What is this session about?

Will it be of use to me?

How can I apply this to the real world?

What motivates me to attend this session?

Is the content delivered in an easy and simple way?

Are different teaching methods involved or is it a boring lecture?

Answering these questions to yourself will help you better prepare to deliver effective training.

2. Assessing Learner Needs

Checking out on learner needs is  essential to get learner involvement. This task could be difficult due to time, budget or information constraints. However, it is important and some kind of assessment will make a difference.

Some points for investigating learner needs are as follows:

How many participants will be attending the session?

What are their current job responsibilities?

What are their skill levels as applicable to the training subject?

Is attendance voluntary or mandatory?

How will the training affect their current or future job responsibilities?

If this investigation is not possible before the training session, then when the session starts, it is a good idea to request the participants to introduce themselves and to mention what they would like to achieve from the training session.

3. Communicate With Your Learners

Communicating the objectives and program outline to the course attendees before the session will help them prepare for the training. Properly written, this communication can also be used to motivate the learners such that they will have a positive outlook towards the training.

If this is not done for some reason, then it is important that this be done at the start of the training.

Communication is two ways. Therefore, feedback from the learners must be somehow incorporated into the training.

This is extra work. It will be much easier to just deliver the content as is, but the purpose of the training is to enable the learner via effective training, not just delivering content.

4. Switch On The Learners

However well you may be prepared to deliver the session, if the learners are not switched on, the training will not be very effective. Switched on learners will be ready to receive content, which means there is a need to conduct activities to achieve this.    Switching on activities include creative opening exercises that develop positive first impressions, which are crucial to gaining learner commitment. These warm up activities are learner-centred and content-relevant.

The intent is to get learner involvement and for the trainer to develop relationships with the learners. These are not the same as icebreakers, which are usually used to entertain and energise learners.

When people arrive at the training venue, they are probably still preoccupied with their own problems and thoughts. The warm up exercises will also be a means of addressing this.

Employee training can be made effective with some extra effort in getting their involvement and hence ownership for the training.

You will find that the extra work pays off because you will find the session much more satisfying and feedback from the attendees will be positive.

via UK Business Advisors Ltd | UKBA – Articles: Operations & Resources – Effective Training Techniques through Employee Involvement.

Creating A Positive Work Environment

Aug 18, 2010   //   by paulgreen   //   All Articles, Leadership  //  No Comments

Creating a positive work environment is crucial to the success of any organization. In the current challenging times, less people need to do more or the same amount of work for the organization to stay ahead. What are the strategies that an organization can apply to create a positive work environment?

1. Plan Effectively

While it is important to do a lot of research and study reports for planning purposes, effective planning should include the people involved in implementing the plan.

There are things that these people are aware of that can make a difference to the plan. Aside from that, there will be a better understanding of the plan and a sense of ownership when it is time to act on the plan.

2. Change Where Change Is Needed

Change is something that cannot be avoided. Either you change with the times or you get left behind.

It is necessary to be aware of customer needs, changes in the economy and trends in the industry to be aware of the changes. However, make changes where it is needed and not just for the sake of changing.

3. Groom Your People

Your people are crucial to the success of your business.

Groom your people to develop skills as well as attitudes and behavior required to take your business from where it is to where you want it to be.

4. Encourage Dissent

Do not be afraid of dissent. If all your employees agreed with everything, you may not become aware of changes that are happening to your customer base or in the industry. Focus will be narrow and based on conventional ideas.

Allow dissent that will generate new ideas and actions that will enhance your business.

5. Foster Leadership

You need more than management personnel to run the business. Thinking like a leader is a mindset that needs to be developed in every employee.

Every single person be it from sales, support or administration can also contribute creativity and responsibility to the roles they play.

6. Move Quickly

Change is happening so fast that it is necessary to make your move quickly. While it is important to think through your decisions, there are changes to which response has to be fast to stay ahead of competition.

7. Be Customer Oriented

Ultimately, it is your customers who keep you in business.

Be aware of your customers’ needs and wants. When they provide feedback on your products and services or require support, listen and take appropriate action.

If there are complaints, handle them. Be glad that they remain your customers despite the complaint. A complaint well-handled will get you a happier customer.

8. Take Action

While having ideas and strategies are great, a difference is made only when action is taken.

It is necessary to study and research whatever decisions you make. However, remember that often you may not get all the information you would like to have to make the decision.

Make your best judgment call and take the required action to make the decisions work out well.

Creating a positive work environment may be about environment and comfort. More importantly, it is the passion that you create within the organization by bringing people together to deliver a vision.

via UK Business Advisors Ltd | UKBA – Creating A Positive Work Environment.

Keeping Your Employees Motivated

Aug 18, 2010   //   by paulgreen   //   All Articles  //  1 Comment

Keeping your employees motivated with high morale is the most important function of a manager. This article provides a list of actions that can be taken to keep employees producing for the success of the organisation.

The first three suggestions are related to the physical characteristics of the work place:

1. Make sure that the work place is clean and well-lighted.

2. Give employees the proper equipment (furniture, computers, machinery) to perform their jobs efficiently and comfortably.

3. Design the work flow such that there are few bottle-necks and downtime.

The following are suggestions for keeping employees’ morale high:

1. Reward employees with the highest rank and status justified by their aptitude, performance, and contribution to the success of the organisation.

2. Provide salary and wages based on the employees’ performance and value to your organisation.

3. Provide a meaningful annual review which includes recognition for work accomplishments and an honest assessment of areas where the employee could improve.

4. Give employees effective feedback on their work, including giving reasons for work assignments, the assignments contribution to the organisation, and how the assignment contributes to the success of the organisation.

5. Delegate as much authority to employees as they can handle effectively.

6. Provide positive incentives rather than negative incentives.

Consider the following actions related to communicating effectively with your employees:

1. Listen to employees–really listen.

2. Allow employees to air their grievances–even if they reflect on your perceptions of your own performance.

3. Give credit for actions, ideas, and suggestions for improvement to operations. (Never take credit for actions or ideas of your employees.)

4. organise your operations so that everyone can make a contribution by offering suggestions for improvement. Consider all suggestions seriously. If you find that the suggestion can’t be implemented, give a full reason for not adopting it.

5. Show a genuine interest in each employee without becoming a bore.

Now that you’ve been presented with a series of actions that you can take to improve the morale and motivation of your employees, here’s one more important point to remember:

Each manager comes into the job with a set of attitudes and behaviors that have developed over a period of years. In most cases a new manager needs to take stock of his or her attitudes and behaviors that might not be effective as a manager.

Most new manager don’t take the time (or even realise that they need) to assess their skills related to being an effective manager.

Let the list above serve as a checklist of areas where you need to make improvements to be successful as a manager.

via UK Business Advisors Ltd | UKBA – Keeping Your Employees Motivated.

The Importance of Performance Reviews

Aug 18, 2010   //   by paulgreen   //   All Articles  //  1 Comment

If you employ people in your business, you’re going to be faced with a number of tricky management issues – dealing with tardiness, sick leave, and keeping your staff motivated.

Performance reviews can be useful for motivating employees, but only if they are accurate. An inaccurate review, which fails to recognize the employee’s value to the organization, can be worse than no review at all.

If a performance review fails to take note of an employee’s shortcomings, it won’t be taken seriously.

If an employee consistently performs poorly, it’s vital to document this, as well as any corrective action that is taken.

Your staff may be genuinely unaware that their performance in some areas is poor (or exceptional!), unless you tell them.

Most employers conduct performance reviews annually, in order to decide on salary increases and bonuses. Since performance reviews should build on previous reviews, it’s better to conduct them more regularly – every 4 months is a good frequency.

Employees thrive on feedback, and regular performance reviews provide a consistent framework for providing positive reinforcement.

Under-performing employees can also benefit. Regular reviews can identify weak performance areas, and allow you to set clear goals and expectations, and to coach and mentor the employee to improve their performance.

Objectivity is vital. You need to  concentrate on measuring performance, and not on quirks of personality.

The performance review should relate directly to the employee’s job profile – your employees do have job profiles, or job descriptions, don’t they? The job profile should identify the Key Performance Areas for the job.

For instance, some Key Performance Areas for a receptionist might be:

answer incoming calls within 3 rings

take messages accurately and pass them on quickly

type at a rate of 25 words a minute

The more measurable a Key Performance Area, the better. Some other measurable Key Performance Areas include:

number of sick days

number of absent days

number of instances of tardiness

number of customer complaints

number of customer compliments

number of co-worker complaints

Of course, you would have to keep accurate records of all of these, in the employee’s personal file.

You should prepare a performance review form for each employee, which lists the Key Performance Areas for the job, and provides a matrix for you to record the performance in each area.

For example, you might rate the employee’s performance in each Key Performance Area against a scale of ‘Poor, Satisfactory, Good, Very Good, Excellent’

Performance reviews should be a collaborative process – as far as possible, the employee should agree with your assessment .

via UK Business Advisors Ltd | UKBA – Articles: Operations & Resources – The Importance of Performance Reviews.

The Bottom Line On Satisfied Employees

Aug 18, 2010   //   by paulgreen   //   All Articles  //  No Comments

The success of an organization does not solely depend on management but on the work of its employees as well. An employee that enjoys his or her position and feels rewarded by their efforts will ultimately be the most successful in their careers and the most beneficial to the company.

There is nothing like being around happy, satisfied employees who bring their optimism and productivity to the organization. These are the employees who are the most attentive to the needs of the customer and strive to go that extra mile to be the most helpful.

A positive attitude is contagious and can change the attitude of every staff member around. However, just as a positive mindset is easily spread, so is a negative one. If a member of the team is unhappy, watch out! His or her negative attitude can become infectious – contaminating fellow co-worker and customers alike.

Pessimistic employees can breed an atmosphere of low morale which equals decreased productivity, employee turnover, and unproductive time spent gossiping and complaining among co-workers.

In order to combat negativity in the  work place, it is essential that employees receive ongoing motivation from management to perform their work to the best of their abilities. Regular contact with employees is necessary to show that you care about their contributions.


5 Ways Great Managers Improve Employee Performance

Aug 18, 2010   //   by paulgreen   //   All Articles  //  No Comments

It may appear that all great managers know the secret to improving an employees performance. But what these managers know is no secret at all: everything you ever needed to know about enhancing the productivity of your employees is actually contained in a few simple techniques that are guaranteed to increase the efficiency of your business.

5 Things That Every Great Manager Knows

These five things are not profit margin, gains, losses, tax deductions, or assets – but instead are the human factors of management.

You cannot put a price or value on the factors that drive an employees performance. This is because most people remain with an employer because of the quality and satisfaction derived from a rewarding and balanced workplace.

Great managers recognize and respect this “x factor” of the business world and work to improve it with these simple tips.

1. Motivation

Every employee is unique; therefore the motivation to perform better will be different for each person. Identify the motivator for each employee and provide opportunities that encourage their interest and performance.

2. Setting Goals

Make sure you have a vision for how you want your business to operate now and in the future. Communicate your vision to your employees so that they are directing their energies toward a common goal. They will feel like they are a part of the business and this will enhance performance.

3. Praise

Take advantage of big and small opportunities to praise your employees for work well done. Your recognition of their performance means a lot and it is important that you acknowledge their efforts.

4. Feedback

Be lavish with praise but selfish with criticisms -but do offer kind words of constructive feedback that makes your employees feel respected and valued.

5. Management

Be available as a resource to your employees. They should feel comfortable to approach you with questions and concerns and not feel as if they are imposing on your time. They should be able to depend upon you for guidance and as a model of what excellent performance is all about.

A Last Word…

As you can see, there is no one secret to improving the performance level of employees. You can start today with these simple tips that are easy to implement into the everyday workings of your business. After all, your employees and business deserve anything and everything that will help them flourish and continue to grow.

via UK Business Advisors Ltd | UKBA – Articles: Operations & Resources – 5 Ways Great Managers Improve Employee Performance.

Steps To Take To Reduce Risk Of Being Sued For Stress At Work

Aug 11, 2010   //   by paulgreen   //   Resources  //  No Comments

What steps can employers take to reduce the risk of being sued by employees alleging “stress at work”?

Stress at work is  complex and wide-ranging, touching on many aspects of employment and personal injury law.

Claims arise either:

  • under the law of personal injury (in negligence) or,
  • under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (PHA) or,
  • alternatively for constructive dismissal and/or discrimination.

All could be raised from the same facts, although an employee cannot sue both in negligence and unfair dismissal unless the circumstances leading to the injury are independent of the facts relating to the dismissal.

Many employers feel “under siege” from all the rights that employees have. They should note that the law is not kindly disposed towards employees in this area. Stress at work claims are difficult and expensive for employees to pursue successfully.

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