Business Management Information

Why Employees Are the Best Source of Cost-cutting Ideas

Cost cutting has become a necessary and important reality in the modern corporate world. Yet many executives do not realize that their people are actually the best source of cost reduction ideas.

The Rise of Corporate Chair Massages

Employers have rapidly begun to understand the importance of stress relief in the workplace. Stress free employees have a higher retention rate and higher rates of productivity. It is no wonder, given these facts, that many corporations have been encouraging chair massages in the workplace.

Squeezing the Blood Out of that Old Turnip

I suspect all of you out there have someone that you rely on for insight and perspective ? that wise old mentor that seems to have an unlimited depth of experience to draw from in helping you navigate life?s little challenges. You know, those little parables and anecdotal tales that always relate perfectly that very problem you?re trying to solve. Today, I go to that well of experience in responding to a problem I know many of you are facing right now- squeezing that last drop of improvement that never fails to elude us.

Lawyers With 2 Hands And Everything Else

I heard this back a few years ago. The boss yelled, "Get me a good lawyer but not the one with two hands!"

OJT - On The Job Training


Behavioral Interview Questions You Can Use Monday Morning

If past behavior is the best way to determine future behavior then behavioral interviewing is a requirement for anyone serious about hiring top talent. This skill isn?t something that should be taken lightly, but everyone?s got to start somewhere. Keep in mind that you?re looking for specific examples rather than vague descriptions. A good communicator can dance around the question and sound very convincing if you don?t insist that they give specifics. Here are a few questions that I have found to predict the future behavior of some of the most critical personality traits.

CEOs Are Great, Top CEOs Are Greater

People in leading positions are often in a dilemma: on one hand they are supposed to give great performances, make the right decisions and so forth; on the other hand, they have to fill the role of a very confident and self-assured manager. This may be considered a dilemma because CEOs are expected to be almost supernatural, and asking for assistance in what is supposed to be their core competence (leadership!) simply does not fit the picture, no matter how necessary it may be.

Create Your Dashboard for Success

Driving down the road our eyes frequently scan the vital instruments on the dashboard that monitor speed, fuel level, coolant temperature, and oil pressure. The modern vehicle also has many more devices that constantly monitor various systems for fuel mixture, exhaust gasses, timing adjustment and others. If there is something amiss, sensors trigger the ?check-engine? light. As long as the instruments register within their normal range the ?check-engine? light stays off and we drive along confidently that we will reach our destination safely and without problems.

The Compliance Officers Killer Application

It used to be that only the largest multi-nationals needed a Compliance Officer. Today most practices, regardless of size, would be wise to charge someone within their organisation with the responsibility of keeping abreast and managing the compliance process.Take as an example European employment law that has been introduced over the last few years that has changed the face of European businesses. Small businesses in particular are finding that a casual and informal approach to employment issues can now result in statutory fines that have no bearing on the financial health of the individual company and could, without as much as a by your leave, directly result in the demise of a company.Small to medium businesses do not often have the luxury of employing a full time Compliance Officer and although larger organisations can afford a dedicated person they are finding that with compliance issues mushrooming the Compliance Officer now has a team, a department and if not already, how long before compliance becomes a division? Regardless of size, the first step in compliance for any organisation requires them to identify the areas of compliance that are applicable to them. Rules and regulations are being introduced monthly on a local, regional, national and international level, covering everything from data protection and freedom of information, anti-money laundering to environmental waste control, race relations to health and safety; with ignorance being no defence there is a requirement on the individual businesses to know their responsibilities, and fines for those that wait to be told. Having identified the areas of compliance the company then needs to understand what they need to do to ensure they comply. It is becoming conceivable that with the shear volume of compliancy issues that companies who can show a good faith effort in complying will, even when they fall short, reduce the risks of fines.Having identified and understood the compliance issues the Compliance Officer needs to define and implement policy and disseminate the information throughout the organisation.It is important for the Compliance Officer that they do not inadvertently become the company's patsy. Senior managers are not averse to ignoring the internal memos they receive advising them of their responsibilities. Compliance Officers need to deliver their messages up and down the corporate food chain and record that their advice and directives have been received and more importantly understood.The Compliance Officer has to avoid becoming the company scapegoat. This won't happen by itself, a sales team that has a long history of success though a relaxed attitude to selling is not going to willingly adopt new, and what they will see as restrictive, practices without a fight. 'I didn't get the memo', 'I didn't understand it', 'I thought it meant something else', 'I thought these were only guidelines' are likely to be stock replies, along with the one or two old timers that didn't think compliance issues applied to them. It used to be a safe bet to blame IT, blame Compliance is rapidly taking its place.One valuable tool in the Compliance Officer's tool box is the online survey and questionnaire.The online survey can deliver a message internally to the individual; it can be informative like a memo and educational by referencing detailed policy. Importantly it can become a valuable self registering record that confirms that the information has been properly disseminated and understood.A single survey question can achieve all these objectives at the same time.Take an example:-Are you aware that section 45 of the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003 imposes an obligation on directors of certain companies to prepare statements on their company's compliance with its relevant obligations? (Click here for a summary of Company's Policy on Compliance Reporting Obligations)YesNoFor those Directors that have not read the policy the survey will give an opportunity to view the company's policy online (using an embedded live HTML link). Should Directors answer 'No' the Compliance Officer knows who to target.The survey also records the manager's response and shifts the responsibility away from the Compliance Officer to the individual manager where the responsibility needs rest for a company to meet its compliance obligations.Using an online website such where multiple surveys can be managed, easily modified, updated and re-issued on a periodic basis across an organisation online surveys can be the Compliance Officer's killer application.Through the regular use of online surveys the Compliance Officer will be in the driving seat, leading and not chasing compliance issues, not only circulating the information on a one to one basis but also monitoring and recording the level of awareness throughout the organisation.The Compliance Officer's role is a difficult one, like a parent keeping a wayward child on the straight and narrow, most employers, let alone their employees, often do not fully understand the true consequence of their, often innocent, minor discretions. Assigning a Compliance Officer is a start but enabling them to fulfil their remit will be the difference between a company being fully compliant and one that risks suffering the consequences for having let compliance take a back seat.

Think Time... Its Now Or Never

I recently read an article published in the June, 2005 issue of Fast Co. magazine. Linda Tischler wrote an essay entitled ?Death to the Cubicle!? In it, she says ?Collaboration is great, but sometimes I?d kill for a door.?

Managing YOUR Expectations

I sit on the board of an organization and at the last meeting found myself speaking with another board member named Standolyn Robertson. Standolyn is also a business owner and our conversation was about managing expectations ? both ours and our clients. She said something that is very true--?It is about using our knowledge and expertise to foresee and side-step roadblocks, revise unrealistic timelines and debunk myths.? And I couldn?t agree more.

A Checklist for Organized Executives

I could begin this article by providing a checklist of organizing techniques for you to incorporate into your daily work routine. The goal would be to become and remain organized, improve your time management and reduce your stress while increasing your productivity. This checklist could include items such as managing incoming information, keeping the desktop free of clutter, creating a user-friendly filing system, etc. And I suspect there are many other organizing and time management consultants out there who could provide something similar. But I want to share a different type of list with you.

Out of Control?

There are papers on the floor, across the desk and resting on the keyboard. Piles of files are all around. Magazines, newspapers?you name it. Just about anything can be found in this office. You've seen it in your own organization. You know what I am talking about.

Create Your Methodology Based on a Standard Framework - Part One

OK. So you have decided that your organization has to improve the way in which it works. You have chosen to implement a methodology as the best way to achieve this goal. And now you ask yourself, where do I start? Whatever the discipline you are trying to model (from software development to supply chain management), it is highly probable that a standard framework exists, that can serve as the basis for your own methodology.

Parenting Your Employees to Better Performance

Have you ever worked for someone who was such a micro-manager that it drove you crazy? And have you ever worked for someone who was so hands-off that you felt like a lone warrior on the battlefield? These are examples of you working for leaders who did not adapt their style based on the employee?s needs. I would venture to guess that you were not entirely motivated to put out your very best effort every time when you were feeling such frustrations.

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