Sanity in the Workplace

December 14th, 2009 by admin

A day of back-to-back meetings is exhausting and overwhelming. Running from meeting to meeting, you leave an inbox full of unanswered emails.
Stop the madness by insisting on 50-minute meetings. What can be done in 60 minutes can easily be done in 50 with some focus and discipline.
Defy the default in your calendar and send meeting requests that end 10 minutes before the hour. This will allow you, and everyone else, to take a quick break, check email, and restore some sanity to your day.
For more information see Harvard Business Publishing at http://view.ed4.net/v/37G0/JP5FR/QYE1TD/JESAE1/

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Focus on Employee Current Skills

August 11th, 2009 by admin

Focus your employees on their strengths. Encourage them to do what they are best at. Most importantly, accept they have weaknesses. If one person isn’t good at a specific task, ask someone else to do that task instead. If you can’t take away that part of their job, help them improve enough so it doesn’t hinder their strengths. Depending on the task or skill that is needed it is possible to cross train or have the employee take a class or course to save time from taking another employee away from their duties. Wasted time is wasted money.

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Burnout

August 8th, 2009 by admin

Are you, your employees and managers feeling battered, unsettled and unhappy?
 
Workers are being asked to do so much more with less time to complete the tasks.  Many employees face the threats of their work hours being reduced, pay cuts, benefit cuts, or even layoffs.  These factors can contribute to employee burnout. How is your company struggling to maintain morale?  Is your company keeping employees motivated during one of the worst motivating times in recent history due to the financial crises across the world?
 
Despite these workplace distractions, you need your employees will remain productive. Are you keeping your managers focused on growing your business?  How do you keep doing business in such an unusual business climate?
 
The major key is to recognize the early warning signs of declining motivation and plummeting morale, then respond quickly with practical solutions to help your employees and your business bounce back. Have you thought of ways to succeed at this?
 
Employee loyalty is at an all time low and even if your workforce is loyal and motivated, how do you sustain it? Any qualified owner or manager will tell you that morale can crash from one month to the next.
 
How do great companies create strong morale and reap the benefits of breakthrough productivity, high product quality, world-class customer service and low turnover?

Is it primarily driven by market success? No.

 High salaries? No.

A single charismatic leader? No.

There is not a simple shortcut or solution to achieving high morale and avoiding burnout. And usually one person cannot always make it happen by themselves. Companies with fabulous morale do a whole lot of things right from the beginning. There are many simple tasks that can be done to keep your employees more content so that they perform a better outcome at their position. Lean thinking is not about just cutting expenses. What are you doing for your employees or even yourself to stay motivated if you are a one person company?

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What McDonald’s Can Teach Us About Financial Recovery

July 28th, 2009 by admin

I believe there are four important lessons that can be learned from the remarkable turnaround at McDonald’s.

1. How you grow matters as much as that you grow. The financial services industry would have benefitted from a focus on “growth by quality, not by quantity.” Clearly, the “growth at any cost” credo of some led to exactly that: any cost.

2. Changing your business model may not be needed, but belief in it is. Start by asking yourself what business you are in and whether customers still have a need for it. If they do, commit to it — fully. At McDonald’s, we knew that people still “deserved a break today” and we were willing to let go of all other initiatives (many of them very exciting) in order to demonstrate unwavering commitment to the core business.

3. None of us is as good as all of us. It’s the system, stupid! Understanding that you are leading a system, not a company or a person, is a critical insight if you want to successfully change something large. McDonald’s is extremely good at this. To some people (me included), it is a frustrating process. It takes time. It requires buy-in and plenty of patience and tolerance from everyone. It also requires adequate policing, oversight and incredibly detailed measurement systems. This is tedious work, and intimidating to those being measured. But it’s needed.

Large systems work best with a hard-wired operating system in the hub that enables innovation, entrepreneurship and decision-making in the nodes. The Internet would not have happened without HTML. Our country would not have prospered without the U.S. Constitution. But it is worth all the pain. And it must start with the humility that you are in the service of something larger than your own institution. As we say at BE-CAUSE — the company I founded — a purpose bigger than your product.

4. Plan your work, and work your plan. At McDonald’s we created a “plan to win.” Some would argue that it wasn’t perfect. Perhaps it wasn’t, but we decided that it was. And we haven’t looked back. Even through tragic circumstances — losing two CEOs in less than one year due to tragic deaths — the plan stayed intact and is still central today to the focus and alignment of the organization.

Information as per http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/cs/2009/07/what_mcdonalds_can_teach_us_ab.html?cm_mmc=npv-_-TOPICEMAIL-_-JUL_2009-_-STRATEGY2

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