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

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Steps To Cost Savings

November 15th, 2009 by admin

The trick to achieving tangible cost savings is to actively define your targets and commit to executing the appropriate tasks required to achieve the savings. Each initiative should be written down on paper, each task should have an assigned responsibility, and always make frequent progress status checks can create great results.

Follow these steps to develop a company cost savings initiative with your CFO and management team.
Create and hand out a template to each department head and schedule a department head meeting to discuss their recommendations.
Document the specific cost savings initiatives and assign responsibility to each task.
Include the following in a spreadsheet template starting with recording the current monthly expenses being incurred, project the savings you can achieve, determine whether the savings is or can be ongoing, project the annual savings opportunity, establish a completion date, determine the manager responsible for driving each initiative, if you don’t want higher taxes report, have a comment section for future status meetings, and finally schedule regular status meetings to monitor progress of each task and continue to encourage the entire management team to help each other in these initiatives.
Any company can benefit by having an ongoing cost savings initiative program. If you have a senior manager driving the process and all managers buy in to the potential your results will be better.

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Job Stress

October 24th, 2009 by admin

Fortune Magazine has listed ways to help deal with stress at work. When you or your employees are too stressed they do not perform as well. Low performance equals loss of income for the business.

1. Clearly articulate your expectations. “Managers are often unaware of how they are adding stress to people’s workday by being vague about what they want,” says Bright.

An example: A boss will announce, “Let’s have a meeting Friday to talk about cutting costs.” That sets the rumor mill abuzz (are more layoffs coming?) and leaves everyone uncertain about what, if anything, they can bring to the table.

“If you say instead, ‘Let’s have a meeting on Friday, and I’d like each person to bring two suggestions for how we can cut costs,’ that is a whole different message,” says Bright. “Just by being a little more specific, you let people know what’s expected and how they can succeed at it.”

2. At the end of each meeting, ask someone to sum up what’s been said and who is going to do what. “Knowing they may be called on to do the summing-up cuts down on people’s BlackBerry use during meetings,” says Bright. “But beyond that, too many meetings are just general discussions, where everybody rushes off at the end without a clear idea of what comes next.” No one can succeed at something if they don’t know what it is.

3. Put a cap on hours. “If you have someone who puts in 60 hours a week, then make that the limit,” says Bright. What good does that do? “In many offices, nothing is said about constantly increasing hours,” she explains. “So people just keep putting in longer and longer hours, not because they really have to, but because they are afraid not to.”

The result, as you may have noticed, is that staffers get exhausted and irritable, and the quality of their work takes a dive. By contrast, “if you let people know there is a limit, and you set that limit at the number of hours they’re already working, it makes an amazing difference.”

4. Schedule some downtime each week. “One of the things that has everyone so stressed is that they never get a chance to catch up,” says Bright. “If your email inbox is overflowing and your office is a mess because you haven’t had time to get organized, it makes that out-of-control feeling just that much worse.”

So try announcing that, say, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays is “get-it-done” time, during which no meetings will be held. Giving people permission to clear away the background noise of tasks left undone “can be an enormous stress reliever,” says Bright.

5. Help people set realistic priorities. “If you ask people for a list of their priorities, they usually have so many that it is obvious where their frustration is coming from,” Bright observes. “So you can help them set goals they can actually achieve. Again, it’s a way of creating successes and regaining some control.”

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