StrategyDriven Talent Management Article

How Digitization Can Boost Remote Working

When you are a remote worker embarking on your first freelance adventure, you will need to find ways of increasing your productivity and getting new clients quickly. Doing so means that you will be able to generate both your desired income and the portfolio of high quality of work that will make you instantly stand out as someone to watch. A key element to achieve this is that you will need to look into how to digitize your work effectively, and, in turn, reap the benefits from making the most of modern tech. This handy guide will give you insight into where to start.

Choosing your own work environment

One of the joys of freelancing is that it gives you the freedom to choose where you want to work, and of course, when you want to work. If you have your business digitized and set up online for clients to find you and your portfolio, then the sky is truly the limit for where you want to set up shop. A great idea is to consider using a co-working environment, like those at thebrew.co.uk, as this gives you a professional setting and a proper work base, rather than just sitting at your kitchen table trying to work through your commissions and projects.

Counting the money

Just because you are going to start working in a freelance capacity doesn’t mean that you necessarily have all the training and skills to keep on top of your earnings, costs, and taxes. When you are starting out on a new business venture such as this, the last thing you need is menial tasks getting in the way of your work and progress in the industry. A solution to this is to start using accounting software for freelance work. Using a cloud-based software means you can update your accounts anywhere you have an internet connection and your phone to hand. Another benefit is that accounting software will save you time that can be better spent earning money and talking with clients.

Showing off your portfolio

A final element to making your freelance career a success is getting your work in front of potential clients. The best way to this digitally is to learn how to make a small business website, where people can find you and commission work instantly. By converting your work into digital files, you can have your portfolio readily displayed on your own website, which will make it easier for people to see the kind of work you produce and be more likely to hire you for their next project. Uploading your work onto a digital platform will mean that, not only can people see how good your work is, but they will be able to see how much you have been commissioned for and infer how much professional experience you have. This information will put you on strong footing for getting customers.

Becoming a remote worker is a great way of changing your life for the better and using technology will only make this easier.

StrategyDriven Enterprises, LLC

StrategyDriven Enterprises, LLC

StrategyDriven is dedicated to providing executives and managers with the planning and execution advice, tools, and practices needed to create greater organizational alignment and accountability for the achievement of superior results.

We help our clients create and execute a clear, forward-looking strategy – translatable to the day-to-day activities of all organization members – that’s critical to their realizing success in today’s fast paced market environment. Not only does a compelling, well executed strategy align individuals to a common purpose, it ensures that purpose best serves the company’s mission.

The StrategyDriven website provides access to a wide array of best practice business planning and execution tools, streamlined process flows, how-to articles, example-rich podcasts, and customizable ready-to-use program management templates. Premium Members receive access to over 200 members-only articles, whitepapers, models, and tools and templates; providing an in-depth look into critical business performance areas; placing specific focus on the alignment of organizational standards, programs, and behaviors to the optimal achievement of mission goals. Sevian Business Program purchasers receive fully implementable business performance improvement processes out-of-the-box, enabling the acceleration of business growth and heightening of operational efficiency needed to significantly improve bottom line results.

Collectively, our products offer business leaders the opportunity to access the knowledge of a highly educated and experienced staff without the associated overhead expense.

At StrategyDriven, our seasoned business leaders deliver real-world strategic business planning and tactical execution best practice advice – a blending of workplace experience with sound research and academic principles – to business leaders who may not otherwise have access to these resources.

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StrategyDriven Talent Management Article

Workplace Mediations and Why They Can Benefit Your Business

Conflict and misunderstandings are natural parts of life, as these drive us to be better and to get to know ourselves and our peers. At the workplace, conflict and misunderstandings are discouraged as they can disrupt operations. When these happen and get resolved, however, these can result to much stronger and stable workplaces. Part of what ensures conflicts, disputes, and misunderstandings get resolved properly are mediators who specialize in workplace mediation. If you haven’t experienced this before, you might wonder – just what are workplace mediations and why they can benefit your business?

The Cost Of Conflict In Your Business

StrategyDriven Talent Management ArticleIt may help to start with a few statistics. In the 2008 CPP Global Human Capital Report, as much as 385-million working days are lost in paid hours every year because of workplace conflict. This amounts to as much as $359-billion when converted into paid hours. Not only that, but it appears conflict has become a consistent part of the workplace.

According to the same study, 85-percent of employees have to deal with conflict to some extent, with 29-percent of employees consider themselves dealing with it “constantly.” Employees and employers said 49-percent of conflict in the workplace is normally due to “warring egos,” with 34-percent as a result of stress of the office, and with 33-percent being caused by immense workload.

What’s perhaps more distressing is the reality that 25-percent of employees said these conflicts have had them see absences and sickness, with 9-percent actually seeing entire projects fail because of workplace conflict.

These can be alarming statistics if left under-controlled, and especially if it happens to your workplace. Meditation may actually be able to help address these concerns by providing an avenue for conflict to be resolved and managed properly.

Achieving Workplace Harmony: Mediation Works

StrategyDriven Talent Management ArticleWith the above, it may help to remember that workplaces are designed to help people make sure they’re capable of doing their tasks properly and to their most efficient ability. However, a worker’s nature as a person does mean business owners have to take into account their staff’s activity levels, personality, skill sets, and even emotions while working in your company. Having someone who understands how these things interplay and can effectively dismantle potential engagements that can disrupt the workplace can make workplaces much more efficient places to work in.

  • Get a qualified neutral party to aid and tackle the issue: Oftentimes there are mechanisms existing in the workplace that aren’t well-defined enough, or can’t be reinforced properly by members of the human resources department because they aren’t trained or might be too involved in the issue. Workplace mediators exist to provide a qualified neutral party to not just review HR policies in place to help resolve the conflict, but to even find much better ways to provide a solution to the workplace problem.
  • Maintain objectivity while tackling the problem: Workplace mediation is a good way to ensure objectivity still exists while discussing workplace conflict, especially with the parties involved. When mediators are involved in the process of mediation, they are oftentimes in the best position to look at things from an outsider’s point of view, as they won’t need to take sides in the issue. They can see past the unreasonableness of the conflict and find opportunities to provide common ground to the parties involved in the conflict.
  • Provide processes and mechanisms to reduce conflict and promote understanding: Workplace mediation is built in such a way that it can help conflicting parties not just find understanding amongst themselves, but also to reduce overall conflict. Being able to talk about their woes and exploring alternate perspectives allow themselves to not just understand themselves and others but also to find opportunities to avoid getting into these types of conflicts again in the first place.
  • Restore workplace relationships to proper order: When two (2) or more coworkers are in the middle of conflict, workplace relationships are definitely going to be strained. The physiological and emotional stress workplace conflicts bring can not only affect workplace performance but also the way the people involved see themselves and others. Workplace mediation can work on ways to restore these relationships to proper order – and as such can promote better functioning, order, and morale in the workplace.
  • Give a much better platform to comply with management directives: Unlike other forms of conflict resolution, workplace mediation reinforces compliance much better because parties involved will be able to form mutual agreements of understand that all parties agree to. This means agreements mediators help with won’t be about “doing this, not doing that” but rather discuss things both parties “agree to.” Compliance can be expected with much better accuracy if it’s been created by both parties.
  • Get you to work without worrying about impact on the front-end: Conflict in the workplace is perhaps the kind of conflict that affects people the most because not only is it involving two (2) parties inside the workplace, but also the customers. When two (2) coworkers don’t resolve their conflict properly, the customer gets to pay in the bottom line. This can be in the form of delayed service, poor product, or even poor quality of service. Workplace mediation allows your conflicting coworkers to be able to not only understand the nature of the conflict and find some resolution for it, but for them to be able to work together properly without consequences.
  • Resolve conflict in a much less expensive manner: A lot of times, people look to litigation as a means to resolve workplace conflict – however, it’s a much expensive and oftentimes too “final” approach to something that can be resolved in a much peaceful manner. Involving attorneys will most likely already cost the company around $300 for every hour – but mediators can just as well resolve the issue without making it feel as though people are picking sides. Mediation looks beyond questions like who’s right and wrong, or who wins and losses. Rather, workplace mediation looks for efficient ways to solve problems and at the same time improve the relationships of those involved.

The Takeaway: Meditations And Maintaining Workplace Harmony

When you hear the word “mediation,” you’ll most likely think of “fights” and “conflicts.” This is especially because mediators are perhaps most involved when they have to settle disputes and fights between parties of their clients. However, as with the above, workplace mediation functions more than just to “settle” fights and conflicts. In fact, workplace mediation is integral in order to make sure there’s always a means to provide a healthy and proper platform for discussion, especially of contentious topics such as workplace policies and rulings. Having a workplace mediation system in place, and conducting regular workplace mediations, can pave rise to a healthier and much more productive workplace.

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article

8 ways to increase employee productivity

Are you the proud owner of a successful business? Are you determined to run a profitable company, whilst providing a wonderful work environment for your employees? Do you struggle to strike the right balance between appreciating your workers and pushing them to do more? If your answer to these questions is yes, you will need to pay close attention to the following eight suggestions. They will help you to increase employee productivity at your company, without pushing your team members over the edge. It is possible to enjoy the best of both worlds, so what are you waiting for?

Improve your communication strategy

First and foremost, you will need to improve your communication strategy. It will be impossible for your employees to reach their maximum levels of productivity if they are struggling to connect. Your workers should find it incredibly easy to reach out to one another. They should also have no trouble getting in touch with potential or existing clients. If you are worried that this is not yet the case, you should learn more about Gamma Telecom. They will help you to take control of your company communications, so that all of your staff are left satisfied.

Update your company technology

The next suggestion is to update your company technology. Instead of forcing your workers to make do with outdated bits of kit, you should give them a helping hand. By investing in your technology, you will be saving your workers a lot of stress. You will also be taking away their excuse for lack of results. If your employees can blame poor results on a terrible internet connection or a faulty system, you will find it hard to hold them account. However, if your employees are working with the best technology money can buy, you will be able to identify any slackers.

Overhaul your office space

If you are left with more money to spare, you should consider overhauling your office space. This is a brilliant way for you to motivate, reward, and inspire your team. However, you should only make changes to your design scheme if you have total confidence in your choices. On the other hand, if you are unsure about what changes to make, you should call in an interior designer. A trained professional will help you to optimize even the smallest of spaces. They will also be able to direct you towards colors, shapes, and textures that are perfect for promoting productivity.

Give your employees regular breaks

Although it may seem counterproductive, giving your employees regular breaks is a great way to promote productivity. As a manager, you need to make sure that your workers aren’t running themselves into the ground. It is important that they have plenty of energy and enthusiasm to inject into their work. It is also important that they view you as a reasonable boss, as opposed to a hard taskmaster. Why not sit down with your workers to discuss their options? Perhaps they will prefer to take short breaks on a regular basis. Or, maybe they would rather take one long break over lunch. It might be that they would like to step outside your office space. Or, it could be that they want a social area to escape to. Involving your employees in the decision-making process will help you to settle on an outcome that works for everyone involved.

Adopt an open-door policy

You can also encourage positive suggestions from your employees by adopting an open-door policy. This is a great way for you to position yourself as a more approachable employer. It is also a fantastic opportunity for you to learn more about the productivity of your workers. If you are currently failing to meet your targets, you should ask your employees to come to you with suggestions. You should also ask them to look out for any potential problems that could be holding your office back.

Introduce a competitive element to your workspace

Once you have gained a deeper understanding of the way in which your company operates, you should think about introducing a competitive element to your workspace. This won’t work for all organizations, as some employees will resent the additional pressure. However, in other workspaces, a competitive element is the secret to success. Why not opt for a trial run? You could temporarily introduce an employee of the month program. This will look great on your worker’s resumes and could be taken into consideration if they apply for a promotion. Alternatively, you could experiment with giving your employees access to commission. Depending on the results, you will know whether or not to make this change a permanent one.

Introduce an exciting reward system

If you decide against introducing a competitive element to your workspace, you could always introduce a company-wide reward system. This will operate on the understanding that if one element of your business succeeds; everyone is rewarded. For instance, if you manage to hook a high-profile client, you could treat your workers to a meal out. Or, if you save money on one of your suppliers, you could give everyone in your office the afternoon off. These rewards will be at your discretion, so it is vital that you weigh up the pros and cons each time. Yes, you want to please your employees, but you don’t want this to be at the expense of your levels of productivity or your financial security.

Ask for feedback

Even after you have implemented all of these positive changes, it is still possible that your workers will be looking for more. The only way that you will find this out is if you ask for regular feedback. When you are working so hard to do the right thing, it can be tough to take constructive criticism. However, in the long-run, it is the best chance you have of maintaining a great relationship with your employees. You can’t put a price on productivity, so it is essential that you get the answers you need.

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article

How Time and Attendance Software Can Help Business Owners and Their Employees

StrategyDriven Talent Management ArticleWhat is time and attendance software?

At the lowest resolution time and attendance software is a system that requires employees to manually clock in and out of shifts.

Businesses use it, so they can optimize the hours their employees work and pay them more accurately.

Is it micromanaging?

It is reasonable to assume requiring workers to manually clock in and out of shifts and breaks can send the message their manager doesn’t trust them enough to report the hours they work accurately.

Some managers are hesitant to use time and attendance software because they fear their employees will resent them.

In industries like hospitality and retail where turnover is especially high managers don’t want to give their employees another reason to leave.

Ironically, it’s in industries where workers are paid hourly like hospitality and retail where time and attendance software would prove most useful.

The fact is time and attendance software is so much more than just a system for employees to clock in and out of shifts and the successful implementation of it lies in managers making this clear to employees.

Benefits to managers

Time and attendance software ensures staff only get paid for the time they actually work, by recording when they clock in and out of shifts, thereby eliminating the guesswork and grey areas associated with using manual time sheets.

Additionally managers get real time alerts when staff are late or have not taken required breaks.

The reporting capabilities of time and attendance allow managers to see which of their employees work the most overtime and which of them are routinely late to start their shifts.

Managers also have visibility of early clock-ins and late clock-outs, instances of over & under scheduling, and which employees have taken more than their allocated breaks.

Time and attendance software provides managers with insight they can use to iron out inefficiencies in their business.

Compliance

Given managers know when their staff clock in and out, time and attendance software like OpenSimSim allows employers to set up compliance rulesets to protect their businesses and themselves from workplace legislation.

Compliance rulesets can be set up to ensure staff don’t work too much overtime, take their legally required breaks and get paid accordingly for working overtime, weekends, and public holidays.

Managers have visibility over their compliance warnings so they can stop them before they happen and stay out of legal trouble.

How employees can get in on the action

The benefits of time and attendance software are certainly not lost on employees.

As the reporting aspect of time and attendance software gives managers full visibility of their labor force in real time, employees that are punctual are more likely to be recognized and rewarded for it.

In this same way time and attendance software also guards against employees being over and under scheduled as employers will be able to see if this is the case and work to fix it.

Another foreseeable benefit to employees is the potential for data collected by time and attendance software to be used to create a resume, especially useful for people moving between jobs which require similar skills.

Time and attendance software offers detailed reports of employee punctuality and experience in a given role down to the minute.

These reports can be used by job seekers to prove their and experience and value to future employers in a concrete, verifiable way instead of relying on the vagueness and inherent unreliability of a resume like others.

Final words

There are a lot of time and attendance solutions out there and picking the right one can be tough but the benefits for employers and employees are clear.

It is however important that employees see it as welcome addition, and this can be achieved by managers taking a little time to explain to them what it is and how it will benefit the business before introducing it.