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Quality Quantified: Learning To Measure Your Employees

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article | Employee Metrics | Quality Quantified: Learning To Measure Your EmployeesNo two people will perform in exactly the same way when it comes to the work which they do. Some will be able to work for days on end, getting average results while they throw themselves into their work. Others, though, will find it easy to get excellent results, but won’t have the stamina to work for more than a few hours. As an employer, it is extremely important that you are aware of these strengths and weaknesses if you want to be able to leverage them correctly. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the best ways to measure your employees, assessing how well they are working for your business.

Peer-Reviews

While you will get a good insight into your business when you’re able to spend time with it, the people working for you will often have the best idea of how their team mates are getting on. When someone isn’t pulling their weight, for example, most offices will be well aware of it, and people won’t be very happy. Peer-reviews are a great way to overcome this. Once every six months or so, you should have your employees anonymously rate one another on different aspects of their work. In the end, you should be left with a range of interesting statistics.

Of course, when you’re relying on other people to give you information, you have to be wary of pettiness within your ranks. Some team members may simply dislike one another, resulting in negative feedback which doesn’t truly reflect their work. To overcome this, you should be looking for examples of bad feedback which seem to be unanimous, ensuring that you’re not going to pick on someone because other people have decided to be mean to them. This is only the start of your measuring, though.

Personal Development Plans

It can be very easy for people to slip into a pattern with their work when they aren’t pushed to do more with it. This leaves a lot of employees to let their skills become stagnant, and they will never be able to make their role more complicated. Personal development plans have been used by businesses for decades to track their employee’s performance throughout the year. Staying on top of something like this is absolutely crucial, and forgetting to give people their assessments will limit the success you are able to find from it.

This works by talking to your employee and outlining the areas in their work which need to be improved. You can agree on a target for them to reach, along with talking about the way that they will reach it. This works extremely well, as it gives your team the chance to understand how well they are doing, rather than simply working at a job which doesn’t give them any feedback. If you hold meetings with each team member every couple of months, you will quickly see their work start to get better, especially when your employees are young.

Customer Feedback

There are few people in the world who have an insight into your employee’s effectiveness than the customers they work with. Getting feedback from people like this isn’t always easy, but it will open the doors to some truly honest information, and this can be hard to get when you’re only working internally. You should only ever ask for feedback when a customer has had something done for them, like making a purchase or getting some product support, as this will ensure that they have their experience fresh on their mind.

Of course, though, you need to make this as easy as possible, or you could find yourself struggling to get people to fill in your forms. There are loads of companies out there with the tools to help you to collect feedback from your customers. By using a service like this, you will put your surveys into the hands of experienced professionals, ensuring that your customers always have the best experience. As time goes on, you will learn what you need to do to be able to handle jobs like this for yourself.

Digital Metrics

Nothing tells a better story about the success of your team than numbers. When people are working for you, it’s crucial that they have targets in place, and that you have a way to make sure that they are reaching their targets. In the case of a call center, each person on the phones will need to talk to a minimum amount of customers each day. Collecting this information is easy, and you can have your employees do it themselves by simply adding to a spreadsheet whenever they complete a piece of work.

Their Past Experience

When people are trying to get a job from you, they will always give you an idea of what they’ve done in the past. It’s fair to build your expectations for their work out of this, with those who have had very complicated jobs being able to overcome issues which other people won’t be able to face. It’s fair to judge people based on their past experiences, but you have to be careful not to take this too far. Employers will often make the mistake of pushing their best and brightest as hard as they can, leaving those who need motivation the most to struggle, and causing an imbalance of work in the office.

It can be hard to make sure that you’re getting what you pay for when you hire people. A lot of companies spend huge amounts of this area, giving each of their team members enough money to live on, while also paying for loads of other little features which come with them. As time goes on, this will get easier and easier, and you will get better at pushing people in the right direction. Of course, though, this work is very important, and this means that you will need to avoid letting it become too routine, as this will make it easy for employees to get around it.

How to Keep Your Business Sustainable

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Sustainable Business | How to Keep Your Business Sustainable No matter which industry you are running your business in, you will need to ensure that you are offering more value or lower costs than your competitors to protect your market share. At the same time, you have to protect your reputation and ensure that you are making long term plans, instead of simply focusing on surviving from one month to the next. There are certain areas you will have to pay attention to to guarantee sustainable growth in your business.

Keep Up with the Regulations

One of the main risks for your business is related to regulatory and legal changes. If you don’t stay on top of the latest law and have a legal expert to monitor the changes, you might face fines, or even have to close your business down. In case you run a business with a high environmental impact, you might consider installing a ground water monitoring system to ensure you are not putting communities at risk or breaking the law.

Increase Your Research and Development Budget

It might also be a good idea to do your research and invest in the latest technology, or you will be left behind by your competitors. Investing in improving your efficiency and productivity will help you create more value to your customers and maintain your reputation. From software to the latest tools, there are various areas you can spend your research and development budget on.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Sustainable Business | How to Keep Your Business Sustainable Delegate

If you are trying to control or even micromanage every process in your organization, you are going to get overwhelmed very soon. That is why you might want to create a plan to delegate some of the tasks, so you can focus on strategy development and other aspects of your business that will make a long term difference.

Nurture Your Talent

One of your most valuable talents apart from your reputation is the talent pool and your employees. If you look after them, you will be able to offer better quality services and products to your market, and reduce your recruitment and human resource costs. If you would like to run your business in the most effective way, you will have to nurture your talent and focus on organizational learning and knowledge sharing.

Keep an Eye on the Trends

It is absolutely crucial that you look into the future and spot the customer and market trends as soon as possible. Industries, technologies, and market trends change faster than ever before, and this means that you have to be a leader instead of a follower to win the game. Invest in business intelligence and market research, ask your current clients for feedback, and run trials before launching a new product.

There is a lot of talk about business sustainability these days. You might automatically think about green investments, but it actually means much more. Focus on your long term goals and the market trends, invest in new technologies and talent development, and you can remain competitive for decades to come.

How To Keep Personal Scandals Out of the Office

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Professional Career | How To Keep Personal Scandals Out of the OfficeYour personal life is personal, right? Not exactly. In fact, when it comes to your professional career, your personal life plays a critical role. Whether that role is positive or negative is up to you, and it is up to how well you manage both your personal and professional lives. Being calm and preparing in advance can help keep your personal life private. The last thing you want is a criminal charge to ruin your life – which it can, regardless of whether or not you were convicted or exonerated. By staying private and following this guide, you can maintain your professional career and move on.

How A Personal Scandal Can Affect Your Career

A personal scandal can severely impact your career. Businesses don’t want to risk the negative press of keeping you on, and will, therefore, cut their losses as soon as your name is out in the paper. It doesn’t matter if it is later found out that you had a rock-solid alibi or your charge was overturned, because to the media you are guilty. This can ruin a career and make it incredibly difficult to find work later on. Your record might be squeaky clean, but your name will always show up next to news articles with that DUI charge.

The worst part is that the more advanced you are in your career, the harder you can fall. The media loves a scandal, and if the CEO of a big company has any sort of black mark on their name, they will pounce, with or without confirmation. You can sue them afterward for defamation of character, yes, but it still won’t change the negative impacts this press will have on your career.

How to Keep a Personal Scandal Out of the Office

To keep a personal scandal out of the office, you need to take measures to prevent a fall out as soon as possible. To do this, you will want to:

1.Know Who to Turn to For Help

Knowing who to turn to for help can be incredibly useful. If you are charged with a DUI, for example, a professional from this DUI lawyer Philadelphia firm can help fight against the charge and at the very least work to keep your identity confidential.

2. Stay Offline as Much as Possible

Your online persona will affect your career. That is why it is always important to curate your personal presence with the knowledge that it could be used against you. An off-tone joke made five years ago could ruin your career today, so go through everything. Delete old accounts, old posts, and otherwise curate all social media to protect your reputation and digital security.

3. Don’t Feed the Fire

It might seem like a good idea to get on top of a story and talk to the press, but this is the wrong approach. The truth is, by giving them nothing to go on you are more likely to be passed on for a more exciting news story. Unless the case against you is a big news story, staying quiet and anonymous is a great way to keep your name, face, and story out of the press.

Everyone can have a run-in with the law. This doesn’t make you a bad person, nor does it make you guilty. What it can do however is ruin your career if you aren’t careful. Always take every charge seriously, whether or not you are 100% certain of your innocence.

How To Challenge Your Employees When You Are Away On Business

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article | Employee Management | How To Challenge Your Employees When You Are Away On Business Being a traveling business owner can have its difficulties sometimes. You may feel that your team just aren’t as productive as they might be when you’re not there to ensure that they are working hard, for example. If that is the case, what can you do?

Something you don’t want to do is to constantly have to check in on them. Not only does that make more work for you, particularly if you have important meetings and conferences to prepare for, but it also makes your employees feel uncomfortable; they will assume you don’t trust them to do their own jobs, and that might reduce productivity in itself. In the worst cases, your staff might even want to look elsewhere for work.

The best thing you can do is to ensure that your employees are engaged and challenged when you are not there. This will make them feel valued because you are trusting them to get more done, and it will give them plenty to occupy themselves with so that there will be nothing for you to worry about. Here are some of the ways they can be challenged when you are working away on business.

Ask For Feedback

Before you leave on your trip, make sure that you speak to your team, either as a group or individually, about what you want from them while you’re away. It’s essential that they know they can check in with you when they need to, even if you’re not in the office, and that you will check in with them too. Make sure they don’t feel pressured or uncomfortable about this – if you are checking in with everyone once a day, no one should feel that they are being singled out.

If possible, start these meetings with your staff before you go. You can arrange:

  • Weekly feedback sessions
  • One to one meetings
  • Weekly reviews

If you start off right at the beginning with this kind of culture of feedback and performance reviews, it won’t seem out of the ordinary if you continue to do it even when you’re working away from your usual location.

Ask your staff to prepare feedback for you so that you can understand what their frustrations are when you’re not there, and if you travel frequently, you can then ensure that the next time you go anywhere, it is better for everyone.

Give Them Harder Tasks

If your workers are doing the same things each and every day, they can easily become bored and frustrated. They might feel as though their job is going nowhere and that they should be looking to do something else with their lives. If you’re not there, that feeling can easily intensify, and you might find you have something of a rebellion to deal with once you get back.

In order to stop this from happening, add some harder tasks to the list of things that you would like to be done while you’re away. This will keep your employees interested and give them more of a challenge. They will feel as though you trust them to do something a little more difficult. Make it clear that you are there to help if they need assistance, otherwise, if the task is brand new and too challenging, you might still have problems. If you can’t be the one to offer assistance, delegate the task to someone else who will look after these issues ins your stead when you are traveling.

Make A Challenge List

In order to challenge your employees in a fun way, you can create a challenge list. This is a list of tasks that can be done at any time and in any order, and that are there to be picked up on once all the other work is done. If someone is particularly looking for an additional challenge, they can go to this list and choose something from it. The list can include anything from researching medical marijuana companies for your business to invest in, to looking up new ways of carrying out old jobs using innovative technology, to making a budget for the next advertising campaign.

The list should be available for all employees to take tasks from and to add tasks to as they think of them. Your job is to periodically check through the list and approve or remove the tasks that are there. The tasks should all be related to the company; there is no point in having anything on the list that isn’t going to benefit the business in the short or long term.

A list like this ensures there are always new challenges to look into, and could almost be seen as a reward for completing the usual tasks in a timely manner. If there is a slow week, or a gap between one project starting and another ending, this will also fill in the time and your employees won’t have a chance to become frustrated, bored, or discontented.

Train Them

No matter how much your employees already know, additional training will always be useful for them, and for you. Keeping your employees fully trained up will clearly benefit your business, but it will also show your team that you are looking out for them, and that you want the best for them. They will be able to do their current jobs more efficiently and with greater confidence, and they will also learn new skills that will benefit everyone within the business.

By offering training when you are away on business, you can provide a change of scenery to your employees, and guarantee that they will have learned something new by the time you return.

Make Your Goals Clear

Your employees may see you heading off for yet another meeting or conference in yet another town or city, or perhaps even a different country, and wonder what you are doing, and what benefit it really all is. Keep your employees engaged and focused by keeping them abreast of all the changes and updates within the company in a timely fashion. When you are going away, explain why – keep them involved. By making your ultimate goals for the business clear, and showing them how their own job can be a part of the end result, your employees will see the challenge ahead of them, and want to do their best with regards to meeting it.

3 Ways to Safeguard the Wellbeing and Productivity of Your Staff

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article | 3 Ways to Safeguard the Wellbeing and Productivity of Your Staff | Manage Staff
 
As a business owner, you will almost certainly come to the point of needing to manage staff — assuming you aren’t there already. Though many businesses are born as single-person startups in the solopreneur-spirit, growth invariably brings with it the need for outsourcing of responsibilities.

Of course, managing staff is not necessarily a straightforward and pain-free matter. Unscrupulous and demotivated workers can cost you money, and excessive gossip and office politics can sour the entire nature of your business and reduce teamwork and joint productivity.

Among the many requirements of good team management is the ability to safeguard the wellbeing and productivity of your staff. Here are a few strategy suggestions for doing just that.

Allow them a degree of flexibility in terms of working hours and physical location

It’s a fairly well-agreed-upon idea that employees tend to work better, and be more invested in the overall success and wellbeing of the company at large, when they feel that they are being treated with a degree of respect and consideration by their employers.

The traditional office dynamic of arriving at a certain time each day, and clocking off at a certain time each afternoon, is still very much in place as a rule, but is starting to soften significantly, with many businesses allowing for flexible hours and remote working arrangements.

Incentivise your customers to work more diligently, and enjoy their work more, by allowing them a degree of flexibility over their time and location. This could mean allowing them to clock off for the day whenever they want, as long as they meet their targets. Or it could mean allowing them to work from home for a couple of days a week.

Sponsor them for training and educational courses and programs

Investing in your employees via sending or sponsoring them for training and certifications not only helps to improve their professional portfolio, thereby enhancing their well-being, but it also makes them more directly useful for you, as their employer — that is, assuming you run your business in such a way that people don’t want to flee as soon as they have other options available.

It might be that you’re flush with resources and can sign some of your senior people up for an online MBA, or it might be that you see the benefit in putting the whole office through first aid training.

In any event, supporting your staff with this kind of training can be a great way of boosting wellbeing and productivity.

Find ways to grant your staff a greater sense of meaning during the day — such as by empowering them to work on some of their own projects, some of the time

In recent times, many high-flying companies have famously opted to give their staff a greater sense of meaning and freedom during the day, by allocating a certain amount of their working time to personal projects.

This has been particularly prevalent in the tech industry, with Google famously having followed such a policy. The upshot of doing this is that your staff feel that their own creative impulses are better represented by the company, and that they have more breathing room to do meaningful — not just obligatory — work.