Viewing by month: February 2013

Inspiration in the workplace

From a business owner’s perspective, the ability to inspire staff is essential to maximising business productivity and success. Through focussing on bringing inspiration into the workplace, owners can potentially spur greater levels of employee development, contribution, performance and satisfaction. 

Here are four key tips to keep in mind when aiming to inspire employees:

1. It starts with you: it is important to remember that inspiration often starts at the top of a hierarchy before trickling down to the foundations. As such, it is important for business owners to lead with inspirational actions and behaviours as opposed to expecting that their employees will simply inspire themselves; 

2. Inspire the group and the individual: a business owner should look to inspire employees on group and individual levels. A suggested approach is to try and identify a series of shared inspirations and/or motivating factors among employees, and then structure management approaches around these factors. Striking the right balance between managing employees on a group and individual level can help to make managers seem more accessible, and employees feel more valued;

3. Constructive criticism is essential: the manner in which a business owner addresses mistakes can work to either discourage or inspire their employees; an overly critical response may inhibit an employee’s efforts and deter them from asking questions. As such, it is always best to employ a constructive approach that not only addresses the issue directly at hand, but aims to prevent the problem from reoccurring in the future;

4. Develop career paths: do your employees know where they’re going? If staff don’t have an idea about where they want to be in the next five years, it may be difficult to guide and inspire them; without goals, direction and focus can be harder to gain. It is therefore important to help employees define their career goals and paths, and develop strategies to help them achieve such. 

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 22/02/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Tips for team building

Team building exercises are widely thought to be a beneficial tool when it comes to helping staff members realise their potential. When implemented effectively, these exercises can work to have positive impacts across a number of different business facets. Such benefits may include improvements to staff morale, leadership skills, organisational productivity and problem solving skills.

Here are three simple exercises that business owners can use to bring their employees together:

1. Group lunches and/or after-work gatherings: regular luncheons and/or after-work gatherings can be a great way to strengthen existing team relationships and help develop new ones. These activities give employees an opportunity to relax in an informal setting and connect with each other in out-of-office contexts; 

2. Office trivia nights: you may want to consider hosting an office trivia night to test the knowledge of your employees. A trivia evening is completely customisable and easily tailored to a business’ needs. One or two rounds of ‘guess that song?’, a real estate knowledge round (perhaps relevant to your local market) and a prize at the end of the evening, will likely result in an entertaining, informative and unifying team experience;

3. Volunteering for charity: many organisations offer opportunities for business groups to participate in charity events around their local communities. Participation in these types of initiatives can function to not only make employees feel good about themselves, but also bring team members together through a common aim of doing something good for the community.

A series of well executed team building exercises will, more often than not, help to foster a stronger team spirit with the office. A smart leader will harness this spirit to not only create a more enjoyable working environment, but to enhance their agents’ interpersonal and communication skills.

1 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 14/02/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Gap analysis – an important tool for business owners

As a business owner, you should consistently be asking yourself two questions: Where is my business now? And where do I want it to be in the future?

The first question can be answered by applying a number of processes to tally your business’ expenditure (this is usually your accountant’s job). The second question may, however, be a little more difficult to assess as it requires sound management and execution techniques.

As an owner carrying out this task, you should attempt to measure your business’ potential performance against its actual performance. A gap analysis aims to assist this process through helping you to identify different ways for allocating resources in order to maximise efficiencies as well as highlight areas for improvement.

A gap analysis is not only aimed at helping your franchise reach its potential, it is also designed to help you stay in touch with your business – something that no franchisee can afford to neglect. It is similar to the practice of benchmarking, whereby a business measures its performance against industry leaders.

However, unlike benchmarking, which typically examines quality, time and cost, a gap analysis aims to examine time, money and human resources. It is a holistic approach to breaking down business practices, functioning to provide not only internal statistics, but figures relating to the crucial supply/demand gap.

When to administer a gap analysis depends heavily on your ability to fully commit yourself and your team to the task (earlier in the year can have its advantages, though). Choose a time that’s right for your team that doesn’t distract from important work; after all, any changes affected through the evaluation will have to undergo a transitional process.

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 01/02/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories: