Viewing by month: March 2013

Simple tips for productive team meetings

Are you having office meetings with your staff as regularly as you’d like? Regular team meetings can be a great way to establish rapport with employees, as well as help them stay motivated and on-task.


Ideally, team meetings will be structured to maximise the potential of everyone’s time. To this end, here are four simple tips to help you and your employees get the most out of team meetings:



1)      Meeting agendas: stepping into a meeting without a clearly defined plan may lead those in attendance to lose focus which can result in time wastage, oversights and general disinterest.  This is why a meeting agenda can potentially be such a beneficial tool; it may enable you to better structure discussions, tick off important points, and develop action plans for moving forward.


2)      Encourage your team to share ideas: collaborative interactions involving staff members may prove to be beneficial for both management and employees. Encouraging employees to submit business development ideas may function to make staff feel more valued, and could result in some fresh new ideas and perspectives being shared within the business.


3)      Encourage note-taking: it is always best to encourage staff to attend team meetings equipped with a pen and notepad.  Note-taking provides a tangible record of proceedings, and a point of reference to help employees remember and further crystalise the meeting’s key discussion points.


4)      Make meetings productive: it is important to consider that meetings can potentially turn into extended employee complaint sessions. While it is important to listen to the problems that your staff may have, you must also be able to recognise when discussions regarding serious or sensitive issues should be deferred to a private meeting.

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 15/03/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Management styles and their impact on your office

The way that you are perceived as a boss can have a direct impact on your relationships with staff and clients. Typically, a person’s management style can be assigned to one of five categories: authoritarian; self-sufficient; participative; compassionate; and passive. 



Examine whether or not your management approach aligns with the any of the below styles, and then consider the effects that your management style may have on your employees and overall business.


1)      Authoritarian – you lead by decree, which leaves little room for outside input. You’re typically organised and have a clearly defined plan that your employees must follow to the letter. Whilst this kind of leadership style can potentially work to organise and inspire staff, the lack of outside contribution from employees may lead to problems with staff morale;


2)      Self-sufficient – if you are a self-sufficient leader, you may find that you complete a lot of tasks by yourself and delegate very little to others. Be wary that if you are self sufficient leader, accountability for tasks may fall solely on you; you may also encounter periods where tasks accumulate and you become overwhelmed by work;


3)      Participative – your management style finds a balance between authoritarian and self-sufficient. You seek the opinions and suggestions of others before making decisions which enables your employees to see you as a “team player”. While this style can help to garner respect from your employees, it may also extend the length of decision making processes which could, in turn, have negative impacts on workplace productivity and efficiency.


4)      Compassionate – as well as productivity, you find yourself genuinely concerned with the wellbeing of your office. As such, your decisions are often made with the view to pleasing everyone. For a leader such as yourself, it is important to remember that agonising too much over a decision can end up pleasing no one. Compassion is important, but so too is decisiveness;


5)      Passive – You are hands-off because you’re confident in the abilities of your staff. As a result, your employees gain a sense of autonomy, trust and responsibility. Be careful, however, not to let allow staff waste time and take advantage of this passive approach. It’s important to also make sure that you’re employees are actually capable of doing the jobs that you’ve entrusted them with.


Each management style has a unique set of potential benefits and drawbacks. Given such, you may want to consider developing a management approach that integrates the best aspects of each style.

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 08/03/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Core HR concepts that all SMEs should consider

Human Resources (HR) is designed to manage the welfare of your office’s employees. HR can be managed by a department or a capable senior member of your team. A suggested approach would be to tailor the following HR concepts to your office’s needs: 

1) Workplace sensitivity: Whoever takes on a HR role will likely have to deal with awkward, emotional and/or delicate circumstances at one point or another. Ideally, your office’s HR responsibilities should therefore lie with someone who can handle difficult situations with sensitivity, confidentiality and tact. 

2) Flexibility: HR is about much more than recruitment and termination. Regardless of how you choose to implement HR strategies in your office, it is important to make sure that the person bestowed with HR responsibilities is able to juggle an array of tasks. The aim of any effective HR structure is to strike a pleasing balance between flexibility and workplace professionalism – especially in relation to employee requests and/or complaints; 

3) Managing complaints: in your approach to managing complaints, you should aim to ensure that your office develops solutions with employees, as opposed to imposing solutions on them. This requires the person dealing with HR complaints to actively listen and empower the complainant with a level of responsibility for the solutions subsequently implemented.

Ultimately, your office’s HR checkpoint should reflect above average levels of communication and organisation. The reality is that many smaller businesses don’t have the resources to be able to have an employee or department dedicated specifically to HR functions; however, the good news is that implementing HR structures needn’t be an overly complicated task. In fact, for smaller offices, a streamlined HR approach may prove to be more efficient and effective in the long run.

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 01/03/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories: