Viewing by month: September 2013

Creating a positive team culture

 

Many businesses are only as good as their front-line staff, and one way to ensure that your staff perform at their best is to create a positive team culture.

 

With the spring selling season now well underway, there’s no better time to take stock and examine whether your employees are working together to maximise their results. To assist this process, we have prepared four pointers for creating and maintaining a positive team culture.

 

1. Don’t avoid the “tough” conversations: if certain team members are struggling or underperforming, it is important to be proactive and address these problems before they get out of hand.  Why? Because underperforming employees can sometimes have detrimental impacts on team morale, which may affect the performance of other staff members.  If a team member isn’t pulling their weight, try having an open discussion with them about their performance issues. It is possible that the underperforming employee could simply need guidance or support, but may be unsure of how to access it;

 

2. Provide leadership: leadership isn’t always a simple question of pulling long hours, making decisions and offering the occasional motivational speech. Effective leadership often means building strong connections with staff and proactively developing their teamwork skills. The ability to work effectively in teams is something that can be taught and improved upon, but only if you’re willing to invest the time and effort to do so;

 

3. Establish goals: during busy periods, team members may lose sight of the bigger picture as they chase short-term outcomes. Setting long-term goals with staff, such as achieving a record number of sales over the spring period, may provide a motivating influence when business and teamwork becomes challenging;

 

4. Have fun: employees who enjoy their working environment are generally more likely to be productive and create value for a business. Conducting “fun” teambuilding exercises every now and then may help to not only bring staff together, but also motivate employees on an individual level. Think about the types of activities that you staff might enjoy partaking in – perhaps it’s a communal lunch or engaging in a team sport. If you find yourself stumped for ideas, you might consider asking staff to vote for a team activity that they’d like to participate in.

 

Developing a strong team culture in the workplace isn’t always an easy task – but it’s certainly not impossible. Often, all it takes is a willingness to try out some different strategies and take into account the collective and individual needs of your employees. Be proactive in building a sense of unity in your office, and you’ll likely see some positive results.


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 30/09/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

The ‘dos and don’ts’ of effective PR

 

Public relations can be a transformative tool for many businesses and a great compliment to existing corporate marketing strategies. CENTURY 21 Australia’s national public relations strategy aims to keep CENTURY 21 offices and agents front of mind for consumers looking to buy, sell and lease real estate.

 

While CENTURY 21’s national PR strategy is great for brand recognition and media exposure on a nationwide scale, offices can also potentially give themselves a stronger competitive edge by implementing their own PR initiatives on a local level.

 

A localised PR strategy does not need to be overly complex or expensive – in fact, you may even be able to execute one for free, provided you know how to implement the right initiatives in the right ways. To help you get started, here are five fundamental ‘do’s and don’ts’ of any successful PR strategy.

 

Do:

 

1. Proofread: it is essential to proofread content several times before distributing it. Most journalists have little time for media releases or written comments that have spelling and/or grammar mistakes;

 

2. Build your relationships: your relationships with local journalists can effectively make or break your PR strategy – after all, they are the people who decide whether or not to give you media exposure. Most suburbs only have a few local media outlets, so it’s important to be strategic and make sure that you build positive connections with local journalists from the outset; get off on the wrong foot and there won’t usually be that many alternatives. As a starting point, you may want to consider inviting your local newspaper’s property editor out for a coffee and offering them a few insights into the current state of the local market;

 

3. Focus on newsworthiness: before distributing content to the media, ensure that you’ve considered the relevance, timeliness and newsworthiness of your story. Are you offering something interesting that is on point with what people are talking about at the moment? Or is your content “old news” that everybody already knows about. Journalists love a good scoop, so try to provide them with unique content that is of interest to their readers;

 

4. Follow up: if you’re relatively certain your story is newsworthy, and you haven’t received a response back from a journalist after a day or so, try following up with an email or phone call. Many journalists get swamped with emails and often appreciate being reminded of content they’ve been sent;

 

5. Double-check for accuracy: before you send out any form of content to media, it is important to make sure that all of your facts and assertions are correct. Making incorrect or misleading statements in the media can not only damage your credibility with journalists, but with the public as well.

 

Don’t:

 

1. Misappropriate or misattribute else’s quotes: while it may seem harmless enough to attribute someone else’s quotes to yourself, doing so is considered plagiarism in the media industry, and can be both professionally and legally damaging;

 

2. Distribute the same release twice: if you’ve distributed content that hasn’t been picked up by any journalists (after multiple follow-ups), it is likely because the content wasn’t newsworthy enough. In most cases, re-releasing the content will find you very little success; a story usually only becomes less newsworthy the older it gets;

 

3. Exaggerate achievements: honesty is always the best policy when it comes to working with the media. Journalists will usually double-check information you’ve provided them – and if you’re caught out being dishonest or exaggerating, the journalist will not likely work with you again in the future;

 

4. Use exclamation marks: any written content designed for media should be succinct, factual and correct. There are a number of different ways to use language and grammar to create impact or excitement in written materials, but using exclamation marks is not one that usually goes down very well in media communications;

 

5. Be late: if a journalist has arranged to interview you, it is wise to arrive ten to fifteen minutes early to ensure that you’re on time. Being late will likely frustrate time-poor journalists, who may end up perceiving you to be more trouble than you’re worth.


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 23/09/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Motivate staff for business success

 

 

Well-motivated employees are essential to the success of any business. And in modern workplaces, it’s often not enough to simply hand out annual pay rises or bonuses; more strategic measures may be required.

 

Motivation strategies can take many forms – however, the same methods won’t necessarily always work for every employee or employer. To help you discover which methods work best for your business, we have prepared some quick and simple tips for motivating staff.

 

1. Encourage innovation: a great deal of innovation in business often comes from front-line employees. Harnessing your staff’s capacity for innovation may help to solve problems or streamline existing processes. In turn, this might not only bring benefits to your business, it may also be intrinsically rewarding for employees who see their ideas implemented;

 

2. Show trust in your team: trust may be one of the most effective and overlooked forms of staff motivation. Giving employees autonomy to make decisions may increase their engagement and productivity levels by showing them that you have faith in their abilities;

 

3. Provide opportunities for personal growth: most employees will be interested in expanding their skills and knowledge about the real estate industry. As such, you may want to consider ways in which you can offer staff training and development opportunities. By training your employees, you will not only bring value to their careers, you will also give them the skills needed to gain promotion within your business. And if employees can see opportunities for career progression within their existing organisation, they are less likely to look for it elsewhere;

 

4. Recognise effort: several studies have found a strong connection between a business’ performance and the level of recognition provided to its employees. A survey by OfficeTeam, a recruitment specialist in the US, recently confirmed this link – finding that nearly half of all surveyed employees would seek work elsewhere if their managers ceased recognising them for their efforts;

 

Try implementing some of these tips the next time you want to motivate staff and you may find yourself surprised at the results.


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 16/09/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories: