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Contractor Management Solutions

Companies are increasingly leveraging internal resources by contracting for a diverse range of services, including design and construction, maintenance, inspection and testing, and staff augmentation. In doing so, a company can achieve goals such as (1) accessing specialized expertise that is not continuously or routinely required, (2) supplementing limited company resources during periods of unusual demand, and (3) providing staffing increases without the overhead costs of direct-hire employees.

GroConsult Contractor Management solutions is a well-rounded solution that involves the use of control measures to ensure that a contractor is properly managed to produce efficient and effective results at their designated places of assignment. With regards to the effective management of your talents (both locals and expatriates), we make it our priority to guarantee that contractors and their dependents are fully catered for in order to create a safe and productive environment for work.

We implement a system that manages all contractor’s health, safety and insurance information as well as arrange affordably furnished or unfurnished luxurious accommodation and car rental services for our clients upon request. All these auxiliary services are designed to give your human capital the utmost peace of mind, an inspiring and rejuvenating work & living experience. Enabling them to work efficiently, making your company more productive and eventually profitable. Our management and expatriate support services are deployed in Ghana, Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire, South Africa, Sierra Leone and the  United Arab Emirates. Our solutions include:

  • Employer of Record Services (PEO):
  • Immigration Support Services
  • Payroll & Tax Administration

We have fully controlled branches in Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates and a network of partner offices backed with experienced and passionate professionals, you are assured of value for money.

We are available on call on the following telephone numbers: +233249722228, +233302936095 or +447554529222 or send us an email at [email protected]

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The Key to Business Growth is People

Every manager has opportunities to coaching and feedback skills into their relationships with employees, even in fields where processes and structures make it challenging, or in today’s volatile business landscape. Coaching, in essence, helps people identify – for themselves – the power of their potential.

Instead of giving them step-by-step instructions of exactly which roads to take, you are handing them a map and a compass and allowing them to find their way to that end destination. They may take different roads than you would, but it allows those employees to grow and develop on their own instead of continuing to rely on you. Through coaching, employees learn to solve problems on their own.

HERE ARE 7 COACHING TIPS FOR MANAGERS TO BECOME BETTER COACHES:

  1. Listen before you respond: Gathering as much information as possible will help you decide if this is a situation where you should act as a manager or as a coach. Without knowing the extent of the employee’s concerns or problems, it is easy to misjudge whether it is an opportunity for a coaching conversation or not.
  2. Think of yourself as a sounding board, not a Magic 8-Ball: As a manager coach, you are there to help employees solve their own problems instead of telling them what to do. Adjust your mindset away from providing answers or suggestions toward offering employees independence and trusting them to come up with a solution.
  3. Ask questions, don’t just tell employees what to do: Often, managers get into the trap of being the problem-solver for their direct reports. With employees who are searching for the answer to a problem, ask questions that lead the employee toward solving their own problems, instead of giving them your solution.
  4. Use open-ended questions, not closed-ended questions: Also known as discovery questions, open-ended questions increase the coachees’ engagement in the conversation as they brainstorm their own solutions. Instead of “yes” or “no” answers, open-ended questions solicit ideas, drawbacks, potential opportunities, and options from the employee being coached.
  5. When someone asks you a question, that’s your trigger to ask a question back: Especially when employees want to know “How should I solve this problem?” you can immediately go into coach mode and ask “How do you think it should be solved?” This interaction creates a great learning opportunity, an answer that potentially could be better than the answer you might have provided, and increased efficiency through quicker problem-solving.
  6. Encourage employees to think about potential barriers: Part of being a coach is being realistic about what might derail a plan of action. Once the employee has devised a solution, it’s critical for coaches to remind him or her of what could go wrong and help him or her to establish alternatives and adaptations if something unexpectedly goes differently than planned.
  7. Create a contract of accountability: For a true coaching conversation to occur, action must be generated and accountability must be established. Once the employee has made his or her decision, create a timeline and a deadline for the desired action to take place and follow up.

Coaching can be part of many situations: a career goals conversation, a yearly review, or even a tough conversation about performance. There’s a time and place to be a manager or a coach in the workplace; not every situation will be ideal for one approach or the other. But when managers become better coaches to employees, the benefits are incredible: it can increase employee engagement, establish trust in employees, help gain a variety of perspectives, allow employees to grow and develop as leaders, and gain buy-in for decisions.

The workplace benefits of coaching are numerous. If you’re a leader or manager, developing a coaching mindset moves your team members toward success.

By LINDA DAUSEND

Source: https://www.humanresourcestoday.com/edition/weekly-wellness-compliance-training-2021-07-31?open-article-id=19908216&article-title=7-tips-for-managers-to-become-a-better-coach-now&blog-domain=flashpointleadership.com&blog-title=flashpoint

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9 Biggest Payroll Challenges In 2021

At GroConsult, payroll management is part of our core operations; we have a comprehensive Payroll Management Service to assist your company in the timely payment of wages and salaries. Our Payroll Management Services has a mechanism and system in place to continuously review and update your payroll database and ensure your company complies with all legal requirements that govern the industries your organization operates to establish the financial stability of your company.

Whether small or large, every business handles payroll in its own way, which governs how it handles all payments owed to employees and contract employees (freelancers).

An organization must ensure that every pay, tax bill, invoices, and data input aligns with the compliance laws. Many complex procedures are involved since the tax laws, and compliance rules keep changing from time to time!😕

This means more difficult payroll processes, more data, and more effort. Fortunately, you can address all of these payroll processing challenges with the help of a payroll software and focus on hiring from a bigger talent pool!😍

Many HR professionals are eager to explore the world for talented recruits, but technicalities sometimes appear to be an impediment that businesses must overcome. The majority of them involve payroll management.

Calculating payroll and distributing salaries may appear to be a simple task; however, it is not. In fact, while running the payrolls, an HR professional faces several difficulties. Recognizing your payroll processing challenges is the first step towards identifying appropriate solutions to overcome them.

It’s important to get your payroll right✅: paying employees incorrectly or untimely can hurt employee morale, and failure to comply with tax or labor laws can result in severe penalties.

Steps Involved In Payroll Management Process

Payroll management determines employee pay, deductions, tax computations, bonuses, and compliance, among other things.

The following are the primary steps in payroll processing:

  • The first step is to establish a payroll policy. Fix your payroll processing norms, including guidelines for leave, attendance, and compensation.
  • The second step involves keeping an eye on the various departments’ contributions. For example, attendance records, tax requirements, leave records, and so forth.
  • Once you’ve gathered the data for payroll processing, you’ll need to check it for accuracy and legitimacy. For instance, knowing the exact amount of unpaid leaves taken by an employee.
  • After you’ve gathered this information, you’ll need to run payroll calculations, including deductions and taxes.
  • Payroll management calculations are accompanied by ensuring statutory compliance, such as TDS, EPF, etc.
  • After completing the payroll, you’ll need to enter everything into your accounting software for precise accounting and administration.
  • The second and final stage is to distribute payments to employees and provide them with pay slips. This phase entails keeping track of employee account information.
  • Finally, keep track of inaccuracies and other errors to improve your payroll structure in the future.

We can’t deny that the payroll management process is time-consuming and inconvenient.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest challenges of payroll processing.👀

Challenges Of Payroll Processing

In this blog, we’ll discuss the 9 biggest payroll challenges and ways you can adopt to eliminate them.

➡️ Statutory Compliance & Legislation Issues

Running a company isn’t a cakewalk.❌ Staying compliant is one of the biggest challenges of payroll processing. Labor laws, state regulations, and statutory compliances are only a few of the legislation and rules that exist. Following these laws is not an option; it is necessary!✅

On the other hand, making compliance mistakes isn’t necessarily a decision; many people simply don’t understand intricate regulations. Plus, they get revised from time to time!

This can result in significant fines and penalties for your company. Honestly, it doesn’t sound like something you want!☹️

Furthermore, most businesses rely on conducting payroll manually or entrusting the task to their HR staff. You must realize that no matter how much time you devote to learning the compliance regulations, they will change, and you will be back to square one.

This might pose a challenge that will end up causing major distractions in the process of payroll generation.

➡️ Evolution Of Technology

The blind trust in the technology can end up being one of the biggest global payroll challenges we face in 2021. Chances are that the blind faith in these can turn out to be faulty in the long course of time.

This is where we pan out to be wrong and not on the correct path. Technology does make the process of payroll generation easy and a lot streamlined doesn’t mean it is going to be accurate every single time. ❌

Good and effective payroll software do have the capability to alleviate the issues many face with their payroll management process but it is important to be very aware of which technology to opt for and which ones to trust. Every single prospect of the payroll service provider should be very well verified to avoid any kind of further risks.

➡️ Need For Higher Flexibility

Payroll management is not restricted to merely paying off your workforce.

COVID-19 has caused significant changes for several businesses, necessitating increased flexibility. For instance, a company may have reduced or modified its work shifts, necessitating frequent and major changes to employees’ schedules, influencing leave, payroll, and other operations to coordinate and compute overtime and other payouts.

Businesses are evolving daily and are reinventing entire product lines due to changing market demands. This involves dealing with a lot of important tasks leaving almost no time to get caught up in payroll related challenges.

Many businesses have also been forced to deal with remote work, which necessitates coordinating schedules and remote payroll management across multiple locations.

There are no easy ways to avoid these payroll and compliance challenges using the manual payroll process. However, using an automated payroll management system can help you overcome these difficulties easily!😍

➡️ Shortage Of Payroll Professionals

Payroll industry has recently experienced a booming increase in their demand and popularity. The last few years are what has boosted the overall growth of this industry. This is the reason why the demand and the supply are posing a problem altogether.

The year of 2021, in terms of payroll challenges, might experience a shortage in the number of talented professionals in this field. Finding well-equipped and well trained and experienced payroll professionals is turning out to be a problem in the coming year or so. But, the same can also be mitigated effectively owing to the kind of growth it is gaining over the years.

➡️ Challenges In Attendance & Leave Management

Employee attendance is frequently tracked and time-stamped by card swipe, finger-print punches in/out, or simply by ‘signing in’ one’s name on a worksheet with manual payroll processing. To calculate the pay and other incentives, that ‘data’ must be carefully duplicated, imported or exported, and passed around teams before making it authorized.

Managerial permissions and modifications are sometimes required. Because of the mountain of paperwork and individuals involved, this simple daily operation takes a lot of time and effort, so errors and inconsistencies are common.

➡️ Challenges In Handling Remote Work

With so many employees working remotely from home or even overseas during COVID-19, traditional HR and payroll administration is nearly impossible.☹️

Card readers and sign-in forms are ineffective for attendance management. Hard copy management of leave and compensation is no longer possible. Email processing can be chaotic due to the numerous submissions, manager approvals, verifications, and coordination necessary.

Furthermore, with the pandemic looming, the typical onboarding and offboarding process, which involves many documentation and face-to-face meetings, is no longer feasible.❌

In such circumstances, a system that can automate remote attendance, leave requests, performance management, training, and other HR and payroll operations is more important than ever.😇

➡️ Consistent Automation

Automation is taking the world by a whirlwind. While the same might be an amazing addition to the overall prospects of the growth and development, the same is also believed to become a potent challenge for the overall global payroll system in the year of 2021. Automation might enhance the payroll management process so much that it could become a lot harder to cope up with the pace of it with manual inputs.

The capabilities and workforce implemented by the automation are also going to undergo a rapid change and evolution which might further end up contributing to the overall payroll system even further. It is a wrong notion that the inclusion of automation is going to end up making manual labor redundant.

That is not going to be the case. Rather, the same is believed to impact the overall growth in the end but the initial impacts might impose a bit of challenge for the people working in the payroll industry.

➡️ Threat To Data Security

With the ever-growing realms of technology, the amount of threat and risks are on the rise as well. It is not surprising that more and more people are finding it hard to keep their data and information encrypted and safe. The same does go out to the payroll industry as well. The kind of threats to the stored information is not necessarily new.

More and more reports of cyber crimes and cyber breaches are on the rise and the same might inflict impacts on the overall prospects of the payroll industry as well.

The payroll industry and the data associated with it might be on the risks and that is expected to stand out as one of the possible challenges in the year 2021. That being said, the security is also strengthened and that itself could pan out to be quite beneficial on the whole as well.🚀

➡️ Inconsistency In Policies

Company processes and policies can be subjected to change a number of times. That being said, that can actually pan out to be one of the most common challenges faced by the payroll industry.

Given the fact that this relies on the right in the moment and current and updated information to be relayed to the employees, it is not surprising that the same might end up being a challenge in the coming few months.

Companies and organizations are constantly changing their processes and policies and while that might be a good thing for the company, the consistent changes pan out to be a trouble for the professionals under the payroll industry.

If you are someone willing under this similar situation, be assured to stay in consistent sync with the companies you are working along with. This will help in keeping track of the changes and making the necessary changes accordingly.

Challenges In Payroll Computation

Some small and medium-sized businesses continue to use excel sheets to manage all payroll-related data, resulting in several issues:👇

  • Incorrect payments are the result of data entry errors and rule misapplication.
  • Data is dispersed in such a way that HR and tax audits are difficult to manage.
  • Payroll records are difficult to handle, and accessing them can be problematic.
  • The information being filed is difficult to comprehend for the managers who approve it.
  • Compiling statistics and preparing reports for high management as a reference has proven difficult.

Even businesses that use payroll management software may be utilizing outdated versions that are unproductive due to a lack of features critical to increasing efficiency. ❌ Some of the drawbacks of older software applications are as follows:👇

  • Not tailored to the company’s operations, rules, and requirements
  • Other HR information and tools, such as attendance, leave, claims, employee benefits, and so on, are not interconnected.
  • Does not automatically adapt to the frequency of statutory updates.

Overcoming The Payroll Challenges 2021

The Payroll industry is a very dynamic industry with consistent updates and changes. While payroll is currently gaining popularity, it goes without saying that the obstacles and challenges that the coming months bring along are quite extensive.

Payroll processing is not a simple task, which can be handled manually by one person without hassles. There are a series of challenges that impact your accuracy and compliance structure. As a result, non-compliance penalties are levied.

Want to effortlessly eliminate all of these challenges? 😉

You can easily minimize these challenges by using good payroll management software which can easily handle the constantly evolving intricacies of payroll.✅

So is there a payroll software that can cater to all your payroll needs and is affordable? Luckily for you, there is. 😍 Request a demo today!

By

Source: https://www.humanresourcestoday.com/edition/weekly-wellness-compliance-training-2021-07-24?open-article-id=19842284&article-title=9-biggest-payroll-challenges-in-2021&blog-domain=zimyo.com&blog-title=zimyo-insights-on-hr-trends-and-technology.

 

 

 

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4 Ways to Modernize Your Business

In the digital age, operating a successful business increasingly requires a touch of modernity. The traditional business tactics and operational standards of the 20th century are rapidly being overshadowed by new technology and new methods of communications. In order to keep your business on top of its game, and keep up with the times, here are some essential goals for upgrading your business in the modern age.

  1. Cloud-Based Solutions

Everything business-related is transitioning to cloud computing. Whether you are operating multiple business locations or just working from home, keeping all of your business-related computing relegated to online servers gives you a leg up in both security and convenience. Working explicitly from local files makes your work far less portable, increasing the difficulty of long-distance collaboration and restricting your access to business-related data while on the road. Turning to cloud-based solutions provides you the ability to connect your business materials and all of your business associates at the push of a button. Plus, aside from the convenience of access, cloud services are increasingly incorporating built-in analytics services and machine learning capabilities to open the door to more capabilities for business owners to enhance and expand upon their current marketing strategies.

  1. Software Automation

In line with the ever-evolving capabilities of most modern cloud-based services, you should take advantage of MLOps strategies for implementing AI-based software automation to improve your overall productivity. Invest in programs that streamline your day-to-day tasks like automated scheduling assistants, time management analytics tools, and data management programs to track expenses, organize accounts payable, and automate invoicing.

The human element is essential to creativity and ingenuity; however, automation allows you to delegate repetitive data-oriented tasks to programs that can manage them with far more efficiency. This boosts your business’s overall flexibility by giving you and your employees more freedom to tackle any tasks that require a direct, human touch, like customer relations and marketing content.

  1. Messaging Apps and Social Media

Once upon a time, the postal service was the go-to means of communicating important information between multiple parties; then, email took its place as the king of communication. Now, social media and interoffice messaging systems give you the best advantage in establishing reliable lines of communication both within and without your business. Whether you need to notify your staff with important information, contact specific employees directly, or interact with the general public, social media sites like Twitter and Facebook as well as messaging apps like Slack and Discord simplify and streamline communication. Where letters and emails created downtime and posed the risk of “lost” messages, these modern communications platforms reduce clutter and ensure instantaneous, direct interaction, improving both interoffice and remote interactions.

  1. Digital Marketing

Print marketing is rapidly becoming an outdated method of sharing product information with potential clients. In the digital age, your best option for marketing your goods and services is digital content. With online marketing tools, you are no longer limited to a specific quantity of marketing materials, so you can reach out to an unlimited number of existing and potential clients with the push of a button. Amidst digital graphics, video content, blogs, and direct contact via social media, the digital age offers a wide variety of marketing opportunities. More important, perhaps, than the specific digital “medium” used, is to take advantage of real-time marketing strategies. Marketers can now interact with customers immediately, rather than waiting for weeks or even months to compile useful feedback. Social media, for example, allows you to gather real-time data from customers to quickly make adjustments that will improve their experience on the go.

While the core principles of operating a successful business never change, the tools available do. Whenever you are modernizing your business, just keep in mind that as technology evolves so too should your business strategies to take full advantage of the tools currently available. Keep testing the waters with new techniques and technologies, and learn to incorporate the parts that are successful.

 

BY CHANTAL BECHERVAISE

Source: https://www.humanresourcestoday.com/edition/daily-psychological-contract-diversity-2021-07-01/?open-article-id=16442745&article-title=4-ways-to-modernize-your-business&blog-domain=takeitpersonelly.com&blog-title=take-it-personel-ly

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Training and Onboarding for the New Remote Work Landscape

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has officially become the new normal. More and more people are working from home, making virtual training and onboarding a growing priority for human resource professionals.

Prior to COVID, HR mainly utilized in-person methods to guide new employees through orientation, company goal sets and team expectations. However, Forbes reported that up to 74% of professionals expect remote work to become standard after the pandemic. Employees hope to keep the flexibility of remote and hybrid work, so it’s important that employers learn how to meet the digital expectations of the future work landscape.

In fact, as most organizations transitioned to remote work this past year, employees also reported considering or planning a move farther away from their current jobs, according to a separate Forbes article. Employees who were laid off were more likely to report planning a move, as well, which would influence how they applied to future job opportunities.

Returning to fully onsite work will prove difficult for most new employees, so HR must build creative and efficient ways to replicate the training and onboarding process for the remote work landscape. Here are some best practices your company can follow to improve your new employee’s virtual experience:

Provide timely technology and support

To ensure that new hires start off with their best foot forward, organizations must consider what technological requirements need to be addressed for each position. If the employee needs a corporate laptop or cellphone to do their job, reach out and schedule shipping so that they arrive before the employee’s start date.

Once your employee has the proper technology to start their role, HR should coordinate with IT to verify that setup and configuring the new tech is digitally streamlined. Check in with your IT department beforehand to guarantee they don’t become overwhelmed as remote work continues. Ask how the company can automate additional processes to ease the extra workload. Some examples of computer setup automation are interactive platforms that guide new users through setup or step-by-step instructions (written or video) that can be generally distributed online.

Clear communication between HR, new hires and IT is essential to digital onboarding. Don’t be afraid to ask new hires what tools they require to be successful in their new positions and how previously in-person IT tasks can be digitally streamlined. New employees will still need personalized assistance, but automating certain steps in the process is a necessary first step for remote onboarding.

Replicate the remote training process virtually

A great way to build your new HR guidelines for remote work is to use the foundation of previously tried and true methods. If you have set practices for training new hires onsite, go through them and determine how your company can transition each of these steps to online.

Schedule the first day of virtual orientation as similarly to pre-pandemic guidelines as possible, advised the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). This means creating a full-day, interactive schedule for new hires that include team and colleague introductions via video conferencing. By now, employees have become all-too-familiar with the importance of video meetings, so just be sure to include what platform expectations (Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, etc.) are during onboarding.

Once the first day is scheduled, consider how best to guide new hires through their first week, as well. For example, are there any larger company meetings that could demonstrate how your employer operates overall? New questions may arise as employees find their footing in the new digital landscape, so advise managers to schedule daily and/or weekly check-ins in advance. This way remote workers can be certain that they have opportunities to touch base with you.

As your digital onboarding and training schedule is determined, don’t forget to include breaks for your new hires. Employees should feel guided throughout their first day and week at your company, but it’s also important to give them time to go over new materials and properly retain each piece of new information.

Digitize important onboarding materials

Manual paperwork is a time-consuming and stressful part of human resource management. However, a newfound benefit to remote work during the pandemic has been the implementation of virtual onboarding and training materials that can be accessed at any time by new hires and managers from home alike.

By transitioning document signing, company policies, rule books and training materials to digital copies, employers can streamline the onboarding process for both HR and new hires. For example, sharing and filing tax documents, contracts and payroll information can be as easy as sending a link or signing into your company’s preferred platform. Within your company’s online platform or website, HR should also include an FAQ page for more information and a contact page for additional questions.

This cuts back on labor costs as HR and new hires can spend more time engaging with each other and their teams. For some roles, you can also implement onboarding tools that include training videos and/or learning modules that cover specific role needs.

Remote work is here to stay, so learning how to onboard and train new hires in the virtual workplace is a high priority for all companies moving forward. HR teams that successfully transition to online onboarding and training will be able to not only improve efficiency, but also overall job satisfaction and employee engagement.

According to SHRM, overall HR recruiting budgets have decreased this past year due to the pandemic. Employee retention is crucial for companies to be successful in the current remote work landscape. By investing in new hire digital onboarding and training, your team will vastly improve the remote experience for all of your employees — not just new hires.

The best course of action for HR professionals is to mirror the in-person onboarding experience for remote workers as best as possible. The more interactive the schedule is for your employees, the more likely they will have a positive and lasting experience with your company.

 

By PeopleStrategy Staff

Source: https://www.peoplestrategy.com/training-onboarding-new-remote-work/

 

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Why Investing in Your Employees Can Benefit Your Company

Your employees are your business, it is that simple. The people you bring on, train and put into strategic positions throughout the organization are what will make or break your success. From the bottom to the top of the hierarchy, your human capital is your most important capital. This is why it makes so much sense to invest in these people. From sending employees on a leadership career track to business school to simple online seminars or cross-training opportunities, professional development takes many forms. If you are considering an MBA for an employee, keep in mind that there are MBA admissions consultants out there to help you make the right choice.

Employers must start to think of human capital development in terms of ROI. With that in mind, below are some of the ways investing in employees can benefit your company.

Employee Engagement

A Gallup poll from 2018 indicated that only 34 percent of employees in the United States felt engaged at work, which was broadly reflective of a worldwide crisis of engagement. There are a variety of reasons for this lack of engagement, including feelings of burnout from job creep, organizations failing to align philosophically with employees, apathy that comes from a lack of job security but also, importantly, a lack of investment in human capital on the part of employers.

Too often employers see the labour force as mere tools and means to ends, rather than strategic assets to be developed. When employees feel that their professional development and career health is taken seriously by their employers, engagement will increase in turn. Engagement corresponds to more job satisfaction, bigger and better brand advocates for the business, better collaboration and better employee retention.

Attract New Talent

Another reason it pays dividends for an organization to invest in its current workforce is that doing so has future benefits for recruitment and talent acquisition. Surveys have shown that the vast majority of people are willing to trade less money for more meaningful work, which translates into a lot of different things, but among them is work that allows them to develop and utilize their skills and core competencies.

The implications for talent acquisition are easy to see and potentially enormous. If a business is able to establish a reputation as a place that nurtures talent, invests in its people’s professional development and provides opportunities to constantly grow and improve skill sets, it will be a much more attractive place to work for talented, ambitious people looking for a challenge and interested in lifelong learning.

Future-Proof

Investing in people should also be seen as a necessary part of future-proofing the organization. The rate of economic change that is taking place and will continue to do so obligates leadership to take a future-proofing approach to business. The pandemic proved that entire business models could dry up overnight and that the resulting skills gaps could potentially cripple an organization or industry. Your people are your best chance against being blindsided by the future.

Investing in employees can provide the organization with valuable skills–particularly digital ones–to ensure a more seamless transition to a much more digital business environment. It can also ensure that the mission-critical skill sets required for business success are always in supply. Having employees who are able to cover for one another, pick up the slack for absent coworkers and take on new responsibilities when necessary make the organization much more agile.

Productivity

Investing in employees also has implications for productivity. Employees who are confident that their employer has their professional best interests at heart and are committed to providing them with opportunities to improve and increase their skills are more likely to want to do their best for the company. The management and organizational behavioural literature over the last year have been almost singularly obsessed with the phenomenon of decreasing productivity, what to do about it and when, if ever, it will be back.

Of the many things that we know about productivity and the influences on it, employees who believe they are supported in their professional development by their employers are more likely to want to exert themselves on behalf of the company and to make the best use of their working hours. The quality of the employee-employer relationship is dictated by many things, but among them is certainly the extent to which the former believes the latter is concerned about their careers and professional development.

Conclusion

The problem with many organizations is that labour expenses are seen as something to be kept as low as possible at all costs. Professional development and enriching the organization’s human capital takes a back seat with such a philosophy. What these businesses don’t realize is that they are shooting themselves in the foot in the medium to long-term. Investments in employees, and particularly promising people with a demonstrated desire to learn, improve and add value, are investments in the business.

Image by Ronald Carreño from Pixabay

By Editor’s choice|Employee recognition

 

Source: https://www.humanresourcestoday.com/?open-article-id=16422120&article-title=why-investing-in-your-employees-can-benefit-your-company-&blog-domain=gethppy.com&blog-title=get-hppy

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What It Takes to Run a Great Virtual Meeting

As companies scramble to protect employees from the spreading coronavirus with travel restrictions and remote work arrangements, there’s a distinct possibility that in-person meetings with teams, customers, or suppliers may be canceled for days — or potentially weeks.

Under the best of circumstances, as soon as one or two attendees “dial in” to any meeting, productivity starts to suffer.  There’s a long list of reasons. Attendees often interpret virtual meetings as a license to multi-task. Meeting organizers tend to be less careful with the purpose and design of the conversation. And it’s not uncommon for one or two attendees to dominate the discussion while others sit back and “tune out.”

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Virtual meetings — even impromptu ones sparked by fears of a contagion — can be run more effectively, using basic meeting best practices and easy-to-use, inexpensive technology.

Here are 12 steps you can take to make that happen:

  1. Use video. To make people feel like they’re all at the “same” meeting, use video conferencing rather than traditional conference dial-ins. Technology — such as Zoom, Skype, and GoToMeeting — helps to personalize the conversation and to keep participants engaged.
  2. That said, always provide an audio dial-in option. Video conferencing can work very well, but it relies on a strong internet connection that may not always be available. People need the ability to participate via audio, but make it clear that video-first is the new norm.
  3. Test the technology ahead of time. Nothing kills momentum at the start of a meeting like a 15-minute delay because people need to download software, can’t get the video to work, etc. Prior to a virtual meeting, all participants should test the technology and make sure they are comfortable with the major features. And remember, supplier or customer conversations may require your team to familiarize themselves with different software packages.
  4. Make sure faces are visible. Video conferences are more effective when people can see each other’s facial expressions and body language. Ask individuals to sit close to their webcam to help to recreate the intimacy of an in-person meeting.
  5. Stick to meeting basics. Prior to the conversation, set clear objectives, and send a pre-read if appropriate. During the session, use an agenda, set meeting ground rules, take breaks, and clearly outline next steps (including timing and accountabilities) after each section and at the end of the meeting.
  6. Minimize presentation length. The only thing worse than a long presentation in person is a long presentation during a virtual meeting. Meetings should be discussions. Background information should be provided beforehand. If someone needs to present, use screen sharing to guide the conversation, so attendees can literally “be on the same page.” But prioritize conversation to maximize the time people are looking at each other.
  7. Use an icebreaker. Although we’re not big fans of them, it’s important to use every tool to reinforce interpersonal relationships when people may be feeling isolated. Also, it’s important to know if a participant may have a close friend or relative fighting the virus, so some type of “check in” is in order.
  8. Assign a facilitator. It’s usually harder to manage a virtual discussion than an in-person one. It can be helpful to assign one individual to guide the conversation, allowing the other participants to focus on the content. The facilitator can also use a polling system to “take the pulse” of the group on certain questions and ensure that all voices are heard. The facilitator should also be able to resolve basic questions on the technology being used.
  9. Call on people. Getting everyone to participate without talking over each other is one of the more challenging aspects of running a virtual meeting. To forestall this, we recommend periodically calling on individuals to speak, even by virtually “going around the table” before a decision is finalized. Some software packages even allow attendees to “raise a hand” if they want to. This can help the facilitator drive closure without the risk of excluding an introverted participant’s views.
  10. Capture real-time feedback. Gathering and processing high-quality input during a virtual meeting can be challenging, especially since visual cues are harder to read. Use a phone-based survey tool like Poll Everywhere to collect on-demand feedback from attendees on specific topics in real time. Keep the polling open, separate from the videoconference to avoid disrupting the conversation. Participants will need clear instructions on how to use the system and practices, but groups get the hang of it very quickly and it’s well worth the effort.
  11. Don’t be afraid to tackle tough issues. Meeting virtually is a learned behavior, and you’ll be amazed how much you can get out of it once you and your team begin to be comfortable working this way. It may seem natural to wait to discuss tough issues until everyone is in person, but that may not be an option. So don’t shy away from controversial topics.
  12. Practice once or twice while you’re still together. Hold your next staff meeting virtually, with each executive sitting in their office and hooking into the meeting with no assistance. After the meeting concludes, gather and debrief about the experience. What went well, and what didn’t? How can you evolve your virtual meetings to make them as productive as when you meet in person?

Not being able to work together in the same room with colleagues may become a major challenge in the next few weeks. To make virtual meetings work, you might need to adjust how your team conducts them.  But a small investment in preparedness now could have a huge impact if that time comes.

By Bob Frisch and Cary Greene, March 05, 2020

Source: https://hbr.org/2020/03/what-it-takes-to-run-a-great-virtual meeting?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=hbr&utm_source=twitter&tpcc=orgsocial_edit

by grocon grocon No Comments

5 Small Habits All Leaders Should Do to Grow Their Business

Growing a business takes continual commitment.
Tiffany Pham
ENTREPRENEUR LEADERSHIP NETWORK CONTRIBUTOR
CEO of Mogul
March 8, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

While working in the media industry, I taught myself how to code to build a platform that connects women and minorities to professional opportunities. I worked at my day job and then coded at night — night after night, week after week, month after month. The commitment to my purpose became a habit, which then provided the momentum to scale my company, Mogul, to what it is today.

I believe that what makes certain businesses struggle and others thrive is the difference between the daily commitments and small habits that leaders create in order to help others move toward their greatest potential. Here are five daily habits that will help your business thrive.

Commit to listening

Listening is a superpower. I can’t stress enough how important it is to develop your active listening abilities, especially when you lead a team of individuals. Everybody on your team is unique, and their communication preferences are as well. Some people like to be cheered on with positive affirmations. Others prefer straight talk and getting right down to the point.

As leaders, part of our job is to listen and learn how our team members communicate, and to adapt our communication style to match theirs (more on communication below). It’s our responsibility to listen, uncover what makes each individual tick and elevate their passion that empowers them to produce inspired work.

Commit to communication

The way we speak to our team matters. Especially because you’re in a position of influence, your words hold more weight than others. Any sign of talking down to a team member can ultimately erode a working relationship — and it can happen fast. When providing feedback, it’s important always to be mindful of your messaging.

My suggestion is to first aim to validate. For example, we once had a situation where our team continued pushing back the delivery date for a project, so I decided to step in and provide support. Instead of just expressing frustration, I made sure to share what I did like and precisely why. I then offered my notes for edits and focused on framing everything in the positive. Our primary goal with the way we communicate is to lift our team, help them grow in their role and support their career advancement.

Commit to learning

Taking time to deepen your expertise should be a mandatory practice. Information is ubiquitous, and it’s never been easier to further our education and develop a deeper understanding of our field. I’m continually reading about current events, industry trends, following other peers and thought-leaders and finding ways to continue uncovering strategies that help me be a better leader.

Like many of us, I wish there were more hours in the day, so I schedule time once or twice a week specifically for learning and upskilling. If something doesn’t get on my calendar it doesn’t exist. I give myself a certain topic to focus on throughout the week, and I dedicate the scheduled time to focused learning.

 

Commit to systems

Now more than ever, speed wins. And the essential way to be more effective with your decision-making ability as a leader is to create flexible systems. The more you tangibly understand the mechanisms that make your business run, the better it allows you to iterate on your systems. From how you hire, share internal communication and deploy external messaging, to how you structure your entire organization, nearly everything within your business should be put to a system and continually optimized.

By having a process in place, you can better track and locate inefficiencies. Systems can empower you to think long-term more effectively because they stack on top of each other, which will then enable you to make more informed decisions. The best leaders I’ve known are the ones who continually commit to creating more efficient systems.

Commit to yourself

You can’t lead a team of people and grow a business if you don’t care for yourself. Forgive me for what may seem like stereotypical advice, but we all need to make sure we’re doing the foundational things well. Find your optimal amount of sleep, eat breakfast in the morning, mind your posture at your desk throughout the day and take breaks for your physical and mental health. As often as I can, I stop scheduling meetings at a certain time of the day to help me end the workday at a reasonable hour and stave off burnout.

The best way I’ve found to keep my mental and physical health at the forefront of my mind is to schedule my day as detailed as possible. I even plan my short breaks to stretch or take a walk. I periodically put 20-minute breaks in my calendar and use them to unplug from work-life and reconnect with real life.

The little commitments matter, and the habits will compound over time. If you want to be an effective leader, it starts with leading yourself. So take care of yourself and live to work another day.

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/365862

by grocon grocon No Comments

Data Is Great — But It’s Not a Replacement for Talking to Customers

kkgas/Stocksy

 

Summary: Many companies rely too much on big data and analytics in their hunt for strategic insights.  They’d do better if they actually went out and talked to their customers instead, as Toyota and Adobe do, because data is too rooted in what managers already think their customers are interested in.

 

 

The ability to gather and process intimate, granular detail on a mass scale promises to uncover unimaginable relationships within a market. But does “detail” actually equate to “insight”?

Many decision-makers clearly believe it does. In Australia, for instance, the big four banks Westpac, National, ANZ, and Commonwealth are spending large on churning through mountains of customer data that relate one set of variables — gender, age, and occupation, for instance — to a range of banking products and services. Australia’s largest bank, the Commonwealth, has announced its big data push.

Like the big banks, Australia’s two largest supermarket chains, Woolworths and Coles, are scouring customer data and applying the massive computer power now available, and needed, with statistical techniques in the search for “insights.” This could involve the combination of web browsing activity, with social media use, with purchasing patterns and so on — complex analysis across diverse platforms.

While applying correlation and regression analysis (among other tools) to truckloads of data has its place, I have a real concern that — once again — CEOs and senior executives will retreat to their suites satisfied that the IT department will now do all the heavy lifting when it comes to listening to the customer.

Data’s Deceptive Appeal

To peek into the deceptive appeal of numbers, let’s review how one business hid behind its data for years.

Keith is the CEO of a wealth management business focused on high-net-worth individuals. It assists them with their investments by providing products, portfolio solutions, financial planning advice, and real estate opportunities.

Like its competitors, Keith’s company employed surveys to gather data on how the business was performing. But Keith and his executive team came to realize that dredging through these details was not producing insights that management might use in strategy development.

So, Keith’s team decided on a different path. One that really did involve listening to the customer. They conducted a series of client interviews structured in a way that allowed the customer to do the talking and the company to do the listening. What Keith and his executives discovered really shocked them.

The first was that their data was based on nonsense. This came about because the questions they’d been asking were built on managers’ perceptions of what clients needed to answer. They weren’t constructed on what clients wanted to express. This resulted in data that didn’t reflect clients’ real requirements. The list of priorities obtained via client interviews compared to management’s assumed client priorities coincided a mere 50 percent of the time.

Keith’s business is not alone in this as studies have shown that big data is often “precisely inaccurate.” A study reported by Deloitte found that “more than two-thirds of survey respondents stated that the third-party data about them was only 0 to 50 percent correct as a whole. One-third of respondents perceived the information to be 0 to 25 percent correct.”

In Keith’s case, this error was compounded when it came to the rating of these requirements. For example, the company believed that older clients wouldn’t rank “technology” (digital and online tools) as high on their list of requirements. However, in the interviews, they discovered that while these older clients weren’t big users of technology themselves, many cared about it a great deal. This was because they had assistants who did use it and because they considered having state-of-the-art technology a prerequisite for an up-to-date business.

What Keith and his team also discovered, to their surprise, was how few interviews it took to gain genuine insight. Keith reports that “we needed around 18 to 20 clients to uncover most of the substantive feedback. We thought we’d need many more.” What Keith has encountered here is saturation; a research term referring to the point when you can stop conducting interviews because you fail to hear anything new.

Listening to the Customer

Engaging with your customers may not be as exciting and new as investing in “big data.” But it does have a solid track record of success. Cast your minds back to a historic time in Toyota’s history.

When Toyota wanted to develop a luxury car for the United States, its team didn’t hunker down in Tokyo to come up with the perfect design. Nor did it sift through data obtained from existing Toyota customers about current Toyota models. Instead, it sent its designers and managers to California to observe and interview the target customer — an American, male, high-income executive — to find out what he wanted in a car. This knowledge, combined with its undoubted engineering excellence, resulted in a completely new direction for Toyota: a luxury export to the United States. You will know it better as the Lexus. Listening to the customer is now embedded in Toyota’s culture.

Listening to the customer is also a fundamental component of Adobe’s culture. The company speaks of a “culture of customer listening” and has produced a useful set of guidelines on how to tune in to customers. Elaine Chao, a Product Manager with the company, has expressed it this way: “Listening is the first step. We try to focus on what customers want to accomplish, not necessarily how they want to accomplish it.”

So, provided your data isn’t “precisely inaccurate” employ modern computer power to examine patterns in your customers’ buying behavior. But understand big data’s limitations. The data is historic and static. It’s historic because it’s about the past. Your customers have most likely moved on from what the data captures. And it’s static because, as with any computer modeling, it can never answer a question that you didn’t think to ask.

Real insights come from seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. You will only ever get that by truly engaging with customers and listening to their stories.

March 05, 2021
Source: https://hbr.org/2021/03/data-is-great-but-its-not-a-replacement-for-talking-to-customers
by grocon grocon No Comments

5 Ways to Build Employee Confidence and Increase Engagement

Leaders and human resource managers build a high level of employee engagement and confidence to create a productive workplace environment. As a leader, whether you are a manager, supervisor, or team lead, it is your duty to encourage employee morale, including attitude, feedback, and satisfaction. During the Covid-19 pandemic, corporations and businesses had to transition and develop effective ways for engaging their personnel.

The task was complex at the beginning of the pandemic, especially for companies without the technologies to continue operations virtually. Employers implemented engaging online activities comprising team building, team meetings, conduct assessment, counseling, and other learning and interactive engagements. (1) You can control and create a culture in the workplace that builds positive employee morale.

Advantages of Building Employee Morale:

  • Increased productivity.
  • Boost in sales for products and services that increase profits.
  • Higher level of customer satisfaction.
  • Builds trust between the employees and leaders.
  • Creates transparency throughout the entire workplace environment.
     

Research studies prove that practiced employee morale in the workplace has a positive effect on employees’ job performance and productivity. You want to ensure a cultural attitude that ensures all employees of your organization are giving their best efforts. Your primary focus should be to continuously reinforce the importance of committing to the company’s goals and values.

Your employees have to trust their leaders and see transparency in the workplace. You must avoid showing any kind of favoritism and treat each employee equally with respect. It will ultimately increase customer satisfaction and increase sales and profits.

Five Tips to Help You Build Confidence and Increase Engagement of Your Employees

1. Empower Your Team with Training and Resources

When your employees receive training and have resources to help them fulfill their duties and responsibilities, the results are confidence and empowerment. Employers can experience a high rate of employee turnover because their team members lack training or received incorrect training. Training helps to build confidence, and it ensures each employee knows what to do and how to perform all assigned tasks. (2)

2. Communicate Efficiently to Team Leaders and Members

Effective communication between team members and leaders helps to build trust and confidence. It encourages engagement to resolve internal and external issues in the workplace. If your employees know they can communicate with you openly and regularly, the outcome is an increase in productivity and engagement. Set up weekly team meetings to have open discussions about improvements within the organization to make it a better workplace environment.

3. Use Recognition and Reward Incentives

Human resource managers and leaders should use recognition and reward incentives to uplift their employees for a job well done. It shows them that their works are valuable to the organization and keeps them motivated to perform their best daily. You can recognize your employees with recognition certificates or plaques and rewards, such as gift cards.

4. Provide Ethical Training to the Employees and Management

Ethical training helps to create a thriving workplace culture to cultivate principles, making it fair and safe. It teaches ethical behavior, the importance of customer privacy and data protection, and code of conduct. You and your employees will learn about customer relations and the significance of customer satisfaction.

5. Offer Fair Compensation and Benefits

Employees and management work more productively when they receive fair pay for their work. Benefits, such as health insurance with wellness programs and investment plans, help to increase employee engagement and confidence. Health benefits and fair compensation are definitely ways to encourage and motivate your employees.

The psychological approach for engaging employees involves their emotional, cognitive, and physical engagement in the workplace. (3) You have the obligation to provide for your employees’ needs in training and building a friendly and positive environment, while they are at work. It will influence them to contribute to the organization and commit to reaching the company’s desired goals.

Despite the pandemic, employers are implementing virtual and outdoor activities to engage their employees and their family members. From virtual learning to stress relief webinars and lunch video conferences, human resource managers and organizations are getting more creative. Millions of workers are returning to the workplace after receiving Covid-19 vaccines, but the online engagement activities will remain active. It is a trend that will continue in coming years for improving morale, careers, and the cultural environment.

Sources

1 Chanana, N., Sangetta. (2020, October 1). Employee Engagement Practices During COVID-19 Lockdown. NCBI US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7536939/

2 Knight, R. (2018, April 25). How to Manage an Insecure Employee. Harvard University Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2018/04/how-to-manage-an-insecure-employee

3 Osborne, S., Hammond, M. (2017). Effective Employee-Engagement in the Workplace. International Journal of Applied Management and Technology, Walden University. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1239&context=ijamt