Top Management Tips

Date: August 18, 2017

Swearing At Work…Oh No!


Swearing At Work…Oh No!We all do it from time to time no matter how moral or upright we think we are. Let’s face it. It feels damn good when we do it. There is just something about dropping the “F bomb” that releases a lot of tension and pent up emotions. In fact, i just did it as I’m sitting at the keyboard writing this: just spilled coffee all over the desk because my cat jumped up and scared the s*&@# out of me. Damn that felt good…I swear!

Anyway….what I was getting at was that swearing does release a lot of frustration and anger usually within one word. Amazing how that works. Research has been done at New Zealand’s Victoria University that basically said that ‘letting it rip’ wont change or improve the situation but it is a useful emotional release.

So, the question is, do you as a manager let your employee or employees swear around the office? My answer to that would be ABSOLUTELY! However, a word of caution. It has to be in context. What I mean by that is that a person shouldn’t go around the workplace just uttering curse words for the sake of it. It might offend an employee or a customer. It is also bad manners to do that. I never saw anything wrong with my team while they were in the office and talking amongst themselves to swear every now and then. I’m certainly not condoning the idea of every second word a person utters to be a swear word. That just shows a lack of vocabulary if nothing else. And an employee should NEVER EVER swear in front or at a customer. In my early days at managing I told one customer that he was a f%^& idiot and to get out of my store! That did not go down well at all with upper management and I nearly got the boot.

Believe it or not but the same study also concluded that staff members who have a bitch and a moan to each other improves morale around the workplace too. The F word is the most commonly used swear word but in the context of a close knit team, it could not be considered offensive. To me, that makes perfect sense. If it doesn’t to you, please let me know what you think about this.

There are enough pressures at the work place these days and by letting your staff swear around each other to release the tensions of a bad day, let them do it. It costs nothing and the less you have to do to maintain their motivation and morale the better.

A Co-Worker Gets Fired


how to cope with getting firedA co-worker gets fired.this can happen to anyone at any time. As a manager though, a lot of the times it is not in your control who gets fired or not. Sometimes it could be a co-manager or a manager of another department who gets the bad news. The last thing you should do is to say or do nothing at all.

Be quick to react if you don’t want to appear to be insensitive. Sometimes, all that’s needed is a simple, I don’t know what to say or a simple I’m sorry.

Avoid turning the situation into a big office gossip fest.

Avoid bagging the company and saying things like this company is screwed now.

Avoid sounding like a person who has been there or done that as that can sound very insincere.

Above all, don’t downplay the situation and make out as if it’s no big deal because sometimes losing your job is a big deal. Try and be balanced in what you say to them. At times all that’s needed is a listening ear after the initial shock.

Being Patient With New Staff


Being Patient With New StaffBeing patient with new staff is easy to say but hard to do. Managers often have to recruit new staff members and train them in whatever your company does. There are procedures and there are systems in place that a new staff member has to learn. And how quickly a new staff member learns often depends on how well you train them. Being patient with new staff members is important for their development and possibly their future within the company. How can that work?

It’s all very simple. It’s like that old saying that goes that a student is only as good as his teacher. Generally speaking, if a new staff member fails, then it usually comes back on you as a manager. It will be seen that you either recruited the wrong person for the job or that you didn’t train them properly. In saying that though, sometimes a new staff member appears to be failing because the expectations that you have set for them are far too high too early. A friend of mine started a new sales job only a week ago. He is experienced in sales and knows what he is doing however, he has taken on a new industry that he is not familiar with. His manager has already had a go at him for being behind schedule for the role out that he had planned. To top that off, he has only been given a few hours training by his manager on how to sell that product, on how to overcome objections on that particular product and so on. His manager has been in the industry for over 20 years so he knows all the ins and outs of it. So only after a few days, his manager expected him to be able to close as many sales as someone with 20 years experience in the industry. Is that fair? Is that being patient with your new staff? Hardly.

Let’s be realistic. When someone comes into your company from a totally different background, give them time to learn everything there is to know. If you need results in a hurry, then don’t hire someone outside of your industry no matter how great they were in theirs. It takes time to get into a new mindset. Train them well, take the time to make them feel comfortable and above all else, be patient. If after a month or two you see no real improvement in their performance, then it may be time to reevaluate their position in the company. If you jump the gun after only a very short period of time and terminate their employment too early, you may lose a very valuable asset to yourself as well as your company. Being patient with new staff is also a sign of how good you are as a manager.

Coaching Your Staff

train your staffSocrates once said that “I cannot teach you anything, I can only make you stop and think”. One way to make someone ’stop and think’ is for a manager to coach someone. That’s part of the management role and it’s a continuous task. One company I worked for years ago had a very strict business coaching program that everyone from managers to sales assistants had to go through every week.

I have worked at some places where there was no coaching done by any of the managers and the staff were left to their own devices. The results were chaotic. There were sales people doing their own thing; long lunch breaks, making up whatever they wanted to tell the customers just to get a sale, sitting around talking all day long and so on. They treated their workplace like a social club and there was little old me…doing everything and no time to even scratch my bum. After a long time of no direction by the company to coach and train their staff and not to mention my bum was getting rather itchy, I had had enough. I devised a training program over a period of a few days and took that plan to upper management. I explained to them that the staff were lazy and had absolutely no direction whatsoever. When they finally got the point, they gave me the go ahead to implement the plan. The immediate result was one of indifference by most of the staff. Most argued why the change? Things were fine the way they were. After awhile of listening to their points of view, I gave them the choice, either accept that there is going to be some sort of a training program implemented regularly, or they were welcome to find a new job. Some left but most stayed.

The benefits of a good coaching system is that it can free up your time for other things as your staff are more motivated, able to think for themselves and generally they become more creative too. I noticed that when we started a coaching regime with everyone, they became more productive and very creative in coming up with ways to make more sales.

Peter Drucker ( a famous management writer) said that ‘management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things“. One of the things you can do right as a manager is to implement if you don’t already have one, a good coaching program and if you do have one, keep it going on a regular basis with all your staff. This doesn’t just apply to sales staff but can also include all that you have under you. Everyone has dreams and aspirations on where they want to be and a good coaching program can do truck loads to help them get there.

Cheers

Andrew Bailey

Internet Business Start Up Rules 101


Internet Business Start Up Rules 101Your services or products must fix one severe pain point that individuals deal with. Find the one idea that sticks, test, improve and regularly feed information back into your feedback loop to build a much better service or product. To learn how to do this, many take business courses online to learn about all of the ins and outs of running an internet business or a traditional bricks and mortar business.

Even with all of the information a business course would provide, here are just five leading tips for online company success:

1. Find Your Businesses Niche

If you want your company to survive, you have to discover precisely where you’ll sit in the market. Don’t go into the marketplace with a huge scheme. Simply find something that is lacking in the market place. You will receive huge support when people realize they don’t have access to the digital content you are providing. In this way, you can cut your own groove.

2. Sculpt Your Offer (without the screaming sales pitch).

All too often, a business goes over the top with the sales pitches. It seeps through their content and the audience usually sees instantly someone is throwing sales copywriting at them. Instead, provide truly useful material in the language of your audience. Engage with your audience to discover their needs, then respond to those requirements. You should put a lot of effort into quality as well as quantity and not on one or the other.

3. Know Your Site Well as it is Your Greatest Asset

Analyzing your custom web design content is arguably the most important factor in your company’s survival. When I started out in my business, the traffic numbers were right up there but the conversion rate was pitiful. When we reviewed our site, we discovered the content was great however the call to action had not been clear. We concentrated our efforts on design and made sure they all helped the reader to understand exactly what to do.

4. Understand Your Sites Analytics

Use analytics to monitor your traffic. The difference between your traffic and conversion rates can be huge. To minimize this, make sure people don’t get lost on your site. The ‘flow’ should be easy for the user to navigate through and get where they want to go fast, do this by thinking about your web screen design. This gets back to understanding your site’s content. Your analytics data is the vital sign of how much interest you’re getting (and keeping).

5. Continuously Update Your Site

A lot of businesses have utilized e-mail marketing to enhance their ongoing contact with their audience. While this can produce some good results, continuously improving the quality of your homepage and other landing pages is just as important. Individuals have to understand that if they engage with your product or service, they are getting the best and most up to date information.

Be First Best or Different

First Best or Different“First, Best, or Different is one of those exceptional books that changes the way you think about marketing and entrepreneurs. I highly recommend this book.” Manny Fernandez, Chairman Emeritus, Gartner Inc. Innovative Marketing and Sales Strategies for Niche Markets Are you an entrepreneur, small business owner, or corporate marketing executive with questions like these? What viral marketing methods are most successful?. What direct mail marketing tactics create the most new leads? How can I optimize my website and increase traffic? How can I motivate and retain my top sales reps? How do I choose the right Public Relations firm? What is podcasting and how do I get started? What outdoor advertising techniques work best? Get answers to these questions along with practical advice on over 100 topics.

Written in plain English with short easy-to-read chapters, this book demystifies niche marketing by delivering easy-to-understand definitions and practical suggestions. About the Author John Bradley Jackson brings street-savvy sales and marketing experience from Silicon Valley and Wall Street. His resume also includes entrepreneur, angel investor, corporate trainer, philanthropist, and consultant.

Buy Now from AMAZON

The Top Five Reasons To Hire a Funny Motivational Speaker

hire a motivational speakerA while back, I came across a really motivating article about what can motivate people more. I have sat through a number of business courses for managers and business owners and found that the ones that motivated me the most were the ones that were a little different and sometimes even humorous.

“When the time comes to  host a business conference, meeting, or assembly and you’d like to kick it off with a keynote speaker, you’ve got a big task ahead of you. There are all kinds of motivational speakers out there, from Christian keynote speakers to motivational magicians. However, anyone who’s seen one can tell you that [clean, of course] comedians make for the best motivational speakers. Aside from the fact that laughing with a group of your coworkers has been proven to improve performance and goal achievement, there are a lot of reasons why you should consider hiring one.

Laughter is Contagious

The main reason that comedic speakers are so effective is because they bring the whole room together and give them something to bond over. It’s a time for employees to let their business-casual guard down and have a little fun. When everyone in the room is laughing at the same thing, it’s a true bonding experience that can greatly benefit the company. Not only that, but it will give the employees something to talk about over coffee or at the water cooler, which helps to build relationships within the office even when certain employees aren’t very outgoing or willing to strike up a conversation.

Humor is Easily Absorbed

Let’s face it – your employees are going to be a lot more inclined to listen to something if it’s making them laugh. If they’re laughing, they’re not bored, and if they’re not bored, they’re engaged. It’s all too easy for even the top motivational speakers to lose the attention of the audience due to boredom. If everyone in the crowd is yawning, you can pretty much assume that they’re not absorbing anything that’s being said. Better go the safe route!

Laughter Reduces Stress

Everyone knows that during the peak times of the year, everyone’s job can get a little stressful. This might create hostility between coworkers, anxiety about going to work, or just general stress about meeting goals. Since laughter causes the brain to release serotonin, it’s a definite aid for stress relief.

Whether or not your employees are stressed out should be a major concern of yours. Stress-related illnesses, including insomnia and even heart conditions, are a very real issue, and work is one of the biggest sources of stress in people’s lives. If you can take them out of a stressful environment to give them a boost of serotonin and a dose of fun, you’ll be the one to reap the benefits. Not only that, but it’s been proven that laughter increases mental alertness, which is great for stimulating the workplace environment and getting a message across.

Fun Equals Productivity

Whenever your employees are having fun at a work-related event, you can assume that they’re participating, since it is enjoyable. Participation and productivity go hand-in-hand. There have been studies that show a direct link between a corporate culture that incorporates good humor and employee satisfaction. Who do you think is going to be a better worker – an employee that likes his or her job, or one who is totally dissatisfied?

When it comes down to it, everyone in the workplace can benefit from a little fun, so what are you waiting for”?

Original Article can be found here

Work Place Negativity

Workplace negativity is a little different from employee negativity? How so? One is more destructive than the other. If you have an employee that’s negative all the time, sure, he or she can affect others in time if left unaddressed. But if you have a workplace that’s negative, then generally it means that everyone is affected already. As a manager, you have to handle this situation quickly and precisely.

 

First off, you need to identify what the problem is. The best way to do this is to talk to your staff individually at first and then collectively once you know what the problem is. Often times it’s a very minor thing that has festered into something huge because it wasn’t addressed or resolved at the time that it happened.

Unfortunately, a lot of the time the causes for such negativity are out of your hands. Sometimes staff aren’t happy with the direction the company is going, or have heard rumours about layoffs or new pay structures. At times like that, it’s often fear of the unknown that causes the negativity in the workplace. When I was faced with this scenario, I sent out memos to everyone involved and then called a staff meeting to address the pending pay reviews and company restructuring. A lot of unfounded rumours are spread by people who love to gossip and sensationalise things so they become the centre of attention. You need to stop people like that in their tracks as soon as you hear about it and deal with that person. You need to make it clear to all your staff that you will not under any circumstances tolerate anyone spreading rumours or unfounded ‘facts’! I don’t know about you but I found it very exhausting dealing with a negative workplace day after day. If a person after being told to stop their gossip-mongering, take whatever disciplinary action you are allowed to weed such people out. I couldn’t be bothered with them and neither should you. They are paid to work not create a negative working environment.

There are many causes for workplace negativity, but there is a lot you can do to minimise it. You need to stay alert, talk to your staff and deal with a potentially negative issue straight away before it affects everyone.


Cheers

Andrew Bailey

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