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Training and development

6 Benefits of Customised eLearning for Corporate Training

Giving your employees the right e-learning solution is more or less like going to shop for... read more

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Andre Smith Marketing
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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Well written article. I agree that custom content is more meaningful. Many times generic content is the equivalent of an unbelievable stock photo passing as "natural". Employees are smart, generic content says "I'm about to waste your time and mine".
Career planning and job search

Effective Recruiting Strategies To Hire Best Talent

In a highly competitive job market, the onus is on recruiters and HR professionals to think outside... read more

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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Definitely an interesting article. However, I tend to agree with Lina on the flattery tactic. It seems like it could backfire with a small miscalculation. Also, group interviewing may seem like a "time-saver" but you are putting candidates into an awkward position. Applicants that are more introverted may be less inclined to speak up or embellish putting them at a disadvantage to those that are more outspoken or don't mind stretching the truth to catch your attention. Group interviews can create a hostile environment where every candidate that answers successively tries to out do the previous candidate answers regardless of truth. One of the largest problems I've faced working with recruiters personally is that they have their own agenda. Meaning, they could care less what position I'm interested or the opportunities I'm seeking. Most recruiters would rather try to fit a square peg into a round hole than try to find the right position for a great candidate. Also, something I think the recruiter industry as a whole needs to work on is building legitimate and long-term relationships with potential candidates. If you throw jobs I'm uninterested (either role or location) or constantly send me every job req you get. I'll tune you out after 1 or 2 emails. In fact recruiters I'm dealing with lately have me wondering if I need to start an email list that sends them sarcastic pictures of cats with snarky retorts (and yes I would lump all of the recruiters into the "To:" line without blind copying them, because they deserve to know how many of them aren't approaching the job the correct way. Don't focus on "flourish" focus on personal connections and actually adding value. Applicants don't like to feel like they are being gamed for some secondary purpose.
Lina BarfootEditor at SavvySME
Interesting article, although the tactic of hand-picking and flattering seems like it could be quite problematic, unless you hire all those you "flatter". There might be some potential for bad blood there?
Managing employees

The 5 Biggest Teamwork Problems

< CLOSE MENU Business Ideas Start Business Marketing Internet Marketing Finance Human...read more

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Leadership

Which of the 6 Leadership Styles Defines You?

Home Latest Top 50 How To Lists Events Subscribe 5 min...read more

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Training and development

Intrapreneur To Exitpreneur

So how does one go about making the leap from an intrapreneur to an entrepreneur? The complicated... read more

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Jef Lippiatt Owner at Startup Chucktown
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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Great questions Lina, Creativity may be something that many companies "aspire" to, however, they put little to know effort behind their words. Without action nothing will change.One great way is to create incentives for getting employees to submit ideas (could be small recognition, a $5 gift card or something much larger depending on the submitted idea and the money available). Also you could make idea submission a larger part of the company. On the company's intranet create a space that shows submitted ideas, the ability to comment on them and vote on them. The top voted ideas could then be reviewed for further business value (obviously, limit voting so employees cannot game the system to ensure fairness). Another approach would be to have an internal board that reviews ideas (think like an internal Shark Tank or Dragon's Den). This panel could then weigh the ideas and select which should move on. The ideas that are approved could be given a pot of money (perhaps $1000 or $5000 to further develop the idea). This would be a perfect point for the person working on the idea to have access to internal (and maybe even external) mentors such as C-level or VPs guide them to the next phase. Even though I could continue elaborating on this process, I'll end with, regardless of the project or idea being a success reward and recognize the individual who put in the effort to try to better the company. Ensure that the entire company knows that this recognition will happen regardless of success or failure. Why? You don't want your employees to have ideas but be too scared of failing to even submit the idea. Keep moving forward and curiosity and creativity will combine to reveal small and large innovations to approach.
Lina BarfootEditor at SavvySME
Foster creativity is a very tricky one, don't you think? It something so many companies aspires to but it seems very hard to actually make it happen. What would you recommend to liven up a workplace/situation/person where creativity is dwindling?
Managing employees

What are workplace policies and why do I need them?

Workplace policies give guidance to your employees about what you expect of them and can also state... read more

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Lina BarfootEditor at SavvySME
That's a good point Jef, that it is always a good idea for policies to be as straight forward and easy to understand as possible.
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I believe that policies help both parties (company & employee). I do believe that they should be concise and in easy to understand terminology. This helps everyone have a common understanding (not just I've read it but am still confused). Also, I would say unless absolutely necessary don't a policy. Making a policy for every small detail goes from creating professional guidelines and workplaces to a confusing and spirit crushing burden for employees.
Training and development

Team Building in Sydney: How to Beat the Corporate Training Doldrums

Team building is one of those corporate training moments that results in a few eye rolls and... read more

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Luke Talbot-Male MD at Beyond the Boardroom
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Lina BarfootEditor at SavvySME
Great article, some interesting ideas on how you might keep training days dynamic rather dull. It seems they can have a tendency to be somewhat perfunctory instead of being fun, and I think as you suggested, you probably have to invest a little bit in them for it to be worthwhile. My question to you is, how do you recommend dealing with people who aren't particularly outgoing? If you're in a group environment and some people aren't really joining in/contributing, how would you address it?
Training and development

Getting the most from a conference

  What conferences have had success in Australia?   There is no exact formula that can be copied... read more

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Michelle Pascoe at Michelle Pascoe
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Questions

If you have an absenteeism problem, what do you do?

For those of you who have this issue, what steps have you taken and what would you recommend? read more

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Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
Brad Lyons at Rodcha
Absenteeism is a result of multiple factors. The best thing to do before taking any action towards attempting to resolve the issue is to first understand it. Some basic analysis of the issue should help identify some trends, for example what are the most common days people are taking off. Do those days correlate with any internal or external events. If you can see a trend appearing, for example every second pay day the same employee is calling in sick, you can start to understand what is happening. People are creatures of habit, that is why behavioral modeling is so effective if done correctly. If you have a system in place to identify when employees are starting work you may even be able to identify early signs of absenteeism and address the issue before it starts. Absenteeism reporting is common place in large businesses, sure they have expensive reporting software however the same analysis can be done without expensive software. In some cases it could simply be the person is lazy however in a lot of cases it is something you need to do to change. Like Neil said in his reply, review internal factors as it could be something your doing. KPI, bonus structure and other incentives work however some people just need a challenge and may be getting bored with their job and seeking new challenges.
Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
In my experience recurrent problems such as absenteeism suggest underlying management issues within the organisation. These problems can result from a single bad manager or a more fundamental problem with your organisational structure, poor recruiting practices or your levels of staff engagement and communication. The first step is to question why (assuming it is organisational absenteeism rather than a single person) staff are dissatisfied and feel the need to take time off, look firstly within for a possible solution. If it is a single person absenting themselves repeatedly, firstly look at their work environment and line manager and if all looks good there discuss the issue with the staff member, do they have problems outside work, can you help, would greater flexibility in working hours help? Of course if the person is simply a shirker then move to terminate that person with due process.
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Questions

Do you let your employees work from home?

If so, how are you finding that? what are some key benefits/issues that you have noticed? read more

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Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
Our business uses a mix of office staff, onsite staff at client locations, and offsite bookkeepers who work part-time from home. This has been a productive model over the past 5+ years.There are pros and cons to each approach. Our favoured approach is onsite engagements where our bookkeepers work directly with the client in their office. Many of our bookkeepers are part-time, and this provides opportunity for them to develop rapport and relationship with the client. It also tends to be more efficient in terms of gathering paperwork, getting answers to queries, resolving any issues, and dealing with any complexities, management approvals, etc...However, there are situations where it is more appropriate for a bookkeeper to work from home. One example of this is where the client is a small business (e.g. a tradesman) and is frequently out with their own clients, so there is negligible value in working 'onsite'. Another factor is often that there is limited space or only one computer - working from home avoids the situation where the bookkeeper is inconveniencing the business owner by needing to use their computer and/or desk.The biggest issue, however, when staff don't work in our own office, is building the relationship with our own staff. Often, bookkeepers can become closer to their clients than to their own manager/boss/colleagues. We try to balance this a little through regular catchups, team events, training at our office, and other opportunities to connect.We've also, in the past, used less skilled staff for specific tasks, and felt that we needed to monitor them more closely. There are some great software tools available these days that allow us to see and even capture at regular intervals the screen of our staff member. This provides us with the capability to assess their efficiency, assist them with matters they find challenging, answer technical queries, etc...Overall, we see working from home as a valuable and viable component of a distributed business model.
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Attracting talent and recruitment

7 things to consider before you employ your first employee

So, your business is growing and you need to employ your first employee. You acknowledge that you... read more

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Leadership

Inspire Loyalty With Your Leadership: Here's How

Home Latest Top 50 How To Lists Subscribe X Switch back...read more

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Training and development

Customer Service Scripts Need to Die

Do you want to call customer service for me? No? I can't say I'm shocked. What is it about customer... read more

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Jef Lippiatt Owner at Startup Chucktown
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Leadership

6 Tips To Stay Focused And Boost Your Daily Productivity

Busy, busy, busy. If there's one thing we can say for certain these days, it's everybody... read more

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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I feel like there is a lot of sound advice above, however, some of it came off as flat to me. I believe that there are factors that transcend the tips mentioned above. Rest and Profession play a huge role into the overall direction you need to take on a daily basis. First, everyone needs to have solid rest to approach each new day with focus. However, not all of us need the same amount of time for recovering. I only sleep 4 to 5 hours a night by choice. This means I have more waking hours per day to accomplish things than people that sleep 8 to 10 hours. But I'm not suggesting anyone follow my lead. The key is get the sleep you need. Secondly, Profession plays a key role into how you approach your day. As a design, I have systems for feedback and productivity, but distractions add inspiration and knowledge into my day. I use productive distractions such as reading about trends in the industry. I also use time between tasks to look at visual work that will inspire creativity. These are "distractions" but they are focused to still output productivity. Also, as someone that helps manage others, you must be connected to email and/or chat. Issues that arise from managing others can't be relegated to scheduled time checks. I have a system in place for quickly assessing if I need to take immediate action or if it can wait, but I must give an initial review as each message appears or at least within a reasonable time frame. Also, the Agile and Lean philosophies dictate that you adjust as your needs and priorities change. This means you have to have flexibility included in your systems and frameworks or you may be doomed to untimely communication that becomes a distraction to others (either because they are not ready to focus on it or because you missed the window of importance). I do agree that a 3 item list written down gives focus for the next day, but all priorities (including the ones within the list) still need judged against new information to ensure they should still be priorities.
Leadership

Walking The Leadership Talk

In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice - in practice there is. Yogi... read more

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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Really well thought out article. I tend to agree with all the key points you've made. I do think in both junior roles and initial management/leadership roles, there is a chicken and egg problem. Many people don't want to give you experience because you have no experience (so all you have is book knowledge at that point). The key to resolving this is partnering them with more experienced people in similar roles to help them excel. However, I can agree that in my experience I've worked with many people who tout their years of experience but cannot execute on the smallest tasks. A large problem I see is valuing years of experience and culture fit over people that can produce. I'm not saying having years of experience is bad (if you have great examples of how you applied it, that's awesome), but many times people use that to just get a higher salary/rate without being able to prove why they deserve it. Also, there is nothing wrong with hiring for a culture fit, but if you do so blindly you'll have unhappy people in roles they don't enjoy or even understand. Yes, most job skills can be learned, but hiring for culture fit and ignoring everything else about an applicant/work you'll do to the detriment of your company. I'm certain that using business methodologies like Lean and Agile where the focus is on production will lead to more meaningful results if you adhere to the core guidelines behind them. Produce quickly, get feedback and make updates quickly (rinse and repeat). The problem about talking is you'll never know if you are making progress or just arguing and wasting time for no reason.
Managing employees

Can you "MAKE" your team CARE about their job?

Just as you can't force someone to love you, you can't "make" someone love their job. But you CAN... read more

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Lina BarfootEditor at SavvySME
Awesome article, it's so important to create a great environment in terms of motivation, and to set a good precedent.
Phil SealyOwner at Pro Leaders Academy
Great article and like the suggestions. You can also hire for the culture you have or are building in your organisation. The key is you can teach skills, however you can't teach culture as this is something you fit or you don't.
Managing employees

5 Tips on How to Get the Best from your Summer Casuals

As the summer breeze ruffles our hair and we feel invigorated to face the final weeks of the year,... read more

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Michelle Pascoe at Michelle Pascoe
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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I agree that making everyone feel included and part of the team is important. I think you also hit the nail on the head with adding that you must let them know (train them) what is expected. It isn't fair to hold a team member accountable for things they weren't given instruction on how to do. Help each team member succeed with training and making them feel valued and respected.
Arrnell GapusanCommunity Manager at SavvySME
Thank you for great article Michelle!
Leadership

Revealed: The # 1 Secret For Team Success

Why should we be concerned about how our staff feels at work? Surely there are more important... read more

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Leadership

What Should You Do When Someone Pulls Your "Trigger"?

You have heard me share in previous articles on how negativity and unconscious fear activates the... read more

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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Three of my triggers are, people who are unwilling to take feedback, people who are not teachable and those who diminish what other people bring to the project.
Leadership

Building Flexible Leaders In Turbulent Times: A Prerequisite To Organisation Success

Whether it's an internal or external threat of a departmental move, change of management, an... read more

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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Another interesting and well written piece.