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Managing employees

5 Reasons I'll Never Work In An Office Again

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Managing employees

The 5 Biggest Teamwork Problems

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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.
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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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!
Managing employees

Innovative SME strategies: company culture and business performance

Company culture is not an accident, or a by-product. A smart manager will shape company culture... read more

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Lina BarfootEditor at SavvySME
Thank you! And well said, I agree that culture should be responsive and flexible, lest it become just a series of HR initiatives that doesn't actually have a real impact.
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Very well written article. Company culture is best thought of as a living organism in that it needs to be flexible and adaptable over time as you scale your business. Your company culture must also be revisited from time to time to ensure nothing has fallen out of date or gone completely unheeded be all staff (potentially including yourself). Always model the desired behavior from the top down but let all know you value ideas from the bottom up.
Managing employees

Workforce Diversity and Inclusion - How do you shape up?

This week with the announcement of David Morrison as Australian of the Year 2016, there has been a... read more

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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Great topic to write about. It is near and dear to me as well. I think you are either all in or not at all. Employees and competitors will hear (more quickly than you think) if you are just full of words or if you are taking noticeable actions. I also believe that transparency goes a long way to speeding things along.
Lina BarfootEditor at SavvySME
Great article! So many good points here, especially the idea of making diversity a part of your business at its core rather than some PC incentive you "can't afford" etc. Awesome read.
Managing employees

5 Questions to Ask Before Dealing With a Negative Team Member

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Managing employees

Canity is an online staff training platform for businesses looking to improve their customer service

It’s clear from personal experiences receiving customer service from different companies that some...read more

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Managing employees

The Impact of Resignation

When you hear the word "resignation" whether you are an owner of an SME or manager of a large... read more

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Michelle Pascoe at Michelle Pascoe
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Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Great article. It is important to keep a pulse on how employees are performing and what their goals are from the beginning. If you can proactively workout mismatches in culture, expectations and goals things will go more smoothly. However, as stated, you cannot be prepared for all situations.
Managing employees

Hiring Full-Time Remote Assistants vs. Project-Based Hiring

If you've already used UpWork to outsource time-consuming tasks or projects that fall outside of... read more

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Irina Iliescu Comms Specialist at Remote Workmate
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Managing employees

Are You Doing These 5 Things to Improve Your Health in the Workplace?

Your daily nine to five isn’t just about money making, it’s almost half our lives and it has a... read more

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Iona Yeung Digital Content Specialist at FIRST
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Managing employees

Lead the Team: Focus on the Individual

This is for the little guys... and I'm not just talking about you as a small business. I'm talking... read more

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Managing employees

Do You Have a High Performing Team?

A happy, productive and motivated team ensures you have happy, satisfied and loyal clients. So why... read more

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Brent Szalay Owner at SEIVA
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Managing employees

20 Rewards Your Employees -- and Budget -- Will Love (Infographic)

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Questions

How do you get your team to generate and share ideas?

Some Vinomofo deals are very creative in content and presentation, and am sure commercially solid.... read more

Justin DryOwner at Vinomofo
First we actively encourage them to think about it and share with the team. Even if it’s not related to Vinomofo. We call this Mofo Projects and it has led to some really cool ideas and even the creation of a few startups! In regards to the secret deals example, they say necessity is the mother of all invention and it certainly was in this case. In the early days of Vinomofo we were regularly facing the same challenge - wineries wanted to sell us their wines but at such epic prices, distributors and other retailers would get upset. Then one day a team member said “what if we hid the label?” and the secret deal was born. So now we have an agreement with the producers not to reveal these wines and a promise to our customers that they’ll have the “wow” moment when it arrives and they found out what it is. We have 100% confidence that if a wine passes our tasting panel (only 5% do) then our Mofos will love it. And we stand behind that by offering a 100% no questions asked money back guarantee.
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Managing employees

Manage People as Adults Not as Children

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Questions

How many times do you encounter 'difficult' customers or colleagues?

When you encounter a person who is 'difficult' what skills do you use to manage the situation to a... read more

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Malcolm Dawes Managing Director at dta Worldwide
I have had three clients that were 'difficult' in the past year.Two were because I offered a discount or free service at one point.The third was unforeseen.I now do my best not to attract 'difficult' people to my business. I have clear processes in place and do not advertise discounts or provide free services.
Mary MaiBusiness Intelligence Analyst at Savvysme
Which industry is this?
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