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The Importance of Leadership in Business

clock April 6, 2014 14:10 by author Administrator

How do you measure the importance of leadership in business?

A business may have the right strategies and qualified professionals. But that is not enough to succeed.

You can have all the right ingredients for the perfect business. But without proper leadership, it may not run smoothly. Leaders are expected to perform many important roles that help steer the business in the right direction.

Leaders Implement the Values and Vision

Most businesses have a vision of where they want to be in future and a detailed plan or strategy of how to get there. But, there is a big difference between having the strategy on paper and actually implementing it. Without a leader, all these values would only be on paper. They would never see the light of day because employees are almost always looking out for their own interests.

An effective leader reminds the staff of the company values and enforces them.

Leaders Inspire Positive Attitudes

It can be catastrophic if any team members do not do their part. Sometimes the person in question may be going through a trying time. A leader is charged with energizing everyone so that operations can run smoothly.

The team needs to know that their leader is aware of their grievances. Meanwhile, a leader is able to transfer his/her positive attitude and energy to the team as well.

Leaders Improve Productivity in the Workforce

Fundamentally, a leader is not only supposed to keep his/her staff happy and motivated. There are other pressing needs that require more attention such as productivity and profits. 

Leaders Encourage Creativity

An effective and experienced leader is able to identify creativity and innovation.

Different people have different talents or abilities. A good leader uses diversity to make the business more profitable and efficient. Sometimes the staff can make valid contributions that will make the business flourish. Many times all the staff needs is a little encouragement from a confident leader who acts as a catalyst for innovation. Without a leader, all these ideas would go to waste.

Leaders Look Out For the Business' Interests

A leader looks out for the business' interests to ensure the long term goals stay afloat.  Employees have to meet their targets and someone has to make sure the business is making profits.

Dealing With Poor Employee Engagement

clock March 18, 2014 20:21 by author Administrator

Employee engagement describes how connected staff  feels to their job. 

Improving employee engagement ought to be the aim of all employers. An engaged workforce is more profitable for a business than a disengaged one. 

Take a look at US specialist mortgage company, New Century Financial Corporation. They discovered that account managers who were engaged in their work generated 28% more revenue than their disengaged colleagues. 

There is no doubt that some companies have improved their staff engagement levels

However, in general approximately: 

-20% of workers are disengaged

-25% are proactively engaged

-The remainder lie somewhere in the middle of these two extremes

How Engagement Surveys Can Help

The best method to find out if you have engaged employees is to survey them. Unless you have a clear idea of the opinions and perceptions of your staff, it is difficult to improve their morale. 

You should take the time to design a engagement survey that assesses the attitudes of your staff. Then, you should use the data from this survey to strengthen the culture of your organization. 

This survey will send the message to your staff that they are important. Also, it will reinforce the commitment of your organization to evidence based practices. This encourages your staff to be more open, more productive and more enthusiastic about their work. This will reduce staff absenteeism. 

Concentrate on areas that are important to your employees, and can be accurately measured. Autonomy, communication and training are just a few of the crucial areas to tackle.

Choose the Appropriate People to be Managers

Your vitality depends on recruiting people into leadership roles. And they need the ability to be effective and inspirational managers. 

Recent studies indicate that many people have a low opinion of their boss. Parade Magazine reported that 35% of workers would rather have their manager fired, than receive a significant pay increase.

Businesses need to hire managers who genuinely care about their staff. You need people who can identify, embrace and adjust to people's differences. 

Good managers unite workers, offer clear instruction,  and help you achieve their true potential. 

The best managers know their success is directly related to how much they invest in their staff. 

Provide Staff With Everything They Require

Whenever staff members lack the resources or expertise to perform their jobs, they feel ignored. If employees feel undervalued, or that what they do is unimportant, they become disengaged. 

Providing staff with more say over their working environment has a noticeably positive impact. It causes workers to feel appreciated, and encourages them to go the extra mile for their employer.

Final Thoughts

Engaging your employees is not easy and, if you fail to follow through with this practice, your previous efforts will count for little.

Why Employees Should Have Management Skills

clock March 10, 2014 12:39 by author Administrator

It's not just your managers who need to have good management skills. All employees should have them in order for your company to operate smoothly.

Employee management skills can be good for a lot of reasons. The more your employees are able to handle and motivate others, the more opportunities your business will have to grow. 

Building Future Leaders

When employees have good management skills, it sets them up for leadership opportunities in the future. Companies that promote from within often see big benefits that way. Their employees are ready to be promoted and don't need as much training. 

Just about anyone can be trained to handle the basic aspects of a job, but not everyone is destined to be a manager. People in management positions should be leaders, and being able and ready to lead is a valuable attribute. When you hire new employees, look for those who have leadership abilities.

Working in Teams 

Teamwork is a big part of many types of business, and good employee management skills can make working in teams so much easier. If there aren't any leaders on the team, things simply won't get done as quickly or efficiently. Some things may never get done at all, or the quality standards may not be what the company was hoping for.

When an employee on a team has skills that translate to good leadership, they become the informal leader of that team and move the project in the right direction. The majority of other employees will go along with that person if he or she treats them respectfully.

Taking Charge of a Project

Employees that are able to take charge of a project are among the best employees a company can have. Natural leaders are generally highly valued for their abilities. The more of them you can get into your company the better off you'll be. It's also important to consider that too many employees with leadership on their minds may not be a good choice for the same project.

Spread out the employees who have management skills, with one or two on each project. That will help them lead the other employees and keep them from conflicting with one another. 

Moving the Company Forward

Employee management skills are vital to making sure the company moves in the right direction. Eventually, older managers will retire or move on to other companies and career opportunities. When that takes place, you'll need new leaders to step in and take over. When employees are already good leaders, they are natural choices for moving into new roles.

They'll still need some training, but they'll have all the basic leadership and motivation skills they'll need.

Providing New Ideas

When a company doesn't stay innovative and on the cutting edge, the company can struggle.

That's especially true if competitors are moving forward with new and interesting ideas for customers.

Employees with leadership thoughts look out for the company and consider ways it can be more innovative.

Why Employee Loyalty Is Important

clock February 27, 2014 13:50 by author Administrator

You probably put a lot of effort in enhancing customer loyalty and forget one vital aspect: employee loyalty. You may not know why employee loyalty is important.

Know that before your customers get satisfied, your employees must have given their all. The satisfaction that your customers talk about is largely a result of the value they get from your business. Well, only loyal employees can create the value you need to turn your business around.

Why Employee Loyalty is Important

As mentioned earlier, loyal employees contribute extensively to the productivity of your business. They are able to create the value required to put your business on the path to success. Customers are always on the lookout for value and nothing else. So, when they find value in what you offer, then you assure repeat visits.

A large chunk of your company image originates from the products or services you offer. Your employees are the ones who produce the products and deliver services on your behalf. This means they carry your image squarely on their shoulders. To improve this image without spending a lot, try building loyalty in your employees.

One of the most critical components of your business success is customer satisfaction. The desire to experience exceptional value again always draws the customer back to your premises. Well, only loyal employees can provide exceptional value.

How do you Build Employee Loyalty?

Before you can enjoy these benefits, you must first build loyalty in your employees. Here are ways to do it.

Connect With Your Staff

The only way you can connect with your employees is via communication. Make sure you communicate with your staff regularly in a clear and concise manner. You need to understand that not everyone in the organization receives information in the same way.

This is why it is vital to explore variety in your communication efforts. This makes sure everyone gets the message in a convenient way, which enhances bonding.

Provide a Reason for Your Employees to be Loyal

Don't expect your employees to take up loyalty without a reason. Rack your brain and come up with something that will convince your staff that you care about them. One way to do this is to provide a pleasant working environment for them. Such a gesture will show the workers that you take their welfare seriously and they in turn will reward you with their loyalty. 

Play Your Role Perfectly

However close you get to your employees, don't forget your role as their employer. Employees should know they have someone who can make the right decision, even in the tightest situation. Once they have faith in you, winning their trust and loyalty is easy.

Be a Good Example to Your Employees

Some workers are able to learn from example. Try to be a loyal employer. Loyalty as an employer entails committing your efforts to the success of the company. Additionally, don't criticize your employees in front of others.

Develop the same attitude in your top managers, so that they recognize the importance of being role models. Let the managers find ways of showing their support for the subordinate staff at all times. You never know how infectious these actions can be to other employees.

Did You Know?

You end up spending a lot of money every time an employee leaves and you have to hire and train a new one.

Some of the tasks that were handled by the previous employee remain unattended, due to lack of the right person to handle them. This cuts down your profits.

It pays to keep the staff you have right now. So, find a way to enhance loyalty in your employees to enjoy the benefits.

Ways To Prevent Workplace Theft

clock February 25, 2014 19:20 by author Administrator

Employee theft is a growing problem in the United States.  With the downturn of the economy over the last several years, this problem has only gotten bigger.  Recent figures show that employee theft adds up to as much as $400 billion lost from businesses each year. 

As much as 90 percent of all companies experience some form of employee fraud.  For small businesses, as much as 5 percent of their revenue is lost due to employee theft or fraud. 

No business sector is immune to this problem. Schools, colleges, hotels, hospitals, retailers, and healthcare are all at risk for workplace theft and fraud.

How Does It Happen?

There are many ways an employee can steal or defraud their employer.  The ways can vary, depending on the industry and the role of the employee.  Some of the easiest and most common ways are: 

• Stealing cash

• Stealing inventory

• Theft of time

• Credit card theft

• Workers compensation fraud

• Stealing from customers

• Stealing supplies

Unfortunately, the prosecution rate for employees who steal from their workplaces is very low. 

Many companies (especially smaller businesses) are unsure of how to even prosecute an employee.

They’re also weary of how much it may cost them and how much time it will take.  This means theft statistics are probably underreported and it's a more severe problem than numbers reveal.

Tips to Prevent Workplace Theft

There are several steps companies can take to help reduce and prevent workplace theft.   In many cases these steps start before the employee is even hired. 

1. Use Background Checks

It is a good idea for a company to screen potential employees with a pre-employment background check.  It's even more important to do this if the employee will be handling:

  • Cash
  • Merchandise off high value
  • Private financial data
  • Medical data

Each company should check with the laws in their state before conducting such a screening, as laws can vary.

2. Check References

Many employers skip over this step.  But, it can be a good way to weed out the potential bad apples.  Checking references of former employers or supervisors can be especially helpful.

3. Make Conduct Policies and Guidelines Clear

If a company does not have a conduct code or a code of ethics they should consider adopting one.  Once this is in place it should be given to all current employees and communicated to potential employees. 

All hired employees should sign and date a copy, agreeing to abide by the standards.  If clear standards are set, there is no question what's acceptable or allowed.

4. Audit

Conducting audits on a regular basis is a good way to prevent workplace theft and fraud.  When employees know that someone is coming behind them and checking their work, many tend to be more honest.

5.  Watch for Signs

Research shows that there are signs that are common amongst those who commit theft in their workplace. 

Many do so because they feel underappreciated, or see the behavior of management as unethical or unfair.  They feel they are owed something by the employer, so their behavior is justified to them. 

Here are a few signs to watch for: 

• Unexplained change in behavior

• Unexplained company debt

• Missing financial records

• Employee not taking vacations

• Being over-protective of their workspace

• Preferring to work unsupervised or at home

6. Set the Mood

Setting the right tone in the office or other workplace will show employees that the company takes this seriously. 

Management can do this by holding regular one-on-one meetings with each employee.