As a cleaning company we place a very high value on our staff, they can make or break your business. They are our greatest asset and also our greatest liability. Consequently maintaining an excellent working environment and keeping staff well motivated is one of our primary goals. The same applies to most businesses although it is especially important in the cleaning industry because of the potentially high turn over of staff that is somewhat traditional in this field. We go into many businesses in carrying out our cleaning and as the current trend is for cleaning to take place during normal working hours we see many of these in operation on a day to day basis. Some of these are large organisations with well over 100+ people working on the site others are smaller concerns with perhaps 5 or 6 people employed. Each manager has their own method of managing their staff and some of the places are happy environments where the individuals actually enjoy going to work, others are places full of grumbles where the people cannot wait to go home.By and large the atmosphere in the workplace seems to be a reflection of the managers. It never ceases to amaze me how some managers talk to their staff or not, because quite a few have decided that e-mailing them is better despite the fact that they may be in the next office. It is written down therefore it is done and no longer my problem seems to be the attitude. From a personal point of view I could not tolerate this. One of the reasons we go to work with others is for the social interaction and this is being gradually eroded in the modern work place. When I did work in such an establishment it became commonplace for people to send out memos. Memos had their place, if a meeting was being arranged for example where time and place and agenda needed to be specified. However I concluded that well over 90% of the memos sent out to me were not informational but requesting me to do something.This I used to take as very bad manners and throw most of them in the bin until the persons concerned were forced into actually talking to me. Discussions we used to have around this issue always centred on how more efficient it was to send out requests on bits of paper. To me it seemed that it was depersonalising the work place and increasing the amount of paper that was being shuffled around. Now it is used as a method of everybody covering their backs in case something goes wrong. It may be me being difficult, and it may be necessary to shuffle all this paper around but I just find it sad that the workplace has deteriorated to this level in many instances. How do we keep our cleaners happy? We treat them as human beings who deserve the right to be spoken to correctly. Please and thank you seem to be very under used words in the workplace nowadays. We find that a please and a thank you goes a very long way in maintaining staff morale as does actually talking to them rather than leaving messages. It is very noticeable that the good environments to work in, where people are happy, the bosses actually communicate with their staff on a human level and the word thank you is heard quite a lot.Just remember how you feel when some body says thank you to you when you have done something for them and conversely how you feel when there is no response!
If your business is in trouble and your loosing money, then hiring any one of the qualified business consulting companies out there may be one of the best choices you can make for your company. Business consulting companies can give you the solutions you need to make your business a success that is their job. They will look and all side of your business and find its strength and its weaknesses and then draw up a plan that is right for your business. Business consulting companies will give you the answers you need for long term revenue and profit and will consistently work with you and your employees on how to use the tools they provide for you, so you and your employees will have a profitable business for years to come. Just because you open a business does not mean you know how to run it, at least to the point of being open long enough for you to see a profit from your investment. There may be a simple plan that doesn't cost too much out of pocket expense, but may bring more customers into your business, business consultants can give you marketing tips such as web site ads and promotions, direct mail, or a half page ad in the yellow pages. You too may have come up with this idea all on your own however, unlike "business consulting" companies, you have no idea which one of these idea's would be the better people getter, or how to strategically place your ad were it will get the best results.Once you decide to hire a business consulting company, which one are you going to choose? Searching on the internet will get you thousands of hits, but then what? Of course all business consulting companies will claim they will do a good job for you and your business. Many will claim to provide their advanced expertise in all categories of business and marketing techniques. While working for you will be their main focus. While it's a good idea to hire a business consulting company, but your not sure how to go about finding a good consultant that will work to make your business profitable and not take all your money and vanish. The best thing to do is go online and search for the right website that will give you information about business consulting companies and how you can get in touch with them. You will have to register to a specific site and give them the information about your business so they can match you with the best consulting companies suited to your needs. Most of these sites are low cost and using someone to help you find good business consulting companies is worth it. They do all the hunting for you and look for all the qualities you're looking for in a business consultant. The business consultant company you hire can take a big burden off your shoulders. They will take the worry out of what to do next to improve your business.
Time clocks have long been a key factor for businesses in keeping track of the hours their employees work. Way back, when time clocks first came into existence, it was the old fashion punch clock. Believe it or not people still use these trusty old things. This was a time when all record keeping was performed by hand. Unimaginable isnt it? In this day in age, everything is simply done magically by electronics and smart computers. This includes keeping track of time and attendance for businesses.Enter stage right, one fabulous piece of time and attendance software. This works to make life easier for businesses and its management. So much easier than the traditional punch clock. Everything is automated and it can be customized for your specific business needs and size. The beauty of time clock software is that it can keep track of a variety of key factors in your business and not simply the times your employees clock in and out of work each day.While keeping track of when your employees clock in and out of work is important and still a very necessary step with regard to wages, businesses have come to rely on time and attendance software for a variety of other things as well. For example, the right time clock software will keep track of multiple areas, that are essential to large businesses that have a number of different buildings or floors in the buildings. A time and attendance software can determine the exact amount of time each employee is to be paid for, as well.Choosing the right time clock software can also help you monitor overtime hours worked. This can help you determine if too many hours are being worked in your business and help to cut back on overtime hours. It can also help you in determining the hours spent on a specific project. This aids your business in knowing where the most time was spent, if it was spent properly and even bill clients on a time based project.There is a variety of methods that allow the software to read the date and allows you to choose the method you prefer. For example, you could use a small plastic card that contains a magnetic strip or a bar code on the back for easy time punching for your employees. There is also a time and attendance software that will allow employees to enter a specific PIN number assigned to them for clock in and out times. Some software even goes as far as to read fingerprints, retinas or handprints to allow access to certain areas.The options are limitless. Many of the different time clock software products that are available on the market today can be customized to fit the exact needs and wants of your particular business. With the right time and attendance software, any business can easily keep track of time worked, employee attendance, overtime worked, project hours and avoid errors in pay that will ultimately save the business money.
Sometimes you have people who appear to be spectators in a meeting.There are many reasons why someone would decline to participate. For example, the person may feel reluctant to speak out, may disagree with the approach endorsed by others in the meeting, or may be tired.And yet, your job is to put the participants to work.In fact, an effective meeting depends upon fair and equitable participation from everyone. Here's how to make it easier for quiet participants to contribute.Approach 1: Encourage participationWhen you notice a quiet participant, ask for contributions by looking at the person and saying:"How do you feel about that, Chris?""What results do you expect from this, Pat?""Chris, how will this affect you?"Sometimes a quiet participant will test the environment with a tentative reply or a minor, safe point. Respond positively and with encouragement to any response that you receive. Then probe further to explore for more ideas.Sometimes you can encourage quiet participants to contribute by making direct eye contact, pausing, and letting your expression say, "What do you think?"Approach 2: Change the processUse sequential participation (a round robin) to collect ideas. This provides quiet participants with opportunities to speak. Introduce this process by saying,"We want to hear from everyone, so let's use a round robin. Who wants to start?"Use these techniques to involve all of the participants.This is the fourth of a seven part article on Managing Monsters in Meetings.
The constant struggle to get people to want to work for you is an enigma most business owners wrestle with. I have isolated successful methods through growing my multi-million dollar company from the ground up. In my experience it all comes down to how you want to be treated. I was raised in a lovey-dovey family where my parents wanted me to feel great about myself. Maybe it is because I was raised Jewish and all Jewish mothers think their children are superior who knows... Whatever the reason, I grew up hearing and believing I could do anything.That kind of confidence instilled in me led me to believe that I could instill that confidence in others. When I first started out I could not afford to hire expensive help and found the most successful type of personnel for my business were young, inexperienced adults in their late teens that had an abundance of willingness. And I do mean an abundance of it in my viewpoint, there is no better commodity.A Little Bit Goes a Long WayMy Senior Vice President over Operations and Quality Control who now manages six other executives and a colossal number of employees was only 19 years old when she started with me. Now she is 27. She had that willingness, but virtually no experience. I recall then that she wanted $10.00 per hour. I would only give her $9.00 but I gave her an incentive to prove to me she was worth it before I consented to that kind of pay (which was a lot of money to me at the time). She did so well that I gave her $11.50 per hour within two weeks of her hire date. That little bit extra that I did went a long way. She took notice and she consistently proved to me that she could do even more. That was the first time I noticed that rewarding your employees for hard work really paid off. Today, she makes a six-figure income and earns every penny.I love to validate and reward the staff it is a driving force of mine in my company. We have an employee of the month that gets company recognition and a designated parking space as well as an employee of the year that gets a three-day trip to the Big Apple, plus spending money. Not to mention the runner up gets no short shrift. And my employees work their tails off for those coveted prizes, but mainly for the pride they feel after doing so well. The stipulations are that they go above and beyond the call of duty and really set great examples for the rest of the group. Ive never seen such stellar work from staff at other companies that dont acknowledge and dont reward I know because I used to work at them.More Freedom = More ResponsibilityA major factor in increasing the responsibility level of the employees is giving them more freedom and responsibility. If you do, they will own their position. The best employees are those that really take ownership of their position and run it like it was their very own company. You may think that it is a bit precarious to let someone run their area like it was their own company because what if they took it way off course from what you had designed where that organization would go? Well, I found that the more freedom I gave my executives to do the job the way they thought it should be done based on their understanding of the companys goals, they became even better at what they did. That really opened my eyes. It was like the circle of life they would do better and better to warrant the responsibility I had given them.Another manager of mine is a great example of this. When she first came to work for me, she didnt necessarily make me feel confident that she could do the job but she sure was willing. And I have a philosophy about just throwing them in and seeing if they can make it go right or die trying.She impressed me. She did a great job over and over again. I couldnt help but acknowledge and validate her. She was only 18 years old when she started working for me and I was so amazed how well she did her job she was neat, tidy, systematic and never made mistakes so I told her how great she was all the time. The end result? This shy girl just blossomed into one of my fifteen executives who has several subordinates and runs a tight ship. So, I learned that the way I should treat people is the way I like being and have been treated. I know its the Golden Rule that many of us have heard or read, but I learned to apply this in regards to staff and it works well for me. I grew up knowing that it works from the recipient end. I used it later in business and learned how much it really empowers others when you tell them they can it becomes instinctive. Application of that in the corporate world brings out the natural abilities of the people you bestow that confidence in. Their abilities really start to shine through.I remember another girl that worked in my company in the early days. Well call her American Mary (she chose that nickname herself) even though thats not her name. She wasnt a real fast duplicator or speedy at comprehending; but I learned that if I wanted to work with her, I had to, in essence, Be her. Incidentally, a marketing principle that helps a graphic designer attain a better idea of what kind of design will pull (get responses) for a totally alien industry to that said designer is to learn to Be the recipient of the direct mail piece. Once someone learns to assume the views and ideas of the recipient, then he can design something that will elicit a reach a call or an order, etc. This principle also applies to employees. American Mary could not work with a certain person in my company because he would not tolerate her slowness. He couldnt or wouldnt understand what it was like to be her. So, he barked his orders as fast as he usually did and he got nowhere. On the other hand, I would just Be her. Id slow it down, be really kind, maybe draw a map for her even if she had been there five times beforeand she would do anything for me. And shed make sure shed do a perfect job if she knew it was for me. Even today, she still calls me from Europe every now and then just to say hello.Ask Not What I Can Do For YouIt all comes down to the point of exchanging properly with an employee; and thats a tough one to balance. The person has to bring in a return to the company. With my employees and my executives, I start at what I can afford to pay them. I provide them an atmosphere where they can prosper by giving them the freedom to do the job themselves always observing that they have the willingness as the biggest factor. In the initial interview process, I tell them the truth: I expect the world. You are expected to give 110% and take pride in a job well done. You give to me first and then Ill exchange back with you. And I do. I demand a lot. And when they deliver and go above and beyond what I expect, I give back to them over and above what they expect. Its that circle of life concept I was talking about earlier.Another example of how to apply this is to spread their accolades through word of mouth. I dont ever plan this; I just may be talking to my PR about one of my designers and I just say how great that designer is doing - and guess what? Next thing you know that designer has heard about it. That really does something for the person you are praising. They know you think they are great at their job and that really makes them want to work even harder for you.Loyalty Pays OffThe President of my company, Jennifer Custer, is a gem. I recall one day her mother asking me what the gross income was for the week. She said she wanted to know so she could predict what kind of weekend she was going to have. I didnt understand what did this have to do with her weekend? I found out; Jenn was not fun to be around when the companys revenue was down. I learned from her mother that she wanted so badly to make it, for me and the company, that when she did not, she really felt down. I never thought that she wore her duties that personally.To instill that kind of loyalty you have to be loyal. When somebody flows me a lot of help in a particular area, I never forget it, I never disconnect from that. I have someone that was with me that has been with me from the beginning. She was a Doubting Thomas and would comment behind my back that I sure had a big pipe dream in regards to growing the company. But she was really good at her post her division does a lot of production in that area and she runs it well. They are result driven and have deadlines that would even try the patience of Job. It would have been hard to replace her, plus she had been with me so long. Once my President found out that she was negating my dreams to others, she addressed it and that person never did it again. But I never held onto that as a grudge. In fact, I ended up giving her a raise above what her position was worth in our geographical area. In my opinion, she had warranted it the good she constantly did surely outweighed her verbal negativity. She was with me a long time and truly developed her area. I never disconnected from her because she helped me, despite her verbal transgression. Not only did she make amends for what she has ever said about me, she would never naysay me or my company again, and now shell probably never leave me. So always take a look at what the staff member DOES (as opposed to says), regardless of the apparency. Lastly, I think its important and warrants mentioning that I want my employees to enjoy their time here at work. I've had a few jobs where I hated going in to work in the morning and couldn't wait until the end of the day. Although I've learned that ultimately I am responsible for my condition in life - at work and at home - I could also notice things that existed in the workplace that were surely less than optimum. I wished that there was some person to tell, someone that would listen and be able to do something about it. You need to make sure that your executives and employees know you are their friend and know that you genuinely care about them. You will build a juggernaut like I have and your executives will carry forward your ideals to the rest of your crew.