• 5 overlooked shortcomings of businesses that lead to failure

    27 February 2017
    Vectors used are from Freepik
    Vectors used are from Freepik
    Vectors used are from Freepik

    Businesses can fail for many reasons. Usually, it stems from the ignorance – owners don’t know their business is about to fail until it’s too late. The worst part is when some of the issues are not outright visible, making it hard for executives, managers, and employees to do something about it.

    Awareness is the first step to resolving issues that may lead your business to fail. Take note of these shortcomings as your organization might be guilty of them.

    Ignoring negative feedback from clients

    When our products or services do not receive negative feedback as often, there is a tendency for us to ignore the comments we’ve received. We are inclined to conclude that they’re small mistakes which won’t happen again. But at this day and age, snubbing unsatisfied clients would mean putting your reputation at risk.

    Reputation plays a significant role in the success of your business. It is one of the major factors which potential clients and investors consider when deciding to put trust and confidence in your product or service. Today’s technology has enabled people to broadcast opinions to a worldwide reach, which means negative feedback can be seen by many, hurting your chances of doing business with potential clients.

    High employee turnover rate

    Frequent employee turnovers affect business more than you think. Not only does it take a serious hit on your business financially (considering expenses for wages, interviews, trainings and advertising), it also adversely affects other aspects of your business.

    Turnovers can negatively impact employee morale and productivity. New hires most likely lack the same caliber of skill and experience your previous employees have, which can result to inconsistency in product or service quality and poor performance on your business’ part. Moreover, should once the word gets out, attracting and finding high-quality talent can be difficult.

    Overstocking equipment

    It might seem like a good deal to buy spare parts or equipment in bulk because it may mean lower prices, but buying more than you need is dead money. Overstocking equipment can cause cash flow issues for your business. And when expenses outstrip earnings, your business will be in trouble.

    Poor leadership

    When directors or managers are unable to provide direction, coaching and motivation to their members, it can negatively impact your business in many ways. Strategies can be difficult to execute due to low morale and poor synergy. And when employees aren’t committed to their jobs, it can result to less profitability. Paying little attention to how business is being run can cultivate a culture of poor leadership, which can perpetuate across your company at all levels.

    Workplace complacency

    Doing the same tasks everyday causes employees to fall into routine and complacency. It might not seem like an issue when they’re doing the tasks correctly, but even then, it harms business.

    The automaticity of routine produces employees that are less likely to reflect on the quality of what they produce, causing the quality of their performance to suffer. They become disengaged at work, losing their will to innovate. And when employees are not performing to bring your business to the next level, your business won’t go very far.

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  • 4 surefire ways you and your company can maximize training courses

    20 February 2017
    Designed by Freepik
    Designed by Freepik
    Designed by Freepik

    Trainings are a serious investment and just like every investment, you need to maximize its potential. Molding your employees into a highly capable workforce can bring your business an increase in productivity and profitability – only if you play your cards right. The real business value of training and development is revealed only when the training departments are able to help people do their job better.

    Learn how you can make the most out of your training experience with these guidelines:

    Focus on your people’s strengths, not weaknesses.

    Training departments and managers already know the importance of topic relevance and training method in sending employees to seminars or workshops. What most don’t take account of are their employees’ strong suits.

    According to Gallup, developing employees’ strengths is far more effective than improving their weaknesses. Based on their research, they found out that enhancing skills your employees are already good at can lead to an improvement on their well-being and increase in employee engagement. Your employees’ developments, in turn, benefit your operations through higher productivity and performance, resulting to a more profitable business.

    Settle work before the training begins.

    Attending a training program means being away from work for a few days, or even weeks.  If possible, accomplish all tasks beforehand so you won’t have anything to worry about on the day of the training. Contact clients and colleagues who will need your assistance and remind them that you won’t be available on the scheduled date/s. If you have appointments that cannot be cancelled, coordinate with others so they can help you out. This way, you are able to put your 100% focus on learning.

    Read ahead.

    Course agendas are handed out early on for a reason. Read on the topics that will be tackled during the session and take note of items that confuse you. By going through the topics in advance, you get the opportunity to voice out your questions and concerns beforehand which your trainer may be able to cover and provide you with the right solutions.

    You can only truly engage yourself when you are familiar with what the trainer is talking about. Refreshing your knowledge will also enable you to participate actively in discussions and exercises.

    Hold post-training evaluations and integration planning.

    Most companies fail to recognize the significance of post-training planning and evaluation. They simplify assessment to employees’ reactions towards the training conducted, but will this be enough to justify your investment?

    Companies need to establish formal evaluation which includes employee insights on how they can apply what they learned to their work. They must also provide an avenue for application, wherein attendees develop a plan on how they can integrate new information and practices in current operations. This will ensure accountability on their part and a return of investment on yours.

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  • What makes employee training and development a worthwhile investment?

    24 January 2017
    Vectors used are from Freepik
    Vectors used are from Freepik
    Vectors used are from Freepik

    Sustainable growth and increase in profitability will always be a recurring issue that every business has to face. As your business grows, more issues related to your expansion will emerge. With globalization resulting to tighter competition, increasing revenue is no walk in the park either. So how can companies grow and thrive despite today’s volatile market and rapid advancements in technology?

    The answer: through training and development.

    Many would argue that investing in training and development has potential drawbacks – and there’s no doubt about that. Spending on trainings is risky because they’re not cheap and the return of investment might not manifest. Employees can pursue better opportunities, leave the company, and use gained knowledge against you. To top it off, the global economic crisis has forced most businesses to concentrate on the bottom line and fast-earning solutions, putting training and development at the chopping block.

    While these concerns are perfectly rational, companies forget to look at the bigger picture. They focus more on today’s concerns when they should be thinking for the long run – and that’s what training and development is all about. It is a proactive and long-term solution that provides competitive edge for both the company and individual employees.

    Investing in training and development can yield to a domino effect of positive outcomes that can bring your organization to achieving success step by step.

    Training as a two-point advantage

    Without well-versed employees, your company might as well cease to exist.

    Providing opportunities to advance your employees’ skills further benefit not just your employees, but also your business. Your interest in their progress can increase their job satisfaction, which in turn, motivates them to work harder, increasing productivity. This can also help reduce employee turnover and improve retention. Aside from that, you create an image for your business that attracts potential talent.

    Business run better

    Emerging trends and constant changes in the industry won’t be a problem when you have seasoned staff members. New knowledge and practices learned will translate in their work, resulting to an increase and improvement in your business’ performance. With employees committing fewer mistakes, operations will run smoother all the while reducing unnecessary business costs. And what happens when business runs better? You earn more.

    Employee development is a definitive arm to the difficult task of sustaining growth and increasing the profitability of your business. Training and development is an investment that keeps on giving with its progression of benefits, starting with your employees’ improvement in performance which will manifest in their role, resulting to improved productivity and a direct increase in profitability. Sure, it may be a long journey, but then success isn’t a short sprint – it’s a marathon.

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  • Essential tips for your business to thrive this 2017

    11 January 2017
    Vectors used are from Freepik
    Vectors used are from Freepik
    Vectors used are from Freepik

    As the new year begins, companies must reflect on previous accomplishments and prepare for the days to come. Companies need effective and realistic strategies on how to create new selling opportunities, overcome future issues, and stay on top.

    For better chances of success this 2017, here are essential and practical tips:

    Evaluate (and revise, if needed) your business plan.

    Your business plan is the systematic and detailed representation of what you envision for your company and how you can make that vision come to life. Even though business plans may project several years ahead, it is still wise to monitor at least once a year whether you are on the right track in achieving your objectives.

    Were you able to allocate your resources effectively? Does your current situation coincide with the original plan? In what direction is your business heading? What steps must you take to keep it growing? By answering these questions and analyzing the steps you’ve previously taken, you are able to come up with revisions and better options on how to make your business grow in the next following months.

    Brush up on industry regulations.

    Stay on the lookout for new policies that governing bodies to be released that can affect your business. For example, Malaysia has issued a new policy document on compliance which has taken effect at the start of 2017. The Philippine government is also planning to ban sub-contracting by this year. It’s important to stay informed even of the minor changes so there won’t be any surprises on your part. Make use of services such as Google Alert, Talkwalker, and the likes to help you keep tabs.

    Invest in employee development.

    Foreseen issues in retention this year wouldn’t be a problem for you if you give your employees opportunities to grow.

    You see, investing in employee development can be a win-win situation. Studies have shown that employees develop a sense of loyalty in companies that give them a sense of purpose and help progress their career. By engaging employees in succession and off-site trainings, they can achieve professional and personal growth and enhance their skills which will enable them to perform better and produce better revenue.

    Trim down expenses even when you don’t need to.

    One of the main reasons why businesses fail is because expenses get out of hand. It’s only good business sense to practice examining your expenses and cutting costs regularly, even when you’re making good profit. It can be difficult to cut down especially when revenue generation is stable, but do them nonetheless. There could be potential unnecessary costs disguised that throw your money down the drain.

    Innovate and reinvent.

    Last but not the least, never be complacent. Study competitors and learn what you should be doing to get ahead. Brainstorm and test out ideas on how you can take advanced of your sales and marketing efforts. Come up with ways on how to increase your profitability. Continue striving to be better to be the best.

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  • 5 important minute hacks you must incorporate at work

    26 August 2016
    Vectors used are from Freepik
    Vectors used are from Freepik
    Vectors used are from Freepik

    You’re setting yourself to a trap if you think that eight hours seem like more than enough time to finish several tasks at work. This lax perception often leads to none getting done at all, leaving you to feel stressed out in the end. (RELATED: Stress at Work: The Dangers of Work-related Stress)

    Even with the internal and external factors that divert you from important tasks, you need to be able to cope and maximize the time you spend at work. Accomplish more with less time by using one of these minute hacks:

    2-minute rule

    There are a lot of tasks that take less than two minutes to finish – that’s David Allen’s idea. In his bestselling book, Getting Things Done, he suggests to workers that “if an action will take less than two minutes, it should be done at the moment it is defined.”

    In short, do easier tasks first. The two-minute rule is about deciding instantly whether or not the task at hand can be easily done and just going for it, saving you time to do tasks that require more focus and mental power.

    Quoting from the book, “the rationale for the two-minute rule is that that’s more or less the point where it starts taking longer to store and track an item than to deal with it the first time it’s in your hands – in other words, it’s the efficiency cutoff.”

    10-minute hack

    For David Kadavy, author of Design for Hackers and host of Love your Work, it only takes 10 minutes to dive into the work.

    For this hack, you must set your timer to 10 minutes and focus on doing one task only. When the 10 minutes are up, you don’t have to stop working. The timer becomes a warm-up to achieving a good work flow until you feel like taking a break.

    According to David, the purpose of giving yourself 10 minutes is to get started. “Once you get started, the trail has been carved. The rigidity of hesitation gives way to the fluidity of being in a project. Whatever second guesses that had to be quelled to get started are knocked down by the possibilities introduced by being in motion,” David said.

    15-minute rule

    We’ve all had our fair share of moments wherein no matter how much brain power and effort we put into the assignment, we fall short and get stuck on just one task. Before you know it, your supposedly productive eight hours are down the drain.

    The solution? Vincent Vanhoucke, a Principal Scientist at Google, shared his 15-minute rule in a recent AMA Reddit session hosted by him and other Google Brain team members.

    “I often tell new team members about the 15-minute rule (I didn’t come up with it): when you’re stuck on something (e.g. getting a script to run), you have to try to solve the problem all by yourself for 15 minutes. But then when the 15 minutes are up, you have to ask for help. Failure to do the former wastes people’s time, failure to ask for help wastes your time,” Vincent shared.

    17-minute break

    What’s the secret to becoming a productive employee? According to Draugiem Group, you need to take breaks more often.

    The social networking company conducted an experiment wherein the top 10% most productive employees were assigned to use DeskTime, a time tracking app that analyzes productivity. Through the experiment, they found out that the productive employees would work non-stop for 52 minutes followed by a 17-minute break.

    DeskTime’s article on the experiment suggests that “the break of 17 minutes lets your mind, your attention span, and your body rest so that when the 52 minutes of work begin, you’re entirely ready to knock off the tasks to be done.”

    25-minute sessions of work

    Sift working with purpose and procrastinating by using the Pomodoro Technique. Developed by Francesco Cirillo in the early 90s, this time management method suggests accomplishing a task in 25-minute chunks with 5-minute breaks in between.

    Focusing your full attention on a task for 25 minutes is a reasonable amount of time. It’s not too long to overwork your mind or too short to accomplish anything at all. Breaking down work into short sprints can also help improve your attention span and keep you consistently productive.

    Always remember that more hours doesn’t necessarily mean better work. Try incorporating at least one of these hacks in your daily routine at work and see if it makes a difference.

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  • Tips to combat work-related stress

    12 August 2016
    Vectors used are designed by Freepik
    Vectors used are designed by Freepik
    Vectors used are designed by Freepik

    Experiencing stress on a day-to-day basis carry grave physical and mental health risks. Because the working population is constantly exposed to stressors, they need to take stress as a serious matter.

    According to Dr. Cynthia Ackrill, a wellness and leadership coach, “Highly stressed individuals tend to be more irritable, less approachable, less open in their thinking, less creative, less empathetic, more easily triggered, or just plain too tired to inspire.”

    (RELATED: Stress as work: the dangers of work-related stress)

    While it is inevitable, it is not impossible to learn how to manage it well.

    Sleep it off.

    Our first instinct when we feel stressed is to rest – which is correct! Most professionals are sleep-deprived or have poor sleeping hygiene. They tend to work too hard and take sleep for granted. Though when you’re tired and stressed out, it may also affect sleep, making it difficult for you to rest. Here are some tips to help you sleep trouble-free:

    1. Strictly reserve the bedroom for relaxation purposes only. Leisure and work-related activities must be done somewhere else. This will decrease stimulation of the mind. It will also condition your mind and body that the bedroom is only a place for sleeping.
    2. Make it a habit to stop using your gadgets before going to bed. Keep them far away as possible so you won’t get tempted to reach for it. This also decreases stimulation of the mind.
    3. Search for tools and applications online that can help block blue light when using the computer.

    Get moving!

    While resting may be the first instinct, it’s also a great idea to move around. “Exercise stimulates the production of HGH and testosterone which both help build lean muscle, burn fat, increase bone density, support joint function, and increase energy levels—the exact opposite of stress,” says Dr. Pete Sulack, America’s leading stress expert. A study by Princeton researchers also revealed that physical activity reduces stress. Insert exercise in your work schedule with these tips:

    1. Practice being a morning person and wake up earlier than you usually do. Squeeze in a 15-30 minute circuit routine before hitting the shower. Not only will this help reduce stress levels, but it will also put you in an upbeat mood going to work.
    2. For professionals that are always on-the-go, incorporate workouts that take less time and effort in your everyday routine. Small tasks such as taking the stairs in your building or walking around after work will do. Compared to hitting the gym, it’s easy to maintain but it can still make a difference.

    Put your mobile phone down.

    Communication is an important aspect in business. This is why it’s understandable why today’s professionals are glued to their phones. Without us realizing, it can affect our physical and mental state. “Switching off is not only a choice, but it’s a healthy option. The trappings of this modern lifestyle are such that people have literally become helpless slaves to an all-consuming, relentless and insatiable system,” says Bridget Edwards, author of Stress Gone!. Lessen the time you spend on your mobile phone through the following:

    1. Opt for reading a book or talking to your fellow colleagues during your free time.
    2. If it can’t be helped, use apps that encourage you to concentrate and be productive in a fun and interactive way such as Forest and CARROT To-do.

    Laugh out loud.

    It is odd to consider humour as the solution to a stressful situation, but it works. In fact, humour has many health benefits and combating stress is one. Like exercise, laughing releases endorphins which negate the effects of cortisol, better known as ‘stress hormones’. Aside from that, it can boost your body’s immune system as well, taking away the chances of you catching common illnesses like migraine and colds. Reduce stress with laughter with these tips:

    1. Surround yourself with people whom you are able to confide in and make you feel good. Forget issues about work for a little while and unwind.
    2. Try out laughter yoga. The ongoing trend is an exercise composed of deep breathing and self-generated laughter which gives off the benefits of normal laughter. Laughter Online University has a list to get you started.

    Competition is a no-brainer in any industry. Organisations achieve success in the competitive landscape by staying at the top of their game. To do that, each and everyone in the organisation must be able to function in their best state.

    Stress disables us from functioning properly. When our stress levels are off the charts, we even tend to forget how we can take care of ourselves. If you feel that stress is a reoccurring condition that cannot be solved by simple remedies, ask for professional help. Keep in mind that only when you have a clear mind are you able to work at your best.

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  • Losing focus: why it happens and how to stop it from happening

    12 August 2016
    Vectors used are designed by Freepik
    Vectors used are designed by Freepik
    Vectors used are designed by Freepik

    Going through stacks of paperworks. Sorting through e-mails. Responding to clients and business partners. Interacting with colleagues. Attending scheduled meetings. Taking slow sips of tea or coffee. It’s easy to get lost in these tasks which we incorporate in our everyday work routine. When one has too much on his plate, they tend to lose focus and that’s normal.

    It can’t be helped that at some point during the day, your mind wanders off and you can’t seem to get any work done. This, in turn, delays work. And before you know it, all your tasks have piled up and have eventually caused you stress.

    (RELATED: Tips to Combat Work-related Stress)

    Human vs. Goldfish

    The reality is that nobody can concentrate 100% of the time. A person’s brain can only handle so much. Focusing on a task requires us to retain our attention for a certain amount of time. Unfortunately for us, our attention span is getting shorter. Back in 2000, the average attention span of a human being is 12 seconds. After fifteen years, we’ve dropped to almost 4 seconds with 8.25 seconds recorded. This recent data on our attention span is said to be slightly shorter than a goldfish as a study conducted by Microsoft showed.

    As our attention span is getting shorter, situations at work are also affected. In 2014, 89% of respondents from Salary.com’s annual Wasting Time at Work Survey admitted to wasting time at work. Work flow is interrupted roughly every three minutes according to the findings of one Wall Street Journal’s article.

    There haven’t been any specifics on what age group seems to be more distracted, but it has been identified that millennial workers have differently structured cognitive abilities, making old strategies of building talent less effective to the generation.

    (RELATED: Certification course on Talent Management to bring better strategies to face talent shortage)

    Technology: number one source of distraction

    Almost all results of studies on workplace distractions pinpoint to technology-driven mediums as the cause for this phenomenon. Smartphones, social media, and e-mailing are amongst the 10 productivity killers according to CareerBuilder. Not all distractions are to be credited to technology though. Workers indicated meetings and noisy co-workers as distractions which ranked in the survey as well.

    Companies have taken measures to resolve the growing issue. The most common solution to this was blocking certain internet sites that cause distraction such as Facebook and Twitter. Other examples of the steps they’ve taken are prohibiting use of cellular phones during work hours, monitoring internet usage, and limiting meetings.

    Train your brain

    Even though our attention span is said to be decreasing over time, we are still capable of doing something about it. There are plenty of ways in which we can train our brains into focusing better. It’s just a matter of accomplishing tasks in a certain way for you to have good work pace without disruptions.

    For one, you can jumpstart good focus by eating breakfast. Breakfast isn’t called the most important meal of the day for nothing. Studies have proven that having a sufficient amount of carbohydrates in the morning can help boost memory and concentration.

    Another tip would be to also avoid multitasking. Stanford conducted an experiment and found out that low multitaskers have better memory and are better at organizing information. They excelled in terms of performance and this is because avid multitaskers could not concentrate on doing one task alone. Instead of multitasking, practice set-shifting. This is the ability to shift concentration between tasks. In set-shifting, your concentration is wholly consumed by the new task alone, which gives you more concentration power.

    Having a clean working space helps too. Sometimes the clutter in your mind comes from the clutter that you see. Place on your desk things that you only need to help you stay in the zone.

    Propagate the change

    When it comes to staying focused at work, being in an influential position in the company changes the dynamics. You are tasked to manage other people, which means their level of concentration at work is also your concern.

    There are many reasons why employees lose focus. For one, they lack proper guidance. They may also have an unclear idea of what is expected of them. It is also important to look at the little details such as if they look tired, bored, or hungry because these may lead them to be easily distracted.

    To keep this from happening, set goals individually so that they have something to look forward to finishing. Setting deadlines for every task would also push them to work and prioritize workflow. Monotonous work could also drain their productivity, so creating a positive and lively environment to motivate them would help. Recognizing and rewarding employees for a job well done can also help boosts work morale. Most importantly, seniors must lead by example to build trust and show employees that you’re all working to better.

    The workplace is becoming increasingly distracting for everyone to do their jobs in peace. Being aware of the problem is the first step, taking action is the next.

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  • Stress at work: the dangers of work-related stress

    12 August 2016
    Vectors used are designed by Freepik
    Vectors used are designed by Freepik
    Vectors used are designed by Freepik

    Work-related stress is recognized by the World Health Organization as the “health epidemic of the 21st century”. For many years, it has plagued the business landscape worldwide. In fact, on the latest survey of Wills Towers Watson, stress ranked as the top workforce risk factor. Findings show that stress topped the surveys for two consecutive years in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Latin America. It doesn’t stop there. Over the years, many surveys also identified stress as the biggest concern of the workforce.

    Why does stress continue to become an issue in business? Are companies doing enough to battle it? How can companies and workers themselves fight the negative impact of stress?

    The risk on employees and businesses

    Studies have shown that stress is related to different illnesses. The range of severity varies from catching a cold to terminal illnesses such as heart disease. In Salvo’s interview with stress experts, they mentioned many possible stressors in the workplace. Excessively long working hours, unrealistic management demands, poor leadership, and fear of job loss – the list goes on.

    “All these symptoms naturally impair one’s ability to perform optimally, reduce creative levels, reduce health and well-being, and most definitely reduce one’s ability to come up with solutions to even the simplest day-to-day issues,” said Bridget Edwards, an emotional change catalyst and author of the book Stress Gone!.

    Employees are not able to function properly and because of this, companies lose a ton of money due to increase in absenteeism and healthcare expenses alone. According to Dr. Pete Sulack, America’s leading stress expert and founder of Unhealthy Anonymous, a workforce with tremendously high levels of stress can be bad for business. “The fact is that while absenteeism is costly, people showing up stressed out costs them more. They have brain fog, are distracted, irritable and not nearly as creative as they could be if they were relaxed. They make more mistakes and are more difficult to manage and work with.”

    The consequences of stressed out workers showing up at work are not the only thing they need to worry about. Dr. Cynthia Ackrill, a physician trained on neuroscience and wellness and leadership coaching, points out that stress can be “contagious”. This is caused by mirror neurons. According to an article on the Journal of Natural Science, Biology, and Medicine, “mirror neurons” discharge by observing a person perform a motor act and imitating it afterwards. This includes emotions as well. Other employees can pick up the anxiety felt by a stressed co-worker and feel the same way too. “This was great when survival in the wild increased if you could start responding to danger when you say your buddy’s stress reaction triggered, but it is not helpful with everyday packed with volumes of triggers to your stress reaction system,” Dr. Cynthia said. She also added that too much energy is expended on reaction – up to 1400 chemical reactions – and not enough on generative, creative, productive work.

    The problem at hand

    Work can be quite the pickle, so it’s understandable why the working population is prone to experiencing heavy stress. But are companies doing anything to counter its negative effects? Experts agree that not enough is done. According to Dr. Cynthia, a recent study in the US claims that 85% of workers experiencing workplace stress rated the efforts to reduce stress as fair to poor. This has resulted to US companies losing up to $300 billion dollars a year.

    With such a big loss, why aren’t companies hurrying to fix the problem?

    Truth is, the issue of stress in the workplace is complicated to deal with. What makes stress a complex health issue is that it works differently for every individual. Bridget pointed out that there are many factors to consider because the environment and how people respond to stress may vary. What can cause stress to one person may stimulate and motivate another, making it hard to pin down what exactly needs to be fixed.

    A major hindrance to providing solutions is the impression that stress and exhaustion at work is a good thing – it means that you’re doing something right. “For some people, there is a warped perception that stress, or the amount of stress, is actually indicative of success and therefore a necessary ingredient of success, proudly worn like a ‘badge of honor’. In other words, success and stress go hand-in-hand – implying the more stressed, the more successful one is,” Bridget said.

    Dealing with stress and business

    Bridget advises employees to exercise making quality choices to reduce stress. “Exercise free will, make wise and healthy choices, and you’ll be able to control the levels of stress you participate in better. If necessary, change jobs, relocate, eradicate toxic relationships, and live within realistic financial means.”

    (RELATED: Tips to Combat Work-related Stress)

    On a greater scale, companies need to be flexible and open to changing several elements in their operations if they are to create a relaxed and productive atmosphere. “This requires a multipronged approach to address organizational effectiveness and provide programs to support a more human-friendly, brain friendly culture. Identify why your workforce feels stress – the answers are sometimes surprising. And ask the workforce what would work better – they are an amazing source,” Dr. Cynthia suggests.

    Dr. Pete recommends companies to make changes in their setting by providing standing desks for workers and encourage them to spend part of their days standing instead of sitting. If budget permits, they can also make a gym available to employees, or use gym membership discounts as an incentive for workers to exercise regularly. Most of all, business leaders need to create change using a top-down approach. “Set the example from the top-down. If executives are stressed out, chugging caffeine, staying [until the wee] hours of the night, smoking too much, drinking too much, and eating the wrong foods and not exercising, then that will set the tone for the culture of the corporation.”

    “Until employers realize the huge toll that stress takes on their bottom line, they won’t change anything about the current corporate culture,” he added.

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  • Bring the dead back to life: alternative ways to get rid of dead inventory

    22 February 2016

    MRO spare parts inventory are of major importance to industries such as Manufacturing, Metals & Mining, Power & Utilities, Oil & Gas, and Chemicals, where business revolves around labor and performance. To save an organisation from a costly downtime and make sure they’re ready for periodic maintenance or unexpected equipment failure, it is a common strategy to prepare spares beforehand. One may think that this is a good strategy – and it is! – but here’s the dilemma: while this is a smart move, it can also cause a damaging effect on the organisation by gaining excess and dead inventory.

    Keeping dead inventory is never good for business. There is no return of investment (ROI), only sales loss and unwanted added costs which can put the whole organisation into financial jeopardy. The common approach to getting rid of it is to dispose them, which isn’t proactive and of no help either. Replace the common approach with better alternatives that can help your organisation gain profit! Here are some tips to consider in getting rid of dead inventory:

    Find the source.

    The best way to stop recurring non-moving inventory is to search for its possible causes. What’s the reason it got there in the first place? If you can find what’s causing all the dead weight, you can come up with a solution to avoid it from happening again.

    Send it back.

    Do not hold on to spare parts longer than you have to so that it’s possible to return them back. If not too much time has passed since your purchase and it’s not violating any policy, return it to your supplier. Construct a proposition that creates a winning outcome for both parties so they’d be more attracted to the idea.

    Sell it in a discounted price.

    Spare parts that have not been used for quite a while are outdated, so selling it in its original price wouldn’t entice customers. To decide how much to mark down, segregate spare parts into categories. For instance, you can base it on its usefulness or maturity.  A reduced price can encourage more buyers, giving you more chances of selling it and making profit. Advertise it on niche industrial sites such as Industry Mart and Liquidation rather than generic sites to get a clearer target market. You might not get exactly what you paid for, but at least you’re getting something in return.

    Bundle it up.

    Eliminate dead inventory swiftly by selling them as a package deal! Use discount strategies such as “buy-one, get-one” and selling spare parts that go together to get rid of it faster. Another trick would be to sell products that are high in demand together with those that have low ones.

    Seek for help (and give incentives).

    Incentives such as getting a small cut from the sold product or an extra paid leave – whichever reward you prefer and think compliments the situation – can help motivate members of your department to move and sell the products. Liquidating dead inventory doesn’t happen overnight, so having many hands working on making it happen can go a long way.

    Owning dead inventory is hard to avoid completely; nonetheless, organisations must carefully weigh and plan when to buy spares to steer clear of extreme build up. Remember: if the piled up spare parts are still in good condition, writing dead inventory off as waste and disposing of them should always be the last resort. Stay pro-active!


    Implement advanced spare parts management strategies and achieve cost savings with Salvo’s MRO Spares Optimisation and Rationalisation Masterclass! Learn from one of the leading experts in whose experience ranges from over 50 years in Maintenance, Reliability, and Spares Optimisation. To know more about our event, grab a brochure here.

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  • 5 essential skills successful project managers possess

    13 January 2016

    A project’s success relies on interrelated factors that coincide with its schedule, scope, and resources. A clear understanding of the project goals, an effective communication source, and an enjoyable work atmosphere – these are just some of what determines the success rate of a project and all these depend on the guidance of the project manager.

    (RELATED: Salvo Runs Masterclass on Integrated Project Control in Ghana)

    A lot of pressure is put on a project manager, or anyone tasked to oversee projects, especially multimillion dollar ones. It is part of the job to deal with many issues and risks considering how great the investments clients pour into it. Just as every project is unique, so are project managers. Each one has their distinct approach which determines a project’s end result. While they may be a diverse bunch, top project managers share skills that make them what they are – competent and —. So, what makes a good project manager?

    They can communicate effectively.

    Communication is crucial in managing projects because most of a project manager’s time is spent communicating to clients, worker, suppliers, and other involved parties. In whatever means – be it e-mails, reports, meetings – they are able to convey ideas and issues that needs to be addressed effectively.

    Tip: People respond well to when they can be comfortable around you.Start by observing how individuals interact with one another. You can use your observations to know how you can approach them.

    They know how to lead.

    Most project managers have great technical knowledge and skill, but lack the also necessary leadership skills. A good project manager knows how to balance both. They are able to provide direction and motivate the people at the same time.

    Tip: Delegate tasks to team members to make them feel authorized. Engaging them without interfering helps them come up with more initiate skills.

    They can budget well.

    Good project managers can finish the whole project within the budget. For this to happen, they track their own expenses and budget, keeping the members on the loop.

    Tip: Be thorough in managing your project scope. Create change orders to cover cost of extra work.

    (RELATED: Integrated Project Control  Event Page)

    They are always one or two steps ahead.

    They like to anticipate scenarios that may put the project at risk and think of ways to fight against it. Forecasting budget has also been a routine, preventing the budget get out of hand.

    Tip: Stay proactive by making forecasting a habit. Whether it’s forecasting budget, resource usage, or issues that may arise, do it regularly. Prevention is always better than cure.

    They are empathetic.

    When project managers are empathetic, they are able to understand the needs of the project, clients, and team members. They recognize the issues and risks involved as well.

    Tip: Listen attentively. This includes not only what is being said and its tone, but also picking up body language and what he’s feeling.

    Having a competent project manager does not make work easier, but it still makes a difference. In his command, he can guide his workers clearly to the path the project will take and build confidence in his clients that the project will be successful.


    Fulfill project deliverables within budget and schedule in an integrated manner with Salvo’s Integrated Project Control Masterclass. The masterclass will also have new schedules and locations in both Asia and Africa.

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