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Leading a Multicultural Team

September 15, 2014 By: azjogger Category: Jobs, Management, Marketing

CBR003314By Marwa Hijazi

Managing a multicultural team can be a rewarding experience, giving leaders the opportunity to work closely with employees from diverse backgrounds and offering the chance for personal and professional growth. However, operating a team with genuinely different people also comes with a number of challenges that must be overcome to create a productive work environment.

Leaders must be knowledgeable and open minded of different cultures to gain a better understanding of employees and find a way to help them work together as a team.

Breaking Down Cultural Barriers

It’s easy for misunderstandings to occur on a diverse team simply due to cultural differences. When people have different values and are accustomed to certain behaviors, it can take some work to get everyone on the same page.

Some cultures have a more direct style of addressing problems, while others prefer to focus on the relationship and take a more subtle approach. For example, the Dutch have a reputation for being very straightforward, while the Japanese are typically more reserved and formal.  Team members from these cultures may have to make an effort to adapt to each other’s style and expectations.

Time is another major issue that often causes rifts in multicultural teams. While Americans plan their day according to the clock, other cultures are often much more relaxed. Employees from such backgrounds may believe it’s perfectly acceptable to let a meeting run over the scheduled time period or show up late if they were in the middle of an important conversation ─ which is bound to upset those who prefer to stick to a strict timetable.

The phrase “time is money” translates well for most cultures, since money is a universal priority in the business world. If everyone on the team respects each other’s time as they would respect each other’s money, that can go a long way.

Forming a United Workplace Culture

Multicultural teams are often composed of employees who would rarely interact with one another otherwise. While their individual cultures should be celebrated, it’s important to shape a cohesive and constructive atmosphere for everyone involved.

Management should talk to employees ─ creating focus groups if necessary ─ to learn more about similar problems faced by workers. If there isn’t one obvious solution to these issues, it’s a great idea to ask for input on the best way to manage them, so everyone feels like they’re being heard.

Understanding Cultural Differences

Business practices, customs, and acceptable topics of conversation vary greatly from one country to the next. So while the behavior of an employee may appear inappropriate in America, it could very well be the conventional way of doing business in their native country.

Gaining a solid understanding of the key issues associated with a multicultural team will allow management to be much more effective. While certain employees may initially be viewed as difficult, lazy, or rude, digging deeper to explore their cultural norms can offer valuable insights that help all members of the team understand each other better.

Have you had an experience as an employee or employer – or even as a customer – where cultural differences affected a situation negatively?  Consider how making a careful and informed effort to overcome them might have mitigated the problem.

 

Top Leaders Train, Reflect, Boost Performance

February 21, 2014 By: azjogger Category: Jobs, Management, Training

From Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), Leading Effectively

A year and a half ago, Jean Bustard was at a crossroads. A founder and president of ADA-ES, a growing environmental technologies company, she was part of the senior team looking at acquisitions, creating new structures and leading change.

“I realized I was not as effective as I used to be. It was frustrating to me — and to others,” she says. “Was I capable of growing with the company? Or should we find someone else?”

Bustard turned to CCL, attending the Leadership at the Peak (LAP) program for top-level leaders.

I didn’t want feedback sugar coated

“I wanted to go where I could take a hard look at myself, where the feedback wasn’t sugar coated,” she says. “I needed to see what I was doing and what I could change to be more effective.”

Lorenz Gross also attended LAP at a pivotal point in his career. Gross is an international attorney and in-house EMEA corporate counsel with automotive and high-tech supplier Delphi. Last July, he was considering a career move.

“Increasingly, my interests leaned toward the business side, more than a pure legal track,” he says. “Corporate attorneys are, although part of the business, always somewhat on the periphery. I was looking at a possible job change that would put me closer to the heart of the business.”

“Leaders at the top of organizations, like Jean and Lorenz, have such a huge capacity to influence and impact the rest of the organization,” says CCL’s Rich Tallman. “Leadership at the Peak gives them a chance to examine what’s working and what isn’t, and to refocus their leadership efforts to meet their challenges.”

“Do I have what it takes to get to the next level?”

“On a personal level, LAP gives participants a venue to reflect on where they’ve been and what they want to do next,” Tallman adds. “They have permission to think about their careers and personal life and ask, do I have what it takes to get to the next level? And do I want to do what it takes?”

The in-depth and personalized assessments, reflection and coaching — as well as feedback and input from their peers — sets LAP apart from other executive education courses or workshops.

Bustard and Gross experienced clear and powerful feedback about their leadership effectiveness, as well as support and guidance for taking it all in. Along with their fellow executive leaders, they addressed communication and influence skills, the need to sustain health and energy for the work of leadership, and specific action plans for their pressing challenges.

“I certainly learned a lot about myself — how I behave, react and do things — and the impact I have on others,” Gross acknowledges. “And I realized that my career so far has been well-aligned with my interests. The time to reflect on that was very satisfying and valuable.”

“There is a big difference between my intent and my impact!”

Bustard, too, became more mindful of the impact she has on others: “I learned there can be a big difference between my intent and my impact — that was a blind spot for me. Now I pay attention to how people are receiving what I am saying and doing.”

“Another big lesson was to understand that I don’t need to be the only problem-solver,” she added. “My role is to get the rest of the company to be problem-solvers.”

Both Gross and Bustard stayed with their organizations, both have taken on new roles and/or responsibilities, and both credit LAP with providing the clarity and insight to move ahead as leaders.

As for advice to other senior leaders?

“Take time to reflect, know your value, when to step up and when to step back to let others add value,” says Gross. “And be authentic.”

Bustard suggests her peers should be more excited to try new things to improve as leaders. Drawing on her experience as a triathlete, she says:

“You’ve got to try it”

“I train to be better. I will do anything to make this 56-year-old person faster! Why wouldn’t I try to improve on the job, as a leader, where I spend most of the hours in a day?

“If I tell my runner friends, I got these new shoes and dropped 30 seconds off my time, they would be headed straight to the running store. That’s how it should be with work, too. I should say, I went to this course, I’m more effective now, here’s why — you’ve got to try it. We should talk about what we are doing to be better — and it should be exciting.”

Leadership at the Peak is for leaders of the enterprise. It is designed exclusively for C-level and senior executives in the top three tiers of the organization. To ensure participants have the optimum background to benefit from the program, admission is by application only. Sessions are offered in Colorado Springs, CO, as well as in Switzerland and Singapore.

Manager of Managers: 6 Factors for Success

September 20, 2013 By: azjogger Category: Jobs, Management, Training

From: Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), Leading Effectively

Effective leadership can look different depending on where you sit in the organization. For managers of other managers — typically mid- to senior-level leaders — the view can be murky.

Functional or divisional managers, plant managers, GMs and managers with many other manager titles operate somewhere in the middle zone of organizations. They are charged with meeting the demands of top leadership and knowing the realities of frontline management. Managers of managers move up, down and across the organization as they bridge organizational strategy with everyday work.

 

What does it take to effectively lead in these roles?

One of CCL’s core programs — the Leadership Development Program (LDP)® — gets at the heart of the matter. LDP participants strengthen and refine their leadership fundamentals in the context of their more complex and demanding roles. They also focus on competencies that have not been essential in previous roles.

If you’re a manager of managers, or otherwise leading in the middle zone of the organization, pay particular attention to these six factors:

  1. Self-awareness underpins effective leadership at all levels. For managers of managers, gaining an accurate picture of who you are and how you lead allows you to adjust and learn. Seeking feedback from a range of constituents is an important part of handling the push-and-pull of competing demands and people. Be especially open to the idea that strengths which have worked well in the past may not get you where you need to go next.
  2. Learning agility allows you to process information and take wise action in rapidly changing conditions. Effective leaders seek out opportunities to learn and are able to learn quickly.
  3. Communication remains essential, with the recognition that you have multiple audiences as a middle-zone manager. Communicating and collaborating with peers — other functional or departmental managers over whom you have no direct authority — becomes increasingly important.
  4. Influence is about gaining cooperation to get things done and is closely tied to effective communication. The ability to influence allows you to move beyond mere compliance and, instead, gain genuine agreement, buy-in and collaboration.
  5. Resiliency helps you handle the stress, uncertainty and setbacks that are part of your job. These realities are not going away. The ability to stay focused on what matters most in the midst of pressure is a both a life skill and a leadership skill. Being resilient benefits your own mental and physical health while allowing you to be more effective in your management roles.
  6. Thinking and acting systemically requires you to act not only as an individual manager but also to lead in the midst of a system. Each of us tends to get engrossed in our own work and our own perspective. It’s important to step outside of that, look at the larger system, and ask, what is going on beyond my own level? Why is it playing out the way it is? What could I do differently?

As a manager of managers, you are pulled between priorities and people. However, it is also an exciting place to be in an organization. You are in the right place to work on interesting projects, solve problems and build relationships with a range of people. By clarifying your role, challenges and leadership skills, you and your organization will reap the benefits of your time leading in the middle zone.

Office Politics: Neutral, Not Negative

March 26, 2013 By: azjogger Category: Jobs, Management, Operations

From Center for Creative Leadership, Leading Effectively

Do you think of yourself as “politically savvy” at work? If not, CCL’s Jean Leslie and Bill Gentry can help you out.

Politically savvy people have better career prospects, are seen as more promotable and are less likely to have derailed careers. People who bumble through the political realities — or avoid or ignore them — are missing opportunities, connections and resources.

Politics is neither good nor bad 

According to Leslie and Gentry, the first step in overcoming your political weaknesses is to accept politics as a natural, neutral part of work life. Politics is neither good nor bad.

“Navigating politics doesn’t come easily for most of us, so we have a negative reaction to it,” says Leslie. “But you can be politically savvy without playing games or taking advantage of other people. Political savvy isn’t about being false and inauthentic. Instead, it involves the sincere use of your skills, behaviors and qualities in order to be more effective.”

Focus on Behaviors

A key CCL study found that a select set of leadership behaviors vary according to level of political skill.

“These findings suggest that if you strengthen these behaviors, you’ll strengthen your political skills in the process,” says Gentry.

  • Building collaborative relationships. Developing and maintaining effective working relationships is related to two measures of political skill: interpersonal influence (a convincing personal style) and thinking before you speak (ability to size up situations well before speaking). Those who are highly skilled in interpersonal influence are capable of adapting their behavior according to their audience, which appears to translate into especially strong relationships with bosses.
  • Composure. Are you calm in a crisis? Do you recover quickly from mistakes? Composure has to do with controlling impulses during difficult times and being responsible for what you say. Composure ratings seem closely linked to measures of how well an individual thinks before speaking.
  • Putting people at ease. This gets at the heart of what it takes to make others relaxed and comfortable in your presence. People who are warm and have a good sense of humor are often able to make others feel at ease. Bosses saw the ability to put people at ease as related to interpersonal influence. The ability to adapt according to contextual conditions is related to how comfortable others are in your presence.
  • Career management. How well do you manage your own career? Those adept at career management develop, maintain and use professional relationships for mentoring, coaching and feedback. Bosses related career management to two important political skills: networking ability (adept at developing and using diverse networks) and thinking before you speak. In other words, managers who are seen as being good at managing their careers are likely to have strong networking skills and are able to think about the potential impact of their words on others.

A Word to the Women

Office politics can be especially difficult for women.

“Many women are uncomfortable with the idea that political savvy may be an important component of leadership,” Leslie explains. “Because of this perspective, they find it difficult to incorporate political behaviors into their repertoire.

But, if you accept that organizational politics is a neutral, natural part of the workplace, you can build your capacity to lead, influence and persuade others in a sincere, authentic manner — advice that applies to politics-wary men, as well.

Developing Leaders: Today’s Method’s vs. Tomorrow’s Problems

December 18, 2012 By: azjogger Category: Jobs, Management, Training

From: Center for Creative Leadership (CCL),  Leading Effectively

The greatest challenge ahead is not a leadership challenge. It’s a development challenge, argues CCL’s Nick Petrie.

Nick Petrie took a yearlong sabbatical at Harvard University with the goal of answering one question — what will the future of leadership development look like? He looked across fields (education, business, law, government, psychology), reviewed leadership development literature and interviewed 30 experts in the field.

Gap between today’s methods and skills leaders need 

What he found was a profound gap between today’s methods of developing leaders and the skills leaders need to deal with more a complex, volatile and unpredictable reality.

The methods organizations use to develop leaders have not changed (much) in decades. The majority of managers are developed from on-the-job experiences, training and coaching/mentoring.

“While these are all still important, leaders are no longer developing fast enough or in the right ways to match the new environment,” says Petrie.

Petrie identified four trends shaping leader development — trends that top management as well as training and development professionals must grapple with as they figure out ways to prepare for the future.

In an upcoming CCL Webinar, Petrie will address these four trends and potential responses.

Vertical development will matter more. There are two different types of development: horizontal and vertical. Horizontal development focuses on new skills, abilities and behaviors. It is technical learning and competency-based. Horizontal development is most useful when a problem is clearly defined and we have known techniques for solving it. Vertical development, in contrast, refers to the mental and emotional “stages” that people progress through. At each higher level, adults “make sense” of the world in more complex and inclusive ways.

The methods for horizontal and vertical development are very different. Horizontal development can be “transmitted” (from an expert), but vertical development must be earned (for oneself). Horizontal development cannot be relied on as the sole, or even primary, means for developing leaders.

People must own their development. The current model encourages people to believe that someone else is responsible for their development — human resources, their manager or trainers. But people develop fastest when they feel responsible for their own progress.

“We need to help people out of the passenger seat and into the driver’s seat of their own development,” says Petrie.

Individual leaders are less important. Leadership development has come to a point of being too individually focused and elitist. There is a transition occurring from the old paradigm in which leadership resided in a person or role, to a new one in which leadership is a collective process that is spread throughout networks of people. Leadership development should focus more on what is needed in the system and how we can produce it.

The question will change from, “Who are the leaders?” to “What conditions do we need for leadership to flourish in the network? How do we spread leadership capacity throughout the organization and democratize leadership?”

We need a new era of innovation. There are no simple, existing models or programs, which will be sufficient to develop the levels of collective leadership required to meet an increasingly complex future. Instead, an era of rapid innovation will be needed in which organizations experiment with new approaches that combine diverse ideas in new ways and share these with others. Technology and the Web will both provide the infrastructure and drive the change. Organizations that embrace the changes will do better than those that resist it.

“The future of leadership development is evolving, with many paths and little clarity,” Petrie acknowledges. “The answers will be discovered along the way on the messy path of innovation.”

Why Hire a Company for Employment Investigations?

August 22, 2012 By: azjogger Category: Jobs, Management, Operations, Workforce

By Leslie Saleson

The recent economic recession has led to an increase in the work force that  is available to potential employers. An unfortunate consequence of this increase  in available employees is that, given the degree of competition for each  available position, many potential employees might be tempted to be less than  forthcoming on their employment applications. One potential remedy for the  potential consequences of such circumstances is to conduct “pre-hire” or  screening employment investigations. Among the many advantages to conducting  such investigations are to:

Confirm Credentials of the Prospective Employee

It is a widely appreciated fact that many employees have, at one time or  another, indulged in some form of “resume enhancement” in which they will  overstate their academic and/or professional records. While many cases of this  practice are later found to be essentially harmless, there could later be  serious repercussions if employees are found to have lied about matters such as  teaching credentials or certification in technical fields.

Detection of Unreported Criminal History

For employment in many positions, particularly those involving a high degree  of public contact or access to substantial amounts of cash, many corporate  insurance carriers will refuse to insure anyone with more than a single  misdemeanor conviction. Since most applicants are aware of such restrictions,  many job applicants will not mention such a history, particularly if a  conviction occurred in a location that is not geographically near where  employment is sought.

Most corporate investigators will either maintain offices in several cities  or else will have working relationships with other investigators, making more  comprehensive criminal background checks more practical than if done by a  corporate human resource department with little practical experience in such  matters.

Confirm Provided Job History or Detect Unreported Work History

Another consequence of recent economic conditions has been an increase in the  number of job applicants per open position. While this could be interpreted as  an opportunity to hire only the most-qualified job seekers, it must be realized  that the weak job market gives these same job seekers an incentive to be less  than honest regarding what they will include in their resumes and job  applications. This may be the case when such job history includes instances  where job performance was less than expected by a previous employer. In such  potential instances, a well-conducted pre-employment investigation will help to  exclude purposely deceitful applicants.

Detection of Potential Corporate Security Risks

Certain aspects of an applicant’s employment or social history, such as  frequent job changes among menial jobs or a poor credit history, are known to be  associated with a higher probability that an employee may either be compromised  and coerced into some activity or may even “go rogue” and engage in illegal  activity of their own free will. An employee investigation can help uncover such  risk factors before any damage can be done.

To recap, a comprehensive employee investigation can go a long way to saving  an employer from later job-related unpleasantness.

To learn more about why Employment Investigations are important for employers, visit Threat Management and  Protection.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Leslie_Saleson

How to Reduce Employee Turnover

August 22, 2012 By: azjogger Category: Jobs, Management, Workforce

By Annette A. Dixon

Reducing staff turnover is an ongoing headache for many businesses. Factors  that contribute to this include long hours, workplace cultures that aren’t  supportive of work/life balance initiatives, as well as poor leadership. Experts  estimate it costs upwards of twice an employee’s salary to find and train a  replacement. And churn can damage morale among remaining employees.

But many employers are now finding that by creating and supporting a flexible  work culture where part-time work is easily accessible if desired, creates  loyalty, increases performance and reduces staff turnover. This can take time to  implement, and will often be a gradual process of ‘unwiring’ our 8am-6pm workday  mentality, but a commitment to leading by example, and ensuring buy-in from all  employees, will help smooth the way.

Tips to making it work include:

1. Be realistic – staff moving from  full-time to part-time need to adjust and manage their own expectations of what  they can achieve.

2. Prioritisation – for the employee, the  key to finding the balance is to make sure they are doing the important rather  than the urgent.

3. Strategic approach – as an employer you  should ensure that you have a big picture view of how it will work. Being  flexible and family friendly won’t be successful unless there are real  strategies in place on how this will work.

4. Support – part-time staff need the full  support of their leader, their teammates and family for it to successfully work  for everyone. Additionally they need support in the form of computer access,  laptops, iPads and mobile phones to be available. Trust is also an important  support factor – nothing motivates a good employee more than trust and  support.

5. Review – re-visit and discuss  compensation, benefits packages, and flexible work schedules at least annually.  Outline challenging, clear career paths. Employees want to know where they could  be headed and how they can get there, and reassurance that their flexible status  will not hinder this.

6. Recognition – it is easy to overlook how  important recognition and praise from managers can be, especially if an employee  is not in the office full time. Awards, recognition and praise might just be the  single most cost-effective way to maintain a happy, productive work force.

A very real benefit many employers find with flexible arrangements is  increased productivity – part-time employees may work fewer hours in the office,  but they are capable of being just as productive as full-timers, they don’t have  time to waste and are often extremely good at juggling a range of tasks. Not to  mention the cost benefits to your business from reducing staff  turnover!

Annette Dixon is a Human Resources professional qualified at Deakin  University, with over 12 years human resources management experience. She is  also the Director and Founder of the HR company End2End Business Solutions.

To learn more about how End2End Business Solutions can benefit your business,  visit http://www.end2endbusinesssolutions.com.au

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Annette_A._Dixon

Online Recruiting Isn’t Working

August 22, 2012 By: azjogger Category: Jobs, Marketing, Social media

By Michael Wappett

Having worked in recruitment advertising for nearly 20 years I have been in  the vanguard of most recruitment innovations as they have come along and I have  some shocking news to report. One of them, online recruitment, is not working  and the situation is getting worse.

Fifteen years ago if you were an employer and you wanted to recruit a new  member of staff your choices were limited, mainly to which newspaper you  advertised in – the local paper for junior and blue collar staff and the  national broadsheets for senior execs or field based staff. There were also a  range of well-read technical, trade and professional titles that targeted  specific professions.

At the time these publications enjoyed a virtual monopoly  (either geographical or functional), so it was an expensive exercise, discounts  or special deals were the things of dreams and fantasy. But at least you knew if  you placed your ad in the newspaper on Thursday by the following week you had  over a hundred applications, including letters (most hand-written) and CVs. The  majority were from local people interested in the role.

 The Monster Board was an alternative to the press

The late 1990′s saw the emergence of the first job board (The Monster Board)  and things began to change, initially for the better. For the first time there  was an alternative to the press, it was cheaper than printed publications,  sometimes a lot cheaper, and included features such as CV databases. Even local  recruitment was accommodated by job boards such as Fish4 in the UK, so those  early advertisers had choice as well. Since then the growth of job boards has  mirrored the rapid development of the Internet itself.

So what changed? One of the main characteristics of the Internet, why it has  grown so rapidly and why we have taken it to our hearts, is the relatively low  cost to set up a new website. The same could not be said of magazines and  newspapers, hence the virtual monopoly of many publishers.

Too much choice

So the first reason online recruitment is failing is choice. There is too  much choice, seemingly every week a new recruitment website comes along  promising to be bigger and better than the others, offering better deals and  even lower prices. This is confusing for the advertiser and the candidates  alike. Which websites do you go to, and how many – 5, 10, 50?

Lack of a level playing field

But surely Google can help? That brings me on to the second problem, the lack  of a level playing field. If everything else was equal and Google worked as  intended candidates would only need to enter their ideal jobs and suitable  vacancies would appear. But we know Google doesn’t work like that, search  results are distorted and twisted by advertising and SEO.

Non-Jobs litter the Internet

The third issue is non-jobs, that litter the Internet. A problem that has  always existed to some extent, because costs are so low many job boards are  riddled with jobs that don’t exist, their function is purely to harvest CVs from  unsuspecting candidates. This significantly devalues the genuine jobs and the  website and is difficult to police when it is the recruitment agencies working  for ‘confidential’ clients.

With the fall in performance of the job boards, comes an apparent fall in the  quality of candidate applications. No doubt fuelled by a frustration with  non-jobs and poor etiquette by recruiters when it comes to acknowledging  applications, etc., many candidates resort to a shorthand form of application  with the briefest of emails accompanying a very generic CV. Which does no-one  any favours.

I know from working with my clients that, despite the double dip recession  and record unemployment, it is more difficult than ever to recruit staff because  of problems with online solutions.

The Future

What does the next few years hold for us? Social Media is proffered by many  as the future of recruitment, why advertise or use job boards when you can start  a dialogue direct with candidates through Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. The  short answer is time – how many HR departments have the time to build links and  communities, to contribute content and manage profiles. If the Finance Director  gets fired you need to find a replacement as quickly as possible. The only  people with the time to ‘work’ Social Media, and the ones pushing it hardest,  are the recruitment agencies.

Newspaper and trade publications undoubtedly still have a role to play in  recruitment, particularly the ones with a strong online presence, but they’ll  never be the force they once were and there is no going back, we have to press  on into the brave, not so new, digital world regardless. But when this recession  ends I strongly believe the recovery will be seriously hampered by the  limitations of today’s online recruitment solutions.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Wappett

 

Just One Employee Could Kill Your Business and You Won”t Even Know When it Happens…

May 29, 2012 By: azjogger Category: Jobs, Management, Training, Workforce

By Bill Quiseng

The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of  one hour. Japanese proverb.

According to a study conducted by the Rockefeller Corporation of Pittsburgh,  68% of customers stop doing business with a company because of an attitude of  indifference by an owner, manager or some employee. Now do you really think that  an owner or manager would not care about their customers? You can almost take  for granted that they “get it.” So who is left? And the statistic does not say  “some employees.” It’s just one. To the customer, just one employee IS the company. And that one employee could cost your business  big.

Just before Christmas, a security video of a FedEx driver nonchalantly  dropping a computer monitor over a fence went viral on YouTube with over 2  million views in 48 hours. Today it has over 8.5 million views. Earlier this  year, a picture of a Papa John’s receipt with its racial slur was retweeted  25,000 times in two hours. Both incidents generated huge press coverage for the  wrong reasons for their brands and prompted apologies from the C-level of both  companies.

An employee  may not see anything wrong with his or her action 

Leadership development speaker Mark Sanborn posted in his blog recently about  being told that to catch an earlier flight but with a downgrade from first class  to coach, it still would cost him an additional $75. It didn’t matter that he  was a United 1K Elite traveler flying over 2 million miles with United.

People Skills Coach Kate Nasser posted in her Smart SensAbilities blog about  her confrontation with Karen, the manager at the Hilton Garden Inn in Eagan.  When Ms. Nasser went down to catch the cab that would take her to her  appointment, the cab driver asked for her room number. Of course, she didn’t  want to give it to a complete stranger. So she asked the cab driver to come back  into the hotel so that they could confirm her cab reservation. Ms. Nasser  explains to Karen at the front desk that she did not want to give out her room  number and could Karen confirm to the cab driver that she was the client for the  reserved cab. Here’s the rest of that conversation:

Karen to the cab driver: “Her room number is 210.”

Ms. Nasser: “Excuse me, you just gave my room number to this man.”

Karen: “The cab company requires it.”

Ms. Nasser, “You just gave this man my room number.”

Karen: “Nothing has ever happened.”

Ms. Nasser: “You just gave out my room number. How are you going to fix  this?”

Karen: “Are you going to argue with me or are you going to get in the  cab?”

Nick Meiers posted on his Essential Hospitality blog about this conversation  he overheard in a restaurant:

Guest: “How is the rib-eye?”

Server: “I’m not sure, I’ve never eaten here. You know how it is, you  don’t want to be at work when you’re not working!”

I am convinced that in each of these incidents, these employees didn’t see  anything wrong to act indifferently to the customer as they did. And here is the  “killer” part. In each of these cases, their manager or owner had no clue that  these employees did what they did. Of course, the owner or manager would have  handled the situations differently. But they weren’t there. At that moment, the  reputation of the brand was in the hands of the one employee who was. And in  each case, with the amplification by social media, the brand lost big time.

So what can you do to make sure you don’t have even one of these  business-killing employees?

  • Define customer service expectations during the onboarding process. Include  customer service standards in each job description. Create and review your customer service manifesto with each new  hire.
  • Use these poor customer service examples and those you read or hear about to  remind your team of how the actions of just one employee can damage the business  and brand. Discuss proper responses in handling similar situations that could  arise in your business.
  • Take immediate disciplinary action when an employee displays rude behavior  to a customer.
  • Share customer feedback, good and bad, regularly with your team. Involve  your employees in defining alternative responses in handling the situations that  generated negative customer comments.
  • Motivate your team continuously with daily huddles to keep focused on  delivering exceptional customer service.
  • Constantly ask your employees if there are any incidents or questions that  need to be resolved today so they can be better equipped to handle them in the  future.
  • Empower your employees to bend the rules to take care of your  customers.
  • Reward, recognize and celebrate the random acts of kindnesses that  individual employees offer your customers.
  • Serve as a role model to your employees when interacting with your customers  directly.

When you do this you will keep every one of your employees involved, engaged  and committed in only offering the kind of “killer” service for which you DO  want to be recognized.

About the Author: Bill Quiseng, Chief Experience Officer at  billquiseng.com, is an award winning writer, blogger and professional speaker in  the areas of customer service, associate engagement and leadership.

Bill has over 30 years in luxury resort and hotel management. Bill’s  achievements include receiving the Marriott International Spirit to Serve Award,  Renaissance Hotels General Manager of the Year, Marriott International  Leadership Excellence and Sales Excellence Awards, Petoskey Chamber of Commerce  Mission Award and the American Hotel Motel Association’s Pearson Award for  Excellence in Lodging Journalism.

He continues to give customer service presentations for Chambers of Commerce,  hospitals, private companies, financial institutions, high schools, community  colleges and universities, and trade associations.

He can be reached at [email protected]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bill_Quiseng

Independent Contractor or Employee?

May 29, 2012 By: azjogger Category: Financial, Jobs, Management, Operations

By Birgittee J. August

When figuring pay many small business owners think they can forgo messy  payroll taxes calling everyone an independent contractor. Not the case, the IRS  has criteria in determining whether someone is an employee or an independent  contractor. They are headed for big trouble with the IRS if they do not full  understand and comply. There are several key factors they use for determining  the status of workers.

 

Behavior Control They are an employee if subject to company  direction about when, where and how the work is to be done. What tools or  equipment is used, where to purchase supplies and what work must be done. Also,  in what order to follow in executing that work then they are an employee not an  independent contractor. Are you providing training or evaluation, then they most  certainly are an employee and need to be pay rolled as such.

Financial This area deals with a businesses right to control  economic aspect of the worker. An independent usually has an investment in the  equipment they use, though some employees do spend a significant amount of money  on tools. Jobs such as construction and are considered employees. Most  independents will incur non reimbursed expenses and having the possibility of  incurring loss is usually an indication that they are an independent.  Independent contractor is free to seek out more business opportunities in  relevant markets while an employee maintains position with the company.  Independent contractor is usually paid flat rate per job while an employee gets  hourly or salary wage.

Relationship Even though there is a contract between worker and  company stating they are an independent contractor, the IRS is not required to  follow it. They looks more at how the parties involved work with one another.  Even in the absence of employee benefits like insurance, pension, vacation pay  does not constitute independent. If the worker is expected to continue work  indefinitely rather than a specific project or period of time then usually this  is considered intent for an employer-employee relationship.

If after reviewing above criteria and still unsure if your workers are an  employee or independent contractor IRS has Form SS-8 to fill out for determining  worker status. I hope this was helpful and now you have a clear idea of the  differences between employee and independent contractor. Make sure you are in  compliance to prevent any trouble or litigation with the IRS. When in doubt employee is the safest  choice.

Brigitte August is the Director at The Art of Data they are dedicated to  offering affordable services to small businesses while promoting ethical  business practices. Are you a small business that can’t afford to keep full time  staff for your marketing and clerical needs we can help. We offer market  research, business writing and internet marketing to mention a few services.  Visit us at http://theartofdata.netii.net

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