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
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.
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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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Leslie_Saleson
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
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 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.
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
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.
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
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
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Brigitte_J_August
By Wyn N. Davies
One of the major differences between businesses that are stagnant and struggling and those that are vibrant and growing is a strong sales model.
Most businesses do not have unique, proprietary products or services. Website design, accounting, building products, recruiting, stationery are not significantly different from one business to another and having a compelling message and strong sales program is essential.
Building a sales system:
1) Develop a compelling sales message that separates you from the competition in terms that are important to your target audience. Work on your sales presentation skills and adjust after each presentation. Remember ‘the customer writes the pitch’ meaning that your sales pitch should evolve and grow with each presentation based on your prospect’s reaction.
2) Assemble some professional sales collateral – high quality business cards at a minimum.
3) Get your name out there. A professional looking website, Facebook, e-mail newsletter, twitter and a blog are the basics. To this can be added YouTube videos, strong presence on LinkedIn and focused business networking. Be consistent!
4) Develop a sales funnel. Every sale takes time to close, for a variety of reasons, and so it is extremely important to have as many quality leads as possible. Create a list of businesses that you would like to do business with and begin to contact them directly.
5) Use a sales management system. I like online programs like Salesforce or Capsule which are free at the one or two user level and can be accessed via the web – even on your smart phone. These programs allow you to see the proposed value of leads so that you can determine how much activity will result in how many sales. Keeping this pipeline full is essential.
6) Know what you’re doing next week. All of your marketing, social media and networking activity must result in face-to-face selling time. The problem is that most people don’t like to do this and will use all kinds of ‘urgent’ activity to avoid selling. If your sales calls are not booked by Friday for the following week they won’t happen. Allow this to go on for more than a few weeks then you will have some very difficult times down the road!
7) Never stop selling! Selling is the lifeblood of every business and it must happen constantly. If you experience regular dry spells in your business then you are not keeping your sales pipeline full! Make selling a priority and keep the business coming in! If you get too much business you can always raise your prices!
Most important is to realise that selling is a system and should be organized, supported and managed! Its success does not depend on the salesperson and if you are blaming your salespeople for the poor results you are looking at the wrong place – try the mirror! A good salesperson will thrive with a good sales system but the best salesperson can fail without the right tools!
Read my blog
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Wyn_N._Davies