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Guest blog: Corporate Baby Gifts – How to Choose the Perfect Gift for an Employee or Customer

At some point, almost every business will need to purchase a baby gift to send to a new parent. Perhaps it's a loyal customer that you want to show your appreciation to, sometimes a new customer that you are building rapport with, or perhaps an employee who you'd like to celebrate with. Whatever the reason, finding the perfect baby gift can build great relationships and form a lasting impression.

When my son was born, my husband was the vice president of a small construction company. One of their major sellers bought us a gift card for a local baby store. We were very appreciative that they thought of us, and now even 7 years later I can still remember receiving it. Now that's staying power.

I generally do not recommend gift cards as baby gifts from businesses. There are several reasons why. The main one, is that a gift card does not show that much effort at all was put into the gift. It does not even show that the company has taken the time to find out if the baby is a boy or girl. Another important factor is price. In general, you can find a very nice gift for much less than most people will end up spending on a gift card. A gift card has no "wow" factor, and the recipient will know exactly how much you spent on the gift.

So, how much should you spend on a baby gift for a customer or employee? There are no hard set rules or general etiquette rules for appropriate amounts. We, however generally recommend a 10% rule, with a minimum of $ 30. If the person you are purchasing for is an employee, take a look at their weekly salary. Whatever that salary is, plan to spend about 10% of that on their baby gift. That means if they make $ 400 a week, you would plan to spend about $ 40. If they make $ 1000 a week, plan for about $ 100. If they make $ 300 or less, plan to spend about $ 30 as you will find it hard to find a nice gift for less than $ 20-30. If you are purchasing for a customer, follow a similar rule, but look at approximately how much money their company spends with you on a typical week (if they do not purchase weekly, average out what they do spend to get a weekly rate) . You can then use 10% of the typical purchase amount.

Once you have your budget figured out, you are ready to start considering gift ideas. Try to find out as much about the new baby as you can. Is it a boy or a girl? Has the baby be named? What is his / her name? What was the birth date? Having this information will allow you to find a gift that will be extra special for the family.

When choosing a corporate baby gift, you'll want to look for a few things. First of all, it should be something the family can use. This is very easy, as new baby's need many things. Clothing, blankets, diapers, lotions, soaps, and much more all make fabulous baby gifts. Second, try to keep it as personal as possible. At the very least, try to incorporate the baby's gender into the gift, unless it is not yet known. If you are able to find out baby's name, a personalized gift can really show that you put some effort into finding out about the baby. However, make absolutely sure that you have baby's name spelled right before sending a personalized gift. It would be better to send a gift without personalization than one with incorrect personalization. The final, and most important thing you should look for in a corporate baby gift is the "Wow" factor. A gift that will make them say "wow!" is much more likely to be remembered for a long time than a gift that is just like every other gift.

Once you have found the perfect gift, do not forget to include a personal gift note. It does not have to be elaborate. A simple note that says, "Congratulations on the birth of ________. Sincerely, Your Friends at ____________________" will work just fine.

While it is not a requirement to send a gift, doing so will build good relations with the recipient far beyond the money invested in the gift. It's definitely an investment worth making.



Source by Charlene J Hertzberg

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Guest blog: What Every Employee Should Know About Non-Compete-Non-Solicitation Contracts

A non-compete contract is an agreement signed by an employee where he or she agrees that they will not engage in certain employment within a certain geographic area for a certain period of time after they quit or are fired. Likewise, a non-solicitation contract binds the employee not to contact the employer’s customers or remaining employees under the same conditions. These restrictive contracts have become more prevalent in Michigan, especially in the technology sector where companies believe they have legitimate business interests that need to be protected.

Non-compete and non-solicitation contracts created a number of very difficult issues for the employees. And it is not just upper level workers who are often muscled into signing such contracts. It should not surprise anyone that companies have tremendous leverage to force business owners, upper level executives and lower level workers to sign these restrictive contracts.

Many employers require that the employee sign such an agreement in order to obtain employment, or after they are hired, in order to keep their job. Unfortunately, most employees believe that they have little or no leverage and sign these contract with little thought, review or negotiation. In far too many instances, employees are willing to do anything to secure a good job and naively assume that they will work there forever. They are wrongly informed that such contracts are unenforceable, or assume the non-compete won’t ever affect them.

Much of the mythology and confusions surrounding non-compete issues today, is because Michigan’s view of non-competes has changed over the last two decades. Michigan courts used to view non-competes as anti-competitive and, thus, unenforceable in Michigan. This all changed in 1987 when Michigan passed Section 4(a) of the Anti-Trust Reform Act. It is now the public policy of Michigan to enforce reasonable non-competition provisions in employment contracts.

So, what do you do if presented with a non-compete or non-solicitation contract by your boss or investor group? Often times, the non-compete contracts pushed in front of the employees are extremely broad and effectively preclude employees from working within the entire market altogether if their employment should end for any reason. Other non-competes might allow the employee to work in their chosen field of expertise, but only if they are willing to move to a different state, beyond the competitive territory of the employer.

Here is my top 10 list of employee tips if you find yourself staring down the barrel of a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement:

1. If you are considering signing a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement, be prepared to live with it as written. You may not be able to afford a court action to attack it. Even if you can fight the contract in court, Judges have a wide range of discretion and are unpredictable in how they will handle one of these contracts.

2. Do whatever possible to avoid signing a non-compete or non-solicitation contract. Make an initial stand that you won’t sign and see how flexible your employer may be. If you they want you bad enough, they may be willing to live with a trade secret agreement instead.

3. If forced to sign a non-compete, negotiate the terms as narrowly as possible. Make sure that it is reasonable in its scope (duration, market description, geographic region).

4. Remember, the employer must have a legitimate business interest to protect. Force the employer to tell you exactly what they are attempting to protect. Typically this means protecting trade secrets, confidential information or an investment in an employee’s training and skill. Get it in writing. If you are never exposed to any such information or do not receive the training, you will be in a good position to have the non-compete declared invalid.

5. If forced to sign a non-compete, obtain extra compensation, a signing bonus or compensation for a period after your employment ends (severance package).

6. Try and avoid non-compete language, in favor of a non-solicitation clause, which precludes you from instigating contact with your employer’s customers if you should leave. Properly drafted, this will still allow you to go work for a competitor and will also allow customers who contact you to be serviced by you moving forward. It is much easier for a new employer to insulate you from contact with certain customers, than to find a position for you which does not compete against your former employer.

7. If you are forced to sign a non-solicitation clause, make sure to distinguish between customers which you bring to the employer, and customer provided through your new employer. Only agree not to ‘solicit’ customers after you leave. Don’t agree not to service them if they seek you out, or are already customers of your new employer.

8. Never agree to pay the employer’s attorneys fees if you should choose to challenge the non-compete. Oftentimes, employees are forced to court to request the Judge to limit the non-compete terms. You are going to have to pay for your own attorney’s fees; you don’t want to have to pay for the employer’s attorney as well.

9. Monitor employees who leave the company while you are still employed there and determine whether or not the company is forcing the non-compete terms against those employees. Companies may not “cherry pick” employees to enforce a non-compete. If you can show that the company failed to enforce the non-compete against others, your non-compete may become unenforceable.

10. Make sure you tell any prospective employer if you have signed a non-compete agreement. It doesn’t do any good to obtain a new job and have your new employer receive a threat letter 30 days into your new employment. It is better to be up front and allow your new employer to try and negotiate the non-compete language in a way that allows your employment.

Once an employee signs a non-compete agreement, options become more limited in seeking new employment. Yes, non-competes can be attacked in court. Yes, an employer has to have a legitimate business interest to protect in order to support the non-compete. Some non-compete language is too broad or do not protect legitimate business interests. Courts should strike down such non-competes or limit the terms to a more reasonable scope. However, employees are often not in a position to pay thousands of dollars to an attorney in order to attack a non-compete in court. Such a lawsuit is the last line of defense for an employee looking to challenge the non-compete.

Employees must be extremely careful in entering into either non-compete or non-solicitation agreements. Too often, employees convince themselves that they need the job so badly that they are willing to sign anything. When the job doesn’t work out, those same employees can find themselves without employment prospects moving forward. Sophisticated employers specifically ask new job applicants whether they’ve signed non-compete agreements, and many will avoid hiring such employees who have signed them. Many prospective employers know that they will be viewed as the ‘deep pockets’, and will be dragged into court if they hire someone who is allegedly violating a non-compete contract. These new employers do have liability if they benefited by the employee’s skills and customer contacts in violation of the non-compete.

In today’s economy, and especially the tech economy, no job is secure. Even if you are fortunate enough to have an employment agreement which mandates that the company keep you on staff for a number of years, there is no guarantee of permanent employment in Michigan. I always tell my clients, hope for the best, and plan for the worst. In other words, assume that your employment will not work out. As with many legal issues, a couple hundred dollars spent up front for attorney advice, can save the employee thousands of dollars down the line, and put that employee in a position to obtain gainful employment if they lose their job. When it comes to non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, an ounce of prevention is really better than a pound of cure.



Source by Enrico Schaefer

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Guest blog: Consequences of Poor Employee Scheduling

The base line of any business is to achieve profitability. Employee scheduling has a major impact on company’s profitability. Scheduling staff to meet business requirements is a complex task. In previous times there were traditional office hours and shift work. Now It has become complicated especially because of extended or 24/7 working hours on one hand and on the other employees working shifts, flexible working hours, split-working, job share or part-time hours etc. Business managers who undertake this task of employee scheduling manually spend considerable time to deliver good schedules and in case the manager fails to deliver an optimal schedule the consequences of poor scheduling will be apparent in company’s operations, revenue generation, employee satisfaction, retention etc. Most important, it will also have impact on the brand image of the company.

Poor employee scheduling can lead to chaos in the company’s operations. This will be perceived as being arbitrary and will invite ad-hoc changes for reasons not connected with the business. This will lead to repeated corrections and amendments and appear as a rough guide of the work schedule. This leads to loss of credibility of the schedule in the opinion of employees and desire to get changes as per the employee’s preferences and it is difficult to encourage an ordered and responsible approach to staff deployment. In case of poor leave scheduling overall head count may be met but there may be poor skill mix leading to loss of proper work-flow and productivity. Furthermore in the absence of a definable work-flow, managers find it difficult to timely deliver consistent staff schedules associated with company goals saved supervision time

Consequences of poor employee scheduling is generally seen in the form of workplace stress, staff conflicts, poor productivity, increased absenteeism, and ultimately poor retention of trained workforce. Staff finds it difficult to manage when they are confronted with unplanned schedule changes at short notice, especially those with responsibilities.

The costs associated with poor employee scheduling are difficult to define. Misunderstood schedules can be very costly to any company. Controlling overtime costs is a benefit most companies understand, but much higher costs are involved in less obvious areas of activity as payments for work not performed, reduction or a temporary halt in production, possible reduction in the quality of work, vacation scheduling, negative effect on the morale of the employees, training expenses of replaced employee and administrative costs. Effective scheduling, which includes matching specific skills with specific needs in the most cost effective manner, is vital to achieving goal of the company as well as providing the best possible financial results.

Poor resource management leading to poor retention of employees influences employee relationship in a negative way and can also result in poor public relation. Reduction in the quality of products leaves a negative impact on the brand name. The Electronic Employee Record maintained in the soft wares available for these purposes provide a crucial link between the financial and productive side of the business.



Source by David Hog

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Guest blog: OSHA's Role in Workplace Safety

Employers are responsible for protecting the health and safety of their employees. Over the past few decades several health and safety laws have been passed to ensure the safety of workers and protect them from hazards in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 requires employers to provide a workplace that is free of hazards and to comply with occupational safety and health standards. Congress created the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to enforce these standards and to provide information on safety and health, training and assistance to employers and workers.

Workers in both the public and private sectors are covered by an OSHA Regional Office under federal supervision or by an OSHA program operated by their state. Twenty-three states operate state OSHA programs and they must be as effective as the federal program and provide similar protections for workers. All states conduct inspections and respond to worker complaints. The states also provide additional health and safety services such as on-site consultation for small businesses.

OSHA grants workers important rights and they have a vital role to play in the identification and correction of workplace problems. Often, once notified of a hazardous condition, an employer will correct it promptly. An employee can complain about conditions that are threatening health or safety. Complaints can be filed in person, by telephone, by fax, by mail or electronically through the OSHA website.

OSHA requires workers to comply with all safety and health standards that apply to their actions on the job. Employees should:

  • Follow their employer's safety and health rules and use or wear all required gear and equipment.
  • Read the OSHA poster.
  • Follow safe work practices for the job and follow the employer's rules.
  • Report hazardous conditions to a supervisor or safety committee.
  • Report hazardous conditions to OSHA if the employer does not correct them.
  • Report any job-related injury or illness to the employer and seek treatment promptly.
  • Exercise rights under OSHA in a responsible manner.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to provide a safe and healthy environment free of any recognized hazards. The employer's responsibilities also include providing training, medical examinations, and record keeping.

OSHA issues standards which are rules to protect workers against many on-the-job hazards. These standards:

  • Require the use of certain safety practices and equipment
  • Require employers to monitor hazards and maintain records of workplace injuries and illnesses
  • Limit the amount of hazardous chemicals employees can be exposed to.

If an employer does not comply with OSHA standards, he can be cited and fined. An employer can also be cited under OSHA's General Duty Clause, which requires employers to keep their workplaces free of serious recognized hazards. This clause is usually cited when there is no specific OSHA standard which applies to the hazard.

OSHA has taken many steps to ensure workplace safety but the cooperation of all employees is also necessary in maintaining a safe and productive environment.



Source by Andy Clark

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Guest blog: Janitorial Services – Janitor Safety Tips

When you work for janitorial services, you could work in schools, factories, hospitals, or offices. The job can be hard and does require a lot of stamina. Hazards can also be associated with being a janitor. Working as a janitor for a janitorial service, you are subjected to various chemical and physical hazards. This can include lifting things on a constant basis, using heavy equipment for cleaning, bending, stooping, being on your feet for eight hours a day, using strong chemicals for cleaning purposes, and more. Any of these hazards can lead to a severe injury and could cause life-long injury.

To help minimize the risks of accidents and hazards a janitorial service should hold training sessions and go over what a janitor can do to work safely. This includes:

• A very common job for a janitor is lifting heavy equipment. To escape muscle sprains and back injuries make sure that you use proper lifting techniques. When lifting heavy things bend your knees and lift from the floor making sure that you avoid turning and twisting your back.
• To relieve stress from continuous work take short breaks
• If you are working with someone and have to lift heavy equipment ask the person working with you to help so you do not have to carry the entire load alone. It could adversely affect your body and cause an injury. You should also have a lift belt when you have to lift a heavy load on your own or with someone else.
• Make sure that the shoes you are wearing are comfortable and have slip proof rubber soles to get a proper grip on the floor, especially if it is wet because you may have floors to mop.
• Most janitors have carts that carry their equipment like mops, brooms, dust rags, cleaners, etc. Make sure that they are in good condition and roll smoothly across the floors. If there is a wobbly wheel or other problems with the cart that you let your janitorial service know so it can be fixed. When pushing them lean forward so it makes pushing them easier. Take time to stretch after pushing the cart so you do not get kinks in your back or cause a back strain from pushing the cart too much.
• One of the main duties is cleaning the floors. It can be mopping or vacuuming the floor. Be sure that when cleaning the floor that you maintain proper body posture. When mopping make sure that the handle is held tightly and that it is done in a rhythmical motion to avoid tiring.
• When taking out the trash, cleaning the bathrooms, and messing with chemicals and cleaners wear rubber gloves to protect your hands.



Source by Lora Davis

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Guest blog: Formulation Of Human Resources Strategy

The formulation of the organization’s human resources strategy begins with basic questions concerning how employment will be structured, what corporate culture will be fostered, how careers will unfold in the organization, what sort of employees will be sought, and so forth. Within this general category of tasks we include both organization-wide human resources strategy and the tailoring of that strategy to specific business units, regional units, functions, or divisions.

Especially important in terms of organization-wide strategy are answers to the questions: How consistent should human resources policies and practices be throughout the enterprise? Where are distinctions in policies and practices (across locales or employee subgroups) desirable? How much latitude should particular organizational units be given in formulating their own human resources strategies?

After the broad outlines of strategy have been set, questions about general policies arise, such as: What will be the broad base of compensation and performance management throughout the organization or in particular units? What tasks will be outsourced, and will the outsourcing be done via labor contractors or independent contractors? What training will be done in-house, and what will be outsourced, and to whom? It is hard to draw a line between strategy and policy, and we will not make any attempt to do so: In this category we will include any human resources related activity that sets rules for the management of human resources that apply broadly to groups of employees.

Formulating strategy and general policies, it seems to us, is a managerial task of the utmost importance. It is fraught with ambiguity; there is no checklist of what to do or what to think about. The outcomes are noisy-how do you know if you’ve succeeded? Results often take a long time to be realized. Interdependencies with other parts of business strategy are tight.

At the same time, dependence on local environmental conditions can be important, so the local environment must be well understood by those who formulate human resources strategy and policies. Finally, the tasks here strongly mix guardian and star elements. Poorly aligned or inconsistent human resources policies and practices can be devastating for an organization. At the same time, the ability to see beyond conventional wisdom, to put together a human resources system that works especially well, is as potent a competitive weapon as one can imagine.

– Implementation of Strategy and Policies. In this category we have in mind tasks that involve nontrivial judgment in fitting general policies and procedures to specific cases. Performance evaluation of individuals and teams, crafting job designs, decisions on whom to hire (and where specifically to look, although this could be construed as part of policy formation), decisions on whom to promote, decisions on training for individuals, specific layoff decisions, and the like all fit here.

Ambiguity in these tasks is not particularly high if a well-formed set of human resources policies and practices is in place; however, outcomes are noisy and feedback can be substantially delayed. Interdependencies with other parts of the business can be substantial; decision-makers should have a fairly well-developed “big picture” of the organization or, at least, of the specific function involved. Because of reputation and social comparison effects, these tasks are predominately guardian roles, although especially when it comes to recognition of talent and accurate placement of individuals, some star aspects are involved.

– Record Keeping, Compliance, and Personnel Service Delivery. Here we have in mind those tasks that, unfortunately, have come to dominate many line managers’ perceptions of what the human resources Department does: compliance reports; keeping employee records; filling out forms for benefits and payroll; and so forth, on down to buying the beverages and pizza for the regularly scheduled employee beer blast.

There isn’t a lot of ambiguity here and performance is fairly easily monitored. The job is a mix of some guardian and mainly foot-soldier tasks: Screwing up compliance reports can get the firm in trouble with legal authorities, and a bad benefits office can reduce employee morale pretty quickly, but management that isn’t completely asleep or complacent can usually avoid the big disasters in this realm.

This enumeration of the tasks involved in doing human resources management helps clarify a root problem with how human resources is traditionally organized. In the traditional organization, this bundles together all these tasks, a small fraction of the activities account for a huge proportion of the value added by the function, by creating potential upside and/or helping the organization avoid downside disasters. In contrast, most of the activities conducted, measured by time expended or paper consumed, are the routine foot-soldier tasks, perceived as adding little value by managers and employees. Complying with rules and filling out forms imposed by central human resources regarding job searches, performance appraisal, or compensation and benefits – or being required to have a human resources representative present during a sensitive conference with a subordinate are frequently not viewed as helping matters very much. And employees, once they are hired, often interact with the human resources department only when they have a problem or concern, so they may not have an especially positive view of the function either.

In any event, it is not altogether surprising that a function that is perceived as responsible for explaining benefits programs, processing change-of-address forms, complying with governmental regulations, and enforcing policies that limit managers’ discretion on how they can treat employees-or that is touted as the “conscience” or “kinder, gentler side” of the corporation-is unlikely to be viewed as a hard-charging, tough-minded, strategic business partner.

In addition it’s easier to measure how well the human resources department is doing in terms of filling out forms and delivering routine services; it’s a lot harder to measure how well it does at formulating and implementing a human resources strategy.



Source by Artur Victoria

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Guest blog: Job Placement Officer Cover Letter

A Job Placement Officer is a person who is responsible for providing candidates to the organization according to the requirements of employers. He or she is responsible for achieving job placement targets and providing effective delivery of employment services to the clients by sourcing vacancies and matching eligible clients to these vacancies.

A sample of a Job Placement Officer Cover Letter is as under:

You’re Name

You’re Address

Your City, State, Zip Code

Your Phone #

You’re Email

Date

Employer Name

Company

Address

City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr. /Ms. Last Name,

I am responding to your advertisement in the XYZ newspaper for the post of Job Placement Officer. I consider that my experience and interests match with your requirement and want to apply for the same position. I am pleased to submit my qualifications in the attached resume.

I am looking for a decent job that will utilize my six years of experience. Following are few highlights of my experience that strongly matches with the objectives that you are seeking:

1. Responsible for conducting job placement activities consistent with employment services.

2. Liable for negotiating employment opportunities with employers and promoting job seekers for vacancies.

3. Responsible for maintaining and reporting statistics relating to employment services to the supervisor.

4. Maintaining good relationship with employers, community groups and local centerline offices.

5. Liable for providing professional training and development program from time to time.

I am a focused, self-directed and competent person with lot of experience in this field. I am very efficient employee and I have dedicated myself completely to the placement related activities. I am a mature minded person with a high level interpersonal, analytical, communication and organizational skills. I am a very creative and innovative individual possessing a can-do attitude.

I have made numerous contributions to my previous organization. You will come to know about them after reviewing my resume. I have gained strong position in my previous company due to my excellent leadership qualities. I have even accelerated the achievement of my goals and positioned myself as a valuable resource in a variety of situations.

I am eagerly looking forward join your reputed company. I think my skill set and experience would be beneficial for the growth and integrity of your organization.

I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss how my education and experiences will be helpful and useful for you. Thanks for considering me and for taking out time for reading my cover letter.

Sincerely,

Your Signature

Your Typed Name



Source by Maribel Ruiz

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Guest blog: The Role Of Computer Skills Courses In Career Development

The importance of information technology in the workplace is empirical. Keeping computer related jobs besides, even roles in non-computer related departments such as sales, distribution, teaching, hospitality etc, all need to make use of computer technology. This makes it a necessity for every employee to acquire related computer skills if they do not have them already.

Even if you are comfortable handling the computer keyboard and fidgeting with basic computer software, it is needed to equip yourself with better skills. It will only do you good to acquire the necessary computer skills. Computer skills courses is often offered to the employees by their own companies in order to increase the productivity levels. But if not, try to convince your manager to get you some good computer training. Even if it comes down to your paying part or the entire computer training course, it is all worth it because it helps you to excel in your career.

There are many basic computer skills you must master. The three levels of skills are referred to as basic, intermediate and standard. Most of these courses are available online or in the form of inexpensive software offered for sale. Some of them are discussed here:

1. Computer Typing

Typing is perhaps the most basics of skills required in almost all workplaces and careers. If you have not already mastered the skill of touch typing on a computer keyboard, it's the time you do that. Slow typing can not only slow down the speed of work but also the growth of your career. Taking computer skills courses are certainly worth worth unmet deadlines.

2. Processing Word Documents

Word processing computer skills courses offer the basics of putting a document together, such as a report and editing it on need basis. This is often done in Microsoft Word. This is a very basic skill needed ever since typewriters have become redundant. There are recruitment firms and employers who go the length to check candidates' proficiency in word processing. This comes really handy in managing day to day tasks of letter typing, preparing proposals and reports in the workplace.

3. Using Spreadsheets

Many businesses require basic expertise in managing spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel. Spreadsheets are very useful when it comes to record keeping and managing information. It is imperative that office workers and small business owners undergo computer skills courses so as to enable them to use this basic skill properly, as spreadsheets with their formula applications and advanced functions can be tricky.

4. Learning To Manage Databases

As opposed to how jargon-like, the term databases range from extremely difficult to fairly simple. A variety of CRM or Customer Relationship Management tools exists out there. It is best to stick to what you already know and keep upgrading your database skills as needed. Databases are especially useful for businesses having lots of customer interaction and offices needing records that are referred to time and again.

Learning computer skills benefits the employee in achieving not only better productivity levels but also greater job security, higher pay and better job opportunities.



Source by Max Osman

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Guest blog: How to Ensure Effective Customer Service Standards

Often statements are made that the customer service standards of various organizations are deteriorating which is resulting in loss of customer loyalty and ultimately impacting the bottom line of the organization. The basic idea behind ensuring maintenance of effective customer service standards is that the customers keep on coming back to the organization whenever they have any requirement of the products that the said company is dealing with. There are various organizations which tend to realize the importance of maintaining effective customer service standards but are not sure as to what all corrective measures need to be taken while rectifying the situation.

All these organizations end up initiating steps which instead of enhancing the experience often contribute in further deteriorating the condition. There are some very common mistakes or myths of ensuring effective customer service standards, which such organization believe in and put in practice and then hope of reviving their fortunes.

Myth No. 1: Add more employees to improve customer service standards

This is the most common myth that people sitting at the top of various service organizations hierarchy firmly believe in. They tend to add up the numbers of people in the service delivery chain and formulate systems and processes which instead of providing a positive result further complicate the process and service experience for the guests. This thought process does not consider the fact that simply adding or increasing the number of employees and creating complex systems and processes will not ensure effective customer service standards until and unless these employees are made to undergo comprehensive training programs and up gradation of their skill sets. Apart from comprehensive training programs; the employees also need to be given appropriate authority to solve a customers query or problem which might mean ignoring the set systems and processes if the need arises. This sort of confidence shown in the employees by the organization will also help in motivating the employees to perform better in their respective fields. Employees mindset, motivation levels and aptitude levels go a long way in ensuring effective customer service standards.

Training the employees goes a long way in ensuring the effectiveness of service delivery of the organization. Regular training not only helps the employees in learning new techniques and tricks of their trade but also helps them in realizing that the company is concerned about their wellbeing and professional future and it is taking necessary steps to ensure its growth. It motivates the employees to increase their performance levels and improve the service delivery experience for their customers.

This proves that adding more employees in the organizational setup without providing them with proper tools for growth cannot ensure effective customer service standards.

Myth No. 2: Increase the pay of the people in the service delivery chain to raise the standards

There are examples wherein employees in certain organizations are one of the highest paid in their industry, but the level of customer services standards that the organization maintains is pathetic. Then there are certain organizations which maintain decent salary payment levels for its employees, but no other organization can match their customer service standards.

The catch here is that these organizations which are able to provide exceptional customer service experiences to their external customers are also able to provide the same kind of experience to their internal customers. i.e. their Employees. How the employees are treated while working in an organization translates in their attitude and how they conduct themselves in their day to day job routine and alternatively in the customer service standard that they are able to maintain. Keeping the employees happy and motivated which does not necessarily mean paying them higher salaries is the difference between the kinds of experience that they provide to the organizations external customers.

Training and involving the employees in various facets of organizations development and strategy; apart from their routine activities makes them take ownership of the business and the service that they provide to their customers. There is an increase in the willingness to satisfy the customers especially when there is customer complaint in order to ensure that the customer goes back satisfied and his loyalty is retained by the organization.

There have been various studies which have been done on employee behavior and one prominent outcome of these studies has been that the organizations which are perceived as bad service providers are not only losing their valuable external customers but also their internal customers who are not willing to be associated with the organization for a longer duration. Retaining the loyalties of the customers, both internal as well as external is very critical for the future of the organization and also a reflection on how effective their customer service standards are.



Source by Saurabh Saini

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Guest blog: Employee Motivation Through Recognition

Small Business owners often confronted with high employee attrition. For most small entrepreneurs the easiest solution when a valuable employee resigns his job is to offer more benefits in terms of money and perquisites. But rarely does it work. Very hExit interviews often point out low moral due to infentitution appreciation and recognition of the contribution of the employee leading to de-motivation and disenchantment with the job.

Improving employee motivation and morale is the easiest method of improving organizational productivity and cut down employee turnovers. Replacing good employee could be expensive in terms of recruitment costs and time.

Research has conclusively established that the major reason for attrition in an organization is not money. It is more a matter of lack of recognition and rewards. You may be able to reduce attrition considerably if managers are trained to recognize and reward good performance. In fact every opportunity must be used to appreciate the work of the employees. Easier said than done, it takes a dedication and commitment towards the employees.

Here is a list of the ways one can motivate employees

Find every opportunity to appreciate good work

Recognize contributions in public forums and employee get together or meetings

Offer opportunities to learn, improve skills and knowledge through training

Create scope for sharing success through with others through narrating best practices adopted

Token gifts and invitation to a Dinner with family

Offer opportunities for rest and relaxation on attaining goals and good performances

Feature in house journals. If house journals are not available make sure to write out a notification and put on notice boards and circulate to all members of the organization

It only takes imagination to create a list as long as you want. Plan and create the list for frequent use.

Employee motivation is a complex subject and generally a neglected area. Whatever recognition and rewards are presented are very mechanical and lacks warmth and spontaneity.

It is easier to theorize than practice employee motivation programs. It would not be a bad idea to train your managers extensively on this area. The rewards for the organization could be less employee turnovers, high levels of motivation, increased productivity, commitment and team work.



Source by RG Srinivasan