Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How To Track Performance for Growth

Every goal – organizational or personal – needs a deadline or target date. Without a deadline, there is no pressure to perform at top capacity. Deadlines provide a motivational “push.” Once people discover what they can do, that new level of productivity becomes a constant challenge for achievement giving your business a much needed edge.

A good tracking system is one of the most useful tools for helping individuals meet goals and grow. Progress can be demonstrated only by comparing the past and the present and tracking is the best method of evaluating both the quantity and the quality of performance for individuals, for a department or work group, or for the overall organization.

How to choose a tracking system that meets your needs:
• Appropriate measurement. Make sure the tracking tool measures each important aspect of the activity. If your goal is to reduce the number of days between the receipt and shipping of orders, you won’t be happy to discover that the time interval was cut from three days to one if you also learn that the error rate rose from one percent to eight percent. In this case, a tracking plan should include both speed and accuracy.

• Easy to use. The measurement tool should not add significantly to the workload. If every worker must spend an hour a day just filling in the report, you lose a good deal of valuable time that could have been used in more productive efforts.

• Easy to interpret. Tracking tools should present the facts visibly in a form that quickly reveals the pertinent facts. Charts, graphs, and summary reports with side-by-side comparisons to the last reporting period are easy to read and interpret. What you learn from the reports helps you decide what to do next. Make sure tracking information is used to advance the goals program.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Are you liable for harassment that takes place in your business?

Litigation cases in the area of Workplace Harassment are continuing to increase. How do you define harassment in the workplace? It’s not as simple as it used to be. It is now defined as any type of unwelcome action toward an employee that leads to difficulty in performing assigned tasks or causes the employee to feel he or she is working in a hostile environment.

There are three phases to an employee filing an litigation case. First, there is unwelcome and offensive conduct. The harassment may be based on such factors as race, gender, culture, age, sexual orientation, or religious preference. Bullying and retaliation are also forms of workplace harassment.Second, the employee must voice his or her objection to the behavior, allowing the offending individual or individuals to correct their workplace behavior. Last, the conduct must be of a nature that makes an impact on the ability of the employee to carry out his or her duties in an efficient and responsible manner. Some forms of workplace harassment are more common than others. Unwanted sexual advances by peers or supervisors is the most oft cited form of workplace harassment but other forms are also on the rise.

Where does this leave you as an employer or manager? Are you liable for harassment that takes place in your business?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How to Find Leaders in the Workplace

In a department or work group of any size, smaller groups begin to form along the lines of common needs and desires. You can often observe these groups during breaks or lunch time. Workers enjoy being together because of similar interests, problems, work, or other factors. This is where your informal leader emerges. When you recognize these informal leaders, you can use their power and influence to enhance the results and productivity of the group. You can antagonize informal leaders and their followers and see productivity sabotaged, or you can harness the power of informal groups to increase productivity.

Although informal leaders are not designated by the organization, they frequently wield extensive power and influence because of their ability to help other team members satisfy needs and reach goals. They are automatically sought out for advice and help when a colleague experiences a problem. They often are outstanding team members with common sense, loyalty, and can contribute a great deal to your company’s success when you delegate to them and help them develop their abilities even further.