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Working long hours is not unusual. Whether you are trying to establish a career, set up a business, or you are hoping for a promotion, it is not unreasonable to assume that putting more hours in is the way forward. But is this really the case – or are you deluding yourself?

The definition of a normal working week is 40 hours. Anyone working a 12 hour day routinely works a 60 hour week, and if you add in weekend overtime, the situation becomes even more alarming. Unfortunately, this isn’t a rare occurrence. Lots of people work ridiculously long hours by choice or, often, because they have no choice. Indeed, for some people it’s a badge of honour to be seen toiling away in the office from dawn to late evening. HR managers tend to praise that but is it a good idea?

Many people who work these kind of hours will justify their behaviour by saying longer hours means they reach their goals in a shorter time frame. But what they don’t realise is that working longer hours is actually less productive, because research proves that working fewer hours makes us more productive.

The Health Risks of Longer Working Hours

You can probably get away with working stupid hours in the short term. Your body adjusts temporarily and once the task has been completed, as long as you take a well-earned break, you should recover with no ill effects. If the lengthy work days continue, however, in time you will seriously damage your long-term health.

Working long hours puts your body under enormous pressure. The stress affects your adrenals, which leads to increased levels of cortisone circulating around your body. This in turn affects sleep patterns: you are tired, but you can’t sleep. People who routinely work long hours are also susceptible to depression, drink problems, and in time, diabetes and heart disease.

Long Hours Are Not Cost Effective

Businesses where employees are expected to stay on the hamster wheel for 60+ hours a week have a higher employee turnover, increased absenteeism and more employees calling in sick. Not surprisingly, this costs the business money in a multitude of ways.

Furthermore, most people who are forced to work for long hours don’t actually spend every minute toiling away. In reality, these people waste time doing other things, so even though they might look productive sitting at their desk from 8AM to 8PM, they are not working diligently for much of that time. Keeping the office open for longer also leads to higher overheads because you are using more heat and light.

Introduce a Flexible Working Week

The solution is to implement a 40 hour, flexible working week. “No!” I hear you cry, “That won’t work for my business!”

Well consider the facts: a flexible working week will increase staff morale, increase productivity, reduce employee sick days and absenteeism. You will find it easier to retain valuable employees and attract new ones. In turn, this will help your business to grow faster – and continue growing.

Happy employees are productive employees, and if they have a good life-work balance, of course they are going to be happier. It’s not rocket science!

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Having the perfect office environment is quite a challenge, especially since it’s not only about style and function, but about how your employees feel about it since they will be spending a large amount of time in the office and you want them to feel happy, energized and engaged. Companies that are most successful are the ones that have the happiest employees. This is due to the fact that employees who are happy are also motivated, more productive and creative and they will often do extra work because they want to do so and no because they have to.

Creating that perfect workspace for your workers can make quite a difference in your company’s success. Here are four ways to make your office environment a place your employees want to stay even after the working hours:

Bring in the natural light

Bringing in natural light into the office has huge benefits to the workplace. Employees will not be feeling like trapped in a box and cut off from the world, instead, they will feel more energized and content and more productive since studies proved the connection between natural light and quality of sleep and energy of workers. Neurology researchers showed that people who work in offices with lots of natural lighting receive 173 percent more light from the sun during work hours will sleep an extra 46 minutes every night. Your employees will be rested and therefore in a better mood for work. In case the offices do not have any windows, besides providing a good lighting system, adding pictures with nature and open space scenery on the walls will make the office look bigger and with fewer barriers.

If your company has some outdoor space available, you can turn it into an outdoor office and give your employees a working experience they will not be able to find anywhere else with unlimited natural light. You can bring out the desks and chairs, get the necessary power supply and that’s it. Also, make sure to have all the necessary gate accessories so your employees will feel safe while working in the outdoor office.

Make the office environment fun

If your employees are engaged and able to have some fun in their workplace while on a break, they will absolutely become more invested in the organization and have an increase in productivity while achieving their goals. Having a game room, pool table or table tennis area, for example, will not just make your employees want to never leave your company, but it is also a great way for everyday team building. Also, providing space for leisure activities or even fun wall designs can help the team to be more creative when dealing with tasks.

Celebrating your employee’s birthday with a cake, or going for a drink after work once a month, or even organizing a sports event can be very motivating for your staff. Having fun as a reward for good work will make they work even harder.

Moreover, allow your employees to decorate their workstations as they wish. Customizing a workspace will give them a sense of pride that will extend to everything they do during the working hours. Creating an ultimate “Employee experience” consisted of engagement, culture and performance management is the number one task of HR in a new company that want to create a perfect office environment. HR team of modern companies continuously experiment not just with technology provided to employees but also with pulse feedback tools, employee wellness apps and modern communication and productivity tools that will help in developing the employee experience.

Provide efficient and supportive technology

Having all the required equipment in the workplace will reduce the stress of your employees. You need to make your staff feel comfortable and provided them with computers and technical equipment, stationery and office seating will make them able to perform their job well. You also need to think about your employee’s health and well-being, so giving them good seating and desk arrangements will increase their comfort and make them more productive in the workplace.

Using technology is not just about having computers and Internet in the office, it is also important to give them the knowledge of how to use different hardware and software in order to increase the overall productivity of the company. Moreover, give your employees chance to work from home if they feel more comfortable that way. Nowadays, it is not necessary to be in the office to have access to communication and collaboration tools, as well as work-related documents and information, everything can be done and shared via online tools and mobile devices.

Communicate Effectively and Efficiently

A crucial aspect of any business operation is without a doubt open and efficient communication. Without an effective communication in the workplace, achieving goals can be very difficult. Both written and verbal communication with your employees is vital to company’s success and even proper functionality. Open, effective and efficient communication means that all of the workers need to know the hierarchy of the company and who to call regarding their concerns. There are many modern platforms and applications available to make sure the communication channels are functioning right.  Having an open and transparent communication in the office is not always easy to accomplish, but it worth the hard work since it will definitely increase productivity and efficiency in the workplace.

There are just some of the ways to create to perfect work environment in order to get the maximum productivity from your employees. Your workers need to feel safe, comfortable, motivated and creative, and in return, you will get a boost of productivity and performance from your staff from day to day. Including some fun, leisure activities will make the team work better together, bringing some natural light in the office or even making an outdoor office will help them feel more energized, office design will inspire them and make them more creative and lastly, having an open and transparent communication will make them more efficient. It’s well worth all the effort considering what you’ll get in return. Incorporating some of these advises if you are starting a company will give you an instant advantage. Your employees will stay loyal and work for you even more than what is requested from them to give back for the perfect office environment you are giving to them. Happy workers are good workers!

Author bio:

Emily is a business psychologist with a passion for marketing. Researching, exploring and writing is her favourite thing to do. She works as a consultant at Portcullis Australia. Besides that, she loves animals, music, and travelling”

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The most important function in any business, regardless of its type or size, is the HR management. Whether the company has one HR manager or an HR team, the importance of their role is the same as a HR professional will always manage the aspects such as hiring, firing, and special training. So, you see, an HR team plays an essential role, for they ensure the prosperity of the company.

In order for a company to thrive and flourish, the HR team’s structure must be flawless. Therefore, its structure must be organized on specific units, each specialized in the key functions of HR management. And accordingly, each unit will have an HR manager in charge.

Well, in today’s post, we’re going to present you the 6 units that every prospering business structures its HR team on.

 Recruitment

As Thomas Decker, the HR manager at Essays.ScholarAdvisor states, “The recruitment unit is all about finding the best suitable employees for the company and placing them in a position that serves best both for the company and the employee.”

This unit has four main functions to deal with, and those would be:

  • Advertising jobs
  • Sourcing potential employees and screening them
  • Doing preliminary interviews
  • Coordinating meetings for managers that are responsible for making final decisions
 Career Development & Training

Despite that fact that the recruitment unit has already ensured that both the new and the old employees are well qualified for their job, the employers must evolve. Therefore, they need further training and development.

The career development and training unit is specially designed to improve the employee’s skills in order to be able to take on management or supervisory positions.

Moreover, they facilitate further opportunities such as career growth and personal development for the employees who want to truly want improve grow their standards, knowledge, and skills.

 Benefits & Administration of Compensation

In a large company, this unit would be split in two, and even it would have a third unit only for payroll. Now, in this case, this unit is in charge with all types of benefits and compensations from insurance to payroll.

Benefits, specifically, will have to deal with group health benefits, negotiating insurance, and retirement funds and so on.

On the other hand, compensation manages the structure that ensures wages and other payments are competitive.

 Health & Safety

This unit in one of the most, if not the most, vital parts of the entire HR team. Why? Well, they have to ensure that the workplace is a safe and healthy place for the employees to be.

The HR risk and safety specialists form OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) advise positioning this unit close to the compensation and benefits unit.

Moreover, OSHA has very strict requirements, such as:

  • Maintaining proper logbooks to report all injuries and incidents form the workplace.
  • Ensure that all the environmental and personal safety regulations adhere.
  • Ensure that the personal safety equipment and the first aid it’s provided for the employees
 Employee Relations

Basically, this unit has to deal with the relationships between the employees, but also between the employees and employers.

You see, this unit is more than solving conflicts between the personal. It’s more about uniting all together as one towards achieving the company’s goals.

Compliance

This is probably the most essential unit, for it deals with critical issues for both employers and employees. This compliance unit relates to fair working conditions, employment practices, and the multitude of issues that have the potential to have a negative impact on the company’s profitability and affect productivity.

Conclusion

Structuring the perfect HR team takes effort and 100% involvement for each member as it functions as one. It is all about the team’s balance. If somethings go wrong, it affects everyone. Therefore, you all must give your best and remember that trouble comes from the small details.

To end this article properly, I let you reflect on this motivational quote:

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” – Anne M. Mulcahy

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Your employees are just one accident away from getting hurt. Often the types of injuries that occur in the work environment are totally preventable. Yet, without proper safety measures and supervision, these kinds of problems continue to plague businesses. You don’t want to have to worry about a loss of productivity or a worker’s compensation lawsuit. The following are a few ways to bring injuries down to a minimum in the workplace.

No Horsing Around

It never fails, you always have someone on staff who is a joker. The one guy who will try to run over people’s feet with the forklift or will practically back the company truck into the pallet racking. Such individuals should be warned to quit it with the horsing around. Such behavior should never be allowed on the job, because many people could get hurt. This would not only cause a lot of injuries, but it could potentially hinder operations to a significant degree to have so many people out of commission at one time. Remember, material handling and colliding with objects are two of the most common causes of work-related injuries.

Leaders Taking a Stand

Your work environment would be a lot safer if those in leadership positions took a much harder stance on safety in the workplace. These individuals have the authority to enforce strict safety guidelines and protocols, and they should feel compelled to do so for everyone’s sake. In fact, they should not only push for stricter safety standards, they should lead by example too. When leaders in the company set the bar, it makes it much easier to get everyone else to go along. When leaders fail to uphold such high safety standards, the tendency is that people like you get hurt due to the negligence of others.

A Clearly Written Policy and Procedures Manual

One of the best ways to inform and ensure higher safety standards exist in your work environment is for your company to have written a clear and comprehensive policy and procedures manual that covers the safety protocols for the business to which you are employed. It is important to make every employee sign a form that says they read and agree to all the safety policy and procedures. With a signed admission like that, the company executives, where you work, will have a lot of flexibility to handle employees who fail to comply with their contractual agreement.

Conclusion

Safety is an essential factor for any healthy work environment. When companies fail to uphold safety standards, they only run the risk of harming their own employees and customers. It is difficult enough for businesses to make ends meet and stay afloat. Why would they want to hinder themselves further by refusing to enforce strict safety standards on the job?

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A solid foundation for your business means constant attention, updating, and revivification. Whether you are a lone entrepreneur or heading a team of a hundred people, improving your structure and tactics will always be important. Many companies go under as a result of an inability to change; in fact, 88% of Fortune 500 firms from 1955 no longer exist. The ones that survived did so because of their ability to destroy the parts of themselves that were no longer relevant, and expand the parts that were.

You may look at successful companies and think they are fairly unchanging, but their success is predicated on a keen eye and willingness to adapt to the environment.

As Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” This also applies to the world of business, where you are either on your way up or on your way down. Below, this article will shed light on some strategies to keep you moving forward.

Keep Your Data Protected

You wouldn’t leave your house or car unlocked, but your company’s data is likely exponentially more valuable than your vehicle, and possibly your house. Thus, beefing up security should be a priority. Data breach rates have reached astronomical levels in recent years, thanks to the malevolent ingenuity of cybercriminals.

With certain types of software, not only can data be recovered, but applications used to conduct business can also be brought back from the brink. ITR is a type of storage resiliency that makes for an ideal backup plan, since it can protect data and apps from nearly any type of issue.

Listen To Those Who Know More Than You

A good mentor is an invaluable resource when leading a company. While each business is as unique as a fingerprint, there are many hurdles and obstacles that remain the same across domains. If you know someone who accomplished what you aspire to, try to get in touch with them to learn. Generally, people are eager to speak about their experiences if you are willing to listen.

Listening to what others have to say should not be limited to mentors or people older than you. Customers can be a great source of ideas for how to improve. There may be a blind spot in the structure of the business that consumers can spot far more easily. Invite the opportunity for feedback, and use customers or clients to help you patch these problem areas. You should especially pay attention if an issue is raised by multiple people.

Work Hard

Even the smartest people in the world don’t get anywhere without hard work. This means taking on challenges willingly and forcing yourself to grow. Everyone feels resistance when faced with the choice to continue business as usual or to take a risk for the chance of great benefit. The more challenges you endure, the more immune to risk you become.

Starting or running your own business is many times harder than doing a regular job. This is an endeavor that requires lots of impromptu learning, creativity, and persistence. If you got into the game because you thought it’d be an easy way to make a lot of money, you may want to rethink your course.

Master Social Media

With the ubiquity of online marketing comes the impetus to take advantage of social media platforms. This is an avenue that is very cost effective and can put your company in front of an unlimited amount of people. With every passing year, companies grow more aware of the value in embracing social media.

One fairly simple reason to make use of social media as a marketing channel is due to the way it breeds familiarity. Mere exposure generates favorability across domains. Thus, creating a presence on popular social media channels translates to a wider consumer base. You also open yourself up to a dangerous situation if you refuse to create an online entity of your brand because social media gives dissatisfied customers an unprecedented ability to voice their frustrations or gripes with a company. If you don’t have a voice of your own to ameliorate the cyber chastising, it reflects poorly on the company.

If you can afford the time and resources, the more social media platforms the better. But many people are limited in their time and money, and thus must pick and choose which platform works best for them. If you are an artist or realtor, Instagram’s emphasis on images might be to your benefit. Likewise, if a sense of humor is an integral part of your brand’s character, Twitter is an ideal outlet for witty quips and banter.

Understand Your Niche

Amazon went from a low-key book-selling operation to an absolute goliath of a business. But this was a result of calculated efforts to slowly expand their market share. Don’t think you need to follow in Amazon’s footsteps, though; plenty of companies are able to maintain a secure place in the market due to complete and utter specialty in a very narrow niche. Follow your passions, and if the desire to expand finds its way into your heart, do so strategically.

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Most employers do not buy the idea of engaging employees fully despite the numerous benefits that come with it. Some research indicates that less than 15 percent of employees around the world are fully engaged at work. However, most companies are now bowing to the pressure of embracing the strategy in attempts to reduce costs and improve the services they offer. For instance, employment singapore is now becoming better as employers start to engage their staff. This is a strategy that has seen better product and service delivery in all sectors. For any employer with intentions to engage the staff, here are the best practices.

Develop Engagement Goals

The goals are set by the leaders at the management level. They must be effective and achievable using day-to-day terms that the employees understand. Most of the staff may be seeing this for the first time in their lives, and they need to know what it means and how it will be handled. They need to know that their ideas, no matter how simple they may look, are crucial to the success of the whole organization. This kind of discussions can either be introduced during the weekly meetings, or employees can be encouraged to talk to the managers without fear when they have something to share.

Train the Managers to Listen

Most junior staff keep their ideas to themselves because they know that no one will listen to them. On the other hand, it is true that most managers do not really listen to the juniors. However, some training for the managers can change this perspective and improve the organizations. When the staff is engaged and given a listening ear, they become proactive and improve their performance. Their voices can be the solution the company has been looking for all along.

Use the Bottom-Up Strategy

All staff members are a great asset to the company. Most of these companies use resources to train them in attempts to improve the services and product delivery. When you use a bottom-up strategy, it means that you listen to what the employees have to say on a certain matter before making the right decision. If their proposal was implemented and it has worked well so far, they will feel that they are part of the company. When the ideas have not been used, they also need to know what they can improve to make better decisions. Managers who allow room for juniors to think and makes decisions instead of always dictating help the juniors improve.

Understanding Employees’ Strengths and Weaknesses

Not all your employees will be the same. Some are sharp while others take more time to understand a concept. However, all matter to the business especially when you consider their strengths. As the manager or the owner, the best thing is to assess these two factors and use them to the advantage of the business.

Promote Teams

Finally, it is worth mentioning that teams perform and communicate better than individuals. People come up with great ideas to make their team shine. You will be surprised that even the most inactive employees will get engaged by their colleagues and become proactive. You can motivate these teams to make themselves more productive. With these strategies, all employees will feel engaged, and the overall company will grow.

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If your employees are overly stressed at work, this can cause your business to suffer. You can do some simple things to reduce the amount of stress that your employees experience in the workplace. Here are some of the reasons that you should be committed to reducing your employees’ stress load.

High Turnover Rates

A work environment that doesn’t have unnecessary stressors can mean that you won’t have as much turnover. There are instances in which turnover can be a good thing for your business. Too much turnover starts to become detrimental to you being able to operate your business. Some of the ways that you can improve turnover rates is to give your employees a voice in how you do business. Listen to their concerns and actually consider the things that they have to say.

Loss of Productivity

Sick days and chronically late employees may be a symptom of too much stress in the workplace. This means that your employees have given up trying to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. This will have grave consequences for the health of your company. You have to motivate your employees and take some of the extra load off of their shoulders. If your employees have been putting in a lot of overtime, consider giving them an extra day off.

Creating a Negative Culture

Employee morale is one of the first things to suffer when everyone feels stressed. Negative interactions and a general lack of communication will impact other aspects of your business. Change the culture of your company. Have a company meeting and discuss the things that you’ve noticed. Ask for suggestions in how to improve the working conditions. Employees that feel valued are willing to work harder for you. Another solution is to have one-on-one meetings with your more outspoken instigators for the situation.

Stress Can Lead to Injuries

Another common problem with a workplace under stress is that employees feel rushed in their tasks. This can lead to workplace injuries occurring. Having an workplace injury puts you at an increased risk for a workers compensation claim. An injury isn’t the only thing that you need to be worried about for a claim to be submitted. Mental health problems can also result in a claim being filed. There have been cases when a physiological injury resulted in a settlement against you.

There will always be some degree of stress in any work environment. You have to take steps to make sure that you control the amount of stress in the workplace.

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Everybody in this digital era needs convenience, especially when making payments. With the rise in e-commerce, the use of electronic payment systems has become popular. Such systems are creating big opportunities for businesses to expand in diverse locations without the worry and challenges of security during the transactions. Here is a comprehensive overview of Electronic Payment Systems and everything you need to know about them.

What does electronic payment involve?

Electronic payment refers to a process where customers make payment for services or products electronically. It allows people to pay for goods online without necessarily having to visit the physical store. Often, electronic payment is associated with e-commerce.

How it works

Electronic payment systems operate based on different systems — participants include the cardholder (consumer making the payment), merchant (business or individual selling services or products), issuer (financial institution offering the card), acquirer, payment processor (makes the official transaction), and payment gateway. For the optimal efficiency of the electronic payment systems, all the participants must be involved.

Types of electronic payment transactions

Electronic payment transactions are divided into two categories: recurring customer-vendor payments and one-time vendor payments.

  • One-time vendor payments

These types of transactions are common among e-commerce websites. It involves a case where the holder of the card keys in their information on an e-commerce checkout page to allow remittance of money from their account to the merchant’s account in payment of a given product or service.

  • Recurring customer-vendor payments

This category of transaction is available for customers who make regular payments for a certain product or service. However, you have to specify that the payment will recur for a certain period.

Types of electronic payment methods

Any transactions you make require you to use a given method of payment. Traditionally, you could use different payment methods such as checks and cash, among others. However, there is a slight difference in the way electronic payments are made. An electronic funds transfer (EFT) orchestrates the electronic payments, ensuring the transfer of money electronically between the cardholder and the merchant. Some of the common payment approaches that use electronic payment transfer include credit and debit cards, and eChecks.

Tips for keeping your data secure during electronic payment

The security of your payment and card information is important. All you need to do is make sure that you understand the standards of operations and the required security details.  The following tips will help your transactions remain secure and effective all the time:

  1. Understand how the secure electronic transaction system works
  2. Make sure that any transaction you make is Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant — it ensures secure transactions.
  3. Ensure that your e-commerce is based on SSL encryption technology to prevent fraudsters from stealing your data.
  4. Have a unique digital signature (an electronic fingerprint that is different for every cardholder) to enhance the security of your transactions.

Perhaps you have used a couple of electronic payment systems in the past, but now you know a few things about such systems and how to use them effectively and safely. Never make any electronic transaction over sites that are not SSL encrypted.

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Growth in technology is leading to an explosion in efficiency. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, organizations in which all employees are connected through technology, productivity increases by 20%. All departments across an organization are getting smarter and more productive. HR professionals have been experiencing this growth as well, but the perks of technology are also causing some problems. Let’s take a look into how technology is changing the field of HR for the better and some of the potential problems that come with those changes. Human Resources is an integral part of any organization, and if the technologies available today are implanted correctly, they can help drive employee morale and production.

Efficiencies:

Cloud Computing

Arguably the biggest technological change in HR has come in the form of cloud computing; more specifically, the host of applications being offered to HR professionals. Using cloud-based applications to manage your organization’s employee benefit programs allows HR personnel and employees alike to access their information anytime, anywhere. Employees can easily log in from home computers or mobile devices to request or approve time-off requests. They can make changes to mailing addresses or other personal information. Employees can easily load and print paperwork for taxes and other financial needs. They can log into a portal to easily access benefits like remaining PTO hours or total contributions to their 401k.

The HR department is becoming more and more important to the overall value of a business. In a recent survey of over 500 HR professionals, TotalJobs found that 21.8% of an HR’s time is spent with Executive Leadership. Executives and other leaders can study the habits of highly productive individuals and extrapolate from the data set to what sets them apart. Once these strategies have been identified, they can begin training others to manage their time in a similar way to increase overall productivity.

Beyond HR, switching to cloud-based systems opens up major opportunities for the entire company. The cloud guru himself, Mark Hurd of Oracle, has stated that 80% of IT budgets go towards maintaining existing networks instead of innovation. Moving systems like HR software and other applications to the cloud allows companies to leave costly data centers behind and reinvest that money into innovation and other production channels.

For larger companies, especially those with multiple offices, onboarding new hires can be a huge problem. It can be difficult to communicate what information needs to be disseminated to all new hires and they ways in which that information needs to be delivered. Cloud-based HR applications allow new hires to log in and check off tasks as they are completed and mark off information once they’ve learned it. HR teams in the home office can monitor new hire onboarding anywhere in the world.

Big Data

When an entire organization utilizes a comprehensive HR system in the cloud, vast amounts of data quickly accumulates. Systems like EffortlessHR, ADP etc., not only allow you to manage all your HR needs, but they create easily accessible reports to help businesses become more efficient. HR professionals can implement time-tracking systems to see how employees are spending their days. Predictive analytics can then measure where inefficiencies exist within the organization. This allows decision makers to adjust teams/priorities on the fly to maximize output.

Potential Problems:

Big Brother

With an increase in data collection and 24-hour access to that data once you’ve migrated to the cloud, employees can begin to feel like their privacy is shrinking away. This can lead to morale problems among the workforce. When employees feel like they are always being watched they are less likely to take risks, leading to less creativity.

A stricter application of time management combined with low flexibility can lead to significant talent loss. If management starts commenting to employees on an hour or half hour they felt was “mis-allocated”, that employee will feel micromanaged. Marcel Schwantes of Inc. has written that Micro-management ultimately boils down to control issues, and lack of trust. He states in this article that “micromanaging ultimately derails your team’s motivation and creativity.” Top talent does not respond well to micro management. They deserve to be trusted and micro-management communicates a lack of trust from management.

The data collected by these cloud-based HR applications can be incredibly useful, but standard management lessons still apply. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees stay in a job for around 4 years. Retention is hard, but we want our best employees to stay much longer than that. Use the data to draw higher level insights in order to make departments more efficient rather than micromanaging employees.

Tech Gaps

Realistically, technology can’t track everything.  This is a good thing though. The more reliant on technology HR departments become, the more data can override nuanced decision-making and personal relationships. Employment decisions can be made for individuals based on factors that make sense to a computer but would never be made by an HR professional. Humans understand situations that are not so black and white, while computers struggle to draw insights from data in the same way.

Top leaders could see data telling them to stop investing in a particular department just as they are on the cusp of a big innovation. It’s incredibly important to recognize in HR that no matter how good the technology gets, nothing can replace face to face conversations and respectful relationships with employees. The test for HR professionals in 2018 and beyond, is how to balance that human connection, with the efficiencies cloud technology can provide across their departments. Striking a balance between the two will be the key to success.

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Ready to take on your new position as a manager, lead or supervisor of a team? Excel in your role by proving to yourself and others that you are worthy of efficiently managing a team. If you haven’t yet refined your organisational skills,  check out the following 7 organising tips for new leaders to deliver set tasks and projects to its greatest efficiency.

To-do lists

From school children to CEO’s, to-do lists are the most well-known and effective way to keep track of your tasks. Its purpose is not only to remind you on what is due to be completed, but also keeps a track on tasks that are already done. For an effective to-do list that will have a greater likability to be followed and maintained, ensure that the list isn’t too long as it may appear unattainable to complete. Rather, split the list into three sections of priority. The first category are tasks that can be completed instantly and only take a matter of a few minutes such as phone calls and answering emails. The second category include tasks that can be completed relatively quickly but may take until the end of the day to complete such as reviewing documentation. The third are large scale projects that will enable business growth.

The use of physical material such as sticky notes and notebooks are a more effective way of maintaining a to-do list as it is separate from the clutter of open tabs and windows, programs and software on computer desktops and applications of smartphones.

Emails

To most managers, responding to emails may be seen as an impossible feat when being bombarded with emails every morning. Thus, it is critical to clean out your inbox by deleting emails that are of no importance, to quickly distinguish important emails to refer to.

Relocating emails in specific and defined folders is also an effective approach to organising emails. It is also critical to respond to each email as soon as possible and not delay the time to answer the email, as it may be left forgotten and may be more important than at first glance.

Me’ time

Out of all the hustle to attend to your team’s needs, it is also crucial to keep on top of your own tasks as well. Physically turn away all distractions including your email, phone and even your own team members and devote solid time to completing your tasks. This block-out period should also exclude scheduling meetings and calls, to reorganise yourself from being constantly pulled into different directions – even secluding yourself into a room if you must, to finish the task without interruptions.

Meetings:

When scheduling one-on-one meetings with clients or employees, ensure to book each person one after the other, as opposed to scattering the meetings throughout the week. This will allow you to keep track of time to be available to meet the next client. During the meeting, increase productivity by setting an agenda beforehand and discussing with the client the objective of the meeting and when wrapping up, discussing the action items that will need to be achieved during the next meeting.

Workspace

A cluttered and disorganised work desk simply calls for unproductivity! Ensure that all paperwork is filed or removed if no longer necessary or recorded in a digital format. Further, be minimalistic with stationary and items on your desk to not provoke procrastination and distraction.

Handling tasks

Be sure to not multitask because that will only delay the number of tasks to be completed! Once you receive an email, task, or any piece of paper or documentation, don’t linger and consider tending to it later. Act straight away – respond to the email, complete the task, file the documentation!

Communication tools

Using tools and applications are the best way to keep yourself and your team on track of tasks and be aware on what needs to be achieved. Productivity tools such as Asana, Trello and Wunderlist are effective task allocator platforms that show all members of the team their accountability of tasks. Further, communication platforms such as Slack, HipChat and Gmail’s chat box are simple tools to enhance responsiveness and clutter are horror stories evident in emails.

Emma Lewis is a loving mother, a devoted wife and a part of the team supporting Spacer – a company helping you find storage space whenever you need it. Emma is also a staunch supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its benefits.

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