Team Management

Three Key Benefits of Having a Diverse Workforce

It’s time for organisations to understand the importance of diversity and inclusion in their hiring practices. But if your business has never really focused on equality and diversity, what are those benefits?

Here, we’ll delve into the benefits a diverse workforce brings to businesses.

 

You can understand your customers better

A lack of diversity can impact your clients and the output of your business in many ways. For example, hair companies may produce products for afro hair without really understanding the specific needs of that type of hair. Or, across many sectors, accessibility provisions may take into account physical disabilities but not mental ones.

When people from diverse backgrounds come together, they can offer viewpoints that may not be considered by a more homogenous group. We know from current political events in the USA that when these voices aren’t heard, decisions are made without considering their needs. This applies to businesses, their employees, and customers too. An IT consultancy firm or UK call centre will stand a better chance of attracting and delivering an excellent service to customers with a diverse workforce.

 

Attracting and retaining top talent

Boards and senior management teams in the UK are still overwhelmingly male and white. As we go down the ranks, diversity increases, but many businesses are still seas of uniform faces.

Predominantly white businesses may struggle to attract BAME workers, while research has shown that 40% of women qualified in engineering will leave their roles because of “unwelcoming social barriers” that include being perceived as incompetent, being sexualised, and being excluded from social events.

Inclusive measures are also important for those with both visible and invisible disabilities. We’re aware that people who require mobility aids will require ramps and lifts to access certain parts of our buildings, but what about those with arthritis or chronic pain? Are your offices designed with developmental disabilities like autism in mind, or are they potentially overwhelming? Factoring in the needs of people from diverse backgrounds will show that your business cares about diversity and equality and can help you attract and retain so much more talent.

 

Better staff well-being

Employees who are surrounded and managed by people who share similar characteristics to them are likely to feel more welcomed and included. If a company is dominated by straight white men, it can sometimes contribute to a ‘laddish’ culture that can exclude women, LGBTQIA+ people, and those from different ethnicities.

A happy workforce is already a major benefit to businesses, but it also brings with it plenty of additional advantages. Businesses with a diverse set of happy people have a lower turnover and higher productivity and can even be more profitable. It pays to be diverse.

Diversity should always be a priority for businesses. Offering opportunities for people from different backgrounds is important for societal change and social mobility, but it’s also critical to business success. So if your organisation doesn’t yet have an equality and diversity policy in place, consider these three points and make them a priority.

Common Misconceptions About CEOs

With responsibility for just about every single person in a business, there’s no doubt that CEOs have a lot on their plate.

There are certainly plenty of rewards that go with the packed in-tray but another consideration for those looking to climb to the very top of the corporate ladder is the number of myths and misconceptions about the role.

Here we’ll attempt to shed some light on the truth behind the headlines.

All that glitters is gold

The glamorous life of the CEO, eh? It must be all about buying the next holiday home, buying a fleet of supercars, and struggling to choose an insurance policy for a new yacht, right?

The truth is this is rarely the case for the large number of people across the world who hold the job title of chief executive officer.

Sure, there are some high-profile CEOs who might live extravagant lifestyles and court the media’s attention. But these are very much in the minority across the board.

Most CEOs are following their passion and dedicated to making their company a better place to work, more attractive to invest in and a leader in giving back to the communities that have been their foundations

The CEO owns the business

In large numbers of cases across the world, this is not the case.

Of course, any publicly traded company that appoints a CEO is owned by its shareholders. Now, the CEO may well be one of those people (and may be a majority shareholder to boot) but conflating the two can often place unfair expectations on CEOs who may answer to others.

In the case of limited companies, a CEO may be appointed by an owner who wishes to remain out of the public glare and task their top exec with making difficult decisions, such as formulating responses to ongoing disruption in the job market.

CEOs certainly wield a lot of power in any business, but it is far from accurate in the case of many to suggest that they, and they alone, have the final say over all business matters.

Net worth figures

Each and every day you might see news stories focusing on high-ranking executives with claims that they are worth millions, if not billions. There are even entire internet sites dedicated to reporting the ‘net worth’ of others.

This leads to immediate misconceptions that this monetary figure must be instantly available to an individual. Even though in reality, it’s a reflection of a present market value and not a realised sum sitting in someone’s bank balance. It may even compromise their safety if they are perceived publicly to be wealthier than they perhaps are.

If they are even accurate in the first place, most likely these sums relate to entire portfolios that might include property, stocks and shares, among other assets. It’s also important to point out that should a high-net-worth individual such as Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk decide to sell all of their shares in their respective businesses, they would almost instantly crash the value of their stocks as well as affect the value of their sector.

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2023 Trends

10 Leadership Trends You Are Likely to See In 2023

By Thom Dennis, CEO of culture change and leadership development specialists, Serenity in Leadership.

After another incredibly tumultuous year and a recession on its way, leaders have been trying to steady the ship to navigate through the difficult times, but many are choosing to do more than survive and are aiming to get back to thriving beyond the profits, by focusing on culture, innovation and taking a long term view. These are the trends in good leadership you are likely to see in 2023.

 

1. Visionary Storytellers. I recently interviewed Dean Carter who led global HR and Shared Services at the ground-breaking company Patagonia and is now a Director of Griffith Foods, the global traceable and sustainable food ingredients experts. He said: “A leader for me is someone who has a compelling view of the future and their way of looking at the future is a very compelling thing to align behind. They also know their vision always has to be possible and the team need to be able to clearly see the actions that can be taken to get there.” Dean argues that visionary leaders have a better way of communicating their mission and objectives and can harness their narrative in such a way that it makes people want to be a part of making that vision happen.

 

2. Walk The Walk. Leaders will regularly need to re-examine if they are on track and are still aligned with their mission statement, values and purpose, and leading clearly with those at the forefront. During tumultuous times we need responsible leaders more than ever. A recent study of nearly 700 US companies showed scant correlation between stated company values and employee perceptions of the organization so this will have to change in the very near future.

 

3. Superb Tacticians For the Future. Leaders understand they need to re-create a hybrid workplace where workers want to be, to see friends, explore ideas, make a difference, learn and find meaning. Do these things well, and retention problems will be eased. You have to make money to stay in business, but you keep employees during otherwise difficult times if they are engaged, learning, and increasingly enjoying themselves. As Dean said about culture: “If we’re talking about making it fun, it probably isn’t fun”, and advocated for CEOs who don’t take themselves too seriously.

 

4. Nurturers. This means taking a firm line on sharing the burdens, reducing toxicity and burnout in the workplace, and wanting the best for colleagues’ mental and physical health. Being individual-employee-centric and offering flexibility and support are key.

 

5. High Cultural Intelligence. Senior executives and partners serve as a model for vision, purpose, and company culture and there is a 750% differential in profits at companies with aligned and mature cultures versus those that fail to cultivate their cultures. CQ is an easily learned and developed, but extremely important skill.

 

6. Build Better Teams. Leaders who have high-performing C-Suites say they are 42% more effective at managing complex initiatives, 31% more effective at delivering stakeholder value, and 30% more effective at attracting top talent. During times of transition, such as a merger or private equity deal, the quality of a business’s management team is the most-cited reason for deal success and second for deal failure.

 

7. Innovators. Technology is always evolving, offering new opportunities to CEOs looking to transform their business. That’s especially true when pursuing net-zero. It is also true for companies that are making the shift to put software at the heart of their business. Leaders will be looking for innovators with software experience and who want to explore the use of AI in the context of responsibility, trustworthiness and ethics. The trend is for an increasing number of members of the C-Suite to have software experience.

 

8. Empowerers. The best leaders are those who enable their people to make good decisions. Admiral Horatio Nelson is still today recognised as an inspirational leader and an incredible tactician. He knew that once the battle started, there would not be any possibility of communicating between ships so instead he empowered each of his captains to take decisions and risks. He did this by sharing his strategy and communicating in depth with them so they could act with autonomy because they really knew each other and understood the desired outcome. There has been a trend in leaders towards autocracy in recent years – this rarely works over a period of time and makes succession extremely difficult. Leaders need to empower, build morale and make their teams feel entrusted.

 

9. Clear Succession Plan. The leaders of 2023 understand that they need to listen and learn from others to improve and grow themselves. We simply cannot do it all ourselves. These leaders also know that at some stage someone is going to do it better than them and power sharing is in the best interest of everyone, including ourselves. Successful leaders will surround themselves not with sycophants but with people who will question them and provide alternative opinions, feedback and solutions.

 

10. Authentically Support Important Causes. In 2016 Patagonia announced that it would donate 100 percent of its global retail and online sales from the shopping event on Black Friday straight to grassroots organizations that work in local communities to “protect our air, water and soil for future generations”. They made a record-breaking $10 million in sales during the event, a figure five times greater than expected, along with massive media coverage. As the cost of living and environmental crises rage on in 2023, expect to see leaders take bigger, more courageous and more meaningful leaps of faith to support important causes.

CE-hO-ho-ho! 6 Meaningful Christmas Gifts CEOs Can Give to Employees

If you are a CEO looking for Christmas gifts that will show your employees that you appreciate and acknowledge their hard work, you have come to the right place. This Christmas, spread the festive spirit with these 6 meaningful gifts that any CEO can give to their employees.

1. Bottle of Wine

You can’t go wrong with a bottle of refined wine! Wine that you can’t get in supermarkets or shops is the best type of wine to give to employees since they’ll know it’s special. A bottle of wine is perfect as a Christmas gift as it’s a way of telling them to relax and enjoy their festive celebrations. A bottle of mulled wine will surely boost festive spirits if you’re looking for a gift that’s Christmassy.

2. Company office essentials

What’s better than creating a sense of belonging than giving company branded office essentials? Office essentials could consist of items such as:

  • Pens and pencils
  • Pencil case or pen holder
  • Notebooks
  • Planners and diaries
  • Flasks, mugs, and water bottles

These essentials are useful and a great way to show your employees that you care about them and the contributions they make to the company.

3. Care package

The holiday season can be busy and hectic, which is why we recommend giving a care package to your employees as a Christmas gift. This could include:

  • Facemasks
  • Bath bombs or bath salts
  • Books
  • Mini alcohol bottles
  • Teabags
  • Snacks

A care package is a thoughtful gift to give to your employees at the end of the year, thanking them for their hard work for the past year and letting them know that their wellbeing is at the top of your priority list.

4. Coffee hamper

If you know that your employees power through the day on caffeine, it may be a good idea to give them a coffee hamper as a token of appreciation for their dedication to the company. In particular, providing a range of different types of coffees is a great addition to a coffee hamper such as organic, artisan, and flavoured. Include both coffee beans and ground coffee, maybe even a few syrup shots that can be added to the coffee.

5. Gift cards

One of the best things that you could give your employees this Christmas is employee rewards in the form of gift cards, vouchers, and points. Rewarding your employees for their work can help improve relationships between you and your employees, as well as foster a work environment where employees feel valued and motivated to work harder because of the incentive. Gift cards are excellent because they can be tailored to anyone’s preferences or personalities, thus, it’s also important to know a bit about your employees like their hobbies.

6. Desk plant

Indoor plants in offices do more than just add to the aesthetic of the office – they can help improve air quality, concentration, and relieve stress. As a result, giving employees a desk plant may help boost their morale and happiness, increasing productivity and empowering them to take responsibility for the livelihood of their desk plant. Individual desk plants may also help to cultivate relationships between employees themselves as they navigate through growing their plants together.

The Top Technologies CEOs Should Invest In

If you talk to company leaders about the current state of business, one thing will come up unfailingly—technology. Technology is changing our whole world, not just business. The tech industry is huge, but its products and innovations reach far beyond the field itself. Technology is impacting all kinds of companies in multiple ways. Whether you are in the business of tech or not, there are new developments and advancements every CEO should know about. Below are some of the technologies that every CEO should invest in.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence, commonly known as AI, is one of the most ground-breaking technologies changing our world. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have; AI can greatly improve your company in multiple ways. For example, AI can consume and analyse vast amounts of data in seconds. It can consume digital media and understand what people are responding to.

It can even make graphic design, create new branding tactics, and provide solutions for overhead problems. AI can help you increase profit. When it comes to this type of technology, you can design it to do exactly what you want it to do. AI makes all kinds of businesses more successful. Whatever field you’re in, every large company should be investing in artificial intelligence.

Biotechnology

Whether you are in the medical industry, tech, or research and development, one of the biggest changes in our lives in relation to technology is biotech. Biotechnology is the combination of technology and biology to create new products, solve medical issues, and help humanity become healthier and happier.

If you are involved in any of these fields, you should be thinking about biotech to innovate, create ground-breaking products, and offer new services to your clients. Luckily, you don’t have to go all in with biotech to get a feel for some of these advancements. You can even look for biotech equipment for lease. As you probably already know, the medical industry is massive, and it is becoming even more influential with the advent of new biotechnologies. Are you a CEO in any of these fields? You should investigate investing in biotech.

Renewable Energy Sources

Whether you are passionate about the planet’s environment or not, every CEO at a high level should be investing in some sort of renewable energy source. The writing is on the wall. Clean energy will become more effective and cheaper over time. It will become untenable financially.

Depending on your business and what field you are involved in, large companies with high energy bills should be finding new ways to power their businesses. You don’t need to be passionate about renewable energy to begin to see the benefits of it. As time goes on, you will be glad that you got in on renewable energy earlier. The taxes on fossil fuels and other dirty energy sources will outweigh the cost of investing in renewables.

Automation

A part of tech advancements that are prompting a lot of questions about what humans will do in the future is automation. You’re probably familiar with the automated robotic arms building, packing, and shipping products. If your company sells products in a large volume, you might have already invested in these machines. However, this is just the beginning when it comes to automation.

Automation will take over a lot of aspects of business. Whether it’s at the brick-and-mortar store or in your factory warehouses, machines will replace humans in many ways. Automation is the ability for machines to perform tasks with no human help. Between automated drivers to deliver products to automated receptionists, this tech is something every CEO should have on their radar.

Extended Reality (XR)

Extended reality is the term that encompasses virtual (VR), automated (AR), and mixed (MR) reality technologies. With XR, tech companies can sell products, entertain, and provide digital space to clients. AR provides ways for professionals to engage with the tangible world with technological tools. This technology and faster 5G internet are making remote medical procedures possible.

When you are a CEO of a large company, there’s a lot of new technology that you should have your eyes on. Technology is becoming a larger part of your job. Technology is changing our world in fundamental ways, and if you invest in specific technologies, your company will only grow and thrive.

Business Leader

Six Tips for Leaders: Dealing with Challenging Conversations

Having a challenging, difficult conversation is something that on occasions is unavoidable. While common, it is not something that any business leader enjoys; so how best to approach these conversations, and importantly consider team development for others who find themselves in this situation?

A challenging conversation could be about dealing with issues such as underperformance or incorrect conduct, and it is important to review the predicament professionally.

Here, with Dominic Fitch, Head of Creative Change at Impact International, we look at the challenges facing leaders in this situation and share the best hints and tips for dealing with difficult conversations.

 

1. Don’t Put the Conversation Off

Once you know there is a difficult conversation on the horizon, the natural temptation is to put it off. It is important not to let the need for the conversation drag on. Putting off the conversation can mean that by the time it happens, it is no longer relevant. Once there is a conversation to be had, the best course of action is to speak to the person as soon as possible.

 

2. Prepare for the Conversation

Although it is necessary not to put off having the talk with the person in question, this is not a conversation you want to have in the spur of the moment.

Make sure you are properly prepared and have all the facts needed for what you are going to be dealing with and know exactly how you are going to approach it. Different people will react to a confrontational situation in many ways, and it is of the utmost importance to understand the individual you are dealing with and how they are likely to react, respond and take the feedback.

 

3. Find a solution

The conversation needs to have a purpose and a goal, as well as a plan to work on afterwards.

If you merely criticise and offer nothing constructive, then the conversation is not going to be a successful one. These discussions are not something anyone will enjoy, but remember they are worse for the person you are having the conversation with.

It is important, if possible, to offer something to help the employee improve. At times these conversations will result in the termination of employment, but even in this outcome, it can still be possible to offer something constructive they can learn and benefit from in the future.

 

4. Understand the Other Person – Allow Them to Speak

Leaders should ensure the person is understanding why the conversation is happening and what the purpose of it is.

Allow them to ask questions if they feel necessary, and if you can see they are becoming upset or struggling with the situation, allow a moment for composure and for them to gather their thoughts. You want the meeting to be constructive and purposeful, so the individual concerned can take on board the conversation and then act upon your words.

 

5. They can sometimes be avoided

This is not true for all occasions, but often as a leader or manager you can put steps in place so that a difficult conversation doesn’t have to be the result.

You should strive to make feedback a regular part of day-to-day operations, as part of your team development. If you can see a member of the team is struggling with something, or is underperforming, this can be dealt with before a tricky conversation is needed with regular feedback.

Obviously, this isn’t going to work on all occasions, and it is inevitable that at times the feedback will either not be taken on board or will not be acted upon, and the conversation will be necessary.

 

6. Development

It is important that everyone in the organisation knows how to face up to a difficult conversation.

As a leader, and as part of your team development, look to offer sessions ensuring people are trained for these scenarios. Make sure people know the key points; to prepare properly but don’t allow the conversation to be delayed too long, to allow the conversation to be two ways, find a solution and make sure you have onward steps.

With everything in place for your team, as a leader you have done all you can to make difficult, challenging conversations in the workplace go as smoothly as possible.

New Manager

Becoming a Manager: 7 Tips to Help You Enjoy Success in Your New Role

If you’ve just been promoted to manager of a business, either internally or externally, congratulations! You’ve just `taken a huge step up the career ladder, and you should take a moment to enjoy the view from the top and reflect on such a worthwhile achievement.

Before you get stuck in your duties, you should equip yourself with as much knowledge and guidance as possible. You’ve made it this far, so why not ensure you have everything you need to be the best possible manager from the get-go?  

Here, with some insights from Dominic Fitch, Head of Creative Change at Impact International, we explore seven tips to ensure you enjoy success in this new role.

 

1) Listen to your staff

Have you ever heard the saying, “employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers”? Your first duty as a manager should be getting to know your employees and putting their needs first. Even if you’re already familiar with your team and have perhaps known them for years, becoming their manager can significantly change your relationship.

A recent poll discovered that more than two in five British employees have quit a job because of a bad manager, citing respecting and listening to staff and treating people well as the most important attributes of a good boss. Keep this firmly in mind as you navigate your new responsibilities as a manager; a business is nothing without its employees!

 

2) Never stop learning

As a manager, you’re bound to have a lot of knowledge, but that doesn’t mean you know everything. You should understand that you’ll never stop learning – about your business, industry, competitors – and therefore, you should always be open to absorbing new information.

In a similar way, you should encourage your employees to push themselves and expand their skill set by getting involved in different training courses and seminars. Not only should this increase your chances of being a great new manager, but it will also aid team development.

 

3) Learn how to prioritise

In this new, important position, you may feel obligated to try and tackle everything at once to make the best impression on your superiors and employees. Here’s some helpful advice: Don’t bother! Take a step back, take a deep breath, and look at your tasks and responsibilities with the aim of prioritising. You are not a superhero, and nobody expects you to be.

Keep in mind that there’s a difference between a task that’s ‘urgent’ and a task that’s ‘important’; start by listing your tasks in order of importance and address them one by one, delegating duties across your team where necessary. If you try to do everything at once, you will likely burn yourself (and your employees) out, which doesn’t deliver the long-term, sustainable results that a business needs to be successful.

 

4) Adopt different approaches for different people

The type of manager you should be to your employees is not a ‘one size fits all’ process, and a good, successful manager recognises that different people need different approaches. While your beliefs, values, and overall managerial style shouldn’t change from person to person (that would be unfair), you should be alert to factors such as language barriers and age groups.

For example, if a staff member doesn’t speak the best English, you should keep your vocabulary simple and speak clearly and slowly. In a similar way, an employee that’s older than you might not respond well to being ‘told’ what to do as opposed to ‘asked’, so it would be courteous (and effective) here to adjust the way you assign responsibilities.

 

5) Lead by example

Nobody likes a hypocrite, especially when that hypocrite in question is supposed to be managing a workforce. To keep employee morale, productivity, and loyalty at a high level, you should be everything you expect your staff to be. How can you discipline a team member for failing to keep a promise when you have five outstanding pledges to action?

Lead by example and watch how your new team flourishes under your command. By demonstrating your own devotion, reliability, and hard work, you’ll build trust with your staff which should motivate them to be the best version of themselves, too.

 

6) Build (genuine) relationships

Not only does building relationships with your staff, clients, and stakeholders drive better results for the business, but it also creates a more enjoyable working environment for everyone involved. In order to strengthen your relationships with those around you, you need to be genuine, make sure you’re really listening instead of just hearing, and focus on truly understanding as opposed to just responding.

Arranging regular one-to-one interactions is just as important as team-building exercises and could help you achieve stronger relationships with each individual at a faster rate. These one-to-one interactions could look like informal catch-ups over coffee or structured meetings in your office, whatever works for you and that specific employee.

 

7) Set realistic goals with clear plans

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

As a new manager, you probably have all these exciting ideas to improve the business and increase employee satisfaction, but how do you intend to bring these ideas to fruition? To be successful in your new role, you need to have a set of (realistic) goals with a clear plan on how to reach each one. Doing this will ensure that you’re constantly on track with meeting your objectives.

Don’t be afraid to consult others before launching into a new process; your decisions as a manager impact the wider team, not just yourself. Plus, getting opinions and assistance from your employees should fill them with a sense of importance and help them feel valued, which in turn could help strengthen your relationship with them.

 

The journey has only just begun…

This is your time to shine! You’ve worked incredibly hard to reach this milestone, so give yourself a chance to take it all in. Becoming a manager can be a little daunting, especially if you’re entering a business externally, but clearly, someone thinks you’re worth it, so take that as a positive.

Be open to the advice and guidance other people are willing to give you as it’ll only help increase your chances of success and, in turn, really enjoy your role. We wish you the very best of luck in this new journey.

Manager

Being a New Manager: Seven Tips to Help You Enjoy Success in This New Role

If you’ve just been promoted to manager of a business, either internally or externally, congratulations! You’ve just `taken a huge step up the career ladder, and you should take a moment to enjoy the view from the top and reflect on such a worthwhile achievement.

Before you get stuck in your duties, you should equip yourself with as much knowledge and guidance as possible. You’ve made it this far, so why not ensure you have everything you need to be the best possible manager from the get-go? 

Here are seven tips to ensure you enjoy success in this new role.

 

1. Listen to your staff

Have you ever heard the saying, “employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers”? Your first duty as a manager should be getting to know your employees and putting their needs first. Even if you’re already familiar with your team and have perhaps known them for years, becoming their manager can significantly change your relationship.

A recent poll discovered that more than two in five British employees have quit a job because of a bad manager, citing respecting and listening to staff and treating people well as the most important attributes of a good boss. Keep this firmly in mind as you navigate your new responsibilities as a manager; a business is nothing without its employees!

 

2. Never stop learning

As a manager, you’re bound to have a lot of knowledge, but that doesn’t mean you know everything. You should understand that you’ll never stop learning – about your business, industry, competitors – and therefore, you should always be open to absorbing new information.

In a similar way, you should encourage your employees to push themselves and expand their skill set by getting involved in different training courses and seminars. Not only should this increase your chances of being a great new manager, but it will also aid team development.

 

3. Learn how to prioritise

In this new, important position, you may feel obligated to try and tackle everything at once to make the best impression on your superiors and employees. Here’s some helpful advice: Don’t bother! Take a step back, take a deep breath, and look at your tasks and responsibilities with the aim of prioritising. You are not a superhero, and nobody expects you to be.

Keep in mind that there’s a difference between a task that’s ‘urgent’ and a task that’s ‘important’; start by listing your tasks in order of importance and address them one by one, delegating duties across your team where necessary. If you try to do everything at once, you will likely burn yourself (and your employees) out, which doesn’t deliver the long-term, sustainable results that a business needs to be successful.

 

4. Adopt different approaches for different people

The type of manager you should be to your employees is not a ‘one size fits all’ process, and a good, successful manager recognises that different people need different approaches. While your beliefs, values, and overall managerial style shouldn’t change from person to person (that would be unfair), you should be alert to factors such as language barriers and age groups.

For example, if a staff member doesn’t speak the best English, you should keep your vocabulary simple and speak clearly and slowly. In a similar way, an employee that’s older than you might not respond well to being ‘told’ what to do as opposed to ‘asked’, so it would be courteous (and effective) here to adjust the way you assign responsibilities.

 

5. Lead by example

Nobody likes a hypocrite, especially when that hypocrite in question is supposed to be managing a workforce. To keep employee morale, productivity, and loyalty at a high level, you should be everything you expect your staff to be. How can you discipline a team member for failing to keep a promise when you have five outstanding pledges to action?

Lead by example and watch how your new team flourishes under your command. By demonstrating your own devotion, reliability, and hard work, you’ll build trust with your staff which should motivate them to be the best version of themselves, too.

 

6. Build (genuine) relationships

Not only does building relationships with your staff, clients, and stakeholders drive better results for the business, but it also creates a more enjoyable working environment for everyone involved. In order to strengthen your relationships with those around you, you need to be genuine, make sure you’re really listening instead of just hearing, and focus on truly understanding as opposed to just responding.

Arranging regular one-to-one interactions is just as important as team-building exercises and could help you achieve stronger relationships with each individual at a faster rate. These one-to-one interactions could look like informal catch-ups over coffee or structured meetings in your office, whatever works for you and that specific employee.

 

7. Set realistic goals with clear plans

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

As a new manager, you probably have all these exciting ideas to improve the business and increase employee satisfaction, but how do you intend to bring these ideas to fruition? To be successful in your new role, you need to have a set of (realistic) goals with a clear plan on how to reach each one. Doing this will ensure that you’re constantly on track with meeting your objectives.

Don’t be afraid to consult others before launching into a new process; your decisions as a manager impact the wider team, not just yourself. Plus, getting opinions and assistance from your employees should fill them with a sense of importance and help them feel valued, which in turn could help strengthen your relationship with them.

 

The journey has only just begun…

This is your time to shine! You’ve worked incredibly hard to reach this milestone, so give yourself a chance to take it all in. Becoming a manager can be a little daunting, especially if you’re entering a business externally, but clearly, someone thinks you’re worth it, so take that as a positive.

Be open to the advice and guidance other people are willing to give you as it’ll only help increase your chances of success and, in turn, really enjoy your role. We wish you the very best of luck in this new journey.

ERP Project

How CEOs And CIOs Can Failure-Proof Their ERP Project

By Adam Stead – Content Marketing, Global App Testing

Of the many business solutions an organisation could invest in, ERP is arguably amongst the most worthwhile. In fact, 95% of businesses reported that after using ERP they saw improvements such as reducing process times, increasing collaboration, and centralising enterprise data.

 

What is ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a type of software used by organisations to manage day-to-day business activities such as payroll, procurement, supply chain operations and project management. It collects and manages data from business activities. Systems and processes are shared across various divisions, with an effective ERP system enhancing an organisation’s efficiency. 

 

Five tips to failure-proof your ERP project

ERP has numerous benefits, but many companies come across hurdles when implementing an ERP solution.  Lack of preparation, ineffective communication with users, and lack of proper testing are just some of the reasons that your ERP project might not be having the outcome you desire. 

Read on for five tips to failure-proof your ERP project and avoid these crucial mistakes:

 

1. Plan and prepare

As with any major project, the implementation of ERP requires careful planning and preparation. Without it, the process will likely be unsuccessful and costly. 

Don’t fall into the trap of taking a top-down only approach. Ensure all members of your organisation are involved in the planning process. A good place to start is to involve the end user of the system. Ask them what processes are involved in their day-to-day tasks and if they’re currently able to perform them effectively. If not, how can this be improved? 

A recent survey found that just 25% of employees are using their ERP systems. If they had more input into what the system looked like, they just might be more likely to actually use it!

The planning process also needs to take into account wider business goals and desired outcomes. How does the ERP project fit into the business strategy? How will it help the business achieve targets and objectives going forward? 

 

2. Effective communication

Effective communication throughout the process of ERP implementation will be a key contributing factor to its success. Leaders should communicate with employees at all levels of the organisation to ensure everyone is clear on expectations, goals and accessibility. 

Everyone in the organisation should be clear on what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what the benefits will be for the company as a whole, but also them as an employee. Employees will be more likely to buy-in to something new (and change their old habits) if they’ve been involved in the process. 

 

3. Test your ERP 

Before launching (or re-launching) an ERP system, it’s essential to test its effectiveness. In a recent report, one of the top hurdles cited when implementing ERP was lack of effective testing. CEOs and CIOs should be confident that the ERP system is effective before launching it across the organisation, and rigorous testing is one way to increase that confidence. 

Not sure where to start? Look at this Global App Testing automated testing guide for everything there is to know about automated software testing. 

 

4. Provide support for ERP users

A well thought out and effective onboarding and training programme can be the difference between a successful ERP launch and an unsuccessful one. 

Users need to know how to use the ERP system, and need support when they inevitably come across problems. You could even consider using a Digital Adoption Platform to provide users with guidance such as walk-through videos, in-app tips and customised training. 

 

5. Evaluate and adapt 

Fairly quickly after ERP implementation, highlight successes and difficulties in order to evaluate and adapt where necessary. 

An effective ERP project will be a huge investment for the organisation, and as a CEO or CIO you’ll want to ensure you’re seeing a return on investment. Don’t just assume that after planning, testing and launching ERP that everything will run smoothly. 

ERP software will also need to adapt to changing business needs or market trends. For example, you may need to consider what to do in case of a recession. Early and regular evaluation will ensure ERP is fit for purpose and ROI is high. 

 

How will you failure-proof your ERP project?

You know the benefits that effective ERP software can deliver to your organisation and now you can take five key steps to ensuring success. 

If you ensure adequate planning, effective communication, rigorous testing, appropriate support and regular opportunities to evaluate, you’re sure to failure-proof your ERP project. 

Storing Your Company’s Construction Materials Properly

If you run your own construction business, then you be aware of just how demanding such an enterprise can be, with the familiar feeling of being continuously pulled in multiple directions as you endeavour to simultaneously care for your employees whilst also keeping your various projects and day-to-day operations running smoothly. By managing your business competently and effectively, you will not only be rewarded with a higher employee satisfaction, you will also increase the likelihood of securing future works by prospective customers, rather than them choosing an alternative from the other 914,000 enterprises in the construction sector.

Keeping projects running smoothly comes down to many factors, including having adequate staff to complete tasks, ensuring you have the proper tools, and being able to transport and store construction materials properly. The latter has never been more important with the current material shortage that the UK is facing. Business owners must keep the materials they order protected, so they don’t end up damaged.

Not sure how to do that? This is the article for you. We’ll discuss all of the things you need to keep in consideration for transporting and storing construction materials.

Consider where you will store materials

With the unpredictable weather in the UK, scouting out the most suitable and optimised place to store your materials is vital. For example, in winter it is imperative to keep materials safe by storing them undercover – preferably in an airtight capacity. This will keep them from getting damp, wet, or accumulating mould, which could potentially render them unusable.

It’s also important to keep materials well-ventilated on hot days. Failure to do this may lead to moisture building which can result in mould forming.

How to store materials

Once you’ve decided where you will store your materials, it’s time to decide how you’ll do it. This will take careful planning but will help to mitigate the risk of your materials getting damaged. Try the following examples to keep common materials safe:

Steel – This metal is susceptible to rust, corrosion and scaling when in storage. Try to coat it in cement wash to prevent any of these from occurring.

Plasterboard – Plasterboard is a vital material for any project which is why it should be kept well clear from any other materials. We recommend using a cantilever racking system to achieve this.

Lumber – This material can be extremely porous, so it will need to be stored undercover. In the unlikely event that it does get wet, be sure to store each piece horizontally with air space between them, so they can dry.

Know the weight of your materials

Take note of how much different objects weigh as this will ensure your staff know whether they can transport it to or from the storage spaces by themselves. Heavy materials should be moved by multiple staff or machinery if possible. By doing this, you’ll be able to prevent injury on site which will keep the project moving smoothly.

When Times Are Tough: Tips for CEOs Leading Through Adversity

Great CEOs are made, not born, and while most people do not deliberately seek out adversity, it is in just such times that your leadership skills can be honed to the finest point. When times are tough, as a CEO, that’s your cue to get tougher, finding strategies to lead your company through the hard times and toward success.

Look Toward the Future

Whatever challenging times you are facing at present, the one thing you can be certain of is that at some point, things will change. Create a positive vision of the future for yourself, and then share it with your staff. Having a strong idea of what to work toward instead of simply what you want to avoid can help keep everyone motivated and aiming in the same direction.

Batten Down Your Own Hatches

While the main focus of leadership should always be on raising up others, it’s important that you do not neglect your own well-being during a crisis. This means making an effort to get a reasonable amount of sleep, eat nutritionally, and try to get some exercise as well as some down time with your friends and family. In addition to looking for work/life balance, you also need to make sure that you stay on top of your finances. It’s easier to lead if you aren’t feeling desperate about retaining your current position. Having smart personal finances is one of the best ways to ensure that this is the case, and investing in real estate is an excellent way to accumulate wealth. For over a decade since the financial crisis of 2008, house prices have been bouncing back, meaning that real estate investments tend to appreciate in value and can also provide a reliable cash flow each month.

Be an Active Character

Truly difficult times can be paralysing for even the most competent of leaders. There’s nothing wrong with feeling as though you don’t know where to turn in a crisis, but what makes leaders stand out is that in spite of feeling that way, they do eventually make a decision and take action. When you find yourself in this situation, one thing that makes it especially hard is that you can’t really take the time to gather all the data that you normally would. You need to look at what the greatest short-term threats are and consider how to neutralise them in a way that will best ensure the long-term survival of your company. This is no time for passivity. You can’t let fear of risk or failure keep you from taking the necessary steps.

Plan Ahead

This is not something you can do in the heat of a crisis, but every good leader should do contingency planning well in advance for just such a situation. You may not have anticipated the particular threat that you find yourself facing, but even having done practice exercises for other dangers will put you in a better position to face an unanticipated one. Of course, having a plan for the most likely scenarios also means you will know what to do when one of those particular crises comes calling. If you want to go the extra mile, consider finding the right coach as a CEO to walk you through some of these possible scenarios so that you will have actively practiced your strategies in advance of any events that dictate a crisis.

How to Support Employees Who Are Handling Complex Projects and Large Budgets

Whether you’re managing an in-person or remote workforce, it can be hard to keep track of all your team’s projects. And if you’re struggling, just imagine how difficult it must be for your employees. To solve your problems, you’ll need to find a system that manages their workload.

How to Successfully Manage Multiple Projects

Good project management is necessary for any team tackling large, multi-faceted initiatives. To keep track of your progress, manage your budget, and support your staff, try the following.

1. Opt for One Dashboard for Complete Visibility

If you’re struggling with a lack of visibility across your projects, you’ll need to use a single dashboard to manage them all. Planning and managing your launches in one place lets you see how many projects you have, what items they include, and the status of your project roadmap.

2. Define Project Goals, Responsibilities, and Plans

You need to define project goals, make a plan, assign responsibilities, and set expectations if you want to do away with inconsistencies. Any project goal you set should help your team finish the project to your specifications, but don’t forget to pencil in time for feedback and approvals.

3. Prioritise Projects That Make the Most Impact

While it’s tempting to work on the smallest or easiest projects first, try to resist the temptation. It’s better if you prioritise projects based on their impact on your company goals. When you plan to delegate work, determine which project will lead to better customer retention and start there.

4. Provide Specialist Industry-Specific Software

Depending on your industry, a generic dashboard may not be enough. For example, commercial real estate teams should use real estate development software found on northspyre.com. With this tool, development teams can make more predictable outcomes on all of their projects.

5. Empower Your Team to be Flexible and Adaptable

Project scope, priorities, and deliverables can change at any time, but your team needs to keep track of them, so they can pivot and reassign work. Use a single communication channel (it can be the same tool as your project dashboard) to deliver information to your entire project team.

6. Set and Manage Your Expectations Clearly

Your team will become confused and disorganised when they’re expected to follow multiple managers who have misaligned expectations. Employers should use a tool that allows them to send real-time status and progress updates with a click, like work management software.

7. Balance Workloads and Timelines Across Projects

When you don’t know how much (or how little) someone has on their plate, you’ll cause an imbalance. You should know who’s doing what, who’s overbooked, and what’s causing project timeline conflicts. That way, you can quickly defer, remove, or re-delegate tasks instantly.

8. Adjust Project Schedules to Maximize Efficiency

Project start and end dates must be coordinated, or employees become overworked, and the project gets delayed. Team leads should stagger start dates for similar projects, look out for deliverables that are dependent on another task, and flag duplicate tasks (to consolidate them).

9. Delegate Appropriately Instead of Micromanaging

Micromanaging is ineffective, costly, and a waste of time. Instead of keeping a watchful eye on your staff, trust that they’ll finish projects on time. If you don’t trust them to hand in deliverables, consider retraining them, putting them on another project/task, or speaking to them privately.

10. Track and Safe Workflows Instead of Rebuilding Them

After finishing a major project, create a template you can use to replicate your process. Don’t keep rebuilding your workflow from the ground up. With that said, you should update your template regularly with new steps and tasks you’ve added to your process or workflow.