Contents

Many business owners find themselves in the position to confront employees about their Internet use. Non-work related activities including online games, Internet shopping, stock trading, Internet radio, streaming media and MP3 downloads represent the new temptations in the workplace.

Effective Employee Internet Monitoring

Effective Employee Internet MonitoringMany business owners find themselves in the position to confront employees about their Internet use. Non-work related activities including online games, Internet shopping, stock trading, Internet radio, streaming media and MP3 downloads represent the new temptations in the workplace.When an employee connects to the Internet, your company is exposed to these four threats: Productivity Threats: Just 20 minutes of recreational surfing a day can cost a company with 30 employees over $1000 per week (At $25/hr per employee) Legal Threats: Employees can sue if you don't provide a work environment free of gender and minority harassment. This means taking reasonable care to block offensive Internet content. Network Threats: An employee can crash your network just by logging into the wrong website. Other activity like recreational surfing and downloading MP3 files can divert valuable bandwidth from critical business needs. Security Threats: Viruses enter networks through a variety of sources, such as web-based email, Instant Messenger file transfer, email attachments or through other files directly downloaded from a website. Companies of all sizes must effectively incorporate email, Instant Messages and web traffic logs into their overall records management strategy. Some companies must do this to comply with industry regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, Gramm-Leach-Bliley and HIPAA.The first step is to choose the types of Internet content that will not be allowed in the workplace. Keep in mind that not all employees will have the same privileges, so it is important the network management solution you choose provides a flexible configuration to suit your needs. There are two basic types of Internet monitoring solutions: Gateway and desktop solutions. Gateway solutions are software or hardware that act as checkpoint for all Internet traffic on the network. Desktop solutions are installed on the local machine to enforce the Internet policies before the request leaves the machine. Desktop solutions work well on smaller networks and gateway solutions work well on both.The next step is to create an official company policy specifically for Internet use. It should include all Internet activities and not just those you wish to manage. Keep in mind the document cannot account for every possible scenario on the Internet, so it is important to use broad terms with specific examples. For example, instead of stating Political opinions are not to be posted on newsgroups, you may wish to use Messages originating from the company network or other company-owned assets may not contain political opinions. The second clause is much stronger because it doesnt specify a message type or delivery system. If you have liability insurance, then be sure to get their approval on all documents. In some cases they will have additional provisions that directly relate to your industry.The most difficult step will be implementing the new policies. In most cases, some or all users will experience a reduction in Internet privileges. Prepare for a temporary increase in support requests as some users will be prevented from accessing some work-related content. Internet policy configuration is an on-going process that must be routinely maintained. Soon the complaints from users will cease and production will return back to normal. It is important to keep your filtering software updated and to maintain a history of Internet activity. If the time comes when you must confront an employee about their Internet use, you will have proof of their Internet activity and a detailed comparison to their peers. That is a much stronger case than saying Ive seen you 10 times looking at .

Make Sure You Recognize The Right Performance

Make Sure You Recognize The Right Performance

Eleanor Valentine and Gary Yardley do basically the same job in an engineering company. They are both designers working on the same project and the Vice President has just made an announcement that special bonuses will be paid to employees making the best contribution in their field of expertise. The problem is, it's difficult to differentiate between Elly's work and Gary's work because they interact so closely.This example demonstrates a few things about reward and recognition that can cause tempers to become frayed and relationships within the workplace to deteriorate. Unless these factors are properly dealt with, any reward and recognition system is potentially doomed to be a management plaything with no effect on performance and motivation or it will become an officially sanctioned method to extort money from the business.DefinitionFirstly, to judge whether a job is well done, both the supervisors and the staff need to understand what the job really is, whose job it was in the first place and whether it needed to be done at all. After all, when we talk about the performance of machines we focus on the important and relevant outputs. A performance automobile, for example, accelerates for 0 to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds and brakes from 60 to 0 in 120 feet; if it also produces cappuccino and cookies that's kind of incidental and not a normal measure of performance.Unfortunately, when it comes to people, the outputs that you expect are never as simple. Of course Salesmen produce sales, Engineers design products, Accountants manage the money and Human Resources supply skilled people but;don't Salesmen help to prevent bad debt getting worse?don't Engineers help to identify new skill requirements?don't Accountants smooth the sales process through efficient billing?don't Human Resources also upgrade the skills of Engineers through training?The performance of people is such a broad ranging portfolio of skills, capabilities and competencies that it is often necessary to define the boundaries of a job really clearly to make sure that people know what their core accountabilities are. It is more common than you think that people find elements of another job really attractive, so they modify their job accordingly; adding the attractive elements and taking the credit for the results they achieve.Performance as seen by managersOne must never generalize about managers as a breed; however they can be guilty of some worrying tendencies when considering performance. For example, they don't always see the gaps in continuity. Employees in larger organizations are highly adept at moving the focus of attention away from areas of underperformance when they know that the gaze of management is upon them. A thorough manager (they do exist!) will review every aspect of the job before making a judgment about performance.Elly and Gary solved the problem for themselves by agreeing to share any bonus that came their way but they were still left feeling that the bonus system was, somehow, badly designed.

Slow Cars To Superstars

Slow Cars To Superstars

Successful hiring, in any company, is one of the most difficult tasks in which to achieve repeatable success. From unexpected outbursts to terminal tardiness to woeful incompetence, every company has a hiring horror story regarding employees who interviewed strong but performed poorly. Perhaps a subtle, but more dangerous occurrence is the all-too-common hire who performs their job in the gray twilight of mediocrity. They never rise to the occasion and they never catastrophically fail. They interviewed well but now simply perform their role in a nondescript manner within the company. Amass too many of these employees and your company will be overwhelmed with mediocrity...or worse. How do you identify candidates who have unseen natural capacities that will elevate them to incredible achievements? The answer is aptitudes. Aptitude is defined as a natural ability, talent or aptness. Every salesperson has a different level of natural ability. Matching the right abilities to the requirements of the job provides the best opportunity for superior performance. An example: Imagine two cars asked to go 90mph down the freeway. One car is straight off the NASCAR track and the other is a 1972 Ford Pinto. Both cars can reach 90mph and, assuming they are not ticketed, can maintain that speed for some duration. However, the Pinto is redlining and over time cannot maintain that pace. In a short time, the Pintos engine will break down from the stress. Meanwhile, the NASCAR stock car is effortlessly gliding down the road and can easily maintain that speed for a long duration. The same analogy applies to employees. The employee with the right aptitudes for the position will be able to perform at a high level without red-lining their abilities. So how do you measure aptitudes and, more importantly, find the right aptitudes for the position? The first step is to identify the key performance indicators for the position. Key performance indicators are the critical goals and major business successes the job is accountable for producing. These key performance indicators become the reference point to which all future candidates are measured. After this activity, every step in your hiring process will become increasingly more refined and focused. The second step is to use the key performance indicators as the reference for establishing a benchmark of the job. The simplest of questions to begin with is; why does this job exist? What aptitudes are non-negotiable, mission-critical abilities that lead to success? Conversely, what aptitudes are not needed? In fact, some well developed aptitudes may actually be detrimental to success in the role. Using the key performance indicators to define the job leads to the last step. Finally, objectively assess all screened candidates against the newly formed benchmark. An unbiased, fully validated aptitude assessment will reveal the candidate's natural abilities. These abilities are difficult to detect through phone screens and interviews. Using objective assessments will provide a detailed analysis of the candidate's "fit" to the position. The greatest payoff for matching aptitudes to the job occurs after the newly hired employee quickly hits their stride in the role. These employees are the ones that bring a smile to their manager's face. They have an innate ability to make the right decisions, leverage the best approach and achieve the most success. Over time, ongoing training, relevant experience and consistent management allow this employee to further develop these aptitudes into highly effective skills for their role. They will become superstars.

5 Reasons Why Recordkeeping Is So Important

5 Reasons Why Recordkeeping Is So Important

When you decided to start your business, was your first priority concerned with setting up your filing system for recording your expenses? I seriously doubt it. This simple task (yes it is simple) is usually the item that is the last thing on the new business owners mind. The more important issues of what product to sell, how am I going to advertise, how much money is it going to cost me, and how much money can I make are the first questions we consider when going into business.The task of recordkeeping is usually procrastinated until the very last minute, when it is required. It is time to file your tax return, or time to go to the bank to get a loan for the business and the banker wants to see some financial records for the business. This can be a very daunting and cumbersome task if you have to dig through receipts and expenses for the whole year! No wonder we hate keeping records. Thats no fun!Well, guess what? If you arent keeping good, timely, and up-to-date records monthly, you dont need to be in business. Thats right. I said it. Here are the top five reasons why I truly believe this statement.1. Lost tax deductions = Lost Money If you are throwing your receipts in a shoebox each month and not keeping an organized record of your income and expenses, I can bet you money that you are losing out on some major tax deductions. A smart businessperson keeps track of her income (cash in) and expenses (cash out) monthly, sometimes even weekly. You do not need a fancy accounting software package to do this. You dont even need a computer! Simply keep a journal monthly and log in all of your receipts and invoices, and there you have it.2. High CPA/Tax Preparer Fees = Lost Money I can speak from personal experience, that if you bring in that shoebox of receipts for the year and expect your tax preparer to record and properly deduct your business expenses on your tax return, you are sadly mistaken. Tax season is the busiest time of year for these professionals. If you expect them to do your bookkeeping and recordkeeping as well, expect to pay for it. They dont have the time, or the desire to make sure that every receipt is accounted for. As a businessperson, it is your responsibility to make sure they are given the right totals and you can trace it right back to your tax return.3. Too much time spent looking for receipts The time you spend looking for a past receipt for a particular purchase for whatever reason, you can be utilizing this time in advertising your business or producing your product. These are important money generating activities that you are sacrificing due to your lack of recordkeeping.4. No financial statements Every business owner should review at least the profit and loss statement (income statement) for their business MONTHLY. This important piece of paper tells you if you are making money or losing money. How can you possibly run your business and make a profit if you are not analyzing your sales and expenses continuously? A good recordkeeping system will allow you to have this information at your fingertips.5. No need for expensive "accounting software" If you are just starting your business, or are a small business owner, you more than likely do not need software to prepare your books. A simple journal that is kept monthly of your income and expenses is all you need. At a glance, you will know how your business performed for that particular month.As a business owner, you need to realize the importance of a good recordkeeping system. This should also be a task that the business owner performs for at least three to six months before delegating the job to someone else. You will be able to run your business more effectively, determine possible cycles in the business year, and know where your money is going. Your business will be much more successful if you keep a simple recordkeeping system.

CMMS

The task of managing industries and businesses in the modern era is infinitely more complex than it was a few decades back. The large scale of operations, globalization, mass production environment and multiple units have all contributed to the complexity of business endeavors. Tools that help simplify the work environment are a boon in such a dynamic business situations.Maintenance management is a very critical function of any industry and CMMS is recognized as a very efficient tool focused on maintenance management. Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) are computerized methods of controlling the planning of all tasks involved in maintaining a business facility. It involves preventive maintenance management software specially designed to manage a businesss building, systems and heavy equipment. CMMS usually consists of hardware and software components. The software enables an organization to schedule preventive maintenance tasks, automate and track parts and work orders and service requests. There are many complex processes involved in the implementation of CMMS. A close look at the structure of a maintenance organization is needed to ensure the selection of a software package. Computerized maintenance nanagement systems are also called FAMS or facilities asset management systems. Most CMMS packages are web-based and can facilitate accessibility of the data from any part of the world.Features provided in some of the latest CMMS packages help maintenance managers improve their efficiency. For instance, many have a software tool that enables users to submit work requests electronically via the network or the Internet is the ability to plan out logistics and deliver superlative service to the end user. With these tools, both users and maintenance personnel save time and effort over traditional means of requesting maintenance help. Maintenance managers are required to send reports to their top management on a regular basis in order to judge the quality and success of the maintenance departments. CMMS helps in completing these tasks in a time-effective manner. In addition to manufacturing and engineering organizations, the maintenance departments of schools, universities and hospitals have also recognized the benefits of CMMS.

Surviving Office Relocation

One of the major problems of a growing business is the need for expansion or even relocation. The company would be faced on opening up a new branch, remodeling the present office, and relocating to a bigger office space. When a business to be suddenly interrupted by office relocation, management tends to panic due to disorganization. For efficient office relocation, the company needs advanced planning for a smooth moving experience. 1. Hire An ExpertTo survive the mess office relocation brings to the working environment, the company should think about hiring an office relocation experts that could analyze the companys resettlement for the employees so management to focus on their own work. By doing so, the company could save a lot of time and money with a much smoother transition to the relocated office. With your companys relocation team along with the office relocation service team, the budget and planning would be a series of brainstorming sessions. Organized as most relocation teams are, they would supply your company with a detailed documentation.- Relocation plans- Infrastructure needed- Equipment needed- Shipment of old office appliances- Quotation for entire procedure2. Planning Is KeyThese services have highly trained staff members which studies the companys profile and its need for the new environment. The office relocation specialists plan ahead of time to provide a strategic facility location and set up lease negotiations to find your company the perfect location for the new office. These people would be the one to handle the design and lay-outs of walls, carpeting, ceilings, location of comfort rooms and other rooms. They would lead in the implementation of all the necessary equipments needed for the companys business. They are the people who would develop and execute the office relocation. Give the specifications to your office relocation specialist. They would provide the location of your companys desired place, and they are the ones who would do the negotiations for lot owners. These office relocation services would handle all departure assistance. They would set up your recent office space for lease or purchase to a real estate agent for faster results. By negotiating with the office areas worth, your company would be given the extra needed financial increase for expenses on the ongoing office relocation.3. Shipping CargoNegotiations with the top companies of shipping and cargo would be the office relocation team. They would set up an appointment for the relocation date and time. Office relocation services would provide your company the advantage of comfort because every little detail of your office relocation would be their job. They would monitor the pick up of all office supplies and make sure that the deliveries of these supplies and appliances arrive on schedule. They would also set up electrical wires, telecommunications needed, air-conditioning, the arrangements of office equipments and furniture of your desire, and positioning of systems furniture. There are also special relocation teams which manage information technology updates and set ups which could help your company adapt a healthier environment with new facilities. They could handle all of the technical side of your companys business move. 4. Less Disruption Means Avoiding Loss Of ProfitsThese "office relocation services" provide the company a less disruptive environment during the process of relocation. They are experts who have been in the relocating business for years and help the company to get the system up fast and the office up and running. These relocation services provide a great deal of service to your companys comfort. From the designs of your companys walls and ceiling, to the pipelines of the office bath rooms, to the networks of the companys information technology, to the office appliances needed, with your go signal, they will be there to make all the dealings. With an understanding of your companys needs, they would assist you in legal documents for lease, business permits and construction permits. Plus, they would provide for you the contacts and they would negotiate with them if top materials and equipments the office is necessary. With this in mind, you will be the boss on your own office relocation. You would tell the experts on what you have in mind, and they will execute it as fast and as undisruptive as possible. With a low cost for this office relocation service, what more can you ask for?

Summary

Many business owners find themselves in the position to confront employees about their Internet use. Non-work related activities including online games, Internet shopping, stock trading, Internet radio, streaming media and MP3 downloads represent the new temptations in the workplace.