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To Your Online Success!

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Promoting an ‘L&G’ Culture ~ Influential Admin Team Leaders (Part 1 of 2)

“We should all pick up new skills, ideas, viewpoints, and ways of working every day”, Sir Richard Branson

http://www.theclci.com/products_PMMS-BSC04.htm

 

If you have an influential Admin Team Leader in place for your department(s), you are most fortunate.

An effective Admin Team Leader will listen to all of your concerns about your role; perhaps as yet unattainable tools or equipment, and of course, learning and growth training that encourage your career advancement.

The Team Leader is your ‘go-to’ to express any job-related issues, whether that looks like an associate concern, workload issues, overtime, or what have you.

While a Team Leader shoulders many responsibilities, their chief role is to make sure their assigned teams are operating efficiently and effectively, and thus, have the right programs and tools at their disposal to work at peak performance levels consistently.

Naturally, discontented employees are not going to stick with their departments or any firm that does not offer a culture of opportunity. Firms not operating in this culture are sure to face real and expensive employee retention issues.

The Admin Team Leader, operating within the firm budget guidelines, must be resourceful in sourcing either internal or external coaching and training resources, and cost-effective tools for the firm, while still offering value for your administrative teams.

Depending on the scale of your firm, and the number of employees requesting (or requiring) coaching and training, your Admin Team Leader(s) may wish to consider:

  1. Sourcing experts inside the firm network to present talks to your team;
  2. Reaching out to firm mentors and coaches, to see if they would be willing to discuss the connected issues and programs together with your team; and
  3. Negotiating in-house contracts for knowledgeable, competent program trainers to keep costs down.

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Plan Do Check Act System: Employee Engagement

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The Plan Do Check Act system is an effective problem-solving technique that sets the foundation for a culture of continuous improvement.

All organizations face a myriad of challenges, particularly the larger firms. Whether or not they are big issues like elusive revenue targets, or efficiency-specific problems such as rework, following the ‘Plan Do Check Act’ system will help businesses implement effective solutions.

The key activities involved in each of these four stages of this straightforward system are outlined for you below.

PLAN

In this stage, identify the source of the problem and craft a solution. Conducting an intensive cause analysis is critical to any problem-solving initiative; allowing you to style a solution that may fix the issue, not merely cover it up.

Many tools can be used to conduct a root (or real) cause analysis. Two common tools that come to mind are fishbone diagrams (cause and effect) and the ‘5 whys’ (asking “why?” repeatedly until identifying the cause).

Once the cause of the problem is known and fully understood, choose and design the solution that best addresses it. Anticipate the impact following solution implementation, and make sure to collect the baseline information.

DO

In the Do stage, carry out the solution. To prepare for the implementation, create action and communication plans, and conduct a stakeholder analysis. Once these elaborated plans are in place, enforce it in the work area.

CHECK

In the Check stage, the results are reviewed to see if a solution has been reached and to quantify the benefits and advantages. Speak with the people directly involved in the change to get their opinion. Capture this new information, and compare it with the initial information to measure your gains.

ACT

In the Act stage, the amendment is incorporated into standard work, if no further enhancements are necessary. If moving forward with the final amendments, change any process documents accordingly, and communicate the permanent changes to all stakeholders.

If more improvements are required, apply the Plan Do Check Act system once more, until the changes can be incorporated into commonplace work practices.

While the above stages offer guidance on what activities need to take place, of equal importance is ‘how’ these steps are carried out, and how they are applied.

The most successful problem-solving initiatives actively engage employees at all levels throughout this process. Employees on the front lines, who do the work daily, have the foremost comprehensive understanding of where the problem areas are.

These employees know what solutions are going to be most effective, and what communication and coaching need to exist. By placing value on their comments, and basing solutions on their hands-on knowledge and ideas, organizations will carry out effective solutions for the longer term.

The Plan Do Check Act system is an effective problem-solving technique that sets the foundation for a culture of continuous improvement. Momentum will increase as employees learn to apply the new tools to their work areas — which of course is the goal for any organization seeking efficiencies through employee engagement.

Do You Need a Talented Temp On-Site or a Virtual Assistant?

Please review the following questions to determine if my services would help you in achieving your business and project goals, and meeting or beating your client deadlines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Are you finding yourself staying late to complete projects? Eating ‘fast food’ at your desk, and working weekends?
  • Do you keep a ‘to do’ list that just keeps growing, because you find you have to add to it daily?
  • Is your website or blog consistently ‘up-to-date’ with accurate and ‘on brand’ data?
  • Are you actively engaged with all your social networking accounts; attracting your contacts with daily posts, comments, and news or important announcements?
  • Do you have ‘assigned staff’ on hand to take care of all of your social media marketing and networking needs?
  • Could you benefit from having an extra set of eyes, and pair of hands to help you get back on top of things?
  • Are your current staffing levels sufficient to help you with all that you have to do?
  • Do you have proactive and skilled support staff available to you, willing and able to help you?
  • Are you working with complex documents that need advanced formatting edits before client delivery, but don’t quite have the skills required, or know the fastest way to go about it?
  • Are you feeling overwhelmed with your day-to-day tasks – not enough hours in the day?
  • Do you have a professional and reliable contact to call upon when you need a little extra help on your projects?
  • Do you have a tight staffing budget that does not support hiring a Temp through Personnel Agencies, due to the associated high fees?
  • Are you, or is your firm interested in ‘cost-effective’ administrative assistance, with no employee benefit costs attached?

If you answered YES to ANY of the questions above, you would most definitely benefit from having the services of A Talented Temp at your disposal.

If you would like to explore areas that I can clearly help you with, please contact me directly via phone or email, and feel free to connect with me through your preferred social networking service as well.

Thank You!

Considering Your Career Resolutions for 2017?

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We are now just a few short months away from 2017, and I am confident that many of you have had success with your personal resolutions made for this year, as well as the changes you would like to create in your career; possibly, an exciting career change during 2017.

Listed below are a few ideas I want to share with you that I believe may be similar to what you have pondered, and hopefully some new ideas for your Career Resolutions. Naturally, you are bearing in mind where you are in your present role, the length of time it took you to achieve that level of responsibility, and the path you perceive to be the best ‘fresh start’ that a New Year offers:

  • Learn more about your division, and the company overall (knowledge is power);
  • Establish better working relationships with your peers;
  • Become more engaged with your immediate boss and/or supervisor;
  • Attend more company-wide functions and connect with new people (Network);
  • Be more proactive in your approach and attitude toward your career;
  • Ask for more responsibility in your current role (assuming time/skills permits);
  • Register for suitable free training/courses offered at and through work;
  • Join strategic work-related committees;
  • Create & Chair a new committee theme that brings ‘added value’;
  • Uncover innovative ways to generate time & cost savings for your division/company
  • Evaluate whom you would like as your ideal Mentor or Career Coach;
  • Update your resume and references (always be prepared for advancement!); and
  • Participate in Community Volunteer programs, such as charity-driven events (check with HR about programs the company is involved in as well).

Please bear in mind that these are just a few examples of what your Career Resolutions might look like. I am sure that those of you that have spent considerable time pondering your lives and career, will have plenty to add to this list.

Having said that, I wrote this article for the benefit of those struggling to come up with ideas that would best serve their personalities and careers, particularly given our volatile job markets worldwide; which also deserves careful consideration.

I hope that this article has been helpful in getting the juices flowing for even a small percentage of my readers and followers.

Much Success to You!

 

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Encouraging Your ‘Proactive’ Employees

Select Employees will move beyond their ‘Assigned Roles’

As we all know, some employees will go above and beyond the call of duty, while others will stay well within the limits of their role descriptions and job demands.

This article speaks to those employees that have the drive and desire to expand the scope of their roles and knowledge of the firm while sharing their respective division’s goals and intended strategies for learning and growth within the perimeters of the division.

A number of employers do not realize, or acknowledge, that a healthy percentage of their employee pool can typically offer much more than their current roles allow.

The onus is on the employer, rather than the employee, to engage all talents of this most valuable resource.

If encouragement is given to those employees that show initiative, and their efforts applauded publicly and willingly, this acknowledgment should manifest even greater efforts of achievement from these particular staff members.

I believe that everyone has greatness within them, and while this is not recognized often enough, particularly within the hierarchy of large organizations, it should not, and truly can not be ignored any longer. This message speaks to Employee Retention’.

Speaking from my own professional experiences, I would propose that more employers acknowledge and appreciate staff that illustrates this ability to stretch beyond the scope of their roles.

These motivated employees clearly have a vested interest in the success of their professional teams and the firm overall, and their efforts should be taken seriously, and addressed appropriately.

If firms do not take appropriate action, it is likely they will continue to suffer the loss of valuable and resourceful staff members that feel stifled in their efforts to become an integral and essential part of the firm overall.

Inaction presents both employees and firms with a ‘lose-lose’ proposition, which is not ideal, and should not be taking place in today’s volatile global job markets.

You may recall seeing the following text I authored on the landing page of this site, which most certainly sums up the crux of this article:

‘RETAIN’ TOP TALENT

R E C O G N I Z E
E N G A G E
T R U S T
A C K N O W L E D G E
I N S P I R E, and
N U R T U R E

 

20 Sample Exit Interview Queries

From the employer’s perspective, the number one purpose of the exit interview is to learn and analyze the reasons for the employee’s departure, based on the premise that criticism is a helpful driver for organizational development. Good exit interviews should yield useful facts about the organization in terms of evaluating and improving all elements of the work environment, culture, systems and processes, management, development, et cetera.

Many employers overlook the opportunity that exit interviews offer; chiefly because exit interviews are often skipped, and starting them is a tough initiative to undertake, given the potentially subjective and ‘fuzzy’ nature of the results; the time involved to conduct them effectively; and the unspoken corporate wish to avoid criticism at all costs.

Exit interviews are nevertheless a unique opportunity for firms to analyze the opinions of departing personnel, who are generally more forthcoming, constructive, and objective than staff staying with the firm. In leaving an organization, departing employees feel liberated, and as such, departing employees offer a richer source of objective feedback than employed staff when responding to the typical staff attitude surveys.

Following are the ‘sample’ queries to consider for your Exit Interview Strategy:

  1. What triggered you to look for a new job initially?
  2. What is the core reason that prompted you to resign?
  3. Was a single event responsible for your decision to leave us? If so, what was it?
  4. What did your new firm offer you that encouraged you to accept their offer?
  5. The quality of supervision is important to most people at work. How was your relationship with your manager?
  6. How was your relationship with your co-workers and assigned team leader?
  7. What could your team leader do to improve his or her management style and skill sets?
  8. What did you enjoy most about your job here?
  9. What did you dislike about your job? What would you change about the job’ tasks and expectations?
  10. Were your job responsibilities outlined accurately during the interview process and orientation?
  11. Do you feel you had the tools, resources, and support necessary to perform your job effectively? If not, what was missing?
  12. We try to be an employee-oriented firm where our employees experience positive morale and motivation. What is your experience of the employee morale and motivation within our firm?
  13. Did you receive adequate feedback about your performance day-to-day, and in the performance review processes?
  14. Did the management of the firm care about and help you accomplish your personal, professional development, and career goals?
  15. What would you recommend to help us create a better workplace?
  16. What are the key qualities and skill sets we should be looking for in your replacement?
  17. Do you have any recommendations on our compensation, benefits, and other reward & recognition programs?
  18. Can you offer any other comments that will help us to understand why you are leaving, how we can improve, and what we can do to become a better, and more attractive firm to work with?
  19. Would you recommend our firm as a good place to work to your friends and family?
  20. What would make you consider working for this firm again in the future?

Naturally, you will want to end the exit interview on a positive note. Commit to using the information provided to improve your workplace, and thank the employee for all of his or her contributions to the firm. Wish the employee well and much success in their new endeavor. In this way, you are closing the interview with grace, while leaving the participants with a positive mental image of the exit interview experience.

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Meeting Client Needs: Virtual Office Assistants and Freelance Contractors

VOA Graphic Growing Trend

THE USE OF VIRTUAL OFFICE ASSISTANTS IS A GROWING TREND…

We are all aware of the state of affairs with our current economies, job markets, and the painfully slow recovery process.

Aside from significant transactions in mergers and acquisitions over the past year or so, there is much `re-inventing` going on, in the hopes of achieving the elusive unprecedented success buyers feel await them, as new operators of their chosen business mechanism.

This presents the perfect opportunity for companies to use the services of temporary staffing agencies, Virtual Office Assistants, or Freelance Contractors that are not so emotionally attached to the company/employee relationship.

Firms have warmed to the idea of taking advantage of the obvious benefits attached to using Freelance Contractors, and, perhaps more so, Virtual Office Assistants, which is a market that is growing exponentially on a global scale.

My point is simply this: In using the services of a Freelance Contractor or qualified Virtual Office Assistant:

  • firms receive savings that are immediately realized;
  • benefits are not payable;
  • office space is not necessarily required;
  • the firm laptop is not required;
  • no Staffing Agency fees to pay, nor taxes;
  • ‘given’ – you are dealing with a skilled and respected business professional;
  • current and previous client references supplied; readily checked and verified; and
  • opportunities for free services do exist.

Given our economic conditions, small businesses, as history illustrates, is once again leading the way in our global economies. The majority of small business operations, particularly the single party operations, are women. The strength and success of this group of women have been acknowledged for several years, and I am happy to report, continues to do so today.

Freelance Contractors and Virtual Office Assistants are all ex-employees of firms in any given industry. I believe this group of professionals can, and do, add value for their clients. It is not just the obvious cost savings; there is something far more personal and sophisticated in their client relationships.

It is generally acknowledged that Freelance Contractors and Virtual Office Assistants are professionals with many years of business experience behind them within a diverse group of industries and cultures. This fact alone should attract both small and medium-sized businesses to use their services.

As a Virtual/On-site Assistant, I believe it is in the best interests of firms to hire this group of professionals; perhaps on a significant ‘project basis’, versus taking on the responsibility, liability, training, and expense of permanent, full-time staffing.

As long as project direction and instruction are clearly communicated and reinforced with action, there is no rationale that might support a ‘Virtual Office Assistant’ as not capable to fully fulfill or surpass the desires of their clients in a most professional, skilled, and timely manner.

Any good business, particularly Virtual Office Assistants, will guarantee their client the delivery of professional services in the timeline requested by the client, or the work is FREE of charge. That should be standard practice, and certainly a reasonable expectation for any prospective client.

Please contact me for further information and discussion on the services that I will supply your firm. I guarantee my work and can assure you of service excellence. I would not position myself to deliver anything less, as my continued success and reputation depend on it.

I enjoy supplying firms with added-value services, which include; research, the provision of potential revenue producing opportunities, and competitive intelligence if requested.

As your Virtual or On-site Office Assistant, I will make positive contributions to your firm, if only on a temporary, or one-off project basis.

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Working in and Disbanding Organizational ‘Silos’

 

 

Like so many before me, I too have experienced the frustration of working in an organization where silos were prominent. Therefore, I feel confident in my personal knowledge about this structure. If you were to look up Information Silo in Wikipedia, you would find the following excerpt from its definition: 

… is a management system incapable of reciprocal operation with other, related management systems. With departmental specialization came a ‘silo operational culture’ for many large organizations. The silo effect is characterized by a lack of communication or common goals between departments in an organization.

I imagine that you are also curious as to why a company would use such a system in the first place; since it seems a logical conclusion that this method of operation is ineffective, and can only bring negative end-results.

If you review employment ads, you will be sure to find quotes such as ‘join our ‘team’, ‘share your expertise’ your input matters, be a part of our ‘successes, and so on. Naturally, these ads are specifically designed to lead the reader to believe that their participation, education, and tenure in their chosen field actually ‘contribute’, when indeed under the silo scenario, their efforts will most likely be stifled.

This is what appears to have become our blueprint of a company worthy of our efforts in terms of career growth and opportunity. A company’s success could look like a listing on various stock exchanges, and/ or the benefit of several ‘stakeholders’ with vested interests in place.

These stakeholders would, of course, take part in, and analyze the development and growth of the ‘brand’ of their firm. This level of success permits a company to have an absolute requirement of employing only the best in talent, to join their respective ‘teams’.

To my way of thinking, this is a monumental mistake, as well as a waste of talent, and stifles not only the employees caught in this predicament but also the firm’s overall success ratios. Why?

Well, in terms of career growth, this type of atmosphere is not conducive to a true ‘team spirit’, nor does it support growth, or knowledge-based intelligence across all lines of service, which in my view, is the fertile, and ideal scenario.

With the added ‘team’ cooperation comes not only camaraderie within multiple divisions but also growth across and within all of the lines of service.

For me, an organization’s true measure of success is evident by its people, not its size, region, or financials. I believe that all organizations are only as successful as their dedicated, proud and professional employees.

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Do You Need a Talented Temp/Virtual Assistant?

Please review the following questions to determine if my services would help you in achieving your business and project goals, and meeting or beating your client deadlines.

 

  • Are you finding yourself staying late to complete projects? Eating ‘fast food’ at yourDoing it ALL desk, working weekends?
  • Do you keep a ‘to do’ list that just keeps growing, because you find you have to add to it daily?
  • Is your website or blog consistently kept ‘up-to-date’ with accurate and ‘on brand data?
  • Are you actively engaged with all your social networking accounts; attracting your contacts with daily posts, comments, and news or important announcements?
  • Do you have ‘assigned staff’ on hand to take care of all of your social media marketing and networking needs?
  • Could you benefit from having an extra set of eyes, and pair of hands to help you get back on top of things?
  • Are your current staffing levels sufficient to help you with all that you have to do?
  • Do you have proactive and skilled support staff available to you, willing and able to help you?
  • Are you working with complex documents that need advanced formatting edits before client delivery, but don’t quite have the skills required, or know the fastest way to go about it?
  • Are you feeling overwhelmed with your day-to-day tasks – not enough hours in the day?
  • Do you have a professional and reliable contact to call upon when you need a little extra help on your projects?
  • Do you have a tight staffing budget that does not support hiring a Temp through Personnel Agencies, due to the associated high fees?
  • Are you, or is your firm interested in ‘cost-effective’ administrative assistance, with no employee benefit costs attached?

If you answered YES to ANY of the questions above, you would most definitely benefit from having A Talented Temp on-side.

If you would like to explore areas that I could clearly assist you with, please contact me directly via phone or email, and feel free to connect with me through your preferred social networking service as well.

Thank You!