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10 Traits Of Managers Whose Teams Are Happy To Come To Work

Work isn’t recess but it shouldn’t be detention, either.

Sherrie Campbell

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The last thing any manager wants their team members to do is dread coming to work each day. Because people spend the majority of their time at work, it is important managers do all they can to make that time enjoyable, exciting and well-spent.

A dictatorial manager who lacks empathy or insight may produce but high turnover will cause them to ultimately fail. Excellent managers do their best to make 80 percent of the job rewarding, with a 20 percent balance of healthy stress. While this may not always be the possible, it is nonetheless their goal.

1Knowledgeable

To create a happy and successful team, exceptional managers make sure to be knowledgeable in every area of their field, and to have the resources necessary to gather the information they are lacking.

They are responsible and thorough in their direction of others, they follow their insights and stay well-connected in their industry.

These skills make them the “safe-base” and strong ally team members need. The more knowledgeable a manager, the better the coach, and the more inspiring it is for team members to come to them for guidance.

2Practical

Great managers understand the basic principles of management, and utilise a wide range of those principles to direct the unique and individual needs each team member presents them with. These managers are thoughtful and masterful when making decisions and also when finding solutions to problems.

Success comes with more ease when direction and expectations are clearly communicated to team members. These practical skills are essential to creating a happy and productive working environment.

3Upbeat

Great managers are optimistic and positive. It’s better for them and better for business on every level. Successful managers are secure in their own well-being. Each day they set a positive tone for their team with an upbeat, helpful attitude.

A manager who is cold and mechanical will, more often than not, get their team off on the wrong foot each day. Success is harder to come by working under oppressive and negative conditions.

4Stress management

Stress management

Stress is the one place we all have the potential to short circuit, lose patience and treat others poorly. Top managers pride themselves on being emotionally intelligent and capable of self-possession. Because they know how to manage their own stress, they are more masterful in managing the stress of their team members when it is most needed.

To reduce stress, top managers ensure team members have the necessary time to nurture and take of themselves personally and professionally.

This type of a management approach is based in balance. When things are in balance, success is more easily developed and maintained.

5Love what they do

Well-liked managers love what they do. Because of this love, they view themselves as consistent “learners.” They invest their time and resources into self-development, education and training.

It is inspiring for anyone to be around a person hungry for their own growth and development. When a manager has this interest and passion, it is undeniably contagious to those who work for them. Great managers hold the awareness that the only way to stay ahead of the competition is to grow themselves and their team beyond the competition.

6Leadership

Great managers develop their leadership skills by engaging in teamwork exercises and practices that unleash the full potential of the team they manage. Successful managers focus on teaching their team members how to work with each other, rather than against each other. They keep their team cohesive by valuing comradery over competition.

7Ability to motivate

Stand-out managers are self-motivated and able to motivate others. They continually ask themselves how they can improve team morale with new tactics to keep passions peaked.

Successful and well-liked managers cultivate the relationship between happiness and achievement in their team members. They inspire their team by redefining goals as part of something larger than closing their next deal.

The more supportive the environment between individual team members, and between team members and their manager, the more cohesive and successful they all become together.

8Dedication to excellence

Great managers expect the best from themselves and their team. They refuse to settle for poor results, knowing it reflects upon their ability to manage well, just as much as it reflects upon the team’s ability to excel.

The best managers encourage the sharing of ideas and offer incentives, such as bonuses or commissions, to get their team thinking more outside of the box. They don’t tolerate team members badmouthing each other, their customers or vendors. They point out that all people are human.

They make sure to keep their team focused on solutions not problems. They encourage their team members to be good human beings, not just good salespeople.

9Focused on quality

quality

Top managers focus on the quality of what their team produces. As important as volume and productivity may be on the front-end of a deal, it is the quality of the services and reliability of the product being sold that ultimately determines the value of the deal.

Successful managers encourage the productive use of time, skill and knowledge. These managers understand that the most successful and fulfilled teams are those who experience meaningful results.

Team members have to value who they are, the product they sell, those who use their product and the importance of delivering quality results.

10 Success is shared

Great managers desire to have a meaningful and significant impact on their team. Successful managers are driven to make a difference, an emotional difference, in their team members.

For this reason, they celebrate the accomplishments of everyone, believing that everyone is capable to doing well. They are solution-focused, and generous with their time and attention when someone needs it.

The well-being of their team members is central to a great manager’s approach because they know that when people feel important, they treat all they do and achieve with more importance.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Sherrie Campbell is a psychologist in Yorba Linda, Calif., with two decades of clinical training and experience in providing counseling and psychotherapy services. She is the author of Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person.

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Managing Staff

How The Digital World Has Impacted HR

Here are a few ways in which HR has changed.

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Almost every conversation that happens within a business environment is around growth and how technology is changing the way we do business. With few industries left untouched, the digital world has radically changed the way individuals work, creating an even bigger demand for real-time experiences.

The HR department deals with an influx of messages and emails on a daily basis, so in order to make things easier, digital has introduced a variety of different online tools that have certainly helped set the tone for the future of organisational management. With employee cultures, engagement and productivity being a few of the most important topics circulated internally, HR has a fundamental part to play in getting existing employees to adopt a digital mindset that supports this new-age culture.

The quicker businesses take advantage of technology to manage performance, make the hiring process easier and give people access to their own personal information, the quicker it will separate traditional workplace thinking from today’s thinking.

Here are a few ways in which HR has changed:

Cloud computing and online apps

With previous admin and other HR tasks being done by hand, cloud computing has now made everything faster and simpler. Professionals now have access to the latest online tools that will help streamline processes and allow individuals instant access to their own personal information without having to ask for it. This also speeds up the process and takes a lot of extra, unnecessary work off HRs shoulders.

Related: Is Leveraging Your Resources Getting The Job Done Properly?

In the upcoming years, companies can expect cloud-based HR systems to become more automated and mobile friendly. This means that HR and management will be able to access employee payrolls, CV applications and more, with just the click of a button.

People analytics

One of the many benefits that digital has created for HR is the availability of employee data. More companies have started using online applications to monitor employee performance and company productivity. HR departments have started tracking employee behaviour and patterns through their selected app, making employee feedback easier and more efficient. If any employees have complaints, questions or queries, logging these requests online will make it easier for HR to deal with, considering the amount of content they receive, every day. This will also help them to make more effective decisions.

It’s no secret that a company’s most valuable asset is their people, and when looking to motivate employees, track employee training and individual performance or set up a training programme, then online is the way to go. By having a more holistic understanding of your people and how they’re performing, HR can better support a culture of feedback, engagement and motivation. This kind of approach will also enable employees to better align their personal goals to bigger business objectives.

Real-time feedback

Because the digital age has created the impression that things can get done quickly, in real-time, employees feel the need to give and receive feedback with an instant response. Real-time evaluation is much more effective for something that needs to change than an annual or quarterly review would be.

If new procedures, policies, meetings or activities get announced, employees can immediately give their feedback on a specific topic or outcome. This will also help you know when to make changes both within the organisation and with employees. For example, employees who don’t measure up to their KPI standards can be subjected to additional training or can be let go in favour of someone else who can come in and do the job better than they do.

Related: What Happened To The Workplace? How To Make It More Human

AI, VR and AR

Gone are the days where robots, VR and AR were simply jargon used among tech geeks. These terms have officially made it to everyday conversations, between business owners, employees and HR leaders. Virtual Reality (VR) which can be identified as a recreation of reality, is now being harnessed by companies in their training activities, as well as Augmented Reality (AR) which enhances technology. These elements are starting to become far more integrated into internal activities, helping employers engage better with employees, making activities more interactive and fun.

While many advancements have been made to the HR department and even HR management courses at colleges, there are countless others to look forward to. New tech innovations are introduced every day, creating even greater opportunities for businesses to align their goals with HR.

Professionals will need to keep up to date with the latest trends and develop their own strategies to stay within the path of progress. Much like all things digital, we all have mixed emotions when it comes to new trends but in order for companies to stay relevant, they will need to adapt their company goals to meet these challenges. Technology is only going to keep moving forward.

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Managing Staff

A Culture Of Discipline Critical For SMMEs To Thrive

Employees are the heart and soul of every organisation, especially for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs).

Thabang Rapuleng

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Employees are the heart and soul of every organisation, especially for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs). As a result, the implementation, as well as enforcement of clear workplace policies and practices is critical to the success of these companies.

With South African Labour Law as strict as it is, we are still finding a significant number of SMMEs that do not have any formal policies and procedures, which increases the risk of these companies not complying with labour laws.

This is often as a result of SMMEs not having the necessary manpower or finances to have fully-fledged human resources (HR) departments. It can therefore be a common occurrence to find SMME owners at the helm of HR divisions.

An owner-run HR department will also not necessarily be overly familiar with labour laws. The company will often do something that is “good for business” but not advisable in terms of the law. This could lead to poor decisions being made and could be detrimental to the future of the company.

Related: 3 Steps To Find And Keep Top Talent In Your Business

Poor communication of policies and procedures is another area of concern for many SMMEs, resulting in employees often being unaware of HR policies and making them likely to infringe on these policies. New employees may also find it difficult to adapt to the business and employees could end up losing what could have been a valuable asset to a growing business.

A culture of discipline is essential

Discipline with regards to the enforcement of policies must be considered as a day-to-day management function, rather than a once-off or ad hoc event. This approach will ensure an issue is resolved before it spirals out of control.

For example, if an employee takes an extended lunch break, and the employer allows it to happen, it will send a message to other employees that this is perfectly acceptable. Employers will soon find other employees adopting a similar approach, possibly resulting in a large-scale disciplinary process. If the employer took the time and initiated a disciplinary discussion with the one employee, it would have communicated to other staff that this type of behaviour is not tolerated, avoiding a potentially bigger issue.

This is not just an issue in SMMEs. CDH often finds large corporates also struggling to maintain discipline on a day-to-day basis. In some cases, corporates tend to wait until an employee has made a significant mistake or serious act of negligence before intervening.

Record-keeping is your ally

Keeping a record of all disciplinary matters is an essential part of creating a culture of discipline in the workplace. It is critical that all verbal and written warnings are recorded and kept in the employee’s file.

Related: Servant Leadership – Will You Serve?

Under South African Labour Law, an employee must always be allowed to state his/her case in all disciplinary matters, irrespective of the seriousness of the infringement.

Before the employer issues a verbal or written warning, the employer must notify the employee of his/her infringement. The employees must then be given the opportunity to state their case and if the employer is not satisfied with their explanation, the employer may then legally issue the warning.

For more serious matters, which verbal or written warnings will not solve, you must follow more formal steps, such as disciplinary hearings. However, if you maintain a culture of discipline on a daily basis, you will rarely have issues escalating to such a degree.

Correcting an overall workplace culture is far more difficult than rectifying a small incident. When an employer has to correct an entire culture that is deeply entrenched in their business, the process can be more expensive and take much longer.

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Managing Staff

8 Ways To Upskill Your Call Centre Team Before Year-End

For South African call centres, November is the busiest month of the year, so to get in on the action, it’s only appropriate for Olico to provide a few tips on how to upskill your call centre agents.

Gareth Moutain

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As we’re heading into the 2017 home-stretch, many companies will be concerned about hitting those final sales figures. Apart from being a tough year financially, traditionally sales tend to lag behind at this stage. But there is hope.

For South African call centres, November is the busiest month of the year, so to get in on the action, it’s only appropriate for Olico to provide a few tips on how to upskill your call centre agents.

1. For sales, balance is key

A firmly held belief is that the more leads allocated per seat, the more sales that seat will bring in. That’s incorrect. Give the agent too many leads, and they will give up too easily on a call, stopping at the first hurdle experienced. Too few leads mean they might miss out on sales opportunities. Finding the right balance is essential, bearing in mind that all leads should be made the most of.

2. Improve the opening script

In a call centre environment, agents must know how to capitalise on that brief period of time to get a foot in the door. The opening script is absolutely vital, and it can be enhanced by simply adding personalisation to it. Make sure the person is greeted by their name/surname, with agents encouraged to add some energy to the lines to make it stand out from other call clutter.

Related: The Festive Season Might Be Over, But There’s No Rest For Call Centres

3. Provide the origin of the lead

Tying in closely to the above, sales will improve if agents know where the lead comes from. If the lead is from a person who responded to an email campaign, it must be mentioned in the script. Once the person knows the call is related to a request they sent, they will immediately form rapport with the call centre agent.

4. Product refresh training

Much like a car sometimes need a retouch to bring back the shine, so too do call centre agents need a refresh on the products they are selling. Products also evolve, so providing agents with a short course on new benefits, while re-emphasising the key ones, is a great idea.

5. Objection handling

Closing a sale through the telephone is hard work, and call centre agents must be made aware of all the tricks of the trade to seal the deal. If a consumer is not keen, sell harder. If there are regular excuses, find their counterpoints. Is the client’s home language isiZulu? Find the agent who can help. Give them a reason to stay on the phone.

6. Stick to the appointment

Time is money they say, so if the person requested a call back on a specific time, make sure the appointment is kept. Customers don’t respond well if a time slot was missed and yet another call catches them at a bad time.

Related: Why Tyra Banks Cold-Called Zappos’s Tony Hsieh

7. Improve quote ratios

It’s easy – more quotes mean more sales. If the potential customer is provided with a quote, the chances of them converting to a sale is considerably more certain. Where the problem comes in, is guiding a lead through the call to be able to quote. For call centres this means tailoring the script to elegantly move from “Good morning, Mr. Williams,” to “Our life policy will cost you R350 per month”.

8. Incentivise!

With the holidays and Christmas coming up, everyone needs that extra cash, that’s why the time is now to really incentivise sales. Big paydays for agents and teams who sell the most will provide the kindling needed to get those sales fires burning.

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