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  • Francisco Eguiza 9:00 am on September 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , team management,   

    SoMoClo, your company and its entire ecosystem always connected 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes SoMoClo, your company and its entire ecosystem always connected A couple of years ago, people were already talking about SoMoClo as a potent, exuberant and explosive trend, above all in the fields of digital marketing and innovation, allowing companies to reach a greater audience with a more precisely-defined target and even better results (i.e. using geolocation services to send catalogues, discounts, payment methods and calls to action to smartphones). However, in this article I’m NOT going to talk about SoMoClo in terms of marketing. I want to dedicate this space to looking at how this trend can be used to help your company or business, to help your organization. So…

    What is SoMoClo?

    Let’s start with the following premise — nowadays EVERYTHING is Social, EVERYTHING is Mobile and (almost) EVERYTHING is on the Cloud. SoMoClo is an acronym for Social Mobile Cloud. Given that the previous premise holds true (and I’m not the only one who says so), why not align your company with Social, Mobile and Cloud principles?

    In the strictly business sphere, the objective of SoMoClo can be summed up in a single phrase: “Your company and its entire ecosystem: available anytime, anywhere.”

    Imagine the impact on your company or organization by having all the relevant information available, NOT just on your team’s PCs, but in a secure, private repository where all you need is an internet connection to start working. Response times are reduced, information is expanded, feedback becomes a positive tool (that, after all, is why we talk about Social) and work teams are fully capable of acting and reacting via the Cloud. (More …)

     
  • Larry Alton 9:00 am on July 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , team management   

    Cliques in the Workplace 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    Cliques in the WorkplaceUnfortunately, you didn’t leave behind the cool kid’s lunch table when you left high school. In the adult workplace, there are still cliques, there are still mean girls, and gossip can be just as devastating. It might come with new buzzwords, like “water cooler conversation,” but the reality is that humans (regardless of age) are social creatures and naturally want to form groups. However, we’re also competitive and that can come out fiercer than ever in the real world.

    As a manager, it’s your job to make sure each of your employees can enjoy a positive environment that allows them to flourish, do their job, and enjoy coming to work.

    Like it or not, part of your job is playing social director as well as interior designer. Part of your role is making sure every worker feels welcomed and valued, both from yourself and from everyone else in the office. It’s a tough job being Mama or Papa Bear, but you’re in this position because you have what it takes.

    Playing social director

    There are many ways to encourage holistic socializing both at work and beyond the office hours. For some offices, this means a standing Friday night happy hour at the bar across the street, but you’ve probably noticed that the same people keep showing up (or not showing up), so you’re really just providing an extra avenue for certain cliques to get together. That can be a good thing, but you’re not making serious strides in encouraging the outsiders to join.

    Instead, consider a social function that’s not geared towards the most social butterflies and which doesn’t encourage drinking alcohol. Maybe a lunchtime park cleanup crew, philanthropy group or “club” that welcomes all and tries out a new activity each week or month. You can welcome suggestions by asking everyone to anonymously make recommendations based on something they like, then draw from a hat. Not only will this provide an eclectic range of options, but everyone will also be exposed to a brand new hobby or passion.

    Designing spaces

    The popularity of the open office plan was created to encourage random conversations, creative thinking and a more social area to get work done. However, for some workers a non-stop open space can be distracting and even induce anxiety. Plus, there are some jobs (such as engineers and writers) that really require more private and quiet time for optimal concentration. Instead of a totally open office plan, aim for an open social area.

    (More …)

     
  • Larry Alton 9:00 am on June 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , team management   

    How to manage virtual employees 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    How to manage virtual employeesThere’s no one best approach to managing virtual employees, but there are sets of best practices you can adopt in a trial and error system. It depends on numerous things like (of course) individual employees, your industry, the tech savviness of workers, how you train and prepare them and what goals you have in mind. As more companies are seeing the appeal of virtual offices, from much lower overhead to happier employees, this is one trend that isn’t going anywhere.

    The simple truth is that, just like a “regular” office, there are workers who will thrive in a virtual setting and those who won’t. The perfect situation is to have some workers performing virtually and others in traditional settings, matching each worker with the best environment for them. If you can swing this, that’s great but that also requires knowing which workers are best matched for which environment.

    If you’re just delving into the world of the virtual office, keep these tips in mind. They won’t work every time and for every employee, but they can help you figure out the right next move.

    1. Provide structure

    This can be in the form of daily or weekly check-ins via chat, video conferencing or phone calls. Nearly every worker still needs their company to provide structure in some regards, but don’t do so just for the sake of it. If some workers do best at midnight and others at 10am and the needs of the company allow for that kind of flexibility, let your employees take advantage of virtual settings.

    (More …)

     
  • Rodrigo Escobedo 9:00 am on June 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    4 principles to achieve motivated teams 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    4 principles to achieve motivated teams When you start working in a coaching process, you use different tools that help boost the team’s alignment with the new work philosophy and the culture that the employer or manager wants for their company. Specifying a vision, mission, cultural values or points, job descriptions and their respective KPI’s, procedure manuals and other tools are really helpful in meeting this challenge.

    However, the current team commonly finds the process exhausting. Taking the team out of its comfort zone is too much for some members who, given the changes, decide to jump ship. In the case of employees who decide to stay, it is important that employers or managers recognise that members are going the extra mile and seek out additional reinforcements to keep their team motivated and achieve greater commitment to the company.

    When thinking about incentives for our employees, the first thing that comes to mind is… money! Although money is attractive for some people, there are 4 principles which we should focus on to achieve greater engagement, generate more trust and increase motivation in the current team:

    Power

    Power means that your employees have the authority to take decisions that are important to their performance and to the quality of their working lives. In companies people are usually given responsibility without authority. This limits the individual’s decision making and ultimately generates frustration. Empowering your employees means that they can decide and then receive feedback. Let them take responsibility and have complete authority over their decisions and their outcomes.

    Information

    This means data, statistics, KPIs, revenues, profitability, customer reactions, etc. Just as many Mexicans are demanding access to information from our government, your team must also have access to your business information. This information must be accurate, current and understandable for employees.

    The more transparent the leader of the company is about its information, the greater the possibility that employees will effectively contribute to achieving strategic business goals. Thus the employee will be able to link the company’s progress towards its various goals to his or her personal contribution to each of these goals.

    (More …)

     
  • Pedro Amador 9:00 am on June 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    10 tips for treating an employee well 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    10 tips for treating an employee wellManaging employees is by no means easy and people often have to do it without any previous formal training. So I wanted to share ten essential tips that will enhance how you treat your employees, ranked from the least to the most important:

    1. Employees are persons
    2. Given the above, it’s worth pointing out that employees are persons
    3. Just as a suggestion, bear in mind that employees are persons
    4. After doing the above, I might mention the idea that employees are persons
    5. Have we grasped that employees are persons yet?
    6. This tip I learned on my last Masters: employees are persons
    7. I’d also point out that employees are persons
    8. For those of you who may be a bit absent-minded, try to remember that employees are also persons
    9. The most important thing is that employees are persons
    10. The last point is crucial; we are all persons

    It might seem a bit daft, but you should never forget these tips. Employees are persons with values, beliefs, dreams, relatives and so on, and every day you need to align the tasks you ask them to do with company strategy.

    Once you’ve taken this decision, you can then follow the steps set out in any good leadership manual:

    (More …)

     
  • María Teresa Farfán 9:00 am on June 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , team management,   

    7 types of workers in the company 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    7 types of workers in the companyKnowing how our colleagues work enables us, as a company, to shepherd them towards attaining their objectives and to make full use of their contributions.

    It is important to ascertain which team members may have specific aptitudes for certain jobs, such as concentration, the ability to work for hours on end, to interact with others, etc. This allows each leader to know his or her team and to distribute the work as efficiently as possible.

    As a leader, have you ever asked yourself what your team’s skills are? In a recent e-book, PGI classified the most common types of remote employees: How do they behave? How do they perceive their work?

    This e-book recognises 7 different types of remote employees, which I list below. How can each one capitalise on the advantages of an Enterprise Social Network? 

    1. The 24/7 Worker:

    We all know someone who answers emails at whatever time of day. This worker is a highly-dedicated stress junkie, so he exploits the advantages of an internal social network more effectively, since it will allow him to communicate with his colleagues at any time.

    2. The Multitasker:

    He’s the one who always has more than one tab open on his browser, at the same time as he’s sharing information via his smartphone and checking tasks pending on his tablet. This type of worker has to be constantly on the go, so the benefits of a multi-platform enterprise social network will help him to attain his work goals and to focus on his setting.

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  • Juan Ignacio Barenys 9:00 am on May 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , team management   

    Enterprise Social Network: combined showcase and monitoring centre 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Enterprise Social Network: combined showcase and monitoring centre

    A few weeks ago I attended a forum organised by the Spanish People Management and Development Association (AEDIPE) at which a senior Telefónica executive brought up something which has not yet been given the attention it deserves: “We no longer find the most copious, reliable and up-to-date information about our employees in conventional sources and files, but rather on social networks.”

    It would be an exaggeration to say that the information we find on social networks is the most substantial, but it is true that what you can get there is much better than has been available up to now.

    Proper design and appropriate use of the social networks environment brings us two very important advantages:

    1. Information  you do not usually get through traditional channels. For example, our competitors’ customer satisfaction, demand for and inclusion of specific professional profiles in certain projects, a customer’s executive staff mobility, etc.
    2. The prospect of directly influencing areas of interest to our company, spreading the right news stories with clear-cut messages, building corporate image or contributing knowledge to prominent open forums.

    Every day there are nearly four hundred million tweets and Microsoft says that over 80% of Internet users regularly participate in social networks.

    This two-fold opportunity – monitoring centre and showcase at the same time – cannot be handled superficially, especially when you consider that reports say that 35% of users use social networks to find a product, thus ousting traditional search engines.

    (More …)

     
  • Enrique Dans 9:00 am on March 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , team management   

    Models for managing talent and innovation in organizations 

    Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

    Editor’s note: Enrique Dans (@edans) has let us republish this article from his blog where he talks about how do companies manage talent and innovation?

    Here’s an interesting question: how do companies manage talent and innovation, and what models can we use to map them? Working on the basis that any organization needs to attract new people of varying ages and experience on a regular basis, we can identify a range of variables that affect their ability to do this.

    On this basis we can see a number of models, which I tend to categorize thus:

    Sparta

    Companies that tend to attract younger talent, and then create mechanisms whereby said talent is only happy when performing at the highest level. Demanding organizations, they tend to be constantly measuring and evaluating their team, and normally end up creating something of a performance cult, which means that those who stay do so because their merits are beyond discussion. We’re talking here about a culture that recognizes and rewards effort: if you’re not up to the job, you will soon feel excluded and uncomfortable, and be obliged to leave. These companies are sometimes known as up or out operations.

    The Dead Sea

    The very opposite of the previous model, and much more widespread than is generally recognized. They tend to attract talent in different phases of development, but after a period of adaptation, employees realize that there are too many obstacles for them to express themselves, leaving them the option of adapting to a poorly functioning system, or having to leave in search of a company where they can better develop their talent. Generally, those who stay are less motivated and ambitious, which, coupled with poor training policies, ends up converting them into people with little motivation to find a another position of similar responsibility in another organization; they end up becoming a kind of sediment that often ends up putting off new talent from joining. Such organizations are usually highly bureaucratic, working along civil service lines, and where the goal is tenure.

    (More …)

     
  • Carlos Gonzalez Jardon 9:00 am on January 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , team management   

    The Skill Set of a Project Manager (Part 2) 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    In the first part of this article, we talked about the three skill areas a good project manager has to develop. Ultimately, managing a project is an art based in the application of a series of scientific knowledge. The art consists in applying our knowledge, experience and skills in an adequate manner at the right moment, and even though there is no guarantee to the success of the project, it allows us to reduce the risk of failure.

    Thus we must maximize/develop some key skills: 

    • Communication. Clear and effective communication is fundamental for all project managers. Not only is it important to communicate what (the level of detail used and the perspective), but also how (which mediums we are going to use) and when (choose the time when such communication will be made). Additionally, make sure the person on the receiving end has received and understood what you wanted to communicate, whereby the feedback becomes a base element as a means to avoid misunderstanding and incomprehension.
    • Negotiation. With any project there may be mixed and even conflicting expectations, which becomes relevant in negotiation skills as a way of aligning the expectations of the participants with the objectives of the project.
    • Solutions to problems. A project manager must be proactive, anticipating possible problems that may affect the success of the project (risks) and develop plans to minimize or avoid their impact. However, ultimately, if the problem has not been avoided, it must have the capacity to manage such situations efficiently. A project manager should be decisive, able to take responsibility and engage others in the project. (More …)
     
  • Carlos Gonzalez Jardon 9:00 am on January 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , team management   

    The Skill Set of a Project Manager (Part 1) 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    In the previous article, we focused on emphasizing the importance of the role of Project Managers, and what their main functions are, but what makes a good project manager? Directing/leading a project is something more than just running a set of activities. Instead, it requires having different specific skills such as technician or project specialist that may be needed.

    When it is time to manage/direct a project, the manager should:

    • Plan the work/activities that must be done in order to reach the objectives of the project and accomplish the expectations of the client.
    • Organize all of the elements (resources) that interact throughout the life of a project. This activity will require the project manager to provide a certain level of authority within the organization.
    • Manage the people, whether they are clients, users, project team members, etc… and definitely stakeholders. Projects are done by people and the objectives are not always shared or understood in a correct way.
    • Direct and Lead. Leading is something more than just commanding or giving orders. A good leader forms a part of the team that he/she is leading, and he/she is not an “external agent” who merely establishes goals to achieve and a task to execute. The leader is involved with the team itself.
    • Control/Monitor the project that is developing under the established plan and, if not, define the necessary corrective measures.

    (More …)

     
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