At home I’ve got a laptop and an iPad and Steve Player’s most recent blog got me thinking about how I used them.
When I need to do some writing or analyse some data I still automatically reach for the laptop as its full QWERTY keyboard makes it so much more productive.
But if I’m just consuming data, authorising things or making decisions, the iPad wins every time and I find I carry it with me everywhere. For those situations, it’s the iPad that is so much more productive.
It’s on all the time so there is no booting up; it automatically hooks up to the neighbourhood Wi-Fi networks and you can hold it with one hand and operate it with the other – trying doing that with a current laptop in a coffee queue!
For the moment it seems to have everything you need to make the most of those snatched 5 minutes between meetings and calls – but no doubt Apple will show me otherwise with a future release.
For me it is this ready-whenever ease of access that tablets bring that has accelerated the demand for mobility in business. If there is stuff I can deal with in five-minute bites, give it to me on a tablet and I’ll deal with it right now.
As Steve points out mobile devices such as iPads and tablets can bring benefits to planning and budgeting by making the process more effective and more efficient.
By allowing remote contributors such as sales and field-based folk to update their forecasts based on the very latest events, (such as an unanticipated change in the size of a customer’s order), forecasts can be more granular and more accurate – and operational planning folk have quicker access to the data they need for labor and supply chain planning.
If such a process includes automated variance alerting and workflow, planning and budgeting really can be the living pulse of performance management, where it belongs.
Most employees are disengaged and not passionate about the work they do. This is costing companies a ton of money in lost productivity, absenteeism, and turnover. It’s also harmful to employees, because they’re more stressed out than ever.
The thing that bothers me the most about it, is that it’s all so easy to fix. I can’t figure out why managers aren’t more proactive about this. Besides the human element of caring for our employees, it’s costing them money, so they should care more about fixing it. Something as simple as saying thank you to your employees can have a huge effect on their engagement, not to mention it’s good for your level of happiness.
The infographic that we put together has some pretty shocking statistics in it, but there are a few common themes. Employees feel overworked, overwhelmed, and they don’t like what they do. Companies are noticing it, with 75% of them saying they can’t attract the right talent, and 83% of them feeling that their employer brand isn’t compelling. Companies that want to fix this need to be smart, and patient. This doesn’t happen overnight, but like I mentioned, it’s easy to do. Being patient might be the hardest thing for companies, and I understand how frustrating it can be not to see results right away, but it’s important that you invest in this, because the ROI of employee engagement is huge.
Here are 4 simple (and free) things you can do to get that passion back into employees. These are all based on research from Deloitte.
1. Encourage side projects
Employees feel overworked and underappreciated, so as leaders, we need to stop overloading them to the point where they can’t handle the workload. Let them explore their own passions and interests, and work on side projects. Ideally, they wouldn’t have to be related to the company, but if you’re worried about them wasting time, you can set that boundary that it has to be related to the company. What this does, is give them autonomy, and let them improve on their skills (mastery), two of the biggest motivators for work.
Employees feel overworked and underappreciated, so as leaders, we need to stop overloading them to the point where they can’t handle the workload.
2. Encourage workers to engage with customers
At Wistia, a video hosting company, they make everyone in the company do customer support during their onboarding, and they often rotate people into customer support. When I asked Chris, their CEO, why they do this, he mentioned to me that it’s so every single person in the company understands how their customers are using their product. What pains they’re having, what they like about it, it gets everyone on the same page. It keeps all employees in the loop, and can really motivate you to work when you’re talking directly with customers.
3. Encourage workers to work cross-functionally
Both Apple and Google have created common areas in their offices, specifically and strategically located, so that different workers that don’t normally interact with each other can have a chance to chat.
This isn’t a coincidence. It’s meant for that collaborative learning, and building those relationships with your colleagues.
4. Encourage networking in their industry
This is similar to number 2 on the list, but it’s important for employees to grow and learn more about what they do. It helps them build that passion for their industry. It’s important to go to networking events, and encourage your employees to participate in these things. Websites like Eventbrite or Meetup have lots of great resources, and most of the events on there are free.
What do you do to increase employee engagement? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
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This infographic was crafted with love by Officevibe, the employee survey tool that helps companies improve their corporate wellness, and have a better organizational culture.
Supply chain fraud – whether perpetrated by suppliers, subcontractors, employees, or some combination of those – can take many forms. Among the most common are:
Inflated bills or expense accounts
Bribery and corruption
Phantom vendor accounts or invoices
Grey markets (counterfeit or knockoff products)
Failure to meet specifications (resulting in substandard or dangerous goods)
Perhaps the most damaging sources of supply chain fraud are internal, especially collusion between an employee and a supplier. Such partnerships help fraudsters evade independent checks and other controls, enabling them to steal larger amounts. The median loss from fraud committed
by a single thief was US$80,000, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).
Costs increase along with the number of perpetrators involved. Fraud involving two thieves had a median loss of US$200,000; fraud involving three people had a median loss of US$355,000; and fraud with four or more had a median loss of more than US$500,000, according to ACFE.
Build a culture to fight fraud
The most effective method to fight internal supply chain theft is to create a culture dedicated to fighting it. Here are a few ways to do it:
Make sure the board and C-level executives understand the critical nature of the supply chain and the risk of fraud throughout the procurement lifecycle.
Market the organization’s supply chain policies internally and among contractors.
Institute policies that prohibit conflicts of interest, and cross-check employee and supplier data to uncover potential conflicts.
Define the rules for accepting gifts from suppliers and insist that all gifts be documented.
Require two employees to sign off on any proposed changes to suppliers.
Watch for staff defections to suppliers, and pay close attention to any supplier that has recently poached an employee.
These days social media is critical for success in business. Early adopters have made great strides, using it to engage with customers online and find new clients. For the laggards — typically small businesses that think they don’t have the resources or need for social media — the question looms: “Is social media a fad, or is it here to stay?”
Unfortunately for these companies, social media is here to stay. There are four major risks in not using social platforms as a business tool:
You risk being out of the loop. Social media is a key channel for consumers collecting information and connecting with other consumers. It is also a great opportunity for companies to engage with current customers, as well as potential customers, all over the world. By not using social media, you run the risk of losing customers, credibility, and crucial information that can benefit your business. Even if you choose not to actively participate in discussions, you need be aware and stay informed regarding conversations about your company. Don’t stick your head in the ground and hope for social media to “blow on by.”
You can’t respond to negative comments about your business. When customers are not satisfied with your product or service, one of the first things many will do is complain on Twitter or Facebook, or they will write a bad review online. If you are not actively keeping tabs on these discussions and reviews, they can hurt your reputation and cost you potential business. How can you protect your brand if you don’t know what’s being said about it online? Social media is now the default platform for customer service. Instead of calling an 800 number, consumers want to send businesses a tweet or post something on a Facebook page. When they can’t find you online, they will go to a review site such a Yelp or Merchant Circle to complain and warn other customers. However, if they have a relationship with your company, they are much less likely to take such actions and will instead send you an email or a private message about the problem.
You risk missing the positive comments about your business. Customers also leave positive feedback online about companies with which they do business. However, if they believe their comments won’t be read by the companies they are praising, satisfied customers are less likely to leave feedback.
You risk giving your competitors an unfair advantage. If your competitors are active on social media and you are not, your rivals have a leg up on winning business from potential customers. You don’t allow for comparisons and can’t answer questions in real time. Unless your product or service is overwhelmingly superior, this is one risk you cannot afford to take!
Social media is an excellent forum to participate in discussions happening right now about your business and your industry. Building an active presence on social sites offers numerous opportunities to promote your products and services, provide outlets for customer service, and check up on your competition. It’s not too late to start using social media as a business tool…but one day soon, it might be.
If you are an SAP partner and would like to learn more about this topic, join me on Dec 1st for How to Spend 15 Minutes a Day on Social Without Breaking a Sweat. Register now: http://bit.ly/1GoGbFH (s-user) #SAPMarketingAcademy