Five Business Benefits of Employee Training Programmes

Copyright 2006 Train In A Day

Understanding the business benefits of an employee training programme can sometimes be more of an art than a science.

How do you measure success?

How can you convince your colleagues to make the investment?

As a result, it can sometimes be difficult to convince management teams of the need for forma people investment.

Like any business case, we need to persuade others through demonstrating the benefits or, as salespeople would say, “What’s in it for them?”

This article highlights five major benefits of employee training:

Let’s take a look:

1. Impact on bottom line

Successful employee training delivers improvements in employee performance which, in turn, creates a better performing business and an improved bottom line.

Research conducted has suggested that, where training programmes are effective, employee productivity can increase by 230 per cent.

You may wish to highlight job roles within your organization where employee performance has improved using measurable variables that will demonstrate your business case for further investment.

By focusing your business case on the objectives of the business you will not only be preparing a persuasive proposal for the rest of your management team but will also be steering your training plans towards the areas of greatest benefit. Hence, ensuring the greatest return on investment for the project.

2. Staff retention

Want to spend more training recruiting staff?

Thought not.

Training increases staff retention which will save you money.

Instead of paying recruitment fees, re-investing in training, loss of management time why not treat your people as your number one asset?

Invest in their development and they will receive a return your investment many times over.

In some companies, training programs have reduced staff turnover by 70 per cent and led to a return on investment of 7,000 per cent.

Incredible, eh?

3. Improved quality and productivity

Training that meets both staff and employer needs can increase the quality and flexibility of a business’s services by fostering:

• accuracy and efficiency
• good work safety practices
• great customer service.

You know the benefits of quality assurance programmes. Now buy in to the benefits of employee training programmes!

Can you put a value onto a lost customer?

How about a health and safety issue?

If you wish to gain a simple but meaningful measure of employee training programmes take a look at the consequences of NOT investing in your people.
Often, we only make investment decisions when we can visualize the effects of not taking action.

If you’re not yet convinced by the benefits of training, take a look at where your company has suffered from a lack of improved skills and try calculating the TRUE cost of those incidents.

4. The flow-on effect

The benefits of training in one area can flow through to all levels of an organization.

Over time, training will boost the bottom line and reduce costs by decreasing:

• wasted time and materials
• maintenance costs of machinery and equipment
• workplace accidents, leading to lower insurance premiums
• recruitment costs through the internal promotion of skilled staff
• absenteeism.

If you take a closer look at those companies which sit within the ‘Top 100 Companies’ to work for you will notice something which runs through each of them.

You can’t measure it but successful companies have a ‘culture’ which runs throughout them.

The benefit of this culture is a happy, innovative and successful workforce.

A positive culture only comes through a respect for and an investment in your people.

Start cultivating a progressive culture within your business today through employee training programmes and other forms of people investment.

5. Remaining competitive

Businesses must continually change their work practices and infrastructure to stay competitive in a global market.

Technology, previously the main driver of competitive advantage, is progressively taking a back seat to people.

As economies become progressively service orientated, it is the development of people that is providing successful businesses with long-term sustainable success.

Training staff to manage the implementation of business strategies, improvements to procedures and customer service policies can also act as a benchmark for future recruitment and quality assurance practices.

As well as impacting on business profit margins, training can improve:

• staff morale and satisfaction
• ‘soft skills’ such as inter-staff communication and leadership
• time management
• customer satisfaction.

So there we are. Start thinking now about how investing in the skills of your people can benefit your business to make more money, save money or save time.

Betting On Horse Racing ~ Sensible Money Management

In a previous article I jokingly suggested I had put all my assets – my savings, the deeds to the farm, my kids’ Trust fund, and the proceeds from selling one of my kidneys – on a horse at Newbury. I showed this was potentially financial suicide, and an extreme example of bad money management.

I wrote that more often than not a losing punter will find himself saddled with a bunch of bad betting habits. It is these bad habits that have gotten him, and his betting bank, to where his is now – the Poor House.

To arrive at a change in fortune, and to start making consistent profits, the losing punter has to be prepared to make changes to the way in which he bets. In the previous article we talked about the cornerstone supporting my own personal betting strategy, and that is finding value in every bet you make.

You will only ever make a profit from betting if you consistently back horses at prices too high when compared to their actual chance of winning. This is exactly how bookmakers have made their money for generations – they consistently lay horses at prices too low compared to the actual chance of the horse winning. When punters continue to take these low prices day-in and day-out, it will only ever be the bookmakers who come out with a profit in the long run.

The second ‘bad habit’ I want to examine is the subject of inappropriate staking. What do I mean by staking that is not appropriate? Well, what I am driving at is placing bets that are generally too large in proportion to the size of your betting bank.

Before I expand upon this, the concept of a betting bank is a side-issue in itself. You categorically MUST have a sum of money put aside for the sole purpose of betting. It scares me rigid when I hear of people simply ‘dipping’ into their current account to place a bet using their debit card.

If you do not have a separate account for your betting activities, you cannot keep records, and you will not be able to answer that simple question, “Am I making a profit, or a loss?”

It goes without saying, that betting involves a degree of risk, and you should never bet with money you cannot afford to lose.

Getting back to inappropriate staking, the idea of lumping all your money on one horse is an extreme example of over-staking. Of course, on the one occasion this strategy may pay off. We had friends round a few nights ago to play one of those Race Night DVDs. I was comfortably in front by studying the form before each race, and placing considered bets at what I considered to be value prices. As you might imagine, I had a suitably smug expression on my face as we came to the last race, and our friends were complaining I enjoyed a ‘professional advantage’.

My wife then decided to put every penny she had left on an 8/1 chance. The race turned out to be the ‘lucky last’ for my wife, and she walked away with the whole bank!

But seriously, continue with these tactics, and it will not be long before you lose everything.

Personally, I would never consider starting any betting campaign with a bankroll of less than 100 points. In other words, I will divide my bank by 100 to arrive at my unit stake. You can see that I will only ever be putting 1% of my bank at risk when I place a bet.

This is a very generalised approach, and you might argue that a little more consideration should be given to a punter’s typical strike rate. True, if someone has a strike rate of 50% then it is statistically highly unlikely that he will suffer a run of 100 losers to go bust. So, in this case you might be justified in operating a smaller bank. Bear in mind that when flipping a coin, it is by no means unusual to see 6 or 7 ‘heads’ in succession, and losing runs in double figures do occur.

Discovering The Best Pay Per Click Management Company For Your Growing Website

Finding the best pay per click management company for your website, whether you are selling something you made in your basement or are looking to promote your book, can be difficult to do. There are so many different way to pay per clicks that it is often difficult to find the best one, and it isn’t always found at the first company that you choose.

When originally scouting out a pay per click management team for your website, you may want to look to advertise with the search engines that you use most frequently. For example, if you are a big user of Yahoo when looking something up on the web, you are going to find that Yahoo (formerly Overture pay per click) is probably going to be the best company. Why? The reason is because you use this search engine for a reason, and chances are people who are similar to you also prefer to use this search engine. You may not know this, but certain demographics tend to go to cetrain search engines, and you want to consider that when choosing a pay per click management firm.

Another thing to consider is your budget. Sometimes those who are trying to get advertisements on their website by starting a pay per click submissions program aren’t prepared for the success of the program. Success for pay per clicks can be a double-edged sword in that it can bring you a lot of business but also cost you a lot of money. The best pay per click submissions team is going to be able to maximize the profits while keeping the costs down as low as possible.

If you aren’t successful at first with the pay per clicks advertising that you are doing, you should be able to find support. For example, Overture pay per click has a lot of information at their website that can help you to maximize the program benefits. It makes sense that they would want to help you, because if you are successful, you are more likely to keep them as your pay per click management team.

When making changes, something as small as determining what page of your website your pay per clicks link lands the surfer on can make a world of difference, so make sure that you leave room in your plan to corner the business market for a couple of little tweaks to your plan.

A good pay per click management team will be patient enough to work with you, efficient enough to win you traffic (and a profit) and flexible enough to allow your website to grow and keep up with the direction your business takes you. A good pay per click company can bring you untold of riches for your web site if your a selling products. Even if you are selling a service or services it is without a shadow of doubt one of the best ways to get highly qualified leads to you site. Once you get this traffic to your site it is simply a case of converting this traffic into customers.

Color combination of your Web site

Before you begin to design the Web site give special attention to a proper color scheme. Though choosing a suitable color seems to be easy, it is hard to fix a proper color actually.
Web designers have got millions of colors with them. So they need not pay for their color choice. But what they require is the special hexadecimal code for the particular color of their choice.
One of the draw backs of having a collection of millions of colors is that some becomes crazy after different choices of colors and use more colors of their imagination on their web site. This is not a professional tendency, but rather it destroys the readability of the web pages.
It is important to pick hues that complement each other. Most people prefer black text on a white background and it is healthy too. This is an important fact to keep in mind when you design your web site. A dark font on a light background is recommendable and healthy. It makes reading easier and a more appreciative for the visitors.
Color affects our emotions. For example, the red color makes us hungry. If you’re on a diet, it wouldn’t be a good idea to set your table with a red tablecloth!
Colors like blue and green are cool. Sitting in a blue colored room on a summer time makes us refreshed. Yellow is a wonderful brightener. It is cheerful and warm like the sun.
You need to consider the mood you want to create on the audience when you use the colors on your web site.
Red is cheerful and exuberant. If you are designing a Web site for children, red is an excellent color choice, because it attracts the eye and stimulates the metabolism of the children.
Blue is an excellent choice for a business site because it exudes professionalism, wealth and power.
If you are designing a Web site for a nature group, green and brown are natural choices because these are the colors that are commonly found in the outdoors.
Another important consideration when choosing color schemes is cultural differences. For example, black is the color most commonly associated with mourning in the United States, but in Japan, white symbolizes sorrow. In Malaysia, green is associated with disease, and red symbolizes anger in Indonesia. The above examples indicate us that colors are interpreted quite differently depending on the country. So you must be prudent enough in choosing the colors.
Choosing an appropriate color scheme for your Web site is extremely important. Your color scheme must be prudently considered because the wrong choices could adversely affect your visitor’s experience at your Web site. So don’t blow the chance to make a good impression.

Being An Executive Is Not Just A Look

When I think of an executive I think of powerful looking man in a sharp suit making large business deals with international big-wigs. I think of bank accounts in the Carribean and 2nd homes in Italy. I think about the dark limousines and the power ties and golfing with the president or a powerful person in Congress. I think of Martini’s and big cigars and lawyers and secret memos.

Why do I think all these things about being an executive? Well the movies of course and why not believe the movies? They are real right? Well as usual that statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Being an executive involves way more than all of this and often doesn’t involve those things mentioned above. So what does being an executive really involve? Well I want to talk about that and do some realistic guessing (I have never been one myself) about what it takes to be an executive.

The life of an executive is actually a life that is filled with sacrifice. Often times people have sacrificed many, many hours working hard in a cubicle, burning the midnight oil just to get ahead in the rat race. Once they are ahead there work doesn’t slow down it is increased because you are constantly on the go in order to maintain you place of power.

Power is an interesting word too. You have power as an executive but it is the power to move a company in the right direction. You don’t really have the power to move the company in the wrong direction as an executive because as soon as the boat begins to lean the board of directors or whatever you want to call the governing body of a company will be on your heels hounding you until you either get the company going back in the right direction or resign.

The vacations in the Caribbean and the golf outings with important people are kind of misleading as well because you are not doing those things as often as a normal employee may have the opportunity because you don’t have time. You are such a slave to work as an executive that vacations and time spent with family are wishful thinking.

It is these two last things that are perhaps the biggest argument against becoming a big-shot executive in a large company. That is being a slave to your watch/day planner and being a stranger to your family. Life after all isn’t worth living if you can’t enjoy the fruit of your labor and form meaningful relationships with people that love you.

Corporate Concierge Services Offer Significant Benefits To Property Managers

Are you trying to present your commercial property for lease or sale in its best light so you can obtain the best price? Are you trying to reduce tenant turnover? Are you trying to cut costs while improving quality of service and tenant satisfaction? There is now one easy and effective method that would support better customer service, streamline productivity, and improve your financial bottom line. Sounds like the impossible dream, but it’s not.

To remain successful in today’s competitive real estate market, owner and property managers should consider what industry leaders are already instituting at their sites: corporate concierge services. Offering tenant amenities is rapidly becoming the “it-factor” that makes all the difference.

In order for you to attract and retain quality tenants, you need to remain competitive in the real estate industry. Large property owners and property managers are becoming ever more consistently challenged to offer amenities that create a better environment for their tenants. High-rise apartment buildings, condos, and commercial office suites have recently begun to realize the benefits of corporate concierge services.

Partnering with a concierge service provider offers a means by which your commercial properties can offer a diverse array of services to simplify their tenants’ lives and improve company assets while streamlining their business tasks. Whether it be the addition of dry cleaning services, procuring event tickets, automobile assistance, property maintenance, or beyond, implementing a comprehensive and attractive concierge package ensures that your tenants can conveniently access quality service, hassle-free, “one-stop support” easily and quickly.

Tenants are impressed when they can immediately reach a ‘live’ person who will listen and work with them towards remedying their complaints or desires. The Tenant Loyalty division of a concierge service provider offers phone coverage to field any tenant complaints and work towards their resolution. Imagine having your tenant issues resolved quickly while increasing tenant satisfaction with rapid response, research, and solution. Utilizing a concierge service equates to happier tenants and, thus, more consistent revenue and even increased profits for your business. Further, it removes many of the daily headaches that owners and managers face so they can focus on their core business activities.

Concierge services offer significant benefits to all parties involved!

• Provision, research, and coordination of subcontractors and vendors services, security, janitorial details (including specialized room cleaning, catering and functions management, event scheduling, dry cleaning services, ticket procurement (single or group), car services, maintenance and minor repair issues, and more.
• Lower overhead with reduced personnel training and employee hours.
• Handling and tracking of relevant services. From brainstorming to conception of concierge plan through to budgeting, implementing, tracking, and verification, we work with you from start to finish and everything in between to best suit the needs of your site. There is no longer a need for you to detract your focus from core business. If your needs change, we research options and present an analysis for you. You choose the options that best suit your situation; we take care of the rest.
• Improved response time for tenant contact and fulfillment of requests.
• Simplified accounting: one concierge service, one point of contact, one bill. We will track invoices and payments for you. Further, a partnership with our concierge service means that we provide the professional independent contractors. We reimburse them, i.e. no need to process diverse payroll each week.
• Reduced risk: our independent contractors work for us. No outlay for employee health insurance and benefits. No more worries with regard to scheduling, unemployment, or workers compensation issues for you.

Onsite or off-site concierge services offers a comprehensive solution – benefits that will place and keep you far above and beyond your competitors, whether you are owners or managers of commercial high-end apartments, condominium complexes, or commercial office buildings. Get your market edge and begin to improve your property and bottom line now.

Top 7 Principles For Transforming Your Business From Mediocre To Great

In the words of motivational speaker, Les Brown — “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have o get started to be great.” Where do you start to transform your business from mediocre to great?

Below are your top 7 essential ingredients for cultivating greatness within your own business:

1. KNOW WHAT YOUR BUSINESS STANDS FOR AND LIVE THOSE VALUES.
More than ever, today, customers don’t just ask “what products do you offer?” They also ask “what values do you stand for?” What values does your business stand for? What practices have you developed to live those values daily?

2. KNOW YOUR COMPELLING “WHY.”
Viktor Frankl, the great Austrian psychiatrist, said it best: “Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue … as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself.” For what “transcendent” purpose does your business exist? How does your business make a difference in your customers’ lives?

3. ALWAYS SEEK THE EDGE.
In 1954, Roger Bannister did the seemingly “impossible” and ran the first 4 minute mile. When asked how he did it, he said “It’s the ability to take more out of yourself than you’ve got.'” How can you “take more out of yourself than you’ve got” to achieve the seemingly impossible in your business?

4. DARE TO BE DIFFERENT.
Contrarians are the change agents in the business world. These wealth-building businesses are not simply “executing better” — they’re radically changing the rules of the success game in their field or industry. Where in your business can you break the rules? How can you set yourself apart from the crowd in your industry?

5. FIND MODELS OF GREATNESS.
Within every industry, every geography, every career path, there are examples of greatness everywhere. Find those people, those businesses that inspire you the most. What is it about them you would like to emulate? What changes can you make today to be like them?

6. KNOW THE END IN MIND.
Great businesses **decide** their future. They are not dictated by it. They know exactly where they want to be, by when, how, and then persist in getting there. What decisions have you made about your business future? What do you need to decide differently in order to have a great outcome?

7. COMMIT TO PERSONAL GREATNESS.
Your business is a direct reflection of where you are at. It only grows as quickly as you do. To build a great business, you must commit to your own personal greatness. How do you define personal greatness for yourself? What changes can you make to unleash your own greatness?

Enterprise Resource Planning And Enterprise Content Management

The word Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP conveys a sense of planning the use of enterprise-wide resources to achieve enterprise objectives in the best possible manner. However, ERP has come to mean something much less ambitious. It simply means integrating two or more separate applications.

The integration is done by the use of a common database and multiple software and hardware components. Thus an ERP system can include Manufacturing, Financials, Sales & Distribution, and HR functionalities in separate modules.

Integration of a number of systems results in:

  • Creation of a unified database that results in greater reporting capabilities,
  • Elimination of external interfaces between different applications that were needed earlier to exchange information between them, and
  • Standardization and lower maintenance costs as a single system replaces the earlier multiple systems.

Typical modules in modern ERP systems:

ERP System Modules

Manufacturing: This module facilitates manufacturing and related operations such as plant engineering, production scheduling, materials requirements lists, workflow and process management, quality control and cost control.

Supply Chain Management: Inventory control and purchasing functions, including supply chain planning, and supplier performance monitoring, are the major functions facilitated by this module.

Customer Relationship Management: Sales and Distribution, Commissions and Customer Support are covered by this module.

Financials: This module covers the traditional accounting and cash flow management functions, including accounts receivable, accounts payable, cash flow control, and general ledger.

Other typical modules include Human Resources (including payroll), Project Management and Data Warehouse. ERP systems also provide direct interfaces for external entities like customers and suppliers, and internally for employees.

The separation of modules in this manner has resulted in some large organizations selecting different modules from different ERP vendors. Some functionality might be better with one vendor’s module while other vendors’ modules better manage other functionalities. This would, however, involve building interfaces between modules from different vendors, which might have to be done by in-house staff. It follows that the staff should have the required skill level.

Easy Business Incorporation

Business incorporation a decade or two ago is a tedious process that businesses often reach bankruptcy before being awarded corporation status. However, recent developments in the business world and the creation of Business Corporation Act make the process quicker and easier. Business journals outline three steps for business incorporation: securing corporate name, submitting required documents, and paying filing dues. These process can be done with the services of your lawyer or you can opt to D-I-Y.

First, secure and ensure a corporate name. Check other businesses’ names before deciding on yours. Business incorporation processes are usually disrupted by businesses filing names already owned by other companies. Also, avoid naming your corporation names that sound and spell like other companies’ names. Not only same sounding names might confuse possible clients, these can also cause your business to be overshadowed by the other company. This is especially true if they have been in the business longer, hence more popular.

Second, prepare all documents pertinent to business incorporation application. File these documents as early as you can for quicker processing. Third, pay all required state fees for application; taxes and other fees is a must if you want an efficient processing of your papers. State filing rates vary from state to state, these can be as low as $100 or as high as $400. Paying these dues is necessary to establish your company in that particular state.

These can be tedious steps if you opt to apply by yourself. D-I-Y application requires you to be knowledgeable about state laws concerning business incorporation. Preparing and collecting required documents alone is a long and ardorous task. In addition, you must follow-up and inquire about the status of your application with the authorized agencies yourself. However, using incorporation service groups reduces your burden considerably. After furnishing these companies with information, they will check the corporate name for you, file required documents, and even pay initial dues for you. In addition, they will also assume the duty of following up and inquiring about your application with the respective agencies. These companies have also done these application process many times, which translates into knowing key people inside these agencies which can give your paper or application a push in the right direction. This will result to an easy and efficient business incorporation application for you as their client.

Lastly, these service companies require minimal and nominal fees aside from state filing dues. To promote fast processing, they even allow clients to submit necessary data and information online. Though lawyers can do the job for you, you have to pay them hourly for their service. The cost alone might drive you to cancel business incorporation plans as it usually takes a month or so to be fully incorporated.

Employee Time Tracking

Time tracking is the act of tracing out the time spent on each activity in a particular period of time. With so much pressure on time these days, time tracking and management has become absolutely necessary. Though time tracking was initially just a method for keeping track of the way employees use their time, today it is a major program that is used for several other things like: payroll processing, employee productivity, revenue management, client management, invoicing, database management and project management.

Employee time tracking was first done using simple time cards or punch cards. Employees had to punch in their cards, when they came in or out, into a machine that would record the time. The timings were later copied onto spreadsheets and analyzed manually to determine how much time an employee spent in the office. This simple mechanism was sufficient in the days when there was not too much stress on the productivity of employees. However, with technological diversions like the Internet, e-mails, and phones, it has become very important to track the exact time the employee spends working. Besides, some enterprises have thousands of employees located at different locations across the world, working in different time zones, which make employee time tracking even more important. There are several advantages of employee time tracking: it makes payroll processing easier by tracking the exact hours an employee worked, increases revenues by correct invoicing, and makes database management easier. There are also some disadvantages: employees do not appreciate it they feel too much pressure for showing results for every minute; or the information may not be used properly.

Today, there are hundreds of employee time tracking programs and software packages available. These not only make tracking, but also billing, payroll, project costing and estimation easier. Besides, they can track the employee’s use of time in the absence of the supervisor. Employees located even thousands of miles away can be tracked using this software. These software programs can be downloaded easily onto any platform and used either offline or online. They can also be customized to suit exact requirements. Information about this software can be obtained over the internet.