Category Archives: February 2017

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How to communicate with insubordinate employees

Insubordinate employees make things hard for entire teams and departments, and can affect your business’ efficiency. The best way to handle this issue is to avoid hiring poor fit candidates in the first place, but if for whatever reason you find an insubordinate team member in your midst, here are a few things you can try.

Avoid blame and agree on responsibility

Insubordinate employees are a problem, but even if the fault lies with them, blaming them won’t help. Avoid putting them on the defensive, which will make them even harder to work with.

Ask questions that prompt them to take responsibility. Once you both agree on what the employee is accountable for, it’ll be harder for him or her to say they were given an unfair deal or unreasonable tasks.

Here are a few questions to ask them;

  • What’s the best way you can contribute to the company?
  • Do you have any skills that are being underutilized?
  • What do you need in order to be successful at your job?
  • How will you help your colleagues succeed?

Listen separately

You don’t need to agree with someone to listen to them. Ask the employee to come by your office and explain himself or herself in a private setting. This is important to demonstrate empathy and show your willingness to see every side.

However, don’t let an insubordinate employee waste too much of your and your teams time. If you find yourself sitting with a complaining employee every week it’s time to cut them loose.

Know when to call it quits

Make an effort to reintegrate your insubordinate employee to your team. Your business has invested in them, and they’ve given their time and talent. However, if they aren’t getting any better, and continue to hinder your business progress, know when to cut them loose. You want to take care of your team, but you’re still running a business and if that employee is making it harder for their department to do their jobs, it’s a terrible situation.

Get to the root of the problem to avoid it in the future

Despite what happens with your insubordinate employee, get to the root of what happened to avoid repeating the problem. If the issue came from a poor hiring process, fix it. If it came from bad company culture, or frustration with a particular manager, investigate it further so you prevent other employees from becoming resentful, unsatisfied, or difficult to work with.


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Public Seminar: Dynamite Sales Presentation

On Thursday, March 9, we’ll be presenting a public seminar on how to give a Dynamite Sales Presentation. This whole-day seminar will teach participants the key elements of a quality proposal, and how to write a winning one.

A great sales presentation does not demand that you have all the bells and whistles to impress the client with your technical skills. Rather, try impressing your clients with your knowledge of the products and services you sell and your understanding of their problems and the solutions they need. This one-day workshop will show you how to create a winning proposal and how to turn it into a dynamite sales presentation.

Register Now

Learn to perfect your first impression, including your dress and your handshake, and feel more comfortable and professional in face-to-face presentations. This seminar is ideal for account managers, service representatives, sales professionals, consultants, and financial advisors.

Course Outline

  • Getting down to business
  • Writing your proposal
  • Getting thoughts on paper
  • Proposal formats
  • Expert editing tips
  • The handshake
  • Getting ready for your presentation
  • Elements of a successful presentation
  • Dressing appropriately
  • Presentations

An investment of P4,500 plus VAT includes instruction by an expert facilitator, a specialized student manual, snacks and lunch, and a personalized certificate of participation.

Register Now

As a special treat, we’re also throwing in a FREE Profiles Sales Assessment (PSA). This measures how well a person fits specific sales jobs in your organization. It is used primarily for selecting, on-boarding and managing sales people and account managers. The “job modelling” feature of the PSA is unique and can be customized by company, sales position, department, manager, geography, or any combination of these factors. It also predicts on-the-job performance in seven critical sales behaviours: prospecting, call reluctance, closing the sale, self starting, teamwork, building and maintaining relationships, and compensation preference.

About the Facilitator

Mr. Randolf M. Isabelo Jr. is currently a sales and marketing consultant at St. Thomas Security Services Corporation and Gold Leaf Guard Services He is a full time Independent Representative / Trainer for World Ventures Holdings LLC (Plano, Texas USA). He markets and sells vacation and entertainment memberships. Trains the business system and provides support to new members of the company.
Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communications Engineering Graduate His Technical Field of Expertise are: Sales and Marketing, Network Marketing, Mind Setting/Personality Development and Public Speaking


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5 Meeting types and which one is right for you

There are multiple different meeting types that range from the bizarre to the creative. We cover 5 common ones today and help you determine which are right for you and your team.

In-office meeting

This is the most common type of meeting. You have your team seated at a table in the office, perhaps in a special meeting or conference room, and you get through the agenda quickly and efficiently.

The pros of this meeting are convenience and familiarity. Most employees are already comfortable having this type of meeting, and if someone forgets an important document it shouldn’t be too far away.

The cons of this type of meeting are that it’s dull and can be less productive than you think. People could be zoning out, on their phones, or distracted. Plus, since the meeting is so accessible you may be tempted to ask more people to join than necessary, which wastes time and money.

Breakfast meeting

A breakfast meeting is, like it sounds, a meeting held over breakfast. Typically, you’ll meet up with your team at the office and go somewhere to eat first thing in the morning, of a few minutes earlier than the start of the day.

Breakfast meetings are convenient because you can start a fresh day with them, and then take the remainder of the day to execute on what was discussed. They are good opportunities to start your day right, since they help set the tone for the rest of the day.

A downside to breakfast meetings could appear if people are on different schedules, or you have a few night owls on your team. Not everyone is at their most productive in the morning, so check with your team and attendees before calling a mandatory early-morning meeting.

Lunch meeting

Lunch meetings are held around lunchtime, and can be either catered in-office or at a restaurant.

Lunch meetings are a nice change of pace, and everyone in your company should get a lunch break anyway (breakfast breaks are less common). These are great when you want a more relaxed meeting scenario, and are great for camaraderie building. Typically, lunch meetings don’t last too long, and when the food comes out you’ll have the chance to learn more about your teammates.

The downside to lunch meetings are that they can be cumbersome. If you don’t choose your place carefully, you could end up somewhere that doesn’t have enough seating, or that’s too loud to hear each other.

Virtual meeting

Virtual meetings are held online, and participants can attend from their own homes, private offices, or even the beach as long as they have a stable Internet connection. Some common tools for virtual meetings include Skype, Zoom, and Gotomeeting.

A virtual meeting is extremely convenient when you have a team member who’s out sick, on a different schedule, or if you work with virtual employees. These are easy to attend, eliminate the commute completely, and allow you to jump back into work immediately after.

One downside to virtual meetings could surface if your attendees don’t have strong, stable connections. Having meetings interrupted is never good for productivity or efficiency.

Outdoor meeting

An outdoor meeting is also sometimes known as a walking meeting. They’re held outdoors, sometimes at a public park or during a walk. If you don’t want to go far, you can find a patch of grass and sunshine near your building and bring your own blanket and snacks.

Taking your meeting attendees for a walk is great for creativity, helps to equalize the workplace hierarchies, and could improve communication and happiness. Aside from all the great health benefits, you also get a nice change of scenery and keep things exciting.

The cons for outdoor meetings include bad weather, unreliable seating areas, and, in the tropics at least, mosquitoes. If you get caught outside during a rainstorm, there goes your team’s comfort levels for the day. Be sure to check the weather beforehand, don’t go too far at first, and have plans in place for what could go wrong.


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Lunch meetings: Are they a good idea?

Lunch meetings are a fairly popular casual meeting plan, but is that a good thing? If you’re hosting the meeting, it’s customary for you to provide lunch (especially if it’s a mandatory meeting). Lunch meetings can get expensive if you have them regularly and invite entire teams out, but they can also be beneficial to team building and the company culture. Here are a few things you should consider before calling a lunch meeting.

To cater or eat out?

Hosting a lunch meeting in your office is practical for a few reasons; all the materials you need are already within reach, your team can get to and from the meeting quickly (short transit time), and you’ll be able to set up beforehand. However, if it’s supposed to be a special treat, an in-office lunch meeting may feel too much like a regular day at work (minus a break for lunch).

Plenty of seating

If you do decide to eat out, make sure the place you choose has plenty of seating. The seats should also be in a good position to discuss with each other, so avoid all sitting at a bar (you’ll all be facing the bar tender instead of each other), or too-long tables that are hard to speak across.

Try to select a place that allows reservations, and request a table in the corner or by the window to avoid too many distractions. This will also help with the level of noise you’ll have to deal with.

Level of noise

Since you’ll be discussing meeting items during lunch, select a place that isn’t too loud. Bars and noisy family restaurants aren’t ideal because the sounds will get distracting. Instead, select a quiet cafe or restaurant and get a table in the corner to avoid disturbing your fellow diners.

Menu selection

Check to see if any of the meeting attendees have dietary restrictions, and plan accordingly. If someone who will be joining you is allergic to fish, don’t go to a seafood restaurant. The menu selection should offer something for all your attendees, and have a nice range of options and prices.

Price

If you’re inviting people to a lunch meeting, it’s customary for you to foot the bill. Keep your budget in mind when selecting a restaurant. If you want to stay within a certain price range, select a lunch venue that only has options within your range (ie. don’t go to a steakhouse with $100 cuts if your budget is $20 per person).

Not working? Try breakfast instead

If you want to take the team or key partners out for food but find that lunch isn’t working, try breakfast instead. There’s evidence that shows breakfast meetings are more productive than lunch ones, plus if they don’t work out you haven’t interrupted the flow of your day too badly.


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Happy Valentines! How to get candidates to fall in love with your job posting

Getting the right talent to apply to your company is the first step to hiring top talent. It’s arguably the most important step. Here’s how to get awesome applicants who are as excited about your job posting as you are.

First, let’s take a look at examples of an engaging job listing and a dull one. Compare the two, paying attention to language, details, and what the postings say. What are some things that make one more interesting than the other?

Here’s an example of a fairly dull job posting:

Example of a poor job posting | How to get candidates to fall in love with your job posting

Here’s an example of an exciting job posting:

As you may have noticed, there’s a big difference between an engaging job posting and a dull one. One makes skilled candidates excited for a job, and the other will only get applicants who are after the money.

Here are the elements of a good job posting. Be sure to incorporate them in order to get candidates excited to apply.

Headline

The headline of your job posting is what attracts candidates in the first place. Make sure to make this enticing, much like you need to make blog post titles click-worthy.

Include the job title and a few key details. For example; “[Company] Content Marketer needed to handle blogs, social, and guest postings.”

If your job posting has the option of showing a few more details, you can keep your headline simple (just the job title), and move the rest to the details section. For example; “Content Marketer – Will handle blogs, social media, and guest posting opportunities.”

Description

An introduction to the job and company is vital for building company culture, but many job postings omit this. Be sure to introduce your company and describe your ideal candidate in terms of culture, beliefs, traits, and other non-qualification traits. Use your brand’s unique voice and tone in order to convey your brand personality.

Qualifications and requirements

Here’s where you describe the must-haves and nice-to-haves for your candidate. It’s where they can qualify or disqualify themselves, saving your HR valuable time sifting through applications.

That means you need to be sure to detail exactly what is a must (ie. perfect grammar for a copywriter, programming language fluency for a developer, etc.).

Then, add in skills that are beneficial to have for the job, but not necessarily vital. These can include skills that can be learned on-the-job. For example, a research analyst must have a good understanding of the data that drives businesses, but they don’t necessarily need to know how Google Analytics works since that can be taught on the job.

What’s in it for them?

Don’t forget to explain what’s in it for the candidates. A job posting shouldn’t be all demands and no benefits. Attract your best candidates by explaining how they’ll benefit from working with your company. This doesn’t have to all be about the salary, it could include skills that they will learn and practice, company trips, and mentoring opportunities.

Ease of application

Even if your job description is attractive, if you don’t make it simple for candidates to apply, your application rates will fall off. Don’t ask your candidates to enter their resume manually, or have them create an account that takes them 30 minutes to finish.

Make it quick and easy to apply by giving them an option to upload their resume, fill in a quick cover letter, and capture key information (ie. email address, name, availability), but not the non-essentials (address, SAT scores, etc.).


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Should you have an internal referral program?

Many successful startups have an employee referral program that rewards current employees for recommending a friend who eventually gets hired. Due to the incentives, it can get expensive, but it’s also a great way to attract top talent. How do you know whether this a good choice for your business?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to analyze whether a referral program is for you.

Should you have an internal referral program?

  • Can you afford the incentives you’ll need to offer to get good referrals?
  • Does your HR team have the time needed to review additional applications?
  • Do you have openings you need filled?
  • What is your hiring culture? Are you always open to adding top talent, or do you want to focus on training and developing your current team?
  • Do you have enough work and tasks to fill the time of another hire?
  • How happy are you with your current team? Would you be happy with additional hires of the same caliber as your current team?
  • What types of incentives can you afford? If not financial, can you give successful referrers days off or opportunities to work from home?

Tips on executing your employee referral program

If you’ve decided to implement a referral program, keep your employees involved throughout the process. Don’t forget to give recognition to the employees who recommended your new hire. It improves morale, encourages others to recommend people they think would be a good fit, and keeps the referral program top-of-mind.

Finally, don’t forget to measure the success of your program. Look at the percentage of your team who was hired by referral, how many candidates apply due to referral, the quality of overall referrals, and how much of your total workforce has participated in the referral program.


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Productivity tips: Are you a maker or a manager?

Knowing the difference between a maker and a manager, and where you fall in the spectrum, can be crucial to your productivity. It affects how you should structure your day, handle meetings, and approach collaboration. This post provides some productivity tips for organizing your day.

What’s a manager?

A manager is a leader whose responsibility leans toward project management, organization, and keeping clients happy. A manager in a business scenario is someone who gets most of their work done in meetings, via delegation, and is important for quality assurance.

The biggest concerns of a manager include getting deliverables to clients, making sure the company is profitable (revenue versus cost), and ensuring continued business success.

Best schedule for a manager: Managers are able to divide up their day into segments, and meetings are still productive for them; Their day isn’t thrown off if they take a break.

What’s a maker?

A maker is also known as a technician, and they are responsible for creating deliverables. A maker is a writer, designer, developer, and anyone else who creates the products or services that your business sells. If you run a PR agency, your makers would be the people who write press releases and land placements.

The biggest concerns of a maker are creating quality deliverables within deadline. They are responsible for producing what clients want.

Best schedule for a maker: A maker needs uninterrupted periods of time to finish his or her work. Meetings are disruptive to makers’ days, since it breaks up their periods of continuous productivity.

Whereas managers can hop from meeting to task and remain productive, makers tend to get into a workflow that shouldn’t be disturbed. If you’re a maker and must attend meetings, try to schedule them all on one day of the week, or get them out of the way in the morning. Having a meeting looming may disrupt creativity and focus, as the maker will have it on mind.

Are you a maker or a manager?

Knowing whether you’re a maker or a manager will allow you to adjust your schedule and working practices for maximum productivity. If you’re a maker, avoid meetings unless it’s completely necessary. And if they are, then schedule them first thing in the morning, or during a set day.


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6 Ways to stay healthy and productive this flu season

Sniffles, coughs, and sneezes abound. Hearing those familiar, unwelcome sounds indicates the start of yet another flu season. If you hear plenty of the sniffles around your office, here’s how to avoid getting sick. If you already caught something, we also include some tips on how to get work done through it.

1. Load up on vitamins

Making sure your body is equipped with nutrients and vitamins needed to maintain a healthy immune system is your first defense against illness. Loading up on vitamins includes eating well, adding lots of color (fruits and vegetables) to your diet, and avoiding sugar. You may also opt to take a multivitamin, or drink freshly pressed juices in the morning.

2. Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of fluids and staying hydrated is good for your skin, and combats aging. If that isn’t enough to get you to pick up a glass of water, it’s also good for staying healthy, get rid of toxins, and fight off infections.

If you show any of these signs of dehydration, start drinking more water; thirst, dark urine, dry mouth, headache, and fatigue.

3. Wear a face mask

Face masks help keep your airways clear of germs. An easy way to catch a cold is by being near someone who’s coughing and sneezing. The mask will block any particles that might be carrying viruses or bacteria from entering your body through your airways.

Masks are great for staying healthy, but they’re also important to wear when you’re sick, to avoid spreading diseases. We’ll discuss this a little more at the bottom of the article.

4. Get enough sleep

Sleep is when your body resets and repairs itself. When you don’t have enough sleep, it could weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to getting sick. The typical adult needs approximately 8 hours of sleep, but you can check how much sleep you need according to your age.

5. Sanitize your workspace

Smartphones and computer keyboards have more germs than a toilet seat. If you want to avoid being exposed to excess germs, clean your workspace regularly with disinfectant. Tools like Cyber Clean are great for cleaning hard-to-reach areas like the crevices of a keyboard.

6. Avoid smoking and alcohol

When not taken in moderation, alcohol weakens your immune system and doesn’t leave you feeling so great. Smoking can also make you more susceptible to harsher colds, because cigarette smoke increases lung inflammation and damage. Keep yourself healthy by avoiding over-drinking and cigarette smoke, at least until flu season passes.

If you’re already sick…

If you’re already sick, follow the steps above and see a doctor to find out if it’s a simple cold or something that needs stronger medication. Get the right treatment, and don’t go in to work to avoid getting others sick. Ask if you can work from home and do meetings via video call. If staying home isn’t an option, be sure to wear a mask and wash your hands regularly.


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