Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Jobs Before Health...how Australian Workers are putting their jobs ahead of their health

Australia has long been referred to as "The Lucky Country", but times have changed.

Rather than enjoying the fact we seemed to have "by-passed" the GFC, many workers are living in fear that the only way to retain their jobs is to work longer hours and risking their health.

The Age Newspaper quotes a number of examples in it's article When the Work Day Never Ends

What is your organisation doing to help staff manage the balance??
Comment below.

Monday, August 12, 2013

HR & Social Media - One More Thing For HR Departments to Monitor

As if Human Resources Department's don't have enough to do!

Social media use by staff has hit the news again.

A warning for organisations that staff need to be reminded of policy or guidelines around technology usage relating to the organisation or risk termination.

A US employee was recently terminated for posting a photograph on his paycheck - along with some comments - on social media site Instagram. [More Here on Smart Company Website]

In May 2012 a Chief Financial Officer in the US lost his job as a result of Facebook and Twitter postings. [More here in Wall Street Journal]

Perhaps it's time to remind staff of the expectations associated with social media and their roles in your organisation.

How does your organisation "remind" staff of expectations around social media usage or does it do nothing?

Want to know more about Prime Solutions Training & Consulting Pty Ltd & how we help organisations get more done in less time with technology you already own?  Visit www.primesolutions.net.au

Friday, August 9, 2013

5 Ways to Make Your Computer Work for You - Part 5

The Final way to Make Your Computer Work for You

5. Clean Up
Empty your email deleted items folder and regularly cull and archive your computer network drive.  Try using more effective naming conventions for files or alternatively keeping a log of the files you create – allocating a number and then placing a description of the file contents beside it.  Place the file “number” in the footer of every page and your files will ALWAYS be easy to find.

Donna Hanson is the founder of Prime Solutions Training & Consulting Pty Ltd.  An organization who helps companies get more done in less time with technology they already own.  Sign up to her monthly video pointers at www.primesolutions.net.au or for more information on Donna and her company’s services.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Is it Time For Your Business to Hit the Training Track?

Excellent article by Michael Peiniger of Kameleons on why lack of training could be the reason why businesses are out of the game.

Using sporting analogies, Michael mentions how our attitude to sport and warming up [or lack thereof] as we get older means we are more likely to be injured.

The same applies in business.  If you don't "train" in whatever context that is, you will become weaker than your competition.

As former LA Lakers Championship coach Pat Riley once said "If you're not getting better, you're getting worse".

Food for thought as organisations globally look to gain a competitive advantage.

What training is your organisation undertaking and are you training hard enough to put you ahead of your competition or are you just jumping into the game hoping you don't get hurt?

Love to hear you thoughts.

Read Michael's full article here


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

5 Ways To Make Your Computer Work for You - No 4

Onto the Fourth Way to Make Your Computer Work for You.

If you like the tips, sign up to our monthly Word or Excel pointer [no cost] at www.primesolutions.net.au

4. Interruptions
If you must leave your email open, at least switch off the pop up box and dinging of email notifications so that you can focus on the task at hand.  If you are in an office, work with your team to let them know not to interrupt you, but rather arrange a time to meet at the start or end of the day to review questions or close your office door.  Each time you are interrupted, by email or by physical interruption, you can kiss at least 5 minutes or more of your day goodbye.  If you are in an open plan office, try using technology such as ear buds or a headset to discourage others from interrupting you.  Other options to consider might be changing your desk placement so your vision isn’t disrupted by others moving by your desk.

Monday, August 5, 2013

5 Ways to Make Your Computer Work For You - No 3

Now for Number 3 in our series of 5 Ways to Make Your Computer Work for You.

NOTE: If you like the articles, sign up for our complimentary Word or Excel productivity pointer by video each month at www.primesolutions.net.au

3. Automate

Use the tools in your computer software to automate tasks wherever possible.  Use Rules in email to filter and file less important information into folders where you can review it at a time that suits.  Like junk mail in the letterbox, some days you will want to look at it and others you won’t.  Try using tools such as templates and macros in Word & Excel to streamline tasks you do on a regular basis.

Friday, August 2, 2013

5 Ways to Make Your Computer Work for You - No 2

Hope you enjoyed Part 1 of the 5 Ways to make your computer work for you....here's No 2

2.  Offline
Shut down your email, switch your phone to voicemail and work on one task at a time.  There is a plethora of research that suggests when you try to multi-task you end up either taking longer to complete tasks or worse, none of the tasks get done properly.  It is OK not to respond to email the minute it pops into your inbox.  In fact, it’s probably better that you don’t.  When we see an email pop into our inbox the automatic reaction is to open or read it.  Even if you close it down and say to yourself, I’ll do it later, you’ve probably wasted 15-30 seconds, then you need to remind yourself what you were doing and later when you back to it, you are going to have to re-read it again – you can kiss goodbye to at least 5 minutes +.  Do that 10 times in 1 day and there is almost 1hr gone….and we wonder why we don’t get much done some days.

Want to know more about Donna?
Sign up for her monthly Word or Excel video pointer at www.primesolutions.net.au


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

5 Ways to Make Your Computer Work for You - No 1

I don’t know about you, but when I first started work, computers were just arriving in the workplace.  In my job at a large insurance company, four of us shared one computer and we were lucky to use it for five to ten minutes a day!  The screen was black with green text. 

A definite Occupational Health and Safety Risk today!

With computers and smart phones now blurring the line between work and home, everyone is looking for ways to get the max out of technology to allow us to focus on the things we need to do, or more importantly want to do.
In today, blog post I want to share with you the first of 5 Ways to Make Your Computer work for you.
  1. Define Your Time
Rather than open your email as soon as you get to work, schedule time to look at it and deal with any incoming enquiries or tasks.  Focus on YOUR must do’s for the day.  Each night make sure when you leave the office you have a task list of activities for the next day.  Whether it’s electronic or paper based, allocate time in your diary to complete those tasks rather than have your day dominated by the needs and urgency of others requests.  At the end of the day you want to go home satisfied and not feeling like you have achieved nothing because you have simply been reacting to others needs and demands.
Want to know more about Donna?
Donna Hanson is the founder of Prime Solutions Training & Consulting Pty Ltd.  An organization who helps companies get more done in less time with technology they already own.  Sign up to her monthly video pointers at www.primesolutions.net.au or for more information on Donna and her company’s services.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Report shows Digital Overload the Nemesis of Productivity

Today's connected digital would has it's positives and negatives.

Enabling people to be connected and working from home is great, but a Workplace Productivity Report authored behavioural neuroscientist and an employment specialist found that 85% of survey respondents found they could be MORE productive at work.

80% of those surveyed said they responded to email at home.

The study found workers fell into a couple of generalised categories, "Early Adapters" and "Constrained Defeatists".

The report indicated the defeatists believed their productivity lack was caused by poor culture or outdated workplace practices, whereas adapters coped well with a 24/7 work cycle and were often employed by progressive organisations.

The report offers several time management tips that whilst simplistic and common sense, perhaps are no longer common practice???

What are your thoughts about technology in the workplace?
Are you in control or overloaded??

Worth a quick read here.

Need help with technology training for your staff?
Find out more about what we do to get you a greater return on investment for your computer training budget at www.primesolutions.net.au

Sign up to our regular monthly Word or Excel video tip at www.primesolutions.net.au

Friday, July 12, 2013

You're Fired! Not the best start to a restructure...

Today's The Age newspaper reports that the National Gallery of Victoria are undergoing a restructure.
Nothing startling so far, right?

This involved some staff redundancies.
It's business and sometimes these things have to happen right?

Unfortunately for this weeks redundancy recipients, the advice came via email or a letter on their desk.

A simple mistake or have we gone too far to "dehumanise" the difficult task of letting staff go?

What do you think??

Read the Article here

Want to know more about Donna Hanson & the Prime Solutions Training team?
Visit the website www.primesolutions.net.au and sign up for our monthly productivity pointer.
It's a tip or trick in Word or Excel designed to help you work SMARTER & not harder with technology you already own work

Friday, July 5, 2013

Finding it Hard to Attract Great Gen Y Staff? Perhaps this is the Key

A recent article in Inc Magazine out of the US suggests that the way Gen Y's think impacts on your ability to retain them.

Want to know how to keep them, take a leaf out of www.zappos.com book
Read the e-book I wrote about a visit to Zappos in Henderson Las Vegas

Understanding how Gen Y think and adjusting your offering to suit is the first step to attracting the next generation of employees.

Read the full article here

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mobile Performance Review

Bras 'N Things have launched a mobile phone app for performance reviews.
The goal for BNT has been to fast track what traditionally can be a slow process to complete.

Interested in exploring this for your organisation?

The article on World Manager website goes through the steps they took and the pre-work they did to communicate the app's introduction.

So does your organisation have a streamlined process for performance reviews?

Read the article here

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What is the most valued skill development according to employees?

Recently released Kelly Global Workforce Index identified that the most valued skill development for employees was on the job experience at 70%.

In terms of computer technology, we interpret this to mean learning and development on topics, tools and information that directly relates to day to day functions.  We call it roaming or roving training.

No 2 was continued education and training which suggests a more formal classroom setting at 58%
No 3 was Seminars and Webinars at 26%

Long gone are the days of boring, irrelevant training in classrooms.
Now employees are seeking short sharp bites of information that help them work SMARTER not HARDER.

Click here to read the full report.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Three Primary Reasons Why Employees Seek Further Training

Kelly Services – a global recruitment company – recently surveyed 120,000 respondents in 31 countries about Career Development and Upskilling.  The results identified the primary reasons why employees look for further training, and these include:

Reason #1: To get promoted by the current employer

In the 2013 KGWI survey, 57% of the employees want to get further training because they want to get promoted in their current job.

Reason #2: To get promoted or accepted at another company

47% of the employees want to have training because they want to get accepted or promoted at a different company.

Reason #3: To enter a new field of work

Based on the index, the third most popular reason why employees seek further training is because they want to get a job at a different field of work.

Read the full report here.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Australian Economy losing $305 billion due to lost Productivity!

According to an article in Smart Company Magazine, and a study by Ernst & Young, the Australian economy could be losing as much as $305 billion in productivity due.

The study found four out of five workers could be more productive with the obstacles given as motivation, well being, workplace recognition, staff engagement.

Read the full article here

So what is YOUR organisation doing to help staff get more done in less time with less stress??
Love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday, April 5, 2013

How Organisations are Reducing Absenteeism and Stress with Hollywood Technique

A recent Australian Financial Review article highlighted a workshop run by a connection of mine Carina Thomas of Pathways to Performance on the Alexander Technique.

The Alexander Technique  is something most Hollywood actors or performers would have studied at some point.  The technique simply retrains us to use ourbodies correctly and avoid back and spine issues that are becoming so prevalent in society today. 

3 years ago when my husband underwent surgery to "shave" a bulging disc in his back his surgeon commented that this would be the new "workplace injury of the future".

One of the most notable results according to the article was from Victorinox, the Swiss Army Knife manufacturer has reportedly cut absenteeism by 42% over 5 years after the Alexander Technique was introduced into the workplace.

So could the Alexander Technique assist your organisation in reducing stress, absenteeism and potential workplace injury??   Or has your organisation implemented other strategies or tools?

Love to hear your comments.

Read the full article here

Friday, March 15, 2013

Staff Expectations....what business can learn from the Australian Cricket Team

A brilliant blog today from a colleague of mine Michael Peiniger, leadership & team building consultant, on standards in the workplace and the need, like parenting, to follow through and enforce corporate standards when they are broken.

Michael says "If any team is going to try and achieve success and become a high performing team, then an appropriate behaviour standard not only has to be agreed and set, it also needs to be maintained."

He has a 4 step process for creating a standard for a team.

1. Clearly identify the behaviour standard you want to set,
2. Ensure you are meeting the standard yourself,
3. Communicate the standard to all team members, ensuring they understand the ‘why’, and
4. Enforce the standard

Read the full blog post here

What do you think??

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Want to get more done? Try handing your Inbox over to someone else!

An article in the Stanford News [Stanford University's own newspaper] earlier this month has caught my eye.

According to Stanford computer scientists, "experiments show that email users are happy to allow a stranger to access practically all of their incoming emails if it boosts their productivity".

The research found that in the experimental environment, with assistant use, users completed twice as many email tasks than without assistants.

This research is an interesting take on options to tackle the growing problem of email overload.

Read the article here
Read the research paper here

Love to know what you think...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Virgin & Yahoo - Human Vs Data

Interesting comparision of perspectives.
Richard Branson commented on the actions of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer telling remote workers to start working from the office or leave the company.

Two perspectives - Branson's view - trusting your people - a hallmark of Virgin's success in business.
Mayers view - based primarily on data logs from Yahoo's VPN [virtual private network].

Read Branson's view here
Read Mayer's view here

So is there a right or wrong answer, a middle ground or do you think we need to evaluate each organisation on it's own rather than all or nothing?

My thoughts....a combination of middle ground taking into account each organisation.

What's your view?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

5 Mistakes Organisations Make With Technology & How You Can Avoid Them

Over the many years I have been training, consulting and presenting to large groups, I’ve noticed a lot about the WAY people tackle technology and the challenges it presents.

In the last four years in particular there has been a huge shift in the use of technology for business.

Gone are the days of a single computer being on every desk. Now there
may be a computer as well as portable devices such as laptops, netbooks, smartphones and tablet computers.

The business landscape has shifted as a result of:
    The introduction and explosion of Social Media,
    The "Boomer" generation commencing it’s workforce exit,
    Gen Y & Z employee numbers increasing

and the rules of business have altered significantly and permanently!

Now is a time of great change and transition. With the global economy still uncertain, many organisations are simply treading water.

Want to know more?
I've written an ebook on the topic.
Get a copy by emailing 5mistakes@primesolutions.net.au
Feel free to pass it onto anyone you think might be interested in it's contents

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Workplace Stress - What Is It Costing Your Business?

Although slightly dated, but still extremely relevant, this Medibank Private report uncovers the hidden cost of workplace stress to business.

I believe technology and the "New Workplace" [my definition - 24/7 access via multiple devices] is adding to this.

Does your workplace offer regular, customised learning and development options with technology to help you get more done, or reduce your stress or does it do nothing thinking there is no problem?

Read the full report here