Tweak Your Biz » Management

In the quest for employee engagement and the resulting increases in productivity & profitability, businesses are prepared to invest in any number of initiatives – from employee assistance programmes to flexible lifestyle benefits. However, few have seen their workplace as an investment in engagement to such an extent that it makes a tangible impact on the bottom line. This doesn’t just mean putting a few pot plants around the office and opening the window every Friday. It…

A recession is a great time to start a new business. Assets are cheap, labour is available, and if you can make it in a recession, your chances of survival are much higher than average. Having a great idea or spotting an acquisition bargain is a long way from getting a business out of the zero zone and into profits though. Some folk get so fired up about their new idea that they forget to check the limiting factors. This post looks at some of the classic mistakes that start-up enthusiasts are…

When I mentioned this at a workshop recently one of the business owners said: “You mean there are only 3 keys to success?  Where have I been going wrong all these years?”  I may tend to oversimplify – simply for the sake of directness. There are more than 3 keys to successful business growth – I am simply mentioning 3 of the more significant ones that I work with clients on.  Add to the list: products and services of value to your customers, motivated and talented workers, a…

As someone reared in South East Asia in a Eurasian household, the controversy over Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and the recent BBC documentary Meet Britain’s Tiger Mums, made me reflect on the cultural values I took for granted on both sides of my heritage. After I had recovered of course, from the cold sweat, culture shock and post traumatic flashbacks of all this controversial Asian style schooling; I realized, all of us could pick up on some valuable ideas embedded in the Tiger Mom and…

I spoke with a client recently about his efforts to develop productive work environments.  He pointed out to me that he uses several practices that, if implemented effectively, form a sound basis for improving productivity. Sense of direction First, he mentioned that as the owner he needed to establish a clear sense of direction and a clear vision of business success.  In his company he thought it important that he communicate to his employees that their participation and involvement in the…

Recently, it seems that we are reading about a new social media crisis happening to some well known brand, at least every other week. We, here in Ireland have also suffered our fair share with even our last presidential election ultimately decided, by what we lovingly refer to as “the Twitter machine”. Of course, you would be forgiven for thinking that the likelihood of this continuing would be decreasing,  because of the humiliation suffered and the social media community’s…

The difference between hanging a picture up using a manual screwdriver and an electric screwdriver can mean suffering blisters, or not. It can mean one hour of hard labour (for some) or one minute! It can mean a cracked screw head, or not. So why do we spend all that time and resource doing a job that a convenient tool can do for us using a fraction of the time and resources? Well I will let you answer that one for yourself and meanwhile let’s look at a few simple approaches we can take to…

Have you ever had a bad day and wondered how it started good and ended up bad? Sometimes it may be a phone call from an employee calling in sick – and the project she was supposed to finish that day is now your responsibility to complete.  Or maybe it’s a letter you get in the mail from a government agency that summarizes the results of that surprise audit last month and explains how you can simply pay the fine they just assessed for your apparent non-compliance. When you realize you are…

Occasionally there comes a time, and more importantly a situation, where you have to say “No!” to a customer. The old expression, ‘the customer is always right!’ is BS and if you truly believe in your offering, then you have to make a simple decision – stand strong in certain situations and turn that individual away, or perhaps make too many ‘exceptions’ and sacrifice what you and the company stands for. Many companies, particularly SMEs, haemorrhage capital because they pay…

When you decide to hire a new employee you can either decide to go it alone and hope you make the right series of decisions or you can review hiring practices that have proven effective over time.  Let’s face it, in this new, emerging economy it is becoming more important to make sure that we are hiring smarter. There has been a lot of information about the nature of our workforce, yet the most persuasive comment for me is attributed to Peter Drucker: “. . . the center of gravity of…