Monday Mornings with Madison

Monthly Archives:
January 2014

Five Goals for Your Workplace in 2014

Beyond the normal competencies that every business seeks to improve year-over-year – such as growing sales leads and conversions, increasing efficiency, reducing costs and minimizing waste – forward-thinking companies should focus on the up-and-coming core values of today’s marketplace. Those include being more trustworthy, transparent, ethical, collaborative and mindful of its employee needs. Companies that improve these are destined to be more successful in 2014.

However, of those five goals, being mindful of employee needs is the one that is least likely to be addressed in any real, tangible way by most companies. While being mindful of employees’ needs is an honorable goal in theory, it is a tall order. What does it mean to be ‘mindful of employee needs’? What does that look like in practice? How does that translate into actual HR rules and practices? It can mean many different things to business owners and leaders, and even more to the employees themselves. That makes it hard to qualify or quantify, and even harder to achieve. But make no mistake that being mindful of employee needs does impact the bottom line. A company is only as good as its people. For businesses, keeping teams moving forward together in harmony is the difference between succeeding and failing. The most successful businesses are the ones that work the hardest to please their employees. So what should companies that want to be mindful of their employees do? Continue reading

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Five Goals for Your Workplace in 2014

It’s been said that two heads are better than one. This idiom makes the point about the value of teamwork. Teamwork is neither new nor original. It can even be seen in nature. A flock of birds has a greater flying range in formation than a single bird has on its own. When it comes to business, though, teamwork – specifically collaborative teamwork — has become critical to business success more than ever before. Why? An increasingly complex world means increasingly complex problems. The types of problems that businesses have to solve today are more diverse, complicated and intricate than ever – whether its finding ways to properly secure digital data or deciding whether to pursue a new business venture or developing new products or services that will resonate in today’s ever-changing marketplace.

To solve such complex problems requires input from diverse skill-sets, viewpoints and methods. Left-brain and right-brain people. Visionaries and pencil-pushers. Soaring idealists and stubborn realists. Traditionalists and non-conformists. Bean counters and free thinkers. Only by bringing together and cultivating assorted ideas, personalities and talents can the best solutions for the toughest problems emerge. That is collaboration. But throwing a mixed bag of people and problems together in a room does necessarily produce collaboration. Collaboration doesn’t just happen on its own. In fact, often when teams, departments or divisions think they are collaborating, they actually aren’t. It is important to understand what collaboration is (and is not), and then prepare and plan for real collaboration. Continue reading

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Five Goals for Your Workplace in 2014 – Part 2

Companies looking to be more successful and improve their bottom lines in 2014 should focus on becoming more trustworthy, transparent, ethical, collaborative and mindful of its employee needs. These goals deliver long-term gains to the bottom line. Last week, we looked more closely at two of these goals: the importance of being more trustworthy and transparent. A company can be transparent and not be trustworthy… depending on how it is behaving. It is much harder for a company to be seen as trustworthy if it is not transparent. Transparency and honesty are the coins by which trust is purchased. And trust is an essential part of any business transaction or relationship.

Today’s global, interconnected, interdependent and highly interactive marketplace also requires businesses to be increasingly ethical. Like trustworthiness and transparency, ethical business behavior has a long-term impact on corporate performance and success. But it is also a more difficult target to hit. Making increased ethical behavior a goal can help a company to align with the ever-evolving, fast-paced, information-savvy business world. Continue reading

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Five Goals for Your Workplace in 2014

Part 1:  Trustworthiness and Transparency Every business wants to find ways to be more efficient, effective and fiscally successful.  With the start of 2014, the focus for most businesses is likely to be on how to spend less, waste less, … Continue reading

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