Archive for December, 2010

Start Strong? Finish Strong? Who Cares About the Rest?

December 17th, 2010

I am sure you’ve heard people say that it doesn’t matter how your start, it’s how you finish. Or maybe you’ve heard someone say start strong finish strong. Or get a head start. These are all true and they really do matter but what are you supposed to do in between. Their aren’t any cool sayings for the middle, are their? I propose a new saying “excellent consistency, kills”. This may be a word for the procrastinator, but it’s a word and a good one. What we do between the start and finish says so much more about us then we care to admit.

When do you hit your wall? I would venture to guess it isn’t at the start or the finish, adrenaline and excitement typical take over at those points. Mid day? Mid week? Mid project? Mid year? You get the point.

In sales what we do in between the initial meeting and the close speaks to who we are. The difference between the best and the rest is the middle. In order to be a great sales person you need to be brilliant always. Good sales pro’s are the ones who value the start, middle, and finish.

How can you improve the middle? It will surely help the finish!


Employee-Friendly Office Cultures Improve Retainment

December 4th, 2010

Today’s economy isn’t just frustrating for those without jobs – limited budgets can do a number on employed workers’ morale as well. Exemplary employees might not be awarded with raises, no matter how much effort they put into their projects. Employers unable to afford larger salaries may find their best employees looking elsewhere.

But some companies are finding way to keep employees happy by cultivating employee-friendly office cultures. For example, in the fall of 2010, Washington, D.C.’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer implemented a Results Only Work Policy (ROWE), which pays employees  for results, not the hours  that they work. This means that employees are able to work when or wherever they want, so long as their work gets done. In places where it has been tried, ROWE not only boosts morale and retention, but also improves output.

Of course, not every company is willing to redo its entire work structure. That doesn’t mean that they can’t find less drastic ways to boost morale. Here are some of the many ways that companies can make the workplace more attractive for employees:

•    Acknowledge employees’ contributions. Employees who work hard without recognition are likely to lose morale. Even if a company can’t provide raises, it can award employees’ efforts. For example, managers can give out certificates or plaques acknowledging an employee’s accomplishments or designating an employee of the month.

Plaquemaker Plus, a company that offers many personalized trophies, plaques and frames, offers laser-engraved that can be used to give hard-working employees a boost. Visit their website at or call 1-800-367-5556.

•    Celebrate birthdays. Acknowledging employees’ personal lives will make them feel like valuable team members, rather than a replaceable automatons.

•    Communicate. Unhappy employees are less productive, so managers should take time to speak with them about their questions or concerns. An anonymous employee-satisfaction survey can also help employers determine where they need improvement.

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