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December 2009

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Hello,

Welcome to this final edition of the Business Performance newsletter for 2009. As this year draws to a close, we reflect on the tumultuous year this has been. The Unites States witnessed its first inauguration of a black President and perhaps the dawning of a radical change in direction. We grappled with the global financial meltdown and saw the continuing ascendancy of the new economic powerhouses of China and India. The world powers also started to galvanize around the changes needed on a global scale to mitigate the effects of global warming. Let?s hope that we have learned some valuable lessons this year that we can drawn upon to create a better future for all of us in the coming year.

For our final edition, we update you on industry news and our latest company changes. Plus, we bring you some timely Q & A on workplace issues and offer you, our valued subscriber, a massive discount on two of our popular products -just in time for the giving season. We trust you will enjoy!

Industry News in Brief

A recent Watson Wyatt study on communication in organizations shows that companies with the most effective communication practices achieved 47% higher total returns to shareholders compared with less effective communicators. Another compelling finding is that managers in high performing organizations are three times more likely to deal effectively with resistance to change. Read the full report.

The quarterly RedBalloon Corporate survey reports that two thirds of employees believe that their manager does not know enough about what motivates them to be productive. In addition, over one third of employees did not receive any praise in the past month. Read the full report.

A recent poll conducted by the Institute of Customer Service found that this year 30% of organizations had cut investment in customer service training and 21% had laid off customer-facing staff. Read the survey summary.

Organization Communication Assessment Survey

Organization Communication Assessment Survey

Identify the areas of communication that are holding your organization back from peak performance with this customizable employee survey form.
Download today!


Give a Gift Option Now Available

With the onset of the festive season, now is the time to start thinking about gifts. Did you know that you can now easily buy any of our products as a gift for your friends, family and colleagues? Simply look for the Give as a gift? option on the second page of the online order form. You will be asked to enter the gift recipient information and a personal message. After you place the order, you will receive an order confirmation via email and your gift recipient will receive an email with instructions on how to receive the gift. What could be easier? If you are looking to reward your top performers in your workplace, why not reward them with an e-book or toolkit that will aid their professional development?

Management and Training Tips Have Moved

If you have been following our daily management and training tips and the latest industry snippets on Twitter and Facebook,please note that we have moved. Follow Business Performance Pty Ltd on TwitterTips and news has now moved to our new Business Performance Pty Ltd homes.To continue getting your daily tips and news, click here to follow us on Twitter and Business Performance Pty Ltd fan on Facebookclick here to become a BP fan on Facebook. If you are not already getting your daily management treats, then now is the time to join us online.

Special Offer for Our Subscribers

Become a fan of Business Performance Pty Ltd on Facebook before 16 December and get a massive 40% discount on either of our e-books: 2 Way Feedback or Managing Change in the Workplace. You choose. Simply sign in to Facebook, visit our Facebook page and click on the Become a Fan button near the top of the page. Email us with your preference and we will send you your discount coupon by return email.

We regularly answer a variety of questions from business owners and managers on many aspects of running their business. This month, we want to share with you some of those responses so that you can take away with you an idea or two that you can use to the benefit of your business. This month, we look at the question of customer focus and employee communication. If you have any questions that you would like answered in this newsletter by one of our expert consultants, please send us an email with your question. We look forward to hearing from you.


Is the customer or the employee King?

Q Who is King, the customer or the employee? I mean, should we pay more attention to pleasing our customers or our employees?

A Many business commentators ask us to treat the customer as King; to put them first before all other people in our business. In one sense, this seems to make perfect sense. Our customers pay our bills and put profit in our bank account. If we do not bend over backwards to please our customers, they make take their business elsewhere.

We also need to satisfy the interests of our employees, or they may end up walking out the door. Should their interests be subordinated to our customers? Ideally, they should both come first. They are both equally deserving of respect and attention. If your material resources and time are limited ? as no doubt they are ? you may be wondering on whom you should first focus your efforts. There is a strong case to be made out for concentrating your initial efforts on satisfying your employees.

It is your employees that are working on the front line, dealing directly with your customers. Your employees will deal with your customers in the same way you deal with them. Treat your employees with trust, respect, enthusiasm, and so on, and that is how they will treat your customers. This is a manifestation of the psychological principle of reciprocity. Studies have shown a significant correlation between levels of employee engagement and customer satisfaction. So, make your employees King and they will make your customers King.

2 Way Feedback
To find out more about how to make your employees feel valued and involved in your business, check out our easy to read e-book,
2 Way Feedback. Click here to get 40% off.


How can we communicate more effectively?

Q Our company uses very formal methods of communicating with employees. What are the disadvantages of using such formal methods and what other methods could we adopt?

A Informal methods of communicating with employees can be separated into those mediated by technology and those not so mediated. Technology-mediated methods include telephoning, emailing, text messaging, video conferencing, tweeting (on Twitter), and so on. Technology free methods include hand-written notes and impromptu face-to-face conversations on the job and at the water-cooler.

There are no inherent drawbacks in using formalized methods as such. The trick is in getting the right mix of formal and informal communication and in using the right form at the right time and in the right circumstance. Formal methods, for example, are more suited to mass communication from the higher levels of management. Employees want to know where their organization is headed and where they are now. Receiving an email newsletter or watching the CEO on video can serve that purpose well, and does it at a cost-effective price.

On the other side of the coin, each employee wants to appreciate where they fit into the bigger picture; what their role is in achieving the organization?s objectives and how they are doing. Here, the more informal methods of communication can help. In addition to formal meetings with employees, each supervisor/manager needs to spend enough time in casual conversation to really get to know each employee; their drives, likes and dislikes, what?s happening in their life, and so on. They need to give enough time in every working day for those conversations that will allow employees to feel important and good about their job.

Such conversations also need to include talk about department and team goals and where the employee fits in. Most importantly, these conversations need to encourage feedback both ways on performance and expectations. This opportunity for genuine two-way dialogue is the key strength behind the more informal methods of communication. If managers/supervisors can do this well, the organization is well placed in creating and sustaining a motivated workforce.

To find out more about how to communicate with employees effectively during times of change, check out our practical guide and workbook, Managing Change in the Workplace. Click here to get 40% off.

Managing Change in the Workplace
To find out more about how to communicate with employees effectively during times of change, check out our practical guide and workbook, Managing Change in the Workplace. Click here to get 40% off.


Visit our website at www.businessperform.com for lots of expert guidance and practical tools designed to help you get ahead of your competition. Also, be sure to pass this newsletter on to friends and colleagues who want to stay up with what?s on. From all of us here on the Business Performance team, we wish you a safe and joyous festive season and look forward to communicating with you again in the New Year.

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In This Issue
Industry News in Brief

Give a Gift Option Now Available

Management and Training Tips Have Moved

Special Offer for Our Subscribers

Is the customer or the employee King?

How can we communicate more effectively?
 
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