Tag Archives: productivity

Fun ways to start company meetings that are actually productive

Meetings are never something that we look forward to with bated breath. In fact, many employees dread going into their morning meetings because they know how boring and unproductive their time will be. You can change this mindset, however, by introducing some fun and simple elements into the start of your meetings.

One example is to start with a dessert cook-off, giving everyone a dessert recipes PDF to follow from and create a delicious snack to eat during the meeting. Still not sure where to start to make your meeting fun? Read on below for some unique ways to start company meetings that are actually productive.

Start with a joke…

… and encourage others to make one. Positive emotions at work lead to more productive work days, including meetings that have good end results. Starting your meeting with an appropriate joke will allow everyone to relax, and if you allow your employees to make a joke of their own, they will feel entertained and appreciated.

You will need to remember to keep your joke appropriate and not mention anything that will offend your staff. Keep it light and entertaining (a “dad joke” will suffice) and ensure that the rest of your employees follow suit. You will find the mood of the meeting improving and becoming more conducive to productivity. Make a game out of it by asking everyone to rate the jokes for funniness.

Play a pop quiz

Ideally, the quiz should focus on the topic of the meeting. For example, if you are coming up with marketing ideas for a catering company, give everyone a dessert recipes PDF and ask them to name at least three different desserts that the caterers could make.

This is a great way to ensure productivity, as it will require your staff to read through the meeting notes beforehand and have ideas in their minds already. A pop quiz will ensure that everyone is aware of all aspects of the client, such as marketing strategies and financial status. Make the pop quiz fun and engaging rather than something that makes them feel like they’ve been put on the spot and awkward.

Do something unexpected

More often than not, your meetings follow a particular setup. You start with a briefing and then work your way down the to-do list for a client or project. And while this is effective in tight-deadline situations, it can become boring if it is your go-to routine for meetings.

You could change this by taking your team for a morning walk, have a meditation period before the meeting starts, or heading to a local coffee shop for a cuppa before the to-do list is brought out. By changing your routine, your staff will feel more productive and have a more creative mindset. Be sure to ask your employees for any dietary restrictions before heading off to a coffee shop or restaurant, as you will need to be inclusive of everybody.

Foodie fun for everyone

A dessert recipes PDF shared among your staff before the meeting will grab their attention. It will let them know that the start of the meeting will be a delicious one, especially if you have included a cooking class to go along with the recipe booklet.

You could have a hot dog creation cook-off or you could ask each employee to bring their favourite breakfast food to the meeting (with enough for everyone to try, of course) and rotate this by departments. Eating during a meeting can make it feel more relaxed and will encourage your staff to think creatively. As long as it does not become too distracting, a meeting geared towards foodie fun can be fantastic for productivity.

Invite a speaker

If your meeting is focusing on specific topic or client, you can set the mood and inspire your staff by inviting a guest speaker who is an expert on the topic or someone from your client’s company to provide unique insights.

Inviting a vibrant and interesting speaker will help to boost the productivity and creativity of the meeting significantly. It will allow your staff to see things in a new way or approach a problem from a different perspective. If you cannot find a speaker who is suitable, you could ask different teams to create a presentation about their current and upcoming work.

Keep it short and sweet

While it might be necessary to have long meetings about important topics, if it is not needed in every meeting, you should try to keep them short and to the point. This way your employees will not lose concentration and they will be able to provide you with creative ideas to solutions. Start off with a fun beginning and you will soon find your employees sitting up, taking notice and thinking out of the box.

The benefits of customer service training programs

As a business owner, dealing with the complaints, queries and even compliments of your customers can be daunting. Your staff might not have the necessary skills they need to properly handle these issues, which can cause customers to become dissatisfied and even cause loss of business.

With customer service training, you can avoid these problems and deliver the perfect customer experience. If you are still unsure of how these programs can help your business succeed, read on below for just some of the benefits of customer service training.

Higher employee motivation and engagement

Providing proper training for your staff will help them to realise the impact that their role has on the organisation. This will improve their motivation and will help them to properly engage with the customers who phone in with issues.

As customer service agents are exposed to the emerging trends of the industry, they can apply these methodologies to their customer interactions and help to give your business an edge on the competition. By sending your staff on courses, you are showing them that you care about their development which will improve their motivation and their morale.

Customer service skills will improve

As with any customer service training programs, your staff will find their skills improving. This is highly beneficial to both your staff and your company because not only will your staff have better skills, but your customers will have better experiences too.

Customer service training focuses on skills such as communication, listening, problem-solving and organisational skills as well as the ability to handle working under stress. Having these skills will not only enable them to handle customer issues easily but will also help them to build up their careers from strength to strength. Having staff with strong customer service skills will boost your business too, which is a major advantage to these training programs.

Increased customer satisfaction

Any business owner knows that customer satisfaction is one of the most important aspects of running a business. If your customers are unhappy, they will look elsewhere for products and services. Providing excellent customer service is a sure-fire way to increase their satisfaction and loyalty to your brand.

If your customers know that their issues will be met with speedy and helpful replies, they will be less likely to look elsewhere for products and services. You will need to ensure that your staff adheres to what they were taught on the customer service training courses in order to reap the most benefits. You could provide each person with a manual so that they can refer back to what they were taught in case of a difficult customer complaint or query.

Improved customer loyalty

Customers have a plethora of options at their fingertips. And one of the many deciding factors when it comes to choosing a supplier or vendor is the customer service that the company delivers. You might have the most fabulous products on the market, but if your customer service is lacking, you won’t sell a lot of products.

If you rely solely on discounts and special offers, you will not have as many customers as you hoped. But if you focus on customer service, your business will grow tenfold. This is why sending your employees on a professional training program is so helpful. They will learn the basics of customer service as well as more advanced techniques of handling customers. This will help to improve customer loyalty and ultimately boost your profits.

Your brand’s image will improve

Organisations that have effective customer service have a much better brand image than those who do not. Customers want to do business with brands who take customer service seriously, and employees want to work for these brands.

Retaining talent is vital to keeping your business afloat and your consumers happy. Training your staff is a direct reflection of how important they are to you, which will impress consumers as well as make your employees happy. Having a positive brand image will also give you an edge over the competition, as you will be showing consumers that they are important to you and that making money comes secondary.

Increased profit

As a business owner, you know that increasing your profit will allow you to continue operating at the level you need to succeed. Good customer service will bring in new customers and will retain your current ones. This will lead to a marked increase in your profits.

An increase in profit will also enable you to send any new staff for customer service training so they are up to speed with all the business processes. Profit is often something that comes from unexpected places, one of which is customer service. If you provide your customers with outstanding service, your business will improve tenfold and will soon beat out the competition.

 

What qualifications to offer your staff to boost your B-BBEE scorecard

Training your staff is important, not only for your business success, but also for their own personal gain. However, many business owners offer training in order to improve their B-BBEE ratings, which can help to build a business and its reputation. You will also find that, if you are a B2B company, your relationships improve as your B-BBEE rating does.

If you are interested in offering qualifications to boost your B-BBEE scorecard, you might be finding it difficult to figure out where to even start. Below are just some of the qualifications you can offer your staff that will benefit you both.

Business administration

Administrative tasks are the bane of every business owner’s existence, so why not train your staff to undertake these tasks with accuracy and efficiency. Business administration qualifications also contribute to improving your B-BBEE scorecard, as they allow your staff to work their way towards a National Certificate in Business Administration Services: NQF Level 5.

Your employees will learn how to manage records accurately, how to communicate clearly in both written and verbal communication, how to solve problems effectively as well as gather some much-needed financial and bookkeeping knowledge. If you want help in running your business effectively, a business administration course is the best option for you.

Generic management

One of the best qualifications you can offer to boost your B-BBEE scorecard is a generic management qualification. Courses for team leaders, or for potential leaders, shows that you are serious about helping your employees develop their skills, and will help to raise your company’s B-BBee level.

In a generic management course, your employees will learn how to initiate, develop, implement and evaluate operational strategies and projects. This is highly valuable if you have several departments that need guidance on difficult projects. They will also learn how to manage projects successfully as well as how to communicate effectively. Having a manager who can deal with stress and who can understand clients’ needs is crucial to any successful business.

Contact centre support

Another course which will help to boost your B-BBEE scorecard is call centre support or contact centre support. This course will help your staff to reach a Contact Centre National Certificate at NQF Level 2, which will help them to develop the skills they need to improve their productivity and efficacy.

A contact centre support qualification will teach your staff how to deal with customers on the phone in a polite and effective manner, which can also help you to boost business. It will also teach them how to gather and enter data into reports and spreadsheets, an effective tool for your marketing team to tap into. For entry-level workers, this qualification will also improve their chances of moving up the corporate ladder.

New venture creation

Now, this might sound like a confusing qualification to give your staff but it will, in fact, improve your business as well as boost your B-BBEE scorecard. A new venture creation course will provide your staff with the ability to identify, develop and manage a new venture within your business.

The ability to think creatively and manage this new project will help your staff to understand your business better. They will be able to bring in more revenue for your business by finding new ventures and projects to invest in, and their management skills will improve too. They will also develop an understanding of basic economics within a market economy, a skill that can help them to succeed in whatever industry they choose.

Computer training

The world is becoming digital, and your employees will need to keep up with the trends. Sending your staff for computer training will not only benefit them by introducing them to new skills but will improve your B-BBEE scorecard as it is a skills development qualification.

Skills development qualifications are important to improving your rating but they also help your employees to grow and develop in your company. Computer training will teach them the basics of how to use a computer in daily life such as typing, sending and receiving emails and how to research on the internet. They will receive a qualification from the course which will help to improve their CV and which will reflect positively on you as an employer.

Skills development is key

The best way to boost your B-BBEE scorecard is to invest in skills development qualifications, such as induction training courses for team leaders and courses that improve your employees’ careers. These courses include generic management, business administration, new venture creation and even contact centre support. Whatever courses you choose to offer your staff, not only will your B-BBEE rating improve, but your business and your employees will thank you by growing tenfold and beating the competition.

 

Why office morale is so important

Office morale is something that is sometimes overlooked by managers and CEOs. While they do have important tasks to focus on, employee morale should be an important aspect of any manager’s concern. Having happy workers means that your workplace is more productive and that your company culture is positive and inclusive.

 

You can send your employees on a variety of courses, such as information technology courses, communication courses or management courses to boost morale and to show them that you value their ambition and want to build them up to new heights. If you are wondering why you need to concentrate on keeping your employees happy, outlined below are the reason why office morale is so important.

Productivity levels increase

When employees feel positive and enjoy their working environment, their production levels will naturally increase. This is because they will not have a lot of stress holding them back and they will feel comfortable in the office and among their colleagues.

 

High productivity levels are not only great for managers who are looking to achieve departmental and organizational objectives, but they are also good for improving employees’ overall happiness during the working day. It can also benefit your employees by increasing their compensation (for salespeople) and their chances of being promoted.

Absences will decrease

When your employees enjoy coming into work, you will notice that the number of absences among your staff will decrease significantly. This is because motivated employees have fewer reasons to miss work.

 

If an employee is taking part in a course, such as a diploma in information technology part time then this will not count as an absence, in fact, it is part of a motivated employee. Absenteeism in the office costs the company thousands of rands in production expenses, which is why boosting employee morale is so important. You will save yourself from incurring these costs and will be creating a stress-free working environment at the same time.

There is more attention to detail

When someone enjoys what they do, they will pay attention to the details of their day. This is beneficial to your company as it means that the work which is being produced is of the highest quality and that your clients will feel that your company is truly listening to their needs.

 

When morale is low, people generally become distracted easier and will make more mistakes than usual. This will not only affect their work but also the productivity levels and the client-company relationship. Encourage your employees by praising their work and offering them rewards for hitting targets (doughnut day, anyone?) and be sure to note anyone who is falling behind so you can ask them what they need to help them work better.

More opportunity for employee collaboration

Employees who are happy and feel supported by management are more likely to enjoy working together. This means that there is more opportunity for collaboration between teams, which can lead to fantastic project ideas for clients and tight deadlines being met.

 

High morale usually collates with greater feelings of teamwork and a shared vision. This creates positive working relationships, which leads to a more collaborative workspace. You will find that your employees are more willing and happy to work together, leading to targets being met ahead of time and client projects being finished by the deadline and with extra creativity added. This helps to boost profits as well as productivity and will show clients that your staff take their work seriously and are willing to go the extra mile.

Attract and retain talent

Having high morale in your office will help you to attract and retain young and up-and-coming talent. This is because young workers are looking for a company culture that suits their needs and provides them with a stimulating and collaborative environment.

 

Talented people will not stay long if the morale of their workplace is low. You will need to provide them with opportunities, such as sending them on information technology courses in South Africa to build their skills or by allowing them to take managerial courses to train them for future roles. Having high company morale will attract new talent and continuing this morale will retain them as loyal employees.

Put your employees first

Company morale is a vital aspect of any successful business. This is because it helps to boost productivity, decrease absenteeism, encourage attention to detail and allow for more collaboration opportunities among colleagues. As a manager or CEO, you will need to ensure that your employees are happy in their roles and satisfied with their responsibilities. You will be able to retain any new employees you get because of your positive office culture and high levels of morale. Ensure that you put your employees’ needs before your own, as this will show them that you value their input and that you have their best interests at heart.

How to stay productive throughout the workday

You’re not the only one who reaches a certain point in the day where you “just can’t” anymore. Everyone experiences it. Some people just know how to deal with it better than others. Obviously, it’s important to stay productive throughout the entire workday. So, if we manage our workday routines, we’ll be able to be more consistently productive throughout the day.

Start a new work week with these practices and see what difference it makes to your productivity levels. You may need to change things up frequently in order to maintain productivity, but first, you need to find out what works. Here are a few things you can do to stay productive throughout the workday.

Have a plan for the day

It’s easy to go with the motions of the day and tackle workloads as they come in. But wouldn’t it be more motivating to get things done if you start the day with a list of things you want and need to complete? This way, you’re setting deadlines for yourself. And, in most cases, when there’s a deadline, it’s easier to push through work and make sure it’s done in time.

At the end of every day, you should be creating a to-do list for the next day. Then, when you get into the office, you check your list, organise yourself and get straight to work. Tick things off as you go along, it’s good to track your progress because you can then see and feel how you’re achieving goals and being productive.

If your tasks can’t be easily quantified onto a list, then the next best thing you can do to plan for the day is set some goals and make sure you reach them by the day’s end. And by creating a plan for the day, you’re also less likely to becomes overwhelmed by the work the day brings in as you can prioritise your list of things to do and not forget about anything. As long as you’re realistic about what you can get done within a day, it will be easy to motivate yourself and maintain your productivity.

Take that coffee break

While you’re working through your to-do list for the day, you mustn’t forget to take a break every now and then. Stretch your legs and make yourself a cup of coffee. Get your company to invest in a Nescafé Alegria coffee machine where all it takes is a touch of a button and, voilá, you have a cup of caffeine ready to give you that much-needed boost. If your office has an outdoor section, ask your employer if they could consider adding some plants and outdoor décor to help employees relax their minds for a bit.

But don’t underestimate the power of a mini-break. Just give yourself five minutes to step away from the computer, get some fresh air from outside and move your body. After those five minutes, your mind will be ready for the next round of hard work. Don’t forget to drink water too. You can’t live off only coffee in the office. Your body needs the hydrating, energetic, flushing and nutritious properties of water as well.

Have a “power hour”

If you want to be incredibly productive in the day and tackle as much of the workload as possible, you need to fit in at least one “power hour” at some point of the day. Now, what exactly is a power hour, you ask? It’s a full, uninterrupted 60 minutes of work. And “uninterrupted” means no email checking, no Skype or instant messaging (internal office communication and personal communication included), no talking to anyone else in the office, no internet browsing or using your cellphone, just working.

Put your earphones in if necessary, mute all your conversations and put a “do not disturb” sign up if you really have to. Set a timer so that you don’t end up checking the time every 10 minutes and risk being distracted. It’s only one hour of an eight-hour workday, you can afford it and you’ll be surprised at how much you can actually get done.    

Know when you’re in over your head

There is such a thing as too much work for one person and it’s important to know what your limit is. You can’t keep saying yes to work that you know you’ll either never get done on time or do to the best of your abilities within the time constraints. The key to productivity is witnessing your progress, but when you’re in over your head and feel like you can’t get anything done, it’s easy to lose focus and motivation.

There’s no shame in asking for help or saying no when client service sends a new, non-priority project your way. For the sake of your productivity and performance, you need to learn when to say no. Master the management of your daily tasks before you try to undertake any ad hoc tasks.

It is possible to stay productive throughout the workday, you just need to set your realistic goals, give your body the caffeine, hydration and break it needs, and put your head down for an hour at a time.