Category: Friends


Here is something that will help in these difficult times….

The recession is viral and it has spread like wildfire. Few businesses have escaped the effects of the ongoing economic recession. The downturn has made it difficult to manage morale and take care of employee needs. Workplace motivation has plummeted, and things are only threatening to get worse. It is important to keep your team motivated during this recession. Here are six great tips for motivating your team in the face of adversity.

Be Honest

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to motivating your team. Employees will be questioning how their jobs and lives will be impacted by the recession. Don’t sugarcoat the information that you provide. Deliver clear messages and be honest about what is going on in your business.

Stop Gossip in its Tracks

Gossip is the number one killer of workplace motivation. Rumors about layoffs, cutbacks, or pay freezes can set your employees’ minds in motion. When you hear rumors floating around the workplace, squelch them as quickly as possible. If something becomes pervasive and problematic, you might have to hold a special meeting to boost team motivation.

Get Out of the Office

Motivating your team will be much easier if you all get out of the office and relax. Organize an offsite lunch or special outing as a means of energizing your team and stirring up creativity. This type of team motivation activity may come at a high price, but the positive return will be worth the investment.

Listen

Workplace motivation during a recession will also be impacted by things that are happening in your employees’ personal lives. Practice active listening skills and be sensitive to the needs and concerns of your employees.

Don’t Let Fear Cause Paralysis

Whenever there is a crisis of any kind, fear is often times a factor that gets teams off track. With the many threats that recession poses, your employees will be extremely susceptible to fear. Don’t let fear have a negative impact on team motivation. Exercise control over the things which can actually be controlled, and dismiss worries about those which cannot.

Recognize and Reward Accomplishments

Motivating your team with recognition and rewards for accomplishments is the most effective means of keeping things moving during this recession. While there may not be money in the budget for tangible rewards, a certificate of recognition, thank you note, or pat on the back goes a long way when it comes to workplace motivation.

Implementing a combination of these strategies can enhance team motivation in your workplace. The most important thing to remember during this recession is that people and relationships need to be managed with care while it is upon us. Keep the lines of communication between you and your employees open so that you can be successful in stopping the spread of fear and encouraging teamwork. While you cannot control the economy, you can exercise some influence over workplace motivation.

(from morebusiness.com)

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Last week I received an email that talks about a job interview… Thought of sharing with u..so just read on…& nJoy..

Some, rather most organizations reject his CV today because he has changed jobs frequently (10 in 14 years). My friend, the “job hopper” (referred here as Mr. JH), does not mind it. well he does not need to mind it at all. Having worked full-time with 10 employer companies in just 14 years gives Mr. JH the relaxing edge that most of the “company loyal” employees are struggling for today. Today, Mr. JH too is laid off like some other 14-15 year experienced guys  the difference being the latter have just worked in 2-3 organizations in the same number of years. Here are the excerpts of an interview with Mr. JH:


Q: Why have you changed 10 jobs in 14 years?

A: To get financially sound and stable before getting laid off the second time.

Q: So you knew you would be laid off in the year 2009?

A: Well I was laid off first in the year 2002 due to the first global economic slowdown. I had not got a full-time job before January 2003 when the economy started looking up; so I had struggled for almost a year without job and with compromises.

Q: Which number of job was that?
A: That was my third job.

Q: So from Jan 2003 to Jan 2009, in 6 years, you have changed 8 jobs to make the count as 10 jobs in 14 years?

A: I had no other option. In my first 8 years of professional life, I had worked only for 2 organizations thinking that jobs are deserved after lot of hard work and one should stay with an employer company to justify the saying employer loyalty. But I was an idiot.

Q: Why do you say so?

A: My salary in the first 8 years went up only marginally. I could not save enough and also, I had thought that I had a permanent job, so I need not worry about, what will I do if I lose my job. I could never imagine losing a job because of economic slowdown and not because of my performance. That was January 2002.

Q: Can you brief on what happened between January 2003 and 2009.

A: Well, I had learnt my lessons of being ‘company loyal and not money earning and saving loyal. But then you can save enough only when you earn enough. So I shifted my loyalty towards money making and saving – I changed 8 jobs in 6 years assuring all my interviewers about my stability.

Q: So you lied to your interviewers; you had already planned to change the job for which you were being interviewed on a particular day?

A: Yes, you can change jobs only when the market is up and companies are hiring. You tell me  can I get a job now because of the slowdown? No. So one should change jobs for higher salaries only when the market is up because that is the only time when companies hire and can afford the expected salaries.

Q: What have you gained by doing such things?

A: That’s the question I was waiting for. In Jan 2003, I had a fixed salary (without variables) of say Rs. X p.a. In January 2009, my salary was 8X. So assuming my salary was Rs.3 lakh p.a. in Jan 2003, my last drawn salary in Jan 2009 was Rs.24 lakh p.a. (without variable). I never bothered about variable as I had no intention to stay for 1 year and go through the appraisal process to wait for the company to give me a hike.

Q: So you decided on your own hike?

A: Yes, in 2003, I could see the slowdown coming again in future like it had happened in 2001-02. Though I was not sure by when the next slowdown would come, I was pretty sure I wanted a “debt-free” life before being laid off again. So I planned my hike targets on a yearly basis without waiting for the year to complete.

Q: So are you debt-free now?

A: Yes, I earned so much by virtue of job changes for money and spent so little that today I have a loan free 2 BR flat (1200 sq.. feet) plus a loan free big car without bothering about any EMIs. I am laid off too but I do not complain at all. If I have laid off companies for money, it is OK if a company lays me off because of lack of money.

Q: Who is complaining?

A: All those guys who are not getting a job to pay their EMIs off are complaining. They had made fun of me saying I am a job hopper and do not have any company loyalty. Now I ask them what they gained by their company loyalty; they too are laid off like me and pass comments to me why will you bother about us, you are already debt-free. They were still in the bracket of 12-14 lakh p.a. when they were laid off.

Q: What is your advice to professionals?

A: Like Narayan Murthy had said  love your job and not your company because you never know when your company will stop loving you. In the same lines, love yourself and your family needs more than the company’s needs. Companies can keep coming and going; family will always remain the same. Make money for yourself first and simultaneously make money for the company, not the other way around.

Q: What is your biggest pain point with companies?

A: When a company does well, its CEO will address the entire company saying, well done guys, it is YOUR company, keep up the hard work, I am with you.  But when the slowdown happens and the company does not do so well, the same CEO will say, It is MY company and to save the company, I have to take tough decisions including asking people to go.

So think about your financial stability first; when you get laid off, your kids will complain to you and not your boss.

Travel Queries-Hilarious

The answers to travel queries in India are the actual responses by the website officials who obviously have an excellent sense of humour!

Q:      Does it ever get windy in India? I have never seen it  rain on
TV, how do the plants grow? (UK).
A:      We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around
watching them die.

Q:      Will I be able to see elephants in the street? (USA)
A:      Depends how much you’ve been drinking.

Q:      I want to walk from Delhi to Goa- can I follow the railroad
tracks? (Sweden)
A:      Sure, it’s only three thousand kms, take lots of water.

Q:       Is it safe to run around in the bushes in India?   (Sweden)
A:      So it’s true what they say about Swedes.

Q:       Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in India? Can you send me
a list of them in Delhi, Chennai, Calcutta and Bangalore? (UK)
A:      What did your last slave die of?

Q:       Can you give me some information about hippo racing in India?
(USA)
A:      A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe.
In-di-a is that big triangle in  the middle of the Pacific & Indian
Ocean  which does not.. oh forget it. ……. Sure, the hippo racing is
every Tuesday night in Goa.  Come naked.

Q:       Which direction is North in India? (USA)
A:      Face south and then turn 180 degrees.. Contact us when you get
here and we’ll send the rest of the directions..

Q:       Can I bring cutlery into India? (  UK)
A:      Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q:       Can you send me the Indiana Pacers matches schedule? (France)
A:       Indiana is a state in the Unites States of…oh forget it.
Sure, the Indiana Pacers matches are played every Tuesday  night in
Goa, straight after the hippo races.  Come naked.

Q:      Can I wear high heels in India? ( UK )
A:      You’re a British politician, right?

Q:     Are there supermarkets in Bangalore, and is milk available all
year round? (Germany)
A:      No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/ gatherers.
Milk is illegal.

Q:    Please send a list of all doctors in India who can dispense
rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A:      Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from.
All Indian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and
make  good pets.

Q:       Do you have perfume in India? ( France)
A:      No, WE don’t stink.

Q:       I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth.
Can you tell me where I can sell it in India?  (USA)
A:      Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q:       Do you celebrate Christmas in India? (France)
A:      Only at Christmas.

Q:       Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A:      Yes, but you’ll have to learn it first

Q:       Can I see Taj Mahal anytime? (Italy)
A:      As long as you are not blind, you can see it anytime.

Q:       Do you have Toilet paper? (USA)
A:      No, we use sand paper. (we have different grades)

A serious security flaw is found in Internet Explorer 7.0 and Everybody is advised by experts not to use Internet Explorer for any confidential banking transactions until the new patch is released.

The new patch would be released at the earliest and experts adviced everybody to use the browser from their rivals until the patch is released.

The flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer could allow criminals to take control of people’s computers and steal their passwords, internet experts say.

Microsoft urged people to be vigilant while it investigated and prepared an emergency patch to resolve it.

MICROSOFT SECURITY ADVICE
Change IE security settings to high (Look under Tools/Internet Options)
Switch to a Windows user account with limited rights to change a PC’s settings
With IE7 or 8 on Vista turn on Protected Mode
Ensure your PC is updated
Keep anti-virus and anti-spyware software up to date

Source:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7784908.stm

Much has been written about the secrets of good management and few will argue that the best managers are inspired, visionary, dedicated, industrious, energetic, energizing and display integrity, leadership, common sense and courage. So where is it that managers commonly fail or falter and lose their precious foothold on the corporation’s top rungs? The following, from the career experts at bayt.com, are ten of the most basic management traps and tips to avoid them:

Weak managers set weak goals

As a manager your role is to get specific jobs completed by employees in the most optimal, efficient and innovative manner and in order to do that, you need to set clear objectives. Successful managers set SMART goals – goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based. They are able to communicate these goals clearly, simply and concisely to their employees so that none are vague or uncertain about expectations. By all means reach for the stars in your objectives but to do so without supplying employees with the training, resources, flexibility and freedom they need to accomplish their goals and a schedule of regular supervision and feedback is to set them (and yourself) up for failure.

Weak managers micro-manage – effective leaders inspire

The days of command and control organizations are long over – today’s managers recognize that in order to leverage their skills and maximize their team’s output they need to adopt a flexible approach and ‘lead’ their teams to excellence rather than closely supervise, instruct and control them. The best leaders communicate to their employees a vision and ignite in them the fire, motivation and desire to work towards making this vision a reality. Good leaders unleash their employees to innovate and achieve optimal solutions by communicating top-level goals and objectives and a suggested blueprint for success then leaving the employees to determine how to get there most optimally while ensuring they have the aptitudes, training, resources and work environment necessary to achieve superior results. While a program of regular feedback and supervision is essential, managers should ensure that their management style is not repressive, meddling or overly overbearing. The golden rule is to communicate the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of the work that needs to be done and leave the employees to determine the ‘how’ without burdening them with strict instruction manuals or prescribed rules and patterns that are largely redundant and inconducive to speed, creativity, progress and innovation.

Weak managers are afraid of hiring/cultivating strong leaders

Strong leaders/managers have the self-confidence to hire the best people, take them to new levels and cultivate in them all the qualities needed to make them in turn effective leaders of the future. Weak leaders replicate themselves in their hiring decisions and hire mediocre players, mistakenly believing that an employee with more skills, acumen or industry knowledge than themselves will ultimately undermine them or make them look bad. The best managers are characterized by an ability to stimulate their employees to superior performance and through coaching, training, feedback as well as by example, inspire in them all the qualities needed to make effective managers. A good manager helps employees achieve their full potential and constantly raises the bar so that employees never stop learning, innovating and growing. Coaching, training, career planning and programs for ongoing growth and development of key staff are high on the priority lists of the best managers.

Weak managers belittle their employees

Bosses who favour the archaic ‘tough’ management style where employees are singled out for public reprimand and negative feedback is plentiful while recognition and positive reinforcement are scarce will fail to win the loyalty, respect and commitment of their teams over the long run. Without an inspired, fired up, self-confident employee base these managers set themselves and their teams up for failure. Effective leaders by contrast, respect their employees and give them regular feedback with intelligent constructive criticism and loudly laud special accomplishments in both public and private, while communicating any negative feedback ONLY in private and focusing such criticism strictly on the job performance, not the person’s character. Strong leaders recognize and reward a job well done. These leaders inspire their teams to perform at their best and are able to elicit from them a high degree of loyalty and a ‘hunger’ to raise the bar and continuously excel. In such organisations, employees are not afraid to challenge their boss’s ideas or upset the status quo in the interest of innovation and excellence and are encouraged to take risks to elevate the business to a new level. The autocrats and bureaucrats on the other hand sap their employees’ self-confidence, drive and energy with their overbearing management style and fail to induce in them any motivation to raise the bar or excel.

Weak managers have obsolete skills-strong leaders constantly reinvent themselves

In today’s knowledge-driven economies and highly competitive environment, skills, training and education rapidly become obsolete and effective managers know that they must constantly re-educate themselves and update their skills to maintain an edge. While over-confident managers with an inertia to further education fall by the wayside, good managers regularly take an honest inventory of their skills and abilities and upgrade their technical knowledge and soft skills wherever appropriate. They encourage their teams to do likewise with sound career planning and performance appraisal programs and an emphasis on training and self-education.

Weak managers have poor communication skills

Good communication includes cultivating and maintaining open channels of communication with the team and others in the organisation, giving constructive, intelligent feedback, eliciting ideas through brainstorming sessions or otherwise, articulating the company vision and mission in no uncertain terms, setting clear objectives and listening attentively with an open-mind to employees grievances, suggestions and any other issues. Effective leaders have an open-door policy that welcomes input, suggestions and feedback from employees and recognize that good ideas and the next best idea/process/innovation can come from anywhere. Strong leaders listen; weak leaders talk. Strong leaders pay attention to their employees and encourage them to express professional opinions and ask for more responsibility; weak leaders think they are above such open-door policies. Employees who are not listened to and are not made to feel important or respected as professionals or individuals are unlikely to innovate or express any exciting new ideas that can move a company forward.

Weak managers blame

Everybody makes mistakes and strong leaders protect their good people from taking the fall when they err. Good bosses recognize that the occasional slip-ups are inevitable and can be learning opportunities and are ready to take personal responsibility when the team makes a misstep. A good boss realizes that his most promising employees want to succeed, will grow as a result of their mistakes and are unlikely to repeat the same mistakes. They do no set their people up as a negative example for the rest of the organization nor point fingers when the going gets tough. Good bosses are personably accountable for their actions as well as the actions of their subordinates and do not allow a culture of blame to permeate the organisation.

Weak managers take full credit for their team’s accomplishments

While weak leaders usurp all the credit for a job well done by their teams, the strongest leaders will give the full credit to the team as a whole or the team member responsible for the project. Strong leaders motivate, energize and inspire by giving credit where credit is due and being generous with reward and recognition wherever appropriate. Strong leaders publicly thank their employees for a job well done and recognize that a motivated, successful, energized team will reflect directly on the boss.

Weak managers thrive on bureaucracy

Weak leaders are fond of, augment and live well with the layers and bureaucratic shackles that tie an organisation down; strong leaders remove them. Today’s effective leaders recognize that in order to compete they must operate like a small company with a high level of speed, responsiveness and flexibility. They realize that to maintain their edge in today’s marketplace their organization needs to be responsive to changing market conditions and remove the shackles, boundaries, layers, clutter and obsolete policies, procedures and routines that get in the way of the freedom and free flow of people, resources and ideas.

Weak managers are divorced from their teams

Effective managers genuinely care about their employees and take the time to get to know them and to understand their strengths, weaknesses, what makes them tick and their goals and ambitions. They also take the time to learn something about their personal life. While weak managers will maintain an outdated aloofness and a formal distance from their teams, exceptional managers are able to bring out the best in every employee and win their loyalty and respect by understanding their unique needs, motivations and abilities and showing the team that they are important and personally significant. Strong managers are team players and through their constant involvement with their teams communicate to them that they are there for them and supportive of them. Effective managers by building a supportive work environment, build a camaraderie and team spirit that enthuses and excites the team to new levels of performance.

Here are 10 tips by Neen James on how to make 2009 a fulfilling year.

1. Set realistic goals
Many people make new year resolutions but do not fulfil them. Make this year different. Write down your goals and be committed to achieving them. Ensure your goals are realistic. List your goals and stick it on your fridge where you can see them every day.

2. Focus on your health
This can be your greatest asset or your greatest liability. Make an appointment for a check-up with your doctor, implement an exercise programme if you don’t have one, take vitamins if you need to and resolve to kick unhealthy habits like smoking.

3. Invest in your development
I recently read that people who spend a thousand dollars or more on their personal development will increase their business by 20 per cent. Read books, attend workshops, find a new network, listen to tapes or CDs in your car, take up online courses or enrol at a university or learning centre. Keep your brain active.

4. Know your priorities
After you have set your goals, you can begin to focus on what is important to you — family, self development, profitability, building your profile, health, gaining new clients or more relaxation time.

Prioritising will help you focus on how you spend your time.

5. Eliminate time robbers
Make a list of the things that rob you of your time. For example, are you watching too much TV, running unproductive errands, checking your e-mail too often or having long phone calls? Can you use long waiting times more effectively?

Focus on controlling your time and get rid of the things in your life that are not a high priority.

6. Surround yourself with VIPs
Find very inspiring people (VIP) whom you can learn from, bounce ideas with and spend time with. Minimise your time with the very draining people (VDP) in your life. You will feel more positive when you are surrounded by VIPs.

7. Plan your next holiday
Allocate a specific time in your calendar for your next holiday so you have something to look forward to.

8. Make time for those you care for
Balancing work and home life is a challenge for most people. Be focused on those you love and do not forget to remind them how much they mean to you. Promise yourself you will not take anyone for granted this year. For instance, each day you can tell one person that he or she is special.

9. Create an “attitude” to-do list
Instead of making “to-do” lists for work, consider creating an “attitude” to-do list you can use every day.

My list includes the following:

* Send a thank-you note,

* Sit in the sun for 15 minutes,

* Find something funny,

* Get some exercise, and

* Choose to be positive.

So, what will your list say?

10. Choose to be amazing
Make a commitment to yourself each morning that you will have an amazing day. This might include trying some of these tips like reading your “attitude” to-do list, focusing on your health, eliminating time robbers or finding more VIPs in your life. Remember life is not a dress rehearsal — you only get one performance, so give it your best.