The Art of Work Delegation

The Art of Work Delegation

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It is a leader’s primary responsibility to focus on the success of their people. You retain your top talent by keeping employees engaged, empowered and letting them develop their skills to become leaders.

A major problem for many growing businesses is the owner’s inability to delegate responsibility to employees. This will hinder the growth of the business.

Delegation is a critical skill all leaders must master to be successful. Not only will delegation give you more brain space and time to devote doing what you do best — visionary thought — but you will also empower your team. Being self-aware enough to recognize this is step one.

Here is a guide that will help you to delegate tasks to your employees:

Look objectively at the workload

Analyse the tasks that are to be completed in the following two weeks. Check if you are putting off major plans and operations to focus on the daily workload. Now, consider the tasks that could be delegated so that you can focus on the higher value activities.

Determine where your contribution is needed

Successful entrepreneurs know where their strength lies. If you are great at marketing then focus your attention on marketing and delegate other jobs to employees who are better at it than you.

By stepping back and letting others who are better equipped to manage certain areas take some of the load, you are making your life easier and improving your business’s performance.

Identify the best employees

Look for employees within your organization who are willing to take on more responsibility. When hiring, make sure to take the time to recruit people who have skills that balance your own. Create clear job descriptions, structured evaluation processes, and fair incentives. These will help you achieve your business’s goals.

Focus on employee growth

Lack of trust will only cause more troubles while delegating tasks. Trust your employee and resist the belief that only you can complete the job. Providing employees with training might be time consuming but it will prepare them to handle more complex tasks. Also a sense of making a contribution motivates people and increases their efficiency.

Share your business strategy

Being open to your employees about the business plan and strategy will provide your employees with a sense of direction. This shared vision will motivate them to perform better. It also encourages them to provide new and innovative ideas.

Develop a process

Make your business processes into a plan that is clear, detailed and teachable. This will prove to be highly beneficial when delegating tasks or teaching new recruits.

Focus on the end results

Do not judge people by their working style. Instead focus on the final results and see if they completed the tasks. Each person will have their own unique working style. What matters is the final result.

Through delegation might seem like a daunting and complicated process, it is an important part of a growing business. With proper communication and understanding any leader can easily master the art of work delegation.

Tips to Effectively Manage a Virtual Team

Tips to Effectively Manage a Virtual Team

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The rise of technology has helped businesses to create teams that cross physical boundaries. Virtual teams offer great flexibility and potential. But working in a globalized work space has its own unique set of challenges.

Given below are a few tips on how to effectively manage and guide a virtual team:

Encourage communication

Proper and adequate communication is necessary for the success of a team. Ensure that there is a free flow of information. Schedule regular meetings and discussions to clear doubts and define goals. Define a proper mode of communication that removes ambiguity and language and time barriers. Informal conversations and socialization can build trust among the team members.

Recruit the right people

Hire people who have the required communication skills and share similar interests. People who had previously worked on similar projects and undergone the same training activities are ideal candidates. Conduct proper interviews that help in identifying the candidate’s communication skills. The aim is to bring in diversity into the team while still ensuring that members can build trust.

Establish a goal

It is important to establish a common goal that is understood by all team members. These goals can be decided based on the broader business goals. Setting goals also helps in measuring the progress of the team. The entire team should have a meeting and work through a strategic planning process. Having a proper goal will make the team members’ more accountable.

Well defined tasks and roles

It is important that the team members understand their role within the team and the tasks that they are required to complete. Give the members a detailed description of the final goal. The best way to manage the productivity of the team is to set clear expectations for role and to conduct regular check-ins to measure the progress.

Choose the right tools

Choose the right software and tools that greatly benefit the team. Virtual teams depend of the latest technological devices for easier communication and management. When picking new software have a small trail period. Provide training to all the members on how to use the tool. Using multiple communication tools will ultimately benefit the team. The right project management tools help in tracking deadlines and provide an overview of the project.

Create a professional work space

Having a team that is spread globally makes it difficult in having a proper professional work environment. Nonetheless, try having a fixed time period daily where most of the team members are online to discuss problems. Being online at the same time encourages team collaboration.  All team members should be aware of the cultural differences within the team. Being aware of the cultural differences within the team will prevent future misunderstanding.

Virtual teams are the future of the modern world. The team leader must modify his methods to suit the needs of the team.

Emerging Sales Trends

Emerging Sales Trends

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Evolution and innovation are an inevitable part of any environment. This is true for any business settings. The components involved in a sales process are changing. These changes are changing dynamics between a customer and seller and even the way a company views its competition, product and service.  An ideal sales representative will understand and monitor these changes and develop an appropriate sales strategy. 

Given below are the major changes in the sales environment: 

1. Unlimited access to information 

Before the advent of internet, only the sales representatives had information regarding their products. They kept the data sheets, reference information and price list. Now, the unrivalled power of the Web has quickly turned the table for the consumers. Buyers can easily get the required information online not only from the seller but from other buyers and third parties. The power of negotiation has shifted and consumers are armed with the needed information even before they meet the sales representative.  

2. Influence of  Social Media 

Many businessmen quickly dismiss social media as a medium of entertainment. This is a far cry from reality. It is a tool for communication, information and collaboration. It can also be easily assimilated into the sales process.  Online platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and various blogs are used for marketing purposes. It serves as a link between the company and the consumer. Many consumers often review the products and rate them which can ultimately affect your customer base. 

3. Influence of  Technology 

Technology has not only improved the socializing platforms but has even affected business. There are various tools and applications available to a sales representative to improve the sales process. Cloud Computing, Internet, CRM applications and other mobile applications has shortened the sales cycle, improved connection with customers and simplified data storage and accessibility. Technology is touching every facet of the sales process and making the process more competent and operative than ever before.  

4. Different decision makers 

Another trend noticed in the present era is the way how buyers make their decisions. It has been long believed that an “economic decision maker”, that is, a single individual holds the ultimate responsibility for the decision to buy.  But in the current age there are various committees where multiple layers of approval are needed to finally close the deal. This has significantly increased the average length of sales cycle in the last decade. An efficient sales representative will take this process into consideration and build a strategy is has the support of all the major stakeholders. 

5. Current Lifestyle 

Technology has made man’s life fast and busy. Therefore, a simple solution or regular means of communication will not grab the attention of the customer. Sales representatives must be creative and hardworking to survive in a fast environment. There is also a shift from personal relationships to a more objective and formal relationship between the buyer and seller. Consecutively, sales process has become more complex.  

As said by William Pollard, “Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement.” To remain constant in an ever-changing world will put an end to the development of your business. Age old methods and tools are no longer efficient is a technologically driven world.  

Conquer Your Inbox

Conquer Your Inbox

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One of the most convenient ways to reach someone at the office is not walking over to their cubicle, rather it’s shooting them a quick email. Not only does this keep a written record of everything, it also allows you to go back and reference what was discussed. But with such a high volume of emails constantly bombarding one’s inbox it can be hard to keep track of what’s important and still needs to be dealt with and what’s been read. These are some simple tips that can help you “de-clutter” and conquer your inbox.

Set time-limits 

For starters as soon as an email has been read move it out of your main inbox to stop yourself from re-reading it again later. Next instead of stopping what’s currently being worked on at the ping of a new incoming email, turn off the notifications and instead allot a set time where you check your emails. This can be at the top of every hour or even every couple of hours depending on the necessity.  

Have a clear-out Plan 

Having inboxes that are overflowing with emails wastes an average of 27 minutes per day according to research. There must be a clear plan to clear out or move read emails out of the inbox in order to avoid building backlog. Archiving or deleting emails after reading them would be the best option. 

Use the Search option 

Finding messages that we’ve already read is a big part of the work of email processing. Search is one fix. Some people create multiple folders to categorize emails to deal with this problem. But research finds this to be 9% slower than the simple Search feature. Search option is argued to be the easiest option to overcome this problem. 

Simplify  

Also, remember your email isn’t a library, it doesn’t need multiple categories to be sorted into. Rather have just two folders, one with emails that need to be responded to, and the other for emails being kept as a record but don’t need a response.  

Set filters 

Reading and processing irrelevant emails costs us 8 minutes per day. So it is important to cut the spam. Have an automated filter to soft out newsletters and flyers that are not read. Make sure to unsubscribe from lists and stores that you don’t actively seek out information from. By cutting the clutter you’re already halfway there to conquering the clutter. 
 
By following the simple tips provided you can take charge and conquer your inbox! 

Humour is Serious Business

Humour is Serious Business

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Humour in the workplace

Statistically, people have a great sense of humour when they are not busy working. One survey revealed that individuals laugh considerably more during the weekends than weekdays. Additionally, once people grow older, they do not smile and laugh as habitually as they did before. Once people enter a work environment, they are less probable to laugh and find things less funny. Alternatively, humour is essential for stress relief, an increase in retention rates, and coming up with advanced solutions.

Supporting Research 

There was a study taken place in 2015 where participants watched a funny or neutral video before meeting with a stranger to see how open they would be with one another. The participants that watched the funny video shared 30% more information about themselves than the participants that viewed the neutral video. A study in 2007 came to the conclusion that couples that talked about memories when they laughed together were more happy and successful in their relationships than couples that shared positive memories that were not funny. 

Workplace humour 

In order to build humour skills, self-deprecate. Self-deprecation humanizes bosses and generates socialization with employees. It builds confidence and encourages workers to be funny. However, if your position in the workplace is of higher status or fairly new, it is best to dodge jokes that are aggressive. Use your own discretion when making jokes. 

It is common for employees with lower status in the work environment to laugh at jokes out of politeness rather than sincerely laughing. When you recognize the difference between the laughs and realize which type of laugh you receive from your jokes, you’ll know if you are funny or not. Do not worry if you are not funny. You just have to find out who in your workplace is the funny and boost them to make others laugh. 

Bridges and Ladders 

Humour can have a positive impact in a workplace through bridges and ladders. Bridges are methods to build friendly relationships, grow dependence and trust, and support cultures. Humour is an effective way to build bridges since laughter releases oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that simplifies socialization, trustworthiness, and openness.  

Ladders are techniques to utilize humour to increase status or decrease another person’s status. If you are successfully able to tell a joke in a professional situation, your co-workers are more probable to deem you as knowledgeable and more of a higher status. To effectively be funny, the jokes have to be natural and not forced. The joke has to catch them by surprise, and it cannot be obvious.  

Humour is an excellent way to be persuasive, increase people’s abilities to remember information, and make a person more likeable.