Contents

Discover 10 major reasons why teams fail. Learn secrets for transforming your team and achieving success.

When Teams Don't Work: 10 Major Reasons

When Teams DonCopyright 2006 Colleen Kettenhofen"Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." Lou HoltzThere are a number of reasons why teams fail, and why there is a lack of productivity or accountability within various teams in the workplace. In conducting leadership and team building programs worldwide over the last ten years, I hear almost day in and day out the main reasons why teams aren't more productive. Team leaders often report to me, "There's no accountability." Or, "Our team members handle communication and conflict resolution differently, and don't always get along." Communication and effective interpersonal skills are essential tools for a team's survival. Often, a team simply needs a good "airing" of the issues during "team building" meetings. Here are 10 of the most common reasons I hear that keep teams from achieving maximum performance:1. Backstabbing. If you are the team leader and backstabbing is an issue, suggest that the team come up with a rule. Example: if there is any backstabbing among team members and they can't resolve it on their own, it goes before the "team leader" .2. Interrupting. This is a common challenge in meetings. Have the team come up with a rule such as, No one is allowed to speak until the other person finishes and you raise your hand. Remember, it starts with the team leader.3. Tangents. A team is going off on tangents in meetings. If you are the team leader, tactfully ask the rest of the group if they want to hear any more about the issue being discussed. If not, let that person know they can talk with you privately after the meeting. Remember tact and diplomacy.4. Whining. Have an unwritten rule that team members must come up with a solution whenever they complain. One team actually held up cue cards with a sad face whenever someone whined excessively. It added humor to the meetings but got the point across.5. Not sharing job knowledge, communication. This is so important it should be in every employee's job description. Sharing of job knowledge, skills and ideas is central to a team's success. No matter how many team building exercises you engage in, your team won't be productive without this simple rule.6. Tardiness. Is there an employee who is consistently late? What is the impact on the morale of the team? Have a personal standard in writing for what is considered late. This helps, too, with accountability.7. Too many breaks (or too long). Put the number of breaks allowed, along with time frame, in job descriptions. An alternative is to have the team come up with how many breaks a team member can have in one day. Include the number of minutes. Be specific.8. Disorganization of shared workspace. 2 common problems: 1) Shared workspace is so small it affects productivity. 2) If messy Oscar and clean Felix are sharing workspace, have them define the rules on what's considered neat and organized. Have them ask themselves, Is this problem affecting productivity? I love it when I go into a company's break room and above the sink it reads, Please clean up after yourself. Your mother doesn't work here!9. Excessive personal use of the internet or telephone. In my seminars around the world, I frequently hear complaints from people receiving too many joke emails. Another common challenge is someone in the office talking loudly while on a personal call. Have the team define the rules. While everyone likes to socialize, what is considered to be adversely affecting the performance of the team?10. Leaking confidential information. What is considered confidential? Be specific and put it in writing. Hold everyone accountable.Effective communication is the key to the success of any team. Gather your team together for a team building meeting. Have everyone list and discuss any potentially unacceptable team behaviors. Are there any issues or activities adversely affecting the team? What issues could impact the team in the future?Write everything down. Print it out and give everyone a copy. There will be more buy in because they were involved in the solutions. Hold everyone accountable. Without accountability there's no incentive to change behavior. And your team members want to see you as a team leader who takes action.Lastly, how are you performing as a role model? In thinking about how to be an effective team leader, remember your people are going to watch what you say, and more importantly, what you do."What we prepare for is what we shall get." William Graham Sumner

Why a Print or Apply Label Application may be Right for You

Why a Print or Apply Label Application may be Right for You

Over a decade ago, the fist print/apply label applicators were introduced. These products were designed to handle both the printing and application of pressure sensitive labels at the same time. Touted as an all in one solution, the print/apply machines entered the marketplace slowly.Today, print/apply label applicator solutions are becoming more commonplace. Improvements in technology and efficiency have spurred increased use of these applicators. Is a print/apply label applicator right for you?The answer to that question will be based on a few considerations. First, print/apply technology is perfect for those who will be using the same conveyor to process a number of different products in smaller lots. New print/apply technology allows the label applicator to see the object and to then make a determination of which label to apply. This means one can avoid having to reload their applicator each time a different product is processed. It also eliminates the need to maintain several different label types, as one basic label can be printed in a number of different ways, as necessary.If that kind of flexibility sounds attractive, you may also want to consider some of the other benefits of print/apply applicators. They can help to decrease overall labor costs, as they combine what have traditionally been two different aspects of processing into one step. If you are currently using a traditional label applicator, you may be less than thrilled with its accuracy in label placement. New print/apply equipment, outfitted with smart technology boasts very accurate placement and can consistently apply labels to designated areas--even on irregularly-shaped items.Retooling the labeling system on your line may seem like an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. However, many print/apply users believe the machines compensate for the initial cost and inconveniences quickly via improved quality and efficiency.

The Key Ingredient in Client Satisfaction: Underpromise and Overdeliver

The Key Ingredient in Client Satisfaction:  Underpromise and Overdeliver

Copyright 2006 Donna GunterLike anyone else who operates a small service business, your word is your bond with your clients. A client might tolerate a broken promise here and there for a very good reason, but if the broken promises continue, the client's trust in you will be lost, and in very short order you will lose the client. Granted, things happen to you as a small business owner that are out of your locus of control--a family member becomes ill, you lose electrical power (I know about this one only too well!), or your computer crashes. So, on occasion, there will be times when you won't be able to honor your word and you'll have no control over that.For all the other times, I employ a practice I learned about from the late Thomas Leonard, founder of Coach University and Coachville. It's the principle of underpromise and overdeliver. As a small service business owner, it can be challenging to juggle the needs and requests of 10, 20, 30 or more clients simultaneously. My experience has been that typically when the needs of one client slow down, the needs of another increase, and somehow it all manages to balance itself out in the end. On a rare occasion, though, it hits all at once, and that's when the beauty of this principle is demonstrated.When in conversation with a client, instead of projecting the quickest time I might complete a consulting project, I give them a conservative estimate, taking into account the worst-case scenario. Many clients will push you for an earlier completion date; after all, they're excited about the project and want to see results. Don't let them detract you from your underpromise and overdeliver strategy. Almost always I deliver on what I have promised earlier than the time projection I made to the client. When that happens, I emerge smelling like a rose....my client thinks I have accomplished a great feat and have completed her consulting job early! When I'm not able to finish something earlier than projected and instead complete it by the date I initially gave my client, the client still loves me. Why? Because I've continued to honor my word and done what I said I would do in the time I said I would do it.This is an incredibly powerful principle to use because it's tough for either you or your client to lose under these conditions. What you're creating for yourself is some wiggle room just in case things don't go according to plan for one reason or another. In most of my conversations with clients, I'm fairly certain that I'll finish before I say I will, but I don't want to paint myself in a corner---just in case.. If something happens, like the "worst-case-scenario", I'm still able to deliver at the time actually promised to the client because I've built in some extra time for myself.In the process, if you're really good and always deliver ahead of schedule, your clients might wise up to your strategy and ask if you can finish something sooner because "you always do". Don't let them box you in--still give a conservative estimate and continue your practice of "underpromising and overdelivering". You'll find it the quickest way of become a hero in the eyes of your clients.

Merchant Accounts 101: Understanding Their Role In Your Ebiz

Merchant Accounts 101: Understanding Their Role In Your Ebiz

What a Merchant Account IsA merchant account is one piece of your whole payment solution. In its simplest terms, its a bank account that allows your eBiz to accept online credit cards and e-checks. At a specific time each day, your merchant account bank receives that days completed transactions. They hold the money for several days or more to make sure all parties involved are satisfied. During this time, they also perform additional security checks. If no issues arise, the bank then wires the money into your business checking account.What a Merchant Account IsntPeople often confuse merchant accounts with other elements involved in payment solutions. But each element is a separate function of a larger service. A merchant account is not a shopping cart. Shopping cart technology is software that simulates a physical shopping cart in that it allows users to place items in it until theyre ready to check out and then totals their purchases for them. A merchant account is not authorization software. Authorization software is the equivalent of a digital credit terminal. It runs address verification, sends the buyers information through fraud detection filters, and ensures the card has enough credit available for the purchase. Authorization software makes instant approval possible.When youre looking at solution providers, be sure that all three elementsyour merchant account, shopping cart, and authorization softwareare compatible with one another. They all have to be integrated in order for you to have that seamless payment solution youre looking for.Is It Hard to Get Approved for a Merchant Account?Every institution has different policies and requirements for getting approved. Some want your corporation papers, your Tax ID, and your business banking account information at the time you apply. Others are more lenient, even to the point of pre-approving your account and allowing you to activate it when you have everything ready.Getting approved can be especially challenging if you have poor credit history. But some institutions will allow you to have a co-signer. Michael Mack says his company, http://TruthInProcessing.com, was set up to help the new business owner: Weve structured our business in that fashionLess than one-half of 1% of all our [merchant account] applicants, since the inception of our company, have been turned down.Dont Lose that Sale!Why You Need a Merchant AccountShoppers are likely to move on if you dont offer their preferred payment option. Thats why, even if you have a PayPal account, you still need the flexibility a merchant account gives your buyers. Youll lose the majority of your customers who arent PayPal members if you dont make that option available to them. Most people wont take the time to muddle through PayPals alternate solutions. Says Mack, If it takes 5 minutes to find the product and buy [it], but 15 minutes to pay, theyre going to go somewhere else.

Business industrial cleaning and hygiene machines

The focus of hygiene and cleanliness of the workplace has always been an important and fundamental to guarantee employees a workplace healthy and valuable incentives at work in the best possible conditions.Industrial hygiene and cleanliness are fundamental in order to guarantee high quality production. In fact, they provide workers with a better environment thus enhancing productivity and wellness. Particularly, the Italian product is very much appreciated in USA and Spain where exports and companies investments in industrial sweepers and mechanical vacuum cleaner are at their highest pick.Just thanks to exports and focused investments on web marketing, these firms are widening their horizons and setting new markets that finally contribute to the growth of both, production and industrial sector. In the production of machinery for industrial cleaning, such as cleaning machines, motor sweepers, steam generators, Italy holds a decisive role and there are solid companies that for decades working in this field that arise as a reference point for overseas.The experience gained by italian companies and the continued development and study in the field led to export in central and north Europe as well as in South America and North America. In these states currently focus investment promotional character of the largest producers, especially industrial floor scrubbers machines. Our companies are always looking for new techniques and equipment for cleaning and hygiene company, seeking new developments in the field from simple detergents and disinfectants down to the most complex machines for cleaning.Thanks to the decennial experience in the industrial-cleaning sector of its firms, Italy is one of the leading countries with the highest number of machines, produced and distributed within its borders and abroad.A workplace clean and healthy is a guarantee of prosperity and is the basis for a good production and future development, incentive to work and security to those who live every day. For this hot air thermoelectric generators and dessicant dryers, sweepers, vacuum cleaners, floor scrubbers and water jet equipment are essential to achieve a high degree of cleanliness in the large and local business environments where the transition and the concentration of people makes daily hygiene common first need. Modern street sweepers are equipped with water tanks and sprayers used to loosen particles and reduce dust. The brooms gather debris into a main collection area from which it is vacuumed and pumped into a collection bin.Companies involved in the cleaning business bring into the market products and instruments that cover every need and problem of cleaning and enviroming disinfection. They are wet and dry vacuum cleaners and scrubber for the floors as well as equipment for cleaning effective vertical surfaces such as windows, walls and panels.The Italian companies as well as available for sale machinery are well on the market even with the rental service of themselves and not for minor importance with accurate support services. New technologies have resulted in the production of tools that take more account of who is going to use the machine and then we come to produce equipment built with materials such as aluminium alloys and thermoplastics that allow you to have robust equipment and at the same time by short weight. A regenerative air street sweeper uses forced air to create a swirling knifing effect inside a contained sweeping head and then uses the negative pressure on the suction side to place the road debris inside a containment hopper.In addition there is always an eye regard to safety, so there are systems that allow dual secure the machinery starting only if the operational phase of use and with full control of the half. High quality and safety, equipment maximum functionality for each application hygiene going to support each separate what our clients in the choice of systems and equipment that are appropriate to each transaction cleaning necessary. All this in response to a request for ease of use, versatility and security united to effectiveness in obtaining company hygiene, with particular attention to the long duration and quality / price ratio.On this regard, you can easily look for its products on the Website, specifically developed to market "industrial cleaning" machines.

Small Business Opportunity

There are many small business opportunities right under your nose. But you have to look at the world around you with fresh eyes and listen with newly tuned ears. New local ordinances may help you come up with an unheard of business. Where others see trouble, look for opportunity to start a new service or to make an innovation in an old business model. A small business opportunity may be waiting in the talent of your hands. Do you garden, fix your car, or do bead work? Whatever you know how to do there's a market for it, especially if you add a new twist to your idea. You can sell those plants at auction sites like a friend of mine. How about starting an emergency car repair service and bring your shop with you. Expand that bead work talent into making and selling art jewelry. There are sites where you can sell your jewelry art. As a small business entrepreneur the world is yours. The green industry is wide open. Do they have recycling where you live? If not, consider starting a recycling business. Or if there is a private one already, then start a pickup and delivery service for people's recyclables. Are you inventive? Your invention could make a mint. A friend of mine has invented new tools for her craft and sells them online. To help yourself with finding the "small business opportunity" that's right for you think about these personality traits and see which is like you. Are you concerned with improving the things around you? Maybe you can modify some type of business to make it better. Do you like to give advice? Perhaps you can teach people to do something and sell your e-book. It could be a small business advice book. Do you have a dynamic personality? Then as a small business entrepreneur, you're business will be branded by your charisma. Are you creative? Your small business opportunities are available on the internet at sites where you can sell, photography, music, screen savers, and your writing skills. Many colleges offer a "small business advice" service so be sure to check out what is offered locally. These are usually free of charge. The internet offers a variety of advice that may help you. These cover areas like startup plans and marketing, forums, proposal writing, branding, various ways to use the internet to advertise and grow your business. The Small Business Administration is chock full of help for the small business entrepreneur including a plan tutorial and outline, financial assistance, local resources, and a lot more. There are many ways on the internet to promote your small business online. You can post ads, talk in forums, join social marketing sites, use traffic exchanges, and banner exchanges, add your signature to all of your emails and so forth. Linking is a good way to get traffic to your site whether you're promoting your internet business or using a site to promote your brick and mortar business. This small business advice should get you rolling and building your entrepreneurial future.

Summary

Discover 10 major reasons why teams fail. Learn secrets for transforming your team and achieving success.