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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Importance of big data ...

The importance of big data to any organization cannot be underestimated. It is a well known military principle that Intelligence leads while Operations drive. In other words without knowing the situation, all action is ineffective.

It is the same in business. Unless you know who is your customer is, what your customer wants, where your customer wants it, when your customer wants it and how your customer wants it, your business strategy is at best a guessing game.

This is where the use of big data can help businesses (both big and small) succeed. With inreasing automation, there is a tremendous amount of information available to the business owner. However without a system to collate, analyze and derive conclusions to drive business decisions, all that information remains as data which is essentially useless.

Business owners will be surprised to learn how seemingly innocuous information can increase revenue and profit margins. One simple example would be looking at cash register receipts to identify buying trends so that you can more effectively cross-sell products and solutions. Knowing buying patterns will also enable the business owner to more accurately predict demand and hence optimize inventory stocking levels to maximize cash flow.

The best part about business analytics is that it does not require expensive hardware or software. All it requires is the correct mindset and the humble excel spreadsheet. To learn how our trainers who helped a Singapore airline save millions in MRO costs email us to enquire about our next big data training workshop ... justin[a]cwfongandassociates.com

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Employee engagement ... building a committed workforce!

Is employee engagement a verb or a noun?


In today's highly competitive global business arena, the knowledge worker is often the strategic edge of most businesses. Attracting the best employee and retaining them is therefore critical for the success of any business. It is therefore not surprising that in recent years, the topic of employee engagement has increasingly becoming the top line item on a CEO's mind.

Unfortunately, many companies view employee engagement as a noun and not a verb. As a result of this, CEOs often task their HR Departments to organize the annual town halls, conduct organization climate surveys (OCS), introduce monthly birthday celebrations and even the ever popular Friday dress down days. What most of these companies will tell you is that their employee engagement has failed.
 

Why has employee engagement failed?

 
In these instances, employee engagement has failed not from a lack of trying, but because employee engagement is seen as an idea or an activity to be done. A common mistake that companies make is to define employee engagement as employee happiness. It is not! We particularly like Forbes' definition ...
"Employee engagement is an emergent property of the relationship between an organization and its employees. An "engaged employee" is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organization's reputation and interests."
From this definition, we can see that HR policies like birthday celebrations, dress down Friday's does not necessarily lead to employee engagement, and that town halls and OCS are not "engagement" activities but tools to help the employer understand how to engage the employee.
 
At SG Corporate Training, we believe that building a committed workforce comes from finding (and enlarging) the areas where the employee's personal and professional development is aligned with that of the company's. Often, but not always, continued personal and professional development training is an integral element of engendering engagement. This is where a holistic training roadmap is important as it reassures employees of their growth and development.
 
In short, employee engagement is not about what the company does for the employee, but how the employer helps the employee to help themselves. Taking perspective, not all employees can be engaged as there will be instances where the personal goals and aspirations of the employee cannot be met by the employer.
 
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For companies seeking better employee engagement (and retention) through training, SG Corporate Training provides a comprehensive series of personal and professional development courses which can be tailored to the needs of all Singapore small and medium enterprises.