The Manager's View provides solutions and advice based on management and marketing principles that are used by GWR Research (www.gwrresearch.com). Many of the posts are related to or are taken from the author's books "The Manager's Guide to Building a Successful Business" and "Developing Successful Marketing Strategies". More information on the books is available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com or Businessexpertpress.com
Five Steps for Developing a Strong Workforce
Five Steps for Developing a Strong Workforce
Having a capable workforce is critical to building a
successful organization. Here are five steps that can improve the workforce
Assembling the “right” group of individuals for your workforce is important.
You can test for competency but being part of a team means that individuals
must have personalities that can work together. Assuredly this means that some
subjectivity will enter into the screening process. It may also mean that wrong
choices will be made and will need correction. The subjectivity and chance for
errors can be reduced with the introduction of 10 tips from About.com Human
responsibilities – even with the “right” personnel, the workforce can be
dysfunctional if each member’s responsibilities are not clearly defined. It is
management’s responsibility to understand how each job contributes to the
organization’s success and to clearly articulate the requirements of each job.
Defining job success
– After each member of the workforce understands the requirements of his/her
job it is important that he/she understands what success looks like. This can
be presented in terms of meeting specific deadlines, producing specific results
in production or sales or levels of customer satisfaction. It is important for
individual members of the organization to understand how success in their job
relates to the overall success of the organization.
Establishing metrics –
Favoritism andimproperly set work
rules can destroy the morale and ultimately the effectiveness of a good
workforce. Setting specific metrics for job performance lets individuals know
how their performance will be graded. If developed properly it will eliminate
favoritism and improper work rules. The University of California suggests using the following
SMART test to determine the quality of performance metrics.
S = Specific: clear and focused to avoid
misinterpretation. Should include measurement assumptions and definitions and
be easily interpreted.
M = Measurable: can be quantified and
compared to other data. It should allow for meaningful statistical analysis.
Avoid "yes/no" measures except in limited cases, such as start-up or
A = Attainable: achievable, reasonable, and
credible under conditions expected.
R = Realistic:
fits into the organization's constraints and is cost-effective.
T = Timely:
doable within the time frame given.
participation in job design – Most individuals spend the majority of their
time in the workplace. For the highest level of productivity, members of a
workforce should feel that they are part of the organization and can have real
input into how jobs are designed. The workplace can be a site for individual
growth and learning as well as a place to produce goods and services. If
individuals understand what is needed for the organization to succeed, participation
in job design can lead to higher productivity for the organization and higher
morale with lower turnover for the workforce.
My firm, GWR Research, uses and recommends the above process
along with standard of performance system job design and metrics. In every case
we have used this approach productivity has increased significantly (up to 100
percent) with high morale and low turn over in the workforce.
When introducing a new product or service to the market a key, and often critical, consideration is the price for this offering. I have seen folks simply take the cost of production and use a percent mark up as a pricing model. This is the simplest model and it provides a good example for the need to consider other pricing model options. Here are 10 things to consider before setting a price for your product or service: · Mark up Based on Cost Vs Retail . In the opening paragraph I gave the example of a model being used that marked up a product by a percent over the cost. The cost used here is generally direct cost or labor and materials. If someone wants a 30% of the asking price to be the mark up, then using 30% of cost won’t provide the desired outcome. Simply put, it is the wrong math. If something costs $1 to make and it is marked up by 30% for a selling price of $1.30 then the profit of based on the asking price is 23.07%. To arrive at
Here is the third example of developing a marketing strategy project for a new product. This is a fictional company developed by a team of MBA students in my marketing strategy course at the University of Houston C.T. Bauer College of Business. Executive Summary Avenir is a forward thinking and progressive technology company seeking to positively impact the lives of our customers, collaborators, and shareholders through the creation of new technology. We were established in 2001 and are proud to employ 211 hardworking individuals at our Houston, TX headquarters. Avenir designs, markets and licenses the K-1 battery, a new kinetic powered battery that will enhance cellular telephone battery life. The K-1 battery will alleviate the need to constantly charge cellular phone batteries through electronic devices. Our new battery offers a significant leap forward in the world of portable electronic power to the cellular customer. Our collaborators will se
Here are some more thoughts on why newspapers may still be a wise investment and how they may find ways to develop a stable of print and digital products that complement each other. Virtually all newspapers have websites that look good and have great functionality. So why aren't they all producing acceptable amounts of profit? The question probably should be asked differently, "What do consumers and advertisers expect from newspapers?" Then ask, "What do they expect from the Internet?" The answers are different but there is overlap. The area of overlap is the area of opportunity for creating a business that is needed by consumers and advertisers and capable of creating value that translates into profits. To determine the real value of the website it is useful to measure the total advertiser dollars spent on a website only ad buy versus those being bundled with a newspaper or distribution ad buy. These stand-alone purchases might give so