Motivating Employees - Some Tips of the Trade

A successful small business manager, by the very nature of the job, needs to have a broad and diverse skill-set. She needs to be smart, creative, and hard-working. She must have the ability to spearhead a marketing campaign, manage a budget, and practice great in-house behaviors with employees. But even among all these skills, there is one crucial talent that rarely fails to stand out: the ability to motivate one’s employees.

There’s no question that a motivated worker is likely to be a more driven and productive one. A workforce that is motivated, moreover, will tend to be happier, more cohesive, and less inclined to seek work elsewhere. Rather than searching out a different job, a motivated employee is more willing to be content with the work that he has. This translates into lower turnover, higher productivity, and a decrease in training costs.

If you’re a small business owner or manager, then, how can you work to motivate your employees in the new year? Here are a few tips:

Have Consistent Reinforcements

Broadly speaking, there are two main ways to approach employee motivation: you can motivate your employees positively, through goals and incentives, or you can take a more negative approach and use worker requirements or threats to boost productivity. Most employers strive for the former approach but end up somewhere in the middle, a location that is undesirable because positive and negative motivators tend to cancel each other out. It is consequently important to remain consistent in your approach.

Cultivate Culture

Many small business managers use a variety of tactics to try to create a “fun” office and boost employee happiness. These tactics include free meals, office parties, and themed work days. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging office outings, but from a motivational perspective the main goal of such outings should not be “culture,” not “fun.” Any event of activity that promotes office cohesiveness can indirectly breed a more motivated employee group down the road. The larger a company grows, the more stable the culture needs to be. Looking into how successful companies and their CEO's (check out Morgan Chu on viadeo) can be a great resource of some tips and advice on the topic.

Create Team Incentives

On this note, any other measures that encourage a collaborative work environment can be helpful. Specifically, employees are usually more motivated when given collective incentives (which foster a goal-seeking atmosphere) rather than individualized incentives (which can lead to stress and inner-office competition).

Hopefully the tips can help you better motivate your employees in 2012. As a manager, it’s one of the most important things you can do. Good luck!

Easy for educated to get jobs in Canada

The first turbaned Canadian Cabinet Minister Tim Uppal was in Ludhiana on Saturday and said that getting a job in Canada was no problem, “provided you are skilled and proficient in English or French”.

The minister for Democratic Reform said: “We have enough jobs for those who are educated. Our government is also all set to improve immigration rules and a person with a job offer from a Canadian company can be in the country within months - a process which earlier used to take eight years through immigration agents. Now companies will be liaison with government regarding their employment needs. We want to take immigration agents out of the process.”

“Our government has already signed an agreement with India regarding social security, higher education and nuclear agreement as our country wants to sell uranium for the upcoming nuclear plants in India.”

The minster, highlighting the increasing purchase capacity of the Indian middle class, said the current $ 5.2 billion trade between two countries will likely cross $ 15 billion by 2015 as more Indian companies invest in Canada.

South African unemployment: Lies and statistics

It has become one of the defining truths about modern South Africa and its economic and social struggles: Soaring, endemic, potentially explosive levels of unemployment.

The official figures paint a resolutely grim picture of a country where a quarter of the workforce cannot find a job, and where almost half of young South Africans are without work.

But are the figures accurate - or to borrow from Mark Twain - "damned lies"?

According to a report by labour analysts at a prominent South African company, the true unemployment figure here is actually about 11.3%.

Adcorp reaches this remarkable, and presumably contestable conclusion by including "informal sector jobs", which it concedes are hard to measure accurately.

South Africa's ruling alliance has always placed strong emphasis on the notion of "decent work", and some of the informal jobs - those beyond the reach of the tax inspector, unions, insurance etc - included in Adcorp's calculations presumably do not fall into that category.

Read full article here

Gross job gains increased in first quarter 2012, while gross job losses decreased

In first quarter 2012, gross job gains from opening and expanding private sector establishments increased to 6.9 million. Gross job losses from closing and contracting private sector establishments decreased to 6.1 million.

 From December 2011 to March 2012 gross job gains from opening and expanding private sector establishments were 6.9 million, an increase of 26,000 from the previous quarter, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over this period, gross job losses from closing and contracting private sector establishments were 6.1 million, a decrease of 399,000 from the previous quarter.

The difference between the number of gross job gains and the number of gross job losses yielded a net employment change of 814,000 jobs in the private sector during the first quarter of 2012.

The change in the number of jobs over time is the net result of increases and decreases in employment that occur at all businesses in the economy. Business Employment Dynamics (BED) statistics track these changes in employment at private business units from the third month of one quarter to the third month of the next. Gross job gains are the sum of increases in employment from expansions at existing units and the addition of new jobs at opening units. Gross job losses are the result of contractions in employment at existing units and the loss of jobs at closing units. The difference between the number of gross job gains and the number of gross job losses is the net change in employment.

The BED data series include gross job gains and gross job losses at the establishment level by industry subsector and for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, as well as gross job gains and gross job losses at the firm level by employer size class.

Gross job gains at expanding establishments totaled 5.7 million in first quarter 2012, an increase of 149,000 from the previous quarter.

Opening establishments accounted for 1.2 million jobs gained in first quarter 2012, a decrease of 123,000 from the previous quarter.

Contracting establishments lost 4.9 million jobs in first quarter 2012. This is a decrease of 303,000 from the prior quarter.

In first quarter 2012, closing establishments lost 1.2 million jobs, a decrease of 96,000 from the previous quarter.

Gross job gains represented 6.3 percent of private sector employment in first quarter 2012, while gross job losses represented 5.6 percent of private sector employment.

In first quarter 2012, the number of establishment births (a subset of the openings data, see the Technical Note for more information) fell by 9,000 to 193,000. These new establishments accounted for 748,000 jobs, a decrease of 54,000 from the previous quarter.

Data for establishment deaths (a subset of the closings data) are available through second quarter 2011, when 677,000 jobs were lost at 190,000 establishments. These figures represent an increase from the prior quarter when 610,000 jobs were lost at 184,000 establishments.

During first quarter 2012, gross job gains exceeded gross job losses in all industry sectors except information, and transportation and warehousing. Manufacturing experienced its eighth consecutive quarter of net employment gains. The leisure and hospitality industry experienced a net employment gain of 250,000 jobs, representing the largest net employment gain in that industry since the series began in 1992.

The PDF version of the news release

Table of Contents

Comprehensive immigration reform soon: Obama

Washington: US President Barack Obama plans to give new thrust to a comprehensive immigration reform in the country one that would not only address the issue of illegal immigrants but also how to attract and retain highly skilled manpower from countries like India.

At his maiden White House press meet yesterday following his re-election, Obama said he is very confident that they can get immigration reform done. Noting that there has been bipartisan support to this effort, Obama said there is need to seize the moment. "My expectation is, is that we get a bill introduced and we begin the process in Congress very soon after my inauguration. In fact, some conversations I think are already beginning to take place among senators and congressmen and my staff about what would this look like," he said.

"When I say comprehensive immigration reform, it is very similar to the outlines of previous efforts at comprehensive immigration reform. I think it should include a continuation of the strong border security measures that we've taken because we have to secure our borders. "I think it should contain serious penalties for companies that are purposely hiring undocumented workers and taking advantage of them," Obama said.

Taking about DREAM Act that would provide conditional permanent residency to certain undocumented minor immigrants, he said,"Obviously, making sure that we put into law what the first step that we've taken administratively dealing with the DREAM Act kids is very important as well.

"One thing that I'm very clear about is that young people who are brought here through no fault of their own, who have gone to school here, pledged allegiance to our flag, want to serve in our military, want to go to school and contribute to our society, that they shouldn't be under the cloud of deportation, that we should give them every opportunity to earn their citizenship," Obama noted.
And there are other components to it, he said.

"The business community continues to be concerned about getting enough high-skill workers, and I am a believer that if you've got a PhD in physics or computer science who wants to stay here and start a business here, we shouldn't make it harder for him to stay here; we should try to encourage him to contribute to this society," Obama said.

The agricultural sector obviously has very specific concerns about making sure that they've got a workforce that helps deliver food to tables. "So there are going to be a bunch of components to it, but I think whatever process we have needs to make sure our border security is strong, needs to deal with employers effectively, needs to provide a pathway for the undocumented here, needs to deal with the DREAM Act kids.
And I think that's something that we can get done," Obama said.

Important message: do not to listen to people smugglers’ lies

12-11-2012 - Australia’s immigration regional director (South Asia) Jose Alvarez today issued a warning to people smugglers selling lies about visa opportunities in Australia.

His warning came following the weekend return of dozens more Sri Lankan men from Australia, bringing the total to more than 250 Sri Lankan nationals who have been returned, both voluntarily and involuntarily, since mid-August.

“Australia will not take people who do not engage its international obligations,” Mr Alvarez said, in support of a videotaped message from Australia, featuring the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, which was especially transmitted to the Sri Lankan media for broadcast in English, Sinhala and Tamil.

“You will be sent back on the first available flight home so don’t waste your money and don’t risk your life. If you do not engage Australia’s international obligations, you will be returned very quickly.

“There is no money and no assistance for people sent home involuntarily. Lies and false promises are being told about what awaits people in Australia,” Mr Alvarez said.

The Australian Government is committed to preventing people from taking dangerous boat journeys. Part of that commitment includes the reinstatement of offshore

“People now arriving in Australian waters on boats can be transferred to either Nauru or Manus Island in Papua New Guinea where they could spend a significant amount of time,” Mr Alvarez said. “Those people without a valid visa and no claim that engages Australia's international obligations will be quickly returned to Sri Lanka.

“Let me repeat: people returned involuntarily do not have access to reintegration assistance,” Mr Alvarez added.

Media Enquiries: National Communications 02 6264 2244

New Beginnings

It’s new beginnings for Infor as Oracle’s Charles Phillips takes helm as CEO and forges ahead. Infor is recognized as a leader in the industry of enterprise applications and services. In fact, only two business software companies provide services to more customers; Oracle and SAP. 

Infor provides services to over 70,000 customers spread across 194 countries. The company employs over 13,000 individuals that live in various places. For Phillips, a primary goal is that of growth. During his short two year period of service Phillips has managed to make some big changes. Not only has a new executive management team been assembled but over 2,500 new customers have been added since Phillips became CEO. 

About The Man

Charles Phillips was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1959. He holds a BS in Computer Science, an MBA, and a JD. Phillips was a Captain in the United States Marine Corps. His career highlights include such things as serving as director at Viacom Corporation and the American Museum of Natural History.

Before joining Infor Phillips held the position of President of Oracle Corporation and he was also on the company’s Board of Directors. Charles Phillips is well-respected as a man of integrity. His philanthropic work has helped many charities.

The Business Software Industry

Other leaders in the business software industry cater to large corporations, the big dogs in the field. On the other hand, Infor is said to be developed with smaller businesses in mind. This is a market that has been largely overlooked by other leaders in the field, such as I.B.M., SAP, and Oracle. This is not to say that these companies have no desire to reach this market, it is simply that their focus is elsewhere.

Making Changes

As mentioned, Phillips has forged ahead with changes to Infor. Besides hiring new people he has acquired new customers. He has also enforced some new rules. The first one is to only hire people that are brilliant at what they do. The second rule is to only hire people that the team would like to have dinner with.

The idea is that if you don’t enjoy dining with a person you probably won’t like spending long hours with them at the multi-person desk that is shared by the executive team. Another concept initiated by Phillips is interruptions. According to this innovative man, interruptions have a tendency to lead to inspiration.

Extreme innovations are the constant goal for Infor. An open floor plan and an unstructured structure make it possible for collaboration of all staff members. Everyone is encouraged to be progressive and come up with new ideas that can be shared with Phillips and others. This communication flow results in lots of ideas and a team spirit. Bottom line is, Infor is destined for continued greatness.

On the separation of 138,484 workers from their jobs for 31 days in U.S.

Employers in the private nonfarm sector initiated 885 mass layoff events in the third quarter of 2012 that resulted in the separation of 138,484 workers from their jobs for at least 31 days, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the year, total extended mass layoff events and associated worker separations were down from 1,393 and 235,325, respectively.

Permanent worksite closures accounted for 11 percent of all events and 14 percent of all separations during the third quarter of 2012, primarily in the manufacturing sector. Third quarter 2012 layoff data are preliminary and are subject to revision.

Industry Distribution of Extended Layoffs

Manufacturing industries reported 196 extended mass layoff events and 29,350 separations in the third quarter of 2012, largely due to slack work/insufficient demand. This sector accounted for 22 percent of layoff events and 21 percent of related separations during the quarter.

The administrative and waste services sector had 137 events and 22,869 separations, primarily due to contract completion, in the third quarter of 2012. The industry accounted for 15 percent of layoff events and 17 percent of separations. The construction sector reported 122 layoff events and 13,001 separations, also primarily due to contract completion.

Reasons for Extended Layoffs

Business demand factors, primarily contract completion, accounted for 44 percent of both extended mass layoff events and related separations in the private nonfarm sector during the third quarter of 2012. Layoffs due to the completion of seasonal work accounted for 20 percent of the events and 19 percent of related separations during the quarter.

The PDF version of the news release

Canada job market stalls in October after hefty gains

OTTAWA: Canada's job market stalled in October after two months of strong hiring, Statistics Canada data showed recently. The economy added 1,800 jobs in the month, even lower than the small increase of 5,000 jobs forecast in a Reuters poll, while the unemployment rate held steady at 7.4 percent.

The country created 52,100 jobs in September and 34,300 in August. Due to the volatility of the data from month to month, analysts prefer to look at three- or six-month moving averages, which show monthly gains of 29,400 and 12,100, respectively.

Economists have argued that with the economy expanding at about a 2 percent rate, employment growth of the magnitude seen in the previous two months was not sustainable.

The Canadian dollar strengthened to a one-week high against its U.S. counterpart after data showed U.S. employers stepped up hiring in October.

The Canadian currency traded as high as C$0.9955 to the greenback, or $1.0045, its strongest level since Oct. 26.

It had traded at C$0.9981, or $1.0018, just before the jobs reports were released, and closed Thursday's North American session at C$0.9968, or $1.0032.

All the gains in Canadian employment in October were in full-time positions, with the number of workers in the private sector shrinking and the public sector adding to its payrolls.

The goods-producing sector lost a net 19,300 jobs, dragged down mainly by agriculture. The services sector created some 21,000 positions, with the biggest gains seen in educational services.

Canada recovered all the jobs lost during the 2008-09 recession by January 2011 and has since added another 390,000 jobs. The unemployment rate, however, remains stubbornly higher than the 6.1 percent rate just before the downturn. [full text]

Though 171,000 new jobs, US unemployment rate rises

The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics announced that the economy added 171,000 new jobs during October, yet the joblessness rate riced to 7.9 per cent.

With less than a week left before the Presidential elections, the jobs data is likely to be seized upon by Democrats and Republicans alike, the former perhaps to emphasise the new jobs created in the post-recession scenario, and the latter to focus on the slow progress in the face of crippling unemployment.

Mr. Krueger added that the BLS report showed that the private sector added 184,000 jobs last month, “the biggest monthly gain in eight months,” and as a result the economy had added private sector jobs for 32 straight months, bringing the total number of jobs added during that period to of 5.4 million.

In what might constitute a partial explanation for the uptick in the unemployment rate the BLS explained that the civilian labour force rose by 578,000 to 155.6 million in October, representing an increase in the labour force participation rate to 63.8 per cent. Among key social cohorts the unemployment rate for African-Americans increased to 14.3 per cent last month, while the rates for Asians was 4.9 per cent, down from 7.3 per cent a year earlier.

Employment numbers by sector varied substantially. Professional and business services added 51,000 jobs in October, health care added 31,000 jobs, retail trade added 36,000 jobs, employment in leisure and hospitality rose by 28,000, and in construction — especially in specialty trade contractors — increased by 17,000. [Full report]