One of the most valuable things you can do for your organization is to seek honest feedback from your team. There is a treasure of insights lying untapped within your team, but the wall between you and them does not let them share.
You have your ears closed and they have their lips sealed.
It should not be so.
Maybe you think this does not apply to you, but are you sure your team has been honest with their feedback and opinions?
Your brand just may survive longer if employees share their reservations.
You could double profits or increase productivity if you create ways to hear their opinions.
Seek team feedback. It is free and does not change your status as Boss.
If you need an external person to help handle such a process, reach us via email@example.com
Building profitable and reputable brands is what we love doing.
The quality of people involved with a brand from the founder to the management team, team members/employees will ultimately shape what the brand becomes.
What you can do.
a) Work on yourself. Don’t be an obstinate entrepreneur or executive. Provide quality leadership. We helped a client recruit and onboard a team of smart young people but they are ALL on the verge of exiting because the Boss makes the work environment very toxic.
b) Profile your desired team. Determine the kind of team you want to build and the kind of persons who will best fit into the team in terms of experience, character and all other essential qualities.
c) Position your brand rightly. Put the necessary things in place to attract, onboard, and retain the right persons for the brand. Your brand should also be appealing and inspiring to employees, not just customers. Sell your brand to the people you want to build it.
d) Provide growth opportunities. If the quality of your team will grow, then you must take training and growth seriously. You can organize in-house training and also engage external trainers. Give responsibilities to team members, so they can learn and grow.
e) Provide mentorship. If you are a small business or startup, chances are that most of your people will be millennials. For you to get the best out of them, you have to mentor them and help them navigate their path to success.
f) Set guidelines. Decide the direction you want for the brand and set the guidelines for every team member to align. Everything that matters to the brand and cannot be compromised, spell it out clearly.
This is why as a brand consulting agency, we also work closely with Clients on talent recruitment and development. We work with a lot of young people and in the process, we prime them for whatever brand they may get involved with.
Building profitable and reputable BRANDS is what we love doing. Let’s help you build yours.
More lessons coming on what makes a solid brand.
There are many tools that can help make you super productive if you make use of that small computer in your hands, and a bit of research shows that these tools listed are the best productivity apps to have in 2019 that can help boost your productivity at work.
Google Drive – this is a great tool as a safe place for all your files which puts them within reach from any smartphone, tablet, or computer since it is integrated with other Google ecosystem.
Base camp – This is a powerful project management and team coordination tool that allows you to view the progress of team members as they complete to-dos and upload files. The tool also allows you to work with clients on the go.
Last Pass – This is a password vault (Manager), this security app stores you login details for various sites, this app allows you to log in faster while having the liberty of having complex passwords you don’t need to remember.
Pocket – A great offline reading tool that allows you to select and save articles, pictures and videos for later viewing.
Dropbox – Dropbox is an online storage locker for your files, documents, photos and other important data that you can access on the go.
Todoist – The world-acclaimed best to-do-list app helps to organize, plan and collaborate on projects and it is very effective for planning your day, remembering important tasks by setting timely reminders or location-based reminders and a Goal tracker.
Written by Donald
For a small business owner, taking that short break from your business may mean closing your business or a drop in sales. We both know this; you need a break and that break can energize you or help you focus on personal things and possibly help you think more strategically about your business.
So since we care too much about you, I have decided to share some tips with you, remember there is a lot to gain when you take out time for yourself. Let these steps guide you.
Plan your vacation ahead of time and start to put things in place. You would not want your business to suffer in your absence, so decide the vacation that is right for you – is it a one-week vacation or a month-long vacation?
Prepare Your Team Ahead
Start from now to prepare your staff members ahead by delegating tasks to them. This helps them get into character early enough and you just may leave some of the duties with them even when you’re back. Trust me this will give them a sense of responsibility and an opportunity to learn something new.
Prepare Your Customer Ahead
Your customers are probably also getting a breather at this time. Let them know in advance that you will be taking some time off, so you can wrap-up projects you are handling yourself or agree to postpone or preferably, introduce them to a team member who’ll be handling the project in your absence.
Don’t wait for a breakdown to take a break.
Written by Donald Alaye
If you need support with your business systems and processes, we would love to help. Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
For most people, creating stability in all spheres of life comes to them with ease, but for others it is a daunting task and the end result is worrisome.
For those struggling with finding work-life balance, be assured that you are not in this alone.
Balance is your ability to gain stability and fulfillment and if you are unable to create a balance, you stand the risk of having constant health issues, frequent exhaustion, financial loss, steady stress, and the feeling of underachievement.
For your sanity, productivity, health and clarity we have come up with these tips to help you achieve a work-life balance.
- The first step is to figure out who you are, your values, your goals (work, relationship, spiritual, financial, and so on).
- Track your time by prioritizing and keeping a log book.
- Create a “you” time.
- Leave work back in the office
- Take out time for outdoor activities
- Constantly do a self-evaluation exercise
- Read articles on other subject matters beyond work
- Attend social events or just hangout
Being a workaholic is counterproductive in the long run, but finding balance boosts your productivity eventually.
Empower your team members with this knowledge to get best from them.
We could help you improve your employee relations to boost productivity while minimizing staff turnover. Send an email to email@example.com
Salaries aren’t determined by what the employee desires, it’s ultimately hinged on what the business can afford to pay. Where the affordable amount is poor, the employer should make room for some level of flexibility to get good productivity.
Create shifts, reduce work hours, give off days, allow remote work if and when possible/necessary. Make room for extra bucks and bonuses. Your business may be struggling, but you cannot build a great business with a team of people constantly grumbling and edgy.
A lot of people don’t mind low pay but to give their best, they need to be sure you care about their own welfare and growth. Another way to deal with the issue, is to reduce number of employees to the barest minimum, so you can pay the few better for the much work they do.
Our HR strategies and models need to adapt to our changing realities, and not just principles gotten from textbooks and classrooms. Streetwise also matters. In the Igbo apprenticeship system, people even work for free for years, but in exchange they are fed, trained in the trade and set-up to run theirs in a few years.
Take better care of people if you want people to take better care of your business. If anybody is incessantly unproductive and sabotaging your effort or flaunting the rules, they should be shown the way out.
If you need support on employee relations, Mapemond will be glad to be of service to you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the toughest parts of being the head of an organisation is having someone whom you trust to oversee the affairs of the business whenever you are absent. Most employers and heads of departments would agree that trustworthy employees or team members are hard to come by these days. A lot of organisations have been ruined by dubious staff who take pleasure in pilfering or watching the organisation lose revenue.
Oblivious to the cunning activities of the employees, some employers continue to feed on the lies of their staff. When the company’s sales deteriorates, they bear the blame thinking they are incompetent or ineffective. Asides from the worries it brings to the employer, it drives some businesses to their untimely end and puts the employer in emotional distress.
Often, we conclude too easily that only junior staff are involved in these despicable acts but most times when uncovering the truth, senior staff are usually involved in such deeds. This revelation most often than not leaves the employer in shock, wondering the reasons behind the perpetrators’ decision. In the passing of time, these employers or top-level managers become distrusting of virtually every staff.
Kwani’s story depicts a typical scenario of what happens in most known organisations. Here is a narration of Kwani’s tempting experience.
It was dusk and everyone was clearing his or her work desk, ready to shutdown for the day’s work. Kwani who was new in the company curiously watched some staff speak in hush voices and act in suspicious ways. He had noticed these same moves over the past weeks and had enquired from one of his colleagues why they usually stayed behind after the close of work. As expected, his colleagues gave a casual response that only raised Kwani’s curiosity. His colleagues had said, “We carry out some confidential assignments for the company. Only those involved get to know. If you are interested. Let me know.”
Rather than ask them again, Kwani decided to sneak up on them to find out what the confidential task was. Tracing their steps but maintaining a reasonable distance so he is not sighted, Kwani followed them into the dark warehouse, and he became more perplexed. While three persons took out fifty cartons of the company’s products, two others dashed out to open the back gate for some strangers who drove in with a truck.
He silently observed as they loaded the vehicle with the products and received some amount of cash in return. They chatted and cheered as they carried out their transaction. Kwani stood in a corner, confused about his next step. As they were rounding up, Kwani quickly walked out. He spent the next day torn apart, part of him wanted to report the perpetrators and the other part wanted to join them at least to earn more money for himself. After dealing with the dilemmatic intrapersonal conversation, he decided to report the act.
That day, he contacted the HR manager and informed her about his findings. She thanked and assured him of an immediate action against those were working against the progress of the company. Unfortunately, two months later, Kwani was rewarded for his integrity but got fired some weeks after. When he made enquiries about why he was sacked, he found out that one of the Managers was spearheading the operations. Kwani continued to blame himself for exposing those behind the act, maybe joining them would have been the best option.
Knowing that no business ever thrives without the right set of persons working behind them, what remedy can you proffer for staff disloyalty and pilfering? Once again, the need for effective systems and processes cannot be overemphasized.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you need help with setting up your systems and processes? We can get it done for you professionally. Send us an email at email@example.com
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The ideology that one can only be a master in one field has been proven wrong, repeatedly. Sandra Ginikachi Stephen is one of those who have broken out of the norm. From being a trained Animal and Environmental Biologist, she veered off to an entirely new field where she currently works as a Visa Processor in a destination company.
Sandra, exploring more options available to her, is also involved in event styling and utilises her paper craft skill for interior and outdoor decoration. She has, through constant practicing, developed and mastered these skills for profitability.
Sandra acknowledges that her experience during work has instilled some indispensable values in her. “Working has impacted me in diverse ways. It has given me a sense of responsibility to my community and nation at large. Now I want to learn more, so I could give more. Working has also taught and is still teaching me patience.”
During the course of working, Sandra has also acquired some level of direction socially. “It’s brought some sort of focus to my social life. Now, I always have a target concerning my circle. How would this person assist in actualizing this? What solution can he/she proffer? How passionate is he/she with giving back to the nation and so on?”
Due to her remarkable career advancement, Sandra could be easily mistaken as one who had a background in her chosen field. However, she is quick to clear this perception. “What I do presently is way different from my course of study, I must say. I studied Animal and Environmental Biology but currently I am doing the job of a hospitality and tourism person. Not related in any way one would say.”
Regardless of the fact that Sandra may have deviated from her course of study, she indicated she still has interest to explore career options in that line and considers her experience so far as an advantage. “Even though I still look forward to taking up a career in my field, I count this a plus.”
In fact, she refers to career switch as a turn that could eventually lead one to their required career destination. “I wouldn’t call it a change in career but with reference to the word ‘career path’, my current job is one of those turns we take.”
Speaking about her work benefits, Sandra highlighted that asides the financial rewards, her job also creates an opportunity to build skills for personal growth. “There’s a whole lot of growth and benefits accompanied with my job. Here, if you are focused, you’d develop skills that would help you successfully start up your own destination management firm with massive financial benefits attached”
Spotting tolerance as one of the major lessons she has learnt at work, Sandra noted that it is a vital quality one needs to survive in any organization. “Tolerance. Working in any organization requires a measure of tolerance and this one is not exempted. Experiences have taught me to be tolerant. Whatever happens at the workplace ends at the workplace.”
Sandra also identified lessons that have contributed to her personal development. These lessons have equipped her with a wide range of skills and ethics that are relevant to her both as an individual and especially as an employee. “In my course of working, I have developed character. I have learnt and still learning the art of professionalism both within and without the work environment. My job is “risk”. The first thing I learnt on resumption was learning to unlearn whatever I thought I knew. Even those occupying managerial positions still learn on the job. I have also learnt team work.”
Financially, Sandra admitted she has had an impressive progression of income. “My work has helped me maintain a consistent financial lifestyle. Coupled with other financial benefits accompanying.”
Despite her regular job, Sandra has her side hustle to back her up. She stated that her side hustle is birthed from her love for paper crafting. “I am a creative person. I love crafting. And taking it as a side hustle has had this way of keeping me active. It makes me ask questions like “how can this/that be done more creatively”. I even apply this to my regular job.”
She added that having a side job has liberated her from any chance of monotonousness that could lead to boredom and at the same time provides another source of income for her. “More so, for someone that gets bored easily, it helps me see the brighter side. I wouldn’t also leave out the juicy feeling of having an extra flow of income.”
In the aspect of work disadvantages, she stated that they were minute compared to the advantages. “More advantages than any disadvantage I can think of. My job bears up so much risk that could cost the company a lot of money. But you’d admit that every other job does too.”
A challenge that Sandra classified as a positive one is the competitive spirit of workers in the organization who have given themselves to self-development in order to retain relevance. “I wouldn’t call it a challenge or should I say it’s a positive challenge. It is an organization where all or most of her staff are fighting to maintain relevance. Everyone working to be better every day in his or her different sections. More like positive energy.”
Sandra advised young people to seek continuous growth and not dwell on past knowledge. She recommended constant improvement for anyone aspiring to advance career wise. “We all are still finding our feet. No one, even those at the top would ever admit that they have reached the apex. Everyone is trying to do more and be more. That is all you need to do – do more everyday. Do not settle. People are watching, opportunities are lurking and looking for the relentless. It will all work out someday. Even better than you ever imagined it.”
Having read Sandra Ginikachi Stephen’s interview, we hope that more people will work towards building themselves and mastering their craft to the highest level.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you need a team to grow your brand? We can help you recruit the best set of people. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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There is a popular Latin phrase, ‘quid pro quo’, interpreted as ‘favour for favour’. This implies that something always goes for something and nothing is ever given without a reciprocated effort. At first, the phrase was used in the sixteenth century to refer to a substituted medicine for another but with the passing of time; the phrase became more generalized and used even for business.
Now, especially in the corporate world, quid pro quo can be referred to as exchange of goods, services, favours, or any other kind of value. Sometimes, clients would prefer an exchange of something valuable for their money. On the other hand, corporate organisations, through their workers, are often willing to satisfy their clients’ demands as a way of retaining their patronage. Many a time, these organisations impose this task of meeting clients’ needs on their workers in order to keep the company running.
The attitude of ‘something for something’ is not only displayed by clients, but swings both ways and many other ways actually. Employers seek value in all the projects they embark on, employees want something in return for their creative ideas and input, vendors want something for their services, sellers want money for their goods while buyers want value for their money, investors are particular about what they get in return for their investment and the list goes on.
The concept of quid pro quo played out in Furo’s experience…
After several years of being unemployed, Furo finally got a job opportunity in a well-known and reputable bank. She groomed and brushed up herself in every aspect she could think of just to beat not just the work ethics but also set a high standard for other workers to follow. During her waiting period, she had attended seminars and workshops to increase her skill and knowledge about the banking industry. Furo was convinced she was more than ready for this job.
Few months into her resumption, Furo, who was assigned to the marketing department, was given a target to raise 10million naira within six months. She courageously took this as a challenge and began to work towards it. Three months had passed and Furo realised she was not making much progress with her goal. She had talked to family and friends who she felt were rich but was only able to raise 2million naira, which was far from the target. Other prospects were quite sceptical about putting their money in her bank.
Another month passed and Furo was at the verge of frustration. Everyday she woke up tormented by the nightmare of being fired for not meeting the target. Nobody at work ever asked how she was faring with the 10million naira goal but everyone wanted results. None of her strategies seems to work and more pressure mounted on her.
Having heard of the story of Belema who had hit her goals in the space of one month, Furo was too much in shock to believe. She approached Belema to find out how she was able to pull it off without much stress. Luckily Belema was honest and open about her means, which was simply to approach the ‘big boys’ in town. Since Furo was clueless where to find such people, she had to depend on Belema to link her up with them.
Within a week, Belema connected Furo to a wealthy entrepreneur who owned several ventures in major cities in Nigeria. Belema had told her he was in his early fifties but he looked younger and nourished. He smelt of wealth and walked around with authority. Furo spent the next couple of days trying to convince him about the benefits are attached to the account she was proposing for him to open with her bank. She had thought she was making headway until he began to speak.
“Furo, I’ve heard all you have to say and I must commend your ability to simplify all these banking terms,” he said, acknowledging her.
“But the amount of money you’re asking me to put in there is a lot you know, even though I can afford it,” he continued.
As he spoke, he drank a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice that he had asked his steward to prepare.
“I know,” Furo responded to break the short silence. She wanted to get this deal signed without spending the whole day watching him drink and talk.
“The thing is, I want something for this huge sacrifice I’ll be making. Like I told Belema, the only reason why I am considering this is because of her plea and the tight situation you’re in,” He said and took another sip of his juice.
Furo was a bit embarrassed that Belema had given him too much detail. Nevertheless, she braced herself for any outcome.
The prospect leaned forward, looking straight into her eyes, “You know what, I will open that account but on one condition,” he said and paused.
“Which is?” Furo asked, looking a bit perplexed.
“Well, in business nothing goes for nothing. You must always have something valuable to exchange for every transaction,” he smirked. “Let me just go straight to the point. In exchange for this transaction between your bank and me, I want some of your sugar. I want you, Furo.”
Furo was taken aback. It was only then she recalled what Belema had told her about these big boys asking for something in return, in this case, her body.
“Furo, I can go beyond opening that account to changing your life. Are you willing to take the ride with me? Go think about it,” he said.
That day as Furo left his house, she was in a state of dilemma. Would she succumb or get fired? She was not quite sure of her next move….
Unvoiced perspective, telling the corporate stories that are rarely told…
Let’s hear from you, what should Furo do?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Are you looking at building an ethical organization? We would love to work with you! Send us an email at email@example.com#
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Beyond working and earning monthly salary, there is a deeper desire for most workers, which is Self-sufficiency. Most people aspire to live above insufficient funds, daily toil, and tirelessly strive to attain a certain level of financial freedom. When the desire for self-sufficiency is not attained, dissatisfaction creeps in and then work becomes a tedious monotonous act.
This week’s guest, Ezeugwa Gerrard, strongly believes that self-sufficiency comes through one means, deliberate and consistent hard work. To drive his point home, Gerrard shared some personal experiences during his interview. Brace yourself as we get to know more about this young driven man.
Ezeugwa Gerrard, is a Software Engineer who specializes in building software, developing websites and deploying them. “I write programs in modern programming languages and I maintain best practice in all that I do,” he emphasized.
Having made critical changes along his career path, Gerrard is not your regular kind of worker. He has courageously explored different career options all in different industries. “I had series of changes in my career. From the Oil and Gas sector to Banking Sector then finally Information Technology, the journey has been breathtaking and eventful.”
Gerrard indicated that he had no initial plan to divert from his course of study to his present profession. “I mean I never set out to be a Software Engineer. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Gas Engineering but today, here I am.”
He went further to express his thoughts concerning academic pursuit, indicating that the school environment served as a platform for self-discovery. “I feel going to college was just a mere certification exercise that laid the foundation for self-discovery. I feel I went to school just to find out who I am, my strengths, weaknesses and what I can do happily even without income.”
From his exposure, Gerrard now views the workplace as a school that facilitates all round personal growth. “Working is a school. It teaches you how to grow and do that very fast. You learn time management, personal development amongst others.”
He explained further giving an instance of an experience that stood out for him with focus on the lessons he has learnt from it, “For example, last year I worked in a Nigerian multinational bank. My most remarkable experience here thought me how to be patient. The most discouraging task involved parsing and rearranging business files that could sometimes take weeks to complete. I took the job just to fund my dream of working as a Software Engineer. I did not give up. I knew it was just a phase.”
Gerrard shared some tremendous ways his job has enriched his personality, “Working has given me the opportunity to understand the individual differences that exist among people and how to manage them. It has made me patient, more bold, outspoken and emotionally intelligent. I now know how to patiently and intelligently work my way to the top while leveraging the various situations I find myself.”
Financial wise, working has made Gerrard fiercer in his pursuit for self-sufficiency. He indicated that he has become more cautious in his choice of activities in order to earn more income. “Work has made me self-sufficient. It has also given me the ability to be of assistance to those who genuinely need assistance. I mean no one wants to be a liability, or stay around a liability.
It made me a purpose driven person. I am now time cautious and every activity I indulge in has to be a money maker else I abandon it.”
He also mentioned some benefits that accompanies his job. “On my current job, I became a full time staff within a short space of time. Free lunch, accommodation on request, and others are my benefits. Since then my growth trajectory has been on the y-axis.”
Gerrard shared some of his challenges with underpayment topping the list. Nevertheless, he proposes that working regardless of poor remuneration was better than being idle. “Remuneration is very poor. Opportunity for employee growth is also very poor, but I am patient because I have a goal. I know where I am going. I cannot say because the job pays a penny, then I sit back at home like a King, waiting for manna from heaven. God will bless the works of our hands, but when he sends his angels down to come and bless us, what does he find us doing? selling groundnuts? working in a construction site? or relaxing like the Sultan of Sokoto at home?”
Despite the disadvantages of his job, Gerrard remains optimistic about the future. “I’m blessed. A better move is on the cards and soon, the whole story will change. The story of poor remuneration and opportunity for growth will become history,” he said.
Gerrard admitted he has several side hustles which gives him some level of sustenance. “I have side hustles. I do quite a lot to keep my pockets friendly all the time. Most times I end up earning triple the amount I earn in my work place.”
Backing his reason for relying on other sources of income, Gerrard said, “As a young person starting out life, I learnt that hard work is the key to self-sufficiency and satisfaction. Hard work truly pays. If I depend solely on my work place earnings, it will not fund most of the courses I take for personal development. I mean, I have to grow, and do that very fast.”
Gerrard sternly admonished young career beginners on the need to scout for or create opportunities for themselves as against the watching and waiting attitude. “Don’t stay at home. Go out there and do something. Learn a trade or volunteer at events. Opportunities don’t come by staying at home but they come when you step out and get involved, meet people and learn new things.”
He advised that they start with the available jobs in their reach while they continue to aspire for the bigger paying jobs. “It is a common trend today where young people hold out for the job with the perfect pay, rejecting potential life changing offers along the way. The perfect job will most likely not come. Time is of the essence to any purpose driven person. Take that job, build yourself from there and move when its time. Do not sit back comfortably like all is alright. It might be too late when you realize your mistake.”
What is your route to self-sufficiency? Would you rather sit and wait for the ideal job or would you be a goal getter like Gerrard and make things happen?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Are you looking towards recruiting a solid team? We have got you covered. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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