Monthly Archives: July 2013

Managing Employees – Continuing Education and Then Some

I have covered some very basic general management principles in my first two articles. I want to wrap up this group of articles before going into employee relation skills by addressing the importance of continuing education. This does not mean running down to your local college, though that is very valuable if you need to learn a new or expanded skill, like preparing to manage in a new area of the business you are in. I want to focus on how you can really pick up on the successes of others. First and foremost, have a mentor. Make sure that your mentor is also a leader. You do not want to spend your valuable time being mentored by someone that has not had successes along the way. Follow the successful! The purpose of mentoring is to short cut your learning curve. There is only so much time in your life and you do not have enough of it to learn all of the lessons on your own. So, borrow from others! When should mentoring start? As soon as possible. You can learn valuable lessons anywhere along your career path. It is OK to have more than one! I always go back to the verse in Proverbs, “In the abundance of counselors there is victory.” Available counselors are all around you. This acknowledges that you do not know it all and need to rely on the experiences and wisdom of others.

One of the characteristics you want to have to get the most out of mentoring is to be willing to change. If someone else is doing something better than you are, don’t stumble over your pride of authorship. I had someone ask me this exact question years ago. He knew that I wanted to do everything right and at that point, I thought that I was. I am sure that he thought that I believed that I knew all the answers. He asked me, “If you saw someone doing something better than you, what would you do? I said, “I would change immediately.” This allows you to get the most from the available education around you. Never believe that you have all the answers. Keep your eyes, ears and heart open to new ideas and approaches.

Here is one more recommendation, one that you have probably have not heard before. Maintain a relationship with management employees two levels up from where you are. This will give you another view of your current business situations. This needs to be done in full view of the person you report to so that you do not appear to be jumping over your boss, which is not a good idea. You can usually accomplish this by asking questions that your boss’s boss needs to answer. Your boss may ask you to join a conversation that your boss has with the person he or she reports to. Take advantage of these opportunities. Be humble and your view will likely be requested.

Here are a few more educational items for you. First, remember that one of your jobs is to make the person you report to successful. That is why you were put into your position in the first place. He or she is accountable for what you do! Second, do not burn bridges. You never know when you will run into the person you used to report to again. It is also possible that he may report to you someday! You want that to go to smoothly. And finally, let your work speak for itself. Humility beats pride when moving up the ladder of responsibility.

Effective Business Management Unites Education and Training with Corporate Coaching

Business management spends billions of dollars in corporate training and education. According to a report released in early 2006, the U.S. corporate education and training market exceeded $46 billion. Additionally, business management and leadership training captured the largest percentage of program dollars with developing new and existing management along with succession planning. (Source: Bersin & Associates)

With training budgets increasing and the additional focus on leadership and management development because people do not leave organizations they leave managers, achieving higher levels of positive return on investment (ROI) makes sense. Research supports that to increase training ROI begins by including coaching as an effective tactic.

In a 2001 study completed by Dr. Merrill Anderson, of MetrixGlobal, for a Fortune 500 company coaching can produce a 529 per cent ROI. Additional studies since that time confirm the positive affect of coaching. Business management executives are now employing a new learning strategy that combines education and training with coaching. This is initiative is corporate coaching. So what is corporate coaching?

Simply speaking, corporate coaching extends existing learning or what some call training by infusing one on one executive coaching within the education, training and development sessions to achieve performance improvement that generates a positive ROI. Corporate coaching is always aligned with the strategic plan and the organization’s current goals and provides a vehicle to reinforce current learning as well as a way to make necessary course corrections through both individual and team perspectives. Corporate objectives are achieved much quicker allowing for a better competitive advantage.

NOTE:What corporate coaching is not – any program that cannot be aligned to the strategic plan and lacks a structured process that does not focus on pre-determined measurable results.

How does corporate coaching work? The answer to that question is “that depends.” Corporate coaching is flexible and may be included within the training schedules or upon completion of the training. The real issue is to find a corporate coaching process that is results focused and uses proven tools that build the What’s in it for me (WIIFM) leading to the What’s in it for us (WIIFU). Effective corporate coaching works to further internalize the identified learning objectives and quantifies those efforts on a regular basis through consistent goal achievement.

How do I find a corporate coach? That is a very good question since many coaches whether a certified coach or not are now offering corporate coaching services. Possibly, the best way is to find a coach who:

Is results focused
Has a demonstrated record of success that is quantifiably measurable
Has both proven developmental processes and tools that work with the strengths of your organization.

Remember, companies win because of their strengths not their weaknesses. Corporate coaching allows you to further capitalize on those very strengths that made your company what it is.

Industrial Management – Online Study Programs

Operations of industrial production equipment and employees have to be managed to create a safe and productive work environment. To implement correct process and procedures in a managerial way professionals have to have a certain level of knowledge. Students interested in overseeing industrial technology can enter numerous study options in industrial management. Many online schools offer specific degree programs for this career field.

In order to fully grasp the responsibilities that are handled by industrial manager’s students need to obtain a certain level of industry knowledge. This includes not only understanding the engineering side but also the leadership side of being a manager. Students can enter programs that teach them both aspects of the field. Being a boss means being able to maintain all areas like:

equipment
mechanical production
inventory
staff
budget

and more. These aspects are utilized together to work directly with employees and the industry. The skills obtained from schooling prepare students to manage production and design quality as well as maintain production equipment. Students should be prepared to study all of these areas and more when they enter an online study program.

Starting education can be overwhelming with the considerable amount of options available from online schools. To narrow down the choices students should figure out what type of degree they would like to complete. This decision can make the process easier because if students want a bachelor’s degree they can specifically look for a bachelor’s degree. Students can choose to enter an online program at the:

associate’s
bachelor’s
master’s

degree level.
Instruction varies from degree to degree but students will learn about the industry and how to become a leader. A higher degree program incorporates advanced techniques and procedures. Earning a graduate degree often times results in a higher annual salary, top-level careers, and more responsibilities.

It takes two years on average to finish an associate’s degree. Online associate’s degree programs are designed to help students learn specific skills in order to function cooperatively with staff and work properly with the industry’s technology.

Industrial leadership
business law
production analysis

and more are some courses students may take to learn central concepts. An industrial organization course explores the theories about free markets and how government policies influence those markets. Market structures and regulatory principles are topics that help students understand the overall theme of the course. Further education at the bachelor’s or master’s degree level presents more in depth study to prepare students for more responsibility.

Inside bachelor’s degree programs students spend four years studying and gaining technical and leadership capabilities. The first two years of online study focus on engineering and the last two years focus on business. Engineering studies give students the necessary skills to understand how to use production equipment and technology. The business focus of this type of degree online teaches students the management skills required to oversee all procedures and employees. An industrial technology course explains to students the statistical analysis of production and the mechanical systems of engineering. Students interested in director and executive positions should consider continuing education and earning a master’s degree.