Forethought and Training Makes Managers

Senior management in every industry is well-known for setting-up our best skilled workers for failure. It is as if we are specifically trying to sabotage our own companies by reducing the workforce skill level and using poor management to try to fix it. A fancy new title and a raise does not a manger make. A top-notch management selection process and training program is the only road to ensure future success.Leaders Make Great Managers:The best worker does not make the best manager, the natural-born leader does. Though scholars continue to argue the finer details, it is widely accepted that “leaders are born and managers are made.” Leaders are followed. The directives of Managers are carried out. The Leader is the person spreading news from the grapevine, teaching trade tricks, and from whom co-workers seek advice. At breaks, the Leader can be found telling “there I was” stories with an attentive audience and organizing the weekend fishing trip or bar bash. The Manager is the person given that title by executives to be in charge of people, projects, and money.In theory, anyone can be taught to manage well. Managers can be taught efficiency, organization, project flow, and even to earn the respect of those they manage. Managers, as the theory goes, cannot be taught how to lead. Though it is possible that the best worker is also a natural leader, this is rarely the case. Instead of looking to the firm’s best workers to serve in open management roles, consider promoting and training the natural leader. Management selection processes should begin pre-hire with an eye on identifying potential leaders. These employees should then be observed in their current role for signs of leadership and future advancement.Tiered Management Structures:Think large when developing the structure of management. All large companies were once small. So, instead of waiting until the company is large and then having to revamp the entire reporting chain; develop the structure at the outset. It is better to have a structure with unfilled positions, or those not currently needed in the smaller organization, then it is to remodel the entire structure at a later date to adapt it to the growing firm.In some industries, the lowest level of management is the Shift Manager, Department Director, or Section Chief. In construction, we refer to this position as Foreman, Job Supervisor, or Superintendent. Each firm must chose these titles carefully and the reporting hierarchy with which they are associated. For the purposes of this article, let’s assume that the person who manages workers directly is called the Department Manager (DM). The Department Manager keeps the work flowing, assigns tasks, coordinates with other departments, ensures items are in-stock, and briefs the client, all while still working alongside their subordinates to facilitate the day’s activities. Department Managers report to the person who manages a number of departments, a position that is primarily office and paperwork intensive, usually called the General Manager (GM). GMs, in turn, report to a member of the Executive Staff, usually the Chief Operating Officer (COO).It is not uncommon to further break up the management levels of DM and GM into subcategories. For example, the DM category could be sub-divided into: Junior Department Manager, Department Manager, and Senior Department Manager. A Junior DM may be the term used to describe a new entry into the management ranks who works under the direction of a DM or Senior DM. A DM would be an experienced manger with a bigger workforce and larger job assignments. Finally, a Senior DM would have the most experience at assisting with employee training, x-large projects, and those jobs requiring specialized skills or in dealing with detail-oriented clients. The Senior DM would likely run the largest or most complex department. The GM ranks could be similarly divided.It is also wise to have pre-management positions that introduce potential entrants to the ranks without the accompanying official responsibilities. Thus, an Assistant Department Manager would serve as a normal crew member most of the time; but would be available to take over a portion of the project as needed by the DM. Additionally, they will fill-in as acting DM when the DM is on vacation or off work for personal reasons.Management Training is Essential:The most successful restaurant-chain in world history, McDonald’s, is the brunt of many jokes. They are, however, so successful because they are experts. Not only are they experts at “flipping burgers,” their world-renowned Hamburger University is a benchmark for educating management trainees on operation procedures, customer service, cleanliness, and business development. Similarly, Disney, United Parcel Service (UPS), Dell, and many others have been recognized as best-in-class for management and/or customer service training.Unfortunately, many other industries have the opposite distinction. They are recognized as the industry that provides no management training or has the worst customer service. Digging deeper will usually find that these industries promote their best hopefuls with a new title and a pay bump, only to throw them to wolves by telling them to go run the workplace. Throwing a fellow in the Mississippi River to teach them to swim may have been accepted in Tom Sawyer’s day, but is a procedure doomed to fail with management trainees. At the very least, each level of management should be given initial training followed by annual re-occurring training that delves deeper and broader as employees move up through the ranks.The best place to start is with the job description. What skills/tools will make the new manager improve company profitability and enhance reputation? Focus on key business areas:
Customer Service
Communicating Professionally
Reoccurring Duties
Completing Paperwork
Management & Team Building
Organization & Time Management
Technical Skill Enhancement
Role in Company’s Profitability
Official Employee Interaction
Merit Shop Responsibilities
Next, find outside vendors of one to two-day seminar-style courses and add self-study activities (books, books-on-tape, videos, webinars, etc.) that specialize in training new or advancing managers. Those activities that are specific to your company (completing a Job Report, corporate marketing soft-skills, or parts scheduling, for example) should be taught in-house by the DM team or executive staff.Skills can be taught in week or multi-week long training intensive courses where a trainee focuses only on management training until completed. Or, conversely, management trainees can complete classroom training intermixed with field-work over an extended period of time (say, six months for management training).Whatever your company’s approach, it must incorporate four overarching themes to profit and succeed in the new economy:
Develop a management structure for where you want your firm to be, not where it is.
Hire even entry-level technicians (apprentices) with potential management in mind.
Constantly analyze the workforce to identify leaders for future management positions.
Train, train, and re-train.

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A Plethora of Internet Marketing Tips

The keys to the successful internet marketing business

As different organizations look at the internet marketing model for redemption, there are certain elements that need to be under control and under the constant supervision of the major stake holders. These are the elements that will ensure that the organization in question has a very good chance of influencing the industry positively. The list is by no means exhaustive but it provides a good starting point for people that wish to explore this area further:

  1. Site wide links are no longer in fashion because the internet marketing model is all about the products. The links to the home page might not give the clients the products that they need. In any case the larger websites require the clients to click on more than one page before they land on the product from the home page. That is just unacceptable in the competitive world. The direct link to the product page is the way to go.
  2. Meta tags should be used to avoid significant amendments to the websites. When product lines change then the client should look to the Meta tags to ensure that they can redirect the product lines to the appropriate landing pages without having to change the entire website. Characters must be limited to the key words and the essential content. A repeat of over 25% of the title can be fatal in terms of page authority. Important key words have to be given the priority when undertaking the internet marketing strategy.
  3. The use of copied content is not advisable from the perspective of a comprehensive internet marketing strategy. This type of content tends to reduce the value of the website in the eyes of both the human traffic and the mechanical crawlers. It is not ethical because it can lead to copyright theft. The search engines have significantly increased the efficiency of their duplicate content detectors and it will be only a matter of time before the offending website is duly penalized.
  4. The individual that is deeply involved in the internet marketing world has to ensure that they have created a list of tips that go with the work that they have achieved. This is learning that can be applied to the different people that join the organization. It can also form the basis of a marketable product in terms of training for others.
  5. Domain classification has precedence for age. The older domains are given credence in the internet marketing world as compared to the new domain names. That means that it is not necessarily a good idea to rush out and buy a new domain name for a very expensive price. It might not deliver the kinds of results that the client is expecting from the model.
  6. The internet marketing model is all about networks. That means that the merchant is strongly advised to build a network of related but different websites. This is the first step in creating a niche that can prove to be a very powerful marketing tool. In the end that is what makes all the difference between a haphazard strategy and one that is founded on a clear understanding of the internet marketing tips. At the same time it is important that the websites are differentiated in order not to attract the wrath of the major search engines that might suspect foul play.
  7. The image search functionality on the engines is ripe for internet marketing. This is an area that has not been well explored by the merchants because they are not aware of the true marketing potential for images. Images and videos should be prepared and optimized in order to diversity the revenue stream. If one element fails then a loss leader strategy can be effectively applied to rescue the company in question.
  8. Affiliate programs are an excellent internet marketing tip. They are based on a model that pays when there are clear results from the representative. From this perspective the affiliates are the idea opportunity for the publishers to get traffic without the added complications of managing the system or the elements that deal with the day to day sales.
  9. Technology must always be included in the internet marketing strategy in order to keep pace with the developments within the industry. A fear of technology can effectively remove the possibility for improving the outcomes for the industry as well as the people that organize it. Merchants are advised t take courses in order to improve their general awareness.