Singapore Focus Groups Employee Productivity

Being a member of Focus Groups you would know employee job satisfaction is one of the key goals of all successful companies. Happy employees are more loyal to the company and its vision. They go the extra mile to achieve company goals.

Dissatisfied workers experience lower productivity in the workplace, poorer performance, more job stress, and higher turnover rates. Moreover, low job satisfaction can result in low morale and low loyalty to the company itself and to any outside Focus Groups.

Job satisfaction is defined as the extent to which employees feel self-motivated and satisfied with their job. Employee satisfaction covers the basic concerns and needs of employees, and is essential to the success of any business. Job satisfaction is a combination of intrinsic (kind of work) and extrinsic (working condition) factors. Salary, promotion, work-life balance, recognition and appraisals are important factors to be considered in employee satisfaction.

Stress Management Training Courses

Make strategic decisions to create a culture of engagement and satisfaction. Engaged employees have a strong sense of purpose and leadership. They add value by pushing limits, driving growth and innovation. Employee satisfaction is one of the key metric that can help determine overall health of an organization, which is why many organizations employ regular surveys to measure and track employee satisfaction over time. As a Focus Groups you would understand that this is one way to assess whether your team is happy and engaged at work. It is critical for employee retention. Sadly, CulturalManagement has observed that this has decreased significantly over the past twenty years.

At CulturalManagement we guide you on how to easily collect and understand employee feedback to create an action plan that works. Few ways a company can improve employee job satisfaction:

  • Provide a positive working environment.
  • Rewards and recognition.
  • Make work-life balance a priority.
  • Develop skills and potential of workforce.
  • Create open and honest communication channels.

It's popular to tout customer-centricity, yet it's very difficult to consistently demonstrate. The word centric means having a specific thing as the focus of attention and efforts. Customer-centric means that concerns other than the customer's well-being are in the background while the customer stays in the foreground.

That may seem simple enough, yet reality proves the elusiveness of customer-centricity. In Accenture's Delivering the Promise study, 75% of executives viewed their customer service as above-average, while 59% of their customers reported their experience with these companies' service as somewhat to extremely dissatisfying. Likewise, in CMO Council's Customer Affinity study, half the companies said they are extremely customer-centric, but only a tenth of their customers agreed.

The building blocks of customer-centric culture are communication, skills, accountability and systems.

1. Communication. The vision and values that top management communicates, both verbally and behaviorally, set the tone and direction. What top management focuses on guides the thinking and efforts of the entire organization. The key is consistency: at every opportunity, continually communicate the necessity of making it easier and nicer for customers to get and use solutions. Consistency occurs in formal and informal meetings, written correspondence, external messages, and in every business process and every management ritual such as performance reviews, annual operating plans, performance dashboards, etc. Consistency builds trust and passion, which are necessary ingredients for true customer-centricity.

At Amazon.com, founder Jeff Bezos once began a meeting by announcing that an empty chair at the table represented the customer. Throughout the meeting, the executives were compelled to include the customer in the discussion, as if present. This became a habit - the group's way of thinking and doing.

2. Skills. Customer-centric values and vision must be supported by proficiency in related technical and soft skills. Examine competency requirements for everyone - not just customer-facing roles - relative to your customer-centric values and vision. This includes channel partners, suppliers, and other external entities. Proficiency is the vital link between strategy and execution.

At Nordstrom, employees are selected on their capabilities to anticipate and meet people's needs. They're encouraged to try new approaches to selling and customer service, with the mantra use good judgment in all situations giving them a tremendous sense that they're trusted to always do right by the customer.

3. Accountability. What gets rewarded gets done - whether the rewards are tangible or intrinsic. Interestingly, intrinsic rewards have proven to be more powerful in adjusting a group's ways of thinking and doing. Risk tolerance and penalties also determine the degree to which customer-centricity takes root. Above all, monitor cause-and-effect and also perceptions of fairness in terms of logic and equity; these elements are pivotal to success.

At Enterprise Rent-a-Car, customer sentiment is measured at the rental office level. Only employees in offices that score at or above the overall company average are eligible for promotion, raises or bonuses. At EMC, achieving the target for their leading indicator of customer sentiment, system availability, is a go/no-go determinant of the bonus for the entire company.

4. Systems. Systems-thinking means acknowledging the big picture and linkages between its components. Scrutinize your business policies and procedures and tools for their contribution or detraction from the goal of making it easier and nicer for customers to get and use solutions. Systems include formal and informal inter-department communication and interactions and handoffs, and connections outside the enterprise.

At Dell, SVP of customer service Dick Hunter asked employees to send him notes about the inconsistent and dumb things the company was doing. Combining this input with customer's verbatim comments to their call center led to significant changes in the customer experience.

Motives are at the heart of true or false customer-centricity. Customer-centricity as priority number one must permeate the entire business, and be un-challenged by other concerns as the organization's primary focus of attention and efforts. All other goals are more likely to fall into place with consistent customer-centricity.

Customer Lifetime Value Machine Learning

Part of the appeal of customer-centricity is that it takes very little business acumen to grasp its core concept. Focus intensely on customers, align your products or services with their interests, and voila: a customer - centric culture is born. Simple, right? Not quite.

Becoming a truly customer-centric organization is perhaps one of the most difficult transitions an organization can make, fraught with hidden obstacles and unanticipated challenges. Here are three potential roadblocks on the path to a customer-centric strategy, and how to get around them.

Failing to understand your most valuable customer

A customer - centric strategy is only as good as its customers. You cant let the average customer dictate what you do, says Robert Duboff, CEO of Hawk Partners LLC and coauthor of the book Market Research Matters. Generally speaking, Duboff says, 20 percent of a company's customer base generates 80 percent of its profits. Given that split, its imperative to put your most valuable customers at the heart of your approach.

Identifying those customers need not take exhaustive research and complicated measures. It can be a fairly straightforward process, as it is with the Net Promoter Score, or NPS, a metric developed by Bain & Co.s Fred Reichheld. As set forth in The Ultimate Questionwritten by Reichheld and published by Harvard Business Pressthe NPS approach consists of one simple question: On a scale of one to 10, would you recommend us to your friends?

Based on the answer to that question, customers are segmented into three categories: promoters, who actively champion a particular product to their friends and colleagues; passives, who are lukewarm about the product; and detractors, the opposite of promoters. A given company's score is simply the difference between its number of promoters and its number of detractors.

NPS has proven to be a powerful tool for such companies as General Electric Capital Solutions, which has used it not only to identify customers that are already valuable promoters but to gain insights into how it can convert detractors. For a business like GE Capital Solutions, which serves more than 1 million very diverse customers in many different industries, NPS helps us better understand what our customers are feeling and how we can improve their experience with us, says Stephen White, a spokesperson for GE Capital.

Failing to support your external customer - centric strategy with an internal customer - centric strategy.

Speaking of valuable customers, what about that most priceless customer of all your employee?

While most companies aren't in the habit of regarding their employees as customers, those seeking to instill a customer-centric culture should rethink their stance, argues Elaine Berke, president of Westport, MA based EBI Consulting, which specializes in helping organizations develop customer-centric strategies. Customer - centricity needs to come from the inside out, says Berke. Leadership must avoid a double standard that makes it OK for managers to argue with or demean staff while still being courteous and considerate to external customers.

Consider the case of the world-renowned Johns Hopkins University Hospital. In developing a comprehensive Service Excellence initiative aimed at boosting its level of patient care, the hospital included employee satisfaction as a core component of the program. The hospital conducted an extensive survey to gauge employee concerns that turned up such simple, actionable insights as making it a point to compliment co-workers and instituting criticism - free no negativity days.

Customer-centric organizations value and respect internal customers as much as external customers, says Berke. Like the old saying goes, If you're not serving a customer, you're serving someone who is.

Failure to identify the moment of truth

Companies spend considerable time and resources developing metrics for processes, execution and other day-to-day functions but often overlook defining their moments of truth those points at which a customer interacts with a company's product or service and forms an impression.

Companies are usually very good at creating metrics around [such procedures as] production deliverables but have a much harder time knowing how to create and measure standards relating to the quality of service being delivered, Keith Bailey of Sterling Consulting Group says.

In defining a company's moments of truth, Bailey suggests looking at three different angles quality of product, quality of procedures and quality of relationships. Taking a hotel as an example, the quality of the product would be the cleanliness and comfort of the rooms. The quality of procedures would be such factors as how it long it takes to check in or how long customers wait for room service. The quality of relationship would be the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff.

Considering each angle separately allows a company to isolate the negative moments of truth within each and develop a game plan for turning them into positive experiences. Procter & Gamble, for example, identified its moment of truth as that instant when a shopper picks up one of its products and decides whether or not to purchase its decision the customer makes in an average of six seconds. The company has overhauled its marketing with that insight in mind, creating a global First Moment of Truth business team designed to win over the customer in that moment.

There are as many different customer-centric approaches as there are customers, and each has its own unique challenges, but the road to a truly customer-centric strategy always begins with the same steps.

Continue reading “Singapore Focus Groups Employee Productivity”

Chief Executive Offier Bugis Customer Centric Strategy

Work-life balance as a Chief Executive Offier Bugis is a term used for the idea that an individual needs time for both work and other aspects of life (personal interests, family and leisure activities).

Our schedules are getting busier than ever before, which often causes our work or our personal lives to suffer. The compounding stress of Chief Executive Offier Bugis from never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

Hypothalamus - Role in Motivation and Behaviour

The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different lives and different priorities. Work-life balance doesn’t mean an equal balance. There is no perfect balance you should be striving for. At the core of work-life balance is meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment.

Vendor Relationship Management Checklist

When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationship with management and tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, which in turn increases company productivity and reduces conflicts.

Companies that encourage work-life balance have become very attractive to workers. These companies also tend to enjoy higher employee retention rates and more loyalty. Promoting balance is beneficial to both employees and companies.

One of the basics of all marketing and advertising training is a teaching of "Maslow's needs pyramid". This pyramid shows the different motivators and needs in a person's life and how they are built one upon the other. Supposedly this is presented to help the marketing student understand consumer motivation and thinking. The problem is I've never seen it applied, in the text books. It's presented as the foundation of human motivation and then it's dropped.

I'd like to present to you a way to use Maslow's needs pyramid so that you can get inside the consumer's mind and develop an understanding of what's truly motivating them as they consider purchasing your product or service.

Maslow's needs pyramid present human needs such that each need is pursued and met before the next level of needs can be considered; they build upon one another. The needs from most basic to most complex are:

- physiological needs: food, shelter, sex

- safety needs: clothing, weapons, defense of self

- social needs: social acceptance

- esteem needs: acceptance of self by self

- fulfillment needs: a feeling of having and fulfilling a purpose

So the question is, "How do we use this paradigm to get inside the consumer's head?"

Let's consider a personal fitness training service. Here's how it works at the most basic level. Place yourself in the position of the consumer and think as if you are considering hiring a personal fitness trainer.

1. How will personal fitness training impact my acquisition and use of food? Of shelter? Of sexual behavior? (Now you see why sex is used in marketing so many products - we react to it instinctually)

2. How will personal fitness training impact my personal safety?
- you'll be in better shape and can run faster from a mugger, perhaps.

3. How will personal fitness training positively impact my standing in society? In my social circle? Access to different social circles?

4. How will personal fitness training positively impact how I think about myself?

5. Will personal fitness training have an impact on my personal sense of fulfillment?

I understand that most consumers, will ask themselves these types of questions without really thinking about them. The answers you develop as you purposely ask yourselves these types of questions will give you insight in the processes a consumer may consider or be susceptible to as they are considering purchasing personal fitness training services.

This process will also help you define ways to market that will get consumers to consider your personal fitness training service if they are not. Using Maslow's needs pyramid helps you target your marketing. It is the foundation of:

Getting Attention

Developing Interest

Creating Desire

Facilitating Commitment

Motivating to Action

If you can use Maslow's needs pyramid to get inside the head of the consumer by running it through a filter of questions like the one's I've presented above you'll have a tangible marketing advantage because you now can respond to your consumer's internal dialogue.

Using this type of filtering process can also help you create need in those that have not yet developed an interest in your product or service. Simply put yourself in the consumer's place and present you're marketing to them in such a way as to answer or resolve each need in the hierarchy.

Maslow's needs pyramid is a powerful tool that is taught to every marketing and advertising student in the world but it must be understood and applied if it's to actually be useful. Try using Maslow's marketing filter the next time you are considering a marketing campaign. It'll help you get a better grip on what the consumer is thinking and feeling.

There are many ways employers can promote work-life balance in office, some of which are: company outings, offering remote working and flexible hours, providing good health coverage, encouraging employee education.

Vendor Management - The RFP Process

Stress Management Workshop

Empowering employees like Chief Executive Offier Bugis to take control over their work and home lives can have a profound impact on their job satisfaction and performance, enabling companies to achieve success. Achieving work-life balance is a daily challenge. It can be tough to make time for family, friends, community participation, spirituality, personal growth, self-care, and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace.

How should the practice of business continuity evolve to manage the threats and opportunities faced by organizations today and in the future?

Business resilience is the ability an organization has to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding people. The CulturalManagement provides experts to partner with your organization and develop a comprehensive emergency preparedness and disaster management program.

Vendor risk management is now a very important concept that needs meticulous planning. It is a necessity and also a policy that many companies are following for greater efficiency and profit.

There are many Third party vendors or direct company vendors are present in many industries including software, hardware etc. Today it is an integral part of business to manage information and knowledge, as it is the most important asset of an organization. Information security, legal documentation, trademarks, patents, copyright are some traditional and newly evolved concepts. Starting from design to concept today all can be patented or protected by legal documentation.

Today companies assess the brand value, customer information, internal customer satisfaction report, past and present client information before handing over non public information to vendors, like credit card details, bank information, even address phone numbers in mailing and calling lists, (PCI DSS Requirement 12.8 similarly requires covered entities to maintain a list of service providers with whom card holder data is shared.) To back up the institution's vendor risk assessments in conversations with regulators and auditors, it is also helpful to keep handy files containing due diligence and audit reports on the vendors or summaries of such reports.

Vendor risk management is the process organizations analyze not only from the point of view of past experience but also in case to case basis that can be particular to the partnership. This is particularly important for companies that relates to data sharing and the outsourcing of business functions and processing. Vendor risk management is a standard practice today and has matured to an extent where some leading financial industry groups such as BITS have standardized the process significantly through their Standard Information Gathering (SIG) and Agreed upon Procedures (AUP) standards. The use of these standards or their derivatives helps organizations quantify the risk that may be involved with their vendors and then incorporate appropriate risk lessening techniques and measures to alleviate the risk.

Vendor risk management process helps organizations to operate in a mutually secured environment that encircles security of organizations information, customer data and also third party vendor's operational security. It does not eliminate but certainly minimize security concerns involved in third party production of good and services, processing of information and handling data and process. This also enables the third party vendors to draw border line for their employees on basis of certain legal or agreed points within which they have to deliver and work. So it is mutually benefiting the principle organization and the vendor creating a secured platform of operation where both can deliver excellent product or service to their customers or interest groups.

When a Chief Executive Offier Bugis spends the majority of its days on work-related activities and feel as if they are neglecting other important components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result. Thus, you must learn to draw a clear line between your personal and work time and set clear expectations with your colleagues.

BD General Manager Newton Employee Productivity

Work-life balance as a BD General Manager Newton is a term used for the idea that an individual needs time for both work and other aspects of life (personal interests, family and leisure activities).

Our schedules are getting busier than ever before, which often causes our work or our personal lives to suffer. The compounding stress of BD General Manager Newton from never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

Marketing in a Recession? How Consumer Behavior Tips Can Bring in Bigger Profits Despite the Economy

The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different lives and different priorities. Work-life balance doesn’t mean an equal balance. There is no perfect balance you should be striving for. At the core of work-life balance is meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment.

Top 3 Causes Of Job Satisfaction

When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationship with management and tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, which in turn increases company productivity and reduces conflicts.

Companies that encourage work-life balance have become very attractive to workers. These companies also tend to enjoy higher employee retention rates and more loyalty. Promoting balance is beneficial to both employees and companies.

The absolute most important aspect of customer retention is culture. Culture is the way things are thought about, talked about, and done. If TRUST is the basis for any long-term relationship, then a culture of trust is essential to customer retention. Two great examples are Kimpton - a boutique hotel chain, and Cisco Systems.

Kimpton has been named the number one place to work in 9 of the 17 cities where it operates. Market Metrix Hospitality Index or MMHI, has awarded top scores to Kimpton over the past few years - their scored have exceeded not only their direct competitors - but also brands such as Ritz Carlton, St Regis, and Four Seasons. Kimpton has achieved this because of their strong customer-centric culture of really knowing their customers, anticipating customers' needs with great precision, and empowering employees to meet customer expectations.

Another good example of customer-centric culture is Cisco Systems. They are proactive about solutions for every stage of the customer's lifecycle, and on their basic product web pages you can readily find contact information for customer service and tech support ... whereas many companies require customers to go through many clicks to get their contact information. Cisco has made a concerted effort to maximize their customer self-service features, so that their agents can focus on more high-value assistance, from the customers' perspective.

Walking the Talk
How many companies walk the talk by assigning an executive sponsor to customer retention? At Symantec, the Vice President of Customer Experience posts the results of their latest feedback from customers, as well as what they're doing to address that feedback. This can be one of the most powerful ways to keep your customers talking to you. Show that you really read and digest their feedback, and show that you have followed their advice in making improvements.

By closing the loop with customers, you can re-set their perceptions, so they don't feel compelled to carry around negative baggage of past experiences. They can re-set their perceptions to better meet your current realities of improved policies, business processes, and customer experiences.

Symantec takes this a step further with a feedback form on their website - enabling anyone anytime to either vent their frustrations or express appreciation for a job well done.

Two-way conversation on Twitter is best illustrated by Comcast - Frank Eliason's is director of digital care at Comcast and his profile includes his personal website and blog - as he sees customer frustrations expressed, he reaches out to them to find solutions, and in the process, many disillusioned customers have migrated to fans not only of Comcast, but to a friendship with Frank.

Going Beyond the Surface
Over-focus on customer acquisition teaches customers to switch brands. For example, the brand switching rate, called customer churn, is 40% for the mobile phone industry, compared to a 7% customer churn rate for the insurance and financial services industries. Some good advice is to quit training your customers to switch - get off the churn bandwagon.

Let's take a look at a mobile phone company that has pursued a customer retention strategy whereas its peers in the industry were focused primarily on customer acquisition. The mobile phone company Orange is owned by France Telecom, and it's a great example of departing from industry norms with a unique experiment on customer service as a brand differentiator - somewhat similar to the Saturn brand of General Motors.

Orange has pursued a strategy of customer-centricity by investing heavily in their agents' knowledge, customer communication and responsiveness. Customer service agents take a 1-month course before interacting with customers, and for their first several weeks interfacing with customers, the work environment has a high ratio of supervisors.

This is accompanied by ongoing formal quality assurance with an emphasis on precision monitoring through speech analytics. The speech analytics tool has enabled Orange to identify at-risk customers, and these customers are reached out to within 24 hours, to turn around their sentiment about the brand, and migrate them from at-risk status toward satisfied status.

80% of the customers identified as at-risk through the speech analytics were not picked up as at-risk through the agents nor other methods. The results are 20% improvement in 1st call resolution, 15% reduction in repeat calls, and 20% increase in satisfaction with customer service.

Trust is the Foundation
The lesson here is that customer retention may be best supported by operational integrity. After all, when you think about your personal relationships as well as your business relationships, you tend to stick with the folks that are really good at showing they sincerely care about you, and doing what they say they're going to do.

It boils down to trust. When you dig down to the reasons why people leave a brand for a competitor's solution, it's not so much about the competitors' offers and brand affinity -- but, rather, the reasons people switch brands is much more about product, service and value disappointments. Companies make huge investments in communicating their value proposition. Logic says a corresponding investment - at least in energy and scrutiny - should be made in making sure their value proposition is lived up to. TRUST is the best way to retain customers.

There are many ways employers can promote work-life balance in office, some of which are: company outings, offering remote working and flexible hours, providing good health coverage, encouraging employee education.

Vendor Management

What Is Customer Centric Organization

Empowering employees like BD General Manager Newton to take control over their work and home lives can have a profound impact on their job satisfaction and performance, enabling companies to achieve success. Achieving work-life balance is a daily challenge. It can be tough to make time for family, friends, community participation, spirituality, personal growth, self-care, and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace.

How should the practice of business continuity evolve to manage the threats and opportunities faced by organizations today and in the future?

Business resilience is the ability an organization has to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding people. The CulturalManagement provides experts to partner with your organization and develop a comprehensive emergency preparedness and disaster management program.

Customer centric selling is a selling process that seeks to sell products to the customer with the aim of ensuring that the interests of the buyer are prioritized. Unlike the traditional approach, this selling process seeks to form long-term relationships between the buyer and the seller by turning the seller into a partner rather than a tormentor. However, it does not seek to overhaul or do away with traditional sales values and tactics. Instead, it seeks to make those values adapt to changing consumer patterns and increased scrutiny from government regulations.

Conversations vs. Presentations

Traditional marketing requires that you go with a script in your head and present it to anyone who cares to listen. Though this worked for a while and still works, customer-centric selling tries to replace this with situational conversations. This means that the seller tries to give this person something that is relevant to a situation that is around them.

Features vs. Benefits

Nowadays, people are more interested about their needs than in the past. For this reason, they seek to relate what the product can do to what they need to be done. This means that instead of telling this person that the laptop weighs only three ounce, you tell that person that the laptop is light and portable. This means that you as a salesperson need to highlight the benefits of the product and how it will help that buyer.

Bottom-up Approach

Another feature about customer-centric sales strategy is that unlike traditional marketing where the salespersons were seen as a group that needs to be managed (since it was a top down approach), effective selling requires that managers rely on feedback from the salesperson to the managing because it is the salespeople who understand the real difficulties of selling the product based on with their challenges, and therefore, the need for adjusting your product to suit the buyer and not the other way round.

Questions

Another unique thing about the customer-centric selling approach is that the seller makes an effort in trying to ask the buyer questions so as to get feedbacks. Here, the seller has not just gone out to recite a couple of features about the product and then give them to a disinterested listener. The seller seeks to show the buyer that he is actually willing to listen to the buyer and then gives him what will be the best. So many people have been able to get valuable information from prospects even though they may not have bought the product, but provided valuable insight as to why the product was not selling in the first place.

As the name suggests, it is important to note that this model for selling is rather new and if you are planning to introduce it to your organization, you may face some stiff resistance to those who are used to the old way of doing things. However, once you try implementing it, you will realize that the benefits of this system far outweigh the challenges.

When a BD General Manager Newton spends the majority of its days on work-related activities and feel as if they are neglecting other important components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result. Thus, you must learn to draw a clear line between your personal and work time and set clear expectations with your colleagues.

Information Technology Director Customer Centric Selling

Work-life balance as a Information Technology Director is a term used for the idea that an individual needs time for both work and other aspects of life (personal interests, family and leisure activities).

Our schedules are getting busier than ever before, which often causes our work or our personal lives to suffer. The compounding stress of Information Technology Director from never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

Strategic Supplier Relationships: The Key to Vendor Performance Management

The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different lives and different priorities. Work-life balance doesn’t mean an equal balance. There is no perfect balance you should be striving for. At the core of work-life balance is meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment.

First Focus Should Be Supplier Relationship Management

When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationship with management and tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, which in turn increases company productivity and reduces conflicts.

Companies that encourage work-life balance have become very attractive to workers. These companies also tend to enjoy higher employee retention rates and more loyalty. Promoting balance is beneficial to both employees and companies.

"Behaviour is ultimately the product of the brain, the most mysterious organ of them all." Ian Tattersall (from Becoming Human.Evolution and Human Uniqueness, 1998)

The question of why we are motivated to certain behaviours is perhaps one of the most fundamental in Psychology. Since Pavlov described conditioning in dogs in his famous 1927 paper, scientists have pondered the origins of motivations that drive us to action. For most of the early twentieth century, behaviourists like Watson & Skinner sought to explain behaviour in terms of external physical stimuli, suggesting that learned responses, hedonic reward and reinforcement were motives to elicit a particular behaviour. However, this does not tell the whole story. In the last few decades, the school of cognitive psychology has focused on additional mechanisms of motivation: our desires according to social and cultural factors having an influence on behaviour. Furthermore, recent advances in neuroimaging technology have allowed scientists an insight into the vast complexities and modular nature of specific brain regions. This research has shown that behaviours necessary for survival also have an inherent biological basis.

The biological trigger for inherent behaviours such as eating, drinking and temperature control can be traced to the hypothalamus, an area of the diencephalon. This article will explore the hypothalamic role in such motivated behaviours. It is important to note that a motivated behaviour resulting from internal hypothalamic stimuli is only one aspect of what is a complex and integrated response.

The hypothalamus links the autonomic nervous system to the endocrine system and serves many vital functions. It is the homeostatic 'control centre' of the body, maintaining a balanced internal environment by having specific regulatory areas for body temperature, body weight, osmotic balance and blood pressure. It can be categorised as having three main outputs: the autonomic nervous system, the endocrine system and motivated behavioural response. The central role of the hypothalamus in motivated behaviour was proposed as early as 1954 by Eliot Stellar who suggested that "the amount of motivated behaviour is a direct function of the amount of activity in certain excitatory centres of the hypothalamus" (p6). This postulation has inspired a wealth of subsequent research.

Much of this research has been in the field of thermoregulation. The body's ability to maintain a steady internal environment is of critical importance for survivalas many crucialbiochemical reactions will only function within a narrow temperature range. In 1961, Nakayama et al discovered thermosensitive neurons in the medial preoptic area of the hypothalamus. Subsequent research showed that stimulation of the hypothalamic region initiated humoral and visceromotor responses such as panting, shivering, sweating, vasodilation and vasoconstriction. However, somatic motor responses are also initiated by the lateral hypothalamus. It is much more effective to move around, rub your hands together or put on extra clothes if you are feeling cold. Similarly, if you are too warm you might remove some clothing or fan yourself to cool down. These motivated behaviours demonstrate that in contrast to a fixed stimulus response, motivated behaviour stimulated by the hypothalamus has a variable relationship between input and output. This interaction with our external environment may be a 'choice', however it is clear that the motivation to make these choices has a biological basis.

The mechanics of thermoregulation can be explained by what is sometimes referred to as 'drive states'. This is essentially a feedback loop that is initiated by an internal stimulus which requires an external response. Kendal (2000) defines drive states as "characterised by tension and discomfort due to a physiological need followed by relief when the need is satisfied". The process begins with the input. Temperature changes are picked up from peripheral surroundings by thermoreceptive neurons throughout body which sense both warmth and cold separately. An electrical signal (the input) is then sent to the brain. Any divergence from what is known as the 'set point' - in this case a temperature of approx 37° - will then be identified as an 'error signal' by interoceptive neurons in the periventricular region of the hypothalamus. Armed with these measurements and temperature signals being relayed from the blood, the hypothalamus then launches an appropriate error response. This includes motivating behaviour to make a physical adjustment, e.g. to move around or remove surplus clothing in an attempt to control your temperature.

This type of feedback system in the body is common. Other systems necessary for survival such as regulation of blood salt and water levels are regulated in a similar way. However, the processes that motivate us to eat is much more complex.

Humans have evolved an intricate physiological system to regulate food intake which encompasses a myriad of organs, hormones and bodily systems. Furthermore, a wealth of experimental research supports the idea that the hypothalamus plays a key role in this energy homeostasis by triggering feeding behaviours. Controlling energy balance is of crucial importance and eating is primarily to maintain fat stores in the event of food shortage. If fat cell reserves in the body are low, they release a hormone called leptin which is detected as an error signal by the periventricular region of the hypothalamus. This then stimulates the lateral hypothalamus to initiate the error response. In this case, we start to feel hungry which in turns initates the somatic motor response by motivating us to eat.

Since the hypothalamus also controls metabolic rate by monitoring blood sugar levels, in theory we seem to have a similar feedback loop to temperature control. However in practice this is not a reality. The main difficulty in maintaining energy homeostasis is that motivation does not rise solely from internal biological influences. Cultural and social factors also play an important part in motivation about when, what and how often to eat. In western culture, social pressures to be thin can override the need to eat and in extreme cases like anorexia the drive state becomes reversed. The motivation is no longer to eat because they are hungry but is instead not to eat so they do feel hungry. This corruption of the reward system is well documented and is associated with delusions of body image, a concept which is also linked to the hypothalamus and the parietal lobe. Problems can also occur if an individual receives over stimulation to eat. The prevalence of obesity in today's society is testament to this fact.

There are many ways employers can promote work-life balance in office, some of which are: company outings, offering remote working and flexible hours, providing good health coverage, encouraging employee education.

Relationship Versus Vendor Management

Vendor Relationship Management Checklist

Empowering employees like Information Technology Director to take control over their work and home lives can have a profound impact on their job satisfaction and performance, enabling companies to achieve success. Achieving work-life balance is a daily challenge. It can be tough to make time for family, friends, community participation, spirituality, personal growth, self-care, and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace.

How should the practice of business continuity evolve to manage the threats and opportunities faced by organizations today and in the future?

Business resilience is the ability an organization has to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding people. The CulturalManagement provides experts to partner with your organization and develop a comprehensive emergency preparedness and disaster management program.

One of the basics of all marketing and advertising training is a teaching of "Maslow's needs pyramid". This pyramid shows the different motivators and needs in a person's life and how they are built one upon the other. Supposedly this is presented to help the marketing student understand consumer motivation and thinking. The problem is I've never seen it applied, in the text books. It's presented as the foundation of human motivation and then it's dropped.

I'd like to present to you a way to use Maslow's needs pyramid so that you can get inside the consumer's mind and develop an understanding of what's truly motivating them as they consider purchasing your product or service.

Maslow's needs pyramid present human needs such that each need is pursued and met before the next level of needs can be considered; they build upon one another. The needs from most basic to most complex are:

- physiological needs: food, shelter, sex

- safety needs: clothing, weapons, defense of self

- social needs: social acceptance

- esteem needs: acceptance of self by self

- fulfillment needs: a feeling of having and fulfilling a purpose

So the question is, "How do we use this paradigm to get inside the consumer's head?"

Let's consider a personal fitness training service. Here's how it works at the most basic level. Place yourself in the position of the consumer and think as if you are considering hiring a personal fitness trainer.

1. How will personal fitness training impact my acquisition and use of food? Of shelter? Of sexual behavior? (Now you see why sex is used in marketing so many products - we react to it instinctually)

2. How will personal fitness training impact my personal safety?
- you'll be in better shape and can run faster from a mugger, perhaps.

3. How will personal fitness training positively impact my standing in society? In my social circle? Access to different social circles?

4. How will personal fitness training positively impact how I think about myself?

5. Will personal fitness training have an impact on my personal sense of fulfillment?

I understand that most consumers, will ask themselves these types of questions without really thinking about them. The answers you develop as you purposely ask yourselves these types of questions will give you insight in the processes a consumer may consider or be susceptible to as they are considering purchasing personal fitness training services.

This process will also help you define ways to market that will get consumers to consider your personal fitness training service if they are not. Using Maslow's needs pyramid helps you target your marketing. It is the foundation of:

Getting Attention

Developing Interest

Creating Desire

Facilitating Commitment

Motivating to Action

If you can use Maslow's needs pyramid to get inside the head of the consumer by running it through a filter of questions like the one's I've presented above you'll have a tangible marketing advantage because you now can respond to your consumer's internal dialogue.

Using this type of filtering process can also help you create need in those that have not yet developed an interest in your product or service. Simply put yourself in the consumer's place and present you're marketing to them in such a way as to answer or resolve each need in the hierarchy.

Maslow's needs pyramid is a powerful tool that is taught to every marketing and advertising student in the world but it must be understood and applied if it's to actually be useful. Try using Maslow's marketing filter the next time you are considering a marketing campaign. It'll help you get a better grip on what the consumer is thinking and feeling.

When a Information Technology Director spends the majority of its days on work-related activities and feel as if they are neglecting other important components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result. Thus, you must learn to draw a clear line between your personal and work time and set clear expectations with your colleagues.

BD Managing Director Woodlands Job Satisfaction

Work-life balance as a BD Managing Director Woodlands is a term used for the idea that an individual needs time for both work and other aspects of life (personal interests, family and leisure activities).

Our schedules are getting busier than ever before, which often causes our work or our personal lives to suffer. The compounding stress of BD Managing Director Woodlands from never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

Improve Customer Experience by Overcoming Ethnocentric Customer-Centricity

The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different lives and different priorities. Work-life balance doesn’t mean an equal balance. There is no perfect balance you should be striving for. At the core of work-life balance is meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment.

Vendor Relationship Management Interview Questions

When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationship with management and tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, which in turn increases company productivity and reduces conflicts.

Companies that encourage work-life balance have become very attractive to workers. These companies also tend to enjoy higher employee retention rates and more loyalty. Promoting balance is beneficial to both employees and companies.

Motivation is the characteristic that is required in order to achieve anything in life; without it you will give up at the first sign of adversity. It means to inspire, instigate and encourage a person to do their best. Motivation will compel a person to think "If I can't, then I must" and will cause them to do whatever it takes to become successful. If you inspire motivation it can change your life. You will be inspired to get what you want regardless of what people tell you that you can not do. I have personally seen people apply the motivation factors in life to get from poverty to a life filled with abundance.

Do you think you possess the quality? Only you can answer this question. Take a honest look at yourself; do you find yourself pursuing your goals everyday? Are you doing something to work towards them regardless of what is going on in your life? If you are then you; then my friend you do possess this characteristic and you will reach all your goals. I wake up at 5:00 in the morning to get started on my goals. I am passionate about reaching all my goals. Do you find yourself doing this or are you making excuses of why you can not work on a goal?

It will give you the passion to begin exploring what it is you really want to do in life, and give you the courage to follow your dreams. If you do not like where you currently are and are living life everyday unhappy and frustrated; it probably is because you do not possess any motivation for what you are currently doing. It is up to you to find out what you would really like to be doing with your life. What kind of lifestyle do you want? What kind of career do you want? Do you actually know what it is that would make you happy and excited about getting up out of bed in the morning?

This is a strong quality for anyone to possess; and you can only possess it when you set a burning desire to be do have something in life. No one can give it to you. It can change a persons life in many ways. It can change the way you think, and when you become involved with personal development and become a much more positive individual motivation will get you out of your negative environment.

It is the fuel that inspires us to reach our goals and achieve what we truly desire. It also allows us to keep getting up and moving forward when we get knocked down. Getting motivated and staying motivated gives us the energy we require to reach our goals in the shortest amount of time possible. It is required to meet our goals and do anything purposeful in life. Without it you will not want to get out of bed, clean the house, walk the dogs or do anything at all. Being successful in life and motivation go hand in hand. When you learn how to achieve motivation for something you truly desire; nothing can stop you from having it. So think about it; what truly motivates you then take action towards it and watch it become your reality.

There are many ways employers can promote work-life balance in office, some of which are: company outings, offering remote working and flexible hours, providing good health coverage, encouraging employee education.

Six Steps to a Successful Vendor Management System

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO Increase CONSUMER AWARENESS

Empowering employees like BD Managing Director Woodlands to take control over their work and home lives can have a profound impact on their job satisfaction and performance, enabling companies to achieve success. Achieving work-life balance is a daily challenge. It can be tough to make time for family, friends, community participation, spirituality, personal growth, self-care, and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace.

How should the practice of business continuity evolve to manage the threats and opportunities faced by organizations today and in the future?

Business resilience is the ability an organization has to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding people. The CulturalManagement provides experts to partner with your organization and develop a comprehensive emergency preparedness and disaster management program.

Look at how times have changed. There was a time when the purpose of having a contract between vendor and a vendee was simply to establish the terms of their relationship and the manner by which prospective business relationship is to be conducted. Remember the old days of a deal with just a handshake? How about "my word is my bond"? Those days are long gone and one must protect the company from any shady deals.

As soon as the terms of the contract are spelled out which are simple, concise and straightforward, you are ready to affix your signature and seal the agreement. That is basically contract management in a nutshell.

However, if you are talking of software license agreements, things will be quite different from your conventional contracts and the application of the principles related to vendor management will have a different complexion. If you are availing of one of these software packages which are governed by license agreements then it is essential that you spend a moment to study the fine prints of the terms and conditions as it is important that you understand every detail of its provision. This is how the principles of contract management are applied under agreements involving the purchase of software packages.

An effective contract management involving software packages will require you to focus on the prices and other legal provisions that are included in the agreement. The price is usually cited in the legal disclaimers about system performance and quality. This section of the contract is an essential component and it is important that you analyze if you are satisfied would this kind of relationship as what is indicated is what you will receive and nothing more. In your approach for relevant principles and techniques of vendor management, it is important that you are aware of what the vendor commits to provide you and the legal remedies available to you in case of disputes and disagreements.

It is imperative that you consider all provisions including those outside the contract price and major legal issues. If you feel that the contract presented by a vendor seems to be disadvantageous or deficient in substance in protecting your interest, the problem is not in the contract. There are some things that you might have missed during the negotiation that preceded the contract. Most of us have the tendency of focusing our attention on the more obvious aspects of the transaction and leave everything to the lawyer. In the end, we find ourselves with a contract which does not meet our expectation. In most cases, what we have as a contract is deficient or lacking in provisions on compliance to schedule, performance of the vendor and cost control.

So, what are the important things that you have to tackle in a negotiation? Obviously, you will have to agree on the contract price of the software package. Over and beyond the price consideration and other related issues, you have to focus extensively on the functionality and support services that you want the vendor to provide under the proposed agreement. You should remember that what is being sold is a collection of ideas and not a tangible and physical product. Its importance is determined by product's ability in providing the functionality that you need within a specified time frame and with the level of quality that you can not achieve using your existing manpower and capabilities.

When a BD Managing Director Woodlands spends the majority of its days on work-related activities and feel as if they are neglecting other important components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result. Thus, you must learn to draw a clear line between your personal and work time and set clear expectations with your colleagues.

Finance General Manager Clementi Customer Centric

Work-life balance as a Finance General Manager Clementi is a term used for the idea that an individual needs time for both work and other aspects of life (personal interests, family and leisure activities).

Our schedules are getting busier than ever before, which often causes our work or our personal lives to suffer. The compounding stress of Finance General Manager Clementi from never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

Vendor Management Software - How It Helps To Manage Vendors

The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different lives and different priorities. Work-life balance doesn’t mean an equal balance. There is no perfect balance you should be striving for. At the core of work-life balance is meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment.

First Focus Should Be Supplier Relationship Management

When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationship with management and tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, which in turn increases company productivity and reduces conflicts.

Companies that encourage work-life balance have become very attractive to workers. These companies also tend to enjoy higher employee retention rates and more loyalty. Promoting balance is beneficial to both employees and companies.

The absolute most important aspect of customer retention is culture. Culture is the way things are thought about, talked about, and done. If TRUST is the basis for any long-term relationship, then a culture of trust is essential to customer retention. Two great examples are Kimpton - a boutique hotel chain, and Cisco Systems.

Kimpton has been named the number one place to work in 9 of the 17 cities where it operates. Market Metrix Hospitality Index or MMHI, has awarded top scores to Kimpton over the past few years - their scored have exceeded not only their direct competitors - but also brands such as Ritz Carlton, St Regis, and Four Seasons. Kimpton has achieved this because of their strong customer-centric culture of really knowing their customers, anticipating customers' needs with great precision, and empowering employees to meet customer expectations.

Another good example of customer-centric culture is Cisco Systems. They are proactive about solutions for every stage of the customer's lifecycle, and on their basic product web pages you can readily find contact information for customer service and tech support ... whereas many companies require customers to go through many clicks to get their contact information. Cisco has made a concerted effort to maximize their customer self-service features, so that their agents can focus on more high-value assistance, from the customers' perspective.

Walking the Talk
How many companies walk the talk by assigning an executive sponsor to customer retention? At Symantec, the Vice President of Customer Experience posts the results of their latest feedback from customers, as well as what they're doing to address that feedback. This can be one of the most powerful ways to keep your customers talking to you. Show that you really read and digest their feedback, and show that you have followed their advice in making improvements.

By closing the loop with customers, you can re-set their perceptions, so they don't feel compelled to carry around negative baggage of past experiences. They can re-set their perceptions to better meet your current realities of improved policies, business processes, and customer experiences.

Symantec takes this a step further with a feedback form on their website - enabling anyone anytime to either vent their frustrations or express appreciation for a job well done.

Two-way conversation on Twitter is best illustrated by Comcast - Frank Eliason's is director of digital care at Comcast and his profile includes his personal website and blog - as he sees customer frustrations expressed, he reaches out to them to find solutions, and in the process, many disillusioned customers have migrated to fans not only of Comcast, but to a friendship with Frank.

Going Beyond the Surface
Over-focus on customer acquisition teaches customers to switch brands. For example, the brand switching rate, called customer churn, is 40% for the mobile phone industry, compared to a 7% customer churn rate for the insurance and financial services industries. Some good advice is to quit training your customers to switch - get off the churn bandwagon.

Let's take a look at a mobile phone company that has pursued a customer retention strategy whereas its peers in the industry were focused primarily on customer acquisition. The mobile phone company Orange is owned by France Telecom, and it's a great example of departing from industry norms with a unique experiment on customer service as a brand differentiator - somewhat similar to the Saturn brand of General Motors.

Orange has pursued a strategy of customer-centricity by investing heavily in their agents' knowledge, customer communication and responsiveness. Customer service agents take a 1-month course before interacting with customers, and for their first several weeks interfacing with customers, the work environment has a high ratio of supervisors.

This is accompanied by ongoing formal quality assurance with an emphasis on precision monitoring through speech analytics. The speech analytics tool has enabled Orange to identify at-risk customers, and these customers are reached out to within 24 hours, to turn around their sentiment about the brand, and migrate them from at-risk status toward satisfied status.

80% of the customers identified as at-risk through the speech analytics were not picked up as at-risk through the agents nor other methods. The results are 20% improvement in 1st call resolution, 15% reduction in repeat calls, and 20% increase in satisfaction with customer service.

Trust is the Foundation
The lesson here is that customer retention may be best supported by operational integrity. After all, when you think about your personal relationships as well as your business relationships, you tend to stick with the folks that are really good at showing they sincerely care about you, and doing what they say they're going to do.

It boils down to trust. When you dig down to the reasons why people leave a brand for a competitor's solution, it's not so much about the competitors' offers and brand affinity -- but, rather, the reasons people switch brands is much more about product, service and value disappointments. Companies make huge investments in communicating their value proposition. Logic says a corresponding investment - at least in energy and scrutiny - should be made in making sure their value proposition is lived up to. TRUST is the best way to retain customers.

There are many ways employers can promote work-life balance in office, some of which are: company outings, offering remote working and flexible hours, providing good health coverage, encouraging employee education.

Hypothalamus - Role in Motivation and Behaviour

What Is Client Eccentricity

Empowering employees like Finance General Manager Clementi to take control over their work and home lives can have a profound impact on their job satisfaction and performance, enabling companies to achieve success. Achieving work-life balance is a daily challenge. It can be tough to make time for family, friends, community participation, spirituality, personal growth, self-care, and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace.

How should the practice of business continuity evolve to manage the threats and opportunities faced by organizations today and in the future?

Business resilience is the ability an organization has to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding people. The CulturalManagement provides experts to partner with your organization and develop a comprehensive emergency preparedness and disaster management program.

A recipe for successful outsourcing
Success in business relies as much on relationship management as anything, and when it comes to outsourcing this axiom certainly holds. The best outsourced team in the world cannot deliver excellence if projects are "thrown over the wall" with little communication or understanding between the parties.

You would think those of us in the IT world would know this by now.
After all, managing outsourced relationships has been a topic of articles, blogs and conversation since the nineties. Relationships are clearly NOT easy, which explains why everyone from Dear Abby to this newsletter keeps talking about how to handle them.

People naturally develop and work through relationships, but organizations seem to lose that ability. Between planning, flow charts, deadlines, etc., we forget that every project comes down to the people involved. And people are, well -- human. They need to be engaged and involved in their work. They need to feel like a vital part of the team and solution.

Bruce A. Stewart, management advisor and former columnist for Computerworld, wrote that: "Most companies put little time or effort into these (outsourced) relationships..." Yet outsourcing continues to grow, and, Stewart says, "Learning how to deal with the changes outsourcing brings can actually work in our favor." Stewart's article, reprinted on CIO.com, goes on to identify ways to optimize outsourcing relationships.

Our experience has shown a recipe for outsourcing success that closely parallels Stewart's suggestions, and goes a bit further by incorporating accountability as well.

Tips for Successful Outsourcing

  1. Formalize the outsourcing relationship - Create an organizational chart that shows who reports to whom within the scope of the relationship, and how teams and people relate to each other. Use Skype or other methods to meet regularly, share ideas and celebrate successes. Develop contacts deep into each organization so that cultural understanding is not isolated to just a few people.
  2. Commit to the relationship - Stewart rightly points out that commitment can only come with trust, but he also notes that, "... a failure to commit shows up as a lack of success--on both sides of the table." He suggests that companies determine upfront that they are committed to establishing trust, and work from there. What you want, ultimately, is an outsourced team that understands company objectives and can contribute initiatives and knowledge.
  3. Insist on accountability -- on both sides of the relationship - When given ownership of a project, people take responsibility for it.
  4. And with responsibility comes accountability. High-performing teams set guidelines and deadlines, and hold their members accountable to these. When practiced this way, accountability becomes an integral and positive part of team culture - not something that has to be constantly enforced from the top.
  5. Focus on the long-term - There will always be short-term obstacles and set-backs. A good outsourcing relationship can survive these when internal and external team members are committed to the same long-term goals and expectations. As long as these continue to evolve together, the outsourcing team remains valuable, bringing its own history and knowledge that contribute to the bottom line.

When a Finance General Manager Clementi spends the majority of its days on work-related activities and feel as if they are neglecting other important components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result. Thus, you must learn to draw a clear line between your personal and work time and set clear expectations with your colleagues.

Finance Executive Serangoon Work Stress

Work-life balance as a Finance Executive Serangoon is a term used for the idea that an individual needs time for both work and other aspects of life (personal interests, family and leisure activities).

Our schedules are getting busier than ever before, which often causes our work or our personal lives to suffer. The compounding stress of Finance Executive Serangoon from never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

Marketing in a Recession? How Consumer Behavior Tips Can Bring in Bigger Profits Despite the Economy

The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different lives and different priorities. Work-life balance doesn’t mean an equal balance. There is no perfect balance you should be striving for. At the core of work-life balance is meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment.

Consumer Markets And Consumer Buyer Behavior

When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationship with management and tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, which in turn increases company productivity and reduces conflicts.

Companies that encourage work-life balance have become very attractive to workers. These companies also tend to enjoy higher employee retention rates and more loyalty. Promoting balance is beneficial to both employees and companies.

A vendor management system (VMS) promises freedom from the chaos that can be caused by juggling the vast array of components in a staffing supply chain. It does this by pushing everything through a central processing point. Yet the business side of making these transitions can be complicated and disastrous if not well planned. How do you ensure a successful VMS implementation? After spending months with companies and vendors in developing ContractCentral we've learned some valuable lessons about making the transition to vendor management system.

1. Know why you're buying a VMS

Organizations deploy VMS systems for different reasons. Will your VMS foster competitive bidding to lower staffing costs? Speed requisition broadcasts? Reduce the time it takes to find and manage contract workers? You'll save time and money by building a prioritized list of those reasons, understanding must-haves and trade-offs, and using that list to spec, evaluate, plan and build a VMS solution tailored to your business.

2. Establish success metrics up front

How will you define success or failure in your VMS implementation? Identify at least one measure of success for each of the items on your priority list, and develop metrics that enable you to prove the value of the new system. Establishing metrics early, before the project has started, allows you to create and track baselines. These days CFOs are increasingly concerned with making total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) a central facet of the solution. Establishing a hard dollar value can be tough (be sure to ask prospective vendors for suggestions) but can go a long way toward winning loyal support from senior management.

3. Map VMS against your own business processes

Any major solution implementation can require a few tweaks to your business process as it's deployed. The trick is to prevent tweaks from becoming major process re-engineering (unless, of course, a re-engineering is part of the plan).

Before telecommunications company ADC deployed HotGigs ContractCentral, it studied its existing staffing operations and determined that some re-engineering was necessary. Those changes became an early part of the deployment plan, allowing the team to craft retraining and support strategies to ensure a smooth transition.

4. Understand your costs

The industry rule of thumb says a VMS shouldn't cost more than 1 to 3 percent of your hiring budget, and you can anticipate saving 10 percent to 25 percent of your staffing costs through increased efficiencies and more competitive bidding.However, don't overlook hidden costs. How will your employees manage staffing during the transition? Have you budgeted for retraining your users and participating vendors? Does your contract include post-deployment enhancements? Is there an early penalty for canceling a VMS purchased for a set term?

5. Put yourself in your vendors' shoes

Be realistic about your staffing vendors' costs as well. The higher the cost of integration with your new VMS, or the more deltas there are between their system and yours, the less likely you are to get accurate inputs and prompt responses.

5. Build a training plan

If training is needed, are there online training and support modules available? How much training time will each user need? Are there different views available of the user's desktop in the VMS based on their role and relationship to the system?

6. Plan to scale

One of the greatest success factors of a software application is its rate of adoption with the people who are supposed to use it. If your initial roll out is successful, your users will inevitably begin to use it in new ways, find new reporting requirements...and sooner or later you'll be faced with a need to scale. Make sure your VMS can handle the load without the need for extensive custom-coding, an expensive proposition. In addition, opt for the smartest, most flexible reporting structure possible.

There are many ways employers can promote work-life balance in office, some of which are: company outings, offering remote working and flexible hours, providing good health coverage, encouraging employee education.

Shifting to a Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy

Consumer Behavior Model And Research

Empowering employees like Finance Executive Serangoon to take control over their work and home lives can have a profound impact on their job satisfaction and performance, enabling companies to achieve success. Achieving work-life balance is a daily challenge. It can be tough to make time for family, friends, community participation, spirituality, personal growth, self-care, and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace.

How should the practice of business continuity evolve to manage the threats and opportunities faced by organizations today and in the future?

Business resilience is the ability an organization has to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding people. The CulturalManagement provides experts to partner with your organization and develop a comprehensive emergency preparedness and disaster management program.

Consumer behavior refers to the selection, purchase and consumption of goods and services for the satisfaction of their wants. There are different processes involved in the consumer behavior. Initially the consumer tries to find what commodities he would like to consume, then he selects only those commodities that promise greater utility. After selecting the commodities, the consumer makes an estimate of the available money which he can spend. Lastly, the consumer analyzes the prevailing prices of commodities and takes the decision about the commodities he should consume. Meanwhile, there are various other factors influencing the purchases of consumer such as social, cultural, personal and psychological. The explanation of these factors is given below.

1. Cultural Factors

Consumer behavior is deeply influenced by cultural factors such as: buyer culture, subculture, and social class.

• Culture

Basically, culture is the part of every society and is the important cause of person wants and behavior. The influence of culture on buying behavior varies from country to country therefore marketers have to be very careful in analyzing the culture of different groups, regions or even countries.

• Subculture

Each culture contains different subcultures such as religions, nationalities, geographic regions, racial groups etc. Marketers can use these groups by segmenting the market into various small portions. For example marketers can design products according to the needs of a particular geographic group.

• Social Class

Every society possesses some form of social class which is important to the marketers because the buying behavior of people in a given social class is similar. In this way marketing activities could be tailored according to different social classes. Here we should note that social class is not only determined by income but there are various other factors as well such as: wealth, education, occupation etc.

2. Social Factors

Social factors also impact the buying behavior of consumers. The important social factors are: reference groups, family, role and status.

• Reference Groups

Reference groups have potential in forming a person attitude or behavior. The impact of reference groups varies across products and brands. For example if the product is visible such as dress, shoes, car etc then the influence of reference groups will be high. Reference groups also include opinion leader (a person who influences other because of his special skill, knowledge or other characteristics).

• Family

Buyer behavior is strongly influenced by the member of a family. Therefore marketers are trying to find the roles and influence of the husband, wife and children. If the buying decision of a particular product is influenced by wife then the marketers will try to target the women in their advertisement. Here we should note that buying roles change with change in consumer lifestyles.

• Roles and Status

Each person possesses different roles and status in the society depending upon the groups, clubs, family, organization etc. to which he belongs. For example a woman is working in an organization as finance manager. Now she is playing two roles, one of finance manager and other of mother. Therefore her buying decisions will be influenced by her role and status.

3. Personal Factors

Personal factors can also affect the consumer behavior. Some of the important personal factors that influence the buying behavior are: lifestyle, economic situation, occupation, age, personality and self concept.

• Age

Age and life-cycle have potential impact on the consumer buying behavior. It is obvious that the consumers change the purchase of goods and services with the passage of time. Family life-cycle consists of different stages such young singles, married couples, unmarried couples etc which help marketers to develop appropriate products for each stage.

• Occupation

The occupation of a person has significant impact on his buying behavior. For example a marketing manager of an organization will try to purchase business suits, whereas a low level worker in the same organization will purchase rugged work clothes.

• Economic Situation

Consumer economic situation has great influence on his buying behavior. If the income and savings of a customer is high then he will purchase more expensive products. On the other hand, a person with low income and savings will purchase inexpensive products.

• Lifestyle

Lifestyle of customers is another import factor affecting the consumer buying behavior. Lifestyle refers to the way a person lives in a society and is expressed by the things in his/her surroundings. It is determined by customer interests, opinions, activities etc and shapes his whole pattern of acting and interacting in the world.

• Personality

Personality changes from person to person, time to time and place to place. Therefore it can greatly influence the buying behavior of customers. Actually, Personality is not what one wears; rather it is the totality of behavior of a man in different circumstances. It has different characteristics such as: dominance, aggressiveness, self-confidence etc which can be useful to determine the consumer behavior for particular product or service.

4. Psychological Factors

There are four important psychological factors affecting the consumer buying behavior. These are: perception, motivation, learning, beliefs and attitudes.

• Motivation

The level of motivation also affects the buying behavior of customers. Every person has different needs such as physiological needs, biological needs, social needs etc. The nature of the needs is that, some of them are most pressing while others are least pressing. Therefore a need becomes a motive when it is more pressing to direct the person to seek satisfaction.

• Perception

Selecting, organizing and interpreting information in a way to produce a meaningful experience of the world is called perception. There are three different perceptual processes which are selective attention, selective distortion and selective retention. In case of selective attention, marketers try to attract the customer attention. Whereas, in case of selective distortion, customers try to interpret the information in a way that will support what the customers already believe. Similarly, in case of selective retention, marketers try to retain information that supports their beliefs.

• Beliefs and Attitudes

Customer possesses specific belief and attitude towards various products. Since such beliefs and attitudes make up brand image and affect consumer buying behavior therefore marketers are interested in them. Marketers can change the beliefs and attitudes of customers by launching special campaigns in this regard.

When a Finance Executive Serangoon spends the majority of its days on work-related activities and feel as if they are neglecting other important components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result. Thus, you must learn to draw a clear line between your personal and work time and set clear expectations with your colleagues.

Finance Director Raffles Place Job Satisfaction

Work-life balance as a Finance Director Raffles Place is a term used for the idea that an individual needs time for both work and other aspects of life (personal interests, family and leisure activities).

Our schedules are getting busier than ever before, which often causes our work or our personal lives to suffer. The compounding stress of Finance Director Raffles Place from never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

Roadmap to a Customer - Centric Strategy

The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different lives and different priorities. Work-life balance doesn’t mean an equal balance. There is no perfect balance you should be striving for. At the core of work-life balance is meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment.

Why Customer Centricity Is Important

When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationship with management and tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, which in turn increases company productivity and reduces conflicts.

Companies that encourage work-life balance have become very attractive to workers. These companies also tend to enjoy higher employee retention rates and more loyalty. Promoting balance is beneficial to both employees and companies.

The basic concept of Vendor Management is to "Manage your vendors or they'll end up managing you!"

Summary - A bold change of initiatives and an efficient use of database are the keys to successful Vendor Management. This offers a complete view of vendor activity and performance that is crucial for an efficient and cost-effective project. It helps in delivering a flexible, cohesive platform for enabling, engaging, and evaluating your suppliers. Though there are no permanent solution/fixes for enhancing performance, one can take specific steps to maximize effectiveness.

Often, we draw upon our experience to handle basic problems in vendor management. This white paper lists these basic problems which an organization might face if it outsources work to vendors. Once this paper is through, you can prepare a comprehensive checklist that will help you in getting the best out of your vendors.

Vendor selection

The important thing is to figure out which vendors must be 'managed,' and which ones do not need 'management.' This might sound like an absurdity, but there is some truth to it. For instance, companies might monitor purveyors of office supplies for best prices and basic service requirements, but a deeper relationship is essential for strategic vendors who will deliver eLearning modules or content, on time and at the right cost.

A crucial step is to choose the right vendor. Begin with shortlisting vendors who have worked on similar projects and have a good track record.

Finding talented and efficient vendors at a reasonable cost can be challenging.

The implementation process begins long before the vendor is selected. The specifications should include the optimum rollout approach, with key dates and implementation success criteria. The entire process, from specification development to implementation, must be handled along formal project management lines. From the outset, there must be a Project Board that will undertake to do vendor evaluation. This Project Board should also have overall responsibility for the implementation of the project, otherwise all the knowledge gained-and decisions made-during the vendor selection could well be lost.
The Project Board should consist of perhaps no more than five managers who have the most to gain and, therefore, will take a keen interest in the project. Almost certainly, there should be representation from Personnel/Human Resources.

Once you have found several technology-based vendors that interest you, gather as much basic information about them as you can. Visit their Web site, interact with them and review their work.

Once an initial short list of perhaps four to six vendors has been developed, the first task is to compare the different approaches from these vendors and finalizing on the best possible option. A mandatory criteria is the budget and the confidence the vendor has in meeting implementation dates. What you should be looking for is the way the vendor communicates an understanding of your requirements and how these requirements will be met, as well as the way in which the vendor team members deal with questions from the Board. One of the selection criteria can be-do you feel comfortable with the vendor team?

Some other key considerations are:

o Experience: How many projects have they completed that are similar in size, scope, or content to yours?

o Strength of Company: Do they have the financial resources and staff size to complete your project and maintain it in the future?

o Quality of work: Have they received professional awards, published articles in trade magazines, or otherwise been recognized for their work?

o Resources: Does the vendor have full-time, on-site staff for all critical project tasks?

According to Sue Welch, CEO of Trade Stone Software, a developer of global sourcing and supplies systems in Gloucester, MA, "Wherever possible, provide value to your vendors when you are asking them to adapt to your business needs and requirements," she advises. "For instance, if you want electronic invoicing, offer incentives such as prompt payment or instantaneous audit that can auto-correct invoice discrepancies before submission."

o Determine how well a vendor will solve problems on your project. This is never easy. After all, any vendor will tell you it has excellent problem-solving skills. Here are a few questions to ask prospective vendors that will help to let you know how well they can really deal with problems:

1. What are the problems that you have come across while working on similar projects in the past?

2. How did you deal with those problems?

3. Did you manage to finish your project on time?

4. Were you able to complete your project within the sanctioned budget?

o Value addition -- Look for vendors who think beyond their assignments and can add more value to their projects. What you don't want is someone doing what they're told to do, just because it's a part of the Media standards.

o Develop a Triumph Relationship with the Vendor

We don't want to wield a big stick to beat up vendors, but we want to create relationships that allow both parties to work successfully in the long term. Creating a triumph relationship with the vendor is mandatory for good results.

Here are some tips for creating a positive relationship with vendors:

Tip #1: Proposal Process

o The Request for a Proposal is detailed in its specifications.

o Along with prices, proposals specify the quantity and quality of the media, interactivity, and content.

o A winning solution is judged on the quality of the firm's work, strength of the company, dedication to customer service, price, and quality of the proposal, itself.

Tip #2: Only one Point of Contact:

There should be only one point of contact who coordinates between you and the vendor - the Project Manager/Project Lead. Though each project has assigned team members, miscommunication becomes likely when several individuals are talking with different levels of each organization. For example, if the client is experiencing a technical glitch or bug, it might make sense for the client's technical support personnel to speak directly with the vendor's most advanced programmer. However, the project manager from the client and vendor should participate in this meeting or phone call to make sure that prior commitments or expectations are understood, action items agreed upon, and timetables are set.
This will help in filtering right and clear information.

Tip #3: Regular evaluation through progress meetings:

Following this simple checklist will help improve teamwork on a project. The vendor should be reviewed at regular intervals so that all the problems are solved at the initial stage. One can meet once or twice a week on a project at the given time with the vendor and discuss the project status. It can also include regular phone calls with the vendor and client. During these meetings, one can review the projects and make changes if required. Also discuss the next step and an update on the schedule. In-between, one can also make frequent calls to the vendor to re-check if the vendor needs any information and that everything is on schedule. This keeps the project moving smoothly.

Tip #4: Updated Project Report:

Regular updating of the project schedule should be maintained. The report can be a simple chart that is frequently updated so that one is aware of the missed deadlines or early deadlines. This will allow you to plan at an early stage so as to overcome delays. As you act as a mediator between the client and the vendor, you should add a buffer before quoting a timeline to the client.

Tip #5: Try and make all revisions on the prototype:

The prototype is a working module that includes the major sections of each step in your project. We should try and work with this prototype, get the initial approvals and refine the look, the feel, and the usability of the interface. Examine, test, change, and ultimately approve the colors, fonts, menu structure, location of the navigation buttons, and interface metaphors. The interface should be approved and locked-in before a significant part of the script is completed so the writers will have an accurate sense of screen space while allocating text and specifying graphics.

Tip #6: Make all content revisions in the script:

After the prototype, the next major step from the production team is the script or storyboard. It is very important to review the words, pictures, and sounds that will appear in the final program. Many clients give only a cursory glance at this document and then end up requesting substantial changes after the content has been implemented. It is very time-consuming and expensive to change content after it is implemented in the program. Unless there are obvious typos or mistakes in grammar, revisions to content after it is implemented should be avoided.

o Improved Vendor Performance -- Transparency of the project between you and the vendor is very crucial. It also helps you discover how to create and leverage opportunities to improve vendor performance.

o Get what you pay for - It is very important that the vendor delivers the product/quality that was agreed on and is your requirement. The above tip helps you achieve it.

o Just to remind you -- never accept vendors at face value. Analyze and test them at your level to build a positive business relationship.

o Also recognize that while you expect value for the money you spend with a vendor, the vendor is also in the business to make a profit and has to cover overhead expenses that may not seem obvious to you or your staff. Always let your vendor know you are interested in a mutually profitable relationship.

o Use your vendor representatives as a resource for information and advice. However, be respectful of the time the vendor's representative spends with you. Remember that time is money for both of you.

o Listen to your vendors -- Companies may be wasting their energy if they put specific segments of their business out to bid. Instead, Verticalnet's Habig suggested that better strategic results are achievable when companies let their vendors bid on the parts of their business that they want the most.

Highlights of Vendor Management:

o Helps streamline, simplify and standardize your workforce processes

o Allows you to increase vendor quality, and helps you make better-informed workforce decisions

o Enhances efficiency and helps you manage risk

o Reduces costs by helping you lower vendor rates, eliminate maverick spending and manage headcount to budget

o Lets you focus on strategic human resource functions without the headache of managing E-learning modules/application

Vendor Management enables you to maintain a preferred list of clients, vendors, and suppliers to ensure successful relationships. A well-orchestrated strategy of cost management, working-capital management, and technology-driven productivity will make your business run smoothly.

There are many ways employers can promote work-life balance in office, some of which are: company outings, offering remote working and flexible hours, providing good health coverage, encouraging employee education.

Importance of Tertiary Sales Visibility in FMCG Industry

Top 3 Causes Of Job Satisfaction

Empowering employees like Finance Director Raffles Place to take control over their work and home lives can have a profound impact on their job satisfaction and performance, enabling companies to achieve success. Achieving work-life balance is a daily challenge. It can be tough to make time for family, friends, community participation, spirituality, personal growth, self-care, and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace.

How should the practice of business continuity evolve to manage the threats and opportunities faced by organizations today and in the future?

Business resilience is the ability an organization has to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding people. The CulturalManagement provides experts to partner with your organization and develop a comprehensive emergency preparedness and disaster management program.

Is your organization customer-focused? As the economy regains strength, consumers will feel comfortable spending more. By fortifying your customer engagement approach now, you can position your organization to take full advantage of the eventual upturn. Fostering customer engagement is also the most effective way to recover lost customers and acquire new ones. This is because fully engaged customers recruit new customers for you - they are enthusiastic about the service you provide and recommend you to others. If you can create a customer-centric organization, you can successfully generate fully engaged customers (as well as higher profits).

There are two key variables in engineering a customer-centric organization: customer engagement and employee engagement. Through Customer Engagement Management (CEM), you can take practical steps to increase customer engagement. Although nearly any organization can improve customer engagement through CEM, we have found that customer engagement scores improve even further when organizations also use Employee Engagement Management (EEM). EEM practices create a healthy organizational culture in the workplace so that your employees feel passionate about their work. Although some immediate actions can be taken to improve employee engagement, EEM will likely involve a longer process of internal change and growth.

Customer Engagement
Generally, an engaged customer is one who actively supports a service or product. Customer engagement is more than just brand loyalty where customers are simply making exclusive purchases; instead, engaged customers are supporting the company by buying more products and services and telling others to do the same. In short, the key to a successful business is engaged customers -- people who enthusiastically endorse what you do.

Unfortunately, many organizations fail to recognize how their own procedures create apathetic customers. For instance, many organizations suffer from a lack of consistency regarding customer contact. Nothing is more frustrating for a customer than having three different encounters with three different employees in three different ways over a single issue. It's easy to see how customers are willing to switch brands when faced with such poor customer service.

A customer-centric organization wouldn't expect its customers to navigate such complex communication structures. Customer-centric companies focus on the customer throughout everything they do. A CEM solution for such a problem would begin with getting feedback from customers to find out how they feel, ideally at the individual level and through statistically reliable market research. To do this you must identify the customer touch points within your organization and contact customers after an experience with these touch points to get their feedback. If you do this, you will have both individual customer feedback and begin to see larger trends and areas for focus. View your product or service as a real customer would. Don't generalize or stereotype; instead, recruit actual customer to help you accurately visualize your product. By doing this, you'll remove the focus from "the company" and put it on the customer--exactly where it needs to be.

Employee Engagement
Whether they realize it or not, customers make most of their decisions based on their emotions--how they're feeling at a given point in time--which is why employee engagement is a crucial ingredient in creating a customer-centric culture. If employees are engaged, their interactions with customers will be genuine, not coerced or forced. Customers recognize and are pleased with such sincere service. As such, one of the major factors in increasing customer engagement is employee engagement.

The first step to engaging employees is realizing that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for every organization. Since every company's organizational culture is different, every company's employee engagement solution should look different as well. Your employees are unique, so your EEM solution should begin with asking staff about their experience at the organization and then incorporating a management solution that allows managers to take action to meet employee needs.

With an increase in employee engagement, you're likely to experience an increase in customer engagement. And with that, you'll no doubt enjoy success.

~Monica Nolan, 2009

When a Finance Director Raffles Place spends the majority of its days on work-related activities and feel as if they are neglecting other important components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result. Thus, you must learn to draw a clear line between your personal and work time and set clear expectations with your colleagues.

IT Head Information Technology Employee Productivity

Work-life balance as a IT Head Information Technology is a term used for the idea that an individual needs time for both work and other aspects of life (personal interests, family and leisure activities).

Our schedules are getting busier than ever before, which often causes our work or our personal lives to suffer. The compounding stress of IT Head Information Technology from never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

What Is Motivation Employee Welfare

The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different lives and different priorities. Work-life balance doesn’t mean an equal balance. There is no perfect balance you should be striving for. At the core of work-life balance is meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment.

Importance Of Resilience In The Workplace

When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationship with management and tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, which in turn increases company productivity and reduces conflicts.

Companies that encourage work-life balance have become very attractive to workers. These companies also tend to enjoy higher employee retention rates and more loyalty. Promoting balance is beneficial to both employees and companies.

What Does it Mean to be Customer-centric?

To have the customer's best interests as the focus of your attention - not to be pre-occupied in your own interests at the customer's expense.

To do this, you need to:

(1) Really know the customer in order to anticipate their best interests.

(2) Differentiate between primary and secondary motives.

Customer-Centric Primary Motives:

Making it easier and nicer for the customer to get and use solutions.

Self-Centric Secondary Motives:

Building revenue and profit through new product development, word-of-mouth, etc.

There's a myth that talking often to your customers (sales, service, surveys, etc.) means you're customer-focused. However, customer-focus goes beyond lip-service to the primary motives that drive your behaviors.

Gap in Desired Versus Actual Customer-Centricity

Half of companies say they're extremely customer-centric, but when customers of those companies were asked, only a tenth of them said those companies were extremely customer-centric. Why is there such a huge gap? When you think about who makes business processes and policies within a company, it's usually the workforce that doesn't interact directly with customers. Three-fourths of companies say that customer experience is not well defined and communicated within their company. Half of companies say they have fair or little knowledge of customer demographics, behaviors, psychographics, and transactional histories. Less than a tenth of companies say they have excellent knowledge of customers. Three-fourths of companies say their employees aren't well versed in how to delight customers.

Ways to Really Know the Customer

This represents an opportunity for those who work directly with customers to share valuable stories and facts with the rest of the company, to help the entire workforce live up to their brand promises. We usually think of marketing, sales, and customer service as outward-facing, with only outbound deliverables.

Yet, if a company is customer-centric, then concentric circles around the customer mean that marketing, service and sales are the natural conduit for helping the rest of the company - engineering, finance, human resources, production, operations, technology, safety, accounting, etc. - understand their impact on customer experience and customer profitability. Three-fourths of marketing groups say they don't influence the customer service function ... so you can imagine how much influence marketing has on the rest of the company!

Customer-facing professionals can sensitize the whole company toward the customer's plight and priorities:

(1) Make sure customer stories reflect the customer experience spectrum.

(2) Use creative ways to share customer stories:

- Intranet
- Internal newsletters
- Bulletin boards & posters
- Lobbies, break rooms, war rooms, conference rooms, cafeteria
- Staff meetings

(3) Involve organization in learning and adapting their mindsets - this is the organization-wide journey guiding everyone on managing their personal impact on customer experience, called internal branding

Return on Investment

Your company makes huge efforts and investments in communicating your value proposition, which is the brand promise that shapes customer expectations. A corresponding investment - at least in energy and scrutiny - makes sense for ensuring the brand promise is indeed delivered. Customer satisfaction occurs when the customer's experience meets or exceeds their expectations. Trust - being true to the brand promise - is biggest the biggest factor in building a customer-centric culture that maximizes customer profitability.

Note: statistics from CMO Council Customer Affinity study and Peppers & Rogers Customer Retention presentation.

There are many ways employers can promote work-life balance in office, some of which are: company outings, offering remote working and flexible hours, providing good health coverage, encouraging employee education.

Six Steps to a Successful Vendor Management System

Consumer Behavior In Economics

Empowering employees like IT Head Information Technology to take control over their work and home lives can have a profound impact on their job satisfaction and performance, enabling companies to achieve success. Achieving work-life balance is a daily challenge. It can be tough to make time for family, friends, community participation, spirituality, personal growth, self-care, and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace.

How should the practice of business continuity evolve to manage the threats and opportunities faced by organizations today and in the future?

Business resilience is the ability an organization has to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding people. The CulturalManagement provides experts to partner with your organization and develop a comprehensive emergency preparedness and disaster management program.

What Does it Mean to be Customer-centric?

To have the customer's best interests as the focus of your attention - not to be pre-occupied in your own interests at the customer's expense.

To do this, you need to:

(1) Really know the customer in order to anticipate their best interests.

(2) Differentiate between primary and secondary motives.

Customer-Centric Primary Motives:

Making it easier and nicer for the customer to get and use solutions.

Self-Centric Secondary Motives:

Building revenue and profit through new product development, word-of-mouth, etc.

There's a myth that talking often to your customers (sales, service, surveys, etc.) means you're customer-focused. However, customer-focus goes beyond lip-service to the primary motives that drive your behaviors.

Gap in Desired Versus Actual Customer-Centricity

Half of companies say they're extremely customer-centric, but when customers of those companies were asked, only a tenth of them said those companies were extremely customer-centric. Why is there such a huge gap? When you think about who makes business processes and policies within a company, it's usually the workforce that doesn't interact directly with customers. Three-fourths of companies say that customer experience is not well defined and communicated within their company. Half of companies say they have fair or little knowledge of customer demographics, behaviors, psychographics, and transactional histories. Less than a tenth of companies say they have excellent knowledge of customers. Three-fourths of companies say their employees aren't well versed in how to delight customers.

Ways to Really Know the Customer

This represents an opportunity for those who work directly with customers to share valuable stories and facts with the rest of the company, to help the entire workforce live up to their brand promises. We usually think of marketing, sales, and customer service as outward-facing, with only outbound deliverables.

Yet, if a company is customer-centric, then concentric circles around the customer mean that marketing, service and sales are the natural conduit for helping the rest of the company - engineering, finance, human resources, production, operations, technology, safety, accounting, etc. - understand their impact on customer experience and customer profitability. Three-fourths of marketing groups say they don't influence the customer service function ... so you can imagine how much influence marketing has on the rest of the company!

Customer-facing professionals can sensitize the whole company toward the customer's plight and priorities:

(1) Make sure customer stories reflect the customer experience spectrum.

(2) Use creative ways to share customer stories:

- Intranet
- Internal newsletters
- Bulletin boards & posters
- Lobbies, break rooms, war rooms, conference rooms, cafeteria
- Staff meetings

(3) Involve organization in learning and adapting their mindsets - this is the organization-wide journey guiding everyone on managing their personal impact on customer experience, called internal branding

Return on Investment

Your company makes huge efforts and investments in communicating your value proposition, which is the brand promise that shapes customer expectations. A corresponding investment - at least in energy and scrutiny - makes sense for ensuring the brand promise is indeed delivered. Customer satisfaction occurs when the customer's experience meets or exceeds their expectations. Trust - being true to the brand promise - is biggest the biggest factor in building a customer-centric culture that maximizes customer profitability.

Note: statistics from CMO Council Customer Affinity study and Peppers & Rogers Customer Retention presentation.

When a IT Head Information Technology spends the majority of its days on work-related activities and feel as if they are neglecting other important components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result. Thus, you must learn to draw a clear line between your personal and work time and set clear expectations with your colleagues.

Sales & Marketing Vice President Employee Welfare

Work-life balance as a Sales & Marketing Vice President is a term used for the idea that an individual needs time for both work and other aspects of life (personal interests, family and leisure activities).

Our schedules are getting busier than ever before, which often causes our work or our personal lives to suffer. The compounding stress of Sales & Marketing Vice President from never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

Hypothalamus - Role in Motivation and Behaviour

The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different lives and different priorities. Work-life balance doesn’t mean an equal balance. There is no perfect balance you should be striving for. At the core of work-life balance is meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment.

Importance Of Resilience In The Workplace

When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationship with management and tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, which in turn increases company productivity and reduces conflicts.

Companies that encourage work-life balance have become very attractive to workers. These companies also tend to enjoy higher employee retention rates and more loyalty. Promoting balance is beneficial to both employees and companies.

Web-based technologies have changed the way many companies do business both online and in their brick-and-mortar locations. Cloud computing systems are among the best known of these new technologies, but most online platforms offer faster and more convenient access to critical data and necessary information for corporate customers. Internet accessibility offers anytime, anywhere flexibility and can boost productivity in a wide range of commercial enterprises. Nowhere is this flexibility more important than in the supplier relationship management field where changes and updates to vendors, suppliers and contractors can significantly impact ongoing corporate operations and revenues. As a result, many companies implement advanced software packages to help them more effectively track and control their supplier relationships on an ongoing basis.

What is supplier relationship management?

Supplier relationship management, or SRM, is concerned with maintaining positive and beneficial corporate relationships with vendors and suppliers. One of the most important elements of SRM is the use of advanced software platforms to more accurately and effectively monitor, record and manage the products and services acquired from these vendors and contractors. Vendor management software can be used to manage existing sources and suppliers and can even help to identify new contracts and vendors who may also be capable of serving the company's needs. Web-based versions of SRM software can be especially advantageous as they can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection. This flexibility makes web-based vendor management software an excellent investment for most small to medium business enterprises.

Vendor management software

Vendor management systems typically include a number of analysis tools for business administrators that can allow at-a-glance evaluation of various contractors and suppliers. This can be especially valuable for companies that use numerous contractors in a variety of different work environments. Vendor management systems can often identify ways to consolidate tasks and reduce the overall number of contractors required to accomplish the company's goals. These software packages can even streamline the contractor selection process to reduce overall administrative costs and ensure the highest quality services for each assigned task.

Advantages of supplier relationship systems

For most companies, researching available contractors and suppliers can take valuable staff time and may not provide the in-depth information they need to make the right decisions. A comprehensive web-based vendor management package from a reputable firm can provide a reliable basis for deciding on contractors, vendors and other suppliers of goods and services in the corporate environment.

Web-based vendor management systems can be tailored to meet the individual needs of business and provide a solid basis for making a wide range of supplier and contractor decisions. Companies that choose these advanced online systems can depend on the most up-to-date and accurate information available to assist them in creating the right relationships with contractors, suppliers and vendors, giving them a definite advantage in today's competitive marketplace.

There are many ways employers can promote work-life balance in office, some of which are: company outings, offering remote working and flexible hours, providing good health coverage, encouraging employee education.

The Role of the Purchasing Manager

Recruitment And Selection Process In Hrm

Empowering employees like Sales & Marketing Vice President to take control over their work and home lives can have a profound impact on their job satisfaction and performance, enabling companies to achieve success. Achieving work-life balance is a daily challenge. It can be tough to make time for family, friends, community participation, spirituality, personal growth, self-care, and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace.

How should the practice of business continuity evolve to manage the threats and opportunities faced by organizations today and in the future?

Business resilience is the ability an organization has to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding people. The CulturalManagement provides experts to partner with your organization and develop a comprehensive emergency preparedness and disaster management program.

Look at how times have changed. There was a time when the purpose of having a contract between vendor and a vendee was simply to establish the terms of their relationship and the manner by which prospective business relationship is to be conducted. Remember the old days of a deal with just a handshake? How about "my word is my bond"? Those days are long gone and one must protect the company from any shady deals.

As soon as the terms of the contract are spelled out which are simple, concise and straightforward, you are ready to affix your signature and seal the agreement. That is basically contract management in a nutshell.

However, if you are talking of software license agreements, things will be quite different from your conventional contracts and the application of the principles related to vendor management will have a different complexion. If you are availing of one of these software packages which are governed by license agreements then it is essential that you spend a moment to study the fine prints of the terms and conditions as it is important that you understand every detail of its provision. This is how the principles of contract management are applied under agreements involving the purchase of software packages.

An effective contract management involving software packages will require you to focus on the prices and other legal provisions that are included in the agreement. The price is usually cited in the legal disclaimers about system performance and quality. This section of the contract is an essential component and it is important that you analyze if you are satisfied would this kind of relationship as what is indicated is what you will receive and nothing more. In your approach for relevant principles and techniques of vendor management, it is important that you are aware of what the vendor commits to provide you and the legal remedies available to you in case of disputes and disagreements.

It is imperative that you consider all provisions including those outside the contract price and major legal issues. If you feel that the contract presented by a vendor seems to be disadvantageous or deficient in substance in protecting your interest, the problem is not in the contract. There are some things that you might have missed during the negotiation that preceded the contract. Most of us have the tendency of focusing our attention on the more obvious aspects of the transaction and leave everything to the lawyer. In the end, we find ourselves with a contract which does not meet our expectation. In most cases, what we have as a contract is deficient or lacking in provisions on compliance to schedule, performance of the vendor and cost control.

So, what are the important things that you have to tackle in a negotiation? Obviously, you will have to agree on the contract price of the software package. Over and beyond the price consideration and other related issues, you have to focus extensively on the functionality and support services that you want the vendor to provide under the proposed agreement. You should remember that what is being sold is a collection of ideas and not a tangible and physical product. Its importance is determined by product's ability in providing the functionality that you need within a specified time frame and with the level of quality that you can not achieve using your existing manpower and capabilities.

When a Sales & Marketing Vice President spends the majority of its days on work-related activities and feel as if they are neglecting other important components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result. Thus, you must learn to draw a clear line between your personal and work time and set clear expectations with your colleagues.