Work-life balance as a Human Resource Head 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 Human Resource Head from never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.
Relationship Versus Vendor 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.
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 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Insist on accountability -- on both sides of the relationship - When given ownership of a project, people take responsibility for it.
- 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.
- 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.
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
Empowering employees like Human Resource Head 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.
We select our store locations. We select our staff. We select the merchandise to carry; and along those lines, we select our vendors. Selecting the correct vendors - in addition to managing these vendors during the selection process and beyond - can often be the difference between making your store profitable or simply providing real estate for the vendors to sell their goods. It is time to manage your vendors!
So... raise your hand if you have ever conducted a thorough Request For Proposal (RFP) process for you vendors. Anyone? In truth, not many have to the extent that you evaluate multiple vendors, creating competition for space in your store. How you manage the RFP process can and will set the tone for all your go-forward vendors. A well-thought out process to vendor selection, can provide real opportunities for you in the following areas:
Rebates: Did you know that vendors offer rebates based on product placement; rack allowances; product movement and other considerations? In some cases, the vendor receives manufacturing rebates that you need to ensure are passed onto you. The RFP Process ensures you identify and capture your fair share.
Incentives: The vendor is in your store for one thing - to sell their product. Meeting the goals of the vendors should only be achieved if they are aligned with your goals. What types of incentives do you vendors provide you in order to meet that goal? Work with the vendor to establish incentives for each party that foster alignment.
Deliveries: You pay for delivery whether you believe that or not. Manage the amount of deliveries to your store on a weekly basis so that you have enough inventory on hand, but not so much that you are paying full-load delivery fees for partial deliveries. You may want to consider adjustments based on seasonality.
Never Out of Basics: All stores carry that "MUST HAVE" product that you can never be out of - ever! Identify your "must have" products and ensure that you and your vendor have a clear understanding on the ramifications if any of these products are ever out of stock. Build in financial penalties for the vendor if you are shorted product on your core offerings.
Marketing: Identify programs and investments that your vendor partner will make in advertising and promoting their products. These should be managed in concert with your overall marketing of your store and determined jointly with the vendor to ensure their financial obligation, as well as timing.
Payment Terms: Standard policy is net 30 days, but have you inquired about discounts if you pay earlier? In some cases, the squeaky wheel gets the oil and if you are in a position to negotiate more favorable payment terms, do so.
Product Returns: Have you established a specific contractual obligation on product or damaged returns? Re-slotting fees and other incremental mark-ups by your vendor with regard to returned products could eat away at your gross profit. In addition, now is the time to establish the process for replacing damaged products.
Contract Terms: How long are you committed to this vendor and what are the "out clauses" in the contract should a better vendor come along? The best place to negotiate this is during the RFP process when the vendor is hungry for your business.
Mark-Ups: Every product you purchase comes with a corresponding markup - or the manufacturer/vendor profit. Most of these markups are determined by a category of products as opposed by the product SKU. Knowing your industry markup ranges by category will better prepare you in establishing the best cost structure for your product acquisition.
Conducting a thorough RFP Process is critical for establishing not only your pricing structure with your vendors but also in developing the process in which business is conducted. Remember, vendors are in YOUR store and it is up to you to determine the roles that each of them play. If you do not take control of your vendors from the onset, you will face an uphill battle within your own store. Or as Winston Churchill once said, "he who fails to plan is planning to fail."
When a Human Resource Head 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.