Thomas Michael Live

Learn SAP or be Left Behind

You’ve heard of SAP. You’ve been on projects where it has come up. You know it’s pervasive in the business world, but you’ve never taken the time to learn it. Why?

If you’re thinking about a career in the SAP world or about boosting your personal value, it’s time to invest in yourself by starting to learn. A recent survey by Michael Management, the MMC SAP Salary Snapshot, reveals umpteen reasons why it’s a no-brainer to add SAP to your training resume–and then to your professional experience. Read More

Better Hiring: Skills, Attitude, Culture.

What makes a good hiring decision? Someone who can do the job well, is excited to do it, and will fit in well with your team. Simple, right? Well, maybe not. Here are three golden rules I follow when hiring.

1. Interview for skills
First, make sure the candidate has the right skills for the job and—most importantly—has done this job successfully in the past. For example, if you’re looking for a sales manager, ask for details that relate to what a sales manager needs to do. Read More

10 Best Practices for Virtual Teams

No one will deny that the way we do business continues to evolve. Remote work has been steadily on the rise over the last decade, showing an 80% increase in “telecommuting” employees from 2005 to 2012. With this shift has come the dawn of virtual teams. Currently, almost half of all organizations utilize virtual teams to improve their businesses. The potential advantages are many. The diversity that often comes with virtual teams can fuel brainstorming and creativity. The varied time zones can be used to heighten customer service. The freedom makes for happier employees. I could go on.
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5 Reasons Why Your Training Does Not Work

You have two employees that do X, and now you’re hiring a third. It only seems logical that one of the current employees that is already performing this job would train the new one—right? This is a common practice in corporate America. Sometimes called “buddy training” or “peer-to-peer training” or sometimes with no name at all, just an accepted standard mode of operation.

The ugly truth is that peer-to-peer training is expensive and ineffective.

As logical as it may seem, when you look under the covers just a bit, this form of training is rife with problems. 

1. Lacks structure

“Hey Sally, this is Bob. He’s going to be joining the team and I’d like you to show him how things work around here.”  The directive might not always be that informal, but the truth is that most peer-to-peer training has very little if any formal structure. Read More

7 Caring Habits to Grow Team Spirit

In my most recent post, I wrote about seven deadly sins that kill team spirit. Now that we’ve discussed what not to do, I’d like to talk about what you should do. We all know that good leadership isn’t just about showing up and punching the clock—

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7 Deadly Sins to Kill Team Spirit

We all know that happier employees mean higher levels of engagement and retention, as well as greater customer satisfaction. Sounds like a win-win situation, right? Well, despite the fact that there seems to be no downside to creating a happy workplace, a recent Spherion survey states that only 25% of workers consider their workplace to be “happy,” and according to a work stress survey by Nielson, 80% of workers admit to feeling “stressed out” at work. Read More

Employee Procedures that Work: Stick to your guns

The quickest way to have your procedures undermined is to fall short on accountability. Witout ramifications for not following the procedure, you are headed for failure. The people following the procedure will quickly become irritated when others just keep doing things the old way … and the people doing things the old way will just, keep doing things the old way. Read More

Employee Procedures that Work: Automate enforcement

After creating a new procedure and before rolling it out, it’s best to create systematic monitoring and reporting to check for compliance. When we roll out a new procedure, we plan ahead of time for systematic monitoring to ensure the tools are in place from the beginning. A new procedure is somewhat like a product launch in that it’s important to get it right the first time. Otherwise, employees can become confused or frustrated.

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5 Signs Your Company is Doomed for Irrelevance

I recently posted about signs your company is in the dark ages, but sometimes there are less obvious signs that you’re not keeping up with the times. Over the last 20 years we’ve learned a lot about how people work best and what motivates them, but sometimes it’s hard to grab hold of this new knowledge and implement it in the workplace. Well, it’s no longer just a good idea or a way to differentiate, it’s quickly becoming a must to catch up on some of these trends. If any of these signs are true of your company, it’s time to make some changes. Read More

5 Signs Your Company is in the Dark Ages

One of our vendors recently asked me to fax a form to them … really, a fax? So I started thinking, what are the signs that a company has not kept up with the times and is stuck in the dark ages?

If you are guilty of any of these fives things, it’s time to move forward. Immediately. It’s not just about productivity, it’s about keeping your pulse on how people do business and what is important to them. Keep your particular customer base in mind, but these five things are most likely holding you back.
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