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I am always keen to hear from people on business / speaking and writing opportunities or you just may simply want to have a chat - believe that meeting new people is the route to everything so happy to just chew the fat! 

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Blog

Adam Hutchison's Blog - just a little space in the world were i air my thoughts on anything and everything i am either involved in or enjoy. Many of you may wish to skip by and ignore my meandering thoughts but others may find them informative...

 

Filtering by Category: Risk V Reward

(Press Release) RISK V REWARD THE EMPLOYEE-EMPLOYER CONUNDRUM by Adam Hutchison

Adam Hutchison

Like most of us at some point in our careers, Adam Hutchison woke up one Monday morning dreading the week ahead and wondering if it was all worth it. Unlike most of us, Adam decided to take action. This book is the result …  Available Now on Amazon

Adam Hutchison has learned the hard way how to run a company and manage staff, through wide experience in senior positions in the telecoms and private healthcare sectors. Now he has distilled his knowledge and experience into Risk v Reward, a down-to-earth and straightforward account of what really matters when building a business and improving performance, including: 

Choosing, hiring, managing and retaining staff

Motivating and mentoring

Recognising and managing different personality types

Management structure and how to make it work

Creating and maintaining a culture

The author knows, from experience, that it is people that make a business great, and this book shows how to get the best out of those within your teams. 

Written by a senior executive with wide and varied industry experience. 

Will enable any junior or middle manager to get better results from staff. 

Detailed examples throughout to show how to make it work. 

Author Adam Hutchison says, “What makes a business great? The answer every time is people. People are paramount to any business. This book explores the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of successful people-management. I hope it will help managers and team leaders in businesses of all sizes. Whether they employ 5 people or 5000, my message is the same: human beings need rewards to perform well. Positive comments drive attitudes and behaviours. Forget these simple rules at your own risk!” 

About the author: Adam Hutchison, MA, BSc has spent the last 15 years working in both the private and public sectors, operating within corporate and SME environments, working at the operational level on the front line and doing everything from running departments to operating his own businesses. www.adamhutchison.com Twitter: @adamhutchison80

Media opportunities: Extracts/serialisation. The author is available for interviews. 

Local UK interest: The author is currently based in Solihull (near Birmingham, West Midlands). He has also lived and worked in London and Medway (Kent). 

To request a review copy or to be put in touch with the author, please contact

Elly Donovan PR elly@ellydonovan.co.uk tel: 0790 508 7779 / 01273 205 246 www.ellydonovan.co.uk twitter: @EllyDonovanPR facebook.com/Elly Donovan Linked-In: Elly Donovan PR 

Reasons Why Work Friends Are The Best!

Adam Hutchison

And the truth is – yes – building such relationships will open up more opportunities for you in the future…

But there are plenty of other (less selfish) reasons why your work friends are the best type of friends. Some of those reasons are…

1. They know your tea and/or coffee order.

They even know your schedule if you have one (tea at 10am, coffee at 1pm, tea at 3pm etc.)

2. They bring you food.

From fruit in the kitchen to cakes from the shop, your work friend is unlikely to pick something up for themselves without thinking of you.

3. They can be your drinking buddy.

After a tough day (or morning) at the office, sometimes all you need is a trip to the pub and a good old rant with your work friend.

The same rule applies for Friday night celebrations. And just anytime you fancy a pint down the local!

4. You’ll never lunch alone.

Unless they’re busy… at which point you’ll feel a little bit lost and wonder what on earth you should do for the hour.

5. They actually know what you do.

Come on, how many of your other friends actually know (and fully understand) your day job?

6. You can share “top secrets” with them.

Sworn to secrecy by your out-of-work friends? Gasping to tell someone? If your work pal doesn’t know them, it doesn’t count, right?

7. They’ll pump you up.

When you’re feeling nervous about a meeting/ presentation/ sales pitch etc. your work friend will spur you on and tell you just how great you’re going to be!

8. They’ll have your back.

It’s obviously always better to have someone to back up and support your ideas, opinions and sentiments. But having this back-up will also deter potential office bullies from overruling, shouting you down and picking on you (something that unfortunately does occur in offices).

9. They’ll give less biased advice.

Of course, because they don’t know your out-of-work acquaintances they can offer you (and therefore them) sound, unbiased advice about anything, without worrying about offending anyone.

10. They’ll tell you everything’s going to be alright.

When you’re having a really crappy day and it feels like everything is going wrong, your work friend will put things into perspective. Everything is NOT always as terrible as it seems (and if it is, they’ll comfort you anyway).

11. They can crack you up.

Ever been trying really, really hard not to laugh at something but failing miserably because you notice your friend’s shoulders shaking under the pressure? This usually occurs in a stressful environment – which explains why it can often happen in the middle of a meeting at work or when you’re confronted with the boss etc. Although probably not great for your professional image, it’s fun to have a laugh at work and cut through some of that tension.

12. They understand your rants.

They know exactly what you’re talking about when you go on a half an hour rant about the boss, your working hours and/or your job.

Put simply, this is something that no one outside of work will ever full understand.

13. They probably dislike the same people as you.

I’m not suggesting that you should actively dislike people at work – but if you do, then chances are your work friend will too – and it’s actually a comfort to know that you’re not alone.

14. They get you.

You’re around each other for the majority of the week, so you definitely get to know each other’s little quirks and traits; they’ll certainly know how to irritate you and how to calm you down. Work together for long enough and you’ll pretty much be able to communicate via eye movements.

15. If anything, they know too much about you.

You have to stay friends, because they know some of your deepest, darkest secrets! (Not to mention those bitchy messages you’ve sent about the boss).

And there is more thanks to Coburg Banks for their insight and Blog on the subject..

Tips to Effectively Managing Remote Teams

Adam Hutchison

Working from home can be beneficial for both employee and employer, and for many, flexible working is a major determining factor in the job application process. With increasing child care costs, not everybody wishes to send their child to nursery, so working from home may be the only way people can secure an income.

Likewise, having remote workers puts less financial strain on start-ups who can save money on vital business resources which they would otherwise be obliged to purchase. Office space alone is a costly investment.

However, sometimes the problems caused by having a home working or remote team are overlooked. Too often people forget that they still have a workforce to control, and when the workforce is scattered around the country, and potentially even the world, executing an effective authoritative role is no mean feat.

Take note of the five top tips below and you should see the results in no time.

1. Put time and effort into recruiting the right people

Putting extra time and consideration into the recruitment stage will ultimately save you time and money further down the line. Home workers need to be self-motivated, dedicated and hard working so making sure the candidate fits the bill is vital. The worst thing that could happen would be to recruit someone who you are paying by the hour to lounge on the sofa watching Jeremy Kyle with their Blackberry in one hand and a pack of Hobnobs in the other. Get to know your employees on a personal level too to get a feel for their personality and strengths. Suggest an initial relaxed business meeting over lunch where you can get to understand how one another operates.

 2. Schedule weekly video conferences

Having regular face-to-face employee interaction is a vital part of any business, but when your workforce works from home, this isn’t always possible. And let’s face it, it’s not really acceptable to turn up at their house unannounced. So a good idea is to schedule weekly video conferencing calls with your employees. Software such as Skype or GoToMeeting allows for free group conversations, so if you do have a scattered team, it’s possible for you all to unite weekly to catch up and provide mutual support.

3. Embrace social media

Ditch formal communication tools such as phone and email where you can and embrace social media platforms to develop an instantaneous and more personal dialogue with your workforce. Most networks are geared up for business use. Facebook, for example, allows most files to be attached to private messages meaning the relay of information can be a speedier process. Alternatively, look at internal social media platforms like Yammer in order to communicate freely and privately.

4. Wear lots of different hats

Even though your team works from home, that’s not to say that the right procedures don’t need to be in place. This means pushing your executive role to one side and putting yourself in the shoes of metaphorical HR and IT departments. You need to take into consideration the necessary safety and security procedures, whether that be alerting your employees to the correct seating position to adopt or supplying them with the latest anti-virus software.

5. Trust your staff and allow them some autonomy

As well as geographical space, your employees also need some psychological distance. This can be difficult as it means placing your complete trust and livelihood in the hands of your staff. However, if employees feel trusted it will improve their confidence and boost their work ethic. Frequent unnecessary emails and calls checking up on them will only make them feel inadequate and could potentially result in them underperforming – something that neither of you wants.

And finally…

Work on honing your management style to a level that will be respected by your employees. The Alan Sugar approach simply won’t work on those working from the comfort of their own home.

Aggression = Negativity

Adam Hutchison

So who has seen Glengarry Glen Ross and Boiler Rom, 2 of my favourite "How Not To Do It" Sales movies. Yes i have used them in Seminars and training sessions over and over but not for the reasons you would expect.

 

This brings us to some observations I have made in my time, and sad to say so of things I have done myself, I have fallen into the erroneous ways and failed on more than one occasion to get things right in the eyes of my team members. Some areas to consider are as follows, you will have your own ideas but give these two simple approaches a thought:

 

A Simple Hello:

 

As touched on, in the previous section perception of how managers deal with their teams is paramount so ensuring there is less aggression in the delivery. I personally experienced as an employed manager what it was like to be on the end of derogatory comments from your seniors, all this did was essentially drive a demotivated behaviour. As I have experienced this feeling of not wanting to deliver for someone it became easy for me when running my own businesses and discussing with others how negative this can be.

 

Sadly if you have not been through this, you can become blinkered to the fact that as an owner you are even doing anything wrong. The phrase delusions of grandeur is often used, put simply I associate this phrase to aggression. Owner / Directors who have either developed a business themselves or worked in very limited environment may not have the experience of dealing with many employees or even colleagues this is lost in the drive to create their initial vision. What ensues is that as the business grows and employees come on board an almost sense of over importance begins to develop. The treatment of your employees becomes so evident that demotivation can creep in, owners do need to be in strong control yes but not to the detriment to their own end goal.

 

Simple things to follow are

 

         Say hello in the morning

         Ask how someone is? Family? Weekend? Etc

    Learn your people’s personal life (just bullets no life stories required)

 

Simple interaction can go a long way to creating sustainable value with your employees. During my time working in the UK Private Healthcare sector, which is largely seen as a high turnover low expectation industry, I constantly tried to find ways to engage with my staff group through initiatives such as Employee of the Month, Employee of the Year, Performance incentives etc. These all failed to be hit with any real enthusiasm, I couldn’t understand why? This has worked in corporate environments, marketing teams and call centres, what I am doing wrong I thought. So I spoke with long standing managers within the business and asked them for their thoughts on this possible engagement.

 

What came back was interesting, they asked me to attend staff meetings from time to time, thank them for their hard work and organise more regular team gatherings. This seemed all to too simple, why was I thinking so big. The reason was expectation, its not complicated, during the feedback sessions I found that people within the business enjoyed chatting with me as the owner, they welcomed a simple hello or hows your day going? This is evident in all industries sometimes just talking with your staff will be all the engagement they need. Never forget the person touch be visible, be approachable.

 

So in the the following months I took a regular quarterly spot in staff meetings and made the effort to engage with staff on each site visit throughout the year, what I began to see was a change in attitude towards the senior management. The workforce began to feel part of the structure, this was not to blur lines of management, the workforce still understood the hierarchy, but the fact there was more engagement even on these simple terms created instant gratification for their contribution which then reflected in the quality of their work following on. Remember being more approachable galvanises your workforce.

 

Giving Direction:

 

Direction is next on the agenda of simple pointers to breed a positive environment removing the aggressive approaches. If you want someone to do something its best to understand what your outcomes are and what the outcomes are for the employee doing the task. Make people become part of the process being done don’t demand of people without justification, if the goal is common then success is more likely. The passion you have as an owner for a project / product / customer / situation should be ingrained into those around you.

 

A flaw would be to bark orders around and expect results; this in many situations brings an initial spiked reaction but the long term risk identified is demotivation which results in loss of employee engagement which results ultimately in the fact you have to re-recruit. This is of course win win for the recruitment consultant although fail fail for you and your business, recruitment should always be seen as a last resort. We will look at recruitment later but the mindset around recruitment should be changed to only recruiting when you have no other alternative or you are actively growing, therefore the need for more people in desired areas to achieve the goals set out. You should set a president that each time you need to go a recruitment consultant or agency - Ask yourself this question “Why am I recruiting?” the answers are very important and this reflection is the answer to whether replace someone who has left -  there is a problem somewhere? Which needs addressing each time. Why did the person leave, ask yourself and the business what can we improve on to ensure that people stay with the business? Did we do everything we could to ensure that person could grow and be successful with us? Rather than go elsewhere.

 

Sometimes more often than not its personally linked to management and delivery of requests made. Aggression will always be seen as something of a must when it comes to managing people, what you need to ask yourself is why? Why am I being aggressive is it related to something within my control rather their control. Employees are duty bound to follow by example when delivering on instructions, if you as an owner are not clearly following the processes you have laid down or worse have no processes in place then your expectation levels need to be lower. The aggression is just frustrations aired, aggression is just loss of control and loss of control = loss of respect. People can only deliver against clear objectives laid down in the first place by their leaders, this helps with the measurement of tasks long term. But being aggressive in delivery will reduce any chance of a sound measured outcome to any task.

 

Creating clear objectives for yourself and those around you will help achieve this, though well thought out processes to clear outcomes, creating the route map to a goal is key to achieving it. Like with sports teams tactics employed are there to deliver the achievement or end result if you like. In business this is the same your employees need clear directions or tactics to compete in their environment.