Customer Complaints: bane or boon?

Do you have customer complaints? Whenever I posed this question to senior leaders or business owners, a good majority of them shared that there might not be scope for complaints in their business but certain times customers might be sharing their feedback. In case further probed they tended to say that in the unlikely event of complaints, they definitely received the attention they deserved and so those complaints must have got resolved!
In all these instances as above I had felt that those businesses did not have a clearly defined process for handling customer complaints. They didn't have any means of tracking customer complaints and their follow up status. Neither they had the opportunity of looking at the root causes and acting on them. They probably felt it important to cover up complaints for managing their reputation or image or customer perception. They believed acknowledging complaints and transparently addressing them could lead to loss of face, loss of customers, and det…

HRM for Small Businesses

Small businesses generally do not maintain any dedicated HR person or team for structured HR practices. HR practices in most small businesses center around meeting payroll and statutory compliance requirements. As these tasks are repetitive and calculation oriented, the accounts teams are commonly to handle these tasks. So the need for a separate HR function or team is  not easily recognized in such organisations.

Is this arrangement sufficient for continuing business success? No! A business organisation is made of people. For growing a business and its operations, additional manpower become necessary sooner or later. There could be employee turnover too. These two basic situations can give rise to the following work Recruitment - Advertising for vacancies or selecting and engaging placement agencies, defining and explaining job specifications, screening CVs, organising interviews, selecting and finalising right candidate(s), finalising pay, making offers, preparing offers and appoint…

Demystifying Employee Performance Measurement and Rewards Management

One of the key HRM rituals in organisations is carrying out employee performance reviews, pay hikes and enhancing job responsibilities. This is also known as PMS, Performance Appraisals, Employee Appraisals, Rewards Management etc. But why do Business owners want this? To segregate performers from non-performers. Why? To recognize performance. Why? To motivate performers to repeat or improve their performance. Why? To get good or better business performance and profitability. So good individual performance is an imperative for getting good business performance.

So business owners or employers have reasons to ensure that their employees perform well. But how do they measure employee performance? Typically, employers consider performance to be directly proportional to utilization or productivity, i.e. (output / input) or (output hours / available hours).  It means, more the hours of work or output with the available man-hours, higher would be the performance! Though this hypothesis is …

ISO 9000 and Business Success

ISO 9000. Probably one of the most misused and misunderstood management framework in recent times!

What exactly is ISO 9000? It denotes a series of standards for quality management system from International Organisation for Standardization (or ISO) located in Geneva, Switzerland. ISO is an independent non-governmental organisation with membership of 162 national standard bodies (e.g. BIS or Bureau of Indian Standards is one such member).

And Quality Management System is a framework for managing the operations in an organization in such a manner that the quality of the delivered product or services meets the specification, which was confirmed to the customer.

ISO 9000 series includes a standard ISO 9001:2015 that is used for certification (or recognition) of compliance of the stated requirements by an organisation. This certification is granted by an authorized certification agency. The certification agencies verify the activities and /or evidences thereof by an organisation and assess …

Time Management: How to Stay on Top of your Tasks

Do you Have a continuously changing ‘To do list’ and updating it takes lot of time and you miss out on important actions several times?Find it difficult to track progress of tasks that you had assigned to your Leaders and Managers?Miss reviews with your team members for updates on the assigned tasks because of lack of time?Find different team leaders arguing or blaming one another for delay in responses, task updates or decisions that affects their team output or achievementFind it very tedious to go over the flood of sms and whatsapp messages from all your team members and spot the ones that may need your attention for any action / decision?

If you think you are losing out on revenues and profits because of the above then you are damn right and you aren't alone! Most business managers and small business owners are familiar with these challenges and are unable to resolve them appropriately despite all the software tools that are now easily available free or at nominal costs.
Some co…

How to Implement Change Successfully

Business organisations, Leaders and Managers are rarely short of improvement or change ideas that many times look very promising. However, it is probably equally rare to see these ideas get implemented successfully! Then are the ideas inappropriate, or the decision-makers not interested in improving things, or the people do not want it, or something else that resists implementation success?

There are scores of material available today on what ensures implementation success. So I need not repeat them anymore. I also feel most Leaders and Managers are aware of these essentials too. What I see most Managers miss out on is an approach to involve the target group in the implementation process! Its normally a top down given to you implementation job that smacks of imposition and demonstration of authority or power by the higher ups in the hierarchy. The people who are expected to implement and benefit from the improvements are made to detest and resist the change. So invariably the change e…

Change Success Requires Structured Approach

We all want to change something or the other to get some improved outcome. The desired improvement could be in our personal or professional areas. It could be improved performance, reduced travel time, quicker task completion, improved effectiveness of a training session....etc. The list can be endless.

But do we always get the improvement we desired? Unfortunately no. And I am sure it can't be attributed to our lack of commitment or intent in most occasions. Then why?

Let me share an example to illustrate a typical improvement effort gone wrong!

I was once scheduled to address a group of salespeople of a retail store before the start of the start of their daily work. they had to plan it that way as getting them together during the work hours without affecting sales operations was not practicable at