Impact on Motivation and Talent Management

Culture is defined as a system of values and norms that are shared among a group of people and that, taken together, constitute a design for living. Although values are abstract ideas and convictions about what people believe, norms are prescribed behaviours that are acceptable in a specific society. Both values and norms are influenced … Continue reading “Impact on Motivation and Talent Management”

Culture is defined as a system of values and norms that are shared among a group of people and that, taken together, constitute a design for living. Although values are abstract ideas and convictions about what people believe, norms are prescribed behaviours that are acceptable in a specific society. Both values and norms are influenced by many factors such as religion, language, social structures, education, and political system and so on. Values are more difficult to learn than norms because they are easily observable. Yet, it is essential for business managers to study values in order to understand the reasons and motivations behind specific behaviours and cultural norms. In this article, we will understand cultural model of Geert Hofstede.

1) Uncertainty Avoidance – This cultural dimension by Hofstede refers to the extent to which people feel comfortable when they are exposed to an ambiguous or uncertain situation. People in a low uncertainty avoidance society are more willing to take risks and appreciate flexibility and informality in the workplace. In contrast, people in a high uncertainty avoidance society tend to be risk averse and favour rigid and formal decision-making processes in the workplace.

Under high uncertainty avoidance, security is a strong motivator relative to achievement or self-fulfilment, and order and predictability are paramount. Rules are important and must be obeyed to avoid chaos. Communication is direct and unequivocal to avoid confusion. Often this directness in high uncertainty avoidance countries such as Germany is mistaken for rudeness, when in reality it is an effort to ensure the clarity of a message of rule observance to preserve order. It is no surprise that Germany is a world leader in precision engineering and manufacturing.

The USA culture of low uncertainty avoidance and tolerance for risk and change has often been mentioned as a main source of the country’s technological leadership in the world. Conversely, people who are culturally inclined to avoid the risks and uncertainties of life tend to think that developing a new technology from the ground up may be too risky. Accordingly, high uncertainty avoidance countries tend to represent a less favourable environment for technology development than low uncertainty avoidance.

Countries with culture of high-uncertainty avoidance – Germany, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Austria, France, Japan, Brazil

Countries with culture of low-uncertainty avoidance -India, China, South Africa, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines

2) Power Distance – Power distance refers to the extent that people have an equal distribution of power. In a large power distance culture, power is concentrated at the top in the hands of relatively few people whereas people at the bottom are subject to decisions and instructions given by superiors. Conversely, in a small power distance culture, power is equally distributed among the members of the society. It is important to note that the particular predominant perspective on power distance is held and reinforced by most members of the society.

Managers in high power distance societies tend to believe in giving detailed instructions to their subordinates with little room for interpretation. Subordinates are supposed to respect the authority and superiority of upper management. Characteristics of high power distance cultures are – inequality among the members in the society, lack of free communication across different levels of the hierarchy and centralized control. These distinguishing traits of high power distance cultures often throttle employee creativity and new ideas. In contrast, the characteristic features of low power distance cultures, such as, lack of hierarchical authority and less centralization, tend to promote employee interaction, lateral communication, and less emphasis on the rules.

Countries with culture of high power distance – Arab Countries, India, Mexico, Philippines, Malaysia

Countries with culture of low power distance – Austria, Germany, United States, Israel, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Switzerland

3) Individualism vs Collectivism – Individualism means that people seek and protect their own interests over the common goal of the society and their role in the society. In an individualistic culture, people are comfortable with having the authority to make a decision based on what the individual thinks is best. In individualistic societies, employees are provided with great deal of personal freedom and autonomy. In collectivistic culture, people tend to belong to groups or collectives and look after each other in exchange for loyalty. Employees working in collectivistic culture are not allowed enough independence necessary for organizational members to think creatively and thereby, fail to cultivate an environment that fosters an innovative spirit.

Countries with individualistic culture – United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Netherlands, Italy, France, New Zealand

Countries with collectivistic culture – South Korea, China, Malaysia, Philippines, Venezuela, Thailand, Portugal

4) Masculinity vs Femininity – According to Hofstede, a masculine culture is basically a performance-driven society where rewards and recognition for performance are primary motivational factors for achievement. In masculine societies, people are supposed to be competitive, ambitious, assertive, and risk taking in order to achieve their goals. Such societies tend to give the utmost respect and admiration to the successful achievers who fulfil his or her ambition and demonstrate assertiveness and willingness to take risks in order to achieve goals.

On contrary, in feminine cultures people tend to emphasize the quality of the whole life rather than money, success, and social status, which are easier to quantify. They are willing to reach out to the underprivileged and share their wealth with them.

Countries that follow masculine culture – Japan, Hungary, Venezuela, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, China

Countries that follow feminine culture – Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Thailand, Finland

5) Confucian Dynamism [Long-term orientation vs Short-term orientation] – This dimension describes how every society has to maintain some links with its own past while dealing with the challenges of the present and future, and societies prioritise these two existential goals differently. Long-term Orientation captures the following elements – adaptation of tradition to the modern context, high savings ratio driven by thrift, patience and perseverance towards slow results, and concerns with respecting the demand of virtue.

On the other hand, a short-term orientation contain following aspects – respect for tradition, lower saving rate, quick-results orientation and concern with possessing the truth.

Business Financial Planning

Businesses often find financial planning a hassle. At the same time, it is critical to plan your finances well through the entire business cycle, be it before commencing, or after folding up (if you decide to merge or sell etc.) In truth, creating a financial strategy isn’t as tough as it seems to be. There are some steps which need to be kept in mind while planning your finances. Some of these steps are as listed below:

Establishing and defining the financial planner – client relationship
Gathering client data, goal – setting and expectation – defining
Analysis and evaluation of the existing financial status
Development and presentation of recommendations / alternatives

It is important to note here that some of these steps will determine and influence the other ones. At the same time, some of these steps need to be carried out simultaneously. To understand these steps better let’s look into how each of these steps work.

Establishing and defining the financial planner – client relationship

In this step the financial planner, explains his / her services to the client. This means that they explain or document their responsibilities towards the project. Further in the same step he / she also chalks out the responsibilities of the client. The payment and terms and conditions are also negotiated in the same step and the time frames are negotiated as well. Decision making processes, SOPs, Specific Points of contact etc. are also decided at the same time.

Gathering client data, goal – setting and expectation – defining

In this stage the data related to the financial state of the client’s business is collected. The personal and financial goals are defined. A thorough SWOT analysis will also give an insight into the risk taking capacity and the estimated productivity of the business. This stage is actually where planner gathers all necessary information before advising the client anything.

Analysis and evaluation of the existing financial status

In this step, the client information is assessed and analyzed. This gives a clear idea about the current status and also helps in deciding what to do in order to achieve client’s business goals. Further, on the basis of the requested services, this stage may include the assessment of liabilities, assets, cash flow, tax strategy, investments, current insurance covers etc.

Welcome to Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a famous American city situated in the state of Nevada. It’s the largest city in the state and it’s widely known for its fine dining, shopping and gambling. Las Vegas was named the ‘World’s Entertainment Capital’ because of the numerous casino resorts. Other nicknames that this city got are the World’s Marriage Capital, the Second Chances Capital, Sin City and the World’s Gambling Capital.The fantasy-like atmosphere in Las Vegas is created by the giant and glamorous casino hotels. Their names evoke exotic destinations, mystery and romance.

Besides many casinos, Las Vegas also features numerous other attractions and sights. Go to the Fremont Street Experience. This is a pedestrian mall situated near the casinos. Every night you can see amazing multimedia shows on the canopy placed over the street. Another landmark is the Fountain Show from Bellagio. During the evenings, for 15 minutes, you can admire the ‘dance’ of these beautiful fountains. On Sunday and Saturday afternoons, the show lasts for an hour.

Las Vegas is known for their mega hotels…not just for casino play but also to stay and relax while you gamble and have fun! The question is not where do you stay but how do you get the best rates? Well, that is where HotelHut comes in. Booking online can be a tedious job because all those big popular online travel agencies are of no use. Their rates are basically the same and trying to find a discount can be a pain…unless you book thru HotelHut is a private membership hotel booking site offering their members deep discounted “unpublished” rates you’ll find nowhere else! Their Members can save up to 71% off retail!

Trolling Lake Michigan

There is no doubt that the Great Lakes are incredible fisheries. Thousands of people take to those lakes every year for a variety of fish. Lake Michigan is no different. There are many ways to catch fish on Lake Michigan. One of the best ways, though, is to always hire a guide.

There are many guides on the lake who specialise in different types of fishing. Look for a reputable guide who’s been working on the lake for a while and who can provide you with some references. Fishing Lake Michigan for the first time can be a daunting task. It can also be dangerous, if you have never fished big water before. Even the most seasoned of anglers pick up tips and trick from experienced guides. They understand which fishing lures are catching fish and where and how to use the most effectively.

Trolling is one way to catch fish on Lake Michigan. This requires knowing the depths at which the fish are holding and also the speed at which the fishing lures will work the best. The speed and depth of the fish will depend on the recent weather, the time of year, and the water temperature at various depths, among other factors. The fishing lures that worked on Lake Michigan in the spring may not be the same ones that will put fish in the boat in the fall.

Services Can Turn Businesses Around

Turnaround services are an essential part of manufacturing. Regular maintenance is a part of all industrial processes. Machines require cleaning and adjustment to continue operating at optimal levels. Most equipment has to be taken off the line in order to service it, which means that industries have scheduled downtimes.

When downtime is built into the schedule for turnaround services, it is also figured into the budget. Machines that are down are not making money. Revenue projections take this into account and staffing is adjusted to avoid having people standing around while machines are not running.

In the production cycle, the old adage “time is money” in clearly demonstrated. The amount of time that a machine is not running can be directly correlated to money lost, or at least money not made. When scheduled maintenance is accurately calculated, the loss is controlled and balanced by a decreased expenditure elsewhere like reduced staffing for that period of time.

If turnaround work requires more downtime than anticipated, the budget balance is upset, and the resulting loss is no longer controlled. But, if you are able to increase the efficiency of turnaround services so less downtime is required, the balance tips in your favor.

Increased efficiency can result in faster turnaround, but faster service is not necessarily more efficient. Speed gained through better organization and coordination will likely result in a positive gain. But speed simply born out of haste is more likely to cost more time in the long run. Planning is the key here.

Typically, all routine maintenance should be managed with a strict procedure. Each step of the procedure can be refined to eliminate wasted motions. To streamline the procedure even further, look between the steps. Time is often lost transitioning from one task to another. You may be able to regain that lost time by simply adjusting your proximity to the worksite or storing needed equipment onsite, closer to where it will be used.

When you cut down on downtime, even for necessary scheduled maintenance, output increases. The gain may not be large, but factored over the number of times you have to repeat the services, it adds up. Efficiency adds revenue.

Business Financial Analysis

Planning and Control are the two most important ingredients to a Successful Business. A Business Plan takes most of the guess work out of Business Strategy and Control through solid Financial analysis. Financial Data provides a way to gauge where you are in your Strategic Plan, telling you where changes in your Plan are necessary. Because of this, Financial Data Analysis and Management are vitally important to running a successful business.

It is extremely important to have a suitable Accounting System installed throughout your business so data acquisition is easy. You cannot manage your Business for Profitability without a good Accounting System. My CPA has a bookkeeper who comes out to the business to help install the Accounting System and show us how to work it. All of this is done with the guidance of the CPA but at a fraction of the cost. A good Bookkeeper is invaluable in helping capture Financial Data. Having an established working Accounting System in place will minimize the fees a CPA charges to analyze your tax liability and prepare your tax returns.

An Accounting System is typically built around the following key Financial Management tools:

– Income Statement (Profit & Loss Statement)
– Cash Flow Statement
– Balance Sheet
– Budget
– Breakeven Analysis

By having a Financial Management system in place, you can easily identify early warning signs or spot particularly profitable areas. Not having a system in place to analyze and organize Financial Data makes it impossible to effectively manage, grow and control a business. It makes it impossible to gauge the success (or lack there-of) of your Planning and Strategy. Moreover, used incorrectly, inaccurate Financial Data can be disastrous for a company’s livelihood.

An Accounting and Financial Management System is only as useful as it is used systematically throughout an entire business. It is extremely important to implement the system into the very fabric of the business and be used systematically. The Accounting System is a reflection of the health, or lack thereof, of a business and from which business decisions are made. Make sure to set it up right, train your people on it and most importantly, use it!

Two principal objectives of any business are to be Profitable and have Cash Flow to pay obligations. The Income Statement and Cash Flow Statement figure prominently in this area. The Income Statement represents how well a Company is operating, and the Cash Flow Statement shows how well a business is managing its Cash. Profit or Loss on one side and Liquidity on the other.

Where Are You Waiting For – In Life or Business?

GDOTS is out in force. The Georgia State Office of Transportation is out spreading salt on the roads for the imminent 3 inches of sleet or hail descending later today.

I am waiting inside my home, looking out, and strangely having a spark of inspiration. Waiting means knowing the temperature will drop 20 degrees and 3 inches of sleet or hail will start, within hours. Clear grey clouds and an eerie, almost relative, calm mask the fury before this Southern storm.

Why is this significant in comparison to Boston and the historical level of snow they are enduring?

Remember the first few times you rode on a roller coaster. Expand dramatically the pitch and fall of those roller coaster turns and you have North Georgia roads. Now take away the snowplows of New England, since snowstorms occur less.

What remains is the comparable problem from ice and even worse, ice storms. See a two inch deep sheet of ice on every road and sidewalk. Expand that picture with the black ice you see in your region, as soon as anything lands on top of the basic ice sheet. In short, ice sheets on hilly North Georgia roads are not for the weak of heart!

Those who saw and possibly laughed at the Atlanta snow storm of 2014, known locally as Snowmageddon, logically missed the real problem. Almost immediately, two to three inches of ice on those hilly roads created impossible logistics.

Now add in the factors of everyone leaving at the same time, accidents and enough nearly empty gas tanks. Change the phrase snow and call it Icemageddon.

Next apply facing this situation in your life or business. Depending upon the issue, its timing and your particular situation at the time, you may have reacted to fit in one of three basic groups.

In the first group, some people go into overcompensate mode. They list every potential situation which can occur for every conceivable length of time the storm may last. This can be good if they quickly start working on the most likely and most important issue. This can be bad if they start attacking the issues with an alphabetical prioritization or based upon what order the list was created.

Remember media stories of shoppers cleaning out grocery stores of basic food before a blizzard, hurricane or tornado. We see empty shelves and aisles strewn with litter from panicked purchasers purchasing five to ten times as much as they really need. After the storm, they return four to nine times as much as they needed and are incensed if the merchant charges a restocking fee or refuses to accept crushed bread, melted popsicles and spoiled milk. All of us had been in this group to some degree in our life, particularly the first time facing a situation.

The second group remembers the last similar storm. You think back on what went well and what went askew. Then you prudently restock basic groceries, gas and other necessities, so more people can get what they really need. This is easy to say academically, but hard to do in real personal or business life.

The final group freezes and does nothing. Afraid of doing the wrong thing, look silly or be second guessed, they do nothing. Atlanta Snowmageddon was really Icemageddon. All of us have also been in this group to some degree in our life, particularly when the issue suggests it will turn into a political battle.

Business of Financial Planning

We have learned from the economic crisis of 2008, to take care of where we invest or what we do with our money. It also taught us that in times of doubt, consult your advisor. The economic downfall in 2008 also opened opportunities for expert financial planners and newbies who wants to help people and business maximize their resources.

If you are wondering why you or your business needs financial planning, we have enlisted the perks here.

Financial planning enables businesses or individuals to allocate the right amount to the right area that needs improvement or more investment in a timely manner. This minimizes risk-taking and bad investments. Efficient financial planning would then eventually lead to better revenue and effective cost management.

Financial planning presents the costs and gains of a company or individual in numbers, giving them a clearer view of what they will be investing in. This makes it easier for decision makers to go or stop a contract or project.

A financial plan is prepared annually. This financial forecast explains how much the business or individual should expect and when to expect it. This not only shows how long the wait is going to be, but also the quantity of its profitability. Every month, a financial plan is also done to compare the annual plan prepared earlier to see if the target is being met, exceeded or otherwise. This warns the business owner or individual of possibilities and posed threats in the investment, and if it’s time to give up or not yet. Although it is not always correct, as there are so many things that could affect the business’ financial status, financial planning and management makes it easier to see what is and what can be.

While some people or business owners would want or need a financial planner as they can do this on their own, there are some who would need a planner’s help to get the load off their backs. Either way, when looking for a financial planning company to handle this hefty job, here are the things you have to consider.

License – find a licensed or certified financial planner, which signifies their abilities and credibility. Do not just jump on the first firm that comes your way in a desperate move to find one.

Pay structure – there are two major pay structures your planner may be a part of: fee-based and commission-based. Nothing of the two is better than the other; it is really up to the company or person what he/she prefers. There are also planner who, like free-lancers, can be paid by the hour or when you only need them

Financial Health of Your Business

A business must enter all its financial transactions in its books of account. It helps the accountants in tracking the incoming and the outgoing flow of cash through the business. Nowadays, the cloud based accounting systems maintain and process the books of account.

The corporate environment of every country is bound by certain statutory obligations. ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) of Singapore governs the corporate sector in Singapore. This agency has the duty to ensure all industries, irrespective of their size or niche, comply with the amended set of statutory requirements. Updated books of account, filing of financial statements, and paying taxes in time are the essential factors of these obligations.

The act of recording each financial transaction of the business and then, periodically checking the books of account has a far-reaching meaning to the business owners. The accounting software reduces the amount of manual work involved in the task. Each time, it processes the business data accurately and unfailingly. The software takes only a few seconds to process the data. The results obtained denote the financial health of the business.

On-the-Go Access

A cloud based accounting system saves and processes the business’ financial data on the cloud servers. It transmits the results to the business owner’s device, which can be an internet capable mobile or tablet. The software can also transmit the reports to the laptops, net books, and desktop computer.

The accounting software systems generate financial documents like cash flow, balance sheets, and profit and loss accounts for the inspection of the owners. They get a detailed info about the working and the financial standing of their businesses. The software also updates them about the financial position of their businesses with respect to their suppliers, customers, and creditors of their businesses.

The accounting software allows the owners to know about the fluctuations in their bank balances. It allows the owners to keep a firm control on their credit and debit situation. It ensures that they do have a chance to take appropriate actions before the commencement of a financial disaster or a broken commitment.