What’s the Secret to Ageing Well?

How many amazing photographs have we seen of late of older celebrities who look stunning? Joan Collins, Sharon Stone, Jane Fonda and even Her Majesty the Queen are all great examples of high-profile females who are turning the notion of twinsets, pearls and tight perms firmly on its head by looking incredible whilst being busy and continuing to achieve great things in later life.Male celebrities too are also out pushing boundaries, whilst there are regularly items in the news of older people enjoying adventurous lives. Many are studying, working, travelling and treating later life as opportunity to change path and enjoy a great time. Many of us are happy to forgo the rocking chairs as middle age gets pushed back yet another decade.Whilst we many not be privy to the financial clout or lifestyle choices of wealthy celebrities or have the genetic advantage of good looks and bone structure there are still ways we can improve our quality of life and enjoy ageing well.- Our hair style can date us. It may be an easy option to check in with the same hairdresser every time; after all, they know us so well, won’t make any regrettable errors and are convenient. But sometimes visiting another stylist can result in them seeing us in a very different way and suggesting a change in style or colour, giving our image a complete overhaul. It’s no bad thing to sometimes be seen by a fresh pair of eyes.


Advice from experts for women includes avoiding wearing hair too long or adopting solid or sharp lines, thus supporting a softer look. For men, maintaining smart, fashionable grooming helps you look years younger and feel better about yourself.- Exercise is important at any age. While we may not aim to be as energetic as we were when young, exercise in later years is almost more important. Be alert to the risk of leading too sedentary a life and consider a regular brisk thirty-minute walk as a valuable way to get some fresh air. It costs nothing and could tie in with spending pleasant time with your partner, family or friends, chatting about your days, investing in your relationships.Investigate over-50′s classes run by many local leisure centres. There may be Pilates or yoga available to attend, which also provides opportunities to socialise regularly with others. Or incorporate some exercise and stretching into your domestic routine or consider a personal trainer.- Diet and eating healthily helps manage the ageing process. It’s sensible to avoid processed foods, sugar and excess alcohol, to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated as well as eat lots of fresh green vegetables, fruit and wholegrains. All are ways to invest in good internal and external health, so helping you to age well.- Your dress style reflects your age. Keeping up-to-date with the latest fashions and trends enables you to be stylish, smart and attractive without adopting any extreme fashion trends. Many older women prefer to cover their arms and neck areas. The artful use of scarves and accessories can achieve this whilst providing an elegant, distinctive look.Whilst older men may move away from daily uniforms or business suits and dress more casually, it can be ageing to regularly dress in track suits and trainers. Get into the habit of wearing a smart-casual look, comfortable but not scruffy.


- A younger mindset means letting go of limiting beliefs, being realistic but not saying ‘no’ or ‘I can’t’ too often. Learn to deal with any stressors in your life, pace yourself, but also look forward with enthusiasm to opportunities that come along. Remember, if you choose to say ‘I can’ or ‘I can’t’ – either way you’re correct. Outlook and perspective is the key. Have a ‘yes, why not’ mentality and remember, this is your time to try new things.- Future plans should be motivational, whilst not being too daunting or stressful. Choose to leave your comfort zone from time to time and keep life interesting and exciting. It’s good to stretch yourself a little, but not lie awake fretting about things you’ve agreed to do. You could take a course just for fun, volunteer, do some consultancy work, start a small business from home or accept a part-time job.The secret to ageing well is to enjoy life on your terms. Take good care of your health and focus on living life well!

The Importance of Employee Management Software in a Modern Office

Former chairperson and CEO of Xerox Corporation, Anne Mulcahy, once said,

“Employees are a company’s greatest asset- they’re your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission.”

If you are an organization that uses the Internet for everyday business practices, then there should nothing stopping you from going one step further and applying technology provided on the Internet to employee management.

Under piles of workloads, appointments, and meetings, it often becomes understandably difficult for a manager to give employees the time and attention, encouragement and stimulus that they deserve.
Making use of a company’s greatest assets – its human resources – to their fullest potential sometimes means adopting technology that efficiently tackles time constraints, management challenges, a employee dissatisfaction.

Has it Ever Worked? Yes!

Ever wondered what goes into making candy? The answer should be a large number of very satisfied workers. Or at least that’s what the Jelly Belly Candy Company of California believe.

The family-owned company takes its employee performance and job satisfaction very seriously.

They recently decided to make the switch from its antiquated talent management process to a far more modern and automated system that uses an employee management software to provide accurate performance appraisals.

The result?

The new automated employee management system has allowed for a more standardized, organized, and formal evaluation process at the Jelly Belly Candy Company.

Greater accessibility between employees and managers, better training programs, and more efficient performance appraisals have all allowed the company to reach its business objectives without compromising on employee satisfaction.

The Different Tools of an Employee Management Software

1. Maintain a database for all your former and current employees

Complete, searchable, and secure records that includes information such as the employee’s personal details, bank details, emergency contacts, and even a record of his/her sick leaves.

2. Reduce the paperwork

An efficient employee management software will allow employees to request time off, submit timesheets or documents and allows employees to audit or approve submissions or requests.
This negates the need to work with HR or submit unnecessary pieces of paper.

3. Keeps track of time and attendance

Employees and managers have an instant record of absenteeism and the number of hours put into work everyday. This allows employees to be more responsible and stay on top of their punctuality and absenteeism rates before it becomes in issue.

4. Total Rewards

Some employee management software apps allow managers to provide their employees with rewards (financial or non-financial) for good performance.

Employees can access their total reward statement through the software, and this often becomes a powerful way of keep individuals motivated and driven.

5. Expense Management

An incredibly useful feature of most employee management software is that it allows staff to scan or photograph and upload receipts onto a database, therefore allowing managers and employees to keep a permanent account of all expenses.

6. Payroll

A simple app can process payroll on individuals online based on the number of hours they have put in with just a click of a button.

7. Asset Management

When an employee leaves the company, managers can keep track and monitor the return of any equipment that was provided to the employee by the organization.

8. Shift Planning

In an organization that depends on perfect timesheets for its smooth functioning, a tool that schedules the staff, eliminates shift conflicts, and notify employees of work shifts automatically can prove to be extremely convenient.

9. Track progress of the company

Information is constantly being constantly being collected on the employee management software, making it easy to gauge the company’s progress.
Instead of having to spend time putting together reports to see how the company is doing, a quick look at the information on the software should allow managers to constantly and accurately track the company’s progress.

The Benefits: Employee Engagement and Satisfaction

1. Providing constructive feedback

Neither managers nor employees look forward to performance reviews, often a once-a-year event that makes an employee feel like a school kid receiving a report card.

Surveys have shown that employees dread annual performance reviews and are therefore less likely to respond in a positive manner to the feedback that is given.

An employee management software allows managers can control how frequently and in what format they would like to provide feedback to their employees.

Performance appraisal reports can be replaced with configurable dashboards and messaging systems, resulting in feedback that is constructive, efficient, and perhaps flows better with the rest of the company culture.

2. Setting goals and motivating employees

An employee management software makes it easy to remind employees of their goals and drive them towards developing skills and meeting deadlines.

This structure also allows employees to work more independently instead of being micromanaged by a manager or HR professional.

3. Better accessibility and communication

Time constraints, clashing schedules, and increasing workload makes it difficult for employees and managers to communicate.

This can foster resentment and misunderstandings, with managers sometimes being too harsh in their judgement of employees and employees sometimes feeling like they have been judged unfairly.

Employee management software avoid help companies avoid such issues, and can help managers clearly communicate their expectations from an employee.

4. Better employee-manager relationships

Employee management software takes away some of the pressure, anxiety and stress that is often observed between managers and employees.

It allows for an environment that encourages low stress communication and help employees and managers work together towards meeting organizational goals.

To summarize, an employee management software provides an organization with a plethora of tools for better management, while simultaneously focusing on employee satisfaction and engagement.
If used correctly and to its fullest potential, employee management software provides a company with an automated, efficient management system and a healthier work environment.

Tips and Techniques for Being a Confident and Capable Restaurant Manager

What does the word “Management” mean? Look around the Internet and you’ll find many varying definitions. Here’s three examples of what some have said:

• “The activity of getting things done with the aid of people and other resources.”

• “Effective utilization and coordination of resources such as capital, materials, and labor to achieve defined objectives with maximum efficiency.”

• “The process of getting activities completed efficiently with and through other people including the process of setting and achieving goals through the execution of five basic management functions: planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling; that utilize human, financial, and material resources.”

When you boil these three definitions down and summarize, as a restaurant manager you simply must produce results and get the work done! We have a proven, three-step process of helping managers enjoy results as detailed below:

STEP ONE – YOU MUST GAIN CONTROL OVER YOUR OWN TIME AND ACTIVITIES FIRST

A study conducted several years ago found that the average restaurant manager has 64 unplanned interruptions during the course of a day. This doesn’t surprise any seasoned restaurant manager, but if you’re new to the industry or a first-time manager, this means that early in the game of management, you’ll need to take firm reins over your valuable time!

Your FIRST responsibility as a competent and capable restaurant manager is to hold yourself accountable for your own time and I had to learn this lesson the hard way.

As a young manager many years ago, I was to attend a meeting with my General Manager, Dave Dalmadge, at 4PM on a day that I was scheduled off. When that day arrived, I was many miles away from the restaurant, enjoying my day off. About 4:15, I received a call from Dave and he simply said to me, “We had a meeting scheduled for 4PM today and you’re not here. I allocated my time for you, so get here as soon as you can” and he hung up.

An hour later, I walked into his office and after profusely apologizing, I said, “Dave, I’ve always tried to remember every meeting and it’s pretty rare that I forget commitments. How do you seem to remember everything?” He responded by pulling out a little bound book from his pocket. On the cover of the little book were the words, “Day Timer” and he then showed me that he wrote his schedule and every schedule commitment he had made in the book. He said to me, “Kevin, get this system, use it every day, and you’ll never forget anything that’s important.” I eagerly ordered the 12 little monthly booklets and immediately found after using it just a short time that I:

1. … was never late for another meeting.
2. … never forgot anyone’s birthday (because I plugged them in for the entire year in the 12 little calendars).
3. … had less stress because I could see what events were coming up and I had plenty of time to prepare.
4. … had a written record of what had happened and what I accomplished.
5. … could integrate my personal and professional scheduled activities into one convenient spot.
6. … was no longer embarrassed by my own lack of accountability.
7. … started producing real results both at work and in my own personal life!

I’ll always be thankful to Dave for the singular most important restaurant, and life lesson he taught me – how to hold myself accountable and how to control my own schedule. Suddenly and with very little work on my own, I began doing the right thing at the right time!

Even though this event happened over 35 years ago, I still use a calendar. The one I use now is a small, 12-month, “At-a-Glance” calendar that accompanies me wherever I go. Maybe a little old school compared to using a phone or Outlook calendar, but it’s a system that works for me, especially because I can put tickets and other paperwork into that calendar. Whatever system you decide to use, you simply must take the responsibility for being personally accountable for your own time management because THIS is where good management skills begin. Good managers do the right thing at the right time, the right way

STEP TWO – LEARN AND USE THE 10 CHARACTERISTICS OF TODAY’S MODERN RESTAURANT MANAGERS

The second step of learning how to be a confident and capable restaurant manager means that you know and learn what the characteristics of top-performing managers are! Below are 10 top factors that will directly impact your ability to be a top performer!

1. BE ACCOUNTABLE. Unless you take responsibility for being on time, completing tasks and never being late, you’ll never be accountable. Use a good calendar system and you’ll find that you’ll instantly be more accountable!

2. LEAD BY EXAMPLE. If a napkin falls on the floor, pick it up. Dress the part – be sharp, groomed and clean. Don’t chew gum. Don’t yell. Don’t embarrass others publicly. Just know that all eyes are on you and whatever YOU do will be acceptable in the eyes of your employees. Hold yourself to a high standard and set the pace and keep high standards.

3. INSURE THAT YOUR PEOPLE SUCCEED. Today’s leaders don’t tell their employees to “Jump.” They jump WITH their employees, creating a mentality of working, “side by side” with them.

4. BE COMPETENT. Your ability to do everything in the restaurant builds your confidence. You as a manager should be able to jump in and temporarily help in any area that gets slammed. You should aspire to know as much or more than your employees about how every job is done. If you don’t know how to do something, learn it! Competence builds confidence. You will quickly find that confidence inspires trust from your team, so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!

5. LEAD OTHERS TO A MUTUAL ATTAINABLE GOAL. Every person wants to know what direction the team is headed and what their role is. Articulate the goal, the roles, the standards, benchmarks and key achievements and keep everyone informed! This process helps to promote and develop a sense of transparency in your management style which is another desirable trait of a good leader.

6. CONSTANTLY TRAIN. Norman Brinker, the founder of many restaurant concepts including Chili’s had a saying that’s always stuck with me and I’ve seen it proven over the years. “You are paid on your profits and promoted by your people.” This means that people development (this means training) needs to take place all the time. Every shift you work is 100% training time for everyone on your team and every moment is a training opportunity.

7. LISTEN AND COMMUNICATE. There’s a school of thought that says that if you listen well, you are a good conversationalist! Work on your ability to clearly communicate clearly, listen closely and don’t tolerate rumors.

8. BE FAIR AND BE EVEN WITH EVERYONE AND DON’T FRATERNIZE. In order to treat your employees fairly and evenly across the board, this means you can’t find yourself in compromising situations. Don’t find yourself out late at night with people you’re responsible for managing on a daily basis because you’ll quickly find that your ability to manage them will be compromised unnecessarily.

9. EXPRESS EMPATHY AND BE WARM & APPROACHABLE. If you want to be an effective manager, you better understand what perspective your employees are coming from when they want to talk with you. If you’re a good listener, are warm and approachable, and try to really understand what’s being said, these qualities will take you far in your management journey.

10. BE MATURE. This means be honest and trustworthy, don’t spread secrets or rumors, don’t divulge confidential information, don’t speak negatively of others and don’t ever find yourself in a suspicious situation. Integrity in this business means everything.

STEP THREE – USE THE RIGHT TOOLS

The third step of learning how to be a confident and capable restaurant manager means that you know how to use the tools that are appropriate for your work. Fact of the matter is that you can be a highly qualified manager with all of the 10 traits we’ve detailed earlier, but if you’re not using the right tools for the job, you won’t be able to be productive. If you work in a multi-unit environment, many of the tools you’ll need will be provided. If you work in a single-unit or small company environment, you may need to develop your own tools. What are some of these tools?

1. MBWA – MANAGEMENT BY WALKING AROUND. “You can expect what you inspect” is very true. If you don’t know what’s going on, all the time, everywhere on premise, conceptually you’re out of control. I’ve known managers that walk a figure 8 loop around the premise. I know of others that set an alarm and walk the interior interior and exterior premise every 20 minutes. Whatever your preference is, you simply need to everywhere, all the time. This is why being a high performing restaurant manager is a job for Superman and Superwoman!

2. VIDEO CAMERAS. We have a client that has four restaurants and in each location, there’s 12 cameras throughout the premise. In the office, there’s a bank of four huge television screens, and on each screen, there’s 12 camera views. The company Owner is able to view activities in 12 perspectives in four locations… 48 views all at the same time. When he sees something that needs to be addressed, he simply picks up the phone and calls the appropriate manager in that particular restaurant. His system of management can be referred to as MBSD – Management by sitting down. This is rarely the right tool to use by most managers, but it worked for him!

3. COMMUNICATION TOOLS. Almost every restaurant today has a management log. This insures that every shift can communicate the with shift leaders that come in next. Continuity of the flow of information is maintained. Restaurants without logbooks, or managers that don’t use the logbook are all at a disadvantage.

4. RESTAURANT SYSTEMS. This includes the proper usage of temperature logs, order guides, employee schedules, and all of the other systems used in a restaurant.

5. TECHNOLOGY. The manager that tries to avoid using the functions that today’s point of sale systems can provide is at a disadvantage. Sales mix, labor reports, sales volume, guest database, inventory, costing tools and many others are available for your use to help you run a profitable shift and operation. Wise managers will become quickly proficient with the POS system in your restaurant.

6. CHECKLISTS. This is the most effective way to insure that the things that need to happen, actually DO happen. All positions within a restaurant should have at a minimum, an opening and closing checklist. In the kitchen, multiple checklists are used for prep (par and build-to levels), ordering (part and build-to levels) and many others. If you’re constantly running out of products, it may be that the correct checklist may not be in use! Checklists are only effective if they’re used. (Expect what you inspect) Insure that you as a manager follow-up to insure that all checklists are being used and completed properly.

7. A MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. Last but not least includes a regular system of how to run a shift. Many managers don’t know what they are supposed to do at what time! Certain management functions are to be accomplished during certain times. Make your life easier and divide the day into portions of time that you can control.

For example:
9AM – 11AM – Administration and restaurant opening.
11AM – 2PM – Run the shift on the floor.
2PM – 4PM – Projects, accounting, ordering.
4PM- 5PM – Get ready for dinner. PM staff arrive, pre-shift meeting.
5PM – 9PM – Run the shift on the floor.
9PM to close – Aggressively close, cutting labor when possible, with no wasted hours.

REMEMBER:
One of the most important aspects of running a restaurant is consistency. Not only in food and beverages but for you as a manager, consistency means your ability to consistency run a great shift. This does not happen by accident. It’s by using the tools, the right way, all the time.

The Effective HR Manager

Winning the respect, trust and confidence of line managers and making a difference

Ask many line managers what they think of HR managers and you will get a variety of views from the positive to the most damning.

Examples are:

- “Excellent. Very professional.”

- “Very responsive, supportive and helpful”

- “Great if I can ever get hold of them”

- “Talk their own language. Not really in touch with the needs of the business. A bit flakey”

- “You mean the dead hand of HR!”

As the issue of effective HR management has grown in importance over the years so has the need for HR managers to be both responsive and proactive in meeting the needs of their developing organisations.

Clearly it’s important that an organisation’s employees are paid on time, they are able to access the benefits they are entitled to and can receive straightforward help and advice from HR when needed.

This operational piece of the HR management responsibility needs to be reliable and responsive in every respect. Getting the basics right is all important.

So is partnering with line managers in recruitment activities, performance management processes, training and personal development provision. These are all very necessary, core elements of the HR function’s role. Organisation’s have every right to expect that HR managers will be proficient in these areas.

But what about gaining the respect, trust and confidence of line managers, over and above these basics? How can HR managers really add value? Here are eight tips.

- Vision

HR managers need to clearly understand the organisation’s vision and challenge the CEO if it is not clear. They need to create an aligned vision for HR to support the corporate vision.

They need to draft a vision, share it with selected line managers, check it, refine it and communicate it both to the HR team and line managers. They need to be clear on HR’s vision for future success, and clear on how it is aligned to the organisation’s overall vision.

- Objectives

HR managers must be clear on their organisation’s objectives. They need to put clear, measurable objectives and milestones to the HR vision. They need to make their objectives concrete, tangible and deliverable with time frames attached.

They need to announce them and ‘stick’ to them. They need to communicate their success in achieving them. They need to be seen as “business like”.

- Strategy

HR managers need to understand their organisation’s strategy. They need to be clear on their HR strategy to deliver their objectives. How will HR be positioned within the organisation as a whole? How will it work alongside the business to deliver the strategy of the business? How will it marry the day to day needs of the business with the longer term development needs?

How will it operate with closer external specialists and suppliers? What short, medium and long term plans does it have to really add value to the business?

What changes will need to be made to deliver the strategy?

HR managers need to answer these questions, share their strategy and plans with the business and their standing will automatically be enhanced!

- Resources

HR is in the business of attracting, acquiring and developing the RIGHT people. HR managers will need to assess the quality of the organisation’s existing people and compare their current capabilities to the capabilities required by the organisation in the future. That’s why they need to understand the organisation’s vision, objectives and strategy so well.

They need to compare the current competency framework to a desired competency framework, say three years from now. What will be different in the requirement of the organisation’s people? How will this impact the type of people the organisation will need, where in the business, and when?

HR managers need to create a strategic HR development plan to deliver the right people resources to the organisation to meet both its current and future needs. The use of performance management, personal development and capability management systems will help them to do this accurately. They must get transparency of the organisation’s human resources to plan effectively.

- Structure

HR managers need to structure the HR function in the most appropriate way.

They should centralise those activities which are core to the whole business. This will include policy development, recruitment, compensation and benefits, performance management, personal development and disciplinary processes. Many of these are governed by legislation and need to be corporate wide, although there may have to be regional or county variations.

HR business managers should be allocated to lines of business to work closely alongside line managers to create and deliver specific interventions to meet their ongoing needs. These people need to be seen as true business partners adding specialist knowledge and skills to line managers. In a sense they are internal consultants clearly understanding the business as well as best practice in HR management and development in the market place.

- Systems

HR managers should employ “fit for purpose” systems for both HR management and HR development. This does not mean the most sophisticated, costly and “heavy weight” systems. They should choose systems that can be easily integrated with one another, are customisable and require little management time.

Systems need to be user friendly as the trend is for managers to use them to ‘self-serve’ more and more these days.

Systems should work together holistically enabling the organisation to obtain transparency of its entire human resource, to enable it to adopt the best people acquisition, retention and development process.

- Knowledge and Skills

HR managers need to ensure that they and their team members really understand the business they work for, including its:

- Market-place

- Customers

- Products/ services

- Routes to market

- Competition

- Major commercial challenges

- Threats, e.g. legal constraints

- Vision, strategy and objectives

- Plans for the future – short, medium and long term

- Culture and values

- Leadership and management style beliefs

Many HR managers fall down because they lack essential knowledge of the business and fail to use the language and terminologies which clearly show that they understand the core business and how it works.

They should avoid “HR speak” which really turns off line managers. This may be helpful shorthand to HR professionals but it is an anathema for line managers and their staff. HR managers should focus on the objective, tangible, concrete, business related issues not just the softer, behavioural and more subjective issues.

They should gain respect for their knowledge of HR issues as well as the tangible issues faced by the business. After all, human resources are just one element of tackling these issues. When handling people related problems HR managers should go back to the vision, objectives and strategy of the business before embarking on solutions.

HR managers should expand their knowledge to include strategic thinking, change management, business planning and organisation development. Oh and finally HR managers and their teams need to become very IT savvy! They are usually not!

- Leadership and Management

The HR manager’s role is to challenge where necessary the behaviours exhibited by managers, who clearly do not ‘walk the talk’. They are to a large extent guardians of the culture and values and need to be seen to be adopting this role.

HR managers should ‘educate’ senior line managers on modern management thinking, helping them to move away from a command and control approach to a more collaborative, consensual working style which truly engages and motivates employees at all levels to give of their best.

The job of today’s managers is to recognise and release talent at all levels not to overlook it or squash it. Performance management systems, personal development programs and reward systems all need to focus on the behaviors and competence required of managers to imbed the corporate values and culture into the organisation. It is the job of the HR manager to ensure that this happens.

So how well have you developed your skills in these eight areas of expertise as an HR manager? Check out how well you are currently doing by using the list below. Tick the box on the left of the statements only if it is TRUE of you.

Start each statement with the words “I..

Top of Form

Have a vision, clearly communicated and accepted, for the role of the HR which is aligned to the corporate vision.

Have short term (up to one year), medium term (two to three years) and longer term (over three years) objectives for the HR function.

Have a thought through written strategy and plan to deliver my objectives.

Am able to assess accurately the organisation’s current HR needs and its future needs, aligning its corporate development plan to strategic HR reviews.

Have a structure for my HR team which enables it to play a centralised and decentralised role in the business, catering for its daily operational needs, and its future development needs.

Have in place HR management and development systems that are fit for purpose, reliable and user friendly.

Am investing in my own and my team’s knowledge and skills in specific areas of HR and wider business related areas.

Challenge the behaviours of managers at all levels of the organisation to live out the corporate values, and my performance management and reward systems reinforce the need to walk the talk.

Am seen as a respected, knowledgeable professional in whom people can put their trust because they have confidence in me.

Continually invest in my own and my team’s personal growth and development.

Total Score:
Bottom of Form

How did you score?

8-10 – Excellent to very good. You have a few gaps to fill.

5 to 8 – Very good to fair. You have quite a few gaps to fill.

0 to 5 – Not so good. If you believe in the points made in this article you have some way to go!

You could say that these are the basics. Getting them right will in itself enhance the HR manager’s standing and reputation. However there are also issues to consider.

These include:

- Being emotionally intelligent

- Being ‘politically’ savvy

- Exercising critical judgement

- Influencing without authority

- Being a catalyst for change

- Having personal credibility

- Being culturally aware

- Conflict resolution skills

- Team building skills

- Managing upwards and managing peers

Plus a host of other soft skills!