Squashing The Beef: Preventing Common Workplace Disputes

Two focuses of my blog are Organizational/Management Discussions and Workplace Discussions. When you’re in charge of a staff or a team, one of your roles is personality management. Sometimes that involves conflict management. The following contributed post is entitled, Squashing The Beef: Preventing Common Workplace Disputes.

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If you’re looking to hire and manage a team the right way, then your approach needs to be holistic. You need to make sure that you’re ready for all eventualities, even the ones that you’re hoping to avoid. When it comes to workplace disputes, then you should accept that there’s no way to entirely stop them from happening. You can, however, look at the common causes of them and make sure they don’t play too big a role in your business. Here are some of the steps you can take to that end.

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Differing treatment between team members

Resentment is one of the leading causes of disputes boiling over between members of the team. One of the leading causes of resentment is that some members of the team that others are being valued over them without good reason. Taking the time to forge a development plan with each team member can help you ensure that each of them is getting the professional development they need. It also gives them a space to address their professional grievances with a productive and constructive approach. You can ask them what kind of professional opportunities, training, or other resources they might need and they can give you the answer that can help prevent the resentment that might build up otherwise.

Poor management of the team

Simply put, if you’re not considering the needs of the team, then it’s very easy to inadvertently mismanage them into a position that doesn’t work with them. This is very common in work environments where work is scheduled out flexibly, as managers can often lead to people overworking or working at hours that aren’t advantageous to them. By making use of autoscheduled rotas, you can ensure that schedules are created fairly, and even set criteria if your team members have times of day that they would rather not work, allowing you to be more flexible with them. There are other forms of mismanagement of course, such as not noticing or acknowledging if an employee has too much on their plate.

Lack of clarity in roles

While you might start out hiring a team member to fulfil a certain role and take on a range of specific duties, anyone who has managed or ran a business can appreciate that those roles can change over time as the day-to-day of the business sets the real standards for how they’re going to work. People who feel that they are working beyond or outside of their job description can start to feel like they are being exploited, which can naturally lead to resentment. You should review your team’s job roles if things have changed. You might need to admit that you have doled duties out without proper consideration, which may mean a promotion or role change might be in order.

Managing a team of people isn’t easy, especially when there are clashing personalities. However, you have a lot more control over the circumstances that lead to disputes than you might think. Hopefully, the tips above can show that.

How Does Agile Project Management Help Entrepreneurs?

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. When you’re an entrepreneur, you have to figure out how to manage your multiple projects effectively. This one component will set you apart from you competition. The following contributed post is entitled, How Does Agile Project Management Help Entrepreneurs?

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It’s no surprise that entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for better methods to help their businesses grow. While some would pin this search down as nothing more than a greener pasture, many entrepreneurs turn to Agile Project Management (APM) specifically due to its growth-oriented approach and proven results.

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APM allows business owners like you to spend less time managing employees and more time growing your business. Let’s look at how APM works and how it might be able to make your life easier.

As with any method of management, there are varying levels that one can take in applying these principles. By understanding the different main ideas behind APM, you’ll be able to choose which methods work best for you and your team.

The three main ideas behind APM are:

1) increased project visibility,

2) ongoing stakeholder engagement and other related benefits, and

3) optimized team and organizational performance.

These ideas together provide a framework for how your business should function, as well as the goals you would like it to achieve.

Based upon these principles, we’ll discuss some of the key features of APM that make it highly useful for entrepreneurs such as yourself:

1) Higher Productivity Rates:

APM eliminates much of the wasteful bureaucracy that surrounds traditional project management by organizing business activities around prioritized backlogs rather than rigid schedules. This makes it so teams are only responsible for an iteration at a time, allowing them to focus fully upon each requirement in order to create a higher-quality product with less effort. Given that your employees will likely be more satisfied and feel better supported, this is bound to lead to greater levels of productivity.

2) Greater Collaboration between Employees:

As mentioned earlier, APM encourages increased collaboration among all individuals involved in any given business activity by ensuring everyone’s efforts are based on shared goals. Each work item has its own backlog, which can be modified by other team members, allowing for greater engagement and synergy. This not only makes it easier to manage workflow but also increases the speed at which tasks are completed due to an open exchange of ideas.

3) Improved Customer Service:

By engaging stakeholders in a more regular fashion during each iteration, APM allows your team to better understand the needs of your customers and tailor your products accordingly. Not only will you be able to offer faster turnaround times on customer requests because changes can be made more readily, but you’ll also receive feedback from them much sooner. In addition, by providing regular updates about your progress throughout development cycles, you create additional opportunities for dialogue between yourself and clients.

4) Shorter Development Timescales:

Traditional project management tends to mismanage and overestimate development timelines due to a lack of ongoing engagement between clients and developers. APM, however, facilitates an ongoing dialogue between all involved parties by breaking down tasks into small pieces so they can be completed more quickly. This allows you to better assess the true scope of work required on any given task or project before beginning it, which is managed according to priority rather than a schedule.

5) Better Work/Life Balance for Staff Members:

Keeping your employees happy during their time off from your company is key in retaining them long-term. By working with a shared backlog that anyone can add items to at any time, everyone has a say in what gets seized for a given release or iteration. This allows individuals to select those tasks they feel most passionate about and work toward them as a team instead of the solitary nature of the traditional approach.

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By taking advantage of these benefits, entrepreneurs can improve efficiency while cutting costs at the same time, thus leaving more money in their wallets once the project is complete.

The Benefits Of Taking An Active Role In Money Management

A key focus of my blog is Financial Literacy/Money. Money is one of those things that will literally disappear without a trace if you don’t take an active role in its management and tell it what to do. Immersing yourself in its management is the key to being successful with it. The following contributed post is entitled, The Benefits Of Taking An Active Role In Money Management.

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Did you know that a quarter of Americans claim to be worried about money constantly? With an uncertain future ahead, and the economy sharing headlines with health news on a daily basis, it has never been more important to take an active role in money management. Here are some of the key reasons to keep a firm grip on your finances and some tips to help you cope if money is a source of stress.

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Controlling spending, reducing the risk of getting into debt and saving with a budget
One of the most beneficial steps you can take to manage your money effectively and tip the balance in your favour is living with a budget. If you don’t already budget every month, you may well be surprised at what a difference it can make. There are now several ways you can create a budget and track spending, including traditional pen and paper, spreadsheets and apps. The primary aim is to enable you to gain an accurate insight into the comings and goings of your accounts, so that you know how much you’re earning and what proportion of your income you’re spending.

With a budget, you can control spending, lower the risk of getting into debt and save more money. Use your budget to set a spending limit for each week or month and analyze your outgoings carefully. You might find that you stumble across payments you thought had ended months ago, or you might suddenly remember that you’ve still got subscriptions or memberships you don’t even use anymore, for example. Your budget might flag up overspending on groceries, or you might be shocked at how much your insurance policies have gone up. Use the data, update your budget as you go to ensure that it’s always precise and look for areas to make cuts.

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Keeping a close eye on your financial activity
It’s simpler than ever before to track spending with online banking and money apps, but it’s also incredibly easy to forget about payments you’ve made due to the fact that we rarely use cash now. With contactless technology, smartphones and direct debits, money can be flying out of your account without you so much as signing your name or entering a pin code. Make sure you know what’s going on in your accounts every day. Download apps to check on the go, and don’t ignore statements or texts with warnings or balance updates. Keeping an eye on your accounts can help you regulate spending and ensure you notice any potentially suspicious or fraudulent activity as soon as possible.

Seeking expert advice for financial issues
It is not uncommon for people to get into debt and find it difficult to get out. If you’re struggling to pay your bills, your credit card balance is increasing day by day, and you’re falling behind with your rent or mortgage, the best thing to do is seek expert advice as early as possible. There are multiple debt management solutions you could consider, and a financial adviser will help you select a route that caters to your needs. Examples include credit counseling, debt consolidation, and in cases where you can’t cover your debts, a consumer proposal. It can be daunting to reach out, but debts can spiral very quickly, especially if you have a high-interest credit card, or you’re borrowing on a regular basis. If you’re in a tricky situation, there are ways to reduce debts, to prevent creditors from pursuing you and to protect your income.

Working towards a stable future
Most of us would like to have a financial cushion, but it can be very challenging to save when you’ve got a household to run. If you can use your budget to make savings and analyze your spending habits to create a wider gap between your income and your outgoings, try and put a little aside each month. It’s also critical to look into employee benefits or separate pension programs if you are self-employed. If you have an emergency fund and a retirement pot, this will stand you in good stead in the future, particularly if your circumstances change. Look for savings accounts with a high interest rate or consider putting your money into an asset that will appreciate. If you have a healthy balance, and you’re keen to invest, you could look into buying a rental property or stocks and shares, for example.

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Budgeting, analyzing bank statements and tracking spending might not be everyone’s idea of fun, but it’s so crucial to have a handle on your finances. Taking an active role can help to prevent overspending, lower the risk of getting into debt and facilitate saving.

5 Keys to Consider When Searching for the Best Commercial Property Management Firm

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Once your business gets big enough, it becomes important to find a commercial property. At that point a good commercial property firm also becomes necessary. The following contributed post is entitled, 5 Key to Consider When Searching for the Best Commercial Property Management Firm.

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In 2018, the United States commercial property market value hit an estimate of $16 trillion. The industry continues to expand each year. If you own commercial property, whether it’s a retail outlet, an apartment block, a storage facility, or perhaps some offices, you will be familiar with the burden that comes with its management. You will definitely need the services of a professional commercial building management firm to coordinate the full management of your building.

By working with the most experienced property management companies, you will get good deals to maximize your financial returns. Moreover, they will ensure that your property stays in perfect condition without depreciating in value. With this in mind, here are some factors to consider when searching for the best commercial property management firm.

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1. Lists of Services Offered

More than 90% of real estate property managers are into rent collection, leasing out units, and doing some repair works. However, property management companies differ greatly in terms of the services they offer. The idea is to work with a reputable company offering a vast range of services such as commercial building pressure washing, which keeps the outside of your building sparkling clean. After all, the more services offered means that they are masters in their business, and can meet your requirements. Use the following criteria to decide on which services are good for you.

• Contract specifications
• Maintenance management
• Rent analysis
• Rent collections
• Lease negotiations
• Budget development
• Tenant relations
• Purchasing procedure
• Marketing strategies and programs
• Project management
• Compliance procedures

2. Coverage on Assets Classes

While a versatile company may manage assets across different classes, other companies just cover only a limited number of assets in one class. Assuming you are an investor who diversifies your investments, you may want to choose a company that specializes in several asset classes. Similarly, for investors who limit themselves to one asset class, your best option is to partner with a property-specific firm.

3. Level of Experience

As the saying goes, ‘experience is the best teacher.’ The greater the level of experience of a company, the better their services. An experienced firm will assist you in overcoming property challenges such as maintenance projects and marketing constraints. Inexperienced property managers may act as if they have the Midas touch, but in reality, they may end up causing you more harm than good. So, how do you know that a specific company is skillful in commercial property management? Well for one thing, you can start by considering the number of years they have been in existence. More years can suggest that the company is top-rated. Then you can ask for their clientele list and see if they service buildings similar to your own.

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4. Reputation

Two firms can offer the same services, but their reputation will vary. You will have to consider the reviews on their websites in order to arrive at a conclusion. A high number of positive feedbacks means that the brand is a reputable one, and will not take you for a ride.

5. Management Fees

In the UK, property prices rise by about 0.7% with respect to the previous month, and by about 0.9% with respect to the previous year. This is the most important deciding factor that will tell whether you can afford to pay for the services of a property management company or not. Usually, the fees are expressed as a percentage of the rental charges. For example, it can vary between 4–11%, with some management companies charging a flat fee.

In summary, the decision is always yours. Use the above factors to guide your decision-making. Whichever property management company you choose, just be sure you are budgeting for your money.

Five Stages Of Project Management

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and a key focus is Professional Development and Skills. No matter what kind of organization you’re in, a key skill to have is project management. The ability to effectively manage projects will assure that your operations continue to run smoothly it will likely assure that you’ll advance in your career. The following contributed post is entitled, Five Stages Of Project Management.

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When it comes to getting your project just right, there are a few phases that you will need to be aware of. Project management isn’t just about managing people – it is about all of the details too. You use tools, skills, people, and techniques in your specialty to bring the project to life.

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Here are the five stages of project management.


The start of the project can often be messy, but the goals will now be defined at a broad level. There will be a lot of research to decide if the project is actually possible. There will be some feasibility testing done here too.

All of the critical decisions makers like stakeholders and board members will do their own due diligence to decide if the project will go ahead too. If everything seems to be okay, then there will be a project initiation document drawn up that will outline the purpose and requirements.

Project Planning

Many project managers find this to be an enjoyable stage. Developing a roadmap for critical players to follow. There are a few options that project managers will consider the best goal setting methods. SMART and CLEAR. Here is a breakdown:

SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely
CLEAR – Collaborative, Limited, Emotional, Appreciable, Refinable

The full scope of the project is now clear. The roles and responsibilities are noted, and everyone will not be accountable for their parts. The scope statement, Work Breakdown Schedule, Milestones, TimeLine, Communication Plan, Risk Management Plan will all need to be written up.


The deliverables are now developed and completed. These will be a lot happening in this phase, many meetings, status updates, performance updates. There are a lot of moving parts in this phase. Here are a few:

Develop a team: if you need to hire in contractors here is where you will do it. Depending on the project, you’ll need designers, government contractors like Salt3, extra assistants, and other skilled workers.

● Resources being assigned
● Execute the project management plans
● Procurement if required
● Tracking
● Status meetings
● Continuous updates of the project status

The execution phase and the performance phases will begin to overlap.


This will have been running for a short while by now, and it is time to take note of the progression and the performance. This phase will have a heavy focus on the KPIs that were outlined in the first stages. There are several ways to check on project performance, here are a few:

Quality deliverables
● Project Performance
● Effort and Cost tracking
● Project Objectives

There may be some minor (or major) adjustments to the schedules, and some movement of the resources were required to keep things on track.


This phase is pretty much what it says on the tin. Contractors who have been hired will now be terminated. The key players in completion will be recognised and celebrated in most cases. There will be an evaluation about what went well, what didn’t, and where there is room for improvement for further projects. A project manager will now also create a plan for the company to follow, a final budget and final report too.