1. Keyword Searches

    November 23, 2009 by
    The strength of the BPIR.com is found in its vast amount of content in the form of research and case studies, and the fact that it is all accessible by keyword searches. To do a keyword search simply type your keyword into the "search site" box at the top right of the BPIR.com Home Page. Note if you perform this search from the non-members area you will only find information in the non-members area – to see the power of this search it needs to be done in the member's area.

    The value of doing a keyword search is evidenced by a recent request from a member who needed assistance in finding information on "Best Practices in ATTENDANCE MANAGEMENT." We had a look using the keyword search feature. We searched "Absence", "Absenteeism", "Attendance", and "Employee Absence" and were able to respond with:

    Keyword: Attendance
    Measures (2)
    Tools & Techniques (5)
    Case Studies (12)
    Research Studies (7)
    See screenshot of search results

    Keyword: Absence
    Measures (6)
    Tools & Techniques (10)
    Case Studies (16)
    Research Studies (13)
    See screenshot of search results

    Keyword: Absenteeism
    Measures (8)
    Tools & Techniques (10)
    Case Studies (9)
    Research Studies (26)
    See screenshot of search results

    Keywords: Employee Absence
    Measures (6)
    Tools & Techniques (7)
    Case Studies (11)
    Research Studies (10)
    See screenshot of search results

    Some of these may be duplicates. None specifically address "Best Practices in Attendance Management", but best practices can be drawn from the Case Studies and Research Studies. For example things like Employee Engagement, Work/Life Balance, Wellness Programmes, Reward and Recognition programmes, Job Sharing are all reported as being useful in reducing absenteeism (improving attendance)

    Here are a couple of the 10 Research Studies that came up in a keyword search "employee absence".

    Absence control and unscheduled absences

    This snippet and its associated article provide evidence of the use of absence control programmes. In a 2004 CCH absence survey employers reported that 60% of unscheduled absences were for reasons other than physical illness. Reasons given for absences included: family issues (21%), personal needs (20%), employees` entitlement mentality (14%), stress (5%).

    Respondents ranked absence control programmes on a 1-5 scale in order of effectiveness as:
    1) Paid leave banks (also known as paid time-off programmes) 3.9 (used by
    21%). These programmes provide employees with a bank of hours to be used for various purposes instead of traditional separate accounts for sick, vacation, and personal time;
    2) No-fault systems 3.7 (used by 31%). This programme limits the number of unscheduled absences allowed, regardless of circumstances, and take specific
    disciplinary actions if that number is exceeded;
    3) Disciplinary action (most popular and used by 88%) 3.5;
    4) Buy-back programmes 3.4 (used by 17%). In these programmes employees are compensated for the allotted time off that they don`t use;
    5) Yearly review process 3.2 (used by 58%);
    6) Personal recognition programmes 3.10 (used by 33%);
    7) Bonus programmes 3.10.
    Article R6299

    Work / Life Balance Initiatives impact on absenteeism

    This snippet and its associated article discuss the impact of Work / Life Balance Initiatives on absenteeism. In a 2004 CCH absence survey employers reported they had an average of 3.4 work-life programmes in operation and those organisations reported as having better morale offered a greater number of initiatives than those with fair to poor morale. Respondents also ranked, on a 1-5 scale, the work-life balance initiatives used that best reduced unplanned absences. These were reported in order of effectiveness

    as:
    1) Flexible scheduling 3.8 (used by 66% of respondents);
    2) Compressed work week 3.8 (used by 28% of respondents);
    3) Leave for school functions 3.6 (used by 24% of respondents);
    4) On-site health services 3.6 (used by 23% of respondents);
    5) Job sharing 3.5 (used by 25% of respondents);
    6) Telecommuting 3.5 (used by 20% of respondents);
    7) employee assistance program 3.0 (used by 73% of respondents);
    8) Work-life seminars 3.0 (used by 15% of respondents);
    9) Wellness programs 3.9 (used by 41% of respondents);
    10) Child care referral programs 2.8 (used by 14% of respondents)
    Article R6299

    If you haven't already – why not join the BPIR right now?

    Our resources will not only help you to get through the recession they can also help to take your business to the next level.

    Kevin McKenna
    BPIR


  2. Knowledge Management Webinars

    November 9, 2009 by
    Knowledge Management is one of the hot and emerging subjects of the day  – it is  playing a crucial part in the competitiveness of organisations. To be competitive in the future it is important to understand what is knowledge management, why is it so important to each one of us, and how to implement an efficient and effective knowledge management process.

    To help companies on their knowledge management journey a series of Knowledge Management webinars will start on the 25th of November starting with the Schaeffler Group of Germany.

    Mr. Paul Seren Head of Knowledge Management at Schaeffler Group will present Schaeffler’s Knowledge Management journey since 2000 and main areas for Knowledge Work and Knowledge Management at the Group.

    By participating in the webinar you will have the opportunity to share best practices and discuss Knowledge Management issues and receive documentation of the presentation, discussion, and   case study.

    As a special offer BPIR members will receive a 15% discount when signing up for the webinar, please email webinar@bpir.com to obtain the discount code.

    To effectively deploy knowledge management and enable the successful leveraging of information and knowledge assets within your organisation by learning from leading companies sign up now at http://www.benchmarkingpartnerships.com.au/w_webinarSchaefflerGroup.htm

    Regards,

    Ahmed Abbas
    Benchmarking Researcher
    BPIR.com

     
     
     
     
    Paul Seren
    Mr. Paul Seren, Head of KM at Schaeffler Group


  3. Social media use by organisations: a recent report

    by

    According to a recent survey by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), social media offers an important and growing set of communications tools. These tools are being utilised by organisations worldwide for effective employee engagement.  The survey which involved almost 1500 participants specifically addressed the use of internal/external social media tools, see the charted results below. Blogs were used most at 47%, and discussion boards (or internet forums) ranked very high at 65% when planned future use is taken into account. Interestingly the survey revealed that more than half of top executives did not use social media, however 12% did regularly use internal and external social media.

    graph
     
    See full survey results on the iabc.com website [pdf link]  

    Neil Crawford

    Senior Researcher
    BPIR.com Limited


  4. The BPIR.com and recession proofing your business

    October 20, 2009 by

    How has the recession affected your business and what are you doing about it? With the current economic climate organisations everywhere are thinking one thing: “How can we survive the recession?”

    There are a number of ways your business can survive the recession. Some positive (reducing costs, optimizing, expanding), and some negative (layoffs, downsizing). Either way the BPIR.com can help you to research ideas and provide information on best practices for successful implementation.

    The strength of the BPIR.com is found in its vast amount of content in the form of research and case studies, and the fact that it is all accessible by keyword searches. Our research can help to prove or disprove your current plans, and you do not have to reinvent the wheel but refer to case studies from award winning industry leaders.

    If you haven't already – why not join the BPIR right now? Our resources will not only help you to get through the recession they can also help to take your business to the next level.

    As a follow-up to our previous post on the telecommunications industry , check out the snippet below from one of our many cases studies.

     


    Digital Island Communications in New Zealand

    The following is a refreshing account of some well earned success achieved by Digital Island Communications in New Zealand. DI are a top ICT company that provides internet & data services, toll calling, phone lines & systems, mobile phone services, conference calling, phone cards and fax-to-email services. They were also winners of the Deloitte Fast 50 "Fastest growing technology company in 2008", and "Fastest growing telecommunications business" award in October 2007.  Ruth Le Pla [1] in NZ Business magazine writes that in a slowing economy DI was losing a lot of revenue and to overcome this it worked at improving its total operations and closely examined its underlying business model.  As a result instead of retrenching this led DI to make the following improvements:

    • Carrying out a re-branding exercise in order to put a new sparkle into its image,
    • Examining the products offered and eliminating poor performers,
    • Dropping some suppliers and picking up new ones as appropriate,
    • Proactively offering key customers better prices i.e. reducing costs!
    • Assigning additional staff to focus on loyal customers,
    • Improving service levels,
    • Leveraging technology by implementing sales-force software and efficient document management systems,
    • Implementing cost reductions by targeting areas where the greatest impact and maximum gain would be achieved and not by “nit picking”,
    • Managing debtors closely by following up personally on the 21st of the month.
    • Communicating well internally so that staff were always in the picture,

     As a result of these actions Digital Island achieved more than 25% revenue growth for the 2009 financial year. Blair Stewart of Digital Island said that "When times become tough, you need to make better decisions faster than ever,” and offered the following advice for achieving growth:
     

    • Stay in touch with cash flows.
    • Add value to customers.
    • Personalise offers.
    • Develop ways to up-sell.
    • Carry out contingency planning.
    • Work closely with key suppliers and banks developing a relationship of openness and honesty.
    • Guide customers through sales processes and keep them informed, customers value the experience just as much as they value the result.
    • Don't read newspapers. They spread negativity.
    • Be positive. (The attitude projected by management teams has an incredible effect on an organisation.)

      [1]  Le Pla, R., (2009), The tough get going!, NZ Business, Vol 23, Iss  6, pp 24-28, Adrenalin Publishing Ltd., Auckland
     

     
    Members may read the full article (click here)   which provides further helpful tips regarding three organisations that have bucked the trend by rising against the recession.


  5. Information Communications Technology (ICT) & the BPIR.com

    September 23, 2009 by

    Hi guys,

    In a series of posts coming over the next few months, we will be demonstrating how the BPIR.com can appeal to specific industries.

    With the broad industry coverage offered by the BPIR.com, some organisations may feel intimidated in joining such a large resource, when they only want industry specific information. We hope these posts will help show our readers that we do have industry specific information!

    For today we will be focusing on the telecommunications industry.

    Even for non-members, we have resources that can help you. Searching for 'telecom' from the search bar, we get results for 5 management briefs.

    Members however can acess a lot more information. Searching the BPIR database for 'Telecom' returned over 200 results:

    • 3 Tools & Techniques Articles
    • 64 Case studies
    • 43 Research Studies
    • 11 Competitors analysis'
    • 2 Business Periodicals
    • 83 Award Winners

    Straight away we can see 206 telecom results. Thats a lot of related reading for any telecom business.

    But lets look one step further in how the BPIR can help you. The BPIR resource is designed to do far more than to find relevant articles. It can also be used to gain access to comprehensive best practice materials. There are a variety of ways to do this.  The BPIR best practices model is one way to find some useful pointers.

    Self assesment –  The first part of the BPIR model involves self assesments. There are 65 assessments in 8 categories. Assesments are sourced from Educational institutes and real world companies, and range from Risk management, to customer orientation assesments, to even assesing your Performance measurment system.  In 3 clicks a self assessment relating to project management can be downloaded and printed. Potential weaknesses or training needs to be evaluated.

    Next a research study could be examined concerning project management tools and techniques. The BPIR site has a rich database of best practices conveniently arranged in “snippet” format to enable you to quickly assess the topic matter’s relevance and then to delve further as required.

    The following snippet outlines a one of many survey's of the tools and techniques used in project management:

    A Web-based survey of 750 US project management practitioners in the Engineering and Construction, Business Services, IT and telecommunications and Industrial Services sectors, examined project management tools and techniques. Analysis revealed that of 70 well-known tools and techniques specific to project management, the top ten tools and techniques used were, in decreasing order, the following:

    1. Progress report.
    2. Kick-off Meeting.
    3. PM Software for task scheduling,
    4. Gantt chart.
    5. Scope statement.
    6. Milestone planning.
    7. Change request.
    8. Requirements analysis.
    9. Work Breakdown Structure.
    10. Statement of work.

    The five least used tools were: Monte Carlo analysis; PM software for simulation; Pareto diagram; Critical chain method and analysis; Cause and effect diagram.

     Source article for members: Link (opens in new window)

     Lets continue with a Kickoff meeting. What is a kickoff meeting you may ask? Searching for this under Strategies, tools, and techniques from the main menu will locate the following description:

    “Project Management – Kick-off Meeting”

    Definition : A meeting at the beginning of the project or at the beginning of a major phase of the project

    Description :
    A kick-off meeting is typically a workshop type meeting to align peoples` understanding of project objectives, procedures and plans, and to begin the team-building process. It may last from 1 to 3 days. It generally include several activities such as a project charter, a business plan review, team building exercises, a team charter, risk analysis,

    A typical project planning kick-off meeting agenda covers the following aspects of a project:

    – Build a project framework: what are the project objectives? who are the stakeholders?
    – What are the criteria for successful completion? What are the business objectives?
    – Update the business plan or business case
    – Organize the project governance: Who does what? What are the responsibilities of each member? What are the reporting procedures?
    – Build or revise the master planning (key milestones, sequence of activities, dependencies)
    – Initiate the risk analysis
    – Team building activities
    – Define the quality management plan, and in particular the change control procedure

    Next you might want to research best practice case studies. The following is an example relating to a UK telecommunications Provider, dated october 2008:

    Customer Focus approach involves back office 

    This snippet and its associated article report on an approach to improve customer focus.

    Concerned that its back office staff had lost customer focus, a UK telecommunications Provider introduced a programme that allowed back office staff to spend a day per year with customer- facing colleagues. The face-to-face experience reconnected the back office staff with the customer and provided them a greater appreciation and focus on the customer needs.

     Source article for members: PDF download

     

    Thats all for now folks! We will continue with some similar posts relating to how the BPIR can help your organisation.I hope this has given some insight as to how the BPIR can help your organisation.

     

     Thanks for reading!

    Neil Crawford
    BPIR team