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Archive for November, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

November 26, 2013 Leave a comment

 

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Categories: The Sundance Company

Creating The Right Office Environment to Attact and Retain Workers

November 19, 2013 Leave a comment

A recent article by Fox Business said that by 2020 it’s estimated that 46% of U.S. workers will be made up of millennials and that is projected to grow to 75% by 2025, which means companies of all sizes will be vying for this group of professionals.

If small businesses want to have an edge over their larger counterparts when it comes to recruitment and retention, then they better create an office environment that meets this generation’s needs.

“Millennials have a very different mentality,” says Wendy McCubbin, senior manager of global worksite wellness at Ergotron, the maker of ergonomically correct office equipment. “The older generations have grown up with office environments. They, on the other hand, have grown up with technology.” Because the millennials are so adept at using technology to communicate, socialize and work whenever and wherever, they want an office environment that caters to that.

Unlike the older generations before them, the millennial workers are used to collaborating and easily communicating with their team members. For small businesses, that means creating a workspace that fosters that by getting rid of high-walled cubicles and offices for executives and creating an open environment where people sit beside each other instead of being blocked offed. “They don’t want to be stuck in a cubicle,” says McCubbin. “They want a collaborative open work environment.”

But it’s not only their workspace that will have to change if small businesses want to attract and retain this very important group of workers. According to experts, this generation wants to work hard but they also want to balance that with their personal lives. They aren’t afraid to work all hours of the night if the company is willing to be flexible and let them take care of personal things during office hours. According to McCubbin, the quickest way to turn off a millennial is to require them to punch a time clock or be in the office from 9:00 to 5:00. Companies should embrace flexible hours and allow their workers to go to doctor visits, pay bills online, or exercise during office hours. McCubbin says a way to attract this generation is to create a cool, relaxing and social environment, which could mean a lounge area, a fully stocked kitchen or treadmills near their work stations.

Millennials have grown up with technology and expect that to be major part of their work environment as well. Because of that, experts say companies have to embrace BYOD policies as well as make it easy for them to use all of their different mobile devices.

“They are very tech savvy and super connected and are multi taskers,” says Peter Mahoney, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Nuance, the software company that makes voice activated software. “It’s very important to make sure they have constant access to information.”

According to Mahoney, Nuance focuses a lot of its attention on their millennial workers and will create office environments that will appeal to them both from a physical and technological standpoint. For instance Mahoney says since the company knows some of its staff, particularly the milennials, want to work in or near cites it just opened an office in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “We know there’s a certain segment of our workers that are much more interested in working in different kind of environments you might see outside the suburbs,” he says.

In addition to picking locations that appeal to millennials, Nuance also knows this group of workers value their mobile devices and see it as an extension of themselves, so they make using them easy to do. He says companies are missing an opportunity if they don’t create polices that let them use their devices or accept the fact that they will get their work done, but it may not be in the confines of the office.

“It’s really important to millennials and as a result it’s important for companies to adopt these polices that help people use the technology they want to,” he says.  For example, Nuance has found that among their millennial workers e-mail has become passé. Since this group is more interested in collaborative communications and feel using social networks is not only part of their business but also their professional lives, Nuance has created an internal social network to encourage collaboration and socializing among workers.

“A lot of people are catering to them, but they are not focused on the way they work,” says Mahoney.

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

The Best Productivity Advice You’ll Ever Get

November 12, 2013 Leave a comment

Inc. offers up some tips on how you can be more effective.

Our culture is obsessed with personal productivity and self-improvement–how to be better, more efficient, more effective. Our quest for continuous self-improvement knows no bounds.

Well, I’ve got the easiest way for you to be more effective, hands down. Quit being neurotic about personal productivity and self-improvement. It’s all just a giant waste of time, which is more than a little ironic.

I’ll let you in on a secret. In the corporate world, we carve out specific time for strategy and process improvement. Why? Because if we didn’t, it would be way too disruptive. Everyone would be distracted and nobody would get any work done.

It’s the same with you, your business, even your personal life. There’s a time and a place for everything, and being constantly on the lookout for ways to be more productive and effective will only ensure that you’re neither. Here are five reasons why.

They’re not very smart goals. Productivity and self-improvement are simply too amorphous and subjective to be goals. How do you know you’ve achieved either one? That’s right, you don’t. And considering the shear amount of useless content that’s generated, posted, and retweeted every day on the subject, it’s guaranteed to be a huge time sink as well as an endless pursuit.

Continuous improvement is disruptive. Granted, there is a Japanese concept called Kaizen that essentially means continuous improvement. But in that context, “continuous” doesn’t mean “all the time.” Continuous change is inefficient. It’s distracting. It’s disruptive. Continuous anything is disruptive, even if it is for the better.

Prioritize. Too much to do and not enough time to do it all? Stressed out over it? Join the club. The best and maybe the only way to deal with that has always been to prioritize. I guarantee that whatever’s at the bottom of the priority list and doesn’t get done didn’t need to get done. The Earth will still turn and the sun will still rise in the morning. Besides, there is virtue to doing less. In many cases, less is more.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That phrase has stood the test of time for one very good reason. It’s almost always true. If you’ve got real issues or problems, by all means, figure them out, deal with them, fix them. If not, then get back to work, finding work, enjoying life, or whatever it is you should be doing. Stay focused.

Forget “everything in moderation.” Yes, that’s an old phrase too, but it doesn’t apply here. I know it’s tempting to think that somewhere between “continuous change” and “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” is a sweet spot. Well, it doesn’t work that way. Once you have a strategy and a plan, you need to focus and execute. If it’s not working, then figure out why and do something different.

Don’t get me wrong. There is such a thing as being too rigid and inflexible, especially in this fast-paced world. You should always be on the lookout for competitive threats and open to new ideas and opportunities. I just don’t happen to think that personal productivity or self-improvement qualifies as such.

Perhaps the most important takeaway is this. Just because you’re hopelessly disorganized, not a morning person, have an office that looks like it was hit by a tornado, and haven’t cleaned up your inbox in years, that doesn’t mean you’re going to be broke and miserable.

It just means you’re like a lot of successful and innovative people. It also means you’re human.

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

10 Ways to Motivate Anyone

November 5, 2013 Leave a comment

Geil Browning, founder of Emergenetics International, an organizational development firm in the U.S., Singapore, and the Netherlands, discusses how to understand the unique brain and personality types of your employees so you can keep them invested in work and get amazing results.

I am often asked about how I keep employees inspired and productive. It’s an essential question since companies today must accomplish more, with fewer people. The most successful start-ups must be lean, nimble, and fierce.

In a nutshell, you should hire bright, energetic, innovative employees. Then offer them the right incentives–the ones that will impact their personal brain and personality types–to keep them mentally and emotionally invested in doing their best.

It’s impossible to talk about motivation without mentioning Drive, a book by best-selling author Daniel Pink. (His TED lecture was turned into a fabulous video.) Pink notes that people perform best when they are given autonomy, opportunity for mastery, and the belief that their task is meaningful. He says money is not the best motivator, and that employees want to be “players, not pawns.”

Pink believes Google’s “20% time,” in which employees may spend one day a week on whatever they want is a shining example of how allowing intrinsically-based motivations (a sense of accomplishment or purpose) can flourish. Personal endeavors from “20% time” resulted in Gmail, Google News, Orkut, and AdSense. Long before Google–back in 1948–3M instituted the “15% solution” or “dream time,” which yielded both Scotch Tape and Post-It Notes.

There’s no question that intrinsic motivation is essential. However, I do not agree with Pink that all extrinsic motivation (raises, bonuses, commissions, awards, titles, flex time, and other perks) is harmful. A skillful entrepreneur keeps employees motivated with a combination of both.

That said, there is no cookie-cutter approach to motivating your people. What inspires one person may leave the next cold. When you understand an employee’s thinking and behavioral preferences, you’ll be able to maximize his or her enthusiasm. This will help you get your workforce aligned and moving in the same direction, and you’ll see incredible returns.

1.   Analytical types want to know that a project is valuable, and that their work makes a difference to its success. They need a leader who excels in a particular area, and whose expertise they believe benefits the group. They prefer compensation that is commensurate with their contribution. If they have done a tremendous amount of work on their own, don’t expect them to be happy if you reward the whole team.

2.   People who are “structural” by nature want to know their work aids the company’s progress. They prefer a leader who is organized, competent, and good with details. They like to be rewarded in writing, in a timely manner, in a way specific to the task. An encouraging email is appropriate to communicate with them.

3.   Social people want to feel personally valued, and that what they are doing has an impact on a project. They go the extra mile for a leader who expresses faith in their abilities. They prefer to be rewarded in person with a gesture that is from the heart. If your own preference is for written communication, send a handwritten note to a particularly social employee.

4.   Innovative employees must buy into a cause. To them, the big picture matters more than the individual who is leading the charge. They prefer to be rewarded with something unconventional and imaginative, and would find a whimsical token of your esteem very meaningful.

5.   Quiet staffers don’t need a lot of fanfare, but they appreciate private, one-on-one encouragement.

6.   Expressive people feel more motivated when assignments are openly discussed and an open door is available. They like public recognition, with pomp, and ceremony.

7.   Peacekeepers hope everyone will move in the same direction. They’ll never demand a reward or recognition, so it’s up to you to offer it.

8.   Hard-drivers are independent thinkers. If they agree with you, they’ll be highly motivated. They will let you know what they’d like as an extrinsic reward, and they tend to want whatever it is right away.

9.   Those who are focused team members must have confidence in the leader and in the project, or their motivation may falter. They want know up front what kind of reward they can expect. Make sure you follow through on whatever is promised.

10.   Flexible people go along with the team, as long as a project does not contradict their morals or beliefs. They’re also happy with any kind of recognition.

Watch for the weakest link among your employees. If you have a slacker who consistently does less than everyone else but seems to get away with it, this can dampen the motivation of everyone else.

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.