Business Tips, Delivery Service

Performance Review Time!

performance-reviewIt may be performance review time at your company and as a manager you will be asked to review your employees.  We are all busy with a workloads but it is imperative that you properly prepare for these reviews by doing some homework and giving some thought to the reviews. Are you interested in tips about how to make performance reviews successful in your organization? While performance review methods and approaches differ from organization to organization, universal principles about how to talk with an employee about his or her performance exist.

Performance Review Tips

1. The employee should never hear about positive performance or performance in need of improvement for the first time at your formal performance discussion meeting unless it is new information or insight. Effective managers discuss both positive performance and areas for improvement regularly, even daily or weekly. Aim to make the contents of the performance review discussion a re-emphasis of critical points.

2. No matter the components of your performance review process, the first step is goal setting. It is imperative that the employee knows exactly what is expected of his or her performance. Your periodic discussions about performance need to focus on these significant portions of the employee’s job.

You need to document this job plan: goals and expectations in a job plan or job expectations format, or in your employer’s format. Without a written agreement and a shared picture of the employee’s goals, success for the employee is unlikely.

3. During preparation and goal setting, it should be made clear as to how this will be evaluated.  Describe exactly what you’re looking for from the employee and exactly how you will assess the performance. Discuss with the employee her role in the evaluation process. If your organization’s performance review process includes an employee self-evaluation, share the form and talk about what self-evaluation entails.

4. Solicit feedback from colleagues who have worked closely with the employee. Sometimes called 360-degree feedback because you are obtaining feedback for the employee from his boss, coworkers, and any reporting staff, you use the feedback to broaden the performance information that you provide for the employee. Start with informal discussions to obtain feedback information. Consider developing a format so that the feedback is easy to digest and share with the manager.
If your company uses a form that you fill out in advance of the meeting, give the performance review to the employee in advance of the meeting. This allows the employee to digest the contents before her discussion of the details with you. This simple gesture can remove a lot of the emotion and drama from the performance review meeting.

5. Prepare for the discussion with the employee. Never go into a performance review without preparation. If you wing it, performance reviews fail. You will miss key opportunities for feedback and improvement, and the employee will not feel encouraged about his successes. The documentation that you maintained during the performance review period serves you well as you prepare for an employee’s performance review.

If needed, practice approaches with your Human Resources staff, a colleague, or your manager. Jot notes with the main points of feedback. Include bullet points that clearly illustrate the point you plan to make to the employee. The more you can identify patterns and give examples, the better the employee will understand and be able to act upon the feedback.

6. When you meet with the employee, spend time on the positive aspects of his or her performance. In most cases, the discussion of the positive components of the employee’s performance should take up more time than that of the negative components. For your above average performing employees and your performing employees, positive feedback and discussion about how the employee can continue to grow her performance should comprise the majority of the discussion. The employee will find this rewarding and motivating.

7. The spirit in which you approach this conversation will make a difference in whether it is effective. If your intention is genuine to help the employee improve, and you have a positive relationship with the employee, the conversation is easier and more effective. The employee has to trust that you want to help him improve his performance. He needs to hear you say that you have confidence in his ability to improve. This helps him believe that he has the ability and the support necessary to improve.

8. Conversation is the key word that should define a performance review meeting. If you are doing all of the talking or the meeting becomes a lecture, the performance review is less effective. The employee will feel as if he was yelled at and treated unjustly. This is not how you want employees feeling as they leave their performance reviews.

You want an employee who is motivated and excited about his ability to continue to grow, develop, and contribute. Aim for performance review meetings in which the employee talks more than half of the time. You can encourage this conversation by asking questions such as these.

–What do you expect to be the most challenging about your goals for this quarter?
–What support can the department and I provide for you that will help you reach these goals?
–What are your hopes for your achievements at our company this year?
–How can I be a better manager for you?
–How often would you like to receive feedback?
–What kind of schedule can we set up so that you don’t feel micromanaged, but I receive the feedback that I need about your progress?
–What would be a helpful agenda for our weekly one-on-one meetings?

If you take these performance review tips to heart and practice these recommendations in your performance review meetings, you will develop a significant tool for your management tool bag.

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Business Tips

Spring Clean Your Office to Increase Productivity!

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Spring Cleaning is in the air!  The warmer temperatures, colorful flowers and breezy days are all the season’s signs of refreshment and renewal Let the season of new beginnings kick off a fresh start at work.   Chances are you have been buried in year-end financials, budgets, deals and tax preparation during the winter months.   The following checklist will guide you through your office Spring Cleaning.  Keep in mind that cleaning and organizing at work is not a waste of precious work hours.   This process will help you become a more efficient and organized worker.  Before you get started, read through the checklist and tailor it to meet your individual work area.

#1: Organize!

When most people think of spring cleaning, what often comes to mind is throwing things away. While this is certainly helpful, sometimes we simply need is to organize all the belongings around us. We should divide all of items on our desk into zones if we can, and tools like filing cabinets can provide much-needed space. A good rule of thumb is to keep everything you need within an arm’s length, and everything else neatly put away.

#2: To-do, To-Read, To-File

Continuing the first organization tip, every paper we have should be organized into three categories: to-do, to-read, and to-file. Start by organizing all papers into these three piles; from here, we can have three labeled binders for easy placement of everything going forward. By using these three categories, we can eliminate that mountains of paper that inevitably end up on our desks at times.

#3: Clean Up that Clutter Drawer

The good, old clutter drawer. Chances are we’ve all had one at some point in time – that infamous top drawer where we keep all items we need in some way, but don’t necessarily like to have on our desks. By throwing everything into one drawer, it will be difficult to find our stapler or sticky notes when we will actually need to use these items. Drawer dividers or organizers are a great way to place all of our items into organized sections so we can easily access the items we need.

#4: Digital Clutter

So now you have your desk and office space cleaned off – nice work! Unfortunately, there is probably a bigger mess lurking in the computer. It’s to stash all of the files we need on our desktop, or in one master folder – but that won’t do any favors to our stress levels. The same can be said for not properly organizing and deleting or archiving emails. Luckily, our computers and software have great built-in filing and organization systems. We should create an adequate number of folders that are easy to access, and regularly delete old files on our computers to keep the digital clutter at bay.

#5: Regular Upkeep

Let’s not wait until spring every year to clean our office space! One of the best things we can do is establish a limit for how much clutter we can comfortably deal with. We all get busy, and things eventually pile up, but when we hit our clutter capacity it’s time to clean things up. By spending minimal amounts of time doing some basic cleaning each week, we can all breathe a sigh of relief and maintain our ideal work environment.

Spring cleaning your office will be worth your effort.  When you enter the office, you will feel less stressed and more energized to get started on your day.  Happy Spring Cleaning!

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tradeshows

UDS Will be At Home Delivery World 2017!

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United Delivery Service is excited to be once again participating at Home Delivery World 2017. Home Delivery World is a 2 day event being held from  March 14th-15th  in Atlanta.

UDS will be in attendance (Booth #212) to identify new ways to improve customer retention through fulfilment, delivery and reverse logistics programs. UDS has developed successful delivery solutions for various key industries, finding  solutions that will work right for your company.

UDS offers options ranging from overnight delivery to customized routing solutions.

 

  • Real-time package tracking and reporting
  • 24/7/365 Customer Support Personnel
  • Electronic signature capture, GPS, VPOD, VPOA
  • Same Day, Next Day, Scheduled / Static Route solutions
  • Transportation service solutions throughout the Midwest

 

Key topics at the conference will include:

  • The state of home delivery – a benchmark analysis of leading retailers
  • Rebuilding brick & mortar – keeping up with Omnichannel demand from consumers
  • Supply chain excellence – empowering the consumer through a strong message and a streamlined operation
  • Building a sustainable logistics network
  • Delivering the warehouse club to your door – technological and operations processes that helps to transform the industry 

Home Delivery World USA is the only event to bring together retailers to learn about innovations across home delivery, click & collect, and ecommerce. While there are many retail conferences in the US, this event uniquely covers the entire delivery cycle, from warehousing to customer doorstep, gathering perspectives from big box retailers to innovative subscription service companies, and best in class carriers, 3PL, fulfilment and other delivery solution providers.

Contact us at http://www.uniteddeliveryservice.com or 630-930-5201.

 

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Business Tips

Working with Different Personality Types.

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Managers have the difficult task of overseeing diverse teams in the workplace, and finding ways for them to be as productive, creative and efficient as possible. While this may seem like an impossible task, especially as organizations cut back on resources and spending in an effort to survive the recession, it is not impossible to create harmony in a diverse environment. The key is understanding these different office personality types, and how to motivate them and keep them happily working together.

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Business Tips, Delivery Service

UDS Keeps the Focus on Customer Service with Real Time Tracking!

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Keeping the focus on customers has always been a priority. For years, business leaders have touted the virtues of a high customer-service orientation as a means to retain customers, grow market share, and ultimately increase revenue. And while it’s never been easy to accomplish – whether you’re a distributor, retailer or a logistics service provider – today it’s even more challenging.

One service we like to extend to our customers is VPOD/VPOA(Visual Proof of Delivery/Visual Proof of Attempt).  The importance of proof of delivery in the shipping business cannot be understated. Currently, many proof of delivery and chain of custody processes are largely paper-based, increasing the risk of mistakes, disputes, and lost or misplaced shipments.

Whether you need B2B or Residential delivery solutions, United Delivery Service is ready to partner with you to service your customers. Our United Delivery Service programs have been designed and developed over many years to cater to a wide range of shipping needs. Should the occasion arise, our software and services are flexible enough to respond and adapt quickly to meet any customer’s needs.

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Real Time Package Visibility

 Through the use of our own proprietary technology such as geocodes, GPS, mapping API’s and other technologies, UDS can offer total visibility into the delivery process. Innovative Technology Seamless Integration Proprietary Software Real Time Tracking Barcode Scanning VPOD / VPOA GPS / GEO Coded Load Balance & Optimization.Real-Time Tracking (imported, received, out for delivery, delivered) exception tracking (i.e.: damaged, short, delayed) electronic signatures, VPOD, VPOA (visual proof of attempt) GPS reading.

United Delivery Service provides expertise that can deliver competitive advantages for your company through our proprietary software technology. Call us today 630-930-5201. http://www.uniteddeliveryservice.com

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Business Tips

Combat The 5 Biggest Time Wasters in the Workplace!

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The majority of workers spend an average of eight hours every single working day sitting at their desks, so it’s hardly surprising that sometimes we don’t have the motivation to work. It’s only natural, right? But momentary blips of concentration aren’t the only ways we waste precious time at work. What takes up the most time of our working day? You might be surprised. Here are five of the biggest time wasters we all face at work (some more than others), and also provided advice on how to tackle those distractions.

Time Waster #1: Emails

Emailing has become the number one form of communication at the workplace, as it’s convenient and a great way to keep an electronic record of your correspondences. But, a LOT of the working day is spent fielding constant email, which can cause us to lose up to 10 IQ points (the same as missing an entire night’s sleep). What’s more, a lot of these emails are internal. A study by Halton Housing Trust found that out of 95,000 emails sent, 75,000 were internal.

Solution: If there’s something that needs to be discussed, opt for a phone or face-to-face conversation instead. It can mean the difference between an hour of work and a two-day back and forth email discussion.

Time Waster #2: Meetings

Forty-two percent of employees feel that work meetings take away from their productivity and are basically a huge waste of time. Meetings are a necessary evil. You need to keep your team on the same page. You need regular updates on what’s happening in each of your projects. But too often, meetings get drawn out, stealing away valuable minutes in your day.

Solution: The next time you’re invited to a meeting, have a discussion about the agenda with the meeting host and ask why they think you should attend. Then set up a system where other executives go in your place and brief you on what you need to know later. It will save you time.

Time Waster #3: Social Media

It’s tempting. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – they’re all so easily accessible to you while you’re on your computer during the day. Yet the moment you land on one of these websites, you’ve stolen away valuable minutes from your day.

Test yourself to see how much time you’re wasting on social media. Set a timer each time you head over to one of these websites. You might surprise yourself.

Solution: To avoid wasting excessive time on social media, set a time limit for each day. Promise yourself that you’ll only spend one hour a day on social media for work and personal tasks. When that hour is up, close the windows and stop your snooping until the next day.

Time Waster #4: Motivation (or rather, a lack of)

When asked to choose the main reason why employees waste time at work, 11 percent said it was due to a lack of incentive, 10 percent said they were unsatisfied in their jobs, and 9 percent claimed boredom. Your job can easily become mundane and repetitive, and it can be difficult to muster up the appropriate level of enthusiasm from time to time.

Solution: Set personal goals. Nothing is more demotivating than working without an incentive. If you feel like you’re not getting paid enough, work towards getting a promotion within the next six months. If you don’t like what you’re doing, figure out where you want to be and how you’re going to get there. With clear goals, you’ll find yourself working more productively.

 

Time Waster #5: Disorganization

Your boss asks you for a copy of that important file, but you can’t find the hard copy through the huge pile of scattered papers on your desk, and your online document organization is just as bad. Being disorganized is one of the most common causes for slowing you down at work and wasting time. In addition, you’re more likely to forget something or miss that important deadline.

Solution: Declutter your workstation. Invest in a desk organizer and folders (a must if you’re constantly submerged with paper hard copies), and be sure to put everything in its proper place before you leave each night.

Don’t let your workday get away from you by wasting time on tasks that can easily be outsourced to another vendor or to an app. Make your life easier by organizing your workday. You’ll be amazed at how much time you save.

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Business Tips

Ecommerce Trends to Watch for 2017

united-delivery-service-ecommerce-delivery-service_630-675-0855Ecommerce is constantly updating with improved discovery, technology, logistics, and cool things to buy. Here are predictions for e-commerce in 2017.

 

 

 

1. Sales associates aren’t winning popularity contests.More than 55 percent of consumers say they prefer interacting with technology or automation over speaking to a real live person when shopping.

2. The cost of shipping matters.While customers say they’ll be willing to spend more to ship items faster, they hesitate to purchase. More than 80 percent of Amazon users admit — secretly or not — slow shipping dissuades them from buying. The secret is 88 percent of shoppers want free shipping.

3. Consumers want technology while shipping. Usage-wise, mobile coupons are used less than 60 percent of the time, while in-store geolocation sees 22 percent usage and push notifications receive 34 percent.

4. Technology follows. Customers say that in-store tracking with mobile push notifications doesn’t bother them. In fact, more than 70 percent say they’d willingly accept them.

5. Content is king. Nearly 90 percent of shoppers say detailed product content is important to them. They want to be informed and be able to make informed decisions.

6. Buy online, pick up in-store is happening … more. Two out of three consumers say they’ve already tried it using a mobile device. With more people having smartphones and retailers going mobile, this trend isn’t slowing.

7. Stars in their eyes — matter. More than 90 percent of consumers buying on Amazon say they will opt out of buying an item if it doesn’t have at least — yes, at least — three stars.

8. Chatbots are happening, and consumers don’t mind. According to [24]7, more than 40 percent of customers are perfectly happy chatting with a bot regarding a retail-related experience. (And in case you need more chatbot news, check out PYMNTS’ weekly Chatbot Tracker.)

9. Mobile payment and loyalty apps. Customers are still gaining on loyalty, with only 44 percent of retailers engaging with customers through a loyalty app. Mobile payments are on the rise as smartphone users get used to the magic of contactless payments. Starbucks was an innovator in mobile payments, becoming one of the first to trial it. And now, their mobile app (currently US only) is an unqualified success.

10. Increasing same day delivery. Drone delivery might still be a pipe dream, but 2017 should see the rise of local drop-off points for online orders and same-day delivery. A Forrester report states that 29% of consumers would be willing to pay extra for same-day delivery.

Making platforms more accessible, easy to browse and pay and addressing customer concerns and pain points as soon as possible, all these are going to play crucial roles in the ecommerce business in 2017.

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