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26/05/2020 | Business Etiquette: How to Make the Best of a Coffee Stain

By |2020-05-25T13:03:04+02:00May 26th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

A quick coffee before your meeting, while waiting in the car or on the way to the client from the railroad station and then, disaster! You add a decorative coffee stain to your shirt or blouse. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a spare. All that is required is a quick trip to the restroom to get changed. Most of us will, however, have no choice but to try to wash out the coffee stain, trading it for a wet patch.

If you are forced to face the world with a highly visible stain on your clothes, then try to make the best of it, proactively explaining your mishap with humor and self-irony. This will resolve the situation and transform your accident into a likeable conversation opener. The others will most likely view anyone who deals with a mishap so openly, unpretentiously, and humorously as surely also being a pleasant person to deal with…

19/05/2020 | A Change of Culture! A Change of Culture?

By |2020-05-15T12:43:55+02:00May 19th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Everyone’s talking about the need for a change of culture. But what exactly does this mean? (And how can you change a culture without burning all your bridges?)

It may initially sound pretty harmless, maybe even a little philosophical. When, however, companies begin discussing a change of culture, this usually means tough strategies for survival. The objective is, quite simply, to review all the familiar, well-trodden paths and modify them to fit current and future circumstances.

The situation experienced by a Global DiVision client in the mail order segment is a good illustration of this. We can all imagine the challenges that an international company must overcome to achieve the transformation from a mail order vendor offering a product catalog that has become ever more extensive over the decades to a global online retailer in just a few years.

When doing so, the business model and technical implementation weren’t the only things to be impacted by the change of culture. The people behind the processes also had to feel invested and adjust to the new situation. The way in which they worked and thus how their working day was structured also changed.

This type of process never ends – something that companies and their employees must be aware of. Our world is changing at an ever accelerating pace and we must implement corresponding changes into our processes if we wish to remain competitive. This does not, however, mean that existing structures are automatically bad and obsolete. Ideally, the perfect solution should preserve all that is good about the past, sensitively modernizing certain aspects while melding them with new, innovative ideas. Ensuring a successful change of culture, not a culture shock.

An extract of how we accompany intercultural change you will find here…

12/05/2020 | Discover Hidden Talents

By |2020-05-25T13:04:07+02:00May 12th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Those who work well professionally do not automatically have the qualifications to sell them well. This experience was also gained by a medium-sized company from central Germany, which had mainly used its own engineers in sales. Global DiVision showed toolmakers how to sell their knowledge and turn it into money:

“I’m pleased that my customers today appreciate my somewhat different sales method,” says one of the employees, who used to be earlier more taciturn in the sales talk. Exactly this introverted approach is what the Global DiVision team developed into the new sales strategy: “My customers trust me to really listen to them and to find out what they really need, instead of telling them something or promising what I cannot keep later.” Thus, there is finally the success that the company management level has waited for so long and, of course the necessary fun for the employees: “I always thought that I could never be a good salesperson,” assesses the sales engineer his own past. “Now the same jobs are twice as much fun and are successful.”

Ideas, how also your team has maximum fun in its work please find here…

05/05/2020 | The Way out of a Crisis – Focus on the Future and Review your Processes

By |2020-05-25T13:04:29+02:00May 5th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Generally there is enough time to find your way out of a crisis. Depending on its cause, identifying weaknesses is not usually a difficult task and countermeasures can be implemented quickly.

The problem in most crises is not how to combat the actual cause – what often gets forgotten is to also simultaneously focus on the future.

The challenge in this context is, on the one hand, to overcome the crisis and, on the other, to view it as an opportunity to reorganize processes and reconsider strategies and structures. Centering all your energy on the current situation often results in valuable time for optimizing processes being lost.

So, in addition to crisis management the real task is to answer the question “How can I get my company into shape for long-term success?”.

The following checklist should help you find the right solution for your company:

  • Consider all your business areas.
  • Identify the areas that endanger your success and eliminate them – e.g. outdated product groups.
  • Go back to your core business.
  • If necessary, adjust your personnel and material resources.
  • Are you in the right locations? Do you need to further develop products and services? Think strategically.
  • Together we are stronger. Make entering new markets or acquiring customers easier by initiating partnerships with other companies.
  • Think globally – oftentimes international crises will force other companies to withdraw from foreign sales territories.
  • Keep a close eye on the market so that you can identify changes as quickly as possible.
  • Leverage new developments. Developing new products during a crisis is a way to demonstrate your innovation leadership and strength.

You can count on our support…

28/04/2020 | Business Etiquette: The Smart Way to Handle Cancelled Meetings in the COVID-19 Era

By |2020-04-28T11:02:36+02:00April 28th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Exceptional times demand exceptional measures. The current restrictions mean that some companies have had to cease their activities completely, while others have done their best to introduce working from home. Business travel is a no-go; face-to-face meetings are virtually impossible. Video conferences are a good solution for most situations, however cannot replace all physical communication. As a result, many meetings are being cancelled or postponed.

Our latest Dictionary of Business Etiquette entry provides options for making the best of things without offending your opposite number:

You should definitely…
… be understanding. Even if, for you personally, meetings are crucial to keeping your business going, your reaction should be friendly and accepting. This will undoubtedly pay off in the long run.

… consider alternatives. Could you maybe have an online meeting instead? If not, try to fix a new date even if it can only be provisional because no-one knows how long this situation will continue.

… stay in touch. Solidarity is particularly important in times like these.

… make use of your time. Do as much advance preparation as you can now and provide your customer with updates. This will maintain a dialog and ensure you are ready to go when business resumes.

… stay on the ball, using Facebook, Instagram, e-mail, or telephone. Keep in touch with your stakeholders; maintain your presence on all channels.

You should definitely not …
… put people under pressure because you risk losing the customer if you do.

… hold on to all advance payments or deposits you have received. Check the individual contract terms before you make any decisions. Also consider whether refusing to make refunds it is worth the hassle it will involve.

… lose your nerve. Everyone is under immense pressure and feeling the consequences. Don’t take your frustration out on customers, coworkers or employees.

… bury your head in the sand. That’s never a good idea – be sure to remain active.

… simply wait things out. You can always find things to do. For example, now is the perfect time to catch up on tasks that didn’t get finished because you were too busy. Make use of this opportunity. Who knows when it will come around again.

Whatever you do, be sure to comply with official recommendations and regulations. Don’t risk your health or the health of your employees and others.

21/04/2020 | Fewer Working Hours Equals Greater Productivity

By |2020-04-28T10:51:12+02:00April 22nd, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

One extra day off per week impacts positively on our well-being, delivers the required work-life balance, reduces our stress levels, and increases motivation. Very few of us would, however, believe that our work output would remain the same or even increase if we worked 30 instead of 37.5 hours a week.

In partnership with a Dutch private university Global DiVision accompanied field tests that were carried out by a business consultancy company. Over a period of 12 weeks all 160 employees were given Fridays off – but their salary remained the same. The findings were astonishing.

The amount of work that was completed remained the same. Productivity increased so much that the additional day off had no impact whatsoever on work output. Contrastingly, levels of motivation, commitment, and mutual empowerment rose significantly over the course of the study. Stress levels dropped from 45 to 38 percent; work-life balance satisfaction went up from 54 to 78 percent.
“Managers also told us that their employees even became more creative thanks to the model experiment while their customer focus also improved,” reports a delighted Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.), CEO of Global DiVision.

In the meantime several other comparable field experiments have been carried out, all of which produced similar findings. An increasing number of companies are rethinking their working hours models. Global DiVision now has inquiries from existing clients in 16 countries who would like to carry out the same kind of pilot project.

Let’s find out together how this could also work for you…

14/04/2020 | It is Possible to Reduce Labor Costs in Times of Crisis without Short-Time Working

By |2020-04-28T14:11:02+02:00April 14th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Not every company meets the criteria for short-time working. There are other ways companies can reduce labor costs and so maintain liquidity in times of crisis. The alternatives ‘pay waiver’ and ‘pay deferment’, however, require a good relationship between the company and its employees, since they are only possible with the employees’ agreement. We have assembled the key facts for you:

Pay Waiver
The term speaks for itself – employees voluntarily waive a certain percentage of their gross pay for a certain period, thus helping the company through the crisis. The saving on the gross amount will not impact the net amount one to one. Any pay cut will not be repaid when the crisis ends, although the employer can, of course, decide to give a voluntary bonus as a sign of gratitude if there is a subsequent upswing. When choosing this option it is important to remember that waiving a percentage of the gross amount will also impact pension insurance and company pension fund contributions.

Pay Deferment
In this case employees temporarily waive payment of a percentage of their pay. This amount is paid at a later fixed date that is agreed in advance. In other words, employees only waive their pay for a certain period of time. The disadvantage of this model can be that the company is merely delaying the fallout from the crisis or even the moment at which it becomes insolvent. Why is this? Because when agreeing the due date, it is often not possible to foresee if the company really will have sufficient funds at that time to honor its debt. The deferment period can only be extended past the agreed due date with the employees’ consent.

Hybrid Option
Both models are not without their problems, so a hybrid of the two can be better for all concerned. In such cases, subsequent payment of any pay that has been retained is linked to a predetermined target, such as a specific annual profit. Repayment is thus not linked to any one date but instead will be made when the company is in a better position.

All of these solutions can only function if the company’s managers and the workforce have a good, mutually trusting relationship. In practical terms, the employees assume some of the business risks – voluntarily. “Even if this should be the case, it is still necessary to examine in detail whether and how these measures should be applied in each individual case,“ says Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.), CEO of Global Division.

Just talk with us about your individual approach…

07/04/2020 | Artificial Intelligence – An Opportunity or a Threat?

By |2020-04-28T14:09:18+02:00April 7th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

A company in the tourism industry asked Global DiVision to come up with a strategy for successful digital transformation. The client had two key requirements – their employees’ reservations regarding artificial intelligence (AI) should be dispelled and they should be shown the benefits it could bring for their work.

“Lack of facts and poor transparency regarding corporate strategies result in employees feeling insecure – they need clarity on where the road is taking them,” says Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.), CEO of Global DiVision.

Today, every one of us uses AI in many areas – and this undoubtedly also includes some of the workers who fear that its introduction will endanger their jobs. Speech recognition, navigation, alarm systems – almost all of us use these systems and their AI.

It is essential to clearly communicate strategies and what digitization entails. If employees know the specific impact that the introduction of AI will have on their daily work routines and are confident that it will not result in them losing their jobs but instead will make day-to-day operations simpler, then their anxieties regarding the changeover will quickly morph into excitement.

The threat involved in introducing AI into a company revolves around uncertainty and the corresponding scope for interpretation regarding “unemployment”, “dependency”, or “total surveillance”. If business owners and executives focus on the opportunities and positive effects for daily work routines, clearly communicating the advantages, then AI will be perceived as a genuine opportunity for enrichment.

How we can work together to successfully educate your company…

31/03/2020 | Business Etiquette: Meetings in Corona Times

By |2020-03-31T14:17:36+02:00March 31st, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

The Corona crisis is forcing companies to introduce new processes. Meetings are having to be rescheduled and held using digital means. If you are swapping over to virtual meetings there are a few rules that you should follow to ensure productive video calls with customers, coworkers, and service providers.

It is important to be aware that a virtual meeting is more labor-intensive than a real-world one because more attention must be paid to planning and execution. In addition to the usual rules for meetings, conferences, and workshops you must also consider technical issues – particularly since digital communications present a higher potential for conflict.

  1. Video not telephone
    Wherever technically possible, endeavor to organize a video conference instead of phone conference. The former’s advantage is that participants can see each other, ensuring that they focus more on the issues being discussed, and it is easier to identify who is speaking. If, when taking part in a telephone conference with more than four participants, a conversation or discussion ensues, then be sure to say your name before you make a contribution. This not only makes it easier to keep track of the meeting but also simplifies things for whoever is taking notes.
    Tools for video meetings and conferences include Zoom, Skype, Google Hangout, and many others beside.
  2. Mute button
    If you are in telephone or video conference with more than three people, then use the mute button when you are not speaking – it will help prevent background noise and interference. Wherever possible, do not eat or drink. Even if you are at home and no one can see you, talking with your mouth full does not make a good impression.
  3. Take notes
    When holding video and telephone conferences it is crucial that someone takes notes and circulates them afterwards because it is not impossible that someone misses part of the discussion due to a technical problem. Providing an after-conference summary will ensure that everyone is up to speed.
  4. Remember your netiquette
    Interruptions or side comments made by participants during digital meetings can make it very difficult to keep track of who said what, resulting in confusion or even conflict.

Allowing others to finish speaking is thus an even hotter issue than during real-world meetings. To avoid conflicts it is a good idea to confirm what the speaker just said before beginning to outline your opposing viewpoint. For example by saying “I understood that your position is as follows… – am I correct that….” Show you understand that the current situation is not easy for everyone and be sympathetic. Empathy is particularly important when communicating digitally.

24/03/2020 | Help in the Crisis

By |2020-03-23T15:39:17+01:00March 24th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

News reports are currently coming thick and fast. Every day we hear about new measures, new procedures, and new recommendations. What is now required is forward-looking crisis management to re-organize, calm, and, insofar as possible, normalize the situation.
When making the change to working from home, it is key that all your departments work hand in hand. Human resources and IT, the relevant specialist departments, and manufacturing. Their joint task is to re-structure existing processes and set up new ones to ensure that workflows remain stable and results oriented. We are all faced with a unique innovation challenge. How quickly can we adjust our processes and procedures to the present environment?

We are developing effective solutions that allow us to provide you with support and advice tailored to your needs. Working together with our expert network of management consultants and HR professionals we have therefore created an extensive e-learning offering.

Topics include:
• How can we organize ourselves in the crisis?
• What is required to ensure that our crisis communications are effective?
• How do I manage virtual teams?

You can always depend on us to react quickly to the current dynamic developments, so we are updating our topics for you on a daily basis.

Find out everything about our webinars

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