The Promise of Technology in Education

Joseph Tramontana

Joseph Tramontana- The Promise of Technology.

The Promise of Technology by Joseph J Tramontana

Public Education is due for an overhaul just like other industries. America spends more on education than almost any other nation in the world. This is true either measured by gross national product or per pupil expenditures. Everyone agrees the academic results in the US are disappointing. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, only thirty percent of American students achieve proficiency by national standards. The public is not getting a good value for their dollar. Citizens certainly do not embrace more tax dollars to fix the problem. This was quite evident during the recent recession and the major cuts to state aid.

Salaries and Benefits comprise nearly eighty percent of the total budget. All schools in the world struggle with the traditional classroom model. It is impossible for one human being to teach a large group with different learning abilities. Resources are not unlimited, and every nation is trying to solve the same problem. This is the promise of technology. It will allow schools to break out of the traditional classroom model and used the Internet,and individualized computer based instruction. Technology holds the key for radical changes for both the student and the taxpayer. In the traditional classroom model the teacher presents a concept to the whole group. Some students understand and others fall behind. If the teacher slows down too much then the advanced students become bored. The goal is to find the right mix of media to help the students keep pace.

In today’s ever evolving software has the pattern recognition capability. Technology is superb at providing practice. If one student is struggling in writing, the software analyzes the writing sample and provides immediate feedback on what is wrong and how to correct it. An advanced student will automatically receive more challenging assignments with the same type of feedback. The students today already have a high affinity for technology and enjoy the engagement. The teacher, while still valuable will receive constructive feedback in a fraction of the time it would take through standard methods. Prudent use of technology can also dramatically affect labor costs. For example older students can take a greater amount of their coursework online, as opposed to the traditional classroom model. There are infinite ways technology can be employed to increase achievement and greater savings in the long run.

Joseph Tramontana Purchasing Technology

Joseph Tramontana Purchasing Technology

Purchasing Technology by Joseph J Tramontana

Educators know that Technology will provide a larger role in the future regarding the ability to deliver a superior education. We also can see, how technology can become obsolete very fast. Educators need to be involved in the procurement process when it comes to purchasing technology, so it can last as long as possible. We can see how a product purchased, just a few years ago, becomes obsolete very fast. Technology holds great promise for the future but public school districts are far behind in implementing quality technology into their programs. Charter schools have had much more success with the implementation of new technology. This is not because educators do not have access to sophisticated and innovative solutions. It is because they tend to be bad consumers and buy equipment that is popular or sold by vendors they are familiar with. For example, a smart young entrepreneur from Boston developed a software program called Better Lesson. This allows all KIPP charter school teachers nationwide to collaborate and share lesson plans. This is a great way to enhance teacher performance, because when you incorporate great lesson plans you become a better teacher. Achievement First, another charter school, had a similar story to tell. They originally built a software system so they could analyze student data instead of performing the task manually. Better organized data lead to greater student performance. Achievement First originally contracted with a local software vendor and the solution worked at least in the beginning. However, future upgrades were tedious and modifications were difficult. They eventually contracted with Wireless Generation for their future software versions and this relationship addressed those earlier deficiencies. Education foundations are also limited because they tend to fund projects instead of products. Foundations tend to fund the end user and not the entrepreneur that develops the product. In many cases we find that the original equipment cannot be upgraded because of cost or no knows how to reprogram the system. The hardware lacks compatibility with existing equipment. Again we find that charter schools lead the way and public schools can learn from their example.

The winning combination for the future is to combine the best practitioners (teachers) with some of the brightest entrepreneurs in the field of technology and software development. Future technology solutions should include a vision where software is easily upgradeable and will integrate well with other products.

Technology when properly implemented holds great promise for both student and teacher.

Joseph J Tramontana Chief Financial Officer

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A Case for Priority Driven Budgeting

Priority Driven Budgeting Joseph Tramontana

Priority Driven Budgeting Joseph Tramontana

Joseph Tramontana discusses the Priority Driven Budget Process

This post discusses the value of a priority driven budget process. Most local governments use a budget known as incremental budgeting. This is where current year’s spending dictates the following years budget. In most cases the government’s budget process is based on previous year’s revenue. The incremental budgeting approach is widespread and can be effective during stable times.The problem with incremental budgeting is that it is not effective when revenues are flat or declining. What is also problematic are rising health care and pension expenses. State Assistance has also been limited or declining over the last decade, sometimes unexpectedly. States have their own revenue crisis which causes detrimental effects at the local level. Local government also have spending caps and property tax caps they have to contend with as well. This is why we need to be open to budgeting alternatives.

Priority-driven budgeting is a strategic alternative to incremental budgeting. Priority budgeting is a philosophical method of how to use limited resources. Priority-driven budgeting means resources are allocated according to how effective a program achieves its objectives. These items are based on the perceived value to the community. The priority-driven approach identifies its most important goals and priorities and ranks them. Feedback from the community, staff and governing body is vital to success. Funding is allocated based on how important and effective the program actually is. Local Governments have the flexibility to customize budgeting and adapt it to the community’s needs. Elected officials represent the community and their input is essential to the budget making process. There are essential concepts and steps, including examples, of how to customize Budgets to meet Local Government needs. Priority based budgeting does not have to be adopted full scale even adopting certain elements can be beneficial. The collaboration with elected officials and the community is a process that offers significant benefits. The first step in developing a priority driven budget is to focus on the revenue side. Generally, with incremental budgeting, government looks at how much funding is required to support existing programs. A priority driven budget is different because its main focus is available revenue. Then you prioritize the available funds and direct it to the existing programs that actually work. The key takeaway is to spend within your means and direct the funding to what is actually effective.

Joseph Tramontana Priority Driven Budgeting

Joseph Tramontana discusses priority driven budgeting – Revenue

The organization needs to identify both ongoing revenues and one-time revenues. Examples of ongoing revenues include local property taxes and State Assistance. Local property taxes are pretty easy to estimate. They are either going to be flat or increase by a pre-determined number. For example, in New Jersey, you cannot raise property taxes by more than 2% over last year, which is known as a property tax “cap”. In this example if you collected $100,000 in local property taxes last year, then you can expect to collect a maximum of $102,000 next year. State Aid is another ongoing revenue, but is not as predictable because you are at the whim of State Government. Many government organizations assume at least flat state assistance, but this is becoming a dangerous assumption. A detailed look at the state’s economy and discussions with the State Treasurer’s office are both prudent moves. An example of a one-time revenue is a federal grant that clearly spells out that the grant will not be ongoing. Therefore, you would consider purchases in your budget that do not have ongoing expenses such as technology. Spending one-time revenue source on additional employees would not be advisable, because this is an ongoing expense. Always remember that revenue is the public’s money, not the governments. David Osborne coined a phrase called the Price of Government. The government takes resources from the citizens, and provides services to the community. The total revenue received by the government is called the “price of government” because it is the community’s money. Priority driven budgets are developed around the organization’s and public’s priorities. These priorities explain the purpose of the organization and should be timeless lasting for many years. Different than normal mission statements, these priorities are discussed in terms of results or outcomes that are valuable to the public.

Joseph Tramontana Priority Driven Budgeting

Joseph Tramontana discusses priority driven budgeting.

The outcomes should be measurable, but do not have to state how they will be achieved. If you have an existing strategic plan, it can be adjusted to reflect the priorities that are valuable to the public. If you do not have one, it can be an excellent starting point. Involving elected officials and citizens are essential for the success of priority-driven budgets. Elected officials will have to approve budgets during difficult fiscal times. If they are part of the process, they will be more amenable to approving future budgets. The same can be said for citizen input. If they are involved in setting priorities, then they will be more sympathetic to increased expenditures. The process of citizen involvement should be extensive. Some methods of seeking input should include online surveys and setting up survey booths for high traffic areas. A consultant can be employed to write the survey to make sure the questions are deep and meaningful. Questions need to be asked like; “What services does the Town need to provide and which ones take priority? Superior government services at a reasonable cost is a good place to start the process.
Here are some examples:

• Provide all residents with an excellent public works program that keeps our community clean and vibrant.
• Provide a cost effective Public Safety program that assures residents are safe and protected.
• Continually seek and support technological innovation that can provide routine government processes in a cost effective manner.

The key concepts to keep in mind are feedback, priorities, and results. The feedback from elected officials and citizens determine the priorities, and then you tie results into the agreed upon priorities. The component missing from most budget processes are results and isn’t that the main goal? Budget results need to be defined precisely. The budget process cannot be effective if it is not relevant to the citizens. Providing programs that achieve defined outcomes is the ultimate goal. The problem with analyzing results is that defining them can be broad. What results mean for each town may be ambiguous.

For example, every town has a goal of providing a safe community. Most leaders will tell you that the term is obvious and specific. But it may not be as obvious as you think. Let us look at this a bit deeper. A community near San Francisco may define public safety by dealing with earthquakes. A town in the middle of Florida or Oklahoma would have different priorities. The identity of your community and specific results are what is important. A powerful method for defining results is called Strategy Mapping. Visual mapping is a tool that takes a complicated objective and creates a visual map on how to achieve your goal. Mapping is a highly effective way to gain clarity about what it is you’re attempting to accomplish by seeing the results visually. These strategy maps should be developed with input from all levels of staff and a citizen’s committee. Citizens or shareholders have a great expectation about programs and services. Strategy maps can give residents an accurate account of how these programs and results are meeting objectives. Mapping establishes a shared foundation for prioritizing programs and services. Priorities need to be defined by the community. The best way to achieve this is to reach out to local groups, the town’s web page, and to hold town hall meetings.

Finally, when analyzing results consider the most important ones. Evaluating results will impact how programs are funded and valued. One way is to have elected officials, citizens, or staff participate in ranking results. This ranking exercise can be useful during the budget planning process as a tool to see what programs are working and which ones are not. A local government can use priority based budgeting as their main budgeting tool or use elements of it to decide what is working and what is not. It can help regain focus on what it is we need to achieve and frankly everyone can benefit from that.

Joseph J Tramontana

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How to Increase Revenue in Schools

Joseph Tramontana Increasing Revenue

Joseph Tramontana is a widely published author is school finance

Revenue is always a problem for school districts. There is just isn’t enough revenue to meet expenses. Most school districts rely on property taxes and state assistance. What they are finding is that property taxes are capped and state assistance is decreasing in many cases. Districts simply cannot meet current expenses. This post will discuss a creative way to increase revenue in school districts The ability to increase revenue in your school district by partnering with private entities is critical. The ability to depend entirely on traditional revenue resources is no longer a viable strategy. Remember it is only through “outside the box” thinking that will solve our future revenue and expense problems.

I want to share with you a recent success that was achieved by working together with school district’s before and after school providers. These community groups provide before and after school care for parents. The school district selects these providers and they provide the services directly to the parents. These groups also had access to our facilities at no cost.  Maintaining facilities are expensive and some of the larger expenses include custodial maintenance and utility costs.  I began to calculate the profit margin for these outside community groups.  Their profit margin was quite impressive even when you factor in their operating expenses.

This led to some spirited discussions with the leaders of these community groups as they traditionally want to guard their existing profitable contracts. In the end we came to a reasonable solution and everybody agreed. These community groups continued to use our facilities, but now are another revenue source in the amount of $130,000 a year. This revenue helps with the maintenance costs of our buildings. In addition, they committed not to increase fees to the parents.

In conclusion, the parents continued to receive great services, the community groups remained profitable, and the district will continue to receive significant revenue. This is a true win-win relationship for all involved.

The question of how to increase revenue in schools will be one that will be continually asked in the foreseeable future. We will discuss fund raising on a much greater scale which can also increase revenue significantly.

Joseph J Tramontana

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Four types of School Choice for 2017

School Choice

An update on School Choice for 2017

School choice enables parents to decide what is best for their children’s education. The parents determine the best method of delivery whether it is private, public, religious or home schooling. School choice gives parents their constitutional right to direct education according to their convictions and values.

The right to send children to private schools have always been an option for parents. They simply have to pay the tuition of the school. Today many states are making available more exciting options. Many parents cannot afford to send their children to a private school or to move to another district. There are roughly twenty states in the country have some legislation regarding the right to choose. Private school choice redirects public money to individual students, so their families can decide where to educate their children. If a parent lives in a poor district, they can redirect their school taxes in the form of a voucher to send their children to a private school. If parents did not have the option to redirect their tax money, they would have to pay twice for their child’s education. The first payment would be to the government and the second to the private school. Over 150,000 parents take advantage of this option.

The first form of private school choice are scholarships where parents can allocate funds anywhere. This can be a religious school or any private school. These scholarships are directed toward low-income families. Indiana has one of the most comprehensive scholarship program in the nation directed toward middle and low-income families. Washington D.C. has one of the only federally funded scholarship program providing up to $12,000 in education funding. Milwaukee and New Orleans have extensive scholarship programs as well.
The second form of scholarships is directed toward children with special needs or within the foster care system. These programs are popular in Ohio, Georgia, Utah, Louisiana and Florida.

Another form of scholarships is known as Tax Credit Scholarship Programs. Corporations that contribute to school choice scholarships receive tax credits which reduce the tax they have to pay to the government. States that participate in these programs include Florida, Iowa, Arizona and Georgia.

The final form of scholarships is Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). ESAs permit parents to deposit a portion of their allocated public funding into an account that allows them to export options such as private school tuition and online education.

Despite the progress that has been made, most of the nation’s children remain in public schools. Close to 60 million students remain in public schools, and many are performing poorly. As a nation, we spend close to 500 billion on public schools, and many are failing. The graduation rates for minority students are a little more than 50 percent. Efforts need to be made to continue to support public schools and still offer options for students at a disadvantage.

The most popular form of public school choice is charter schools which have seen a substantial increase over the last decade. These are publicly funded schools that seem to have more freedom than public schools but must still provide a quality program as governed by each State. However, they can demand more accountability from staff and terminate low performing employees. Charter schools have been started by private companies, parents, religious groups, and even colleges. Parents have started charter schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods to provide a better education for their kids.

There are over 5000 charter schools in the United States serving close to 2 million students. The biggest states include Houston, California, New Orleans, and Washington DC. Home schooling is also an option that many parents choose to direct their child’s education. More than 2 million students across the US receive their education at home.

Joseph J Tramontana Hamilton Township School District

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Eleven Ways to Cure Writer’s Block by Joseph Tramontana

Cure Writer's Block

Joseph Tramontana discusses Eleven Ways to cure writer’s block

Joseph J Tramontana discusses ways to cure writer’s block

Joseph Tramontana is the CFO for OnPoint Education

You can cure writer’s block. The dreaded blank screen. No matter want you do you just can’t focus. As much as you try to write your brain is thinking of where you want to be next. Despite your best efforts, the writing is horrible. The deadline is looming, but you can’t find your groove. It is time to step back and enjoy yourself. Time to get weird. Let your crazy side out, so you can get creativity flowing again!

Here are some inspiring ways to get back in the saddle again.

1. Talk to an imaginary friend

Focusing too much on your loyal fans makes writing more complicated. Forget about them for a while and create an inspiring friend. Your friend is a real supporter. Start a dialogue and pretend they enjoy everything that you write.

Your friend is a fan. He (or she) supports everything you do. Always be kind to yourself.

2. Take a Vacation

Not a real vacation, but how about a meaningful break? Maybe there is someone you been trying to catch up with? How about that family member you’ve been putting off? Let’s visit them.

The key is to break the repetitive pattern. Instead of driving to see your friend, how about a nice bike ride? Weather bad? How about an Uber driver or a bus? Keep a pad handy and jot down some creative thoughts.

3. Stimulate yourself

Okay. Okay. It’s not what your thinking! So how about a nice jolt of Starbuck’s coffee? Hey, many studies now show coffee is healthy. Sometimes if fatigue is a factor you need something to keep you going. Don’t waste your creative thoughts because you can’t keep awake.
I like to write for fifteen minutes then take a break. Sometimes if I am in the middle of thought, I will continue a little longer. Then grab some strong coffee or green tea. This approach can be the added boost you need.

Starbucks or Tim Horton’s fuel my blog posts, what fuels yours?

Where do you get your best ideas in the shower?

4. Iron some clothes

Where do you get your best ideas? Your mind needs to relax before coming up with a breakthrough. Taking time to do a routine task will allow you to renew. Staring at your blank screen is not productive.
The more relaxed you are, the better chance you will have a revelation to help your writing. If you don’t feel like Ironing clothes, how about taking a hot shower. Above all, step away and try to relax.

5. Fool around on Twitter or Facebook

Social media is a huge was of time. In fact, you can waste most of the day on Facebook. We all know that. Sometimes if you’re stuck, this can be a tremendous inspiration for ideas. I would put a time limit on it. Give yourself twenty minutes to look at some facebook posts. What inspiration can Facebook content give you? Have fun as you interact with friends or even adversaries. Not everyone agrees with you right? Just look at the Presidential Election. Just be sure not to get lost, time passes by quickly.

6. Try Meditation

There are numerous physical and mental benefits to meditating. It is an excellent way to clear your head. However, for breaking writer’s block, a 15 minute session can do wonders. One age-old practice includes counting your exhales from 1 to 10. Did you get distracted? No problem just begin again at the number one.

7. Change your ways

If you always use Microsoft Word, try Word Perfect. Want a great free alternative? How about Google Docs. Docs is an excellent platform to edit and share your great work.

8. Browse your photo albums

Look at inspirational pictures. Reflecting on fun experiences is a wonderful way to develop a relationship with your readers. Browse photographs and find common threads about the subject. Can you share ideas related to family vacations or work experiences? What lessons have you learned? Are you willing to share them in some way?

9. Write at a different time

Developing routines are essential. Just ask Tony Robbins or Jerry Seinfeld about that. Sticking to a regular schedule trains good habits. It’s like when you were a kid. After doing your math homework at the same time for years, it’s hardwired in you. However, there is something to be said for breaking routines once in awhile. Try writing at night if your early riser. How does it help with creativity? Does changing your old ways give you new perspectives? Check it out. Break out of old routines.

10. Try Barnes and Noble

This suggestion allows you to break out of your pattern in a few ways. If possible, we can ride our bike to the bookstore. Then when we arrive, we order a strong cup of coffee. Next, we look for books related to our topics. This time, though we are leaving the laptop home. Now we handwrite our thoughts down in our composition book. See how many times we are breaking up old patterns?

11. Be a thief

No, not really. But your favorite blogger got his or her idea somewhere. Probably from another blogger or author. Reading well-written posts in your niche is a great way to generate new ideas. This does not mean we plagiarize or break copywriting laws. We are using them as a stepping stone to stimulate our thinking.

Writing isn’t easy. Especially good writing. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it and making a fortune. However, I can’t think of a field or occupation where good written communication isn’t essential. Maybe your writing an important memo to your boss. It could be a thoughtful letter to your children. There are many ways to break writer’s block and get the job done.

Sincerely

Joseph Tramontana

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Effective Time Management

Effective Time Management

Time Management

Listed below are some ideas for effective time management and how to manage important issues in your business and personal life.

The first step is to bring a calendar and record all your thoughts, conversations and activities for a week. This will help you understand what you can get done during the course of a day and where your precious moments are going. You’ll see the amount of time that is actually spent producing results and just how much time is wasted on unproductive thoughts, conversations and actions. Any activity or conversation that’s crucial to your success should have a time assigned to it. Important lists get longer and longer to the point where they’re unworkable. Schedule appointments with yourself and create time blocks for high-priority thoughts, conversations, and actions. Schedule them when they will begin and when they will end. Have the discipline to keep these appointments.

Plan to spend a minimum of HALF of your time taking part in the thoughts, activities and conversations that produce the majority of your results. Schedule time for interruptions and plan time to get away from what you’re doing. Let’s look at the example of office hours. Isn’t “office hours” just another term for planned interruptions? Take the first thirty minutes of each day planning it out. Don’t start your day until you develop your plan, because this is the most important part of your day.

Stop, before every phone call and decide what results you desire from the call. This will help you know what success is like before you start and it will also slow time down. Rest after each call and determine whether your result was achieved. Otherwise, think about what was missing. How do you put what’s missing into your next call? Set up a “Do not disturb” sign when you need to get work done. Practice not answering the phone or emails as they appear. Disconnect instant messaging and don’t give people your attention unless it’s crucial to business. Instead, schedule a time to answer emails and return calls. Shut out other distractions like Facebook unless you use these tools to actually generate business. Keep in mind that it’s impossible to get everything done. Also remember that 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations and activities produce 80 percent of your results.

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The Current State of Public Education

The post is analysis of Sir Ken Robinson’s video on Education, which you can link to above.

Society is desperately trying to reform education, so students can compete in the 21st Century. The problem with the current model of education is that it’s based on old assumptions. This model, based upon the Industrial Revolution, claims if you study hard and get a degree you will be offered a high paying job. Students and parents now know this is not always the case. The economic conditions over the last ten years clearly supports the fact that this is not the case. This is why companies like Apple have training programs available right out of high school.

The current model of education is also causing an alarming amount of attention disease among students. These children are being drugged up in staggering numbers. Some of the culprits include Video Games, IPhones, Tablets, etc., because they need the stimulation to break free from boring and repetitive academic teaching. There is also a correlation between more standardized tests and attention disease as well. Mr. Robinson calls these routine teaching methods “Aesthetic”, meaning lack of engagement. He calls some teaching (ART for example), Esthetic, because it forces children to learn in the present moment and it brings your senses alive. The more direct student engagement, the better. Esthetic teaching can wakes up what is already inside of you. Mr. Robinson also speaks about production line teaching. This is where kids are lumped together solely by age instead of natural abilities and desires. Finally he wraps up the video and talks about Divergent Thinking. This is sadly something children are not taught in the regular education program.

Here is an example of Divergent Thinking. “Tell us all the ways you can use a paper clip”. A great divergent thinker may come up with 200 different ways and ask questions like, “Can the paperclip expand 200 feet and be made of rubber?” He is talking about open minds, collaboration, and creative solutions. The sad part is that Kindergarten children scored nearly perfect on divergent thinking tests. The higher the grade level the worse the results became.

Sir Ken Robinson has many great ideas on how to improve public education.

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School Budget Woes for Pennsylvania Schools by Joseph Tramontana

School Budget Woes in Pennsylvania

School Budget Woes in Pennsylvania

Joseph Tramontana is the CFO for OnPoint Education

Mr. Tramontana discusses budget woes in Pennsylvania

There are new school budget woes for Pennsylvania Schools this year. As this website has told you, revenue shortfalls cannot keep up with expenses. The troublesome areas are obvious. The state wants to provide relief property tax relief and the same level of education. These are two competing interests. So instead of directly confronting the problem, they plan on just shifting the tax burden. Under the new proposal, tax payers will receive an additional $700 in property tax relief by increasing the state tax on purchases. Renters will suffer the brunt of this proposal, because they get no relief from property taxes. The other interesting fact is that most of the revenue will be generated from southeastern Pennsylvania (about 50 percent). However, this region will not receive the same amount of proceeds in return (The Mercury Opinion 11-15-22).

The biggest change requires that any school tax increase will need to be approved by the voters; even the ones that are within the state imposed cap. The problem, with this change, is that most of the increases are mandated by contract or law. This includes salary increases, benefit increases, pension contributions and the requirement to fund charter schools. If school districts cannot rely on stable funding from the state education programs will need to be cut.

The Pennsylvania school board association said it best. “There are too many unfunded and underfunded state mandates and these types of referendum are really only shifting the tax burden instead of addressing it head on. Referendum treats the symptom of unpopular property taxes without treating the cause of the problem — an inadequate education funding system and too many unfunded and underfunded mandates, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association wrote in an analysis of the referendum proposal (The Mercury Opinion 11-15-22)”.

PSBA noted that not only are referendums an exercise in shifting blame for taxes, they also don’t work in the long run.

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Seven ways to motivate your workforce

Employee Motivation

Employee Motivation

A motivated workforce is a great asset that leads to better productivity and a great working environment. If your workforce is not motivated, you will never end up reaching your company’s objectives. Employee motivation is an ongoing challenge, especially in firms which fail to embrace employee satisfaction. Leaders get the best from their employees and know how to recognize and reward them.

Here are 7 different ways that you can motivate your workforce:

1. Support new ideas

When an employee comes up to you with an idea don’t disregard it. Listen carefully to what the person has to say and encourage them to pursue it. Employees coming up with ideas mean that they care about the company and if their views are valued they will be motivated.

2. Create attainable goals

Setting goals is important and fundamental for organizations. It is important however that goals are set in a realistic way. Setting hard and unclear goals will only result in a demotivated workforce.

3. Professional Development

Employees are thirsty for personal and professional development opportunities. Allowing employees to have a voice, in their personal development, is good for the company and for business. Develop a culture of constant learning and improvement.

4. Promotion

There is nothing employees value more than being promoted. This makes employees feel that their contributions are meaningful and recognized. At all times look to promote excellent employees from within the organization, before looking outside.

5. Recognition:

Each individual has their own preferences and not all individuals will be motivated by money. Some people value recognition more than money. It is important to recognize high performing employees.

6. Company Perks:

Top organizations have been allowing employees to go the gym on company time, take naps and even provide full time day care at no cost. The reason why is It works. This allows workers, who meet their objectives, a way to handle stress in the workplace.

7. Financial Motivation:

Mostly, employees are motivated by their salary. If the financial rewards are congruent with job performance and contributions, this goes a long way in making an employee happy. However, even if you cannot reward employees monetarily, always recognized them for a job well done, even in a small way

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Five Steps to Personal Excellence

Personal Excellence

Personal Excellence

Five Steps to Personal Excellence

If you master these five steps you will obtain personal excellence, and achieve your goals and dreams. This applies to all areas of your life. Self- discipline is the hardest part, but achieving your goals is very rewarding.

So develop the necessary mindset and follow these five steps:

1. Evaluating Your Strengths and Weaknesses

It is a good idea to be self-aware of your strength and weaknesses. You need to work hard and diligently on self-improvement. If a star basketball player can’t make free throws he will devote hours on becoming better. Now a former weakness becomes a strength.

2. Self-Discipline

Self-Discipline is a powerful tool in your arsenal. A great writer will wake up early and not miss a day of practicing his/her writing skills. This dedication will happen for months and years without taking a break. The key is to practice, work and refine your skills day after day. This alone will lead to self-mastery.

3. Visualize Success

Humans need to set goals and actually visualize themselves reaching them. This is a well- known psychological principal that all successful people follow. Pretend you actually have achieved your goals, like they already happened.

4. Time Management

Successful people are organized and manage their time well. They dedicate themselves to what is important and do not waste their time on trivial matters. How you plan and prioritize your time will definitely determine your effectiveness. Efficiency is a formula determined by the quality of work done within a fixed timeframe – so make sure you stick to it.

8. The Time Is Now

As a last step to achieving personal excellence, you must know that the time is NOW. In order to achieve personal excellence you must begin today and not wait for the perfect moment. There is never a perfect time, there is only now.

In the end, you should also know that all skills are learnable in life, and we are all put in this world with equal potential. We may not have the same circumstances, but we are all born to be great. Committing to your goals and being persistent will lead to personal excellence.

Joseph J Tramontana Hamilton New Jersey

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