Seven Essential Qualities Of Great Supervisors

Seven Essential Qualities of Great Supervisors

Seven Essential Qualities of Great Supervisors

There have always been some poor and mediocre bosses. However, when it comes to great supervisors, the most important thing they all share is knowing what goes on in the organization, having the power to change that and fit in the organizational hierarchy perfectly well.

The technical knowledge in terms of the basic principles of management such as planning, directing, organizing and motivating are also a part of the technical knowledge every great supervisor has. But deep beyond the surface of what a great supervisor really represents, there are these seven qualities:

1. Emotional Balance – The main role of a supervisor is to handle authority and leadership well. This includes meeting targets and deadlines, which are situations that can easily be affected by emotions. That is why a proper self-control and balance is what every great supervisor must have.

2. Proactiveness – With many objectives to be achieved, planning things in advance is not easy – which is the exact reason why every great supervisor has to be committed, take responsibility and dedication to fulfill everything on-time without passing the blame to others.

3. Creativity – Coming up with responses and special efforts to many situations triggers the creative part behind every great supervisor – which should never be a compromise.

4. Self-knowledge – Being aware of the personal attributes and linking them with the job position, strengths, weaknesses as well as objectives and deadlines is what lies in every great supervisor as their own view of the job role.

5. Managerial skills – This portion of skills includes the technical, human, conceptual, diagnostic and political skills altogether as the ultimate recipe for a great supervisor. The methods and procedures in terms of technicality, the understanding and motivation when it comes to human skills as well as the abstract and general ideas are all skills that define a great supervisor.

6. Mental agility – Grasping the problems quickly and thinking about new strategic ways in the same time are all beneath the process of mental agility in every great supervisor.

7. Learning habits – Last but not least are the learning habits. Despite that the supervisor role involves directing tasks and organizing people, a great supervisor is always prone to learning how to be independent as a leader and be independent in giving the right decisions.

In the end, every supervisor is a leader and a decision maker. That is why this role is vital to the company and in order to guarantee a successful future, a great supervisor must always dominate with these personal advantages.

Joseph Tramontana School Business Administrator.

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How to address Work and Life Conflicts

Work and Life Conflicts

Work and Life Conflicts

Employers must learn how to address work and life conflicts. Organizations understand the difficulties their employees face in modern society. Society is filled with complex personal issues and problems. Many families have both spouses working, which means child care is a real concern. Employees also have to care for their aging parents in nursing homes. In today’s marketplace, employees want choices, and organizations should be prepared to offer some. Companies need to be flexible when accommodating the personal needs of their employees. Because both parents are working, family obligations become more complicated. It is also important to realize that there are many single parents in the work force as well.

There are many ways companies are beginning to address these issues. Some initiatives include flexible scheduling, telecommuting, off-site work arrangements, and employee assistance programs. Childcare and eldercare are two items at the top of the list and with today’s technology, offering alternatives has become easier. Examples include Microsoft Office, Go to Meeting, Video Conferencing, and others. Collaboration has never been easier. Companies can even monitor productivity remotely.

These policies not only support a better work/life balance, but they also can help attract quality employees. Many organizations see absenteeism rates improve, fewer disability claims and workplace accidents. These alternatives result in less time commuting, reduced stress, fewer distractions, and the ability to deal with issues like family illnesses. However despite the benefits it can be very tempting to slack off working in a home environment. Therefore, programs need to be carefully put together. One best way would be to develop a hybrid approach. For example, part of the week an employee could work in the office and the other part of the week at home. Also, employees could work from home on days they are ill, so productivity is not totally lost.

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Hiring and Recruiting Talented Employees

Hiring Talented Employees

Hiring Talented Employees

One of the most important duties, of a Human Resources Professional, is hiring and recruiting talented employees. This is a critical process that goes far beyond advertising your vacancy in the help wanted section of the newspaper. Quality employees are the lifeblood of your company.

The best place to start your recruitment efforts is with a proper workforce plan. Before you turn your recruitment efforts to the outside we need to take a close look at current employees.

Start with these questions:

Are your employees strategically placed in your organization?
Do the employees have a specific skill set for their current position; or is there a better placement?
Do the employees enjoy their work or could they be better assigned?

One critical component, of successful recruitment, is to take a current look at your job descriptions. Duties and responsibilities change over time and job descriptions need to meet your current needs. Before you advertise for a new a position, it would be wise to thoroughly update the job description. For example if the opening is in the Finance Department, sit down with the Finance Officer and review the description in great detail before posting the position.

The next step is to advertise the position in places that will attract quality candidates.

These include:

• Your Company Website
• Job Boards
• Social Media
• Professional Associations
• Job Fairs
• College Campuses
• Recruiters

There are pros and cons to all of these sources and we will discuss them in future articles.

The next step is to carefully review resumes of the most promising candidates. Look for items such as specific achievements, professional development, and education. The problem many HR Professionals have is not reducing the list to a manageable level. Despite the volume of candidates, your company can only choose one person for the position. The next part of the process is the interview process. It is important to keep the questions consistent among candidates and not to ask unlawful questions. This includes the proper and legal way to conduct credit and background checks.

Staffing is critical to the ultimate success of your organization. Without the right employees your business will never reach its long term goals or be as great as the can be.

School Business Administrator

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Human Resources as a Strategic Partner

Human Resources as a Strategic Partner

Human Resources as a Strategic Partner

Human Resources as a strategic partner. The future Human Resources professional will continue to evolve as a valuable consultant and strategic thinker to their organization.

In the past HR professionals would focus on day to day routines such as processing employment applications. Today they need to study business trends by identifying long term goals and objectives. They need to think strategically about how their business model will change by identifying future threats, weaknesses and opportunities. HR professionals can get a better understanding of what their organization needs by consulting with the leadership of the company. They no longer can function in isolation, but must serve as strategic consultant. HR professionals should examine their competition and the latest business trends. From there, they can develop recommendations regarding policies, procedures, and staffing.

Technology is also changing the role of HR Professionals. Today’s HR computer software provide powerful tools that can supply a wide variety of data. This means the role of an HR professional will become more strategic. The data and the tools will be used to drive key decisions. For example, technology, in the past, focused on maintaining basic employee records. Today technology has the capacity to train employees at, very high levels, for a reasonable cost. Training individuals is not enough it must correlate to job performance. There must be a clear and identifiable pattern of how the training boosted employee performance.

HR Professionals should spend at least 20 minutes each day on how they can set their company up for future success. Then they can be regarded as a true senior partner as opposed to someone that just provides support services and processes paperwork.

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The amazing power of curiosity


The amazing power of curiosity

The older we get, the more we have a tendency to close down our creativity. We do not bring the same openness and wonder to learning as we did as children. Our minds are overflowing with too much information and data. As adults, we tend to gravitate toward safety and our daily routines. Children are naturally curious, because they love to explore. If they encounter a problem they just solve it.

According to Michael Dell, curiosity may be the most important attribute for executives to have. Dell was responding to a survey, along with a thousand other CEOS, that cited open-mindedness and curiosity as critical leadership traits. Executives need to expand their view wider and deeper than ever before. Leaders need to reclaim their natural born curiosity. Let’s face it, the world is complex and even the smartest will not have all the answers. However, bringing a curious attitude will help with keeping pace with our competitors.

The CEO is the person to set the tone of curiosity throughout the organization. Lead by example and question everything. This lays the groundwork for others to question the norm and see how things can be done better. Just imagine if the entire culture of the organization is rooted in wonder and open-mindedness. This will generate a massive amount of new ideas that can be implemented immediately. Curiosity has been around for decades and was one of the reasons for Walt Disney’s great success. He had the ability to use his imagination and reconstruct it into a physical reality time and time again.

Even before Walt Disney there was the ancient philosophy of Zen Buddhism that incorporated the concept of beginners mind. “In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, in the experts mind few.” This means that even if your studying physics and you have an advanced degree it is the attitude that counts. Bring an open mind and attitude toward the subject and be open to new ideas and creativity.

Joseph Tramontana School Business Administrator.

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Two ways to develop a flexible workforce

Flexible Workforce

Developing a Flexible Workforce

Human Resources always had to cope with the issue of employee supply and demand. With today’s workforce, you will find that educated workers with specialized skills are scarce. The skills that employers seek today are niche based such as computer skills, law, accounting, and finance. The key to an effective staffing model is to incorporate some flexibility. The traditional Human Resources Model assigned work only to full-time employees. This is an antiquated model and much has changed over the years. Today’s business environment is much different. The drastic change in technology and communication means that workers need to adapt as well. Having a variable cost component to supplement a fixed cost model is crucial in today’s environment. Here are two ways to develop a flexible workforce.

Cross Training

An organization will always need their full-time key employees. These employees will handle confidential issues, legal and financial matters, technology enhancement, strategic goals and business development. However, we are also seeing a trend where employees will develop expertise and skill sets in new areas. The more expertise core employees gain, the more valuable they become to the organization.

Independent Workers

Employers are using technical experts and independent contractors to assist them in reaching their goals. These independent workers are a cost-effective way to support full time employees. Perhaps your organization has a specialized project that requires technical expertise. The organization can now choose from a wide variety of experts to assist them. However, when the project is over, they would not be required to keep these consultants on their payroll. The value of using these employees is that it avoids disrupting the existing workforce. Many consultants enjoy this working model because of the flexibility it provides them.

There is an art to developing a cohesive program that integrates core employees with consultants, and this will be discussed in later blog posts.

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Stress management through self reflection

Stress Management

Stress Management through self reflection

Stress Management is a topic that has been debated for centuries. The popular methods for reducing stress include quality exercise, eating right, mediation, yoga and getting enough sleep. These are behavioral techniques and little has been written about the role of self-reflection or philosophy in the realm of stress management.

The value of self-awareness has been written about many times in the study of Emotional Intelligence. It has also been mentioned by Socrates in his legendary work “Know Thyself”. Confucius urged us to reflect on our values and incorporate these into our daily life. Some of these values include kindness and humility.
Brain research has shown that self-reflection is one of the most superior methods for reducing stress. This is done by accepting self-awareness or self-reflection as challenge as opposed to a threat.

The way to use self-awareness is to be keenly aware of the fact that you are feeling stress. This act of acceptance alone dramatically reduces its effect on you. The second way is self-reflection on the highest good. This means if you’re religious you can focus on the loving kindness of god. If you’re not so religions you can focus on your honorable goals or principles. When faced with devastating circumstances like job loss, rather than panicking you can keep an open mind, connect with other people. Develop a rational plan from those that can help.

Individuals can start with behavioral assessments which will help them understand the goals and values that are driving career and personal decisions. Being clear on goals and values helps people develop resiliency during tough times. Self-refection can be helped immensely by daily reflection and journaling on routine questions like what are my values. Reflecting upon values such as generosity can support people during a crisis. Even when we make mistakes we can change course and begin again.

For example if we have been unfaithful to our spouse this will affect other areas of our life. Work related stress, in many cases, is connected to our feelings of infidelity. We can decide any moment to change course and adopt new values and goals. This kind of focused self-reflection is a good thing to do and a powerful stress management method. Take time during the day to reflect about what is good in your own life and about the person you really want to be.

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Three best practices to prevent Fraud by Joseph Tramontana

Joseph Tramontana

Joseph Tramontana

Joseph J Tramontana discusses how to prevent fraud

Mr. Tramontana resides in Hamilton New Jersey

This blog post by Joseph Tramontana discusses three best practices to prevent fraud in the Accounts Payable process. When a school district receives goods or services, they are purchasing the goods on credit. Preventing fraud and errors are essential to a strong financial management program.

This is a brief overview of the Accounts Payable process which is very open to fraud and needless errors. When a school district places an order, the vendor becomes the creditor, and the goods are received on credit. The invoice that accompanies the order is recorded as a liability which is known as an Accounts Payable. The vendor invoice balances should equal the credit balance in the Accounts Payable account. The liability should be recorded on the day the goods are received. The purpose of having an effective accounts payable process is to pay only legitimate invoices.

The invoice must be reflective of the following:

• what was ordered
• what was received
• the costs and terms and conditions of the purchase

The goal of having effective internal controls is to avoid fraud and to pay only legitimate invoices. An effective Internal Control process has different employees performing different tasks. For example if there is one dishonest employee in charge of the complete process it opens up the organization to fraud. Please find three effective best practices listed below:

• One employee matches the original Purchase Order against the original invoice before entering the transaction.
• When the goods arrive a separate employee matches the receiving slip against the invoice and purchase order.
• Finally, before paying the invoice, a third employee will review the three documents before a check is issued.

These internal controls will assure the accurate payment of invoices and the prevention of fraud. The more you can segregate duties the better.

Joseph J Tramontana Hamilton Township School District

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Three components of a blended learning program

 Joseph Tramontana Blended Learning

Blended Learning

Joseph Tramontana School Business Administrator

Blended learning is a new educational concept that can have a positive impact on education. Blended learning takes place through traditional methods and in part through digital and online learning. Listed below are three essential components of a blended learning experience.

Make a Shift

To cultivate a blended learning environment, we must incorporate the entire school community that includes parents, students, teachers and staff. Stakeholders need to be involved from the beginning and support the idea.

Flipped learning is one way to begin the shift. Flipped learning is where individual students give presentations to their classmates, with support and coaching from the teacher. The presentation and knowledge gained becomes the actual test. Here is an example of a project. Suppose students are learning about World War One. They could, for example, develop a power point presentation about why the war started.

Change the Culture

Schools will need to make a shift toward a technology culture. For blended learning to work, all students will be need a device like an Ipad for example. Teachers will then post online learning material on a regular basis. Students will have access to the information including lectures, videos, and assignments. All the material can be accessed anywhere. Other important information may include attendance records, test scores, and important school events. Everyone is plugged in all the time.

Embrace Change

Libraries of the future will be known as common learning areas. They will be equipped with wireless broadband capabilities and Internet access. This common area will encourage open communication, unlike libraries of the past. This is where students and teachers will discuss lesson plans, complete assignments and deliver instruction. Parents can stop by and discuss student progress or ask a teacher a question. There may be workshops on college planning or a video presentation by students. The learning is fluid and flexible.

Blended learning can change the way students learn across America. Learning can now take place in restaurants, planes, on vacation or even times when a student must miss class over an extended illness. The possibilities are endless.

Chief Financial Officer Joseph Tramontana

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Three benefits of Laptops in the Classroom

Laptops in the Classroom

Three benefits of laptops in the classroom

Today virtually all public schools have Internet Access and the student ratio to computers is currently 4:1. What about the student’s ability access to laptops? Unfortunately, the data regarding laptops is much more inconclusive. Only Maine, Michigan, and New Mexico have state sponsored laptop programs. Students attending private schools have greater access to laptops, but this is because they pay for their own. The benefits of using laptops in schools is quite profound and can be summarized as follows:

Better Note Taking:

Students that type notes directly into a document are much more efficient at this task. Note-taking on a laptop allows students to organize relevant material and access it quicker. Accessing information can usually be done through a word processor’s electronic search feature. Also, notes taken on a laptop can be accessed anywhere they go. There is also the problem of losing handwritten notes. Notes taken on a laptop can be retrieved from the hard drive.

Better and Easier Editing

Students can also edit notes much easier as well. Handwritten notes are written quickly to keep pace with the teacher. They often need to be edited and refined to provide valuable information. With a laptop computer, it is much easier and faster to rewrite notes. Students will be more inclined to make necessary adjustments with a laptop rather than try to write them over by hand.

Group Work

Future leaders must learn to work together in teams. With laptops, students can meet at any location and collaborate. They can work together to access all related notes, technical documents, and online research. Also, students can share files and notes which make the learning experience complete and comprehensive.

Greater access to quality content as a team will always result in success. Hopefully, shortly students will have greater access to laptop computers in the classroom.

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