Time to make the work place list more interactive

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The beauty of a list

Lists provide an easy to follow method to ensure that things get done without missing steps. For a business operation this is quite a crucial element in ensuring that all jobs are completed. Not only does this increase rates of job completion but it also takes pressure off staff by providing a reference point for them. […] “Time to make the work place list more interactive”

Staff Conflict

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Employee conflict – impossible to avoid

Every workplace has a unique dynamic. However, within in all medium to large business operations there is a common problem – employee conflict. One of the major sources of work related conflict comes from the complex mix of personal and business relationships that exist within the work environment. Whilst codes of conduct and managerial responsibility are put in place to prevent and remedy issues that arise, a lot of the time issues will go unnoticed, escalate and contribute to employee stress and dissatisfaction.

Why a business should try and minimise conflict

It is crucial for businesses to take measures that protect their staff from experiencing abuse and discomfort. Firstly from an ethical and legal point of view, it is the responsibility of a business owner to ensure that the work environment they are responsible for is not harmful to the employees in any way. Secondly, a stressful work environment will cost the business money in a number of ways:

  • The American Institute of Stress estimates that businesses in the United States will be the cause of over $300 billion per year due to stress-related absenteeism, turnover, accidents, insurance, and other costs

iTask – One solution for many problems

Whilst the range of issues that contribute to stressful co-worker relationships is vast, StakOne has developed a system to reduce conflict and the problems that conflict will cause, whatever they may be.

An easier way to speak up!

iTask enables staff to quickly and discretely alert managerial staff to potential problems that they are facing.

Common workplace policies encourage employees to make complaints in a face-to-face setting. However, when dealing with conflict, voicing concern can be an intimidating idea for an employee and as a result no action may be taken. Not only will the problem still exist but the employee will suffer further frustration out of their inability to have their issue recognised. Also, a face-to-face setting can increase the emotion of a situation. Emotion has a tendency to cloud an issue. Measures to resolve problems will therefore be inaccurate, and potentially make matters worse.

An easy way to improve morale

iTask’s non-invasive approach to conflict resolution will give staff more confidence to raise issues of concern. Employees will also be aware that issues raised will be recorded. This increases the accountability of managers who may be unwilling to fulfil their duty to employee welfare. Applying the iTask system will reduce workplace stress and contribute to a healthier, more productive, more efficient and ultimately more profitable work dynamic.

A better way to complete tasks

Another key feature of iTask is communicating to employees clearly and specifically about tasks that need to be completed, including how they are delegated amongst employees and in order of priority. This system will improve productivity in its most basic application but it will also contribute to increased rates of productivity through improved employee satisfaction.

One of the most common issues in work places where many staff are carrying out similar duties is that it enables some to slack off at the expense of their co-workers. When employees think that they are not being treated equally it will be a major source of dissatisfaction and can lead to a toxic work environment.

Equality amongst workers – A happy place to be

iTask will communicate clearly and transparently what roles an employee is expected to complete, bringing fair treatment and accountability to the forefront of the business operation. Each staff member will be aware of this and with that knowledge iTask will bring a sense of relief and an improved attitude to those who are being unfairly burdened.

iTask is a system that not only improves how the work place deals with problems but reduces the likelihood of those problems ever happening in the first place – making your work environment an equal, fair and happy place to be.

 

Microsoft BizSpark + StakOne

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Great products start with an understanding of the end user. They can benefit people in many ways.  A great design is easy to use, and can solve real problems which provides satisfaction.

At StakOne, we make products simple on the outside and powerful on the inside. We use a bottom-up approach in our product development and start with the customer, rather than starting with an idea for a product and trying to bolt customers onto it.

Like any startup, we needed help getting StakOne off the ground. Joining Microsoft BizSpark program is a critical turning point for StakOne because of the free licensing and tools it offers. It removed costs and technological barriers we would have experienced. We have saved in development costs and we now boast a solid performance platform, which will lead StakOne to pursue the open source software avenue.

It truly hit home that we were a real startup when we became part of the BizSpark program. Being able to have all the Microsoft software for free together with Azure Credits is an invaluable form of support from Microsoft. The Microsoft BizSpark program gave us free access to lots of Microsoft software, including Azure. It provides us with technology, support, visibility, and a community to our startup at no charge. Microsoft Azure and the other Microsoft technology offered through BizSpark will help StakOne grow faster. BizSpark has the best tools out there to help StakOne prove itself and its concept.

We have confidence with Azure that information is going to be securely stored  and delivered in a fast and efficient way to our customers. Microsoft BizSpark will provide us free cloud services, support, training and developer tools, that will make our dream for StakOne a reality.

As a Microsoft BizSpark member, StakOne will be tapping into a rich, vibrant ecosystem of peers, partners and support resources around the globe. For the next three years, Microsoft BizSpark will give StakOne access to all the right resources it needs to make a real difference.

 

StakOne in Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Industry

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If you always do what you have always done you will always get what you have always got.

This quote is credited to Henry Ford the founder of the Ford Motor Company. I think he would know a thing or two about innovation and the need to adapt and change.

Yet we don’t. People innately don’t like change. We find it difficult to make adjustments to life and in business and yet there is a whole brand of business thinking about being Agile. The Agile methodology is aimed at helping teams respond to unpredictability through incremental, iterative work cadences, known as sprints. The question I ask is if we know about practices such as Agile why are we bound to old practices that don’t work.

The QSR industry is reliant upon staff to work in the stores, cook the food, serve the customers and clean the store. We rely on staff who are usually of a school age and who, on the most part need supervision not just at work but to also get up of a morning or to clean their teeth. I have several of these school age ‘go getters’ so have some experience in how they operate or not. I have watched as my tribe have promised the world and then not deliver everything that has been promised.

To help these ‘go getters’ the QSR industry has rosters that they put in place to ensure that they know when to turn up and what is expected of them when they are at work. There are checklists that staff can look at to understand their role and provide assurances to the Manager and Owner that the required jobs get completed to, hopefully, a high standard.

StakOne is a company that has identified some of the issues faced by QSR industry by having had roles in the industry and by working closely with existing Managers to refine practices and ensure that a solution is developed in line with real industry needs.

StakOne is a company that understands there is a need to change and a need to make that change as smooth as possible for all concerned so that people don’t freeze with anxiety or become overwhelmed with the changes they are seeing. They are cognisant of not making change for the sake of making change.

The QSR industry is changing with technology and your business needs to adapt to capture the required change and become a place where the Management and Owners know that they have the tools to support their staff in an ever changing world.

Managing staff in a takeaway food store

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Of course, managing staff in a takeaway food store can be complex and difficult. A store is typically open from 60 to 100 hours a week; an owner may well have more than one store. This means that it can be difficult to impossible for an owner to be monitoring a store. A manager is often employed to be in charge of a store’s operations, but even the manager cannot be around a store for all the hours it is open.

There are many staff on the books at any one time. Many staff, especially younger staff, are only available for limited hours. Some staff have had a lot of experience in a store, some very little.

Most staff are very good. However, there are always problems, and it can be very hard to get on top of those problems in a timely manner. If a problem does occur, it may not be noticed until it grows. Some staff will try to get away with the minimum work possible.

By the same token, a manager may not be aware of what is happening in a store, and may be expecting too much from the staff. Staff may not be adequately trained, or may not be aware of changes which may have occurred, for instance, procedures for new products.

Many of the problems which occur regularly can be alleviated with good control and good communication. That’s why, as a former owner of several stores, I’m excited to be associated with a product which I believe will go a long way towards alleviating many of these problems. I can see that a great deal of work has been done in looking at what the actual problems are, and in working on ways to alleviate these problems.