Business leaders and employees are all keenly aware of the effect COVID-19 has had on businesses around the globe. The pandemic has imposed significant strain on budgetary and operational resources for businesses large and small. Those disruptions are being felt far and wide.

Fortunately, this is also an opportunity. Business leaders willing to rise to the challenge can better address their organizational needs through leaner operations.

Fostering a culture focused on strategic action and resiliency will lead to success in the current climate.

Here are 5 steps that can be taken now to focus on the essential and ensure the future of your business:

  1. Realign with your company’s strategic vision
  2. Problem solving: be accountable, be part of the process
  3. Own the message and communicate actively
  4. Continually engage with your workforce
  5. Connect creatively with your customers and capture their insight

1. Realign with your company’s strategic vision

Whether you share an optimistic viewpoint that the economy will reignite in the coming months or feel otherwise, hoping for the best and preparing for the worst is both practical and beneficial.

Take this time to realign your focus with the core values and strategic vision of your business. This will ensure you remain on track, no matter what the future holds.

The only constant is change and the current market demands it. Times like these put businesses to the test. We can already see examples of those that are rising to the challenge.

Manufacturers, retailers, and service industries are all adapting to meet market demand in new and innovative ways.

For example, manufacturers are altering production lines to support hospitals and medical care providers with needed equipment. Textile facilities are making masks, distilleries and breweries are making sanitizers, and additive manufacturers are making faceshields. Even some of the largest auto manufacturers in the country have shifted gears to deliver other mission-critical medical equipment.

For many, using innovative software solutions to take their services online is part of the equation. Retailers and restaurants are are making the effort to offer online or curbside ordering and pickup in line with CDC recommendations and customer demand.

Fewer resources at your disposal naturally leads to doing more with less. Rethink any activity that isn’t lockstep in tandem with your strategic vision.

Reevaluate every process and take the time to get input from your employees, those who are carrying out those processes daily, weekly, or monthly.

Meeting with your first line managers is a good place to start. Use their insights between both your company and customers to inform your actions moving forward. you will also be able to identify key areas and resources ripe for redistribution.

2. Problem solving: be accountable, be part of the process

Time is perhaps the most finite resource for many business leaders. When disruption hits, it can be even more critical to solve problems quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, most will agree that time is wasted in abundance when it comes to streamlining business processes. This waste can be the result of unpreparedness, distraction, or inability to focus. Simply put, it’s not harder work that will save you time, but smarter work.

When your teams are tackling their respective components of a problem, they are looking for leadership to keep an eye on the prize. That is the bigger picture.

Be that foundational resource they are looking for and lead by example with smarter budgeting of time in tackling problems.

For example, make a shift in meeting culture. Keep meetings down to a condensed time frame and commit to ensuring all discussion topics and resources are shared and reviewed prior to the meeting. This leaves little room for wasted time in explaining and rehashing ideas.

When it comes to email communications, do away with novellas and stick to bullet points. Clean, clear, crisp communications get ideas across faster. No one should have to spend more than 60 seconds reading an update.

Committing to incremental and cultural changes pays off big in saved time. By showing, rather than telling, how to solve problems and work more intelligently.

This is how business leaders improve organizations and inspire team members to focus and prioritize.

3. Own the message and communicate actively

While there are times when delegating communications, tough times are not those. When times are tough and uncertainty is in no small supply, your workforce wants reassurance from the top of the organization.

Direct and open communications between upper management and teams fosters a cooperative atmosphere and lightens the burden of anxiety. If changes need to be made, be explicit about them and hold true to those directives.

For example, if cash flow issues make salary reductions a necessity, do the math upfront. Lay out how you reached your calculated requirements for salary reductions across the board. Give a time frame. Stick to it. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver and follow through once you’ve set your parameters.

Trust and reputation take time to built and a moment to ruin. Be the leader your teams look up to by instilling confidence, trust, and respect by giving clear instruction, finding compromise, and living up to your word.

4. Continually engage with your workforce

Maintaining employee engagement is a constant challenge for most businesses. COVID-19 and the nature of remote work has compounded that difficulty through distance. So, the question is, with all these factors, how do you keep your people connected?

Now is the time to recognize your employees at an individual level. Everyone has different ways of processing change and reactions to the current environment. There is no one size fits all solution in the New Now.

It’s up to you as a leader to recognize and be mindful of your staff’s unique reactions and feelings, if they may differ from your own. When you see negativity in the ranks, don’t dwell on it. Find ways to be supportive and create the environment for positive outcomes using your positive perspective of the big picture.

The isolation some may feel in a remote position can put people in a fog. Structure can easily go overlooked when it surrounds us every day. Now that that environment has fallen from view for so many, new and creative ways to remain connected are necessary.

Social media and networking tools are some of the available options for keeping your workforce engaged. Virtual happy hours, hobby threads, internal contests, games, and general intranet activity can help keep employees connected even though they are apart.

5.Connect creatively with customers to capture insight 

With traditional face-to-face meetings out of the question for the foreseeable future, it’s time to get more creative in how you interact with customers.

With a new landscape laid out before us, the same way of operating just doesn’t make sense.

Fortunately, modern virtual meeting platforms and social media tools make it easy to at least see each other face-to-face. Leveraging these resources gives us the virtual eye contact we need in healthy human interaction. It also reassures your customers that you are proactive and engaged with them in conversation. Conveying the tone, body language, and other social cues that email and phone calls fall short with make these tools invaluable.

Rise To The Challenge As Business Leaders

In summary, now is the time to actively adapt and strategically realign with your strategic vision. Respond to disruption using the modern resources available to you. Stay the course in regard to your company’s long-term vision and continue to strive in meeting your customers’ needs. Get rid of the wants and focus on the needs of your organization in the New Now. This is the time to run lean.

Lastly, your employees are the lifeblood of your business. Be clear and transparent in your communications with them. Lead by example and hold true to your word. This will ensure confidence, focus, and engagement as your continue to strive for success.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


The free sales tax risk assessment is a self-serve online resource that helps companies determine where they have triggered economic nexus. Companies answer three questions and receive a PDF report that provides a map and details regarding where they have triggered sales tax obligations and which states they need to watch.

Know Where You’re On The Hook With Our Free Sales Tax Risk Assessment Tool

Get a breakdown of states where you may be obligated to collect sales tax. The free Avalara Sales Tax Risk Assessment can help you determine where your sales have created a need to register to collect and remit sales tax — and guide you on a cost-effective automation solution.

Still Need Convincing To Use This Free Sales Tax Risk Assessment Tool?

Has your company triggered economic nexus, or do you want to find out if it has? Try our tax expert partner’s free online sales tax risk assessment today – Avalara will give you your own report.

Selling into states where you’re not physically located? You might be on the hook for sales tax if you’ve sold a certain dollar amount or volume.

Give our tax expert partner Avalara some of your time, and they’ll give you a customized PDF featuring each state where your sales have likely triggered a sales tax obligation and suggestions on an automation solution with strong ROI.

Get a breakdown of states where you may be obligated to collect sales tax. The free Avalara Sales Tax Risk Assessment can help you determine where your sales have created a need to register to collect and remit sales tax — and why.

43 states tax remote sales so it’s hard for businesses with national (or international) sales to know where they’re required to register to collect tax. Avalara’s new tool provides that clarity. Check it out and let’s talk about automating that knowledge.

About Avalara

Offering end-to-end tax compliance solutions to enterprises big and small, Avalara makes automated certificate validation, storage, and management easy. Avalara’s cloud-based sales tax automation software provides accuracy for all of the 12,000+ tax jurisdictions in the United States. Avalara ensures that automating sales, tax calculation, and maintaining compliance are all possible within your existing ERP, POS, or e-commerce system.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


The article “How to Consider the “What-ifs” in Times of Uncertainty” by Wayne Slater was originally published on the Prophix blog in April, 2020. you can read the original article, Here.

The word “uncertainty” immediately invokes feelings of anxiety and fear. This is not unusual, as it’s a natural human reaction to prefer the comfort of predictability over the vagueness of uncertainty. It’s in our nature to plan our day, week, and year on the data available to us. Businesses and finance professionals are no different. When the future is uncertain, this increases the risk to businesses and anxiety escalates around how to tackle the situation quickly.

Uncertain times are just that, uncertain. They make predicting the future much harder at the precise time you need to plan for it the most. Like people, businesses need to change with the times as well. Plans are no longer set in stone and need to be revisited more than twice or thrice in a year.

The need for active forecasting based on real data is paramount to making well-informed decisions about the future. In uncertain times, it’s all about becoming agile. Think about how the United States went from one COVID-19 case in Jan. 2020 to over 140,0001 by the end of Mar. 2020. Whether your organization operates in healthcare or hospitality, your plans need to adapt quickly because new decisions need to be made. Project management has already started moving from waterfall methodologies to agile for more frequent output. Ask yourself, has this sort of innovation happened in FP&A? It’s high-time finance teams are equipped with the right tools to “shift from generating data to producing insights2” that drive superior decisions.

Get access to our short 20-minute webinar on how your business can better react to and prepare for market volatility with CPM software.

an image of the future-proof your business webinar hosted by Prophix

The World of CPM

Welcome to the world of CPM – Corporate Performance Management – a tool that transforms your finance department by making processes more efficient, agile, and automated, so that you can leverage your data to improve planning, reporting, security, workflows, and consolidations, all while reducing human error. Ultimately, CPM lets your organization be proactive, forward-thinking, and enables finance leaders to better guide the organization during uncertain times.

Agile Scenario Planning

An especially important application in these uncertain times is scenario planning (see Fig.1 for contextual and transactional environmental factors involved in scenario planning). What realities is your business facing? What happens if consumer spending falls by 25%? Or if product revenue falls by 15%? Or customers need to renegotiate payment terms? Whether sales are booming or declining, finance leaders need to go back and revisit their forecasts to assess the impact to cash flow and profitability and set correcting strategies. Having a centralized CPM tool like Prophix can make your life easier because it allows you to easily run scenarios on-the-fly.

Fig. 1: The Role of the Contextual Environment in Scenario Planning | https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/using-scenario-planning-to-reshape-strategy/

an iamge of how to future-proof your business using contextual planning

Powerful tools let you transform your data and allow you to better model your operations, especially in regard to “what-if” scenario planning. Positioning your company for success involves tough modeling to ensure business continuity.

Some industries are experiencing tremendous growth like healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and groceries. Concurrently, there are those that are being hit hard financially such as hospitality, aviation, and retail. Cash flow planning becomes critical during uncertain times. With a robust CPM tool, you can easily model changes to your plans and move forward. It’s all about enabling you to plan smartly.

Your finance department probably spends long nights doing month-end and operational tasks. If they’re already spending 80% of their time on transactional tasks, it can be hard to shift focus to complex planning. Is your team equipped and ready to model endless scenarios in price adjustments, changes in capital spending, and fluctuating labour needs? Now, try to imagine a world where you already had a plan and solution in place to successfully steer you out of uncertainty…

Unsure how to move forward in uncertain times? Listen to the upcoming Prophix webinar on the benefits of proactive scenario planning.

Planning for Uncertainty

So, how you do you plan for uncertainty (see Fig. 2 for some tips on scenario planning)? Well, it depends on many factors, but it starts with having a tool that can effectively and centrally manage your data, so that all your users can view and interpret the same information.

To prepare for uncertainty, you need to set the baseline financial plan and the appropriate objectives/strategic goals. Next, prepare for different outcomes by involving more people in your planning process and consider best- and worst-case scenarios. CPM software lets you do this seamlessly through workflow project management capabilities.

Once your data is centralized, it’s easy to assess your performance against planned objectives. As you understand your variances, you can measure performance, visualize the future, and adapt accordingly with agility. Once everyone agrees, you can automate report distribution, buying you more time for value creation and generating insights.

Get your guide to corporate financial planning during the pandemic – watch the webinar.

Fig. 2: The DOs and DON’Ts of Scenario Planning | https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/overcoming-obstacles-to-effective-scenario-planning

an image of how to future proof your business using the do's and don'ts of scenario planning

As you can see, scenario planning is closely linked with both budgeting and forecasting. Things change, uncertainty arises, and plans evolve. In finance, scenarios act as guiding frameworks about events that may or may not take place in the future.

As finance leaders, we must proactively plan for the unknown and incorporate it into our forecasts. We must assess more frequently whether we are meeting our objectives, and if these objectives need to be changed. Scenario planning helps mitigate variances by focusing on the realities of the business. It helps finance leaders manage resources and improve decision-making by considering opportunities and risks.

In summary, the strategy is all about envisioning and implementing ideas and goals that let you compete and win in the marketplace. Don’t let old habits of the past slow down your organization and its predisposition to change. CPM tools like Prophix provide you with the technological solutions that help innovate the Office of Finance in a rapidly evolving environment to give you a competitive edge in a world of big data and increasing complexity.

Consider the “what-ifs” in Prophix’s webinar on proactive scenario planning – watch now.

Join the live discussion with Q&A to learn what CFOs around the globe can do to respond to changing conditions and ensure business continuity while improving planning and minimizing risk.

Footnotes:

1 – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html

2 – http://images.info.deloitte.ca/Web/DeloitteManagementServicesLP/%7B161111db-4cc2-4d68-a272-96bd0a7d551a%7D_ca_en_FinanceTrends_16_3730T.PDF

About Prophix

Prophix develops innovative software that automates critical financial processes such as budgeting, planning, consolidation and reporting — improving a company’s profitability and minimising its risks. Thousands of forward-looking organisations in more than 90 countries use software from Prophix to gain increased visibility and insight into their business performance.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


The article “How Multiple Generations Can Work Together in a Changing Workplace” By Editors Audrey Lecker and Lauren Mauldinwas published on the Epicor Shop Floor June 8, 2020. You can read the original article here.

How Multiple Generations Can Work Together in a Changing Workplace

Working from home is nothing new. For decades, many businesses—especially tech companies—have offered remote working options. In recent years, that popularity has grown even more.

It stood to reason that remote work would continue its upward trajectory. Eventually, working from home could become the rule rather than the exception.

COVID-19 condensed that timeline. From 2017 to 2018, only about 29% of U.S. workers were able to work from home. Compare that to 57% of Americans in March this year who reported they now work remotely due to current events.

Making the Switch to Remote Work

The global health situation forced businesses to install telecommute policies almost overnight. Now they must support employees adapting to a new way of working, especially in industries where working from home wasn’t an option to begin with.

Interpersonal relationships may be harder to manage online than by the water cooler.

Shifting from office life to working from home has allowed a multitude of businesses to survive during a time of economic uncertainty and health risks. But it doesn’t come without a cost.

Interpersonal relationships may be harder to manage online than by the water cooler. Those not used to working completely via phone, video chat, or email may miss face-to-face office interaction. Workers and businesses had to establish entirely new ways of getting work done, and that came with a steep learning curve.

For some employees perhaps, but not all. Gen Z and Millennials have been getting work done and nurturing interpersonal relationships online for years. This way of working may not be as new to them as it might be for generations like Gen X and Baby Boomers.

This mass exodus from the corporate office to the home office is an opportunity for all generations to learn from each other. Baby Boomers and Gen X watched the workplace change around them for years, while many Millennials entered the workplace during a recession. They’re all used to working through tough periods of change and know how to adapt to a “new now.”

We can leverage the strengths of each generation to grow and transform the modern workplace.

Boomers Bring Experience and People Skills

During their careers, Boomers have seen the working landscape evolve in dramatic ways. Most technology we now use every day did not exist at all during their formative years. They’ve had to learn how to work through multiple recessions and constantly evolving tech.

Boomers bring a significant amount of experience to the table. They know how to manage people and business relationships. How to work through periods of great change. When to have a face-to-face conversation versus shooting off an email. These lessons, learned and honed over time, can be taught to younger generations through mentorship or other educational means.

Gen X Navigates Economic and Technological Change

Statistically, Gen Xers  tend to be loyal to their companies and therefore  hold institutional knowledge.  Though they may not have grown up with as much technology as their younger counterparts, they see the value in it and navigate the digital workspace with confidence.

Along with Boomers, Gen X brings people skills and traditional leadership honed throughout their careers. They can serve as a bridge between the younger Millennials and Gen Zers to the Boomers.

Millennials Push for Use of Tech in the Workplace

Growing up as older kids and teens when the internet and smart phones first became widely used, Millennials already know the value of technology. They drive the use of collaboration tools that make working with a remote team easier.

With many entering the workforce during the 2008 recession, it gave them skills to not just survive but thrive during difficult circumstances. They share this experience with Boomers and Gen X, who were already well into their careers at the time.

Millennials have had to learn to be resourceful enough to find new opportunities both for themselves and the businesses they work in.

Gen Z is the Technological Multi-Tasker, Eager to Grow

Gen Z is the newest generation to enter the workforce and has a natural affinity with technology. The grew up as toddlers playing on smart phones while Millennials were already young adults. Technology is almost a natural extension of themselves.

Gen Z is the expert multi-tasker. They’re naturals at navigating multiple apps, communication tools, and digital tasks. Because of this, Gen Z employees can wear many hats. Companies needing to operate “lean and mean” through unexpected disruptions lean into the value of workers with these skills.

Because Gen Z entered the workforce during a time of drastic change, it’s going to shape what they expect from employers in the future. As the first generation of “digital natives,” they’re used to personalization in the tools they use—and this extends to the world around them. They are the generation that can think beyond the current status quo of the company’s tools, and develop sharp, streamlined, and individualized technology for future growth.

Multi-Generational Collaboration in the Future Workplace

Each generation faces different challenges when it comes to working from home; Gen Zers may fight for elbow room alongside family or housemates. Millennials and Gen Xers may balance work with educating young children at home. And Boomers, while most likely to have dedicated office space, could have less digital experience.

Because all generations are becoming more comfortable working from home, there may be a big push for this way of working to continue. From reducing overhead costs of facilities to protecting employees from public health issues, some believe it’s highly unlikely we’ll see things go back to exactly how they were.

Some Boomers and Gen Xers might have a learning curve when it comes to online collaboration while Millennials and Gen Z thrive in a remote environment. Generational trends aside, intentionally building collaboration between the more and less tech-savvy employees is critical while adapting to the massive change current events wrought on the traditional workplace.

A Transforming Workforce

While having face-to-face time in a physical office still has undeniable benefits, flexible working has evolved from a desire into a necessity. And it’s not going to go away.

The merging of generational experiences during this global shift in working practices is something that will create stronger team bonds, now and in the future. A broad range of new skills are both taught and learned through collaboration. This is the perfect way to ensure the workplace of the future is full of close-knit teams leading a cultural change. Each generation brings something new to the table, and they’re already proving that the benefits of a blended team remain–even when working remotely.

Recognizing each individual’s strengths and value to the team—regardless of meeting in person or over the internet—is the best way forward to build a strong working culture.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


The article “Returning to Work Safely When Change is Now” By Editors By Kristi Dorn and Lauren Mauldin was published on the Epicor Shop Floor June 3, 2020. You can read the original article here.

Returning to Work Safely

Workplaces of all shapes and sizes are weighing how to re-open safely while prioritizing employee and customer health. Restarting strong includes transforming physical spaces into safer environments in the era of Covid-19. While infectious disease experts say it won’t come without risk, business leaders are implementing immediate safety protocols to protect employees. From warehouses to retail stores and office space, find out how America is returning to work now—and reimagining the workplace of the future.

Protecting Manufacturing Workers

Not only is the manufacturing industry the backbone of America’s supply chain, but it also employs 8.5 percent of the workforce as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Roughly 13 million Americans rely on a safe, functional shop floor for their livelihood, making the need for proper pandemic guidelines essential.

Ford rechoreographed their assembly line to prevent overlap and human contact.

Opening its doors on May 18, NPR reported Ford as one of the first major players to get back to running under a new normal with 71,000 workers returning to its North American operations. Some of the guidelines from their extensive “Return to Work Manufacturing Playbook” are the expected—hand washing, face masks, and social distancing we’ve all become accustomed to. But the mandates are about more than that. Ford rechoreographed their assembly line to prevent overlap and human contact. With factories 3 to 4 million square feet in size, they changed density patterns to create appropriate distance for line workers.

Ford is far from alone in this endeavor. ABC News reports that Cummins Engine Plant in Seymour, Indiana added temperature checks and a “hands out” process each day for employees to use and dispose of PPE. They’re added to a list of plants spanning the country as leaders try to resume production while keeping employee safety at the forefront.

To guide manufacturers through this process, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers created a best practices guide for Covid-19 management. While you’d expect to see suggestions regarding the uses of masks, face shields and even gowns for staff, it’s important to think through how employees get to the work site. If they take public transportation, managers should share social distancing and hygiene guidelines for commuters. Additionally, high-risk and vulnerable employees should be assessed before they step on the property. For example, if an employee lives with someone presenting signs of Covid-19 or recently traveled on a cruise, they should quarantine for 14-day incubation period. To accomplish this, businesses need to conduct routine screenings. Additionally, PTO and sick-leave policies may need to be adjusted so employees who are sick or exposed aren’t disciplined for staying home to keep coworkers safe.

Of course, the only area where employers have true control is the property itself. AEM suggests adding thermal scanning to entrances and sending anyone with a temperature over 100.4 degrees home. Only one person at a time should go through doorways, and employees should be greeted with signage that reminds them of social distancing practices and additional hygiene measures.

Manufacturing facilities should also undergo additional and regular cleaning of break rooms, bathrooms and common areas. Taking actions like banning communal food, blocking non-essential visitors from entering the property, and ceasing long group meetings can go a long way towards providing adequate social distancing. AEM also suggests looking at the way your workforce flows across the factory. “Stagger shift start/stop times, break times and lunch times to minimize congregations at the time clocks and in the locker rooms and break areas,” they advise. New shifts can also be created to spread production across evenings and weekends to produce the same output with lower overlap. Or, cross-train employees so they can perform multiple roles to accommodate distancing measures or provide coverage for additional absences.

A New Way Forward for Retail

Unlike manufacturing plants, retail stores can’t prohibit customers from entering. What would be the point? So how can employees and customers stay safe during the shopping process?

By leaning into a digital and omnichannel approach, many retailers are offering delivery or curbside pickup.

As we begin a phased re-opening, retailers are implementing measures to address store exposure and density. Nike will sanitize its stores every two hours, provide employees with masks and hand sanitizer, and created a touchless experience where shoppers scan barcodes with their own phones. By leaning into a digital and omnichannel approach, many retailers are offering delivery or curbside pickup. This integrates the online shopping experience with an in-person, touchless, fast way to get merchandise.

For those who want to shop in physical stores, department store giant, Macy’s, began re-opening in early May with new safety measures. Fitting rooms are one person at a time and sanitized between visits. Clothes also need to “rest” before being returned to the racks. Social distance signs are used through the stores, and all makeup experiences are “no touch” with plexiglass shields protecting cashiers.

Additional safety measures popping up as people flock back to stores include placing tape or stickers on the floor to indicate proper social distancing and traffic patterns for narrow aisles. Visually directing shoppers can make it easier for employees to oversee that proper distancing measures are being followed by staff and shoppers.

Behind the scenes, the Retail Industry Leaders Association provides re-opening suggestions and best practices for employees including adjusting seating in break rooms and other common areas, prohibiting gatherings or meetings of 10 or more employees, and discouraging employees from sharing devices, work stations or any other tools and equipment.

Reconfiguring Office Space

The prevailing trend at office buildings in the recent past was to create bright, open spaces that shunned the cube farm walls of the 80s and 90s. Open floor plans designed to bring people together in environments that invited collaboration were the ideal.

Now, as employees return to the office, these spaces may need to be retrofitted. Plexiglass and other partitions are being used to create physical distance. But outfitting offices for Covid-19 extends beyond desk spaces. Companies must look at traffic density, temperature screening technology, and air filtration systems to create safer environments for workers. Since social distancing is the primary goal, that means less people, phased returns, and more employees working from home permanently.

Cushman & Wakefield, a global real estate services firm, offers in-depth guidance for return to work in their Recovery Readiness Guide. They call it the “6 Feet Office” and recommend minimizing density and touchpoints. The back to work guidelines for office buildings include:

  • Continued work from home for non-essential onsite workers
  • Space density monitoring
  • A strict clean desk policy
  • A supply of masks, gloves, disinfectants, and paper products including desk placemats
  • Stringent cleaning and hygiene protocols
  • Regular cleaning and disinfecting of meeting rooms, break rooms, bathrooms and kitchen areas

…organizations that are empathetic and prioritize worker safety can build trust with their employees to help alleviate that fear.

“The changes we need to make to the office floor plans initially and immediately are fairly simple,” Brett White, the firm’s CEO, tells ABC News. “We have to provide that safe six feet for every employee, not just when they’re sitting at their desk, but when they’re going to get a glass of water or they’re walking around to the restroom and back.” The article also reports that deep cleaning is probably one of the most important considerations—also currently one of the least talked about topics.

Forrester Analyst Andrew Hewitt tells ZDNet there’s definitively one thing not to do—and that’s to bring back all your staff at once. Hewitt explains that the stakes to get it right are high with more than half of U.S. adults afraid to go back due to risk of exposure. He believes organizations that are empathetic and prioritize worker safety can build trust with their employees to help alleviate that fear.

Despite preparedness, infectious disease experts also warn that a virus-free office isn’t possible. “Anytime people spend prolonged periods of time in a poorly ventilated small space there’s risk of transmission,” Dr. David Aronoff explains to WZTV. The Vanderbilt University Medical Center infectious disease specialist says that until a treatment or vaccine is developed, people who spend time together in close office settings can spread the virus via respiratory droplets.

Due to the challenges ahead, a new frontier of office space norms may be emerging. Current considerations include permanent reductions in density, stricter sick leave policies, and use of materials like antimicrobial copper surfaces. Office space of the future could also be used in much different ways. Possibly as more of a time share for collaboration and social purposes versus employee occupied space for the full five-day workweek.

We always expected the workplace to evolve with cool, new technology defining smarter ways to do things. But now there’s a new and immediate challenge that needs to be prioritized above everything else. No small task to be sure, but as employers and leaders, lean on the resources you need including health experts, CDC guidelines, and the safety protocols outlined here. It’s important to be thorough and to get it right to calm fears, ensure employee safety, and the overall health of your organization.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


The article “5 Business Pain Points Hurting Your Bottom Line” By Liz Froment, Contributor, was published on the Epicor Shop Floor February 20, 2020. You can read the original article here.

Running an elite college football program isn’t easy. Coaches serve as CEOs who need to manage everything from organizational culture, to player data, to building a team that can compete. Yet, there are always pain points. And missing or ignoring them can derail the season.

The same is true with businesses.

Every business goes through ups and downs. What separates the most successful companies from those that struggle is zeroing in on business pain points that directly impact the bottom line. Problem-solving means taking a hard look at the big picture, developing a plan, and making the necessary changes.

Here are five of the most common pain points that businesses need to address and how they connect to each other in unexpected ways.

Pain Point 1: Corporate Culture

In college football, having the right culture in a program can make all the difference. There’s a reason why a handful of teams are consistently competing for the national championship each year, while others struggle to make their way up the rankings. Organizational culture plays a big part.

Culture also matters in the corporate world—and it starts at the top. Company executives need to set the stage for a healthy organizational culture. Otherwise, problems trickle down to every part of the business.

A negative culture can also impact both hiring and retention. Deloitte’s Industry 4.0 Annual Survey found that 28% of executives prioritize attracting and retaining the right talent. The survey also noted that 74% of executives cite training and developing their workforce as priorities for organizational investment with Industry 4.0 and other initiatives.

Many executives take the right steps to avoid potential corporate culture pain points, including:

  • Encouraging an atmosphere of excitement and innovation.
  • Helping employees build new skills that can directly impact future growth.
  • Understanding the skills and tools that can help focus the company on the future.

One sign of a healthy corporate culture is a devotion of time and resources to developing the right talent to both fit the organization’s overall goals and help the business grow in the long run.

Pain Point 2: Organizational Confusion

College football teams rely on organizational structures. Managing teams upwards of 100 players—plus dozens of coaches, trainers, and support staff—means everyone must have a well-defined role. Any hiccup in the chain of command can cause a break in communications that delay the execution, cause confusion, and slow progress.

Unfortunately, for many businesses, organizational confusion and chaos are common. A non-structured approach can lead to inefficiencies, poor strategy, and decision-making issues.

Work from Bain & Company found that companies with low performance often struggle with issues that weaken their overall execution. Many challenges lie with organizational confusion, including strategies that are not aligned to company goals, complex decision-making processes, and competing priorities.

You can take action to help solve organizational confusion:

  • Look at the company’s overall decision-making structure, see where there are bottlenecks and how to reduce or remove them.
  • Think about how your current framework impacts agility. Is your company losing ground to competitors because complex processes are weighing you down?
  • See if all stakeholders align with the overall business goals and strategies. Make sure everyone is on the same page for moving the business forward.

Companies need to take a hard look at organizational structure and fix it by examining the current system and identifying areas for improvement.

Pain Point 3: Siloed Data

The best football teams are those that get separate groups to work together in harmony. A big part of achieving that is a successful collaboration. Coaches and players don’t keep data to themselves. They share it to ensure everyone is working with the same information.

According to the Harvard Business Review, there are several common problems with siloed data. Of primary concern is a negative impact on communication, knowledge sharing, collaboration, and innovation.

When important data isn’t accessible by everyone to make informed decisions and streamline processes, your entire business can get stuck in a rut.

This situation is a perfect opportunity to explore the benefits of transparency and real-time data in cloud technology.

  • It provides access to key stakeholders quickly. Any new data added to the system is updated automatically for the best real-time information.
  • Cloud systems can also hold all your data in one place. It removes version control issues and inefficient searches for the correct spreadsheet. It’s all right there in the cloud for anyone to access.
  • Having real-time data means more agility, which improves decision making for significant strategic initiatives.

The most effective businesses don’t restrict data across the company. With the right tools and approach, organizations can ensure information is shared with key employees and groups when they need it.

Pain Point 4: Poor Messaging

College football has a passionate fan following. Programs, coaches, and players find themselves the topic of discussions around dinner tables all over America during the season. Successful programs tap into this passion and create marketing and messaging campaigns around it—often to great success.

Businesses need to do the same. But, many companies get stuck when it comes to delivering the right messages to their customers.

According to research from Forrester, 47% of brands surveyed say customer needs drove their marketing messages. Likewise, only 40% of companies prioritize solving customer pains over-promoting products.

An approach that doesn’t create the right message can directly impact the bottom line in a few ways:

  • Poor messages can directly relate to a loss of sales by not resonating with target audiences.
  • A marketing team that can’t access sales data to see what’s driving activity will be hard-pressed to craft the right message. It’s another consequence of siloed data.
  • Competing brands, even those with an inferior product, can scoop up competitors with better messages that speak to customer needs and pains.

Marketing is often about the message. The best organizations have systems in place to ensure that the right information goes into crafting that message.

Pain Point 5: Ignoring Innovation

Innovation has taken the world of sports by storm—and college football is no exception. Today’s top programs are key proponents of technology and innovation. When a winning season can come down to moving the ball a matter of inches, competitive advantage makes a difference.

Digital transformation isn’t something to ignore. The 2019 Epicor Global Growth Index survey found businesses that perform best are those that embrace technology and focus on integrating systems and processes into overall strategy.

Here are some ways embracing innovation can improve your business:

  • Innovation is a key driver of growth. You want to have the ability to remain flexible and adapt quickly to change.
  • Organizations are often able to stand out from the competition by creating dedicated project teams focused on driving innovation with new thinking and processes.
  • A culture that embraces innovation can drive better employee training and skill development, which benefits your company.

Organizations that embrace innovation and technology are a step ahead. They’re often better at making decisions, more agile, and have access to data at any time.

The Bottom Line

In football and business, it’s all about preparation, focus, and taking a hard look at potential problems—or becoming aware of your blind spots by welcoming open, honest communication. There will always be pain points that threaten your business. Don’t turn a blind eye and hope for the best.

Develop a strategy to address and reduce your pain points. For college football teams, the reward is playing and winning in a bowl game. For you, it inspires a disciplined approach to winning—and beating your competition.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


Sudden and abrupt change can interrupt anyone’s mode of operation. This couldn’t be truer than in manufacturing and distribution industries. When that change affects supply chains, livelihoods, and communities, anxieties are compounded. In these situations, people look for business leadership as a source of answers to the unknowns that are feeding their anxiety. Here are 3 ways to lead your organization through a crisis and towards a better outcome.

Business Leadership – Success From Uncertainty

There are many qualities that make a great leader, such as passion, delegating, owning responsibility, honesty, and active listening. However, not all leadership qualities are created equal when it relates to business. This is punctuated when situations are considered critical. Our current business and economic climate qualify soundly for this designation. From this point of view, below are three of the most effective and essential business leadership qualities that will help your organization endure a tough situation and lead to overall business success.

1. Give Clear Direction

A light in the dark can be more than a means of finding your way around after the power goes out. A clear path delivers comfort and confidence to move forward. In the dark, your teams may stumble over their anxiety of what may or may not come next. Direction delivers many essential signals to your organization, here are four among the most effective:

Be Calm – “Calm is Contagious” I’m not sure if its an idiom, but it should be. People react to the signals they are given every day. The most primal of which is behavior. Your calm and reassuring body language, sincerity, and timeliness reinforce the reassuring effect that essential to every level of your organization. Understanding you’ve provided a behavior to emulate every member of your organization can move forward with focused and unencumbered with anxiety.

Communicate Openly – By maintaining direct and open communication, you negate the inherent anxiety that comes with moving through the dark. Whether delivering good or bad news, your communications need to come when they are needed and provide details that lead forward. You don’t have to have all the answers, but you must let your teams know the one’s you do have.

Be Precise – Clarity is an important part of giving direction. Don’t leave room for misinterpretation. Keep your workplaces free of inefficient language and processes. By communicating in clean, clear, crisp directives, everyone remains on the same page and works towards the common goal.

Maintain Your Connection – Your organization may have been founded by an individual, but I guarantee it was built by people. Some of them may be senior members of your organization, some of them may have joined you days before any significant change upended your day-to-day. It’s important to remember that they are all invested in your continued success. If you don’t treat them as though they have a stake in the game, you may be compounding the problems you are already facing.

By giving your teams a clear direction moving forward, you enable them to keep their focus and put the unanswered questions out of their path. This leaves them free from distractions to continue towards their goal. This leads us to the next point.

2. Outline achievable goals

One of the biggest components of business leadership is to include yourself as part of the solution. Having a goal in mind helps to maintain focus. To that effect, the notion of “here’s what I, you, and we can do now…” can be real foundational support for those who can let their minds wander into the great expanse of what comes next.

By ensuring everyone has a goal, is on task, and maintains accountability throughout your organizational structure, your place in the supply chains remain uninterrupted, your products reach their destinations, and your relationships remain in good standing.

3. Identify Opportunity And Implement

This is where you show your organization that you are in control of the situation. You’ve given everyone the rundown on what’s happening form an operational standpoint and measures being taken to alleviate constraints. With the staff at ease, they can go about achieving goals and completing tasks in their “new now” modes of operation.

By identifying key opportunities that you can take advantage of during this change of pace, you communicate to everyone that growth is still happening, even if it may not be apparent on the surface. Big ships take time to steer and those efficiency projects that kept being pushed onto the back burner due to high volume orders fulfillment or staff shortages are now primed and ready to be implemented. At the very least, you can outline your strategy to achieve the implementation of new ideas and projects so that you can hit the ground running when the conditions permit.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


The Article “How to Help Your People Manage Through The New Now” by Jignasha Amin Grooms was previously published on the Epicor Shop Floor April 09, 2020 – the original article can be viewed here.

Epicor’s Chief Human Resources Officer shares her perspective on how business leaders can manage through change during challenges to the status quo.

While the economy constantly evolves, we’re managing through a very real shake-up happening on a global scale. In The New Now, I want to offer some practical advice from a Human Resources perspective to help you lead through change by keeping your employees first and foremost in your response. I’ll cover the following topics:

  1. Make your employees your top priority
  2. Focus on business continuity for now and the future
  3. Drive process improvement and offer more learning opportunities

Make your employees your top priority

As leaders, ensuring the safety and well-being of your employees is your top priority. Doing so fosters a more stable work environment and calms employees. Cooler heads will prevail.

During this challenging time, employees will look to Human Resources, Communications, and other senior leaders in your organization for direction and information that creates stability.  They’ll take cues from your behavior.

Make listening to employee concerns an important part of your efforts.

To instill trust and avoid confusion among employees, your leadership team must work together to present a united front with clear, frequent, and authentic communication. Be thoughtful with your words and sensitive to employees’ concerns, providing them with guidance and encouragement in a balanced, forthright way. Also, make listening to employee concerns an important part of your efforts. Hold informative virtual meetings and have two-way conversations on apps like Yammer, Microsoft Teams®, and Skype. Continually reaffirm that your employees are at center of your business value proposition. Specifically outline what you’re doing to support their health and well-being, as well as measures you’re taking to support business needs and challenges.

Follow the guidelines of national and public health organizations, i.e., the Centers for Disease ControlWorld Health Organization, so that you can provide best-in-class information for your employees—as well as their families and your local community. If the protocol recommends working from home but you have employees with critical on-site roles (factory or plant workers), make sure you do all you can to follow recommended guidelines for their health and safety. Support employees by providing informational updates and tools to help them adhere to health protocols, i.e., face masks, hand sanitizer, social distancing. And, remember to thank them for their commitment and dedication during this time.

Bottom line: Always keep your people first, even when you need to make tough decisions. Communicate with employees openly and authentically about challenges and potential changes.

Focus on Business Continuity for the New Now and the Future

Part of ensuring the safety and well-being of your employees is preserving the continuity of your business now and for the future. Your business’s health is your employees’ financial security.

To preserve continuity amid the uncertainties, your leaders must have a thoughtful business plan. It may mean you need to make tough decisions, such as canceling non-essential open requisitions, non-essential projects, and other discretionary costs so that you can secure payroll for your current employees. If you have employees working from home, look for opportunities to drive a culture that actively engages virtual workers and teams with cross-functional collaboration.

Again, remember a key priority is making business decisions that preserve business continuity, in turn providing as much security as possible for your current employees.

Drive Process Improvement and Offer More Learning Opportunities

While you should be empathetic to those who are impacted, it’s also an important time to look for opportunities to develop and invest in your employees and your organization. Think through your business processes and search for areas where you can drive operational excellence. Where you can drive efficiency and effectiveness? A thoughtful evaluation (and appropriate adjustments) will also help you maintain business continuity and set up your employees and business for future success.

I encourage my team to focus, exhale, and innovate.

When the business world at large feels slower, I encourage my team to focus, exhale, and innovate. As an example, we are offering more virtual learning and development opportunities for employees so they can fine-tune their current skillset. We also introduced artificial intelligence in some areas of HR to drive efficiency and help employees increase their self-sufficiency, i.e., an HR voice assistant that answers commonly asked questions, updates personal information and paystubs, and makes benefit changes.

The key for all leaders is to take advantage of this unique opportunity to prepare for greater future success. Take the time to grow and learn, build stronger relationships with colleagues and customers, and find ways to enhance your ability to excel in your personal and professional life.

Free Epicor University Training

One of the ways that Epicor seeks to help is by offering a month of Epicor Learning Center content for new subscribers. We are also providing live training webinars and training on-demand sessions for current subscribers. It’s our hope that your employees can use the training to deepen their knowledge so that when things return to a fast and furious pace, they can apply improved software skills to help drive better business results.

Shake-ups to the status quo are inevitable, but during this unique time, I’m reminded to also look for silver linings. We have a real opportunity to take actions that can provide global benefits and strengthen relationships with co-workers, customers, and the larger community that have a lasting, positive impact.

Just recently, I received an email from one of our marketing managers in China who thanked us for the physical and emotional support we provided to her and her co-workers over the last few months. She also extended an offer to provide support to our U.S. sites in any way her team could help. Her generosity of spirit reminds me that we’re all in this together—now and in the future. So take a deep breath. Remember you’re not alone. And focus on what you can do now to help your employees thrive—and by extension, your business.

About the author

Jignasha Amin Grooms is Epicor’s Chief Human Resources Officer focused on strengthening employee engagement across a globally diverse, people-first culture. She has 20 years of leadership experience in the technology industry working with international employee populations. Jignasha has a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and a JD from the University of Miami School of Law.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.


Whether you are a large or small organization, have low or high turnover, you probably think you understand the cost of hiring someone new into your company. There’s the cost of advertising, interviewing, drug testing, onboarding, training, etc. But what are the hidden costs of hiring the wrong person? What if you find out months or even years down the road you hired the wrong person from the beginning?

The True Cost Of Making The Wrong Hire

Research from Gallup shows 67% of your employees are not engaged at work. What does that mean in practical terms?

  • Organizations with low engagement experience higher turnover.
  • Companies with low engagement scores earn an operating income of 32% lower than companies with more engaged employees.

In contrast, companies with high engagement:

  • Have earnings-per-share levels 2.6 times higher than companies with low engagement
  • Organizations with highly engaged employees experience a 7x-greater 5-year total annual shareholder return than organizations with less-engaged employees.

Think back to when you started your job, you were likely excited and eager to learn. So how do your employees become disengaged? The chart below illustrates a typical process for having engaged or unengaged employees:

 an infographic explaining the true cost of a bad hire

In Quadrant 1 employees are hired and brought into the organization. Regardless of the job, most employees are highly engaged and chomping at the bit to get started. They are not particularly competent at this stage but are learning and their competency and value to the organization grow each day. Employees stay in Quadrant 1 for 3-12 months depending on the complexity of the job.

In Quadrant 2 employees are highly engaged and have learned enough to be fully competent and of high value to the organization. If the job is a good fit for the motivational needs of the employee, they may stay in Quadrant 2 for quite a while and this is obviously where we want all our employees to be and stay if possible. Unfortunately, we know most employees are not fully engaged so many moves to Quadrant 3.

In Quadrant 3 employees become disengaged and over time begin to lose their competence. If they stay in Quadrant 3 long enough, they may move to Quadrant 4. It is possible for the employee to become re-engaged either through strong leadership or through a new project or role opportunities within the company, moving back to Quadrant 2.

If employees move to Quadrant 4, they can become so disengaged they lose competency. If an employee stays in Quadrant 4 for very long, they will either leave on their own or be fired at which point the employer starts the cycle over, hiring a new employee.

What causes loss of employee engagement? Is it:

  1. Lack of effective leadership
  2. No shared vision
  3. Weak or toxic organizational culture
  4. Poor communication
  5. The job does not meet the motivational needs of the employee
  6. All of the above

The answer varies from one organization to the next but most often the answer is some level of “All of the above.”

Turn-over is just the cost of doing business, right? But what is the cost, really? Earlier we shared how engagement impacts performance metrics over time. Based on the employee engagement process model let’s explore the real $ cost of low engagement.

Sample Cost To ABC Widget Company
Total number of employees 100
X Percentage in Quadrant 3 (per Gallup research) 67%
Estimated number of employees in Quadrant 3 67
X Average Monthly Compensation per employee in Quadrant 3 $4,000.00
Estimated Average monthly compensation for Employees in Quadrant 3 $268,000.00
X Cost of lost effectiveness (100-67%) 33%
Estimated Monthly Cost of employees in Quadrant 3 $88,440.00
Estimated Annual cost of lost productivity of employees in Quadrant 3 $1,061,280.00

This is just a model and you may say that number is wrong and unfortunately you would be right. This example only considers the hard cost of each disengaged employee in Quadrant 3. That’s bad enough but these disengaged individuals don’t just sit there quietly.  They play a game called “ain’t it awful”, recruiting others to their side. They do this in the break room, over a beer after work or even at company events. You know it’s true because you’ve seen it and maybe at some point in your career played the game yourself.

How To Avoid The True Cost Of The Wrong Hire

It doesn’t have to be this way. Even under the best circumstances you will have disengaged employees, but you can dramatically reduce their numbers and improve your bottom-line in doing so. Here are a few things you should consider:

  1. Use assessments in your hiring process. Scientifically valid assessments like those Jamesson Solutions offers are the only way to get an objective view of how the person will show up to work behaviorally and if the job fits the motivational needs of the person. You are not doing yourself or the applicant any favors putting them in a job that does not fit them.
  2. Have a clear mission and vision for your company and make sure everyone in the organization knows them, what they mean and what their role is in making the mission and vision happen
  3. Assess your current organizational culture and whether that culture is conducive to enacting your company’s mission and vision. If not, actively work to make the needed changes to your culture.
  4. Most are not born leaders but rather grow to become leaders over time, through learning on the job, through mentorship and through dedicated, focused leadership development. It is as critical to your organization for you have a solid leadership pipeline as it is to have a solid sales pipeline. So, make sure you are developing your people at every level.

About Jamesson Solutions

Specializing in workforce development, talent selection, and personality assessment and evaluation, Jamesson Solutions provides numerous proprietary tools and methodologies to find the right people to fit the right roles, provide visibility and action plans for management, and Business Simulations that allow people to learn through self-discovery and by doing.

Each Jamesson Solutions Associate brings her/his own unique experience in developing individuals and improving organizational effectiveness to each client engagement. Their interest, their passion and their commitment are in supporting you, the client, and your organization in achieving your objectives NOW and in the future.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.

 


Are you getting the most out of your people? It’s complicated. Increasing employee engagement is a critical component of a healthy workplace. If you’re looking for ways to improve this important metric, keep reading to learn how you can get more from your talented workforce.

Employee Engagement Metrics

According to a recent Gallup Poll, only 33% of employees are engaged in their work.  Another survey cites a lack of appreciation as one of the most significant reasons people are disengaged or leave the job.  Well then, the problem is solved; to get your employees engaged and to retain them, you only need to make sure you show them more appreciation. If only it were that simple.

As managers and leaders, we are bombarded with statistics that tell us or imply the reasons ALL employees are more engaged or less engaged, why they leave or stay in a job.

The problem with this approach is it really tries to apply a one-size-fits-all solution. It attempts to answer the problem in simple terms.

The challenge is understandable by anyone who has tried on a shoe that is two sizes too small…it just doesn’t fit. It fits many people but not everyone.

As leaders, we are challenged to find solutions that motivate and engage everyone to the best of our ability and that solution is not a one size fits all possibility as much as we would like it to be.

“The old ways — annual reviews, forced rankings, outdated competencies —
no longer achieve the intended results.”

Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO, Gallup

What Appreciation Means To You Versus Your Employees

The truth is even if the survey that cited lack of appreciation is generally correct, it doesn’t go deep enough. What does appreciation mean to you?  If asked that question, you probably have a very quick answer that is solid and real… but it’s just for you. Personally, appreciation to me means I received a raise or bonus for the good work I did. For someone else, it might be my manager praising me in front of all the staff. While for another, having a manager come into my office and tell me quietly and in person how much they appreciate my contribution would do the trick.

The point is we are all motivated by different things. The leader’s job is to understand how each of us are motivated and work to make sure the job rewards what motivates us.

Understanding Staff On An Individual Level

Over time we can observe if a person is more or less dominant, more or less outgoing, detail-oriented or not; in other words, HOW they go about doing their work. Understanding WHY they do their work or, more accurately, what motivates them is challenging and requires more sleuthing on the part of the leader.

It’s natural for us to project our own “WHY,” and that’s the biggest trap leaders face. We have developed our own assessments that take the guesswork out of those processes and accurately identify an individual’s WHY, making a Leader’s job much easier.

The key is to put your own notions of need aside and really understand your people’s needs may be very different from your own.  It takes a little more time upfront but, in the end, it will save you time in refilling positions and improve your organization’s performance.

About Jamesson Solutions

Specializing in workforce development, talent selection, and personality assessment and evaluation, Jamesson Solutions provides numerous proprietary tools and methodologies to find the right people to fit the right roles, provide visibility and action plans for management, and Business Simulations that allow people to learn through self-discovery and by doing.

Each Jamesson Solutions Associate brings her/his own unique experience in developing individuals and improving organizational effectiveness to each client engagement. Their interest, their passion and their commitment are in supporting you, the client, and your organization in achieving your objectives NOW and in the future.

About Encompass Solutions

Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.