Human Resources, Training, Management & Marketing Articles

Through this High Performance Newsletter, Derek Stockley provides free articles and commentary about management, human resources, training and marketing subjects.

Derek Stockley provides training and performance management consulting services from his base in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Derek conducts training throughout Australia and overseas. Derek Stockley trainers are skilled in a wide variety of soft skill areas.

This is a chronological listing of all articles. The index showing article topics, most popular articles and most recent articles is at: main newsletter article listing.

Articles about specific topics are listed at: Employee Engagement Articles, Customer Service Articles, Business Systems Articles, Communication Articles, Human Resource Management Articles, Management Articles, Marketing Articles, Motivation and Leadership Articles, Personal Development Articles, Time Management Techniques Articles, Training Articles.

Please note: you can also find recent human resource, change, performance and management articles at : HRD and HRM Articles.

All newsletters published in date order (latest articles listed at the top) are:

Be better - focus on the big issues in Australia - this free article explains that now is the time for Australia to focus on the big issues and to stop the negative talk about unimportant things.

Australia is poised to grow - this free article explains that now is the time for Australia to seize the available opportunities.

Productivity gains in Australia are easy - explores the many opportunities to improve productivity quickly and easily.

Intuitive design - ensuring your systems are easy to use - examines the impact of intuitive design on customer satisfaction and excellent service delivery.

Tips for licensing your product or service outlets - an article about the traps companies undertaking outsourcing can experience. Poor customer service can occur if proper arrangements are not made.

The importance of a 'can do' approach in customer service - examines the importance of offering positive outcomes even if the original expectations of customers cannot be met.

Should I or should I not? - this free article explores the age old issue of expediency - should I develop someone else to do a task or should I do it myself?

What is Train the Trainer? - explores the implications of the name "Train the Trainer".

Choosing the right business name - explores the implications of names for and in organisations and businesses.

How to handle customer complaints - explores the implications of not listening correctly to a customer complaining about the level of service received. It also explores our lack of interest in making complaints.

How to avoid the pitfalls of micromanagement - defines micromanagement and outlines the steps involved in stopping micromanagement behaviour.

Do you love what you do? - explores the relationship between work enjoyment and employee engagement. It makes a difference to both individuals and organisations if people feel that they are making a real contribution.

Anticipating customer needs - the difference between ordinary and exceptional service - shows an approach that helps staff achieve exceptional customer service.

Font size, colour and location affect readability - explores the importance of choosing the right font size and colour for printed material and computer screens.

Importance of teamwork - this article explores the continuing discussion about the importance of teamwork, an important concept for successful organisations.

The importance of training - a commitment to development - explores a staff development question facing many managers. Managers have to make decisions about their commitment to staff development.

Top 5 newsletter articles for 2006 - highlights the top five articles published in 2006. The articles were chosen because they relate to the key themes of customer service, engagement and training/learning.

How a positive leadership style can make a big difference - highlights the role of a positive attitude in leadership behaviour.

The elephant time management technique - a useful approach to major project completion and time management.

The three types of happiness - highlights the latest research on the three types of happiness.

Are you or your employees engaged with your organisation? - explores the growing importance of the employee engagement process.

How does your business service quality match up? - explores the lessons learnt from visits to two major supermarkets operating in Australia. In this case, the quality of the shopping trolleys provides an insight into the business approaches taken by the two major competitors.

Are your people saying the right thing to customers? - explores the language used by staff when dealing with customers. Is the language appropriate? Will it offend customers?

Is your change management process running fast enough? - explores the importance of action and momentum in change management processes.

Do customers have a clear path to your business door? - uses a real life customer service example to demonstrate the importance of sightlines in every customer service organisation. Navigation and visibility can be overlooked if you do not pay close attention.

Is there a difference between training and learning? - the key differences between 'training' and 'learning' are discussed and the implications for managers and team leaders are canvassed.

Is your advertising and marketing correctly aimed at your target audience? - uses a recent advertising example to highlight how important the correct targeting and placement of advertising material is. Marketing success depends on visibility with people who are likely to buy your product or service.

What do you do when the customer is right and you are wrong? - highlights customer service. How would you handle a situation when the customer was right and you were wrong?

Are your business systems arrogant? - highlights an example of business arrogance in system design. It raises questions about the design of systems to suit business rather than customer needs.

Setting clear roles and responsibilities for team members - explores the importance of clear roles and responsibilities for team members. Role clarity has a big impact on organisational success. Uncertainty can dramatically affect both individual and organisation performance.

Personal and business renewal is important - highlights the importance of personal and business renewal. A business approach by an interesting organisation is highlighted.

Quick, efficient customer service is important - highlights the importance of fast, courteous and friendly customer service.

Workplace design is important - highlights the importance of good workspace design as part of creating a productive and positive workplace.

The two main requirements for success as a trainer - if you want to be a successful trainer, this article highlights two important requirements.

Predicting service levels - managing information - highlights the importance of predicting service level requirements at the earliest possible stage. The key role of information management is explained.

Frontline staff - critical to customer service success - highlights the importance of having staff who know and understand the business. Frontline staff are critical to determining how your organisation is perceived.

How to handle customer complaints - highlights how good practices can minimise the unhappiness caused by bad customer service practices and processes.

The importance of teamwork - highlights the role of teamwork in achieving improved organisation performance and better morale.

The importance of internal branding to support exceptional customer service is growing - identifies the growing importance of internal branding. The relationship to successful change programs promoting a positive culture and climate for organisations is also explained.

The importance of listening - Are you criticised or praised for your listening skills? This free article about listening identifies the importance of actually listening to what is being said.

Management power - this free article identifies the power held by leaders and managers, often without realising the extent of the influence of that power.

Positive and negative feedback helps employers and employees - if employee performance is important to you, this free article about positive and negative feedback may help

Work enjoyment helps employee retention - if you are facing employee retention issues, this free article by Derek Stockley may help

Designing systems and processes that work - many managers are unaware of the design faults in their systems and processes. If you want to avoid major problems, then this free article by Derek Stockley may well save your customers immense frustration and dramatically improve your bottom line.

Hints for effective meetings - many people complain about ineffective meetings. If you want to lead or participate in effective meetings, then this article provides hints and guidelines for success.

Health and safety meetings and effective human resource management - how health and safety meetings provide a pointer to the effective management of human resources is explained in this free article.

Personal giving - receiving assistance from others graciously - this free article provides insight into the importance of giving and receiving advice or help from others

Personal contribution - making a difference - The personal contribution of individuals varies greatly. If you have ever thought about the difference you make, this article may provide some form of measurement.

Personal endeavour - achievement under difficult circumstances - if things seem difficult, then this free article may provide some inspiration - it is about achievement under difficult circumstances.

Staying focussed - an important time management technique - if you are too busy to concentrate on one task at a time, then this free article about the benefits of staying focussed may help.

The importance of informal learning - if you think the only way learning occurs is through participation in formal courses, then this free article about informal learning may provide useful insights.

Hidden problems with outsourcing - if you think outsourcing will cure all your problems, then this free article about the hidden problems of outsourcing might save you some anguish and unanticipated costs.

Buzzword Bingo - the overuse of jargon in business - if you think there is too much jargon in business, then this free article about playing Buzzword Bingo may bring some humour to the situation.

The importance of questions in business and research - if you are looking for a powerful yet simple business improvement tool, then this article may help.

Calculating ROI (Return On Investment) for training - if you are trying to quantify the economic and other benefits of training, this article may help.

'Going for it' - the benefits of 'having a go' - the Australian culture encourages people to 'have a go'. Derek Stockley discusses a recent experience that highlights the benefits of putting yourself forward.

Writing effective emails - are you getting through? - if you are concerned about the effectiveness of your emails, this free article may help. The key essentials for email success are discussed.

Good employee selection practices makes a difference - discusses the difference good employee selection practices make. Many staff performance issues can be avoided if a little extra care is taken.

Promotional products - a good idea if done properly - discusses the importance of good promotional products and how they can help or hinder the development of a positive company image.

Achieving excellent service design - Derek Stockley discusses the importance of excellent service design.

Overcoming the fear of public speaking - Derek Stockley discusses the fear of public speaking. He provides some techniques to overcome the anxiety that can occur when asked to speak in public.

Exceptional customer service defined - Derek Stockley defines and explains exceptional customer service.

The rise and fall of the best practice method - The ebb and flow of the best practice method is discussed in this article. Introduced as a business management concept that gained prominence in the 1990's, the best practice approach has lost some of its initial shine. Although still featured, best practice methods are not highlighted as often as they used to be.

The link between business success and training - The link between business success and training - if you want to achieve the success attained by successful companies and organisations, doing what they do is a very effective method.

Staff motivation in the industrial relations reform context - The current industrial relations debate in Australia provides some examples related to staff motivation in this free article.

A personal time management lesson - a personal time management lesson is shared in this free article.

Employee engagement and organisational pride - employee engagement and organisational pride are discussed. Employee engagement is also defined.

How does the annual performance review assist in employee development? - the impact of the performance review on employee development. The annual performance review is also defined.

What is effective delegation? - effective delegation is defined and discussed.

Should a public speaker say "thank you"? - the rules and appropriateness of a public speaker saying "thank you" are discussed.

Can the implementation of an e-learning training solution assist an organisation? - the possibility of implementing an e-learning training system, and the associated management and organisational culture implications, are discussed.

The importance of auditing and monitoring your business systems - emphasises the importance of constantly monitoring and auditing every important business system.

The importance of business and personal analysis - provides an examination of the types of personal and business analysis that can be undertaken.

Reaching the right work-life balance - tips for achieving the desired balance between work and family.

Dealing with positive employee performance - the importance of providing feedback to staff as part of an effective employee retention strategy and approach.

Customer satisfaction surveys - online and other questionnaires/surveys - the importance of customer satisfaction surveys and the different ways to implement them. The article links to an online survey about the High Performance email newsletter.

"The customer is always right" - Derek Stockley discusses the phrase: "the customer is always right", a starting point in customer service training.

How important is management influence? - how important the influence of management is, particularly the influence of managers in senior positions.

The customer can be closer than you think - a key point about relationships with customers - they can be closer than you think.

Motivation and financial and non-financial rewards - the link between motivation and remuneration, including financial and non-financial rewards.

Professional development and continuous improvement - the link between professional development and continuous improvement.

The importance of communication in performance management - Derek Stockley outlines the importance of communication in dealing with day to day performance problems and situations.

Achieving exceptional customer service - Derek Stockley explores customer service, particularly the concept often promoted by consultants: exceptional customer service (exceeding expectations).

Personal success - the impact people have on others - Derek Stockley details three conversations that highlight a concept of personal success

Talent management concept - definition and explanation - a definition of talent management and explanation of the growing importance of the concept

Achieving marketing success in the limited time available - comments on the very short time period available to achieve marketing success.

Human capital - definition, concept and importance - explores the human capital concept.

Ensuring change management supports the business - the importance of keeping the business going. Sometimes, organisations stop incremental improvements because a change is in the planning stages. This can be dangerous and is often unnecessary.

Achieving the work-life balance - it is more than good time management - explores the problems associated with balancing work and family commitments.

Recruitment and selection essentials for companies and organisations - explores key points that guide team leaders and managers through the recruitment and selection process.

The importance of striving for continuous improvement and innovation - explores the importance of innovation and continuous improvement. Specific personal examples provide a basis for the development of principles, with customer service in organisations being highlighted.

Achieving high individual and team performance - explores lessons learnt from examples of individual and team performance.

Exploring values and beliefs - underlying operating principles - the importance of values and beliefs is explored.

Website marketing - the importance of websites in the overall marketing mix. - the key role of websites in marketing business and organisations. The growth of website marketing is highlighted and some of the key marketing aspects are explained.

"I’m sorry" - the phrase that slips too easy off customer service staff lips. An article about the overuse of the apology in customer service greetings and a reminder about two customer service essentials.

Training qualifications in Australia are revamped - the new TAA04 Training and Assessment Training Package has major implications for Australian trainers.

The impact of training on others - training evaluation over the long term - as an example of long-term training evaluation, Derek Stockley comments on recent personal experiences about his own trainer development and the impact of training on others.

Telephone systems need to be customer friendly - examples of poor telephone system designs that do not promote customer service, and what should be done instead.

Maximising results from employee surveys - a method that adds real value to data analysis that can dramatically improve performance.

Keeping up - our modern time impatience - the pace of life is becoming faster, some would say too fast. Specific techniques are discussed, particularly email management solutions.

Sourcing information for business and personal use - information is abundant - making sense of it is the real challenge - concrete suggestions are provided.

What's in a name? Choosing a marketing/business name - getting the label right the first time.

The impact of the Google search engine - how the Google search engine has become an important part of our lives, including some interesting ways to use it.

Individual and organisation performance - a quick look at the key issues.

Other resources


Please note: you can also find recent human resource, change, performance and management articles at : HRD and HRM Articles.

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Reader comment

"As a regular reader I certainly appreciate the articles you write and publish. I have found your thoughts on team development and performance management of particular interest. Material about change management has come to the top of my reading pile lately."

"Helen, Unit Manager, Victoria"

"Just a note to let you know that I look forward to your newsletters.

The contents frequently make me think about the way that the company I work for does business and how I might better operate within the company.

Jackie, System Specialist/Trainer, Melbourne