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What is Project Management? Everything you need to know

project management guide

What is project management?

Project management involves overseeing the opening, planning, implementing, and closing stages of tasks done by a team with the intention of successfully completing specific goals in a specific time frame.

The project management process

Project management is centrally focused around achieving goals within a process. As a project manager, one needs to ensure that resources work together in cohesion to achieve the project’s goals, and that all team members involved perform their function flawlessly. The purpose of any project is directly linked to it achieving its goals successfully and efficiently.

Project management in 2020

Today, project management organisations have built upon the process that has been developed over time and has become more streamlined than ever before. The roles that people fill in modern times have become flexible and encompass a great range of tasks.

General project management is a skill required for people to stay on top of their work. To ensure you are making yourself the best you can be, take a short course, earn a project management certificate, gather new skills and stay relevant in a world that is constantly changing.

MasterStart has an array of exciting, time flexible online courses that will keep you up to date in today’s modern world while offering flexibility.

Project management in industry

Project management in construction

At the core of construction project management, there is planning, coordination and the execution of a construction project. The construction industry handles an assortment of various projects including agricultural, residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, heavy civil and environmental.

Project management in finance

The project manager in a financial project is responsible for making plans, leading and taking control of activities within finance-focused tasks, systems changes and technology improvements in the department of finance.

Project management in the insurance industry

As an insurance project manager, one is expected to collaborate with team members effectively to keep an eye over project scope, ultimately reducing scope creep.

Project management in healthcare and social assistance

Healthcare project managers are primarily concerned with lowering cost outputs. However, the biggest benefit of a healthcare project manager is the ability of the institution to be a step ahead of any potential risks.

Project management in science and technology

At the core of the scientific and technology world is the aim to improve life. Project management in these industries allows for greater control and execution of tasks. A project plan is implemented and executed accordingly on time and within the budget constraints, mitigating any potential risks in a project.

Project management in mining

As a mining project manager, one is required to ensure that the relevant project management phases are completed in a timely manner. Ensuring that the right people with the relevant qualifications and experience are on your site is critical as well as seeing that the mining equipment used on site is well maintained and upgraded constantly to achieve the best results in all the project phases.

Project management in retail

The retail market is highly competitive, within local, regional, national and international markets. This leaves the gate open to an assortment of potential challenges, so a project manager needs to be constantly up to date in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) project management industry.

Project management in education

Project management in education aims to promote the quality of learning to make it more interactive and enjoyable. Web based tools allow for real time communication and collaboration, enhancing learning experiences.

What to study if you want to change your career to become a project manager

If you are interested in a career change or if you would like to incorporate project management skills into your C.V, a project management course from MasterStart can help you achieve new heights effortlessly. Download the brochure here.

Technology in project management

The digital world has taken the pressure off emerging businesses for physical project managers. Now, business owners and startups can use project management software to run plans efficiently.

Online project management tools offer the user a variety of unique benefits. This includes the ability to plan projects on demand while keeping everyone in the loop, time management through constant communication and sticking to the company’s culture all while building the business. Useful online tools keep track of what’s ahead; effectively creating a space where project management can exist for non-project managers.

Project management in small to medium sized businesses

Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are important to any economy, offering employment and fresh innovation. Project management is significant in enabling this input smoothly. Unlike larger corporations, SMEs require less administrative procedures of project management than those used by larger, traditional organizations.

Project management in large organisations

Project management is essential in big companies. Industries like construction and mining are the backbone of a country’s infrastructure and bring in a wide variety of investments.

The dedicated project manager in a large organisation will manage the entire company’s workforce effectively, to achieve the best project management life cycle.

Project management steps

Project managers require a very specific set of skills. They need to implement distinct project phases to help them achieve their goals. There are a few project management phases to consider which are essential for successful outcomes:
1. Set clear project expectation
2. Define clear goals in project phases
3. Communicate effectively
4. Plan around project risks

Project management careers

Starting out in project management can be challenging. If you are on the lookout for careers, there are numerous factors to consider. Entry level jobs require some sort of project management certificate to get your foot in the door.
Show potential employees’ dedication to your chosen field by undertaking a project management certificate. This will help you get started within project management coursework that could ultimately lead to a project management internship and then, steady project management jobs

Finding project management jobs

If you are really interested in learning project management, a short hands-on course could be just the boost you need to secure a project management internship. MasterStart in collaboration with the WITS Business School (WBS) have a Project Management online short course that provides participants with real workplace skills that can be implemented on the job almost immediately.

Are project management jobs right for me?

Specific skills are needed to ultimately excel in the workplace. If you are interested in project management jobs, see if your personality fits these ambitious characteristics:
· Detail-oriented
· Communicative
· A concise planner
· Efficient at delegation
· Natural leader

Project management salary summary

The industry is growing rapidly with many opportunities in this occupation, the expected project management salary is also becoming more attractive.
According to payscale, an employee that has undertaken short courses in project management can expect to earn the following according to their occupational level:

The industry is growing rapidly with many opportunities in this occupation, the expected project management salary is also becoming more attractive.

According to payscale, an employee that has undertaken short courses in project management can expect to earn the following according to their occupational level:

Occupational levelAverage annual income
Entry levelR159,950
Project manager professionalR400,000
Top-end manager professionalR767,740


Furthermore, bonus remuneration in the project management industry varies according to your experience and ranges from R4,862 – R101,030.

Project Management certification

The project management online short course offered by MasterStart in partnership with the WITS Business School (WBS) will provide course participants with the confidence and knowledge to create a successful, extensive project plan. The course will guide participants from the inception of project management phases all the way through to final execution of a given project.

MasterStart’s project management online short course aims to bridge the gap between a lack of practical working experience and project management theory. By embarking on this online short course you will obtain a problem solving mindset, where you will learn new and exciting skills from each module.

All skills acquired in this short course will help you build a solid portfolio that can count towards your professional designation as a project management professional.


Grow into a project management role in just a few short weeks, download the Project Management brochure.

The project management process

Costing in the project management process

Cost management in the project management process is estimating, allocating, and controlling the costs of a particular project. It allows a business to predict future expenses in order to reduce the chances of going over the project’s budget. Projected costs are calculated during the planning phase of a project and must be approved before work even begins. As the project plan is executed, expenses are documented and tracked so all costs stay within the budget.

Quoting in the project management process

As a project manager you would need to constantly interact with suppliers. A quotation is a supplier’s response to a customer’s request for goods or services. Once a quotation has been issued the supplier is legally bound to the price of the initial quotation for the time period that it is valid against.

Client management in projects

Client management in the project management process is about improving the project experience, simplifying the processes, exceeding expectations and reducing stress for the client. It focuses on creating powerful client relationships and puts the client first.

Communication in project management

Leadership and communication are key to the project management process. As a project manager, you need to have strong leadership and mentorship abilities, not only to help people accomplish project tasks but also to help them grow and learn practically.

Reviewing the project management process

Reviewing project tasks is also apart of briefing people. The project manager will review tasks and work on deadlines with the team accordingly. In the review process the project management phases start to take shape and the goals start to build towards the end result holistically.

Resourcing in the project management process

In the project management process, resources are required to complete the project life cycle. Project managers need to ensure that the correct resources are used appropriately, so as not to waste, keeping the project plan within the specified budget. Resources are machinery, workers, equipment, facilities and even financial capital. Resources ensure that the project management phases run smoothly and efficiently. Without resources the project would ultimately fail.

Time management

Time management is crucial as a project manager. You will need to organise and plan the time spent on tasks each day. Mastering the art of time management will boost your team’s effectiveness and productivity. The easiest way to achieve effective time management is through strategic planning in all the project management steps.

Efficiency and profitability in the project management process

The project management process is built on efficiency and profitability. These core values allow the project management lifecycle to play out as planned. A project management professional needs to achieve goals efficiently, utilising resources effectively in order to achieve maximum profitability.

A day in the life of a project manager

A project manager has a vast array of responsibilities and daily tasks that he or she must implement on demand daily. The daily project management process encompasses many activities including:
· Planning and Defining Scope
· Activity Planning and Sequencing
· Resource Planning
· Developing Schedules
· Time Estimating
· Cost Estimating
· Developing a Budget
· Documentation
· Creating Charts and Schedules
· Risk Analysis
· Managing Risks and Issues
· Monitoring and Reporting Progress
· Team Leadership
· Strategic Influencing
· Business Partnering
· Working with Vendors
· Scalability, Interoperability and Portability Analysis
· Controlling Quality
· Benefits Realisation

Tips for project managers

Tip 1: Successful project managers learn to observe their surroundings

Soak up your surroundings and analyse your team members, learn their strengths and weaknesses and apply each member to tasks accordingly. Successful project managers listen to what their team has to say and implements their suggestions accordingly. This will show cohesion and willingness for an adaptable project management style.

Tip 2: Work smart and solve problems

Planning is the biggest factor that allows project management professionals to mitigate risk. If you do your fair share of planning before the initial project phases, then you will be able to solve problems much more efficiently and mitigate potential threats.

Tip 3: Utilise tools effectively

Successful project managers stay a step ahead and look to optimise working platforms in any way possible, to make the project run more efficiently. Keep taking notes on what works and what doesn’t and stay on track of the project’s goals.

Tip 4: The customer is king

You need to learn what your customers want and how to give it to them. Successful project managers listen to their customers’ needs and adapt the project management strategy around that.

Tip 5: Successful project managers sharpen their skills

There are a variety of options available for a project management qualification, especially in today’s digital age. You can study a project management degree, opt for a project management online course or even a project management short course certificate. Your qualification or furthering your studies will show your employer that you are committed to a successful project manager’s mindset. Pursue your qualification with passion and you may soon find yourself a member of the Project Management Institute of South Africa (PMISA).

Effective decision making as a business manager

effective decision making

The good the bad and the ugly of effective decision making.

As a business manager, you will be faced with difficult decisions every day. Effective decision making is vital to the business’s objectives. You need to learn good decision-making skills, which can be difficult to implement at the best of times, as you are constantly under pressure at work.

There are many examples of difficult decisions in the workplace, as a business manager you need to overcome challenges and take the personal aspect out of your decision-making process, to do what’s best for the business’s needs.

Take a step back look at all the angles

Effective decision making, especially in a business environment can only be achieved with a clear head. Sometimes you need to back away from the situation at hand and place it in context for yourself. The decision-making process needs to be rationalised from a cool and collected stand point. Take a back seat, breathe and analyse the problem in order to communicate an effective solution, resulting in good decision making.

Don’t just rely on your intuition to make important decisions

As a business manager, you need to look at your world holistically. No one is born with good decision-making skills, this is a unique tool that must be honed and perfected over time. What have you learnt from your mistakes in life? If they have taught you anything you would know that evidence should guide you for effective decision making.

E.B.M or the evidence-based management approach is an essential part of decisions in business management. People tend to lean towards their gut feeling and make impulsive decisions based on what they see at first sight, rather than digging deeper to uncover the real facts. Use scientific evidence and data within the business strategies for an overall effective decision-making process.

Use outsiders perspectives to challenge the status quo

You must trust your own judgement and have the courage of your convictions for effective decision making in the business world. That being said; getting an outsider’s perspective can help you challenge your thoughts and create an objective standpoint to which you can reason with and challenge for a proficient decision-making process.

This will challenge your own status quo and will help you think outside of the box, developing a problem solving mindset that can help you in many areas of an organisation as a top business manager.

Mitigate risk for effective decision making

There are numerous examples of difficult decisions in the workplace, yet as a business manager, one aspect of running an organisation that you can never over-plan for is your business risk. These can always be learnt from some of the greatest entrepreneurs.

You need to establish clear plans and mitigate risk effectively in your decision-making process. This is one of the most difficult parts of effective decision making as you need to play the devil’s advocate all the time. You constantly need to be on the lookout for what can go wrong and you need a contingency plan should the potential threat strike unexpectedly.

Tips from entrepreneurs for big business growth

business tips from entrepreneurs

As a startup company or an entrepreneur you can’t go into business blind. The following business tips from entrepreneurs will give you guidelines on how to run a successful small business. You need passion, an original product, motivation to excel and most of all, a desire to disrupt the current status quo of marketplace.

Business tips for Success

What makes a successful business? The answer will always lie within you. You need to embrace your strong points and excel in these areas. The top tips from entrepreneurs will always tell you to Mitigate weaknesses by filling the gaps with personal who are equipped to handle the stress points of your business.

Tips from entrepreneurs, find a niche and run with it

When asked, Lori Greiner said, “It’s a mix, right? Of smart marketing and ingenious product. For example, Scrub Daddy was a technology. So, taking that one sponge, which was revolutionary, changed the whole sponge arena. We now have, to date, 20 different SKUs, and we have 30,000 new retail locations and 170 million in sales. That’s what takes it from one idea to a global brand.”

These are the keys to business success. Tips from entrepreneurs can help you create the right product at the right time and implement it into the market in such a way that it changes the status quo, creating an outrageous demand for your goods or services.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel

Tips from entrepreneurs stress that time is invaluable and if you focus on creating new management systems and computer software for a successful business model then you are wasting time. There are plenty of online business tools that you can make use of to run your business efficiently. This will save you time and money in the long run and will be a key factor in how to run a successful small business.

Keep your business at the cutting edge of marketing

According to Bethenny Frankel’s tips for entrepreneurs, she stresses the keys to business success lies in your marketing approach. The new-age world has changed the face of marketing, we now rely on Social Media to promote our goods or services. Social media is a key aspect to reach a global audience instantly. These business tips for success will empower your personal growth and allow your product or service to flourish in a new dynamic marketing space.

Reach out to people with a community approach

If you want to follow in the footsteps of greatness you need to take in top tips from entrepreneurs. Building a brand requires effort and long hours of research and development. Be different and acquire an audience to build a community around your product.  

Daymond John stressed the value of building a community. “You’ve got to build a community,” stated John. “Nobody needs to buy anything new in this world. They only buy it because there’s some form of community and/or need that you are supplying for them.”

John knows what makes a successful business, he was one of the first pioneers to create and build a successful clothing empire. John managed to do this by investing in celebrity endorsements, these keys to business success afforded the product with instant recognition, which essentially sold the company’s products effortlessly. John used influencer marketing and it paid off in dividends.

Follow your heart and your passion

If you follow these tips from entrepreneurs, you could soon find yourself in the driver’s seat of a multi-million dollar corporation. Follow these tips from entrepreneurs to create a winning business recipe that is successful. Remember to bring in your own unique methodology as the world is constantly looking for something different, give that to them and they will love you for it. Keep checking back on our blog page for more business related tips and advice.

Intuitive people do things differently, find out what

intuitive people

The Dictionary defines intuition as: the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning./A thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning. Intuitive people understand this process more naturally than those people with less intuition. 

It was Steve Jobs that said:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

People tend to believe we are born and whatever we become has been a planned series of events leading up to a grand life, well lived. The scientific community argue this point down and stress that you are in control of the major decisions in your life. There is a slight problem with this conception though, the scientific community can’t quite say why certain people are blessed with a better ‘gut feeling’, otherwise known as intuition over others who don’t possess as much of the skill.

Life is like a paint by numbers kit, paint it

We tend to foster our own path in life like a paint by numbers kit. We pick the colours from our choices and live with the creation of our consequences. Humans love living in the moment and when we reflect, we get a grander sense of what this life is all for. We start challenging convention and start to ponder the differences between intuition vs intellect and all the primitive brain can do is greet you with a maze of unanswered questions.

Research suggests that certain people are instinctively more intuitive than others. Whether it be in a game of chance or buying a car, your intuition plays a role in the final outcome. If you have ever been in a state of mindfulness, pondering about this very topic, then you may be surprised to learn that there are certain things that deeply intuitive people do differently to your average Joe’s. Keep reading to see what highly intuitive people are doing to hone their lives and live within an analytical mind, creating a natural system of checks and balances that advances their critical thinking skills daily.

Intuitive people listen out for their inner voice

Before you can even conceive the notion of intuition you need to be able to recognise it. Intuition is not as clear as body language or tone of voice. It’s a deep seeded awareness that makes your gut feeling sway towards positive or negative associations. This takes some time, especially in today’s fast paced life where we rush to do absolutely everything. You need to stop, steer and observe in order to hear your inner voice. Let it shine through and guide you towards your desired goals.

You’ve heard it, now follow it

Don’t think you have what it takes? One of the most common reasons why some people are more intuitive than others is because they actually listen to themselves instead of being driven by ideology. This is not to say that one should completely ignore the analytical mind, or critical thinking skills. Rather embrace intuition and incorporate it into your lifestyle. Listen out for your inner voice and then follow it rationally with instinct and confidence.

Practice empathic accuracy for better intuition

You might just roll over into your grave if we told you that deeply intuitive people can read your mind. Even though this is not the case, intuition is like a reading that can be deduced from certain cues that people give off without even knowing it. Empathic accuracy is the fancy scientific way of saying that you can ascertain certain knowledge from people simply by analysing their body language or tone of voice. Intuitive people are gathering data all the time listening, observing and reading people for a holistic overview on how to approach a situation dynamically.

Practice mindfulness to be more intuitive

Mindfulness is not some gimmicky new age paradigm shift that allows you to become a more spiritually connected person. It’s easy to be mindful. You simply need to cut out all the distractions in your life and take some time for yourself. Go for a walk, sit on the beach with your thoughts, take a power nap. Contemplate life, don’t let life contemplate you. Go after what you want with a clear head and an honest heart and you will have reached a state of mindfulness honing your intuition skills.

Nurturing your creativity can lead to better intuition

As mentioned earlier in this post; life is like a paint by numbers kit. No one is trying to reinvent the wheel and turn art into science here, yet it is the reality. Life is an art and the science in the art plays an integral part in how you build your demeanour. You can’t just spot a colour and hope for the best outcome. Your intuition and foresight play a role in what the final image will look like. The same applies to your intuitive skills. You need to practice and nurture your own inherent creativity to paint your life’s masterpiece and guide your future decisions.

Create your own destiny with intuition

Intuition may not be present in your life currently, however, with these insightful tips on what deeply intuitive people do better than most average Joe’s, you too can live a life where you make better decisions daily. Keep checking back on our blog page for more mindful superpowers that can help you reach ultimate success in life.

Actually, you do have time for family and business

work-life balance

Ever heard the saying that there just aren’t enough hours in the day? Work sucks away all your energy and you’re left deadbeat on the couch after work for an hour, before nodding off and repeating the same day over and over again. You need to seize the day. Some people have all the time in the world but not enough money, while others seem to live the high life with more money than they know what to do with because they don’t even have the time to spend it.

Spending quality time with your family is first prize, but how do you accomplish that?

You can live a balanced life. You can make time for both business and family, getting in that quality time that makes your family unit stronger and more loving. These things don’t just happen overnight though, you need to nurture your relationships, in business and at home. This, however, requires your ultimate dedication and very specific goals.

Make the time to seize the day

It’s true, time waits for no man. In this life you have to take what you want. Stop hitting the “Snooze” button and start jumping at the opportunity to seize the day. You need to make the time for what you want in this life, no one will do it for you.

We all wish we could work from home and have those essential hours of the day to do what we want with. While some have that privilege, many of us are stuck in the same daily grind at work. Perhaps studying an online course at your own pace and on your own time can help you accomplish that goal if that’s what you are aspiring for. MasterStart has an array of exciting online short courses that can help boost your career.

Make the effort to make the time and it will happen in your life. For some people it’s waking up or going to bed an hour earlier and for others it’s getting into a routine of less sleep and more action. Whatever it takes, you must make the time to spend quality time with your family every day.

Define your life

Work a calendar plan into your daily routine and stick to it. Visual representations are very powerful tools that help you see what you are accomplishing in real time. You need to put a calendar up and draft your months plan.

Put small things on your calendar to remind you that you need to do something to seize the day. Write it down and finish the task or complete a goal. It can be something as simple as phoning your mother and having a catch up chat. This process is rewarding and allows you to overcome daily challenges, giving you more positive energy to seize the day at hand.

Not only will a calendar give you structure and a sense of fulfillment but it will also help you get into a routine where your daily tasks seem to run on autopilot. It will eventually become a lifestyle giving you more time in the day to spend quality time with your family and run your business affairs, for that work life balance you’ve been searching for.

The to do list saves lives

A to do list is also a powerful tool that can help you check off daily tasks to ensure that you keep on track with your work. Make use of a to do list app online and you will find that your day has a more structured approach. Useful tools like to do list apps can also increase your overall productivity. A brilliant to do list app like Wunderlist can increase your operational management and keep you engaged with your daily tasks.

Don’t overthink things, keep it simple

Combine these effective techniques to schedule your daily routine. Make time for the family and the business side of your life. Stick to a solid schedule and keep your life simple. It’s not easy to manage your time effectively, but by putting little steps in place you can keep your life organised and on par with your long-term expectations.

Keep checking back on our blog page for more inspiration on how to take control of your life, seizing the day and dominating at work, while still finding the opportunity for quality time at home with your family.  

Bad habits you must break now to be more productive

breaking bad habits

They creep up on you slowly like a silent little whisper in the back of your mind, intertwining with your thoughts and, ultimately, dragging you down. Bad habits are soul destroying, oozing out your thoughts and clouding your judgement with self loathing and guilt. This slows you down, decreases your creativity, which in turn will eventually affect your overall productivity at work and in your personal life.

Break bad habits now and start living a successful life. Strive for career growth. Own your destiny and grab life by the horns, taking that promotion you desire or empowering your life through that all too contemplated career change. Follow us as we explore some of the worst bad habits that could be holding you back in life.

  • Wasting time on the Internet

You may be surprised to learn that engaging in a proper work flow can take up to fifteen minutes to achieve. If you allow yourself to be distracted by the endless amount of content on the internet you may spend an entire day at work completely out of sync with the important tasks at hand. The same goes for your personal life.

If you constantly waste time on the internet you may never achieve the things you want to do around the house or in your personal life. Keep yourself engaged and set time aside for meaningless content surfing for a slight distraction, but don’t let distractions rule your day.

  • Perfectionism and general bad habits

You have to start somewhere. This saying applies to everything in life. If you scrutinize every piece of work then you simply won’t get any work done. A lot of people focus on perfecting their idea or plan so much so, that they only ever end up plotting their plan. You need to take action and resolve glitches in the work later. Cross bridges as you come to them and avoid being a complete perfectionist from the word go to start making progress in your life and avoid bad habits.

  • Hitting the “Snooze” button

This is a tough one as we are all guilty of it. Our brains lie to us and tell us that a small amount of time delayed won’t make the world of difference. In reality by allowing your brain to shift back into sleep mode you only make yourself more tired and groggy than you started your day off with. If you want to be more productive jump up at your alarm and embrace the initial endorphins your brain triggers when it first wakes.

  • Taking on more tasks than you can handle

Tackle one task at a time. Research shows that your brain stops functioning optimally when it is bombarded with too many thought processes. By completing a single task at a time you are more focused and your productivity curve remains around the same loop.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can achieve more by taking on more. Stick to one task at a time and you will deliver quality work consistently rather than producing mediocre work quickly.

  • Delaying tough tasks

We are naturally programmed to deal with tasks that are easy, first and foremost. That is human nature. In life, you need to challenge yourself and stimulate your brain, otherwise your brain pattern becomes comfortable and this in turn will make you lazy.

People love to work through the easy stuff at work first and leave the more complicated tasks for later on in the day. Rather begin your day with a more complex problem and devote all your brain power to difficult tasks. You may even find that the easy tasks have just become a walk in the park and not even seem like tasks at all anymore.

The above bad habits can destroy your progress at work and your personal goals. Cultivate new habits that help you break old traditions and move forward in life. For new and exciting insights into empowering yourself check back on our blog page.

5 ways to improve business efficiency

improve business effeciency

The lifeblood of any efficient company depends on the way the business is run, not just from a top level management perspective, but filtering through, all the way down to the baseline employees. The following suggestions to improve company operations will provide you with top tips to improve business efficiency in the workplace.

Your business deserves to run at 100% all day. It is up to upper level management to ensure it does so. If you are in quest of methods on how to improve business performance, you’re in luck, follow us as we tackle the best work efficiency tips.

1. Automate tasks to save time and improve business efficiency

There are numerous tedious tasks that can be fully automated, in any organisation. Something as simple as sending a receipt can be automated. The automation process adds to an overall efficient company in the long run, by providing employees with more time for critical thinking, therefore increasing productivity.

2. Encourage employees to chat face-to-face, rather than over communication tools

Challenge and disrupt the status quo. Nearly all large organisations rely too heavily on technology to stay up to date with their peers in the workplace. A face-to-face, hands on approach goes a long way to improving efficiency in the workplace.

Encouraging a face-to-face approach allows for employees to communicate more regularly, ultimately leading to better trust and therefore better communication. This hands on approach also allows for no mixed signals or crossed wires, adding to an efficient company policy.

3. Hold a daily 10 minute meeting

Daily meetings are a necessity and vital to efficient company dynamics, however, they can also drag on and on, leaving staff with less time in their day. Daily company meetings can be extremely useful, however, learn to keep them short, concise and effective.

Encourage efficient business practices for an overall efficient company, so that employees are constantly aware of what they need to do, and how exactly to do it. By holding daily meetings of around ten minutes long you can get everyone up to speed and going quickly. This process goes a long way to improving efficiency in the workplace.

4. Use task management software to keep track of productivity

Task management tools are helpful resources that help your organisation’s employees stay on top of critical projects and their objectives. Even though you may feel an email is sufficient, it is not always the best way to encourage staff to keep following the flow of a project. Task management software like Asana helps by improving efficiency in the workplace via its useful and friendly user interface, which allows everyone to collaborate on tasks in a single location.

5. Promote a company culture that allows for open communication

These work efficiency tips may seem repetitive, but learning how to improve business efficiency at work is interlinked to constant and stable communication within your organisation. You need to be promoting and endorsing a culture that not only allows for open communication amongst peers, but also amongst top level management.

It’s simple; everyone wants to be valued. A valued employee will be far more effective and play an invaluable role in your efficient company. Open the lines of communication and propel your company’s mission forward constantly. Do some team building, involve your employees in your company’s vision constantly. If you ready to take your career to the next level, download our Business Management course brochure.

South Africans are concerned about their working futures

south africans are concerned about job security and employability

The economic and political situation in South Africa has all of her citizens concerned about their job security, especially in the years to come. A research report conducted by MasterStart reveals that a mere 23.8% of working South Africans believe that their current skills will keep them employed in ten years time. One undeniable fact about all South Africans is that we are resourceful, intuitive and most of all survivors. It’s exciting to see that our people are taking initiative, and finding new ways for staying relevant in a world where change occurs almost daily.

Adapt with technology

Technological advancements including artificial intelligence and robotic process automation have the majority of South Africans looking for a way to future-proof their careers. In a survey of over one-thousand people, the MasterStart workforce barometer uncovered a very real statistic. That was 95% of people agreed lifelong learning is the key to retaining relevancy in their chosen field.

A word from the CEO

Andrew Johnston, Former CEO of MasterStart says, “Our workforce is clearly concerned, but positively, our research revealed that people are aware that frequent upskilling and reskilling will aid them in remaining relevant and employable. Especially in a country where unemployment is an ongoing issue, it’s imperative that we empower people to future-proof their careers by making lifelong learning opportunities continuously accessible.”

The Raw Reality

Did you know that it is estimated that artificial intelligence could boost global Gross Domestic Profit by as much as $15-trillion by the year 2030? That’s a whopping injection into the world economy. Aim to be a part of this dynamic movement, with technology that helps make our lives and jobs easier, it is still imperative that we keep ahead of the curve, in order to stay relevant.

Today is the biggest challenge

It’s really tough out there; 80% of people surveyed believe that it is far more difficult to find employment, as opposed to ten years ago.

Factors to consider today

In today’s day and age, there are numerous aspects to consider in the South African workforce. If we zoom into it; macro and micro factors seem to be at the core of the current employment situation in South Africa.

The most talked about and obvious being the political and economic climate of the country. Increased competition, where even online businesses are starting to become over saturated making it difficult to stand out. Fewer employment opportunities and rapid change have also been noted as a hindrance to growth and development within the job market.

IT and technology jobs are seen as the most secure

It’s actually quite ironic that IT and technology-related jobs are viewed as the most secure amongst South Africans since these very industries are responsible for decreasing the demand for human engagement in the workplace. Our survey noted that 30% of IT and tech employees felt supremely confident in their skills and relevance moving forward into the future, or at the very least for the next ten years.

Don’t let age hinder your career prospects

Many of the survey participants claimed that their age and lack of skills were their biggest barriers to gaining meaningful employment, especially for people over the age of fifty. It is interesting to note that people from twenty-four up to the age of thirty-four listed a lack of skills as the most prohibiting factor in securing employment.

Recognise, Retain and Nurture Talent

Large companies need to take the lead. Corporations can help by becoming apart of the solution. By investing in their staffs’ education, they are able to upskill their employees to help them stay relevant in a world that is constantly changing and adapting to technological needs. The reality is not all managers are equipped to deal with people on a human level.

If you recognise this, it could be beneficial for your business to upskill managers on people skills. A short course in human resource management from MasterStart may just be the answer you have been looking for. Likewise, there are various courses on offer for any employee wishing to stay relevant in the modern age. The key to staying relevant and a cut above the rest is lifelong learning. This short-course will help you stay at the top of your chosen field, now, and far into the future.

 

It’s Not All Doom and Gloom

Even with the glum statistics and the current recession South Africa has slipped into, rest assured there is still hope on the horizon. Its uplifting to see that 80% of survey respondents were planning to study further in the future. Studying further allows you to not only enrich yourself but enrich your company. The majority of companies love employees who take the initiative to study further and enhance their skill set.

Look to study online

Studying online courses can help you receive that promotion that you have been yearning for, followed by a hefty salary increase. You owe it to yourself to stay relevant, which will ultimately result in a more diverse set of skills making you less irreplaceable, higher motivation levels and improved communication skills, which allow you to form long and lasting relationships with your company.

Johnston concludes, “Given the competitiveness of the market – which will only increase with the rise of automation – having a sought-after skillset is the best way to guarantee ongoing job retention.  This means using online learning tools to get to grips with AI and RPA in order to build on efficiency and one’s overall value-add in a business.”

Read the top 10 key findings from the survey here: MasterStart Workforce Barometer Report 2018.

 

HRM roles and how they are changing

how human resource roles are changing

If we’re honest, the Human Resources department has always had a slight ‘stigma’ amongst employees. They’re often seen as the ‘police department’ of an organisation; associated with hiring, firing, issuing warnings and handling grievances. Employees believe HR is watching their inputs; ready to strike with a performance appraisal that’s less than favourable. Thankfully, the HR department pay the salaries!

However, this stigma is about to be obliterated. The role of HR in organisations is being revolutionised rather rapidly, and the changes are sure to surprise you. Let’s take a look at the transformations we can expect within the HR department:

From hiring and firing to empowering, engaging and supporting

HR will no longer be seen as the department responsible for hiring and firing. The future of HR sees the department playing a key role in employee and organisational growth; consolidating the two elements to ensure employees are heard, valued and supported throughout their journey with the organisation. Modern-day HR responsibilities will largely focus on strategy and development to create an inspiring, uplifting employee experience.

From the ‘police’ of the organisation to the mentors and coaches

The HR department has long since been viewed as the department that enforces rules and leans towards the side of the organisation, rather than the workforce. This mindset has shifted, with the HR department now being the place to go for career advice, guidance and feedback. The modern-day HR department has the organisation, as well as the employees’ best interests at heart; and is now seen by employees as the place to go to to voice concerns and seek assistance, instead of being the place to shy away from, and feel intimidated by.

From eluding technology to relying on technology

The use of advanced technology was not always a driving factor in the HR department, however, as technology has evolved, as well as the nature of the department; there is a need for advanced technologies to streamline processes and foster growth. The use of new tools like big data and analytics, is giving the department a better understanding of employee behaviour; further assisting in employee motivation strategies and employee experience.

From having little impact on strategy to having an immense impact on strategy

For many decades the HR department was excluded from most organisational strategy exercises and decision-making efforts. Previously, the department was directed by top management and was told what to do, with little say on most company matters. Nowadays, the department is fully involved and has a significant impact on organisational strategy. They are seen as the voice of the company – speaking on behalf of the workforce; ensuring employees are considered during each stage of the decision-making process.

From meeting the basic needs of employees to creating an employee experience

HR no longer just meets the basic needs of employees; such as issuing employee contracts, paying salaries, or drawing up performance appraisals. The focus of the department has shifted from an admin mindset to a growth and experiential mindset. The department is now also responsible for creating an inspiring employee experience, and office culture in order to retain good staff and improve productivity and performance.

From focusing on employee inputs to focusing on employee outputs

Instead of honing in on employee inputs and what needs to be done, the modern-day HR department is now shifting their focus to employee outputs. This means employees are given more control over what they do and how they perform tasks, and only their outputs are analysed. This encourages motivation and seeks to improve performance in a less controlling manner.

From annual performance appraisals, to real-time feedback

Another way HR is improving employee experience is through real-time feedback. This has/is taking the place of performance appraisals, which are drawn up and analysed at a specific time during the year. It’s a much more ‘approachable’ method, and reduces the stress and anxiety associated with performance appraisals – many employees believe this exercise to be intimidating; which of course does more harm than good when it comes to motivation and company culture. Real-time feedback gives employees the chance to correct their shortfalls in the moment, rather than have them brought up later down the line. This method improves communication and relieves the feeling of being ‘watched’ or analysed.

From filling gaps in jobs to nurturing talent and enhancing careers

HR no longer looks for ‘placeholders’ for vacant roles. Now, as much as they seek to find the perfect person to perform the role, they also concern themselves with the way in which the role will serve the individual’s career development. Through nurturing talent, building skills and unlocking the potential within employees, they further create an environment of growth, built on upliftment and empowerment.

Become part of the revolution! Sign up for our Human Resource Management online short course

4 unlikely skills that can drive your team to victory

winning skills

We can go on and on about the many technical and conceptual skills every great manager needs. Skills such as: communication, organisation, analytical and logical skills, basic financial skills … the list goes on. However, there are a few unlikely skills every manager should develop to drive their team to victory – skills you may not have associated with the role of a manager, yet almost guarantee a winning outcome every time.

These skills may not directly impact the outcome of a task but they certainly impact the team and the vision positively, influencing performance and productivity.

HR skills

Though most management roles don’t require HR skills, it’s a skill that presents many advantages. A team is made up of diverse individuals of varying age and ability, and finding a way to effectively manage and motivate each individual in a way that speaks to them is invaluable to performance. Another advantage that comes with acquiring HR-related skills is the ability to successfully recruit, select, retain and nurture talent within a team. This again impacts productivity and performance, and will almost always guarantee victory. People are the most important asset, and a manager who acknowledges this and strategizes accordingly will always see great results.

Sales Skills

Managers should always have a vision, and this vision should always be communicated effectively with team members to ensure they’re aware of what’s expected of them; what the objectives are, and ultimately where they’re headed. However, to get team members on board with your vision and get them excited and motivated to inject their best efforts, managers need sales skills. This is because the manager needs to sell the vision to their team – they need to make the vision sound enthralling and compelling, enough for the team to feel exhilarated to perform.

Creative skills

Most of a manager’s role involves strategy development: finding more effective and efficient ways of doing things; better ways to motivate people and improve team performance, and they’re often required to develop strategic visions. This requires a level of creativity, in order to formulate smart strategies that propel the team forward. Without creativity, the manager would find it challenging to come up with inspiring ideas; and without inspiring ideas, the team is sure to become static.

Strong self-management skills

This may seem like a rather strange skill. You’re probably thinking ‘of course managers would already know how to manage themselves’ – especially if they know how to manage other people. Surprisingly, however, many managers lack self-management skills. Many are unable to manage their stress or even their own workload effectively; sending a ripple effect through their teams. Some find it difficult to manage their emotions – often acting out of impulse or making decisions based on their own feelings, rather than what’s best for the team. Strong self-management skills give managers the upper hand, as they are able to separate their strains from their responsibilities as a manager; which positively affects those around them, as well as overall results.

Become a well-rounded manager who not only displays technical and conceptual ability but who is skillful in ‘unlikely’ areas that are guaranteed to take your team to the next level!