The Ministry of Tourism’s Research and Statistics Department collects and processes data from proprietary surveys conducted at various ports of entry (i.e. airports, cruise ship ports, marinas) in addition to gathering secondary statistics from tourism partners. These figures are placed into databases and are used to provide relevant information to internal and external clients.
The Research and Statistics Department also carries out ad hoc surveys which assist the Ministry of Tourism and industry partners to evaluate performance, and provide answers that help plan tactics and/or strategies.
Source: Tourism Today
Over 80% of the businesses in The Bahamas do not have the benefit of on-staff Human Resource Professionals. Literally thousands of Bahamians are operating without a buffer between them and management.
Here are the first three questions and answers to some of the Human Resource issues facing the small business person:
What is the easiest way to fire an employee?
There is never an easy way to terminate an employee. No matter how egregious the infraction, or how much the organization cannot financially support the employee, we must always remember that we are dealing with human beings. The three crucial rules that must be respected when severing ties with an employee are:
- Consult the labour law. Know exactly where both you and the employee stand in light of any challenge to the company’s decision. Sometimes, the employee is unfairly dismissed, and the company is forced to pay.
- Communicate the message with tact and precision. It becomes more painful to the team member when there is delay and wandering around the process. Swift and decisive action after deep contemplation is always best.
- Be as kind and respectful as possible throughout the process. Give the employee as much as you can in terms of severance pay, references, words of advice, an exit interview and anything else that will give them closure.
How do I keep my staff motivated without many opportunities for upward mobility?
Most small businesses don’t share the luxury of having hierarchal structures and managerial roles for star employees to aspire to. The small business owner then must find ways to incentivize the diligent employee, encouraging them to remain even in a line staff position.
Some of the ways we suggest include:
- create a family environment where people feel a part of the organization. People do not leave what they are vested into.
- involve them in decision making. Sometimes people don’t need the title, they just want the opportunity to lead.
- compensate their commensurate with their level of productivity. Give them the performance bonus as your company continues to thrive.
How do you now when social media has become more of a distraction than a blessing for employees?
In this digital age, no progressive company operates without taking advantage of technology including social media. On the same token, many employees seems engrossed in WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets. There are any number of security controls that employers can use to ensure that social media is not abused by any employee. The organization’s policy manual must speak clearly to social media use and ongoing training efforts must be directed towards encouraging compliance. The best way to ensure that employees do not over use social media is to give them meaningful work assignments. When employees have clearly defined deliverables that they are held accountable for producing, they will find less time to be idle.
Goal setting is one of the most important activities you can do in your small business, regardless of how old your business is, where you are located, how profitable it is, or what you sell. Goals help you stay focused and they can prevent your business from becoming stagnant.
In the midst of your planning, here are 5 basic tips for staying ahead of the game.
- Ramp up productivity. This productivity refers not only to the production of goods and services, but also the productivity of your team. You can become more productive by eliminating distractions during the work day, improving the way you use business tools.
- Reduce or eliminate ongoing business expenses. Unnecessary rent payments, releasing unproductive workers, managing energy sources are just a few ways you can mitigate expenses this year. Be prudent with your spending, you might want to honor diligent employees with some of these savings.
- Create a New Customer Service Process. Set a goal that focuses on making your customer service process exceptional, handling customer complaints more effectively, or incorporating customer service into your social media practices. Don’t forget about the power of asking your customers for feedback in order to identify what your business can be doing better.
- Increase Traffic to Your Business Website or Blog. More website traffic often translates into increased sales and customer loyalty, making this a great goal for small businesses. There are many ways to get more eyes on your website or blog. Start by creating a plan to ramp up your content marketing strategy.
Do a Thorough SWOT Analysis. A SWOT analysis is a tool that helps you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business, a new product offering and of the competition. It can be used in any stage of business to help you determine what makes your business unique, identify potential new areas of the market that are untapped, and explore what your competition is doing better than you are. Do a SWOT analysis this year as part of a larger process to improve your decision-making ability.