Entries Tagged as business
By: Gretchen Rosswurn
I’m lucky. Having been with a number of Fortune 500 companies, I’ve worked with some incredible leaders. They may not be names you know, but these are a special few who lead and communicate so well they bring people together to achieve amazing things.
From CEOs to supervisors and everything in between, these leaders have a few common communication habits that any of us can take to persuade, inform and encourage teams to be more successful. I’d like to share them with you.
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business · newsletter
Almost everyone has heard the acronyms “ADA” used before. But what do they mean? ADA refers to the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The Act was officially signed into law by President George H.W. Bush and later modified and expanded upon by amendments which were effective in 2009. The ADA is a broad reaching piece of legislation which provides protections to individuals with disabilities in various contexts. It affords disabled individuals with rights similar to what was afforded via the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibited discrimination based upon race, religion, sex and national origin. The definition of “disability,” for the purposes of the ADA, is very complex. For purposes of this Article, it is sufficient to state that a disability includes both physical and mental impairments which substantially limit a major life activity. The protections afforded under the ADA are classified into several subcategories, including:
Employment (Title I);
Public Entities and Public Transportation (Title II);
Public Accommodations (Title III); and
Telecommunications (Title IV).
Although we will briefly summarize each of the subcategories of the ADA in this Article, the focus will be upon the Public Accommodations section as it has the most relevance to contractors and other members of the MIA.
Q: IN THE DEFINITION OF “DISABLED INDIVIDUAL” THE DISABILITY MUST LIMIT A MAJOR LIFE ACTIVITY, WHAT IS MEANT BY A “MAJOR LIFE ACTIVITY?”
A: For purposes of the ADA, examples of “major life activities” are caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working.
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business · law library · newsletter
By now you have undoubtedly read numerous articles and have seen several newscasts regarding the recent Supreme Court decision and its impact on the future of health care in the United States. Since the decision was issued shortly after my article was completed for last month’s newsletter, I have taken some time to reflect upon the decision and its future application before writing this article. I am certain that everyone is aware, however, I want to reiterate that the mandates issued by the decision will not go into effect until 2014. Because a Presidential election is forthcoming, there is a possibility, if the Republicans take control of the White House and Congress, that the Act could be repealed or significantly watered down by the plug-in date in 2014. Nonetheless, I believe that a working knowledge and summary of the Act and what exactly the Supreme Court decision upheld is warranted.
Q: WHAT EXACTLY DID THE SUPREME COURT DECISION DO?
A: It upheld the heart of the Act which will require most Americans to purchase health care insurance by 2014 or pay the federal government a tax penalty. The constitutionality of such a mandate was upheld and the mandate was characterized as a “tax” which may be lawfully imposed by Congress.
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business · law library · management · newsletter
Originally published on www.inc.com.
Self-evaluation doesn't seem to be a human strong suit, as study after study has proven, but are bosses particularly bad at assessing how they're doing at supporting their employees?
That's what a new study by employee-recognition company Achievers suggests. The research is drawn from a poll of 1,826 employees, 232 CEOs, and 645 HR professionals. The poll asked each group the same questions about how employees view their organizations, and compared their answers. Turns out, things can look tremendously different depending on whether you're sitting in the proverbial corner office or out in cubesville.
Take feedback for example. Employees benefit from close coaching and immediate feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their work, and 61 percent of the employees surveyed by Achievers reported preferring immediate feedback over other types such as an annual review (a nearly non-existent 1% of employees told Achievers they prefer to get feedback annually). Are they getting this immediate feedback?
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business · management · newsletter
January 18, 2012 - Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes continued to climb for a fourth consecutive month in January, rising four points to 25 on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today. This is the highest level the index has attained since June of 2007.
“Builder confidence has now risen four months in a row, with the latest uptick being universally represented across every index component and region,” noted Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Reno, Nev. “This good news comes on the heels of several months of gains in single-family housing starts and sales, and is yet another indication of the gradual but steady improvement that is beginning to take hold in an increasing number of housing markets nationwide -- and that has been shown by our Improving Markets Index. Policymakers must now take every precaution to avoid derailing this nascent recovery.”
“Builders are seeing greater interest among potential buyers as employment and consumer confidence slowly improve in a growing number of markets, and this has helped to move the confidence gauge up from near-historic lows in the first half of 2011,” noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “That said, caution remains the word of the day as many builders continue to voice concerns about potential clients being unable to qualify for an affordable mortgage, appraisals coming through below construction cost, and the continuing flow of foreclosed properties hitting the market.”
Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for more than 20 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.
Each of the HMI’s three component indexes registered a fourth consecutive month of improvement in January. The component gauging current sales conditions rose three points to 25, which was its highest point since June of 2007. The component gauging sales expectations in the next six months also rose three points, to 29 -- its highest point since September 2009. And the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers rose three points to 21, its highest point since June of 2007.
The HMI also posted gains in all four regions in January, including a nine-point gain to 23 in the Northeast, a one-point gain to 24 in the Midwest, a two-point gain to 27 in the South and a five-point gain to 21 in the West.
Editor’s Note: The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index is strictly the product of NAHB Economics, and is not seen or influenced by any outside party prior to being released to the public. HMI tables can be found at www.nahb.org/hmi. More information on housing statistics is also available at http://www.housingeconomics.com/.
business · good news · nahb
CLEVELAND, OH., January 12, 2012 - The Marble Institute of America (MIA) recently completed its fourth Performance Analysis Report for U.S. and Canadian natural stone fabricators. The survey was conducted in 2011 and contains an evaluation and interpretation of financial data solicited from fabricators.
The survey was made possible through the generous support and sponsorship of Laser Products Industries and Moraware.
Harry Hollander, Moraware's president, stated, "I'm excited about being a sponsor of the 2011 fabricator performance report. Small differences in how you run your company can make huge differences in profitability - this survey helps you learn best practices."
Dan Louis, president of Laser Products agreed, "When you can confidentially compare your data against your peers, it uncovers opportunities to improve efficiencies."
New for 2011 were analyses of some key production metrics:
- Average square feet of granite and quartz fabricated weekly
- Yearly total production (square feet)
- Templating method identification
- Bridge saw vs. CNC use
- Production tracking methods
Like its predecessors in 2007, 2009 and 2010, the report provides one of the most comprehensive set of benchmarks available on financial performance in the natural stone fabrication industry to date. The report is designed to provide fabrication shops with a tool to evaluate existing financial performance and to identify new ways to create improvement.
The 24-page report is organized in the following sections, each designed to assist managers in specific areas of inquiry:
Executive Summary - An overview of study results including a graphical presentation of key results.
Detailed Results - An in-depth analysis of return on investment, the income statement, the balance sheet, and financial and productivity ratios.
Customer Emphasis - Firms were analyzed by concentration of sales to selected customer groups.
Trends - An examination of changes in performance over time for key results and ratios.
Ratio Calculation - A summary of ratio calculations and supporting commentary.
As in previous years, MIA contracted with Profit Planning Group, the well regarded association profitability and compensation analysis firm. Participants' proprietary financial data was kept strictly confidential.
The survey results and final reports were provided at no additional cost to those firms that participated in the study. The Performance Analysis Report is now available to firms that did not participate in the survey through the MIA bookstore at www.marble-institute.com/store/ (click on the "Business Management & Industry Resources" tab). MIA members' price is $199.00 US (non-members $349.00)
About the Marble Institute of America
For over 65 years the Marble Institute of America (MIA) has been the world's leading information resource and advocate for the natural dimension stone industry. MIA members include marble, granite, limestone, sandstone, and other natural stone producers and quarriers, fabricators, installers, distributors, and contractors around the world.
business · performance survey · press release