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How to Get What You Want at Work By Strategic Negotiation

How to Get What You Want at Work By Strategic Negotiation

There are things at work that employees want to get and things that employees want to achieve at work, but they keep thinking that it is hard. However, there is something that employees can use to get the things that they want, and that is through strategic negotiation.

Negotiating is one of the things that people seriously don’t like. Whether it is a confrontation or mindset that they are people that don’t deserve to win, there are a lot of people who avoid any situations which require negotiation. However, strategic negotiation doesn’t have to be always like that.

Negotiation can be helpful to achieve the things that you want. Here are the things that you can do to utilize strategic negotiation in getting something at work successfully.

Always prepare everything you need for a negotiation and conduct research

When entering a negotiation without a proper plan, strategy and preparation can already conclude your defeat. Always prepare for the battle. Start with yourself. Ensure that you are apparent on the things that you want. Conducting research is important. It can be helpful to understand their needs, as well as their weaknesses and strengths. Ask for your manager or co-employees for some help and opinions.

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Take your time on asking for something and don’t rush

Instant approval for any request at work can tend to be lousy. Some managers do not enjoy negotiating and want to get done with it as soon as possible. It is understandable. However, it is important to take time on asking for something. It’s much better when you don’t rush things.

Build healthy relationship with others before the negotiation

Excellent negotiating results are just an outcome of a healthy relationship with the involved party. It is necessary to cultivate relationship ahead of time. For the same reason, it is important that you constantly look for opportunities that will grow your relationship with the management. There are cases that even before having any discussions, managers determine the outcome already.

Find the bargaining chip, not just someone’s weaknesses but your strengths

Instead of taking advantage of someone’s weaknesses, focus on taking extreme advantage of your strengths. It is essential to establish a firm foundation while negotiating. You can also demonstrate your expertise and knowledge about the things.

However, make sure that the skills that you’ll show will have a substantial impact on the thing or position that you need. It can determine a good result especially if the managers sees that you deserve it.

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You are already establishing your credibility at work. It is challenging playing catch-up while negotiating, so it is better to take the initiative and guide the process in the direction that will favor you.

Don’t focus too much on the results and make the other side uncomfortable

Employees who attain success in getting the things they want doesn’t usually show that they care about the result. However, it is their strategy to make the other side feel that it is okay to reject them, just as long as they tried.

Look for the best time to ask for what you want

Timing is everything, so it is important to pay attention to it. Timing is key in any negotiation. It is important to know what to ask, but you also need to be sensitive when to ask for it. There are times that you can go forward, and there also times that you need to wait.

It is best to look for the best time before pressing for the thing that you want. However, watch out of pushing things too hard, because it may pollute a long-term relationship with you boss.

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Put yourself into others’ shoes and go for a win-win situation

Throughout the negotiation, always try to determine things that are acceptable for the management. It can be a mixture of various things that aren’t necessarily everything that you wanted. It is important that you understand the management or your supervisor’s priorities, like how you also understand your priorities.

So it is better to think of the things that you would do if you were in their position. When constructing a negotiations or requests to your boss, it is okay to attempt in satisfying some of the company’s priorities but make sure that it doesn’t weaken your position.

Always be ready to give up some things in exchange for the things that you want. It is smart if you know your limits, and how far are you willing to go just to get the deal.

Stick to your principles and know your bottom line

As an individual and employee, you will have your set of values and principles that you don’t want to compromise. If you see that the negotiations will break some of those principles, then it can be something that you can throw away.

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Anticipate the end game and end the negotiation with a handshake

You can compare successful negotiation to a chess game. It requires different things like awareness, creativity, timing, and anticipation of your opponent’s next move. When using negotiation to get something from work, it is important to anticipate that your boss might have something up their sleeve to rebut and say no to your request. Your moves must be progressive so that you can expect the same from your boss.

While creating the plot of the strategy, it is important that you anticipate the end game. Also, you need to be ready for the outcome. After getting the job done, and getting what you want, it is appropriate to end the negotiation with a handshake.

Proper planning and an in-dept strategy are the key

As an employee, some requests and promotions seem too hard to attain. Negotiations can be helpful for employees to have an approval on the requests and promotions that they are aiming. With proper planning and an in-depth strategic negotiation, you can easily achieve it. The things listed above are the things that can help you get what you want at work.

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Harry Beckett

Full-time Freelance Writer

How to Get What You Want at Work By Strategic Negotiation

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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