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PEP® Blog

The RO – Group: What we say is what we do!

05 Juni

With around 150 employees and a wide network of talented subcontractors, the RO-Group is today one of Sweden's fastest growing construction companies with building services, housing, concept construction and retail establishment. The RO Group has been awarded the "A Great Place to Work" award 2017, issued by the Great Place to Work organization, operating in 50 countries, and annually performing more than 10 million employee surveys [1]. The PEP blog was curious about how to achieve these successes so we asked the company's CEO Andreas Jaldevik which will start our next theme " Why our customers focus on education". It is our hope that this will bring ideas to our blog readers and other customers.

Andreas Jaldevik, VD, RO-Gruppen

Andreas Jaldevik explains that the challenge was to build and create a workplace that the company's employees can feel proud to be a part of, so several projects were started with a view to developing the company. We asked ourselves questions like how to handle projects and how to invest in education. The major work started in 2012. It reviewed the corporate culture and the core values that characterize the company. In the core values project, all employees participated in a workshop that discussed these values. It was not just an exercise purely for management, introduced into the organization as an after-thought. Instead all 100 employees participated. The result, among other things, is that the employees, both individually and as a group, can champion the company's values and working methods in a variety of situations. The staff turnover rate mainly consists of inflow rather than outflow, people usually stay for a long time, in a branch with otherwise high turnover rate of staff.
This is obviously something that the company's customers notice and it has resulted in the RO Group winning a second award in 2017, the prestigious "Construction Company of the Year" in the ‘Large Construction Companies’ category [2].

The prize is awarded by “Årets Hantverkare (Craftsman of the Year)”. In 2017, over 4 000 companies were nominated in the various categories and 8 winners were elected based on customers and external stakeholders.
Andreas Jaldevik is convinced that these two awards (‘A Great Place to work’ and ‘Craftsman of the Year’) are connected. He explains, "If we succeed internally, it’s reflected externally." Andreas goes on to say that the core values are one thing, but thereafter it is about doing something concrete and demonstrating that the aim is to train and develop all staff.

“All construction companies send people on courses like contract law and construction technology but we also have PEP and other training initiatives that we think are a bit unique. The effort we made with PEP has become a standard, it’s training that all our employees must undergo. Similarly, together with IHM, we have developed our own rather extensive leadership training. This type of initiative has led us to where we are today with our staff. PEP also contributes to a common approach as to how we work with administration, organisational structure and electronics. PEP fits in [no need for inverted commas] well. Having a good structure and order in administration and planning, creates excellent job satisfaction which can be measured to find out how content employees are in the workplace".

Andreas jovially mentions that he himself attended the PEP course three times and each time he managed to learn something new.

Jokes aside, he says “Prosperity is about having a good life balance and reducing stress, and that is what I think PEP really aims at. Without PEP I would not have survived more than two days. I would not have been able to work as efficiently as I do or fulfill the requirements needed given the size of the company and the attendant responsibilities. PEP also works well in my personal life”.

A construction company doesn’t have to be "gray and boring" just because it's a construction company. We also work a lot with our brand and our marketing.

Andreas Jaldevik concludes, “We are proud of ourselves, The RO-Group [3] - and good financial growth is a direct consequence of this”.


[1] https://www.mynewsdesk.com/se/ro-gruppen-ab/pressreleases/ro-gruppen-foerst-i-sverige-att-certifieras-som-ett-great-place-to-work

[2] https://www.mynewsdesk.com/se/ro-gruppen-ab/pressreleases/ro-gruppen-vinner-priset-aarets-byggfoeretag-2017

[3] http://www.ro-gruppen.se/om-ro-gruppen/

PEP Worldwide Kommentera (2 st)

Our PEP® Consultants' best advice for successful planning!

11 April

As responsible for this blog, I asked three of our most experienced consultants to come up with their most important planning advice to participants in the PEP® program. Together they have more than 60 years’ experience providing our PEP® participants with significantly improved work habits, less stress and better efficiency. The advice presented below concludes the theme of Planning. Please use the advice given to you here - Do It Now!

Take care of the time optimist within you

"One of the main reason for failed planning is the fact that we are time optimists. We want to achieve too much too quick. Have you ever experienced that you booked your calendar with several specific tasks for that day, only to realize that none of them has been done by the end of the day and you still feel like there is no time over? This creates frustration and stress.

To get a clear overview of your working days and weeks we advise you to make an inventory after each day and at the end of each week. No precise measurements, in the form of minutes or hours, are needed. Just an estimate at the end of the day or week will be sufficient.

If you make an inventory during a two weeks’ period you will be surprised to realize where most of your time is consumed. Use the results as a tool for future planning and prioritization. "

Regards
Anne-Marie Hansson Efficiency Consultant PEP®worldwide.

Create an overview

"Make time for your own work, not just meetings and things you do with others.

This gives you a good overview of your work, which helps you focus on the right tasks during the day and creates the prerequisite for being able to set your priorities straight.

With this you can clearly see what tasks you finished and what you spend most of your time on. "

Regards
Ann Antonsson Project Manager and Senior Consultant PEP®worldwide.

Collect information in one place

"We often note things to remember at many different places. Flagged emails in the inbox, calendar appointments, post-it notes and to-do lists! This makes it very difficult to get an overview and forces us to spend a lot of time just to find out what to do next! In addition, we risk choosing the simple task instead of the most important and lose track of our priorities.

The suggested model is instead to gather all your planning in one place! Preferably in your electronic calendar where you can book your meetings, sync to a phone and where it is easy to move an appointment if you need to re-prioritize. This gives an overview of WHAT to do, WHEN to do it and HOW LONG it takes. Make clear notice of what you should do instead of writing "own work". Then it gets easier to PRIORITIZE if something unexpected should turn up!

If you decide to try the above – then remember to transfer everything to the calendar - even things that you only have in your head. Also remember that every day contains a degree of recurring work, like taking care of emails and addressing new and unforeseen events. Make sure your plan includes a certain amount of time for that! You cannot book the calendar full of appointments, you need some space to handle the unpredictable.

If you follow the above, you will sleep better at night, and rest assure that the calendar tells you when to do what. As a bonus effect this will reduce the risk of missing something. You also know that you can relax on your spare time. Does this sounds like it might be worth trying? "

Regards
Paulina Nilsson Project Manager and Senior Consultant PEP®worldwide

PEP Worldwide Kommentera (0 st)

The Ancient Wisdom of Small

03 Mars

This blog post is about the importance of getting started, plan your work and not not be completely stationary! It all starts with one small step. Plan Now! Do it now!

Tough question

Everybody can answer this question: “How do you eat an elephant”? The answer is of course – “one bite at a time”.

So why isn’t everyone a Champion Achiever of New Year’s Resolutions, a Master of Project Completion and a Wizard of Perfect Work/Life Balance? That’s a tougher question.

One explanation is homeostasis. It’s a relatively new word, coined in the mid-1920s by Walter Bradford Cannon, Harvard Medical School physiologist. It literally means ‘similar (homeo) standing still (stasis).’
Dr. Cannon used it to describe the systems the body uses to try to keep equilibrium. They act to keep your temperature, blood pressure, sugar levels, mineral levels, etc., stable and balanced - ‘standing still’. Homeostasis is essential to survival.

Change is hard, deliberately

These days homeostasis is used to apply to software systems, social groups, psychological states and the activities of our daily lives. We know that we fall into patterns - like when and what we eat, even though common sense and medical advice might dictate otherwise. Also how often we exercise, the route we travel to work, how we store our clothes, how we treat certain people and so on. The formation of habits saves us from the excruciating task of critical thinking and analysis.

Ancient wisdom

From the beginnings of time wise people have known how hard it is to change, to disrupt homeostasis. Your chances of making a really big, instant change in anything are slim. Our systems, mental and physical, are set up to work against us and to preserve the status quo. But what wise people have also said, time and again, the way to accomplish a big change or major achievement is - one small step at a time.

Fifty years before the word ‘homeostasis’ appeared famous American author Mark Twain said - ‘Habit is habit and not to be flung out the window by anyone, but coaxed downstairs one step at a time’. Two and a half thousand years before that, the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tse gave us ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step.’

Well, the first small step couldn’t have been smaller for Steven Spielberg. Today he’s an Academy award winning director whose films have grossed the most money in film history. His first small step was simply showing up. He found an unpaid, administrative intern job at Universal Studios when he was just seventeen. After the internship finished, he guessed gate security would recognise him and let him through, so he simply bought a suit and a briefcase and carried on showing up. He watched and spoke to directors making films on set, day after day. The rest is history, and history has many more examples than we can list here.

Expert Advice

India’s only female Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi advised:”Have a bias toward action - let's see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away”. How do you make sure the first step happens? Take the wisdom of international business guru Tom Peters. “The only thing on earth that never lies to you is your calendar. That’s why I’m a fanatic on the topic of time management”. (2014 McKinsey Interview). Put your first small step into the calendar.

When action delivers a result, you’ll see your next small step. A clear idea of all the small steps needed to get the big result gives you your project. But for the achievement of big change, just focus on the next small step, with its date and time for execution clearly written in the calendar.

Good luck in taking the first step!

PEP Worldwide Kommentera (2 st)

Help Your Brain to Help You

27 Januari

New year, new research and new efforts! In this blog post we discusses research done on a specific part of the brain called "RAS" and how it can help you achieve your own goals and reduce stress and overload.

Your name, your car

You probably know about ‘The Cocktail Party Effect’? In a room full of people and loud conversation – you’ll automatically tune in to the sound of your own name amidst all that deafening noise. (In fact, you’ll also tune into your children’s names and the word ‘fire’). Scientists have been studying this effect since 1953.

Similar things happen through the visual cortex too. Have you noticed that when you decide to buy a particular make of car – you suddenly see that exact same model of car everywhere you look?

It’s what neuroscientists call the ‘Reticular Activating System’. It’s located in your mid-brain. The RAS’s primary function is to regulate your sleep and waking cycles and to help you physically co-ordinate. But it also enables you to focus. It miraculously brings to attention what’s important, and it filters out distraction and information extraneous to the survival objective.

Your software

With this amazing piece of kit on board you’d think that we’d have absolutely no trouble achieving every New Year’s resolution we set ourselves, wouldn’t you? We’d all get fit, lose weight, and give up our endless bad habits. We’d manage our e-mails and our work projects on time and achieve a perfect work/life balance. But often, we don’t.

Better and better

There’s one simple thing you can consciously do to increase your success rate.
And you can increase it by a stunning 300%. Yes, 300%!

According to Professor Heidi Grant Halvorson (Columbia University) “Deciding in advance when and where you will take specific actions to reach your goal can double or triple your chances for success”.
Just put it in the calendar!

Lessons from your holiday

Can it be that simple? Well, what happens when you plan your intricate sunshine holiday in a far distant land? Somehow you negotiate your way through complex schedules, other people’s priorities, noisy, confusing airports, foreign roads, unfamiliar terrain and you miraculously arrive precisely where you intended. Your RAS helps sift out all unnecessary stimuli, sounds, announcements, signs, conversations, and the mass of distracting information that assaults your brain - that doesn’t ‘fit’ with your goal.

You’ve given your RAS a very clear image of which country, which city and exactly which residence you want – and exactly WHEN you want it. You have a precise goal and you’ve worked backwards with all the interim steps needed to accomplish it. And you’ve put the steps into your calendar. As have other people who need to co-ordinate to help you reach your goal.

It’s a classic, GOAL (precise), PLAN, ACT scenario. Used well, it helps reduce work stress and overload.

Without knowing the science behind it until recently, we’ve trained and coached managers to put this and other proven advice into useful action over the thirty years we’ve been helping them.

Contact us for more information about Personal Efficiency Program® at: info@pepworldwide.se

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

RAS: http://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007%2F978-0-387-79061-9_2426
Halvorson: http://www.heidigrantphd.com/about

PEP Worldwide Kommentera (1 st)

All I want for Christmas... is less stress!

23 November

Something we often talk about at PEP is the importance of planning to get more done and reduce your negative stress. Since many of our PEP methods are highly applicable in your personal life, we thought we would do a different post where we talk about the importance of proper planning, in order to have a peaceful and stress-free Christmas. We sincerely hope you will enjoy these tips and have a more relaxed and joyful Christmas!

7 Simple Tips to reduce stress during X-mas

1. Be proactive
Create plans with your loved ones now. Write down all your Christmas activities and see if there is anything you can remove from the activity list. Christmas is indeed very much about traditions. But often when we are faced with that well-known Christmas stress, we become speed-blinded and try to fulfil all our own expectations, or the expectations we think others’ have of us (which they may not). Therefore, sit down with your family and discuss how you want to celebrate Christmas. Have a calendar for the entire Christmas season at hand and make an action plan on preparations, activities, trips, and more that will occur over the holiday. By doing this you can immediately see what must be prioritized, and what can be removed from the list. Involve the whole family in this activity, so that you do not end up doing everything yourself.

2. Plan your trips now
If you will be travelling over the holiday, not only should you list these trips, as mentioned in the previous point, but you should start planning what you can of them now. It will significantly reduce your stress when it is time for the actual trip, and probably also save a lot of money for you because prices always go up the closer to Christmas season you get.

3. Start writing your Christmas cards now
If you have a spare moment, purchase or start writing your Christmas cards now. Usually we have a lot more to do in connection to Christmas, and then the writing of Christmas cards goes from being a great time when you think of your loved ones, to an experience of negative stress. Also put a day in your calendar at which point you will mail them.

4. Write down a shopping list as early as you can and take it with you when out and about
By proactively writing down a shopping list in good time for Christmas, for both gifts, food and other things, you can get a lot of the shopping done long before the Christmas rush. Add things to the list continuously as they occur to you, and always have the list available on your mobile phone or printed. Now when in a store, you can always pick up a few things that must be purchased at some point anyway.

5. Write down what you have bought
As a bonus to the preceding point, you should write down everything you do buy, so that you do not purchase things twice or have to be faced with the uncertainty or stress over whether you have actually bought everything you need.

6. Assemble/install/wrap the presents as you buy them
If your gifts need to be assembled or installed, Do it now! This is nothing you or the recipient wants to spend time with on the day before or during Christmas Eve. If the gift in question is to a child, and it takes a long time to prepare it, chances are that the child will get bored, and you will be forced to spend time on the task instead of playing with your child. It is also easy to procrastinate the wrapping of Christmas presents, because the time-consumption seems so small. But to wrap one or two gifts at the time, instead of all the presents at the same time, in the midst of everything else, will save you a lot of stress. (A bonus is of course also that it is easier to hide the gifts from prying eyes).

7. Buy extra gifts
Many people probably already think that the expenditure and time required to buy gifts for Christmas is big enough. But something that can save you a lot of stress, is to buy a few extra gifts for the unforeseen things. Perhaps it is a Christmas game, an unexpected guest, or any other reason. But a clever “extra gift” saves you from having to throw yourself back out into shopping on Christmas Eve. Examples of great such more general gifts could for example be chocolate, wine, gift certificates, experiences, and similar things.

Lastly, as something you probably think about and hear every year, Christmas is not about how many presents that lies underneath the christmas tree but rather about spending time with your loved ones. So make sure that when you now sit down with your planning, do not fill every moment with activity relating to gifts. Be selective and prioritize recovery, rest and to be with those you love the most.

Merry Christmas and winter greetings,
PEPworldwide

PS. The PEP blog is now taking a Christmas vacation and will return with the next blog post on the topic of planning in mid-January.

PEP Worldwide Kommentera (1 st)
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