Emerging Technology

Easier supplier search… Bad attitude damages your business… Performance appraisals can spoil the office… Mental health holds too many back

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Supplier search made easy

Retail shoppers have long had a plethora of online options available to them, but it has taken a while for SMEs looking for wholesale supply options to get their own dedicated online facility. Inc.com reports that US website ProductBlazer has stepped into the niche with its directory of over 27,000, mostly US-based, wholesale suppliers.

ProductBlazer says its site is intended for small retailers who don’t have the time or money to attend trade shows. Visitors to the site can search for suppliers via the site’s single search or browse by category.

For retailers keen to get value for money (and who isn’t?) the site also has a “supplier spotlights” section comparing top suppliers in various categories.

At present it isn’t possible to purchase directly via the ProductBlazer site, but most of the suppliers listed provide a web or email address so contacting them couldn’t be easier.

 

Hey boss, bad attitude

Office workers with negative attitudes could be doing a lot more damage than you think.

A survey from Linkme.com.au shows that 62% of workers say they are most annoyed by a negative attitude from colleagues. This was followed by workers that are fake (52%), manipulative (50%), suck up to the boss (49%) and are a clock watcher (25%).

And when asked who in the workplace has the most negative attitude, 20% nominated the boss! About 34% also say the boss was the most pedantic (34%) and was the biggest stickler for schedules (44%).

Meanwhile middle managers were seen as the most manipulative while juniors were the most enthusiastic.

And colleagues who don’t pull their weight are highly annoying to co-workers, with 88% saying they get very annoyed.

 

How performance appraisals can drive employees away

Performance appraisal is important because everybody needs feedback, but it must be a genuine effort. Poorly-constructed performance appraisal systems can help produce dysfunctional organisations, according to visiting management professor Michele Kacmar of the University of Alabama.

She says performance appraisals that just put ticks in boxes result in bad workplaces, bullying and high turnover, reports The Age. Workers are more motivated more by respect than by money and, when unhappy, often quit their boss, not their job.

Kacmar has devised a scale for assessing organisational dysfunction. She says that performance appraisals need to be conducted more often, with the view towards eliminating abusive bosses.

 

Mental health is a barrier to productivity

Mental health problems are holding back many people from joining the workforce, a Productivity Commission study has found. The study modelled the extent to which workforce participation is influenced by various health problems and different levels of education. Mental health problems were found to be the biggest reason for many Australians failing to find or even look for work.

Only 40% of people with mental health problems participate in the workforce, but this could rise to 66% for women and 62% for men if help was available. Mental Health Council of Australia chief executive David Crosbie told The Australian Financial Review this report should be a wakeup call to governments and employers to get over the stigma of mental health.

 

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