How to get rid of Stress at work- ( not just manage it)

How to get rid of Stress at work- ( not just manage it)

In 2009 a shocking news was Ranjan Das, CEO & MD of SAP India died suddenly after coming back from his gym routine.
Ranjan was a health freak. He ate right, jogged and worked out daily. He had no bad habits like drinking or smoking. He was very ambitious, and always believed that four hours of sleep were enough for him to be fit and fresh. He was a bundle of energy. He even ran the Chennai marathon a couple of months ago. His demise is such a shock to all who knew him,” said a source who knew him closely. (Times of India October 22nd, 2009).
People as they concentrate on their careers, forget about their health and overall wellbeing.Ranjan Das was according to the above report was a health freak and still died. Possibly lack of sleep and stress killed him. We have no further information on this.
However, the focus of this article is to stress the importance of keeping healthy, which does not mean only losing weight and going for gym regularly. The most important aspect is to keep oneself stress-free.
There are only 4 simple technics that you need to do to keep yourself stress-free. It is amusing to read about stress management courses. Why should you manage stress which is a negative quality? Someone can manage an attribute if it brings positivity. Stress is something you need to get rid of. Not “manage” it!
First is to completely stop yelling, abusing or screaming. Whatever the provocation, keep your composure. Actually if one displays his/ her anger, it is actually construed as a weakness and not a strength. Facing things in a calm manner itself brings down the blood pressure by 10 points!
Second take a brisk walk when stress is building up for about 10 minutes. Walking has the capability to remove the stress immediately. However, one should walk for at least an hour and 10 minutes daily .This regimen helps maintaining the blood sugar levels too.
Third is to practice breathing exercises called pranayama for at least 30 minutes a day.
I will describe the most effective pranayama which can be practiced with ease.

1. Anulomavinuloma ( alternate breathing): If possible sit on the floor, cross your legs into the padmasanapose, else sit comfortably either on the floor or on a chair. Now place one hand with the palms facing the ceiling. Place the thumb of your other hand on one nostril and fold the index finger. Keep the ring finger extended so that it can be used to close the other nostril.
Do not lift your elbow too high, your hand will get fatigued after a while. Leave it loose and by your side. Now inhale deeply through one nostril while keeping the other one closed with your finger. Now, open the other nostril and close the one you breathed in with and exhale. This is one cycle.

To start the next cycle, breathe in through the same nostril that you exhaled out of and repeat the process. Practice this for about three minutes initially gradually increasing the amount of time to 15 to 20 minutes.
You can bring blood pressure and sugar levels under control with regular practice of this pranayama.
2. Kapalbathi. A power breathing technique that is proven to help overcome blues, negativity, stress and depression – in a minute!Almost all mind-body schools have used this single mind detoxification technique in some form or another – with dramatic results. It is better to learn this form a yoga instructor. This is because the technique has to be learn properly and also persons with certain ailments must avoid it.

3. Brahmari Pranayama: This is also called bee breath or making the sound of the buzz of the bee. This pranayama relives anxiety, stress, and anger and reduces blood pressure. You can learn this technique for a Yoga instructor or check this link (http://revitalizemindbodysoul.com/bhramari-breathing-for-stress-anxiety-and-improved-focus/)

There are several other pranayamas but if you do these three for about 40 minutes a day, you could get rid of all the stress.
Fourth is enroll to the Happiness program of Art of Living (http://www.artofliving.org/in-en/artofliving-happiness-program?gclid=Cj0KEQjw5MGxBRDiuZm2icXX2-sBEiQA619bq9XdKXz-imZs5hmnyLIaT9JaVYhIdGeIpe9VZQ0prIUaAvQ58P8HAQ) or any similar programs on meditation and yoga, which will immensely benefit people working in a stressful environment.
Friends it is not worth managing stress, you just need to get rid of it. And it is actually in your finger tips!!!

Why CFOs must avoid being overwhelmed by details

It’s easy for a CFO to get drawn into work that was never intended to be the domain of the finance function or a top company executive.

Take, for example, human resources, which many CFOs oversee. The CFO may be involved in high-level discussions, planning, and oversight for the economics of salaries at the organisation.

Over time, however, the CFO can get pulled into more meetings – and even employee evaluations – because people want the head of finance to understand why raises are being given. But the CFO doesn’t have time to sit in on every evaluation or figure out how much each raise should be.

“You start getting drawn into [meetings], and before you know it, people think it’s something you should be doing,” said Bernie Leone, CPA/CITP, CGMA, an accounting and consulting partner in New York and Morristown, N.J., for accounting firm WithumSmith+Brown. “And you’ve picked up a bad habit.”

Without a doubt, CFOs have seen their duties grow in recent years. A substantial majority (85%) of US CPAs said the role of the CFO and the finance function has expanded moderately or significantly in their organisation, according to a recent American Institute of CPAs survey.

But the expanding duties of the finance function can lead to wading into unnecessary details so deeply that it can undermine the CFO’s effectiveness. That may be why 35% of more than 2,100 US CFOs surveyed by finance and accounting outsourcing provider Robert Half Management Resources said delegating more responsibilities is the most effective method for managing their time at work.

Paul Vanek, CPA, CGMA, managing member of The Vanek Consultancy Group in Houston, said effective delegation begins with confidence in one’s staff. “It’s not just having good people,” he said. “It’s having trust in them, that when you give them something, they’re going to do it.”

At private companies, the drain on CFOs’ time sometimes manifests itself when the owner of a company seeks advice on personal business from the CFO, Leone said.

It may start with helping with investment performance management of the owner’s portfolio. Then the owner decides to buy real estate or get involved in other investments, and the CFO winds up doing due diligence and arranging the deals, Leone said.

The time the CFO has to devote to the company’s actual business slowly shrinks. And the monthly close isn’t going away just because you’re spending three days investigating the value associated with the vacation home the company owners are considering purchasing.

“You still have all the tasks to perform as CFO,” Leone said. “So look at where you’re spending your time to make sure you have the right balance.”

Other time-savers, according to Leone, include:

Track your time. Marking down everything you do over a two-week period can help you evaluate how you manage your time, Leone said. At the end of those two weeks, an analysis of all work performed can help uncover which activities had real value and which activities were less useful and should be reduced in the future.
Understand the reason for meetings. Although meetings are important for sharing information, Leone said, systems or processes can be made more efficient to convey that information. For instance, the length of a meeting to review the details of financial statements can be reduced if the financial statements are provided to the participants ahead of time. Then the meeting could be limited to a short overview and addressing questions.
Stick to the subject matter. Setting an objective and a time frame for a meeting – and sticking to them – can keep meetings from getting out of control, Leone said.

The Best Approach to Brilliant Mentoring

In 2010, when I was doing my Public Speaking project at Toastmasters International on leading to becoming a Competent Communicator, I was stuck in a particular project for a very long time. I sat listening to speeches that were not anywhere near the gold standards set by Toastmasters. However, Toastmasters had a very good system of mentoring, wherein one Senior Communicator was assigned to each budding speaker.

My mentor was TM Abraham Thomas, a very senior Communicator and an excellent speaker. One day he asked me to come to his house, gave me some great tips and I received one-to-one training for 3 to 4 hours over several days. At the end of the week, my speech was polished, presentable and i won the appreciation of all present award, this helped me to progress quickly with my speaking thereafter. It was then, that I understood how important it is to not only take a personal interest in mentoring, but also to receive one-on-one training and coaching. The results from one-on-one coaching are truly amazing.

Mentoring relationships are rewarding, not only to the Mentee but also to the Mentor. There is a lot of learning that both individuals undergo during this process. The mentee will obtain the solutions from his own opinion as he expands his frontiers of perceptions and understanding. For the mentor, the training itself is a journey, which opens up their leadership skills.

In ancient India the imparting of spiritual knowledge happened through the tradition of spiritual relationship and mentoring, where teachings were transmitted from a guru “teacher” to the “disciple”. It was a one on one relationship. The disciple used to live with the Guru for about 10 to 12 years and learn by receiving constant mentoring from his Guru.

The mentor should always define the goal for the mentee, show him the path to achieve it and be continuously responsive to the mentee’s need. Hence the roadmap should be flexible adapting to the needs of the mentee and reflecting on the constraints the mentee is facing.

The best mentor will encourage the mentee to come up with his own ideas and develop on his own rather than imparting the ideas of the mentor.

The mentor should not only share his own experiences and learning, but also share the mistakes and failures he has experienced. By doing this, the mentee is able to realize his own handicaps and the challenges he has to face.

Giving constant and positive feedback is part and parcel of a good mentor’s mentoring. Blatant criticism or negative comments will discourage the mentee from his potential development. By acknowledging the mentee’s achievements or progress, the mentee’s development will not only be faster but also his confidence level will be high, resulting in a positive change.

This approach to brilliant mentoring should be adopted by all companies. It helps shorten the learning curve.

Career Development & Robust Leadership-Key to Employee Retention

A mere 31% of business leaders discuss about career development with their employees. This is the findings in Australia. The scenario will be even worse in UAE and the Gulf, though no official statistics are available. However it is common knowledge, except certain top multinational and very large local companies, training and career development programs are virtually nonexistent in large and medium companies.

What are the pitfalls of this approach?

  • Talent retention will be a challenge.
  • Companies cannot implement leadership succession plans, thereby creating a vacuum in the management structure.
  • Transitions will not be smooth.
  • Employees perceive limited growth opportunities in their organizations leading to high manpower turnover especially in key positions.

A recent study also revealed that the average monthly salary in the UAE is around AED 10,100 and the average length of time of holding a job in the UAE is a mere 4.7 years.

Using these figure this is equated to a $2.7 billion cost to business every year in lost staff (Source: Time out Dubai.com – Zed Ayesh, managing director, Flagship Consultancy).

Survey after survey, only reveal a significant disconnect between employers and employees in this issue.

Therefore it is expected that employee recruitment and retention in the Middle East will be a huge challenge for companies in all sectors, considering the fact that 90 per cent of the workforce in UAE are expats.

The consequences of high manpower turnover are:

  • Recurrence of high costs in gratuity, affecting both the bottom line and cash flow.
  • Recruitment and Visa costs for replacement of staff, including outsourced agency fees.
  • Loss of productivity during the interregnum.
  • Loss of knowledge repository of ex- employees.

By failing to address the basic problem of career development, employers are at the risk of losing their best talent. Currently, trained and experienced employees have tremendous opportunities elsewhere, if they are professionally qualified and are backed with requisite training in their field of their expertise / domain.

Lack of career development or absence of progression in the company leads to lack of motivation; poor job fit being one of the  reasons, resulting in decreased productivity and substandard performance. No wonder it fosters dissatisfaction amongst today’s personnel.

If business leaders are looking to improve retention, employee commitment and their career development, they need to focus on the following:

  • Cultivate leadership.
  • Understand the needs of employees, just like they attempt to understand their customers.
  • Discuss with employees for career development.
  • Put in place robust training and career management programs.

Companies need to develop functional enterprise-wide career models,in order to help address changes in business demand and poor job fit, such as career pathways and career development outputs.Managers should be equipped as mentors in order to have effective career conversations with employees, and help facilitate career plans.

It is very important that the kind of training an employee undergoes. Ill-conceived training does not ensure any improvement in the skill set of an employee. The relevance of a particular training for a particular job fit assumes greater significance.  Substandard training results in substandard work quality.

Training programs with relevant content and excellence allows employees to determine the career growth and the success of the training evolves expertise within the company. Such programs focus on improving the skills sets communication abilities and interpersonal skills which are the cornerstones of effective training models and builds strong teams in the company.

This is where an Institute like Delphi Star Training Center, Dubai, focuses on in- depth training through class room training, on line support and experienced faculty, providing the right training model to the participant.

Eventually, the basis to a strategic career development is to align employers’ value proposition and those of the expectations of their employees.

Corporate Training in Dubai

CMAs role in an Organization as a CFO

The CMAs (Cost Accountants/Certified Management Accountants) play a major role in any organization. The course content for CMA qualification along with practical experience ideally equips a CMA to successfully play the role of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in an Organization.

Fact is that the CFO’s are responsible for too many things in an organization. They must predict the future. They must report on the past. They must analyze the reasons why the actual performance did not meet the expectations. They must deal with bankers, auditors, tax authorities. They must ensure compliance with an ever increasing accounting (and other) regulations. They must seek and manage business process improvements, implement new systems, be the point person on anything remotely finance related. A CFO is responsible for all financial aspect of the organization he is working for. He is responsible for the accuracy and timeliness of his report to his Chief executive Officer (CEO) directly and the Board in general or Executive Committee in particular. Therefore, the CFO needs to look at the big picture when he works for the CEO and reports indirectly to the Board as well as working with officers who report directly to the CEO. such as, Chief Operating Officer (COO).

A CFO sees more of the business than anyone else and understands all of the things that have to be done for the business to succeed.
As the ‘Responsible Officer‘ for a great many factor obligations within the organization, the CFO needs to have compound eyes to see all the aspects of the entity’s operations.

Being on top of all these requires a lot of experience, and a lot of reliance on subordinates to feed a CFO the right information in enabling appropriate decision-making, in addition to a lot of planning, implementing, monitoring, control, review and reporting.
Keeping in view the above mentioned multiple role played by the CFOs, the Cost and management Accountant professionals are perfectly suited for the position of a CFO. It is also pertinent to mention here the phrase used by the Institute of Cost Accountants of India that

“Behind Every Successful Business Decision, There is always a CMA”,

which proves that the CMAs are focused to become a major business decision make as a CFO.

CMA Course in Dubai, CMA Training in Dubai