May 19, 2020

Is workplace absenteeism costing your business?

People Management
Dave Thomas
3 min
Is workplace absenteeism costing your business?

For CEOs and others high-level individuals overseeing workplace productivity on a daily basis, there are a number of issues that can crop up.

One matter that many overseeing businesses must deal with is oftentimes one of the most frustrating.

Along with impacting office morale, absenteeism in the workplace ends up costing companies countless dollars over time as work piles up and co-workers have to pick up the slack, oftentimes resulting in overtime hours.

Get on schedule

In an effort to reign in the problem of absenteeism at work, those heading up companies can do a number of things, among which include:

  1. Lay the ground rules – It seems like a no brainier that companies want their employees to show up for work and on time at that. That said some employees will work the schedule they want and not that of their bosses. Face it; most people have been there before where their first few weeks on the job are nothing short of careful preparation and actions. They will oftentimes show up a little early for work and/or stay late if needed. After a period of time, that preparation and detail to attentiveness will dissolve. Let employees know during the interview process and if they are hired that showing up for work on time and not taking short corners is the norm;
  2. Scheduling matters – Some companies will offer employees the flexibility of setting their own daily schedule. They may instead of the “normal” 8 to 5 offer workers the chance at working 6 to 3, 7 to 4 etc. For employees that have that option, take advantage of it. For those who do not, don’t whine about it and/or decide to skip work when you’re not really ill or do not have a family emergency to deal with. CEOs and managers can set the scheduling rules in play by putting in a work schedule generator, allowing employee schedules to easily fall into place. With such software in place, management can effectively put workers in schedules that are most conducive to them doing a good job. You can set up a schedule that permits you to add workers, locales and positions. This process can even allow you to import your employee list through an excel spreadsheet or CSV file. Yes, there will be times when a doctor appointment comes up; there is a family emergency with a child etc. Build a good relationship with each employee from day one in order to build mutual trust between all parties;
  3. Review procedures – Lastly, it is a good idea to review your company’s procedures from time to time as it relates to scheduling, time off from work, conduct in the workplace etc. As too many CEOs and others leading businesses know, daily work responsibilities oftentimes lead to lax rules, with the primary goal just being to get the work done. In the process, what rules were in place can be overlooked. If you are letting employees come and go as they want, take as many breaks as they desire and socialize to no end in the workplace, you’re not doing them any good, while certainly not helping your company.

Overseeing a company’s ups and downs goes with the territory.

While you can’t control every minute of the work day, you can schedule you and your employees to be on top of things in the event something goes wrong.

Dave Thomas writes for a variety of websites on topics such as human resources and running a small business.

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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