The Present and Future of Radiotherapy

The radiotherapy market is growing due to several factors, such as an increase in the number of new cancer cases and technological advancement in the hardware and software used in radiotherapy. The current international markets are underequipped to address new cases of cancer. In low- and middle-income countries, only 10% of the population has access to radiotherapy. Therefore, there exists a wide gap between the demand and the installed base of equipment, which offers a huge opportunity for the companies to grow in the radiotherapy market. Expansion of the radiotherapy market can be both lifesaving and profitable.Effective planning for the treatmentIt is necessary, and continuous technological developments are taking place to minimize the exposure to radiation of healthy tissue, in order to avoid any side effect. This goal is a driving force of R&D for radiotherapy. Software plays an increasingly significant role in cancer care. Population growth and increased life expectancy are adding to the incidences of cancer. The software & services segment includes software, which is used for treatment planning, analysis, and services, which are needed for the maintenance and efficient use of radiotherapy devices. The software & services segment of the companies are expected to grow, as software products help improve physician engagement and clinical knowledge-sharing, patient care management, and the management of cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers, and oncology practices for better performance. Companies like Varian are continuously increasing their software portfolio. Software plays an increasingly significant role in cancer care. At the same time, healthcare systems are subject to harsh budgetary constraints in nearly every country. As a result, healthcare providers face the challenge of achieving more while using fewer resources. To achieve this goal, hospitals have a strong need for software platforms that make radiotherapy treatment cost-effective. The development of effective software will improve the delivery of advanced radiotherapy in the future.


Introduction of new technology
Technology is another salient feature. Radiation therapy remains a significant modality for cancer treatment, which is the primary driving factor for the designing of new techniques to improve the survival rate of cancer patients. New technologies, like proton beam therapy, are available in developed countries like the United States, Germany, and United Kingdom, due to well-established reimbursement policies. Proton therapy can be used on tissues that are highly sensitive, like brain, spine, and eye tumors. It is more accurate, as compared to other X-ray radiation therapies.Advancement in the technology is also helping to execute the planning of the radiation therapy.Technological advancement in existing technologies, such as CT imaging, is making imaging more accurate and consistent. This can give a better representation of a tumor and help in better planning. Already-existing technology, such as IMRT, SBRT, IGRT, conformal 3D, VMAT, and others that are used for radiation therapy treatment is undergoing various advancements. For example, Varian is developing a software, which can be used to develop better planning tools, in which statistical models can be used to calculate the quality of an IMRT treatment for a patient. This is expected to increase the usage of IMRT for treating cancer. IGRT is the type of radiotherapy. Research is more focused on IGRT, in order to prove its fewer side-effects. IGRT may include electronic portal imaging, fluoroscopy, ultrasound, CT scan reconstruction, and respiratory gating technology. SBRT is also growing as an option for treating cancer. SBRT is used to escalate the dose to the targeted tumor, which can increase local control while limiting the dose to nearby critical structures and normal tissues. This will cause minimum damage to the surrounding tissues and hence, will experience strong growth in the forecast period.


Internal radiation therapy holds a low share in the radiotherapy market. Containing Yttrium 90, a radioactive substance, this is also an emerging technology. There are only two manufacturers that provide commercialized forms of SIRT, as of April 2015. SIRT is becoming more of a mainstream treatment; other manufacturers are actively looking toward its marketing, resulting in the growth of the internal radiation therapy segment. However, SIRT is not yet widely available in the United Kingdom.Internal radiation therapy is more precise in targeting cancerous cells because it is placed near a tumor, which reduces the risk of damaging healthy tissues and organs, thereby contributing to the growth of the internal radiation therapy market segment.To increase the market share, companies are constantly investing in R&D. The positive results of this extensive R&D and strategic partnerships can help the companies gain a significant boost in the emerging field of radiotherapy.

Records Management in Government Agencies in Sierra Leone

Introduction

Records Management is the systematic control of all records from their creation or receipt, through their processing, distribution, organization, storage and retrieval to their ultimate disposition. Because information is such an important resource to organization, the records management function also includes information management. Therefore, records management is also known as Records and Information Management or RIM (Magnus, 2006).

Records management may also be used to define as the way official records (correspondence files, information) are organized in such a way that they have a meaning, and can be used continuously by the users such as managers, records professionals, educational institutions,

Importance of Records Management in Government Agencies

Establishing a records management programme, in government agencies for example, the Meteorological Department may result in both immediate and long-term importance to the department. Below are stated some of the importance of records management in the government agencies, civil service, companies and businesses as a whole:

• Records management reduces lost or misplaced records. Because the human element is always with us, even the best system in the world will occasionally have misplaced records. But properly designed document management systems can gradually reduce misfiles. Most often misfiled records can cost the clerical staff a huge wastage of time in searching for records;

• Records management act as evidence in the time of dispute. It is important for the settlement of dispute because it can be shown as proof in court;

• It helps in evaluating progress of organization. It helps in the preservation of history of the organization. The past records shows direction to organization. It helps in finding out the weaknesses and strength of organization. Records management gives the account of progress and direction in which organization is giving on;

• Records management is the memory of business. It is useful for future decision making process. The study of past records shows direction for future. It supplies information to organization whenever it is needed therefore, it helps in taking decision;

• Records management helps to evaluate business progress and performance. It helps in comparison between one period of time and another or between sometime of businesses;

• Records management helps in management and control of important records. It helps to protect necessary records with care and disposes useless records;
• To minimize litigation risks. Organization implement records management programmes in order to reduce the risks associated with litigation and potential penalties. This can be equally true in government agencies. A consistency applied records management programme can reduce the liabilities associated with document disposal by providing for their systematic, routine disposal in a normal course of business;

• It increases accountability. A records management will put in place a system for tracking actions on each record, therefore increasing accountability and providing access reports; and

• To improve working environment. Implementing records management programme improves the working environment through the organization of records and storage offsite. Organized working environment can then improve the perception of the business by clients and potential employees. New employees are also easily trained to manage the company’s records when an efficient records management programme is in place (Jackson, 2008).

The Historical Background of the Meteorological Department Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone was the headquarter (HQ) of the West African Meteorological services which was established in 1923.Meterological services were provided for four West African countries namely Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria and The Gambia respectively. The Sierra Leone Meteorological department is an offshoot of the British West African Meteorological services founded on the 27th April 1961. Since the establishment, the department has been governed by series of directors and the presently director is Alpha Bockari who has served in this capacity from 2012-to date. The headquarter is located at F18 Charlotte street Freetown.

The Meteorological Department exist to provide cost effective weather and climate services by collecting, processing, archiving and disseminating meteorological and climatological information and services to support end user contributing to the management of Sierra Leone’s economy with special regard to protection of lives and property and safeguarding of the environment and recovering the costs of the services so rendered so that it expenditure will not exceed it income.

As a department under the ministry of Transport and Aviation, they are charged with the following mandates /responsibilities:

• Safety and well being of citizen and their protection against severe weather situation and devastation from natural disasters;

• Provision of reliable climate data to facilitates project design for agricultural planning and implement, water supply systems, infrastructure, and tourism;

• Contributing to the socio- economic (including providing end user services for agricultural activities, marine) development of the country;

• Carryout weather and climate related activities e.g. Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Climate Change Services (CCS), Reduction of Emission from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), and National Communication (NCS) (Meteorological Department, 2014).

Objectives of the Meteorological Department Sierra Leone

The overarching objective of the Meteorological Department established as the sole authority, which issues weather and climatological warnings and services are, to:

• Forecast, plan and deliver meteorological and climatological services which meet national socio- economic development needs.

• Collect, process, store and disseminate meteorological and climatological information both nationally and internationally in accordance with rules and practices and procedures established under the WMO Convention of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Maritime Organization (IMO), etc and other relevant conventions of the United Nations systems such as the Frame work Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), and Convention to Combat Desertification, Drought etc.

• Provide a range of customer/ sector specific operational meteorological services to such major sub sector as those for aviation, water resources, agriculture, defense, marine, tourism, sports and recreation, and construction;

• Provides advice on meteorological and climatological matters to the national community and other governmental and non- governmental agencies.

• Develop adequate manpower to enhance functional effectiveness and efficiency of agencies.

• Reduce its reliance on the national budget and generate its own revenue by charging for services rendered to other clients;

• Arrange for and manage surface and upper air observation networks and accurately and effectively record the weather and climate condition for Sierra Leone’s economic development;

• Provides meteorological services for search and rescue operations during disaster and relief operations as well as during national emergencies; and

• Participate on behalf of Sierra Leone in the activities of relevance international organizations to which its belongs, in particular the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), World Weather Watch (WWW), Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW), Inter- Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Developments (ACMAD), United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) etc role in all climate change activities of the country (Meteorological Department, 2014).

Methods of Managing Records at the Meteorological Department

Records keeping are of great importance to any institution. One of the most crucial decision managers, directors or heads of organization have to make is to choose the suitable methods of managing their organization’s records. There of two methods that is significantly used. These include centralized and decentralized methods of managing records.

Centralized Methods

A Centralized method of managing records is the one in which all physical documents are located in one central location or office. The location is controlled by the records management office staff. The number of employees in the records department will depend on the size of the organization. In a centralized method, end users have the comfort of knowing all physical documents relating to a particular case are held in the same location. If for instance, end user needs to reference a file he/she would be required to contact the records office staff. The file would then be checked out to the end user. A complete claim of custody of file is captured, so the location of file is known at all times.

A centralized method has a heightened level of security. For example, the entrance is locked so only the records staff has access to the files in the records office. This process yields much more control over physical document than the decentralized methods. For efficiency of purpose, uniform office procedures are documented and circulated to all end user. These procedures address topics such as hours or operation, file request and delivery times.

Decentralized Method

A Decentralized method is one in which the physical documents are located across the entire office. This may mean they can be found in every staff offices or other work room space. Unlike centralized methods, where the files are controlled exclusively by the records office. A decentralized method is controlled by the staff that created the file. The physical files are stored at the employee’s desk not in a centralized location for all to access. Thus, the method would not require a full time record staff.

Employees would have access to their files at all times and would be responsible for maintaining accuracy. The decentralized method of managing records has its demerits. For instance, suppose group of employees are working on the same case at the same time suddenly, the employee who is responsible for maintaining the file is absent. The rest of the group may have trouble in locating the file if the organization does not have claim of custody procedure in place. Along the same lines, a decentralized method of managing records will have little or no security over files. This can prove problematic especially if an organization handles high sensitive cases.

However, in the meteorological department, a centralized method of managing the department’s records is adopted. That is to say, both physical and electronic or other records are centrally managed by the department’s office clerk. Although, there are challenges with regards to the keeping and managing of records, nevertheless the method is well utilized. (Meteorological Department, 2014).

Types of Records generated by Meteorological Department

The records generated by the meteorological department office plays a vital role in managing the operations of the department. The department documents past activities, phenomenon and events that serves the basis for further actions. The records are both manual and electronic in nature. Examples of manual records include:

• Office administrative records;
• Human resource records;
• Financial/ fiscal records;
• Meteorological data/ records;
• Material records;
• Public information records;
• Conference/seminar service records; and
• General programs.

Electronic Records: These electronic or machine readable records are data in a form that can be read and processed by a computer and that satisfies the legal definition of a record. At the Meteorological Department in Sierra Leone these are records relating to divisions and out stations in the department and these include:
• Electronic mail and messages;
• Electronic spreadsheet;
• Primary data files and data bases;
• Machines readable indexes; and
• Word processing files.

Users of the Records at the Meteorological Department in Sierra Leone

The users of the Meteorological Department records in Sierra Leone include:
• Administrative personnel;
• Research/ external users;
• Human Resource Management Office (HRMO);
• Government ministries and agencies;
• International organizations e.g. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Meteorological Organization (WMO); and
• Clients to which Meteorological Department information is given. For example, the media in Sierra Leone such as: Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), African Young Voices (AYV), and Star Television).

Filing System at the Meteorological Department in Sierra Leone

Filing System in Records Management is the process of classifying, arranging, sorting and storing records so they may be easily located and retrieved when needed. It is the classification and control of basic file groups, material collection procedures, file preparation, sorting, indexing, maintenance and cross referencing. A well defined and maintained filing system allows vital information to be accessed quickly and saves company money by saving time. Business, schools, government agencies and even every day, people use filing systems to keep their affairs organized. Thus, the following various types of filing systems may enable agency to carry out proper filing system efficiently.

Alphabetical Filing System

In the alphabetical filing system, records are arranged according to name that is from A-Z either the name of a person, company or subject in accordance with the letters of the alphabet. There are two methods involve in alphabetical filing system.The topical alphabetic filing system, also known as a dictionary system. In this system files, individual record are in alphabetical order. This filing system works well when storing a small number of records. It proves to be problematic when individual has a lot of client sharing the same name.The other method is the geographical filing system; also know as encyclopedia or classification system. This system is used to organize larger volume of records. It groups subject together under broad categories based on a location such as a city, country or state. The categories and the files within each category are arranged alphabetically.

Numerical Filing System

In the numeric filing system, numbers are assigned to each file and arranged the numbers in segmented order. Files of people with the same name won’t have duplicate headings as with the alphabetical system. This system also offers better filing confidentiality since names are displayed in the files and work well when handing a large volume of files.

Terminal Filing System

In the terminal digit filing system also, numbers of assigned files are in sequential order but filed according to the last two digits. For example. If an individual is filing number 18547; first the individual go to 47 section of the filing system then look for the 85 area of the section and finally look for the number one (1).

Alphanumeric Filing System

The alphanumeric filing system, both letters and numbers are used to organized files. For example, two letters are used to signify the client files in, followed by a number to denote his account number.

The meteorological department filing system, have adopted the alphanumeric filing system. In that record, they use the end-tab folder and pockets that simply stand on shelves and filing cabinets. No hanging pocks with a use of office space. The meteorological department has some challenges but the filing system is organized and use efficiently.

Records Storage Systems

Record should be kept in good order, in a secure location. Those containing confidential or personal data such as staff files must be stored in lockable units and should not be left on desks overnight or view of visitors. Only records which are required frequently should be stored in the office. Those which need to be retained for legal or other reasons should be stored offsite with the records office offsite, while those which have outlived their usefulness should be destroyed. However, records which are less than one year will not be stored offsite.

Storage systems used in records office most provide appropriate protection for records based on format and volume of records, how frequently they are used, how quickly they need to be accessed and security requirement. The main types of records storage systems used include:

Vertical Filing Cabinets

These are adequate for small filing systems, but are less suitable for large runs of records and records that require frequent access. Access is slow, since drawers have to be opened, and these can significant impact where there is a high volume of records activity. The cabinets require large amount of space and drawer space is often not use to full capacity.

Book Shelves

These are suitable for books or files that are stored upright, such as box files and lever arch files.

Lateral Filing Units

These have long drawer for storing files laterally and use space more efficiently than their vertical counterparts. Alternatively, static unit without drawer can be use, where files are stored in hanging pocket or cradles. Where prompt filing and retrieval are required open unit will be the most efficient. If file access is to be restricted, units with lockable doors or shutters can be used.

Mobile Shelving

This may be suitable where a large volume of records need to be stored near at hand, as it reduces the number of access aisles require. It is the most expensive type of shelving, and is very heavy. The floor must have sufficient structural capacity to support these shelves.

Open Shelving System

This usually found in large offices and in central file rooms, it allows for rapid retrieval and refilling. This type of lateral file, which resemble open book shelves allows files to be retrieved horizontally. It also offers full viewing of the folder tabs, which makes for rapid retrieval. And there is an estimated 50 percent saving space when files are moved from vertical system to an open shelve system. This unit usually requires professional installation, which can be negotiated with the vendor is an inclusion in the cost of the equipment. These are the most efficient kinds of files available. They also have doors and can be locked. Some of those with doors have flush backs and can be used as attractive room dividers with a built-in advantage of providing a good deal of sound- proofing. These doors and 6 openings are easily accessed over 200 inches of filing. Those without doors provide even more filing capacity and should be consider, even if there is a perceived need to lock them.

Records Storage Systems at the Meteorological Department in Sierra Leone

The main types of records storage systems used at the Meteorological Department in Sierra Leone is the open Shelve System which is mentioned above where files contacting records are usually found in large offices and in central file rooms which allows for the rapid retrieval and refilling. This type of lateral file, which resemble open book shelves allows files to be retrieved horizontally.

Records Retrieval at the Meteorological Department in Sierra Leone

Retrieval is the process of locating and removing a record or file from storage. It is also the action of recovering information on a given subject from stored data. It deals with standards and procedures in retrieving paper, electronic and image records. For example, finding a name and telephone number in a telephone directory or data base is a common storage and retrieval activity. Records or information can be retrieve in three ways:

Manually: people go to a storage container and remove by hand a record wanted or make a note of information requested from it.

Mechanically: a person uses some mechanical means, such as pressing the correct buttons to rotate movable shelves to correct location of a record, remove the record manually, or record information requested from it.

Electronically: a person uses some means, such as a computer, to locate a record. The physical record may not need to be removed from storage. The requester is informed as to where it can be found, or the information requested is showed to the requester in some way, perhaps on a screen in a data base or electronic mail file.

Request for stored records may be made orally over the telephone or by a messenger or in writing memo, letter etc. The request may be delivered in person, sent by mechanical, such as a conveyor system, or sent electronically by email. The record must be retrieved from storage and given to the requester quickly. Every minute of delay in finding a record is costly in user or requester wasting time and in filers searching time and could possibly lead to loss of money for the business (Stephens, 2009).

However, manual and mechanical procedures are normally utilized in retrieving records at the Meteorological Department since majority of their records are in paper based form.

Challenges facing Records Management at the Meteorological Department in Sierra Leone

The Sierra Leone situation in business of record keeping and management especially in the Meteorological Department system has not been too successful because of the lack of management component. Writing in support of the above finding, I have noted that many years of neglect had done great damage to meteorological sector and record keeping is not an exemption. The following are some of the challenges of proper records management faced by the Meteorological department in Sierra Leone:

Inadequate Funding

The problem of inadequate funding of records office in the meteorological department is more intensive than the other departments. This is a problem that was not only experienced during the colonial era but has passed on even to today’s records management programs. Payment of employee’s salaries, purchase of modern preservation equipment and chemicals among the other day- today activities that facilitates records preservation are vital activities that call for proper adequate funding to enable the institution to achieve its objectives are not quite seen. For this reason, the meteorological records office practice is abandoned with unqualified personnel thus suffering from inefficiency and ineffectiveness.

Inadequacy of Space and Equipment

The records office at the Meteorological Department is rather too small to contain current and non- current records. The equipment used is somehow crude in nature and also of inadequate capacity. The record staff do not have access to modern equipment due to combine problem of inadequate funding and know- how technology.

Problematic Nature of Format

Most record materials are still organic nature, most of them been paper based. This means they are capable of aging, advancing, deteriorating with time. For this reason, they need equipment to be treated and handled with for the purpose of preserving them. For such a country like Sierra Leone which lies within the tropics such conditions are worsen by high level of humidity in the atmosphere and high temperature all around the year. All these conditions combine work to hasten the nature chemical process of decaying records. Furthermore, records keeping facilities in the Meteorological Department do not have weather control preservative where all weather conditions can be controlled to enhance record preservation thus, making the whole preservation process even more difficult.

Absence of Records Management Laws

The National Records act of 1964 is outdated and is no longer serving its usefulness. Records do not have legal description, backing or definition of their service. Legal laws provide for authenticity, which serves to promote and also provides confidence to the public and those practicing in the profession about the service being offered. These are the very important elements that the Meteorological Department’s record keeping facility lacks.

Lack of Understanding and Appreciation

The records management program in the Meteorological Department is rarely appreciated and its role in the provision and management of information understood by only a handful of staff. This is also true as it is the culture in many other public and private sectors that generate vital records on a daily basis have no basic understanding of records life cycle and requirement of the records disposal act. They are extremely ignorant of the vital role that can be played by the records office to help them properly managed and preserve record both at the current and semi- current stages. Staff is totally uninformed about the records activities and for this reason it is recommended that the records office should engage in programs that will help to educate staff and other users in the requirement and content of the activities.

Conclusively,Record keeping in an organization set up is very important and cannot be over emphasized. This is because continuity depends on availability of useful records of the past activities. In a complex organization like that of the Meteorological Department, it is not possible to keep every single information in the brain, because the volume of information is heavy, therefore records must be kept. In Sierra Leone, meteorological laws demand that every meteorological station should keep certain meteorological records such as weather fore cast data, personnel records, visitor’s book, inventory book, account book. Record keeping occupies a strategic position in the efficient and effective management of meteorological system. In fact, it is central in the administration of institution of learning because it document the planning and implementation of appropriate course of service allowing monitoring of work.

Unfortunately, the Sierra Leone situation in business of record keeping and management especially in the Meteorological Department system has not been too successful because of the lack of management component. Giving credence to this assertion, records management practice in the Meteorological Department has a number of problems as indicated above. By paying close attention to all these problems and addressing them one at a time we help solve the problems and enhance good management of records in the Meteorological Department in Sierra Leone.

Tips and Techniques for Being a Confident and Capable Restaurant Manager

What does the word “Management” mean? Look around the Internet and you’ll find many varying definitions. Here’s three examples of what some have said:

• “The activity of getting things done with the aid of people and other resources.”

• “Effective utilization and coordination of resources such as capital, materials, and labor to achieve defined objectives with maximum efficiency.”

• “The process of getting activities completed efficiently with and through other people including the process of setting and achieving goals through the execution of five basic management functions: planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling; that utilize human, financial, and material resources.”

When you boil these three definitions down and summarize, as a restaurant manager you simply must produce results and get the work done! We have a proven, three-step process of helping managers enjoy results as detailed below:

STEP ONE – YOU MUST GAIN CONTROL OVER YOUR OWN TIME AND ACTIVITIES FIRST

A study conducted several years ago found that the average restaurant manager has 64 unplanned interruptions during the course of a day. This doesn’t surprise any seasoned restaurant manager, but if you’re new to the industry or a first-time manager, this means that early in the game of management, you’ll need to take firm reins over your valuable time!

Your FIRST responsibility as a competent and capable restaurant manager is to hold yourself accountable for your own time and I had to learn this lesson the hard way.

As a young manager many years ago, I was to attend a meeting with my General Manager, Dave Dalmadge, at 4PM on a day that I was scheduled off. When that day arrived, I was many miles away from the restaurant, enjoying my day off. About 4:15, I received a call from Dave and he simply said to me, “We had a meeting scheduled for 4PM today and you’re not here. I allocated my time for you, so get here as soon as you can” and he hung up.

An hour later, I walked into his office and after profusely apologizing, I said, “Dave, I’ve always tried to remember every meeting and it’s pretty rare that I forget commitments. How do you seem to remember everything?” He responded by pulling out a little bound book from his pocket. On the cover of the little book were the words, “Day Timer” and he then showed me that he wrote his schedule and every schedule commitment he had made in the book. He said to me, “Kevin, get this system, use it every day, and you’ll never forget anything that’s important.” I eagerly ordered the 12 little monthly booklets and immediately found after using it just a short time that I:

1. … was never late for another meeting.
2. … never forgot anyone’s birthday (because I plugged them in for the entire year in the 12 little calendars).
3. … had less stress because I could see what events were coming up and I had plenty of time to prepare.
4. … had a written record of what had happened and what I accomplished.
5. … could integrate my personal and professional scheduled activities into one convenient spot.
6. … was no longer embarrassed by my own lack of accountability.
7. … started producing real results both at work and in my own personal life!

I’ll always be thankful to Dave for the singular most important restaurant, and life lesson he taught me – how to hold myself accountable and how to control my own schedule. Suddenly and with very little work on my own, I began doing the right thing at the right time!

Even though this event happened over 35 years ago, I still use a calendar. The one I use now is a small, 12-month, “At-a-Glance” calendar that accompanies me wherever I go. Maybe a little old school compared to using a phone or Outlook calendar, but it’s a system that works for me, especially because I can put tickets and other paperwork into that calendar. Whatever system you decide to use, you simply must take the responsibility for being personally accountable for your own time management because THIS is where good management skills begin. Good managers do the right thing at the right time, the right way

STEP TWO – LEARN AND USE THE 10 CHARACTERISTICS OF TODAY’S MODERN RESTAURANT MANAGERS

The second step of learning how to be a confident and capable restaurant manager means that you know and learn what the characteristics of top-performing managers are! Below are 10 top factors that will directly impact your ability to be a top performer!

1. BE ACCOUNTABLE. Unless you take responsibility for being on time, completing tasks and never being late, you’ll never be accountable. Use a good calendar system and you’ll find that you’ll instantly be more accountable!

2. LEAD BY EXAMPLE. If a napkin falls on the floor, pick it up. Dress the part – be sharp, groomed and clean. Don’t chew gum. Don’t yell. Don’t embarrass others publicly. Just know that all eyes are on you and whatever YOU do will be acceptable in the eyes of your employees. Hold yourself to a high standard and set the pace and keep high standards.

3. INSURE THAT YOUR PEOPLE SUCCEED. Today’s leaders don’t tell their employees to “Jump.” They jump WITH their employees, creating a mentality of working, “side by side” with them.

4. BE COMPETENT. Your ability to do everything in the restaurant builds your confidence. You as a manager should be able to jump in and temporarily help in any area that gets slammed. You should aspire to know as much or more than your employees about how every job is done. If you don’t know how to do something, learn it! Competence builds confidence. You will quickly find that confidence inspires trust from your team, so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!

5. LEAD OTHERS TO A MUTUAL ATTAINABLE GOAL. Every person wants to know what direction the team is headed and what their role is. Articulate the goal, the roles, the standards, benchmarks and key achievements and keep everyone informed! This process helps to promote and develop a sense of transparency in your management style which is another desirable trait of a good leader.

6. CONSTANTLY TRAIN. Norman Brinker, the founder of many restaurant concepts including Chili’s had a saying that’s always stuck with me and I’ve seen it proven over the years. “You are paid on your profits and promoted by your people.” This means that people development (this means training) needs to take place all the time. Every shift you work is 100% training time for everyone on your team and every moment is a training opportunity.

7. LISTEN AND COMMUNICATE. There’s a school of thought that says that if you listen well, you are a good conversationalist! Work on your ability to clearly communicate clearly, listen closely and don’t tolerate rumors.

8. BE FAIR AND BE EVEN WITH EVERYONE AND DON’T FRATERNIZE. In order to treat your employees fairly and evenly across the board, this means you can’t find yourself in compromising situations. Don’t find yourself out late at night with people you’re responsible for managing on a daily basis because you’ll quickly find that your ability to manage them will be compromised unnecessarily.

9. EXPRESS EMPATHY AND BE WARM & APPROACHABLE. If you want to be an effective manager, you better understand what perspective your employees are coming from when they want to talk with you. If you’re a good listener, are warm and approachable, and try to really understand what’s being said, these qualities will take you far in your management journey.

10. BE MATURE. This means be honest and trustworthy, don’t spread secrets or rumors, don’t divulge confidential information, don’t speak negatively of others and don’t ever find yourself in a suspicious situation. Integrity in this business means everything.

STEP THREE – USE THE RIGHT TOOLS

The third step of learning how to be a confident and capable restaurant manager means that you know how to use the tools that are appropriate for your work. Fact of the matter is that you can be a highly qualified manager with all of the 10 traits we’ve detailed earlier, but if you’re not using the right tools for the job, you won’t be able to be productive. If you work in a multi-unit environment, many of the tools you’ll need will be provided. If you work in a single-unit or small company environment, you may need to develop your own tools. What are some of these tools?

1. MBWA – MANAGEMENT BY WALKING AROUND. “You can expect what you inspect” is very true. If you don’t know what’s going on, all the time, everywhere on premise, conceptually you’re out of control. I’ve known managers that walk a figure 8 loop around the premise. I know of others that set an alarm and walk the interior interior and exterior premise every 20 minutes. Whatever your preference is, you simply need to everywhere, all the time. This is why being a high performing restaurant manager is a job for Superman and Superwoman!

2. VIDEO CAMERAS. We have a client that has four restaurants and in each location, there’s 12 cameras throughout the premise. In the office, there’s a bank of four huge television screens, and on each screen, there’s 12 camera views. The company Owner is able to view activities in 12 perspectives in four locations… 48 views all at the same time. When he sees something that needs to be addressed, he simply picks up the phone and calls the appropriate manager in that particular restaurant. His system of management can be referred to as MBSD – Management by sitting down. This is rarely the right tool to use by most managers, but it worked for him!

3. COMMUNICATION TOOLS. Almost every restaurant today has a management log. This insures that every shift can communicate the with shift leaders that come in next. Continuity of the flow of information is maintained. Restaurants without logbooks, or managers that don’t use the logbook are all at a disadvantage.

4. RESTAURANT SYSTEMS. This includes the proper usage of temperature logs, order guides, employee schedules, and all of the other systems used in a restaurant.

5. TECHNOLOGY. The manager that tries to avoid using the functions that today’s point of sale systems can provide is at a disadvantage. Sales mix, labor reports, sales volume, guest database, inventory, costing tools and many others are available for your use to help you run a profitable shift and operation. Wise managers will become quickly proficient with the POS system in your restaurant.

6. CHECKLISTS. This is the most effective way to insure that the things that need to happen, actually DO happen. All positions within a restaurant should have at a minimum, an opening and closing checklist. In the kitchen, multiple checklists are used for prep (par and build-to levels), ordering (part and build-to levels) and many others. If you’re constantly running out of products, it may be that the correct checklist may not be in use! Checklists are only effective if they’re used. (Expect what you inspect) Insure that you as a manager follow-up to insure that all checklists are being used and completed properly.

7. A MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. Last but not least includes a regular system of how to run a shift. Many managers don’t know what they are supposed to do at what time! Certain management functions are to be accomplished during certain times. Make your life easier and divide the day into portions of time that you can control.

For example:
9AM – 11AM – Administration and restaurant opening.
11AM – 2PM – Run the shift on the floor.
2PM – 4PM – Projects, accounting, ordering.
4PM- 5PM – Get ready for dinner. PM staff arrive, pre-shift meeting.
5PM – 9PM – Run the shift on the floor.
9PM to close – Aggressively close, cutting labor when possible, with no wasted hours.

REMEMBER:
One of the most important aspects of running a restaurant is consistency. Not only in food and beverages but for you as a manager, consistency means your ability to consistency run a great shift. This does not happen by accident. It’s by using the tools, the right way, all the time.

Creating Culture of Accountability, Performance and Coaching – Lean Performance Management

If there is ONE talk-show that is very scary and beat the shit out of everyone, right from the CEO of an organization to fresh-graduate Trainee is – Performance Management Talks. Why people are so scared to discuss their performance? There can be many reasons and few of them are -

  1. Format – Performance is considered as an event which is organized once in a year or at the best once in every SIX months. However, the fact remains that Performance Management is a continuous process.
  2. Poor alignment of performance scores and merit increase – No matter how much an individual score in his performance assessment, it is his reporting manager who decides his merit increase percentage and usually there is no correlation between the two. Hence, employees don’t believe in the process.
  3. Incompetent and untrained Assessors/Managers – Many managers do not consider performance management as one of the key components of their role. They believe it to be a job of HR. Probably they don’t want to spoil their relationship with their team members. Managers are usually biased in their approach towards assessment of team members. They want to keep everyone happy.
  4. Poorly defined KRA’s and KPI’s (What needs to be measured and how it will be measured) – In many organizations, performance goals don’t seem to have any relation to organizational goals. They work in silos. They don’t have defined success criteria’s of their goal. There is no clarity about what need to be done and when the task will be labeled as “successfully completed”.
  5. Poor communication between assessor and assessee – Communication regarding the change in goal or change in success criteria rarely gets communicated to employees. They are up for a surprise when they are told about these changes in the final review meeting. This leads to irritation and frustration and as a result, leads to unhappy, disengaged employees.

What gets measured gets managed. And what gets managed gets improved upon. What organizations should do to overcome these challenges and fears of employees and can do to create a culture of performance?

1) The Role of a manager is to manage – It is one thing to roll-up your sleeves and get to work and it is another thing to do what you are hired for. A team member is promoted to the position of Team Manager to guide the team, manage the team and show the direction. If he will continue to contribute as a team member then he is not doing his work properly. As a team manager, it is his responsibility to manage his resources, communications, customers, performances of the team and deliver within specified timeline. Performance Management and Performance Coaching must be one of the key competencies for an individual to be hired to or promoted to the level of manager. “Don’t promote your subject-matter expert as Manager. An efficient and effective manager need not be subject-matter expert”. “Performance Management or Resource Management is not my work” is an excuse.

2) Aligning KRA’s and KPI’s of an individual with organizational goals – Every organization carve annual goals and growth targets for itself. Every employee in an organization must contribute towards those goals and targets. Every goal has defined success criteria; hence, every goal or target is measurable. Every employee in an organization contributes towards the goals of his department or team, which in turn inches organization closer to its goals. For an individual to win his team must win and his organization must achieve its targets. Its collective win and collective failure. Someone said, “But I did my job properly”. Unfortunately, your contribution was not sufficient or good enough for the organization to achieve its goals. One question an employee must always ask himself, “how better I can contribute” or “what else I can do”.

3) Aligning Performance Assessment scores with Merit Increase Percentage – “I have scored 85/100 in my annual performance assessment. Another team member scored 75/100. I am awarded 10% increase over my existing salary and he has been awarded 18% increase over his existing salary, how”? Usually, managers don’t answer these types of questions or they put the blame on the management team of organization and thereby creating an impression, “if you want to give increments as per your whims and fancies then why you did this drama of appraisals, you could have given us increment without assessing us”. There has to be a direct and clear correlation between assessment scores and merit increase percentage. This correlation can be drawn at grade level or functional level based on the business model of organization and its compensation philosophy.

4) Performance Management is a process (creating a culture of performance coaching) – Performance management is not once a year activity. It is a continuous process. A manager shall have monthly performance review meeting with his team members to assess their progress and communicate any deviation in goals. A manager must create performance review tracker. In such circumstances, your annual review meeting becomes less tedious and less scary because before even entering for the final assessment, both assessor and assessee know what to expect from the meeting.

Secondly, there is another advantage of monthly performance reviews. If the concerned manager decides to separate from the organization at any time during the year, the new manager will not find himself out of place. Through performance tracker, he will be able to trace performance goals and progress of individuals in his team.

Thirdly, monthly performance reviews will let the manager know challenges faced by his team members in achieving their goals and hence he will be able to coach him and take corrective actions at an appropriate time.

Fourthly, organizations and managers set their annual goals at the beginning of a year. Many changes might occur during the due course of year forcing organization and employees to realign their goals. Monthly review meetings provide a platform for every type of correction and communication. Lastly, monthly performance assessments will eliminate any kind of bias from the process.

5) Lean Appraisals – THREE of the biggest drawbacks of annual performance appraisals are -

A) Managers can compare performance scores of their team members and hence will be biased towards their favorite team member, which creates unrest and frustration among employees.

B) When appraisals are done once in a year, there will be a huge increase in cash flow in one given month, as per the performance cycle of the organization.

C) During the year, many new employees join the organization and old employees resign, therefore, in annual appraisals, there will be few employees who will be assessed for SEVEN months and few will be assessed for FIFTEEN months. It might create unnecessary difficulty in allocating increment percentage to employees. Hence, there is a need to have lean appraisal system.

Lean appraisals mean doing an annual assessment of employees in their month of joining. A manager managing a team of 24 employees will be required to do TWO assessments in a month, instead of doing 24 in one particular month. It will not be difficult for the organization to arrange for a big chunk of cash-flow in one particular month. It will eliminate any type of bias from the system. There will not be a comparison of performance scores and increments among employees.

On the part of the management team of the organization, they need to allocate budget to each manager to manage his team. The budget shall be driven by market and industry and a manager will get it proportionate to the number of members of his team at the beginning of financial year. This fund shall be called as Performance Management Budget for the year ****. Thereafter, it shall be the responsibility of a manager to manage his fund and report back to the management.

Let’s understand and accept this. Performance Management and Coaching is one of the integral responsibilities of a manager. They shall not push it on the management of human resource function. HR is to facilitate the process. Management is to allocate the budget. Employees working in the organization are not your personal friends. They have been hired to perform a specific role. They are paid for their performance. As a manager, you must help them improve their performance.

Readers might think that this type of performance management system is not feasible and not practical, however, the fact remains that such system is scalable and manageable. I have done this in my several consulting assignments.

Your feedbacks and comments will be highly appreciated.