, How to Move a Steel Building, Building Wrestling

Depending on the size and design of the steel building there are two options for moving it. Larger steel buildings sealed to a foundation will need to be disassembled and reassembled, while smaller steel buildings may be able to be moved short distances in one piece. Either way, moving a steel building 50 feet or 500 miles requires a lift and a skilled lift operator; if it’s being moved any significant distance an 18-wheeler will be required.

It is possible to move smaller steel buildings like sheds or small garages without disassembling it. If a smaller building is being moved a short distance, say from one end of a property to another it can actually be slid. The process begins by carefully raising the front of the steel building with a lift and sliding wood under it to act like a stand and then again repeating this process on the back to the building. Then, by attaching a towrope to the wood beneath the building, the steel structure can be towed from one place to another.

While this method is much less costly than disassembly and reassembly it’s also more risky. Uneven movement can cause bending and warping that can damage or destroy the structural integrity of a steel building. An advisable, but not surefire method of preventing flexing is to reinforce the skids by attaching 2×4’s cut to the width the building to the skids creating a sort of frame. In the end the building can be towed on the skids by a truck; much like a child being slid through the snow on a sled by his parents.

If the building needs to be moved further then it can be raised up by the lift from the 2 until a truck is able to move below it at which point the lift can lower the steel building or shed onto the bed of the truck. The truck can then relocate the building and then again a lift and raise and lower the steel building onto its new property.

Moving a larger building is much more complex because it involved breaking down a building into its basic components, transporting the components, and then reassembling them back together. The most important part of breaking down a building is organization. Improper deconstruction can create costly expenses in the form of lost or damaged parts. It’s highly highly recommended that skilled laborers be hired to ensure the structural integrity of the steel building is protected through all phases of the moving process.

Breaking down a building is essentially done in the reverse order of constructing one. Remove the trim and accessories, then the roof and wall sheeting, then the framing. A new foundation with the appropriate anchor bolts will need to be prepared at the new location. Once all of the components are moved from the original location to the new location the reconstruction process can begin as if it were a brand new building. High-quality buildings will be easier to move because their components will be able to better withstand the wear and tear of being taken apart and put back together. Also, pre-welded clips on buildings will speed up the entire process and prevent the loss of loose bolted clips during the move.

, Building A Custom Chopper Motorcycle, Where Do You Start?, Building Wrestling

So you want to build a custom chopper? I do too, so the first question I asked myself, is where do I start. Should I make a business plan, a schedule, a financial statement, or should I just buy my wife some flowers and blindly proceed? I guess I should do all of the above but not necessarily in that order.

I will start by trying to justify this purchase and or endeavor, to do this I will make a list of my reasons for building a Chopper. 1) I want to ride a custom chopper, a totally cool stretched out, fire breathing, gas eating, pavement pounding, old lady scaring, 2 wheel monster. 2) I want to be able to say “I built that” when someone asks me where I got that totally sick bike. 3) I want to be able to customize the bike beyond the standard add on parts I can get for my current bike a Harley Davidson Fatboy. 4) I want to be able to make this dream come true, meaning I need to be able to pay for it. A $35,000 chopper is out of my current budget. 5) I have been talking about this for 5 years so why don’t I get to it and stop doing all the talking and start doing some building.

Now I have a few reasons on paper a will look at my options, then make a plan, a schedule, and find some extra money.

Let’s start with a my build options, and plan on a slow and steady approach. I realize I will need to do a lot of research before I start. I have 4 basic options, a kit bike, a rolling chassis, a start from zero build, or an extreme makeover of a current motorcycle.

Option 1) If I start with a motorcycle kit I maybe the farthest ahead from a mechanical perspective, and farthest behind from a financial point of view. What do I mean by this, well a kit bike has all the parts it just needs paint, labor, gas, oil and some love. The problem a complete kit bike will cost me $12,000 dollars right up front. This is a bit out of my spend a ton of money now then not be able to ride a bike for a year or two thinking. If I get a kit, I maybe able to get it together faster, as I will be motivated and have all the parts ready to go. As a first bike I think this is a very good option, when you consider all the expensive mistakes I may make along that way. One drawback to this option is the amount of customization I can do to the bike as it is put together. Because all the parts are in the kit, I may resist the urge to get new bars or different sheet metal, or other parts.

Option 2) Start with a Rolling chassis, this is the middle of the road option, spend a lump sum of money, about 1/2 of what the overall bike will cost and get a basic setup that all works together.

A Rolling chassis kit consists of a Frame, 2 wheels, the forks, and triple clamps and bars, all build and configured to work together. Add a motor and a transmission and all the major workings of the bike are in place. This setup helps avoid some of the major work needed to mix match and fit these items together. This option also allows for a ton of customization in the parts that people see and the parts that give a bike it’s personality. For me this is a very serious option to consider. I would only have 1/2 the cost and 1/2 the parts sitting around and gathering dust until I get time to get it together.

Option 3) Find each and every part one at a time and build a completely custom motorcycle. I know I could do this, but I also know I will encounter more unexpected and possibly expensive issues with this type of build. This option would give me a bike that no one would ever duplicate. This could be very good or this could be very bad. What if some possible combination of frame, motor, forks, or wheels didn’t work together? It would not be discovered until the motorcycle was all together. I think this option is better left to the serious professional who build bike all night long, as the are working on other peoples bikes, and running businesses during the day. I may consider this for my second custom chopper.

Option 4) Take an existing bike and start cutting and changing it. This is maybe as involved as chopping and re-welding the frame to create a new rake and angles. Or it could mean just getting a new frame and using the engine, transmission, and various other part to build a new machine. I like this idea, and I think it would be a lower cost alternative to all new custom parts. With this option you are also able to keep the current registration and title if the frame is not replaced. This is also a lower cost option because a lot of the miscellaneous parts can be reused.

I know that in one page all the possible combinations of Custom Chopper build can’t be completely explained, I just hope this information give you something to start with and build on. It has help steer me in the direction of a rolling chassis, so I better get shopping.

, What’s the Purpose of Team Building Activities?, Building Wrestling

The purpose of team building activities is generally to foster awareness of the team spirit and to reinforce commitment to the team’s shared goals and objectives. Properly applied, these activities can develop strong interpersonal relationships which help to bond the team closer together.

The purpose of team improvement should include the encouragement of individual team members to cooperate together in the team’s work environment, interacting and integrating skills into a united effort so that each individual’s goal achievement is connected to the greater overall team goal achievement.

It’s not enough to create a feeling of interdependence among team members where each one feels they are all in the same boat together. This can force people to get along with each other as they face no alternative option. When they then take part in competitive activities, the end result is only about winning and all too often there is nothing they can take back to the work place of lasting useful value.

Poorly thought out activities confuse strong competitiveness with overt aggression. This should not be the purpose of team building activities. A cohesive team that can work successfully together doesn’t need aggression to achieve its goals. Such activities can be demeaning to individuals who are often forced to compete at a level that is largely meaningless in the work place.

The only purpose of engaging in such activities should be to unite a group of individuals who all need each other in order to achieve their individual goals, as well as the group’s common goals. This can be done by increasing or creating an understanding of common commitment to the team goals.

When the purpose of these activities are properly thought out, then put into action on away days (for example), the end result can be marked improvement in team functioning, as well as the increased effectiveness of team members who then become real team players.

There are different types of activities developed for the purpose of improving team effectiveness. They should never be chosen at random on away days. Prior to the away day a need assessment should be conducted to discover exactly what kind of team building activity will suit the team best. This should be one that concentrates on improving the team’s weaknesses while maximising the team’s strengths.

Team development is really about creating an effective team spirit in a group of people who need each other in order to accomplish common goals.  The purpose of developing a team through targeted activities should be to clarify team goals and strategies. It should reduce conflicts between team members, increase awareness of each individual’s worth and usefulness, as well as bonding and binding the team together for the common good.

Team activities should not confuse team members in any way. This can happen, not because the team building activity is at fault, but because the facilitator is unfamiliar with the activity, or does not have the necessary skills to facilitate it properly.

When, on the other hand, the facilitator understands the purpose of team building activities and understands how to deliver it expertly, the team will benefit considerably from the exercise and the company will too.

, Complete Study Guide for WordPress Website Building, Building Wrestling

The complete guide to learning WordPress

Learning WordPress can be a very long road for an inexperienced programmer. This guide can help you go from programming illiterate to freelancing programming quadrillionaire. It is meant as a overview of the steps needed to become a competent WordPress developer. This guide can help both the experienced and inexperienced wrap their heads around WordPress.

Don’t believe the myths

When learning any field in programming (yes you will need to learn), there are a ton of myths that come attached. A lot of it is hype from click bait articles preying on the ignorant. So I’m just going to lay out the three most persistent myths I see today:

  • No you CANNOT learn programming in 24 hours. Or a week. Or a month. To learn the entirety of programming world you will need to first become immortal being with a clear schedule. You can learn some of the basics int 24 hours, but you will never actually be done learning new programming skills (unless you are lazy).
  • On the opposite end of the scale is a myth saying you’ll need to be a genius bestowed with the incredible powers of math. There is nothing further from the truth. You would be surprised the amount of potato heads one must deal with in the field, and how little actual math you will be using.
  • Maybe my favorite: There’s no point to learning programming when there are tools to make websites. This is the most aggravating because its the hardest to explain. But put shortly, the question “why do I need to learn to code, if I have a WordPress theme?” can be answered with the following question “where would the themes come from if there were no programmers”. Same with web development tools. There are no tools on planet earth that can write more tools, except programmers. Also any tool that has or will exist comes with severe limitations. But that’s a longer topic.

Yes, you have to learn the basics of programming

Once again, you cry “Why do I need to learn programming? Its WordPress!”. I think the more you’ll learn about WordPress, the more you will learn how limited it is.

Here is the secret. WordPress is a platform, not a web development tool. Meaning, that a lot of the heavy work still requires you to flex your brain a bit and program. Here are some issues you might run into if you don’t learn how to program beforehand:

  • My theme is awesome! But I hate the styling of the widgets in the footer.
  • I want to build a membership site and I need x functionality, but no plugin exists.
  • I want to build a membership site, but my plugins conflict.
  • Turns out the theme I bought has a big fat whopping problem and I honestly think the theme developer is dead.

What would you do in these situations if you didn’t know how to program?

Now, please learn the basics of programming

Before you start off on your path to learn HTML and CSS, you should take a moment and relax, so I can throw a study syllabus at your head.

The things you will need to learn, before coming back are the following:

  • HTML: The building blocks of the front end of your website (the display). Personal recommendation: Common mistakes can be cured with a firm grasp on inline, inline – block and block level elements, as well as a firm grasp on relative vs absolute positioning.
  • CSS: This is the secret sauce to your website. Imagine that your HTML is a paint by numbers grid, and CSS is the paint. Every website uses CSS.
  • PHP: This is the black box of the website. Nobody sees it but you. It is what actually creates all of the functionality, does all the thinking, and delivers the content of your website. This is what real “programming” is. Learn it.
  • MySQL: Databases are where everything on your website is stored. You will need to learn how to safely interact with the database with PHP. Look up parameterized queries.

Once you get back from all of that. we can begin diving into the basics of WordPress. Something optional to learn is javascript. It is something that is great for animations or even delivering content to a user without them having to refresh a page. Also there might be a time where you need to fix or update some javascript created by another developer.

Setting up WordPress

There are a couple of ways to install WordPress on your website. The absolute easiest is through your cPanel account. There is usually a program on your cPanel that will install WordPress for you. For example, QuickInstall has a one click installation for WordPress. Another way is to download the WordPress source files, and upload them to your server via FTP.

After installing WordPress, you will want to sign in to your WordPress site to set things up. There are many guides on setting up your WordPress site through the backend, but the basics you will need to learn are the following:

  • Installing your site theme: Even if you are planning on making your own theme, it advisable to set up someone else’s theme to base your work on. This will serve as a great jumping off point for your website.
  • Get familiar with plugins: they are easy to install and will provide most of the functionality of your website.
  • Menus: learn where these are and how to set them up. You can create menus that are useable on any part of your website.
  • Widgets: widgets are not to be confused with plugins. Widgets are user interface elements (like a Twitter feed), while plugins are groups of files that can potentially make sweeping changes to your sites functionality.
  • Learn the difference between pages and posts. These things have very distinct and separate purposes.

This will give you enough ammunition to set up a basic website. However if you want something a bit less basic, you will have to continue on.

How does content get delivered to the user?

It is helpful to know how WordPress takes your content and presents it to the end user.

If you learned php, you will probably know how a website is presented to the user. If not, and you have gotten this far, you are a shameful human being and deserve a death of a thousand cuts. It sounds silly, but its very helpful to know how the browser interprets data, and what PHP’s purpose is in filling in content, how the website is compiled etc.

Themes define the way that WordPress presents content to a user. They do this with php files that serve as templates to display certain parts of your website, like a blog post page or the header. They also include CSS and php files and can even provide functionality to a website.

I highly suggest learning what you’ll have to provide in your themes. There is also certain rules that you need to follow if WordPress is going to recognize your theme. However, the main parts will be: the header, the index page, the sidebar, the footer, functions.php and the stylesheet.

One more thing you might run across are page templates. Page templates are simply different ways to display any single site page. If you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, look up “page template”, in fact, do that anyway.

Also learn about post types. Everything on your website is a post type, whether they are pages, posts or attachments. A page template is a template for a certain post type. Learning about post types might clear a lot of confusion down to road.

There are lists of all the global variables that WordPress provides, that range from the content you provide to users, to information on the visitors themselves. Don’t bother memorizing these, just reference them as you go and be familiar with what type of global variables that WordPress provides you. If you don’t find them you might have to add the functionality in yourself, either in the form of a plugin, or simply in the function.php file. Global variables are essential in WordPress development.

Plugins

Plugins allow you to add functionality to your website or others. There is actually a huge plugin market for WordPress. Its a great way to earn some fat stacks of cocaine and gain some rep in the programming community.

Essentially plugins are groups of files that alter or add functionality to websites. There are certain rules however, to setting up your files so that WordPress reads them.

It is also important to learn when to add things to functions.php vs creating a plugin.

Hooks: Actions and Filters

Hooks will allow you to “hook” one of your functions into WordPress, so that it is run at a specific time. If you don’t use hooks, many types of functionality would not be possible. Trust me when I say learning what these are and how to use them will save your life, and free up a world of possibilities.

Make sure to learn the difference between the two, and how to use them. This knowledge will allow you to heavily alter the functionality of WordPress, and will greatly open doors for your site functionality.

Actions are hooks that allow you to run a function when a certain WordPress event occurs. For example when you create a post, you might want to update a value in your database.

Filters allow you to modify data at certain times. When you set up a filter, WordPress will pass data through it before completing a task. If WordPress is about to display a login error, you can choose to change or modify that error message before it is presented to the user. Perhaps something like “Stay back scammer this is my grandmothers heirloom!” or “I don’t want your dirty eyes peering into my website, filthy hillbilly hacker!”.

Practice

Naturally, for everything to sink in, you have to practice. However, if you want to be like me starting off, you can find a small job online, and jump in head first. The pressure should help keep you trying to learn. If you screw someone over, you can always direct them over to me.

However, if you want to take the more safe route, I would suggest you do the following:

Rent out a small shared hosting package (you can blow a few bucks a month), grab a theme, and create a small blog website. (Make it something you’d want to use! In fact use it!).

You can also use a local server on your computer, if you don’t feel like spending any money, and don’t really want to share your work with anyone.

When you have learned your way around WordPress, start another little site. However, this time be a bit more ambitious, and this time, try your hand at putting in all the functionality yourself. If your confused on something, you can always rip off someone else’s work and learn from them.

Congratulations!

If that seems like a lot. It is. WordPress is a much larger topic than many people assume at first. However, if you take it one bite at a time, you will eventually learn everything you need to, when it comes to creating WordPress websites. Its a skill that is highly in demand, and doesn’t require a degree. Keep plugging away, and you will find that it was very worth it!

Hopefully, this guide will help you in becoming a solid WordPress developer.

, Concrete & Foundation Requirements For Steel Building Kits, Building Wrestling

Steel building kits are becoming a very popular option in regard to new building construction. Typically, you can construct a steel building kit much faster, and much cheaper than you could a traditional wood frame building. They are virtually maintenance-free and for the smaller buildings, you don’t always need a contractor to build it.

One detail that will need to be worked out before you build, and before you purchase, is onto what will the building be erected? Bare dirt? Concrete? Concrete foundations increase the overall cost of the project, but may be required for a larger building, or a structure that will be permanent. The primary type of steel structures that are on dirt foundations are carports. But, depending on local requirements, steel buildings can sometimes be built on bare ground. The following information will illustrate some details on ground foundations and concrete foundations.

You will find that steel building kits can be anchored on the ground (without a concrete floor) or on concrete. Before getting into particulars, if you are in an area that has a frost line, you will need to be approximately 12″ under that frost line for your perimeter footings. This depth requirement for colder areas applies to ground anchoring as well.

The below described concrete applications do not account for frost line requirements.

Ground Mount (no concrete pad):

  1. When mounting your steel building kit to the ground, you will be required to dig a post hole approximately 10″ in diameter and 30″ deep every five feet or every four feet depending upon whether you have purchased a 5′ on-center system or a 4′ on-center system.
  2. Assemble your base rails** and lay them in place, marking where your holes should be dug. (A 16 D nail poked into the ground through the pre-drilled hole in the base rails works very accurately for this.)
  3. Next, use a post hole digger or auger and drill your holes 30″ deep. Clean out the holes.
  4. You would now lay out your steel building kit base rails according to the instructions and drop the ground anchors into the pre-drilled holes. Use a 2500psi concrete (pre-mixed bags or mix your own) and, using a shovel, fill the holes.

You should wait at least seven days for the concrete to properly set before moving on with the assembly of your steel building.

Concrete Mount:

  1. Size the slab. You should make your slab 4″ wider than the width of your steel building and 6″ longer. This is so you don’t break or crack the edge of the slab when affixing the concrete anchor expansion bolts into your slab.
  2. Concrete Floor: Your floor should be a minimum of 4″ thick. Make it 6″ thick if you are intending large vehicles such as trucks or larger RVs to be parked on it. The concrete should be a minimum of 2500 psi concrete with fiber mesh reinforcement added at the batch plant OR #3 rebar on 24″ centers. You should also consider going with a concrete mixture of 4000psi along with the extra two inches of concrete if you are intending more than a normal amount of weight.
  3. Be sure to saw cut expansion joints within an appropriate time after the pour is finished or trowel in the expansion joints while the finishing is occurring.

Footing Requirements: (International Building Code 2000 or “IBC 2000” requirements)

At the same time you pour the floor, you are going to pour the perimeter footings. This is called a monolithic pour or monolithic slab. Perimeter footings need to be 12″ deep (you can include the 4″ of floor as part of the 12″) and 16″ wide. The footings will have to have two #4 rebar lengths top and bottom, continuous run around the complete perimeter.

In our local area (Tempe, AZ), the footings would cost approximately $11.50 per lineal (running) foot.

That’s it. If your building department is still using UBC 1997 (Uniform Building Code), which many of them are, your footing only needs to be 12″ wide. That should knock about $1.00 per lineal foot off the above footing price estimate. For more information on concrete requirements for steel buildings, visit Absolute Steel and Storage. You can find many pages of technical help information there.

** = See pictures on putting together your base rails here: Assemble your base rails

, Tips for Choosing a Good Custom Home Building Service, Building Wrestling

There are many advantages to choosing to build a custom designed home rather than buying an existing property; these include the possibility to create a space that caters to all your unique needs and wants. This does not have to be an exceptionally expensive option either – another benefit is that you will have complete control over your budget.

To make sure that you get the best experience out of your home building experience it is very important to find a good custom home builder to help bring your dreams to life. Here are a few important guidelines to follow to find the best professional to entrust with creating your new home.

Firstly, do not underestimate the power of recommendations; the best way to choose between a selections of custom home builders in your local area is to find out which ones have the happiest clients.

As with any service, people are always keen to share their positive and negative experiences, so seek out independent reviews websites which may provide useful information to help you make your decision on the best building service.

It is also worth looking on the company websites of the custom home builders you are considering. These best ones will not be backwards in coming forwards with the testimonials they have received from satisfied clients who have created their dream home with the help of the company.

It is also a good idea to ask the builders directly if they can put you in touch with their former clients. You may even in some cases be able to visit one of the properties that the custom home builder has created and speak to the owner. This will provide you with a valuable insight into the experience that you can expect if you work with them.

After you have found a few highly rated and reputable services, the next thing to do is to have a look through the portfolio of properties that they have designed and built. This will give you an idea of the types of property that they are used to constructing and designing.

You may be looking for a very modern, energy efficient and eco friendly home, and there are many custom home builders that deal often with this kind of building project, so you will benefit from all of their experience in this field if you choose to hire them.

On the other hand, you may like a more traditional looking home, in which case it is a good idea to find a custom build service that is experienced in creating this particular type of home. Either way, look carefully through portfolios to find a service whose previous projects appeal to you and are similar to what you have in mind for your own home.

Another thing that you absolutely must be aware of when you are looking for custom home builders to help you create your dream property is that there are many different aspects to such an enormous project. As you are taking care of every single large and tiny detail of the project you will need to find a service that can assist you with this.

The best service for those who are likely to find themselves overwhelmed by the enormity of such a project is one that guides its clients from start to finish of the build. This includes finding a good architect, creating an accurate budget, installing home video and audio systems, installing security systems, choosing finishes for both the home interior and exterior and much, much more.

The best way to make this kind of project a success is to find a professional that can help you every step of the way and one who is experienced enough to offer excellent advice on every single aspect of your project. Bear all of the above points in mind and you will be well on your way to finding the best custom home building service for you.

, What Are the Goals and Objectives of a Team Building Workshop?, Building Wrestling

In any Organisation, and at any level, a facilitated Team Building workshop can be a possible route to improve the Team and to foster high performance. A Team is a powerful entity, as we know from sport. A high performing Team not only achieves success, but also has dynamism and an energy that nurtures individual high achievement and a high degree of job satisfaction.

The Overall Objective

The overall objective of any Team Building Workshop should be that your Team is further down the road towards achieving the status of a high performing Team. This is a useful theme for the workshop, as it keeps the Team thinking forward to where we want to be, and planning how we can get from where we are now to the forward vision.

This fundamental objective gives us a framework that should be part of any Team Building Workshop –

1. Where are we now?

2. Where do we want to be?

3. How will we get there?

This framework can be used on a Team Build Workshop to address either or both of the 2 separate branches of the Team’s goals and objectives –

1. The Team’s objectives regarding our Team purpose, our Team goals and performance targets

2. The Team’s objectives regarding our Teamwork, how we effectively we work together to achieve our Team purpose and objectives

Both strands will come together at the end of the Team Building workshop, in the form of strategies, plans and actions to take us forward.

Team Purpose Objectives and Goals

When addressing our Team Goals and achievements in a Team Building Workshop, it is useful to begin with a fresh look at your Team purpose and where it fits in the Organisation purpose. It is also important to identify the Organisation’ strategic goals and the goals the Organisation has given the Team, as this is our context.

The objective in a Team Building Workshop then is to ask ourselves –

1. How well placed are we to achieve our Team Goals?

2. What are our strengths as a Team? What have we got to achieve these goals?

3. What is blocking, or preventing us from achieving?

4. What do we need to improve or develop to achieve success?

Our Goals in terms of Teamwork

Teamwork is the way we work together to achieve our goals. It includes our values, attitudes, relationships, and Team processes. The key to removing blocks and moving forward in a Team is to identify what PROCESS can we use to improve on this issue? There will always be a Team process that will improve relationship issues, effective work practices or blocks to high performance.

To move forward as a Team, it is useful to think in terms of Tuckman’s Stages of Team Development. This will give us a good objective framework to identify where we are, and where we want to be.

In the Team Building Workshop, the Team can –

1. Review and assess their current Stage of Team Development

2. Identify their future vision, where we want to be as a Team. This involves both a vision and clearly identified goals.

3. Identify clear short term goals, the next steps we must achieve to move them to the next level

4. Plan how we will do this, strategies and actions to achieve those next steps.

Planning the Team’s Way Forward

Taking the 2 strands of goals together, the Team can sift out the mission critical areas for future development. A good Team Building Workshop should finish with a brainstorm and planning session so that the Team has a plan for improving each specific issue. They leave with action plans and new Team Processes to enable the Team to work effectively together.

, Fraternity and Sorority Team Building Games and Exercises, Building Wrestling

The activities listed here are actual team builders, and you need to know a little bit about your team members before you can do them. Before you start into these games, you should do some ice breakers to make everyone feel comfortable. Try games that involve names or even simple tag games that you played in elementary school, and then work your way into these tougher team builders.

Blindfolded Walks

Putting blindfolds on people is a really great way to help them build trust, but it can also be a great way to shatter trust within a group. Before you do anything with blindfolds, make sure that A) there are a couple of responsible sighted people around to make sure no one gets hurt and B) the group is actually taking the activity seriously. Of course, everyone should be having fun, but they should also know when to shut up and listen to directions before you can move on with games like these.

There are a lot of things you can do with blindfolded people, but one of the most fun is this:

1. Blindfold the entire group, and tell them you’ll be picking out leaders for them after everyone is blindfolded.

2. Quietly tap two people on the shoulders, and lead them away from the group. Explain that they are the new leaders, and that they’ll have to lead the group from point A to point B without using any words. They can make noises of any sort, as long as they don’t form a recognizable language, and they can’t touch anyone from the group.

3. Tell the group that they will now have to follow the leaders without revealing who the leaders actually are. Give them two minutes to get organized in a way that will make their passage easier, and then signal to the leaders that they are to begin leading.

4. Have the leaders of the group follow you through any number of obstacles – down stairs, up stairs, under a table, between two trees, over a fence, etc. – that you know everyone in the group can handle. Be sure there are a few sighted people around to keep people from getting hurt, but instruct the sighted people that they aren’t to touch a team member unless he is actually on the verge of running into something.

5. When the group finally gets to the end, after you have, most likely, had to stop them and regroup a few times, have them talk about what it was like to be led, and have the leaders talk about what it was like to try to lead.

Building Games

There are tons of different games you can do with basic building materials. If you’re looking for something creative and competitive, this is a great activity to use. Here are a few different materials and goals that you can give a group. Make sure they only use what you give them, and give them a time limit and a goal before you start.

• Build a marble run. Use PVC pipes and connectors and some marbles.

• Build a tower. Use toothpicks and glue.

• Build a catapult. Use PVC pipes, wood blocks, and rubber bands.

• Build a shelter for all the team members. Use paper, tape, and rubber bands.

, Five Building Blocks of an Integrated Talent Management System, Building Wrestling

What is an integrated talent management?

Integrated talent management (ITM) refers to the management of traditional HR sub- functions (recruitment and selection, workforce planning, performance management, learning and development, reward and recognition and succession planning) in an integrated fashion to strategically leverage talent. An integrated talent management strategy must be aligned with the business strategy of the organisation otherwise it will add no value to the business, regardless of how good the strategy is. The cornerstone of an integrated Talent Management (ITM) System is a robust competency model that guides talent management strategy and tactics.

There are five building blocks that make up an ITM system, i.e. Philosophy of Talent Management, Talent Management Processes, Integrated Talent Management Information System, Governance Structure, and Talent Management Metrics.

1. Talent Management Philosophy

Talent Management Philosophy refers to a collective understanding of what is “talent management” and also the school of thought (pertaining to talent management) the management team has adopted. We learn from organisational psychology that for any organisational change effort to be successful, it must be supported by the top management of the organization. It is therefore important that an acknowledgement of the challenges faced by the organisation from a talent perspective, and how the organization intends to respond to the challenges is expressed in a policy statement of the organisation. The leadership of the organisation must agree on the guiding principles that will be applied to manage talent in the organisation.

2. Talent Management Processes

Processes are used as vehicles to transform something from one form to another form. HR Practitioners should shift their mindsets from a silo based mentality of managing HR sub-functions to a mindset of using these functions as a vehicle to build an organisational capability to attract, engage, and retain competent and committed employees. Each process functions as a means to an end and not an end in itself. It is critical for owners of each process to understand the outputs of these collective processes, otherwise the benefits of an integrated system will not be realised. The following is a brief discussion of how each process contributes to building this organisational capability (strategically leveraging talent).

2.1 Talent acquisition

The Talent Acquisition Process serves as a lever to pull talent from the external and the internal talent pool, but it does not lose sight of the over-arching objectives of the collective processes (talent acquisition, talent engagement, talent development and talent retention). First and foremost, the Talent Acquisition Specialist (TAS) must understand the business strategy and translate it into talent outcomes (the quality and quantity of talent) for the short term (1 year) and the long term (3-5 years). The next step will entail establishing if the required talent will be available (internally or externally) when it is needed. Decisions will be made as to which talent to buy (attract and source externally) and which one to build (develop). The TAS will not be able to make these decisions (buy or build) if he/she does not understand the depth and breadth of internal talent and also what talent is available in the labour market.

If the organisation has the luxury of time and has identified potential talent to be developed, the Training and Development Lever will be engaged to start the process of preparing the identified talent for the future roles. In a case where a decision is made to buy talent for current and future roles, the TAS will embark on a recruitment drive to fill current vacant positions and identify talent earmarked for future roles in the organisation. A talent bank will be established where potential external candidates’ names to fill these future roles are recorded.

The TAS will not be able to discharge their duties if they don’t have a “Workforce Plan” and don’t know what the organisation’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is. These two documents will guide the Talent Acquisition Strategy and the tactics to implement the strategy. The outputs from this process (Talent Acquisition) will flow into the On-boarding, learning and development, and talent engagement processes. The EVP commits the organisation on what value employees will gain from working for the organisation, hence it is incumbent on the TAS and other role players like HR Business Partners, HR administrators, Line Management, Learning and Development Practioners, and Compensation and Benefits Practitioners to make this proposition a reality.

2.2 Talent engagement

Talent engagement is the extent to which employees commit to something or someone in their organisation and how hard they work and how long they stay as a result of that commitment (Corporate Executive Board, 2005). Employee engagement comes into effect from the point when an employee is on-boarded. The purpose of an on-boarding process is not just about an employee understanding the policies of the organisation and preparing their workstations before they join. The purpose of the onboarding process is to enable the new recruit to add value to the company in a short space of time by coaching and providing them with all the resources they need to feel engaged and valued in the organisation.

Talent Acquisition Specialists have a responsibility to ensure that they recruit the right person for the right job. If the new recruit does not fit the job profile and the culture of the organisation, the talent engagement efforts will not positively influence the new recruit’s engagement level. Learning and Development as a function must also understand the competency gaps identified from the new recruits during the selection process so that opportunities for competency development are immediately created and actioned. Other levers that are used to engage employees include Performance Management, Succession Planning, Recognition and Reward and Leadership Quality.

2.3 Talent development

The talent development strategy must be aligned with the business strategy. The Training and Development Practitioner (TDP) must translate the business strategy into Talent Development outcomes. The TDP should understand what organisational capabilities related to competencies (knowledge, skills, behavioural) must be developed to enable the organisation to execute its strategy. This does not mean that employees who have competency gaps related to their current positions are ignored, they too must be developed. Another source that feeds into the talent development space is the career development needs of employees, which must also be factored into the training and development strategy. The career aspirations of employees must be aligned with the long term plans of the organisation which are reflected in the career paths and the organisational structures of the organisation. You would not want to spend resources developing employees in a particular direction knowing that in the medium/long term, such skills will not be needed in the organisation.

What are the inputs and outputs of this process?

There are three inputs (HR functions) that feed into the Talent Development Process, i.e. performance management, succession planning and workforce planning. At the end of the performance appraisal period, the competency gaps of the relevant employees are collated and fed into the Learning and Development platform. The potential successors’ development needs are also transferred to the Learning and Development platform. The LDP is a critical role player in ensuring that talent is developed for future positions. It is needless to say that the LDP should understand the organisation’s workforce plan so that he/she, in conjunction with line management sets a strategy in place to develop future talent.

2.4 Talent retention

The employee engagement index (a measure of employee engagement levels) serves as a leading indicator for retention. There seems to be an inverse relationship between employee engagement and labour turn over. A decrease in employee engagement scores, results in an increase in labour turnover rate if no action is taken to improve the employee engagement scores. It is important that your employee engagement initiatives are targeting what is most important for the employees you want to retain. Retention risk assessments must be conducted with all employees (those you want to keep) in critical positions and the High Potential Employees (HIPO). If you know what risk you have of losing them, you will develop a strategy to keep them and those that you can’t keep, a backup plan must be put in place so that you have cover when they leave. Talent retention is not a once off intervention; it is an ongoing process that aims to influence how employees feel about their jobs, managers, colleagues, and the organisation. The quality of leadership has the most influence on the commitment level of employees in the organisation, hence, organisations must invest resources to constantly improve the quality of their leaders.

To retain talent, an employer must understand what employees value, and align its practices with the EVP. A culture of “Employee Value ” where everyone in the organisation, from an employee on the shop floor (quality of team members) to the Chief Executive Officer understands and contributes to an environment where the organisation’s EVP becomes a reality.

3. Integrated Talent Management Information System

Different HR sub-functions (recruitment and selection, performance management, succession planning, training and development, reward and recognition) are applied in various processes of talent management and each HR sub-function generates data that are used for managing talent. An integrated Talent Management System enables users to pull all this information (from different HR sub-functions) together to assist decision makers to understand the depth and breadth of talent at their disposal and talent risks that they should mitigate. There are various talent management information systems available in the market. Some are offered as part of the Enterprise Resource Planning, and some are standalone systems.

4. Talent Review Committees

Talent management is the responsibility of line management and HR supports line by making the tools available and also giving them training and guidance on how to apply the tools. Talent management should be a standard agenda item in the Board and Executive Committee (EXCO) meetings. Talent Review Committee’s (TRC) function is to keep the focus on talent management alive, and to understand the talent risks the organisation is facing and develop and implement a risk mitigation strategy. Governance structures take different forms depending on the size and complexity of the organisation. For an example, a global organisation will have a TRC at a corporate level focusing on the senior executive bench strength, a number of TRCs per division, another TRC which comprises divisional representatives that focuses across divisions and functional TRCs. These committees will focus on different levels and different types of critical positions talent pools.

5. Talent Management Metrics

The old management adage popularised by Professor Deming that says “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” also applies to managing talent in organisations. There are a myriad of measures that one can use to measure the impact of talent management initiatives, but before deciding on measures to use, you need to establish from your clients (line management) which measures matter most for them. Internally, you will also want to measure the outputs per process so that you can determine if all the processes are adding value to the ultimate outcome (business performance). There are two types of indicators that must be used when measuring the outcomes of talent management initiatives, i.e. lagging and leading indicators. Leading indicators (e.g. Employee engagement scores) predict the outcome, while lagging indicators are historical in nature (e.g. labour turnover rate). As far as talent management is concerned, the measures must help you answer the following questions:

1. What is the breadth of our talent ( Bench strength/succession cover for critical positions)?

2. What is the depth of our talent ( Readiness levels/ percentage of employees who are ready now, ready in the next year, ready between 1 and 3 years)?

3. What are the retention risks (Percentage of employees in critical positions who may leave in the next year, 2 years, or 3 years; Labour turnover rate of critical talent; employee engagement scores; leadership quality)?

4. Do we attract the right talent (Number of potential candidates per critical vacancy)?

5. Are we developing our own talent (Number of employees with development plans, cross functional moves)?

There are different role players in the whole process of managing talent (from talent acquisition to talent retention) and to make sure that they all function as one team with the same objectives, they must all be measured against the same set of measures.

Conclusion

A framework was presented in this article on how to apply an integrated approach to talent management. There are a lot of frameworks available in literature with varying degrees of complexities. What is important is how you adapt these frameworks to your unique environment.

, 5 Steps To Building A Profitable Home Internet Business In 2017, Building Wrestling

Building as profitable home internet business is not as complicated as you may think. You may be nervous about getting caught up with technical issues that seem impossible to understand. Or you might feel that you’re too old, too young or too inexperienced. Or you may just not know where to start.

As long as you know what you want to sell and who you want to sell it to, you’re ready to get started. Let’s take a look at the 5 steps to building a profitable home internet business.

1. Get Your Website Online

With modern software and technology, building a website is not that difficult. You definitely don’t have to start learning website coding or e-commerce programs. There are many online business systems that can be installed with a few clicks following step-by-step instructions. You can even outsource the whole set up if you feel that it’s too much for you.

2. Get People To Visit Your Website

Your home internet businesses will only make money if you get traffic to your website. Traffic is basically the number of people who visit your website. There are two ways to generate website traffic. You can buy website traffic or you can generate free website traffic. When you buy website traffic, it’s essentially paid advertising. It delivers instant results but the traffic stops as soon as you stop paying for it. So you have to ensure that you spend your money wisely. Free website traffic takes a little longer to generate, but once it starts, it can provide a regular flow of visitor traffic.

3. Provide Valuable Content For Free

It’s highly unlikely that somebody will buy from you the first time that they visit your website. You have gone to a lot of effort to get them to visit your website in the first place and you don’t want that work to go to waste. So, if you can obtain their email address, you can remain in contact with them. To encourage a website visitor to provide you with their email address, offer them something of value for free such a report, a discount or special offer. As long as it is relevant to your business and provides value.

4. Use Emails To Build A Relationship With Your Prospect

Email marketing is considered to be one of the most effective marketing strategies and you will need an email autoresponder. An autoresponder will automatically email your freebie when somebody requests it. It can then continue to send a pre-written series of emails to develop a relationship with your potential buyer.

5. Make Offers Or Recommendations

Email marketing is effective because you are providing regular and meaningful communications. The more value you provide, the more you will be seen as a trusted source of information. Then, when you make offers and recommendations about products and services to buy, your prospects are far more likely to buy from you because they trust your judgement.