Want to keep your managers motivated? Business Week, Dec. 10, says, in part, "Offer lateral movement; make it clear that sideways moves aren't a dead end . . . Turn over more responsibility . . . Tie raises to performance, not seniority . . . Offer overseas assignments . . . Give more power . . . Provide mid-career breaks." (The issue, on newsstands this week, is worth reading.)
BITS & PIECES:
"A middle-income couple needs income between 60 and 80 percent of its pre-retirement income to live on at about the same level as it did while employed. Unmarried middle-income retirees need 55 to 75 percent." (Retiring Right by Lawrence Kaplan, $12.95) . . . At a New York Hoffritz cutlery store recently, the lone saleslady, head buried in a phone call, refused to look up or acknowledge several would-be customers for over five minutes; all we needed was, "I'll be with you in a minute." (Why spend millions on advertising, then not take customers' money? It happens too often.)
Did you realize that your best workplace friends may not make good travel companions? Travel Tips International by Deborah Hill, $12.50, says, "Some questions to ask before you plan a trip: Are you a day or night person? Do you prefer being active or relaxing, physical or intellectual? Are you interested in socializing or staying to yourself? How much do you hope to see? Do you sightsee in depth, or wander through? Are you punctual or consistently late?"
DOING IT RIGHT:
"Federal agencies can be frustrating to deal with, but no potential exporter should ignore Washington as a valuable source of information and help. Here is a short guide to the federal trade bureaucracy: Department of Commerce can make available most all the data and help you'll need to succeed in international trade. Call 202-377-3181. Small Business Administration can provide you with trade counseling, legal advice and wealth of trade information. Phone 800-368-5855. Department of Agriculture offers trade-related information services to potential exporters of agricultural products. Phone 202-475-3418." (Nation's Business,Dec.)
Typical diary of a 6 a.m. TV business reporter: l0:30 p.m.: Bedtime, set alarm for 4 a.m., test it twice . . . 12.05 a.m.: Dog whines in my ear, wants to go out . . . 1:45 a.m.: Pikesville Volunteer Fire Department siren wails, one mile away . . . 2:35 a.m.: Wife nudges me, "What's that noise outside?" (Raccoon in garbage cans) . . . 2:55 a.m.: Awake to make sure (third time) alarm clock will ring at 4 a.m. . . . 3:10 a.m.: Wife's son phones from Israel. (It's 10:15 a.m. there) . . . 3:30 a.m.: Hear paper man throw The Sun and Wall Street Journal on driveway . . . 3:50 a.m.: Wide awake now. Switch alarm off, shower, dress (not too quietly, I'm told), drive to TV Hill . . . 6 a.m.: Floor director shouts, "We're on the air!," adrenalin pours, making restless night worthwhile . . . 8 a.m.: Business associate says. "You look tired."
"This will be a poor Christmas for retailers, worst since l982 recession." (Joseph Ellis, top Wall Street retail analyst) . . . Businesses and individuals should see their accountants promptly, as many tax regulations change January 1st and year-end planning is in order . . . "Procrastination preventers: Mix unpleasant chores with more pleasant ones; reward yourself after you do things you didn't want to do; don't worry about finishing the job -- just get started; focus on what you'll gain from getting job done." (Smart Moves by Sam deep, $7.95)