Employee Engagement: How to Maximize Productivity and make your Employees Want to Work?

What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is based on trust, integrity, two way commitment and communication between an organisation and its staff. It is an approach that increases the chances of business success, contributing to organisational and individual performance, productivity and well-being1.
Employee Engagement from the perspective of the employees2

Imagine if an employee can wake up and be excited about going to work. Imagine if he looks forward to sharing great ideas, to working together with colleagues and accomplishing a common goal. That employee would feel as though they are a part of the organisation making a vital contribution to achieving the company’s mission.
Employee engagement is about being included fully as a member of the team, focusing on clear goals, trusted and empowered, receiving regular and constructive feedback, supported in developing new skills, thanked and recognised for achievement.
A work environment that is fair, based on mutual respect is an engaged organisation.

Employee engagement from the perspective of the Employer 3
Employee engagement is about positive attitudes and behaviours leading to improved business outcomes, in a way that they trigger and reinforce one another. Imagine an organisation that runs on employees’ knowledge and ideas to improve products and services and to promote innovation. Imagine a place where your employees can recommend the organisation to prospective employees and boast that the actions of the employer are in line with the values of the company.

Methods of Employee Engagement
Have a tea lady who walks around offering beverages, she can then return to the refrigerator and bring it;
Give employees flexi-time-whereby they can work from home on two or more days per week, for accountability they will log in and log out;
Have a snack or fruit bar full of fruits and snacks for employees to indulge in;
Ask employees about their goals and aspirations and advise them generally on how to move forward;
Show concern for employees who are experiencing difficulties when their spouse or sibling is sick i.e. compassion;
Give employees every other Friday off for personal business, the compromise is that staff will work an additional hour everyday or come in one hour early every morning.
Try to get all employees involved in activities this limits the feeling of alienation.
Employee engagement is about eliciting a deeper commitment from our employees thereby receiving fewer sick leave ,reduction in absenteeism, decreasing accident and incidents rates , limited conflicts and grievances ,and ultimately an increase in productivity 4.
References: 1-4 http://engageforsuccess.org/what-is-employee-engagement

 

The author is an attorney at law in Trinidad , she specialises in Anti Money Laundering and the Countering of the Financing of Terrorism. See the website http://asydneygroup.com Instagram @asydneygrouptt Whatsapp 1 868 484-7778

Advertisements

A dog is still a dog, do not try to change your partner

The things that we accept, will be the things that we regret in our partners.My neighbour’s pet dog usually comes in my yard,he chases chickens,birds,vehicles and barks at pedestrians. He only does these things away from his residence.When he is home,he sleeps inside the house,he eats dog food,and he appears well trained. As soon as he afforded the opportunity to leave his yard,he reveals his true nature. My father observed the dog eating chicken bones that we discarded and he remarked that the dog sleeps on his own couch at home,yet he is in our yard,consuming bones. I replied, “a Dog is still a dog”. It does not matter if we take the dog to the vet, or we buy brand name accessories for the dog, he is still a dog.

I considered the lives of many people who feel that they can change their romantic partner. Silly isn’t it? Maya Angelou said that when people show you who they are,believe them. Do not waste your time and energy trying to fix the perceived  flaws and imperfections on another. Invest that time in yourself. Accept people for who they show you they are. 

Are you blind to the true nature of your partner?

Open you eyes ! 

The author is an attorney at law based in Trinidad.She specialises in Anti Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism. Website : http://asydneygroup.com.
What’s app 868 484-7778

Instagram @asydneygroup.com

You created your own misfortune by not believing in yourself

Saturday morning cartoons make me feel alive.I prepared pancakes, sausages and eggs for breakfast and I watched cartoons from the 90s. 

In the evening time,I watched an episode of Johnny Bravo,where a series of unfortunate things happened to him as he lusted after yet another woman. It could have been a heat flash,but Dionne Warwick appeared in a vision to him. She warned Johnny that his failure to believe in himself and his ability to successfully pursue the woman was the cause of his perceived bad luck.

It’s amazing where you can find inspiration. In a cartoon ,a movie,a child . Just think of it as the universe’s way of speaking to you.

Believe in yourself.Believe in your dreams.Believe in your ability to execute the project. Never give up.Trust the process.

Do not let your own doubt cause you to experience bad luck.Just believe.

The author is an attorney at law based in Trinidad, she specialises in Anti Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism. 

See the website : http://asydneygroup.com

What’s app only 1 868 484-7777

Instagram @asydneygrouptt

What does the way you walk say about you?

I have always been teased about the way I walk. I walk quickly, I pass people by on the sidewalks as though a dog I chasing me. I am oftentimes told that I would get a speeding ticket. I simply laugh at these jokes. In response, I say that I am “on a mission”. I could be on my way to class, on my way to the office or about to meet a friend, I walk with purpose.
Increasing your walking pace by 25% was one of the confidence building exercises in the Magic of Thinking Big . The author told of the games his mother played that consisted of watching passersby and observing their walking habits. His mother advised him that there was much to learn from observing the walking habits of people. The author said that psychologists link poor posture and sluggish walking to low self confidence. Psychologists also say that our attitudes can be changed by improving our posture and by increasing our speed of movement.
The author described 3 different groups of people based on their walking patterns. The first group are the “beaten people”, they “shuffle and stumble along through their life”. The second group of people are average and so is their walk, average. The last group of people exude “superconfidence” in the words of the author. These people walk faster than average, there is a sprint in the way they walk. Their walk tells the world “ I’ve got someplace important to go, something important to do”. Moreover, it tells the onlooker that the walker will succeed at anything he is about to do. The author advised that we should “throw our shoulders back, lift up our head and walk a little faster and feel confidence grow.

The author is an Attorney at Law in Trinidad and Tobago. She is an internationally Certified Specialist in Anti Money Laundering, Countering the Financing of Terrorism and FIU Compliance. See the website http://asydneygroup.com for her portfolio of companies. Instagram @asydneygrouptt Whats app 868 484-7778 .

How to Register a Limited Liability Company in Trinidad and Tobago

Registering your limited liability company with the Companies Registrar has many benefits. Once you obtain the Certificate of Registration, a bank account can be opened in respect of the company and the company can enter into contracts.

There are three steps to incorporate a limited liability company in Trinidad and Tobago namely:

  1. Name Search and Reservation
  2. Incorporation documents

3.By-Laws

These will now be discussed in turn.

  1. Name Search and Reservation

This form has to be submitted to Registrar of Companies along with the necessary filing fee. The desired name for the company as well as two (2) alternative names must be included in the form. These alternative names will be considered in the event that the desired company name has already been registered or reserved. Once the name is reserved, the applicant has 28 days to complete the registration process. The applicant has to sign at the bottom of the Name Search form, an incorporator (attorney at law, accountant or specialized incorporator) can sign for and on behalf of the applicant. In the event that the proposed name and the two alternatives are rejected by the Registrar, a new name search must be filed. The Registrar may reject a company name for the following reasons :

(i) names prohibited by the Companies Act;

(ii) names similar to those already registered or;

(iii) a combination of general words that lack distinction or

(iv) names that are misleading to the public.

It is wise to be specific in stating the type of services that will be offered by your company. The Registrar can request that the applicant clarify any difficulties with the proposed name by putting a query on your application. At that point, the applicant will then satisfy the Registrar’s request by writing a letter explaining why the particular name was chosen. After filing the Name Search in the appropriate form, the applicant has to return to the office of the Companies Registrar in five to seven working days to collect the response. The date for the applicant to return will be stamped on the receipt collected after the fees are paid to the cashier. If the company name is approved, the applicant can move on to the second step, that is the incorporation documents.

  1. Incorporation documents

The four incorporation documents must be completed in duplicate and filed by the applicant along with the necessary filing fees. Be sure to keep the name approval safely and to submit same with the incorporation documents. The incorporation documents are:

(a) Articles of Incorporation;

(b) Notice of Directors;

(c) Notice of address of Registered Office

(d) Notice of Secretary(ies)

With respect to the Articles of Incorporation , the approved name of the company must be inserted. The applicant must state whether the company will be a private or public company.  The type of liability of the members must also be included whether limited or unlimited. The number of directors must be stated, by law a minimum of 2 directors are needed, a maximum of 10 directors are allowed. The name ,occupation, address and signature of the incorporator has to be included in the Articles of Incorporation. The applicant (one of the directors) also has to sign both copies of the form.

The Notice of Directors must also be completed and filed.  This form provides the names, occupation and addresses of all of the directors. It is reiterated that there must be a minimum of 2 directors and a maximum of 10 directors.

The Notice of Address of Registered Office sets out the registered address of the company. All official company documents and files must be kept here. Generally, the applicant can use his residence as the registered office, however if the applicant is seeking to open a company bank account, one bank in particular will request to see the premises to ensure that it has an office conducive to operating a business.

The Notice of Secretaries is usually filed as part and parcel of the incorporating documents. The Board of Directors will usually appoint the Corporate Secretary, a director can also act as a Corporate Secretary. The Corporate Secretary will ensure that the company complies with statutory requirements as well as ensuring that the annual returns are filed on time. Caution should be exercised in selecting a Corporate Secretary since this person can sign the documents to dissolve the company.

Once these incorporation documents are prepared and signed, an officer at the Companies Registry will review it briefly and then direct the applicant to the cashier. The applicant will pay the relevant fees and the cashier will prepare a receipt and stamp the date for the Certificate to be collected. Usually five to seven working days, may be longer. If there are further queries by the Registrar, these will have to be satisfied.  Once the applicant returns on the stamped date, and the Certificate is produced it can be collected.

3.By-Laws

The date stated on the Certificate of Incorporation will be deemed the date of incorporation of the company. This is relevant to the entering of contracts by the company and the opening of company accounts.  The next step after the issue of the Certificate is the development of By Laws to conduct the affairs of the company. This document is not filed at the Companies Registry, particularly for companies for profit. The By Laws will be kept at the registered office of the company.

 

Please be guided that Annual Returns have be filed at the Companies Registry yearly. The company must also  acquire a Board of Inland Revenue number, register for VAT where applicable, and other statutory taxes. The company may also have to be registered with the Financial Intelligence Unit if it is considered a Listed Business as per FIU Regulations.

Disclaimer

The content herein is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney at law to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.

About the Author:

A.Sydney is an attorney at law in Trinidad and Tobago. She specializes in AML/CFT/FIU/Tax Compliance, and provides Corporate Secretarial Services to local and international giants in various industries. Feel free to explore the website for her portfolio of companies and add her on social media:

Website:

http://asydneygroup.com

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/sydneygrouptt/

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/asydneygrouptt/?hl=en

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sydney-group-238922141

WhatsApp only 868 484-7778

 

 

FACTS about FATCA in Trinidad and Tobago for Individuals and Companies: Must Read

“Uncle Sam wants to ensure that he collects his taxes wherever his nieces and nephews reside”. I overheard one of my bankers explaining this reasoning to another client  in response to a  query about the FATCA questionnaire. In accordance with one of our favorite superheroes in the Book of great Parables and Fables, we must render unto Caesar the taxes that are due unto him[1]. This explanation resonated with me and I want to present you herein with some facts about FATCA .

What is FATCA?

FATCA is an acronym for Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and it was introduced by the United States Government in 2009 to ensure that U.S. persons with financial assets outside of the United States are paying U.S taxes.

What is the rationale behind introducing FATCA legislation?

The main objective is to obtain information on U.S. persons who may have financial assets outside of the U.S, or those U.S. persons who may be investing and earning income through financial institutions outside the United States.

Who is affected by FATCA?

U.S. citizens or U.S. registered businesses such as limited liability companies, trusts, partnerships, estates;

US individual residents, including US Green Cardholders;

US individuals who own certain foreign financial accounts or other offshore assets;

Local businesses/companies that have U.S. ownership;

FFIs- any non U.S. financial institution (an institution that accepts deposits, invests, trades securities).

What are financial Institutions required to do with respect to FATCA?

Undertake certain identification and due diligence procedures involving new customers desirous of opening new accounts;

Report annually to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information on customers who are U.S persons or foreign entities with substantial U.S. ownership;

Close accounts of certain customers who do not wish to cooperate with the new FATCA requirements including:

(a) Non-participating financial institutions or ;

(b) Customers who fail to provide sufficient information to determine whether or not they are a U.S. person.

Who is a U.S. person for the purposes of FATCA?

A citizen or resident of the United States, including a green card holder;

A partnership, corporation, estate, trust incorporated or created under US law (US incorporated entity);

A non U.S. incorporated entity having substantial ownership held by –an individual who was born in the US or is a US citizen/resident (including a green card holder) or has a US address or a US mailing address;

A U.S. incorporated entity.

How would I know if I am a U.S. Person under FATCA?

The following are captured in this definition:

U.S. resident or citizen including US Green Card holders;

U.S. Place of Birth;

U.S. home or mailing address;

Only address is a U.S. PO Box, C/O mail address

Power of attorney or signing authority having U.S. address

A U.S. telephone number;

Standing order to transfer funds to an account in the U.S.

What are the FATCA forms?

There are various FATCA forms that are to be completed by the Applicant:

U.S. Person Status Form (Individuals only);

Non US Person Declaration;

Non US Person /Letter of Explanation of US Address;

Waiver of Confidentiality/Data Protection for US Person.

The Internal Revenue Service forms are:-

Form W9;

Form W-BEN;

Form W-8BEN-E.

Different documents are required for   individuals and for companies. There are various classification for business and companies for the IRS forms.

Disclaimer

The content herein is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney at law to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.

[1] The King James Version: Mathew Chapter 22 Verse 21

About the Author:

A.Sydney is an attorney at law in Trinidad and Tobago. She specializes in AML/CFT/FIU  Compliance, Taxation and provides Corporate Secretarial Services. Feel free to explore the website for her portfolio of companies: http://asydneygroup.com .

 

 

PEP Talk: Why do Financial Institutions ask if you are a Politically Exposed Person (PEP)

Do you recall being asked whether you are a Politically Exposed Person (PEP) on an application form to open a new deposit account with your financial institution? Welcome to the club! I erroneously interpreted this question as the bank’s attempt to determine my political alignment. Knowledge has since found me and enlightened me. I have been forgiven of my blissful ignorance and I am not afraid to tell you about the good news of the banks’ rationale in seeking to determine whether a potential customer is a PEP.

What are PEPs?

Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) are those individuals presently or formerly holding a powerful local or foreign public position, and family members and close associates of that individual.[1]

PEPS are classified according to the potential risks involved[2].

High Risk – Level 1 PEPs

Heads of state and government;

Members of government (national and regional);

Members of Parliaments (national and regional);

Heads of military, judiciary, law enforcement and board of central banks;

Top ranking officials of political parties.

 

Medium-High Risk – Level 2 PEPs

Senior officials of the military, judiciary, and law enforcement agencies;

Senior officials of other state agencies and bodies and high ranking civil servants;

Senior members of religious groups;

Ambassadors, consuls, high commissioners.

 

Medium Risk – Level 3 PEPs

Senior management and board of directors of state-owned businesses and organisations – e.g. Chairman of a Bank

 

Low Risk – Level 4 PEPs

Mayors and members of local county, city and district assemblies

Senior officials and functionaries of international or supranational organisations

 

Why are PEPs high risk clients to a Financial Institution?

PEPs are potential targets for bribes due to their prominent position in public life. They have a higher risk of corruption due to their access to state accounts and funds[3]. The FIU has warned that it is not to be assumed that all PEPs are involved in criminal activity. Not all PEPs have acquired wealth through illicit means; many entered public life with a substantial net worth. Not all PEPs are corrupt, but they are vulnerable to bribery and corruption at hands of well dressed criminal elements desirous of furthering their nefarious  activities. PEPs are in envious positions to award lucrative contracts and many criminals long for such friends in high places. PEPs pose a substantial risk to the financial institutions and FATF[4] issued guidelines on dealing with same.

PEPs and Money Laundering

Corrupt PEPs may abuse their power and exploit the regulatory difference between jurisdictions to facilitate the laundering of corruption proceeds and/or illegally diverted government, supranational or aid funds[5].

How do Financial Institutions combat money laundering risks posed by PEPs?

Financial Institutions ought to regularly monitor PEPs.

 

Guidance on dealing with PEPs[6]

Recommended actions institutions should take:

Identify the PEP from within the customer base;

Identify the country associated with the PEP;

Identify the type of business, industry, personal financial situation of the PEP (this is basic Know Your Customer information);

Identify the PEP’s affiliations, employment, associations, etc. Develop a profile of the PEPs transactions;

Determine if the transactions are as expected by comparing the actual transactions to what is known about the PEP;

Identify and investigate transactions that are outside the norm, or which are high-risk.

General Guidelines on dealing with Foreign PEPs[7]

With respect to foreign PEPs ,the financial institution must perform Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) on same and  monitor the activities of the foreign PEP  to understand the following:

Source of Funds;

Source of Wealth;

Transactions;

Differences in sums actual deposited compared to expected sums.

In closing, I hope that you in turn spread the wonderful news about the banks’ reasoning behind asking whether a customer is a PEP . That’s all for PEP Talk people.

 

 

 

Sources:

[1]https://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsroom/taxlaw/b/federaltaxation/archive/2014/05/21/politically-exposed-persons-peps.aspx#sthash.agZvV1eB.dpuf

[2] https://complyadvantage.com/fatf-definition-of-pep/

 

[3] http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/tandi/381-400/tandi386.html

[4] http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/recommendations/Guidance-PEP-Rec12-22.pdfhas

[5] http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/tandi/381-400/tandi386.html

[6]http://www.bankinfosecurity.com/politically-exposed-persons-tips-for-how-financial-institutions-should-handle-a-873

[7]http://www.bankinfosecurity.com/politically-exposed-persons-tips-for-how-financial-institutions-should-handle-a-873

 

Introducing the Sydney Group

Dear Fellow Human,

I solve problems for a living. I am curious about the workings of everything around me. I have penetrated multiple markets and I am hungry to pierce the seal of many more. By profession, I am an attorney at law.  Permit me to introduce some of the member companies of the Sydney Group:

  1. A.Sydney Solutions Company Limited-This company offers corporate secretarial services such as company and business registration.
  2. Iris Workshops and Consultancy Services Limited-This company offers online workshops on Estate Planning, Contract Law, Hunan Relations , and Emotional Intelligence.
  3. Eryn Zydney Educational Solutions- This business offers tutoring services, proofreading services and consultancy services in respect of goal setting, time management, career guidance and multiple assessments.
  4. Sydan Maintenance Services Company Limited- This company offers Painting Services, Pressure Washing Services and Lawn Care Services.
  5. Leii’s Online Marketing Services-This business provides online exposure to companies on social media.

Different topics will be explored in this forum ranging from education, to start-up ideas to financial literacy. Please indulge me and bear with me on the journey of the A.Sydney Group  http://asydneygroup.com .

Disclaimer

The content in the subsequent posts are provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney at law to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A.Sydney is an attorney at law by profession in Trinidad and Tobago. She specializes in AML/CFT/FIU  Compliance, Taxation and provides Corporate Secretarial Services.