A positive and healthy work culture leads to productive and happy employees. Savvy business leaders understand the importance of providing a nurturing and thriving business culture for their workers. There are a variety of ways in which you can cultivate a healthy work culture at your organization. Here are three of the top ways that you can achieve this goal:
Effective communication is the cornerstone of positive company culture. Employees feel valued and appreciated if they are informed. Transparency at all levels of the organization will provide for a better understanding among all employees. Having visible and accessible management staff will help to provide this transparency. Communication is most effective when it is spread out through various mediums, including in-person meetings and town halls, online communication, and direct peer-to-peer discussions. Using a variety of communication vehicles will ensure that the message is heard loud and clear.
Healthy Culture Through Health
A healthy work culture can be cultivated through a commitment to good physical health. Group fitness activities promote healthy behavior and support positive relationships within the company. Instituting a wellness challenge program not only gets your employees up and moving but it also encourages social interaction through friendly competition. There are a few different kinds of wellness challenges, so you can find one that fits your workplace. Showing a commitment to the physical and emotional health of your employees will promote employee satisfaction and help you to retain your top talent as you grow your business.
Regardless of their age or responsibility level, employees of all skill levels value praise for their hard work. Making praise a key component of your company culture will increase overall employee satisfaction. Business leaders should make it a goal to compliment at least one employee each day. Recognizing small accomplishments will go a long way in cultivating a sense of gratitude in the workplace. Employees who feel noticed and valued are more motivated and empowered to work even harder. It is no secret that employees who feel valued are more productive, contributing positively to the overall bottom line of the organization.
Making the effort to cultivate a healthy company culture will pay off big dividends for the future of your business. Happy employees are team players and productive workers who are committed to making their organization the best that it can be.
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Toxic employees drag everyone down with them. Bad attitudes and inappropriate conduct make other employees feel uncomfortable. Managers find themselves constantly distracted dealing with disasters these troubling hires cause. Firing them may put an end to current miseries, but the effects of toxic employees can linger long after they are shown the door. The best way to deal with toxic employees is not to hire them in the first place. Here are three ways to avoid making a regrettable hiring decision.
Look at Employment History
Horrible employees likely have a long and dubious track record of poor performance. Look closely at an applicant's prior employment history for any red flags. Was the person locked into low-level work for years without any promotions? Did he/she jump from job to job frequently? According to Palmer Group, this can show that an employee could have a behavior issue. Probe these areas of concern, and see what the full story is. Taking the employee's word for everything might not be enough, though. Contact references and past employers to confirm any explanations. Remember, the past may be a good indicator of the employee's future.
Put Them Through an Attitude Test
Not every human resource department relies on an attitude test when screening would-be employees, but their inclusion could be helpful. According to The Hire Talent, attitude tests look for signs of toxic traits like blame, dishonesty, unsupportiveness, criticism, and negativity. Once these traits reveal themselves, a personnel manager can make a more informed decision. Hire someone to train HR in effectively administering an attitude test if no current managers possess the skill. In an office environment, teamwork can be crucial for success. If an attitude test reveals someone is argumentative or hostile, then he/she may not be the right match for the team. Look over the results of the test carefully when weighing different hiring choices. Anyone with toxic traits is not likely a good fit.
Screen Social Media Feeds
According to Law Depot, approximately 70 percent of employers screen a candidate’s social media when making hiring decisions. People reveal a lot about themselves on social media. Sadly, many show shockingly negative personality traits. Inappropriate or adversarial behavior on social media may spread to the workplace. Don't ignore how someone acts online; he or she probably acts that way everywhere. An employee becomes the face of a company to others. When that person acts outrageously on social media, he or she may drag the company into an embarrassing position. A business might even need to hire a PR firm to dig it out of an employee's social-media-created hole.
Toxic employees create havoc wherever they go. Make sure you are confident you aren't hiring one the next time a position opens. By following these tips, you can be less likely to hire an employee that will cause you problems.
Enjoy this article? Check out this other article on ways to increase your employees’ attention to detail!
Attention to detail, or lack thereof, is a crucial component in making or breaking a business. Consequently, the level of detail-orientation of your employees plays an important role in the success and longevity of your company. There are measures that can be taken to enhance and improve employee attention to detail throughout your organization.
If you want to increase the level of attention to detail in your organization, one of the best places to start is at the foundation. When hiring new employees, make sure to ask them about their ability to notice the little things, and test them on this if possible — a lot of people list “attentive to detail” or “detail-oriented” on their resumes and in their interviews without actually having this skill. Candidates with the Analyzer/Logical personality type are naturally exacting, make excellent troubleshooters, and are more likely to double- or triple-check their work before handing it in.
However, keep in mind that these personalities may perform poorly in high-pressure environments.
Training employees about the importance of attention to detail is the first step to achieving the desired milestones and goals set for your business. Moreover, the aspects of your business in which more thorough attention is needed should be specifically outlined to the appropriate employees with training tailored to their unique business needs and contributions. Setting the right expectations upfront encourages workers to pay attention to the small details each and every time.
A training program can be set up accordingly by utilizing a work plan or task checklist with emphasis on areas such as employee and client relations, fiscal benchmarks, and data and operational accuracy for example. Training should be customized in a way that makes the most sense for your company’s business goals.
Track Employee Progress
Tracking employee progress and providing actionable feedback is pivotal to the growth of your workforce. In addition, it helps to build trust and motivate your employees to continually improve and strive for strong results in regards to attention to detail. Furthermore, facilitating feedback can lead to improved communication and effective completion of work tasks. When employees are tuned in to how their position ties in and relates to company goals, the potential for costly mistakes and errors are greatly reduced.
By following the three steps outlined above, your organization and employees will be on an empowered path to contribute quality work as a direct result of increased attention to detail. A few small changes can prove to be both beneficial in building up your company and hardworking personnel alike.
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What is the EX, or the employee experience, exactly? EX is not just about what it's like to work day-to-day in the office, and it's not about benefits, half-day Fridays, sleeping pods, beer fridges in the break room and other fun perks, though those things do enter into it. But EX is deeper and more meaningful than that. It's about truly engaging employees.
(BPT) - One of the latest business buzzwords this year is EX, or the employee experience. Organizations are beginning to realize that they need to create a positive employee experience in the same way they have focused on the customer experience. In this ever-tightening job market, it's mission critical to keep employees happy, fulfilled and challenged. Only then can they keep their customers happy. Focusing on EX means evaluating an employee's entire life cycle with the company, from before they even apply for a job to beyond their last day. It's so critical that Forbes even dubbed 2018 the Year of the Employee Experience.
What is the EX, exactly? EX is not just about what it's like to work day-to-day in the office, and it's not about benefits, half-day Fridays, sleeping pods, beer fridges in the break room and other fun perks, though those things do enter into it. But EX is deeper and more meaningful than that. It's about truly engaging employees. Employee engagement (EE) and EX are intertwined so closely they can be called one and the same.
The problem with EE: There's a disconnect
In a recent study, Dale Carnegie found that 70 percent of top executives believe that employee engagement has a strong impact on financial performance. In a similar study, Deloitte found that 85 percent of company leaders say EE is an important strategic priority, but Dale Carnegie found that just 31 percent of front-line employees and managers strongly agreed that their company is actually making engagement a top priority.
Clearly, there's a disconnect between what execs are saying and what employees are feeling. That's because there's a piece left out of this puzzle: the employees' managers.
The key to aligning executive priorities with what employees are experiencing lies in the management chain. Managers need to be enabled and empowered to engage their teams on a daily basis. It means getting managers the training they need to engage their teams, by making it a strategic priority and creating a culture of engagement. Dale Carnegie programs teach the skills managers need and can help organizations do the right things to increase overall employee engagement.
Ways to increase employee engagement
Focus on getting managers and supervisors the skills they need. Immediate supervisors and managers are on the front lines of employee engagement. Leaders at all levels need to understand that the way they interact with their employees and direct reports matters to the company's bottom line. Open a dialogue with managers about EE, and listen to what they're saying about what works and what doesn't, and if they're frustrated, give them the tools and training necessary for change.
Get CEO buy-in. If your CEO does not have employee engagement on his or her priority list, the effort is doomed to fail. Make sure the CEO has the facts on employee engagement, and the knowledge that it needs to start at the top. EE needs to be treated like any other strategic priority.
Align policies with EE. You need employee-supportive policies and procedures, such as a standard performance evaluation policy. But it also means changing policies that are barriers to engagement. Are there processes and procedures working at cross-purpose with engagement efforts? If so, change them. How are your rewards and recognition programs designed? What do you reward and recognize? Are they making your employees feel valued? It requires going through your policies with a critical eye, and the willingness to change what's not working.
Employee engagement needs to be on the top of the priority list for top executives, managers and supervisors, and that's no easy task. But in this ever-tightening job market, with greener grass just a click away on a job seeker's app, keeping all of your employees happy, engaged and fulfilled is the key to your company's competitive advantage.
Equality in the workplace benefits everyone, and employers should take the time to learn more ways that they can create a more just workplace.
Creating a just workplace should be a top priority of all business owners. Fair workplaces are one of the cornerstones of strong businesses, and civil rights movements have affected workplaces in many ways, providing better opportunities and better workplaces for everyone. Several civil rights movements have made substantial changes possible, and here's a brief rundown of three of the biggest ones.
Mental Health Awareness and Support
The Americans With Disabilities Act requires that employers provide equality for people with disabilities in the workplace. This includes people with psychiatric conditions. Under this law, employers can't deny hiring, demote, or deny training opportunities to someone based on their psychiatric condition.
Employers have also come up with programs to ensure employees with mental health conditions have access to the care that they need, including doctor's visits through insurance providers and accommodations for people with psychiatric conditions.
Equality in the workplace covers many groups. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers aren't allowed to discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, and religion. With this law, employers must give equal opportunity for employment, and they can't discriminate against someone based on these criteria for pay and advancement. This civil rights attorney explains that many states have several additional civil rights statutes which can be utilized in cases involving discrimination, harassment or violence and which allow for penalties, attorneys’ fees, compensation, and change.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 requires employers to not discriminate against people based on age. This means that people cannot be discriminated during hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or terms. Creating a workforce of diverse ages also provides more stability for companies.
This career and job specialist explains that people of different ages have varying perspectives that they can use to inform each other. For instance, a 65-year-old woman might understand the utility of a particular product, but a 25-year-old worker might understand a younger consumer better. Businesses that have a wider range of ages also don't need to worry as much that all of their employees will retire within a few years of each other or all younger employees will be vying for a limited number of promotions.
Equality in the workplace benefits everyone, and employers should take the time to learn more ways that they can create a more just workplace. Businesses that merely work to be in compliance with the law rather than truly promoting an equitable work environment are losing out on opportunities to create a stronger business.
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Businesses are often guilty of wasting a lot of money throughout the year. In many instances, the money is spent without even realizing that there is a better alternative. Understanding the ways that businesses waste money will allow you to see what opportunities exist within your own operations.
New technology is available to provide higher productivity, more analysis of financials, and other tasks. Much of the new fintech is causing disruption, which leads to companies not able to adapt failing. Big data, for example, is where many businesses fail to adapt. You can save a lot of time while obtaining more valuable information about trends by learning how to work with big data. Further, CRM and ERP systems can be implemented as a way of improving customer service, eliminating data redundancy, and providing access to information from any mobile device.
Poor Marketing Strategies
Marketing tends to be a black hole when it comes to spending. Businesses know that they need to market but aren’t doing so effectively. Many fail to establish a target audience, so their campaigns aren’t capturing the interest of the audience that is most likely to do business with them. Further, every campaign needs to be analyzed to see whether the desired return on investment is being achieved. Certain marketing strategies tend to have a higher return on investment. For example, effective SEO increases conversions and lowers advertising costs. By understanding marketing ROI, you can change strategies or tweak campaigns so that they are more successful.
Businesses of all sizes tend to get sloppy with their finances. This is particularly true of small businesses because they take on the mindset that they can do it all. As a result, they struggle with knowing what they’re spending against their budget. They may also be unsuccessful at collecting all income that is owed because of not having the time to send out invoices and follow-up statements. Many businesses may not even realize they can get many tax breaks and credits and miss out on thousands of dollars. DIY accounting strategies simply aren’t effective for the long-term. Implementing a bookkeeper to help with all of the bookkeeping can make it easier to tighten spending and see where money is being spent on a more regular basis.
In the end, there are a lot of ways to avoid spending money where it doesn’t need to be spent. You don’t want to waste money when there are ways for you to improve your operations, explore new technology, market effectively, and tighten your spending with the help of a bookkeeper.
Looking for more financial advice? Dive into The Money Idea here!
With growing dependence on electronic communication, it would seem that many small businesses would be prepared for the paperless office era. Despite the growing reliance on technology, businesses of all types including shops, firms, manufacturers, and more are not converting to paperless offices in large numbers. Change is hard for some, since the process of going paperless may seem intimidating.
However, there are many benefits to going paperless, such as protecting sensitive data, reducing office waste, and minimizing the need for physical storage space. Going paperless can also save you time if you do it correctly. Below are three technologies that may help put your business on the paperless path.
Digital Billing Processes
Online billing software is a great first step towards a paperless office and offers so many other advantages as well. Once it's set up, it's fast and simple to use. All the client's information is stored in the system or cloud—including their preferred payment methods and information. Think of the space you'll save with this paperless system in not having to print out invoices, reports, and other records.
Physical documents no longer need to be filed and stored, which takes up time and space. With your logo, the system helps establish your brand on all of your invoices and documents. The system will protect the information in a secure environment, which is also a real plus. Many billing processes can be fully or partially automated using the software to save even more time.
If you are trying to go paperless in your office, then iPad receptionist software can benefit your business. There's no need for paper sign-in sheets or logs, since the software takes care of that for you in real time—helping you easily track all visitors, their purposes, and their entry and exit times. It saves time in letting you and your employees know of any new arrivals without someone having to monitor a paper log. You can set alerts and visitor watchlists for security purposes that can include instructions for employees on how to deal with any specific people or situations.
Digital signatures are growing in use and popularity. Providing the highest levels of assurance about the identity of each signer and the document's authenticity, digital signatures make complying with legal matters convenient and secure in addition to saving time and money. You'll no longer have to print an abundance of legal documents or contracts and send them out for signatures through the mail or paid courier services. They can be sent electronically—for free—directly and securely to the parties who need to sign, and then stored securely as well.
Using the three technologies outlined above will help you convert your business to a paperless one. Businesses seeking a more efficient, secure means of handling documentation will appreciate paperless solutions. The potential is there to save time, money, and resources while improving your office processes.
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Women are starting businesses at a record pace — motivated to pursue passions, financial independence and the flexibility that eludes most traditional jobs.
(BPT) - Women are starting businesses at a record pace — motivated to pursue passions, financial independence and the flexibility that eludes most traditional jobs.
In the U.S. alone, women entrepreneurs generate $1.1 million in revenue on average across retail, professional and personal service businesses that have operated for 11 years. This stat comes from Visa’s new ‘State of Female Entrepreneurship’ report, which informed their recently announced program, She’s Next, Empowered by Visa, a global initiative to support and champion women in their efforts to grow their small businesses.
That’s powerful stuff, highlighting the important role women entrepreneurs play in the prosperity and economic development of local communities. The typical entrepreneur is 42 years old and earns nearly $110,000 in household income a year, making a profound difference in building and supporting families in the community.
Clearly, female founders are coming into their own. In fact, the Visa study found that 79 percent of American women entrepreneurs feel more empowered now than they did five years ago.
Still, key challenges exist: 73 percent say funding does not come easily, and nearly 2/3 use their own funds to get started. Assembling a good team, finding the right tools and dealing with competitors are among the biggest challenges keeping women entrepreneurs up at night.
For any entrepreneur, it can feel like there’s never enough time or resources to grow a business. To help other entrepreneurs and based on insights from the ’State of Female Entrepreneurship’ report, Visa polled four areas women entrepreneurs focus on to turbocharge success:
Find mentors: More than two-thirds said they wanted advice from fellow entrepreneurs. Relatable role models and mentors are invaluable when you’re making the leap to starting or building your own business.
Find your feet: Strategy development is critical for women starting up their own company. Assembling a good team was a challenge encountered by 37 percent of women founders. Other challenges include: finding the tools to grow and manage their business (36 percent), competition (36 percent) and growing as quickly as they need to (33 percent). Have a plan and pursue your vision.
Gather capital to invest in your business: Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. Respondents cited profits and revenue growth as the top two priorities for improvement. Thirty-two percent of women would direct additional funding toward newer technology.
Put in overtime: When building a business, time is precious. Given the investment and high stakes that come with the territory, it comes as little surprise that a majority of women entrepreneurs (56 percent) are putting in more work hours than before they started their business.
If you’ve joined the ranks of female entrepreneurs, find support and resources by signing up for the Female Founder Collective, and visit She’s Next, Empowered by Visa where you can download and print a toolkit with tips and advice to help build and sustain your company.
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