7 Things That Can Kill Your Company Culture

Every company develops a unique culture that defines how people feel and behave as they work. For the most part, business owners and managers take the lead in creating a culture that reflects their values.

A study published by the Gallup organization revealed that having highly engaged employees resulted in 10% increase in customer satisfaction. Research also shows that the productivity of workers can jump by 12 percent when they feel satisfied. Such efficiency gains reduce the cost of human resources and directly impact your bottom line.

Build a healthy, satisfying work environment for your business by avoiding the following killers of your company culture.

1. Not Hiring Team Players

Some people just don’t work well with others. You might even use labels, such as “jerks” to describe them. They constantly criticize their boss and try to spread discontent. If you have this type of person on your staff, now is the time to weed them out.

Meanwhile, do everything possible to ensure that you only hire team players. Try to screen your applicants by their demeanor during interviews as well as feedback from their personal references.

2. Bureaucracy

A multitiered hierarchy can kill your company culture. Seemingly endless meetings, PowerPoints, emails, and “edicts” from upper-level management can waste time and leave your team members feeling powerless.

Help people do their job by only involving them in meetings that directly impact their work. Also, ensure that each worker directly reports to only one supervisor or manager. Empower your employees to innovate to improve quality and efficiency.

3. Stress

Deadlines are only one of the many sources of stress that can kill your company culture. You need to counter the pressure to promptly complete projects with sensible work-related practices. For instance, encourage your staff to take breaks, drink water and eat healthy food.

Fantastic managers periodically check on their direct reports to answer questions and ensure that work proceeds smoothly. If you leave your employees without the answers they need, they will feel stressed, especially as due dates approach.

4. The Boss’s Way or the Highway

As a leader, you should welcome diverse perspectives and opinions, even when they contradict your own. Furthermore, by emphasizing results rather than tasks, you can help your team develop independence and confidence.

When you let everyone participate in decision-making, you help them have a sense of value and belonging. Your employees will begin to identify themselves with the firm and always look for ways to improve the way they work.

5. Lack of “Beyond the Paycheck” Motivation

Some employees only show up to work because they want a paycheck. These workers show little intrinsic motivation and will rarely do anything outside of their job description. Such workers can kill your culture and negatively impact everything your firm does.

Engage your workforce by providing perks and incentives that transcend payday. Motivate your employees by providing each of them with a clear path to advancement. Also, consider offering non-traditional work arrangements such as remote work and flexible scheduling.

6. “Keep Your Head Down and Get it Done” Attitude

Employees who focus on doing their work without providing feedback can cripple your business. You need people on your team who will share their ideas and ask questions in ways that stimulate innovation.

To create engaged employees, never ridicule a suggestion and insist on practicing an open communications policy. By creating a safe, trusting business culture, you harness the thoughts, experiences and ingenuity of your employees for the common good.

7. Micromanagement and Lack of Trust

Healthy relationships among your team members require you to trust them. However, in many companies, business owners and managers communicate distrust by micromanaging everything their workers do.

Avoid closed-door meetings and suspicious whispers in hallways that make employees feel as though you are deciding their futures without them. Instead, treat everyone with respect and assume the role of a mentor or coach rather than an overlord.

In the end, pay attention to all the feedback you receive, including from employees who leave your business. Take your employees seriously and treat them right. By building a healthy company culture, you build a strong reputation for your firm and a solid foundation for success.

Jen McKenzie is a freelance writer from New York, NY. She is fascinated by all things having to do with words,business, education and cutting-edge. When Jennifer is not busy writing, she enjoys taking long walks and spending time with her two pets Brando & Marlon. You can reach Jennifer @jenmcknzie

Creating a Client-Worthy Home Office

With the number of home offices rising year after year, the design of these spaces is constantly getting improved and upgraded. The point of such an office is to give you a productive place to work, but also make an area for meeting the clients as well. An office will reflect your work habits and clients will pay attention to every detail in order to get a picture of your professional skills. The true challenge lies in dealing with shared space and being productive, and these are the things a good office can help you with. Achieving all of that in a place where you also live can be quite tricky, but there are a few simple rules you need to follow in order to make everything work.

Choose just one area

When welcoming clients into your office, it’s important to be able to separate everything else going on in the rest of your home. Firstly, choose a space that’s far away from the living room, because that’s usually the loudest room in the house. Apart from that, talk to your family or roommates, explain your delicate situation to them, and ask them to be quiet when you’re having meetings.

This space should be dedicated to your work only, and you should keep all the distractions outside. If you don’t have a spare room in your home, choose a quiet area and set your office there. Just make sure you have privacy, especially if you’re stuck with an open space.

Be professional straight away

Your front porch and the hallway will be the first things your clients are going to see, so try to make these clean and simple. When it comes to the outdoor area, always keep your porch clutter-free and add some plants to bring in a dose of nature into the picture. Be sure to have secure and sturdy entrance doors because that will show everyone your style and personality in a matter of minutes.

Keep the space from the entrance to your office clean and stylish, because you’ll have to walk with your clients through the house. Don’t put away your personal belongings because your clients will appreciate you more if you have pictures, travel memorabilia and personal items displayed in the hallway.

Provide comfortable seating

The seating area for your clients should be divided into two parts to make it work for different types of meetings. One should be right next to your desk and you can choose between comfortable and ergonomic chairs. That way, you’ll be able to work over some strategies on your laptop and deal with the paperwork. In addition to that, you can add a cozy sofa which will be great for brainstorming and going through different ideas.

By breaking the seating area into two sections, you’ll be able to meet everyone’s wishes and provide them with enough comfort, and your clients will cherish how you’ve thought of everything. Your desk and chair should be comfortable and positioned in the center of the office because you need to be able to work and function throughout the room when you have meetings.

The space should reflect the business

An organized space is one thing, but you’ll take everything to a whole new level if you opt for styling your office in accordance with the type of your business. For example, if you’re in the real estate business, you could hang pictures of modern houses and apartments, or showcase successful sales you’re proud of.

On the other hand, if you are a marketing guru, you can add a whiteboard to be able to show your clients some of the ideas you have for them. It’s important to connect the style of your home to your business, because that will show your professional side as well as your wish to always be productive.

Add some color

You should definitely forget the “office beige” and focus more on finding some color combinations that will help your productivity. One option is to use vibrant colors to boost the productivity level and combine this with some subtle décor.

On the other hand, many people like to use soft hues such as orange, green and blue, because these are both professional and playful, and can be combined with different types of furniture. However, if you want more style, you can use wallpapers and choose different types of patterns and prints.

When designing your own home office, make it inviting and professional, and create a balance you and your clients will love. They need to feel comfortable, but also know that you’ll do a good job and make your collaboration successful. Although it may seem like a lot of work for a home office, this is also a working area, and it should reflect all the abilities of your business. In the end, make sure you’re inspired because working from home has its advantages, but you’ll always struggle with trying to be productive.

Emma B. Joyce is a blogger based in Australia. She is a true home decor and DIY fanatic. Emma is interested in music and also is a big reading enthusiast. Finding new designs and patterns is her daily task. She is a regular contributor on https://smoothdecorator.com.

10 Marketing Tactics For Sustainable Business Advancements

Have you ever been interested in how to market for sustainable businesses? Well, today is a great day for you, as you will be provided with information on 10 marketing tips for sustainable businesses. The type of business that will be set as an example is going to be for acne treatment. The first tip will be the importance of marketing through a website and marketing online you can help save the environment. Next, we will focus on the importance of combining claiming and marketing sustainability tactics together.

After, we will discuss how important it is for you to have a message that pushes the moderate use of your product without destroying your bottom line on sales. Then, we will go over how to incorporate new marketing techniques that are not well known or used yet. Following up, you will be provided with tips on how to build a culture in your business that continues to enforce success and sustainability. The next tip will revolve around the importance of really marketing purchasing bundles instead of single items. The 7th tip for you will focus on how you should really learn your market and your customers to reach their needs.

The following tip will help you learn the importance of creating a specific marketing campaign that would work perfectly for you and your business. The next tip will focus on combining everything you do in your business with the sustainable issue you are choosing to build around. Finally, the last tip you will learn is how to properly value your products properly due to the higher costs of selling sustainable goods. Furthermore, after learning these amazing tips you will have gained more knowledge on how to build sustainable marketing strategies for your sustainable business.

  1. Marketing Online

It is very important for you to market online when trying to build a successful sustainable business. Moreover, marketing online will provide a way to reach millions of people and still keep your promise of being a sustainable business. You will not have to focus on marketing by mail or business card removing some of your carbon footprint from your business. There are plenty of ways to market online by offering free samples after a customer provides their e-mail address where you can send them future deals or promotions in the future.

  1. Claim and Market Sustainable

Now in this tip, you should really use both claim and marketing techniques for sustainability to really show the world your business is a sustainable company. Claim means that you will provide a sticker or message that shows how your product is environmentally friendly and how your customers can help the environment. As for marketing throughout all of your marketing efforts you should have a positive message that again pushes how your company is great for the environment.

  1. Push Moderate Product Use

It is important to push moderate product use, so your customers learn that you are all about keeping the environment safe and healthy. For example, using acne products you could build a dispenser that dispenses the perfect recommended application size for your customers. Furthermore, you might need to alter the size of your product to ensure that you continue to make a profit for your business.

  1. Incorporate New Marketing Strategies

There is no one way to market and strategies constantly change and evolve over time. It is always great to try a/b testing or new ai technology that can help you learn how to market better to your customers. It will only benefit you to learn and combine different marketing strategies that can help build a new way of marketing for your sustainable business.

  1. Build a Sustainable Culture

It is important to start your company with a sustainable culture and work environment, so this can roll over into your actual operation. Especially if you are starting off as a smaller company building a culture around sustainability is a must. Moreover building this culture can lead to new ideas from your workforce that can help provide even better ways to help your company grow its sustainability.

  1. Focus on Selling Bundles

Selling bundles is a great way to push that you are helping the environment by limiting the amount of shipping waste you end up producing shipping out your products. You can even make a reusable shipping box that is made completely of recyclable products if your company can afford it.

  1. Learn your Niche

In whatever sustainable market you decide to focus on it is important to ensure you understand the products you are selling. This is important so you can know what your customers look for when they are buying the type of product you are selling. For example, working with acne creams you would need to know how to push sustainability when working in the acne removal business. An example would be helping the environment by using fully recyclable bottles for the product.

  1. Create your Specific Marketing Strategy

Now that you know your niche you can learn how to market towards it properly. You can research the demographic that would be the most likely adopt your product and push for sustainability. This is a great tip that works perfectly in tandem with knowing your niche so you can know who to market to.

  1. Connect the Business with the Issue

It is important that throughout your website and on your products every customer knows your company is about sustainability or helping the environment. Explain how the product they are purchasing is helping them and the environment around them. The goal is to show your customers you are very serious about being a sustainable business. Continuing on, you could have an offer that also donates a percentage of each purchase to a non-profit organization or your own whose main focus is the same issue you are helping alleviate. Your customers base will feel proud they are helping the environment and issues around the world.

  1. Value your Products the Right Way

You must price your products at the right price to ensure your company can build a profit. Your company cannot run forever if it is not building a profit. In this case, if you are using fully sustainable products it is going to cost your customers more. You need to emphasize that your products cost more due to keeping the environment safe and your goal of being a completely 100% sustainable company in the near future. Said that you should also consider designing your product pages attractively and they should be user-friendly as good designs can help you increase the CTR which results in increasing the revenue. For example, Rodan and Fields have kept high product images with a white background making the website look neat in their acne treatment page.

Conclusion

You have just been presented with 10 tips to marketing a sustainable business. Again, the first step focused on how you should really focus on marketing online. Next, you learned about claiming and marketing sustainable. After, you were taught to push the moderate use of your products to show you are serious about sustainability. Then, you learned why you should try new marketing techniques to expand your brand. Building a sustainable culture was an important tip shared so you can really build a great sustainable business.

The importance of selling bundles was a great tip to help with sales an shrinking your environmental footprint by lowering the number of shipping supplies you have to use. Focusing on learning your niche and market will help you better understand your customers and market. Then, you learned how learning about your niche can help you understand how to properly market to your customers better. The next tip revolved around the importance of really combining your business with the sustainability issue you choose to focus on. Finally, the last tip you learned was to value your products properly so you can make a profit and still be a sustainable business. After sharing these tips you are one step closer to properly marketing your sustainable business the next step is to take action.

Ways Almost Every Business Owner Can Save Money

If you were to take a close look at just about any business, you would probably find ways that the business could save a ton of money. Businesses both big and small should be concerned with saving money. Even if you have a steady flow of cash coming in, you never know when you might go through a dry spell. Plus, the money you could be saving in certain areas could be put to better use in other areas. It makes sense to look at the places you can save money and then work towards them.

Here are some pointers that just about every business owner can use to save money:

Becoming More Eco Friendly

Becoming a more eco friendly business reduces the impact you have on the environment, and makes you more attractive to clients who are concerned with making the environment a better place, too. You’ll also save a lot of money, even if you take baby steps to making your business more eco friendly. Here are some ideas you can use to begin working towards a more eco friendly business right now:

  • Cut back on paper before going completely paperless
  • Buy from eco friendly, sustainable companies. You can get recycled paper and ink, for example.
  • Only use sustainable product packaging
  • Swap your light bulbs for more eco friendly light bulbs
  • Use more natural light rather than artificial light
  • Ensure everything is switched off before leaving the workplace at night

The above are just a few suggestions that will help you to become a more sustainable business.

Getting Rid Of Dead Weight

It might seem harsh, but you may have some dead weight in your business that you need to let go of before you can save money and move forward. Of course you should give people a chance to improve (plus this is what the law will state in most places), but if you have meetings and give written warnings and nothing improves, you may have to let employees go. Finding employees that are engaged and passionate about the work is important, but remember that your own leadership skills make a big difference too.

Creating Better Relationships With Suppliers

Creating better relationships with your suppliers is always a great way to save money. Whether you need cone bottom tanks for your warehouse or you’re looking for companies to provide you with stock to re-sell, creating relationships is the best way to save money.

Making Virtual/Temporary Hires

You don’t always need to hire a brand new employee when you have a lot of work on. Virtual and temporary hires can be just as effective, less expensive, and you have fewer responsibilities with them.

Allow Workers To Work From Home

Have you considered allowing employees to work from home every now and again? Not only is this more eco friendly, as you aren’t powering a whole office or getting your employees to drive into work, you’re going to save money on your overheads and other costs associated with working. It could even be a bonus for employees and make them more loyal to you.

An Ethical Business: Why Your Moral Compass Should Be Facing North, Not South!

In any modern business, many problems will, inevitably, come up. You will find problems with your tech, your employees, and your finances, but one really hot topic now is the problems with your business ethics. The idea of having an ethical business now is as important as the comprehensive marketing processes or the right employees. Having a business that is unethical is career suicide now. But why is it so important to have an ethical business now, and what can you do to implement this further in your company?

Nurture It Through The Culture

Your employees will dictate the office culture in general, but it has to come from you first. A positive workplace culture is as important as the product you sell. To make a workplace environment a positive one, your employees need to be free to raise concerns, and feel free within the company structure. This is easier said than done, but by having employees that don’t feel trapped by the antiquated notions of work, this will translate better to the outside.

Choose Your Suppliers Carefully

It’s all about who you do business with. If you are seen to have contacts with an organization that has shady dealings, this is going to automatically reflect badly on you. Nowadays, you can’t be too careful, because this will lose you custom from every angle. In the food industry, the importance of consumers knowing where their food comes from has such a major impact on who they buy from. This is why finding a global food trade supplier who is ethical and transparent in their dealings is an essential part of the process if you are dealing with the supply of food. If you have various suppliers in the chain (such as if you were running a department store), the potential for dealing with clients who have questionable ethics is more likely. This is why it’s important for you to undertake a comprehensive vetting of every client you deal with.

Shout It From The Rooftops

Are you ethical? Then say so! By making it public and having it as part of your statements, or on your products, this will give your product and your business a leg up. You’ll be viewed as a leading light in your industry. This is something that so many businesses do now, but because there are opportunities to cut corners and to be unethical your processes, now, with the modern consumer having their finger firmly on the pulse in this respect, you can’t not state your intentions if you are ethical.

Keep Your Promises

And the idea of transparency isn’t just something that will bode well when it comes to your client relationships. If you are ethical and you intend to be professional in every aspect of your company, from your marketing, to your product placement, to your efforts, it’s important to keep all parties happy by being clear and to the point. It’s not just for the benefit of consumers; your employees will feel happier working in a business that has a moral compass, and it will naturally transform into a better business.

3 Million Americans Quit Their Job Every Month: Top Tips for Employee Retention

Employees deserve to feel satisfied about their work, but it appears that a record-setting number aren’t. According to a survey of employment trends, approximately 3 million Americans quit their jobs each month. For many companies, this is a huge loss–both in talent and in money. After all, it can be expensive to replace your employees. In order to prevent your employees from walking out your door for good, you need to strategize carefully to encourage employees to stay. Yet, it may not be as hard as it may seem. Here are some pointers to help you retain your workforce.

Invest in Your Office Environment

Look over your budget and see if there is room for you to invest in sprucing up the office. It’s been proven that employee performance is significantly impacted by what their workplace looks like. You can start out small: consider redecorating to create an open floor plan, which in turn fosters greater collaboration. A support network like that makes everyone look forward to going to work.

Foster Positive Workplace Culture

The mental atmosphere in the office is just as important as the physical one. Organize regular team building events that go beyond building marshmallow towers or egg racing. Get creative with activities such as a volunteer outing or cooking classes. This helps employees feel a greater personal connection to each other and the organization, and will make them want to stay as a result.

Survey Your Employees

Your own initiative goes a long way, but you should also take employee input into consideration. Send out regular surveys to monitor office morale—but not too often, otherwise employees may feel annoyed. Checking in to see how everyone’s feeling shows you care. It lets them know that your staff are valued and are a critical part of the organization so they’re less inclined to take off. Surveys don’t have to be direct, either: you’ll also learn a lot from just taking part in the classic water cooler conversation.

Encourage Professional Development

Employee retention also has a lot to do with creating opportunities for growth. Give them something to work towards as much as you give them to work on. Hiring an executive coach can help with this. Bring one in for a workshop or similar event. Your employees will then recognize their own potential within your organization and be motivated to work harder as a result. It’s also been said that a rising tide lifts all boats, so if even one employee gets inspired, that extends to everyone else, too.

When you’re a business owner, you’re especially concerned about keeping employees on board. Making sure that your organization’s goals align well with their personal interests will keep them from jumping ship.

Are Your #Managers Good #Leaders?

leaderAre you getting the best leadership from your company’s managers? Not all managers are leaders – and your business needs leaders to succeed.

Leaders can help guide your team through the everyday challenges of work, and use their vision to steer your business towards a bright and prosperous future.

What can you do to get the best leadership from your company’s managers?

Hire and Promote the Best

Good leadership starts with the right people.

Whether you’re looking to hire someone new, or looking to promote someone within your business, you should always aim to choose people with the strong leadership skills your business needs.

Skills to look for include:

  • Calmness under pressure;
  • Courage;
  • A proactive personality;
  • Strong listening skills;
  • An analytical streak;
  • Good business knowledge and instincts;
  • Excellent people skills;
  • Honesty and authenticity.

Know what makes a good leader, and look for those traits whenever you have a position to fill.

Look for Strengths

Sometimes good leadership skills are in front of you and you just haven’t seen them yet. Take the time to really get to know your team and your managers.

Ask yourself who has the right skills to be a strong leader? Who has great raw material but just needs some polishing?

As well as every day observations, you might find it useful to run some team bonding activities to really see how your managers interact with people.

This also provides your team the chance to get to know each other, which can helps with team cohesion and in turn help your leaders to steer your team.

Encourage Good Leadership

Don’t leave good leadership to chance. Actively encourage it within your management team and your business as a whole.

Talk about leadership.

Make it a keystone of your business and a definite part of your business plan going forward.

Sit down with your managers and talk about leadership and why it matters. Let them know what you expect from them and what they can expect from you in terms of support.

Offer Training

Good leaders aren’t born, they’re made.

Maybe not all managers are leaders – but many of them can become great leaders with the right support.

As the article, “Thinking Patterns to Embrace for Better Leadership” points out the greatest leaders are those who actively work on improving leadership skills until they become ingrained.

Leadership is a skill like any other, and it can be learned and honed.

Offer your managers leadership training and you’ll be equipping them with the skills they need to take your business forward.

Offer Chances to Shine

If you want to get the best leadership from your management team, you need to offer them chances to show you what they can do. If something needs doing, take a look at your team and think about who has the right skills to get the job done.

Give your team the opportunity to show that they can lead new projects or new teams, and to practice the skills learned during leadership training.

Build the Right Culture

culutreGood leadership doesn’t exist on its own, but rather is part of the overall culture of your business.

Respect, communication and openness are all key parts of good leadership, so build those into the foundation of your business.

Encourage a culture where your team is honest with each other, respectful to their colleagues, and where everyone knows management cares about and has time for them.

Good leadership skills will serve your business well for years to come.

Put in the time and effort to bring out the best in your leaders and watch your business go from strength to strength.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a variety of topics including social media, how to build customer relationships, content marketing and how to bring out the best in your leadership team.