Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Employees

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, and you know that your hard-working employees deserve at least a small token of your appreciation. But, we also know how busy and stressful December is in the world of business, so it’s not unusual to find yourself heading to the office Christmas party and realize that you completely forgot about holiday gifts for your employees. But fret not! Here’s a list of cool last minute gifting ideas to save the day and help you show your employees that you value them.

Baked goods

Who doesn’t like cupcakes, pies, or Danish? Even if somebody actually doesn’t, then that person must be a doughnut lover. So, instead of racking your brains trying to come up with something unique and fancy, it’s a better idea to try and remember what your employees like to gorge on during their lunch break and hand them an assortment of their favorite baked goods in nice, festive wrapping. Sometimes there’s no need to go over the top when it comes to gift-giving, and a box of, say, blueberry muffins can do the trick.

A desktop terrarium

Let’s face it, offices can be stuffy and gloomy places which is why a decorative desktop terrarium makes a perfect addition to your employees’ attempts to personalize, brighten up, and add a touch of nature to their workspace. What’s great about these miniature greenhouses is the fact that the plants in them don’t actually require too much nurturing or natural light. So even if your busy employees, immersed in their everyday work forget to water them from time to time, no biggie. All these resistant plants require in order to thrive is to be misted every two to three weeks and some indirect light.

A Christmas gift card

When you want to get your employees something that they really want or need and you have no idea what that would be, then simply give them prepaid Christmas gift cards, and make sure that yours will be their favorite gift this holiday season. Every year, thousands of gifts are returned because people either don’t like the choice or they already have the same thing, so this is the best way to avoid disappointing your employees by presenting them with unwanted items. Additionally, gift cards are suitable for any budget, and they can be used in a number of stores.

A digital notebook

Writing important notes down is very useful, but it’s not exactly practical as people tend to lose post-it notes or torn pieces of paper, which is why a digital notebook is the right thing. Namely, this smart gadget allows you to jot down your thoughts, ideas, or lists and it stores them in the cloud where you can access them anytime you want. Your employees will be thankful for this amazing, and yet comparatively affordable gift as they will be able to clean up and declutter their desks.

A Shiatsu massage seat cushion

Sitting at your desk for more than 8 hours a day can put a lot of strain on our health. To help your employees stay healthy and productive, get them a relaxing Shiatsu massage seat cushion that will be just the remedy their sore backs need. Nothing says “Thank you for all your hard work” better than this portable massage device that they can use anywhere – in their car, on the couch, or even at the office.

A heating lunch box

Some people prefer home-cooked meals to fast food, but the problem is that their food gets cold by the lunch break. This can be an issue, especially if you don’t have a kitchen at the office. That’s why a heating lunch box is an amazing idea that will allow your employees to enjoy healthy and delicious meals while they’re at work. This useful device renders a microwave oven completely unnecessary.

A desktop punching bag

Working at the office can be stressful, so a desktop punching bag that will let your employees blow off some steam when someone (maybe even you) steps on their toes should be a mandatory piece of office equipment. This convenient gift can be a part of stress and anger management strategy in your company, and help people who work for you vent their frustration and have some fun at the same time.

The gift of words

Never underestimate the power of warm, sincere, heartfelt words. A personalized and carefully crafted thank you note, preferably accompanied by a box of chocolates or some cool merch, will definitely hit the spot with your employees. Don’t forget to mention what a pleasure it is to work with them and how you appreciate all their efforts.

Creative holiday gifts don’t have to cost you a pretty penny and yet they can make your employees happy and show them that you care.

 

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Guest Author is Alex Williams is a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. Alex is a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog

Knowing What’s What When It Comes to Taking on Employees

As your business expands and demand for your products and services increases, you may find that you struggle to keep up with the entire workload on your own. This is when you’re going to have to consider taking on full-time staff of your own. You’ve likely worked hand in hand with self-employed individuals for one-off jobs, such as web design or marketing, but having employees is a whole different matter. So, before scouting for staff or taking on workers, here are a few things you should make sure you’re well aware of and up-to-date with to ensure that you and your staff have the best working relationship possible.

Employment Discrimination

When it comes to the workplace, the same as any other situation in life, you need to ensure that you are as inclusive as possible. Nobody should be discriminated against during the application process or their time of employment with you. Bear in mind that all people are entitled to full and equal employment opportunities regardless of their: age, ancestry, colour, disability, domestic or sexual violence victim status, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, retaliation, sex, or sexual orientation. For more information on this (especially concerning disabling conditions or issues), contact a reliable, professional lawyer, such as David Chermol. Nobody should be denied a job or promotion outright on the basis of any of these aspects of their identity. All workers should be employed on equal terms with nobody receiving preferential treatment or favourable employment terms.

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Pay

All of your workers have the right to be paid for all of the work that they do. This goes without saying. However, there are a few more details that you need to bear in mind. They also require at least $7.25 for every hour that they work. While your staff will have contracted hours, you may find that you need some members to work overtime: this is any work that exceeds forty hours a week. Any overtime entitles staff members to one and a half times their standard pay (after all, they’re doing you a favour by taking on extra work). You cannot deduct anything from any worker’s pay for any reason other than legal deductions such as deductions for health insurance, union dues, and taxes.

Family and Medical Leave

 If your business has more than fifty employees and an employee has worked for you for at least twelve months and has completed 1250 hours of work for your company, they can take up to twelve weeks off each year for the purposes of maternity or paternity leave, to care for a spouse or parent with a serious medical condition, or for personal health reasons. This doesn’t have to be paid. They should give you thirty days notice of their need to take leave if possible. However if the problem is sudden, they should just let you know as soon as possible.

Bearing this information in mind will ensure that your employees have a satisfying job role and that you uphold their worker’s rights.

Keep Your Employees Happy, Healthy, and Productive with Free Food

What do your employees want, more than anything? Perks, of course. But what kind of perks can lure new employees into your company, and work hard to keep those already employed from looking elsewhere? There’s a range of things you can offer, from flex time to expense accounts to on-site workout facilities. And of course there’s food.

Food appeals to all sorts of employees, of course, and nearly two-thirds of those that get free food at work describe themselves as happy. Food in particular appeals to Millennials—but not if they’re seen as a way to keep employees chained to their desks, working through lunch and breaks.

Food offered as a benefit doesn’t have to be free meals every day. It can take a lot of different forms. It might be a weekly catered lunch. It might be a shared cooking class designed to encourage team building. What does food as a perk mean? This graphic can help.

Food & Drink Perks Keep Your Employees  Happy, Healthy, and Productive

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Image credit – https://zerocater.com 

 

Millennial Trends: Create a Workplace That Works for You

When people talk about Millennials, they see them as a generation dependent on cell phones, always on the go and very aware of environmental issues. But realistically, this description is applicable to almost anybody in the modern, civilised world. What distinguishes Millennials from others is the fact that they know how to use the new technologies to their advantage and they use the availability of the vast knowledge online to be informed and involved in important issues.

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Thus the workplace has evolved not only to suit their needs but also to be a better environment and more oriented towards the human factor.

Work and fun go together

It’s not unheard of that you can have fun in the workplace. But usually that means that you do the job you love, and more and more it means that you need some time to relax and reset during work hours. Many companies practice this way of thinking by having recreational areas where workers can play board and video games, read books and other literature in the specially designed nooks and use some of the stress-relief techniques, such as barefoot walking on the grass, gardening or yoga. Some companies even have masseurs on staff and psychologists.

Flexible work schedule

If your company can allocate the time and resources, try implementing flexible working hours. If it’s too much trouble, then try a flexible start of the workday. For example, if you usually work from 9 a.m., then allow for employees to arrive between 9 and 11. Not everyone is a morning person and this flexibility can contribute to a great extent to the productivity of your workers and their satisfaction with their job.

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Listen to their ideas and opinions

As a generation which uses the Internet for research and to be up-to-date with happenings in the world, their ideas might bring new perspectives and approaches. Sometimes they can even suggest strategies which will help you recreate your image and brand, being that they follow the newest trends when it comes to their interests and education. They are the generation that is competitive by trying to be the best in their field of expertise thanks to their diligence and dedication. So their opinions and ideas, no matter how extreme or far-fetched, are usually based on extensive research and observations.

Be transparent

Every employee wants to know what the goals and objectives of their employer are. Also, they would like to know where they stand in that organisation and how their work contributes to the company’s success. But the difference between Millennials and other employees is that they are going to leave if they think that you are doing something behind their back and at their expense. The fact is that you should expect nothing less from the generation growing up in an evolved society which is well aware of all the violations of human rights and is not afraid to voice their disagreement and outrage.

Technology

Millennials are very well educated on what technology you need and how it operates, and they can be a positive example to other employees how to modernise their everyday workload and provide better results. Another aspect of Millennials’ work habits is that they don’t waste time and energy on everyday verbal communication, but preferably stay in touch with all their co-workers and team members via software like Skype, for example. This way the place is not a problem for performing tasks and work-related activities, and therefore the productivity doesn’t suffer.

Office design

Millennials attribute great value to the look of their office space since they are supposed to spend a big portion of their day there. Their ideal office is collaborative with no walls, open and promoting interaction between employees. This doesn’t mean that privacy should be excluded or replaced. Also, Millennials are more prone to bright places, but will always choose windows with direct sunlight protection such as custom made curtains made by Eiffel for example, since they don’t like anything preventing them from doing their jobs to the best of their ability.

In the end

It’s important to recognise everything listed here not as something Millennials need in order to work for you, but what you as an employer must have to achieve maximum productivity for your company. A happy employee is a productive employee, and having Millennials on staff can only motivate others working for you to perform their duties to the best of their ability as well as to exchange knowledge and thus find the best approach to execute an old task in a new, more effective manner.

Strengthening the Backbone of Your Business, One Employee at a Time

Without our employees, our businesses are pretty useless. After all, who’s going to help us find clients, who’s going to manage our accounts and who’s going to do all of our advertising? Businesses should be pictured as gigantic machines with each cog being manned by a living and breathing person. If one of those cogs fails, then the machine could probably still work, but it’s not going to be as efficient as if everyone is working in harmony.

This is why we refer to your employees as the backbone of your business. Without their support, every other asset in your business will collapse and fail. Think of your employees as the glue that holds your business together and makes it successful. backbone

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Strengthen your team the correct way

 Now that you understand the importance of a solid core group of staff, here’s how you can strengthen them.

Firstly, focus on your employees and how to improve their morale. Are they suffering because their chairs are uncomfortable? Do you think they need vision insurance because they’re staring at the computer for too long and you’re worried about their eyesight? Is their equipment outdated, causing them to be less productive?

These are all issues that you should keep in mind, but it’s actually fairly difficult to tell if it’s the case unless your employees are giving you regular feedback. As such, it’s important to keep channels of communication open so that you can receive comments on how you’re doing, how your employees are doing, and how your business is running in general. Without this employee feedback loop, you’ll be left in the dark when it comes to strengthening the backbone of your business and it will become difficult to manage your employees.

A little happiness goes a long way, and the happier your employees are the more likely they’re going to stay with your business. They are, after all, the backbone of your company, so if they’re happy, then your business is going to be in good shape and they’ll go the extra mile to ensure that your company is running optimally.

Teaching your employees new skills

 One of the best ways to improve the productivity of each employee is to give them specialised training in their fields or teach them new skills that could complement their current skillset. For instance, if you’re working in a software development field, then your quality assurance testers could also make fantastic debuggers. Your social media management team could do with a course in interacting with media, and even your telephone operators could become fantastic community managers in the future.

It’s important to recognise when an employee is being held back by their current role. This is so you can create an effective means of promoting them. By teaching them new skills, they will become more productive, they’ll strengthen the core of your team and they will ultimately play a key role in your business’s growth and success.

5 Ideas For Running Effective Team Meetings

Sadly, a lot of leaders today hold meetings that are essentially dull, make time pass by ever so slowly, and leave people exhausted and frustrated. If you want to run effective team meetings, you need to make it an interesting event that is filled with energy, so that it drives all the team members to collaborate in order to come up with decisions and solve issues. It makes all the difference how you plan and run the meeting. In this article, we are going to discuss 5 ideas on how you can run effective team meetings.

Have a Positive Attitude for the Meeting

A positive attitude is an essential aspect of every team meeting. Your task is to get people involved and actually work with them in order to come up with results, solve issues, make decisions, inform, inspire, and motivate them. This means that you simply have to occasionally get everyone together in a room and hold a meeting that is going to keep the spirits high. It’s a fact that you can’t simply manage people from the office via email. So make sure that you hold meetings that inspire everyone to take part in them actively.

Have a Purpose for the Meeting

The meeting needs to have a particular purpose. Having a meeting just because you always have one isn’t really a purpose. When you set up a meeting, you actually have an opportunity to do a variety of things. It’s the time when you get to find out how everything related to your business is panning out. It’s a chance to learn how each and every team member is handling their own end, and try to help them out with issues. It’s the perfect time to emphasize your mission statement and remind everyone what their goals are. Team goals should be the focus of every meeting.

Come up With an Agenda for the Meeting

Every purpose must have its own agenda. It’s basically a list of things that need to be covered during the meeting. By looking at it, you will know how much time you can devote to each item. The fact is that time is important when it comes to meetings. Every meeting should start on time and last for a given time. If not every item of the agenda is covered, they should be moved to the next meeting. If it’s urgent, a separate meeting needs to be held. There also needs to be a regularity when it comes to meetings. Decide how many times a week a meeting should be held, and make sure everyone arrives on time.

Encourage Team Members to Participate

You want each member of your team to participate in the discussion and take part in making decisions, if the purpose of the meeting is relevant to them. You can go around the table and get everyone’s ideas. Use glass white boards to put everything down and brainstorm. Furthermore, you don’t always have to be in the focus. Let another team member lead the discussion if they have something valuable to contribute. People will feel inspired about meetings if they are encouraged to take part in them and see that results are achieved. They will feel like their contribution is valued.

Keep Focus on your Strategic Goals

Continuity is an important aspect of business meetings. Every meeting should stay focused on your general strategic goals. After all, they are what connects all of your business efforts. Generally, the best way to do this is to start every meeting with a point in the agenda that consists of quickly going through all of these goals. That way, your team will discuss all the issues while still having the big picture in mind.

Be Positive

It is essential that you hold a meeting that encourages all the team members to participate. There has to be a purpose and an agenda, and you need to keep your focus on your strategic goals. And, of course, a positive attitude is important.