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.

How to Create a Culture of Wellness in Your Company

A healthy workforce is a happy one, and satisfied workers are staggeringly more productive than their worn-out counterparts. While this statement seems to be commonsensical, a lot of business owners do not seem to realize its meaning and importance.

Constantly promoting healthy lifestyle choices, such as proper exercise and nutrition, is one of the most important responsibilities of a well-meaning CEO. After all, there will be no company without a healthy workforce. But before we give advice on how to create a culture of wellness within your organization, let us dive in to explore some of the benefits of promoting wellness among your employees and colleagues.

What are the Benefits of the Culture of Wellness?

First of all, healthy employees are more energetic and focused, so they will probably be more productive than others, but most importantly – they inspire productivity and competition, which has a significant positive influence on their colleagues.

Your employees will feel more valued when they notice that you are paying attention to their wellbeing. That will result in higher employee happiness and increased productivity, because they will want to return the favor.

Physical activity is also one of the things that increases endorphin levels. Our mood improves upon the release of endorphins, which in turn influences our productivity as well. Given the numerous benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle, let’s now take a look at how one can implement a culture of wellness within their organisation.

Identify Collective Requirements

The first thing to do is to start encouraging conversations among your employees or colleagues about the current state of wellness within your organisation. Important things to consider include physical health, workplace happiness, stress management, opportunities for career advancements and personal growth, the office environment, and lastly interpersonal relationships between the employees.

Facilitate Physical Activity

Remaining active is one of the most important things when it comes to staying healthy. Encouraging and facilitating physical activity among employees is an extremely important, and the management is usually open to such suggestions. What you can do is start encouraging walking meetings, allocate a space in your office for a treadmill or an exercise bike.

You can also start having group exercise classes led by an employee, or team contests where you all have the same set of goals and are connected through an app that tracks your progress. Using standing desks is a good option as well.

Encourage Healthy Eating Habits

The majority of employees eat a couple of meals during the day at the office. Consequently, there is a lot of room for malnutrition. This is why it is extremely important to pay attention to this aspect of your employees’ health. You can encourage each other to take healthy lunch breaks, request that healthy snacks and food exist in the kitchen at all times, and challenge one another to bring a healthy meal each day.

Keep the Office Clean and Healthy

If you are just starting out, this might not be on the top of your list, as you have to deal with tons of paperwork, meet new people, etc. However, keeping the office a clean and healthy an environment to work in should be your top priority. For example, you need to pay attention to air quality and air conditioning (Temper Troops can help with that).

Also, you have to check the ventilation and air filters and if you sense an odor, you have to notify the staff immediately. Other than clean air, you have to provide fresh drinking water and clean and sanitized bathrooms. These are the basic requirements for creating a culture of wellness.

Wellness Equals Efficiency

By creating and keeping a culture of wellness in your organisation, you directly positively influence the productivity levels of your employees. The less stress they have and the more physically active they are, the better they feel. And the better they feel – the less they think about problems. This leads to increased productivity levels and enhanced efficiency. Keep your employees healthy and it will give your business a major boost.

Guest Author, Tony, is a writer and the senior editor at MediaGurus with several years of experience in writing content for the web. Tony does research and writes articles across various industries, such as business, technology, marketing, lifestyle, etc.

5 Ways to Raise Employee Morale

As a business owner, employee satisfaction should be one of your top priorities. You should never neglect any of your employees’ needs and requirements. If you fail to provide your workforce with the basic working conditions, you are in a threat of losing them. Read through these tips carefully and see how you can be the good boss, that is favored by their employees and that drives their company forward.

#1 Communicate Openly

The channels of communication between the employees and the management must become and remain open at all times. You should foster healthy and transparent communication in the workplace, because your employees also have valuable information to share, as well as ideas and opinions. If you communicate openly with your employees, they will see you in a positive light, which will in turn improve their productivity levels.

#2 Set Clear Goals

You need to set clear goals for your employees. Experimenting will only get you so far, but if you change the goals too often, and noticeably experiment on the employee without them knowing why can reflect hideously on their performance. Understand that your employees’ skill get better with time, and leaving them to work toward a single goal without interruption will help them get better and achieve success more often.

#3 Maintain a Healthy Workplace

This is probably the most important thing you can do when it comes to raising employee morale. Nobody likes to work in an unhealthy environment, especially if the business in question is lucrative. When working in Australia, I remember our boss buying the best air conditioning Sydney has to offer. He even made a point out of it. This, along with other things he did for us led the whole company to become loyal and take greater responsibility.

#4 Recognize the Potential of Your Workers

If you fail to discern the employees that are really valuable to your company, from those that are here just to have a steady job, you might end up with an incompetent workforce. Sure, anyone can repeat simple tasks, but you need someone innovative, who can think for themselves – a problem solver. If you do not recognize the true potential of some of your workers, they will rush to your competitors in no time.

#5 Avoid High Employee Turnover

You must hire the right candidates. Devote as much time and energy as possible on recruiting the best talent you can find. If you employees constantly come and go, it is a sign that something is wrong. There are many things that can go wrong, for sure, but it is no coincidence if it happens all the time. Make sure you know what your employees think when it comes to working for you, how they feel, and whether they are satisfied. If you fail to do this, you will experience a complete disaster.

Take Care of Your Employees

They are your allies in this tough, oversaturated, furious world of doing contemporary business. If you treat them well, they will return the favor, and when that happens, you got yourself a business that will shake  up the market.

Guest Author, Tony, is a writer and the senior editor at MediaGurus with several years of experience in writing content for the web. Tony does research and writes articles across various industries, such as business, technology, marketing, lifestyle, etc.

The Employment Process: 3 Things You Need To Know

If your small business has grown during the last twelve months, you might want to employ some staff members. That is a brilliant situation because it means your company is becoming successful. Of course, the employment process isn’t always easy. There are lots of things you could get wrong if you don’t have experience. For that reason, it’s vital that you get all the advice you can find. Today, I’m going to provide you with three things every entrepreneur needs to know. With a bit of luck, this information will assist you in avoiding mistakes and wasting time. So, put it to good use during the next couple of months.

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  • There are good and bad ways to advertise a vacancy

Firstly, I wanted to talk about how some entrepreneurs promote jobs. Many company bosses make the mistake of using government-run websites. That would be a brilliant idea if there weren’t so many unemployed people. When you use government sites, you will always receive applications from candidates who are unsuitable for the job. That is because the state forces out-of-work individuals to apply for roles to get their benefits. So, do yourself a favor and avoid those websites altogether. There are plenty of niche job boards you could use to achieve better outcomes.

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  • Your interview technique is important

As you receive applications, you will create a list of candidates you want to interview. That should include no more than ten people for the best results. After all, you don’t want to spend weeks trying to find someone to fill the role. When the interviews begin, you’ll have to think long and hard about your approach. The goal is to learn as much as possible about the individual. However, you can’t do that by just looking at their CV. You need to dig a little deeper if you want to make the right decisions. Ask the candidate about their hobbies and interests, and get to know them on a personal level.

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  • Lawyers should create employment contracts

There is no getting away from the fact that you require watertight employment contracts. In most instances, you will have to pay a lawyer to create those documents. Failure to do that could mean you get something wrong and end up in trouble. The files should contain information about job descriptions, salary, and responsibilities. You can then store them all using the latest enterprise contract management software. That is the best way to ensure the contracts are kept safe, and they are always to hand. You never know when you’ll have to refer to the document during the disciplinary process.

If you consider all those points when navigating the employment process, you should find it plain sailing. At the end of the day, there are specialists you can call for assistance at every step. If your think your interview skills require some work, just research the subject online. Many blogs like this one provide excellent advice that any entrepreneur could use. Whatever happens during the next few months, I sincerely hope your company continues to grow!

How To Keep Your Employees Safe

The people that work for you are your greatest resource. They are more versatile, creative and productive than any other aspect of a small business. As great as technology is, its intelligence is still artificial and many supposed smart systems actually just use brute force in the form of processing power to solve problems that humans require a great deal less work and energy to figure out. Besides, computers cannot come up with new ideas or offer the sort of professional and personal support that makes an office a productive, successful environment. That is not to say that computers are not useful, it is just that they are a tool rather than the core of your business. With this in mind, it is apropos to consider how you, as the business owner, can best protect the people that work for you. This concern is obviously of a moral character, but it is also has a more practical, possibly cynical, component. That is that if someone is injured on your property, you could be liable. Lawsuits are expensive. When you win, you still have to pay all of your legal fees. This is why it is important to invest in professional liability insurance. However, prevention is better than the cure in this case too. Here are a few ways that you can help ensure that your office is a safe, happy environment that is not a threat to the people who work there:

You may not give much thought to the value and usefulness of electricity until it is not available, but it is also quite dangerous. With the average volts running through the sockets in your building being 110 to 120, it is imperative that the system is properly maintained. A shock from 120 volts is exceptionally serious and can kill. As a responsible employer, you should make sure that you regularly invest in rcd testing. This refers to a residual current device which prevents accidents from occurring by detecting and disconnecting the power to your system. However, it is not just the electronic aspects of your building that you need to worry about. The threat of fire is quite serious, not only to you and your employees, but also to the continued viability of your business. You should also consider investing in commercial property insurance, as it will also cover you in the event of flooding, burst pipes, storms and subsidence theft. However, to make sure that these things never happen and that your insurance remains just a useful salve for your peace of mind, you should learn about the fire codes in your area and ensure that your business is compliant. If you do have a fire break out and your office is destroyed, you may get all of the money back, but the time and stress involved in rebuilding is simply not worth it.

Not every threat is so concrete though. A strong, dynamic HR department is crucial if you are going to ensure that your employees feel safe while at work. A lot of cases have been coming to light recently that involve charges of discrimination or other types of abuse. These are not only reprehensible, they can also be expensive. Ensuring that these things don’t happen in your office is a matter of communication.

5 Tips for Improving Workplace Communication

Poor communication in the workplace often results in sub-par performance between departments and low morale among employees. This is a rather common problem for startups and small businesses where employees have little to no idea what exactly is happening in neighboring departments. When information is not flowing across different departments, efficiency is bound to suffer. That said, here are five tips you can use to create an open environment based on clear, two-way communication between you and your employees.

1.      Transparent Workplace

One of the biggest mistakes managements teams tend to make is failing to share information within the organization. This not only demonstrates a general lack of confidence but can also result in growing distrust between workers. Preventing this from happening is as simple as practicing open and transparent communication. This should start with the company leaders, as they are the ones who need to share information with their teams, whether it’s customer feedback, fundraising, financial data, new hires or meeting notes. Don’t worry about burdening your team and have in mind that these people are capable and smart enough to be hired in the first place and could use that information to make the organization better.

2.      Assign Clear Roles and Responsibilities

A poorly coordinated team and mishaps with work delegation can negatively impact any project or task. Every employee should have a clear deadline, role, and responsibility for which they are held accountable. The best way to keep your employees focused on the task at hand is to establish quarterly objectives and results. Make sure you frame them within larger goals and try to keep them public throughout your company in order to make your employees realize that their efforts have a direct impact on the company’s objectives.

3.      Ask the Right Questions

Company employees are actually the ones who have the largest insight regarding how the company works and accessing the information they have can easily be accomplished by asking just the right type of questions. They can prove to be a valuable feedback tool used to recognize achievements and identify any challenges you and your employees might face. Try to incorporate one on one meetings and make sure to demonstrate genuine concern and interest regarding your employees. Maintaining a direct line of communication allows employers to gain a detailed insight into the way their employees operate and to resolve any issues that might arise quickly and effortlessly.

4.      Use Exit Interviews

No matter how large your company is, interviewing departing employees regarding their experiences, as well as reasons for leaving is an excellent tactic to gain valuable insight into your company’s inner workings. What makes this technique so useful is the fact that departing employees are rather open during these interviews and often provide excellent feedback. Additionally, this information can later be analyzed and presented to management on an annual level in order to retain the most valuable employees and increase morale.

5.      Collaboration Between Departments

Most workplace failures are a direct result of poor collaboration, lack of overall communication and an overwhelming “us against them” mentality which results in interdepartmental friction. If your employees don’t have a clear line of communication between departments, you should invest in an intranet connection to support communication between different departments and team-building exercises in order to strengthen the relationship between your teams. Every company should endorse a culture of clear communication and open feedback among the employees, especially when there’s an evident lack of common interests and work goals. Encourage collaboration by insisting on an open layout in the office and hosting group launches and team retreats.

Effective Communication is Key

Clear communication and honest employee feedback are important for growing a business, as they build alignment around common goals, increase loyalty among team members and results in an improved productivity. Without transparent communication, you risk creating strife between different departments and risk running your company to the ground due to poor work conditions and general distrust between workers. Although it might prove itself to be a rather difficult task to accomplish, a good communication inside the company is vital for keeping your employees happy and your company successful.

Guest author Oscar is a writer from Sydney and one of the editors at Bizzmarkblog. He enjoys conducting research in the vast fields of business and marketing and writing about the useful insights he gathers on a daily basis. Follow Oscar on Twitter.to stay updated with his latest posts.

How Your Colleagues Can Save Your Life

Every single day you put yourself into situations where you are at risk. You don’t think about it at the time, because it usually revolves around crossing roads and walking past open business sites. Those situations are risky ones that you deal with every day and yet still feel safe while you do it. For eight hours or more a day, you sit in the same office or work on the same site as a team of colleagues. Those people that you work with every day have the power to be able to save your life, should the need arise. There are many things we take for granted, and the team we work with is one of the biggest. Your safety on the job at work, particularly if you are working in manufacturing or in a high-pressure environment, is paramount.

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Without knowing, it’s your colleagues you rely on for your continued safety at work. In saying that, it’s common to have at least one person that you work with who practices unsafe work techniques. This doesn’t always mean that they are reckless or particularly want to break the safety rules. There’s every chance that your colleague used to work for a company who didn’t push the safety regulations that could keep them alive, so they never thought about what they are doing as unsafe. What’s important here is that you are the person who steps up and keeps them safe, while explaining that what they are doing is unsafe. Workplace safety is responsibility of everyone involved on the floor. Colleagues depend on each other to stay safe, to watch for hazards and warn of hazards if they arise. If you are working with someone who is repeatedly unsafe in their practices, they will push your risk of harm right up, and that just won’t do.

It’s a problem to be around people who can put you in danger. If you work for an employer who won’t install the correct safety swing gates, for example, you are being put into danger of falling whenever you are working in the factory on site. The first step to helping your employers and your colleagues to improve workplace safety is to discuss is. Open communication is so important to staying safe and sometimes, people just don’t realise when things are going wrong. Employers who have done things the same way for years may need a re-education on new safety practices. While that isn’t overly your responsibility, it is up to you to mention something if you find it jeopardises your ability to work in a less risky environment. If your employers and colleagues do not realise the impact that their behaviour has on the entire office, they may be apologetic and make the right behavioural adjustments once they know. Extra training, offering to guide them on the safest way to do certain things and generally doing better at work are all things that need to happen to increase workplace safety.

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It’s an uncomfortable conversation to have when you believe someone you work with is being unsafe. It’s not easy to approach someone you work with and tell them that something is wrong. However, if an uncomfortable conversation is going to be the step you need to take to save a life, then it’s something you must do for your own conscience. You cannot be passive about workplace safety, but you can have a conversation about doing things differently without coming over as aggressive. If your colleague doesn’t believe that they are acting inappropriately or unsafely at work, then they can become defensive, which can end in an argument. Approach with caution when you are speaking to a peer at work. If you’ve tried before and nothing has changed, approaching management may be your only option. Workplace safety can result in a loss of life if regulations are not enforced correctly. When you engage in a discussion about inappropriate behaviour, remain as calm as possible.

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You may get lucky! If you’ve pointed out unsafe behaviour that hasn’t been noticed, it could immediately change and then your risk of working with your colleague goes right down. A chat may not guarantee a change in the way they approach their job, but it’s a start. When you’re at work, you need to have ongoing training in health and safety to be able to stay up to date with safety regulations. It is not just the job of management to keep you all safe in the main working environment. If you or your colleagues are working at a height, it makes sense to double check safety harnesses and swing gates and have another set of eyes on dangerous working at all times to ensure your protection. Everyone in the working environment will have something different to offer at work, depending on their experience. You should always feel comfortable pointing out risks to your employer if you spot any, as it doesn’t mean you are trying to do their job, just that you are being vigilant about your job. Getting involved in workplace safety plans is a smart idea for all employees, so that you are aware of what is expected of you in the workplace.

If you have a leadership role at work, you will need First Aid training in CPR and general medical care so that you can be on point for accidents at work. While the ongoing training mentioned should keep you safe, accidents sometimes will happen and you should be aware of them. All new employees should be rigorously taught what not to do at work and all guidelines on machinery should be followed closely. Your colleagues are people you spend time with for most of your working week and keeping each other safe is a given to ensure that no one is in danger where possible. Being aware of your actions and the actions of others can make a huge difference, and if you can be the person who makes that difference, you won’t regret it.