Customers Are Sure To Cotton On To These Five Areas Of Employee Neglect

As an employer, you should be doing what you can to care for employees for their sake. The more efforts you put in place, the better work you’re going to see. The more benefits you offer, the longer people are going to stick around. You get the idea; caring is sharing when it comes to company success. As such, any efforts here are sure to be worth your while in their own right.

Sometimes, though, the way we treat employees trickles to other areas of business. If morale is low, for example, both productivity and quality of work will suffer. In extreme cases, employee neglect may also impact your customers. That’s because there are certain neglectful things you may do which are plain even from a distance. And, you can bet that customers who notice these won’t use your services again. If neglect is severe, they may even complain or spread the word.

That’s because every customer has probably worked under a less than ideal boss. Employee rights are something most people are pretty passionate about. If employee happiness itself isn’t enough, then, consider the five most common areas of neglect customers tend to notice.

#1 Extreme workloads

As a boss, it’s natural that you want to get the most work out of your employees. The more they produce, the more profit you stand to see. But, overworking staff is a form of neglect in itself. And, you can bet that it’s one your customers notice. If customers see that your team are overworked, it’ll be a big black mark against your name. it isn’t those shop staff that customers will get angry at for queues. It’s the manager who expected one or two people to manage everything on their own. This is terrible management and plain bad employee treatment. And, customers are never going to put up with it from you. In extreme cases, they may feel so sorry for your staff members that they stop coming to you altogether. Better that than put more work on already overworked shoulders. To make sure this doesn’t happen, ensure staff only ever experience workloads they can manage. That means opening all your tills instead of leaving one person to cope with busy periods. It means asking for one task at a time instead of getting team members to multitask all the time. It also means recognizing when a member of your team is struggling to keep on top. If you don’t, you can bet that your customers soon will.

#2 Lack of training

With a few exceptions, there’s no law which says that you have to offer extensive training courses to every member of your team. But, this is a benefit which you really should consider putting on offer. At the very least, well-trained staff can help to improve your business with the skills they learn. Training also ensures that no one ever feels thrown in at the deep end or unable to cope with demands. Even short training courses can go a considerable way towards providing the skills the most inexperienced employees need. One thing’s sure; it’ll soon be clear to customers if you skip this. It isn’t difficult to spot when employee’s haven’t received adequate training. If they have to ask others for help or struggle to complete basic processes, it’s sure to look terrible. This sends an unprofessional image of your business as a whole, and is sure to turn customers away. Again, though, they won’t take their frustration out on the employee in question. Instead, they’ll want to know why a manager would offer such poor training possibilities. At the very least, you should pair all new employees with existing team members for a minimum of a week to avoid this. If at all possible, it’s also worth looking out for proper training courses you can offer new recruits. This will work in your favor during employment. It’s also sure to look better where customers are concerned.

#3 Sickness

Sickness is always a tricky beast in the workplace. For obvious reasons, you don’t want staff taking sick days. As such, you may not want to offer sick pay in the hope it’ll encourage staff to come in no matter what. But, leaving employees with no choice but to work while ill can open a whole can of worms. For one, sickness can spread like you wouldn’t believe. Working rather than recovering could also see illness taking longer to clear. And, to top all that, customers are sure to see sickness from a mile away. If an employee is pale and coughing, it’s never going to look good for your company. At the very least, customers will avoid you because they don’t want to catch anything. More often than not, though, they’ll probably want strong words with the manager who forced said employee into the office. That’s why it’s well worth putting workable sickness procedures in place. Something as simple as sick pay can ensure that staff recover from most bugs in a matter of days without worry. That can reduce the spread, and see you losing team members for far shorter periods. You may also find that it’s worth putting something like this employee assistance program in place. This provides easy access to medical professionals for every staff member. This perk alone could see employees seeking help as soon as possible. That, in turn, can see them back on their feet in no time. All without risking your customer’s catching wind that they were ill.

#4 Disrespect

Disrespect is never something you want in your working environment. If you talk rudely to staff, there’s no way you can expect them to stick around. They may be your employees, but they deserve the same level of respect you would give to anyone else. More, if anything, because they’re keeping your company afloat. Sadly, disrespect from managers isn’t all that unusual. And, customers usually pick up on this pretty sharpish. This is especially likely if you’re operating in a forward-facing workspace. In a shop, for example, barking orders at your employees will never go down well. If you make this mistake, don’t be surprised if customers start complaining on your team’s behalf. We all hate to see rude managers, after all. Instead, you should always aim to speak to employees on equal footing. Never bark orders, but ask politely. Make sure that words like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ don’t slip from your vocabulary. The moment they do, both your staff and customers could soon turn away from you. And, that’s never going to help you realize your business dreams.

#5 Exhaustion

Last, you want to make sure that you never push your team to exhaustion. In some ways, you could tie this in with the extreme workload of point one. But, even if you aren’t overloading your team members, you could still be pushing them too far. Long working hours and a lack of paid holiday, for instance, can often leave employees in burnout. Expecting them to pick up emails during their evenings also counts towards this. If they’re barely able to unwind, they’re sure to hit a wall pretty soon. And, you can bet customers will notice it. If team members are scarcely able to get the sleep they need, they’re going to make mistakes and look exhausted. Don’t let it happen. Offer paid holidays and make sure no one works during their evenings. That way, your employees will always look fresh when they’re dealing with your customers.

Avoid Getting Sick on Your Business Travels: Keep Your Immunity Strong

Lack of sleep, stress, anxiety, different time zones; these are all major contributors to lowered immunity levels during a business trip. Pair that with long meetings, unhealthy food, and lack of exercise, and you’ll get a depleted system that can barely function. However, for a business trip to be successful, you need to give your 100%, and the only way to do that is if you feel at the top of your game. So, here are 3 easy yet delicious hacks which can keep you happy and healthy during your next business endeavor.

Sneak in a few drops of propolis

During most business meetings, you’ll be offered coffee, tea, water – some sort of refreshment. The smartest choice would be water or tea, as these won’t make you jittery, and more importantly, these healthier options pair beautifully with propolis drops. Bee propolis is a natural immunomodulator, i.e. a chemical agent that modifies the immune response by aiding the production of antibodies. Simply put, it helps the body create extra antibodies which in turn effectively fend off various bacteria, viruses, and other unwanted intruders that may cause ailments ranging from simple colds to more serious conditions, like pneumonia.

Furthermore, this naturally derived substance can also alleviate allergy symptoms brought on by mold and other external allergens, which may become worse when one’s immunity weakens. So, if you want to say goodbye to a sore throat, runny nose, and headaches during your meetings, make sure you sneak in 5-10 drops at least once a day into your beverages.

Switch from coffee to green tea

The average coffee consumption is 3.2 cups of coffee a day. That may not sound like a lot, but the odds are, you’ll double those numbers when you’re a on business trip. And while there’s no denying that coffee contributes to sharp concentration, speed, and attentiveness – all of which are important during business meetings – too much of a good thing can actually work against you. So, when you’re about to reach for your 4th cup of joe, reach for green tea instead. Green tea contains a considerable amount of caffeine (50 mg per 8-oz), which means you won’t experience caffeine withdrawal, but it also has additional benefits. Namely, it is loaded with antioxidants which can help fend off bacteria and naturally boosts the immune system.

Munch on healthy nuts

Healthy fats are crucial for a strong immune system, as well as proper brain function; and what better way to get them than through healthy nuts. So, instead of going for potato chips or other unhealthy alternatives, opt for almonds, peanuts, cashews, or walnuts. These are all convenient yet healthy snacks that can be consumed in between or during your meetings (if allowed). Unlike unhealthy alternatives, which mostly  contain saturated fat, healthy nuts contain Omega 3 fatty acids which boost the immune system, memory, and help fend off viruses. A handful of these a day will do the trick, and will drastically reduce the chances of you getting sick during your trip.

Favorable results are pretty hard to achieve without optimal health. So, to ensure your company’s success, take care of yourself first, so that you can take care of your business.

Guest Author, Jenny Holt, is a former HR executive turned freelance writer, who now spends more time with her young family and ageing, but ever eager Labrador, Rover.

Why Business Diversification is So Important

When you are starting a new business, it is great to land a large customer who gives your business a brilliant start. However, as time goes on this can be a problem as if they get into financial difficulties, they could take you with them. It is far better to have a lot of smaller customers as then if one ceases to trade, it will have less effect on your business.

There are many businesses that launch because of winning a large contract, but if they want to be successful in the long term, diversification is the answer.

Create New Opportunities

You need to create new opportunities for your business by introducing new products or services. It is worth investing in research and development to achieve this aim. This does not mean you have to have a huge budget; it is your time you need to invest. If you have employees, chat with them about the possibilities and see what new ideas you can come up with.

If you do not work with anyone else, then chat through some options with trusted friends and family. Talking with different people may well produce ideas you had not thought of.

Find More Customers

Once you have developed your new product or service you then need to find new customers for it. This is where a digital marketing agency could help, as they have the expertise needed to get your new products known as quickly as possible.

You also need to ask yourself if your business has the infrastructure to cope with an influx of new clients, and if the answer is yes, you diversification is more than halfway there. If new customers come quicker than expected and you find yourself and employees are overloaded with work, consider outsourcing some tasks to ease the burden, as it could be that after a while the orders will level out.

Your employees can be your biggest assets and generally, they will all pull together to get the work done. This is because is your business is doing well, they feel more secure in their jobs, and that helps them to be more productive.

Try Different Markets

Try to move into different markets to diversify your business. It could be, for instance, that your main customer focus is on selling a product to the younger generation. When you are considering your new products, think of something that will appeal to an older market. Then you will not be putting yourself in competition with your existing customers, and this could mean you have the best of both worlds. You could also move into the retail market with new products, which will mean you can make a higher profit margin than on the goods you sell to your large customer.

Running a business successfully is a lot of hard work, and you need to be flexible in what you do. You do not have to only sell one product or service, and diversifying into other areas could be the thing that secures your financial future.

Improve Employee Retention with Workplace Perks

As a business owner, at any given moment you’re juggling tons of things on your plate—making payroll, managing the workplace, keeping supplies properly stocked, troubleshooting tech issues. Worrying about whether the staff you’ve hired is happy and fulfilled needn’t not be another thing on that ever-growing list. Employee retention can be tricky but in thoughtfully thinking of valuable perks to put in place, you can put both your mind at ease as well as ensure employees feel needed and valued. After all, employee satisfaction is a win-win for everyone. 

Read on for some ways to get a hold on employee retention at your business and ensure in both small and large ways that new and old employees stick around for the long haul. 

Health insurance 

Our health is truly our wealth and quality health insurance will go a long way with your employees. Having to manage a persistent sinus infection or a larger health crisis can be stressful, especially without health insurance. In providing health insurance for employees of your business, you demonstrate a level of care for their well-being. Beyond that, many gyms offer deals to businesses who want to incentivize employees to join. Employees that are in good health are those who can contribute effectively to the bottom line of your business. 

Family-like environment

Yet another way to demonstrate care for your employees is fostering a family-like environment. Keep a running tab of employees birthdays in an office-wide calendar for both you, as the business owner, and for fellow colleagues to see. If an employee has recently gotten married, had a new child, purchased a new home, had a death in the family or any other victory/setback, make note of it. Give employees cards or gift cards to both celebrate and comfort them in their time of need. These thoughtful notions speak volumes. 

Vacation and paid time off

Everyone needs a little time off sometimes. In offering vacation and paid time off for your employees, you contribute to work satisfaction long-term and give space for your staff to take breaks avoiding burnout. What’s more, having adequate vacation and paid time off is a great way to attract top notch talent to your business during hiring stages. Employees need to feel encouraged to both work and rest to be the best staff member they can be. 

Performance bonuses 

Another great way to contribute to employee retention are performance bonuses. What better way to show those you’ve hired and remind them they are an integral part in rewarding them with extra money? Plan in advance when you’ll offer performance reviews and bonuses based on the results of those. 

Paid sick days 

To the addendum of health is your wealth, and paid sick days fall into the same category. Employees need to feel that when they are unwell, it is okay for them to rest and take time off work to get better. And to be paid for that time when they are unwell. Make sure to have paid sick days as an option for employees to opt into. 

401(k), retirement plan and pension

As much as you’d love to have your employees with you forever, there will come a time when they will move on and retire. When that time comes, you’ll want to, as a business owner, have protections for them in place to cushion them for their hard work for your business. Have 401(k) or other retirement plans or pensions available to be chosen from. 

Flexible schedule 

An additional method for improving employee retention is to have flexible schedules as an option for all new hires and for employees period. Talk to both your new hires and employees that have been with your small business for a while to ask if their schedule works for them. Be open to allowing employees to come in later and leave later or come in early and leave early. Remember: a happy employee is a productive one and one that will stay with your company. 

Office perks

Your employees will spend the vast majority of their waking life at your small business so why not have some perks in office for them to enjoy? Think of things that would be appreciated such as a free lunch every now and then, employee appreciation barbecues in the warm weather months or even office parties for the holidays. A robust break room with free snacks as well as coffee and water are always good ideas, too. 

Employee development programs 

Want to motivate your employees to continue to invest in themselves and ensure employee retention at the same time? Employee development programs are the route to go in. Offer a robust list of activities for employees of your small business: tech skills, interpersonal communication, leadership. Encourage employees to take part in these programs with frequent reminders and updating offerings throughout the year. 

Sam Casteris is a small business owner and freelance writer operating out of Phoenix, AZ. You can find more of her work on Contently.

4 Simple Strategies for Boosting Your Employees’ Morale

Employee morale makes a big difference in workplace productivity. As an employer, you can’t control your staff’s mood, but you can definitely ensure that they have a happy, healthy, and considerate environment to work in. Here are four simple strategies to consider implementing.

Open Up Communication

People like to feel as if their work makes a difference. This can be a difference in the world at large, or simply a difference for the person they are working for. It’s difficult to put in effort all day without understanding the reasons or seeing the results. Keep staff updated on your business’s successes and pitfalls, and make sure you let them know the results of projects they have personally worked on. Good communication builds trust and rapport. If you set a standard of openness, your employees will understand when something simply must be kept under wraps. 

Stock the Break Room 

Snacks in the break room can be a small but effective way to show that you care. A coffee machine is a good place to start; warm drinks offer comfort, and caffeine provides an energy boost to finish out the workday. To avoid the classic problem of burnt break-room coffee, try a Keurig brewing system. Single-serving Starbucks K-Cup pods let your employees brew themselves a cup when they need one, and don’t share the mess or cost of brewing an entire pot. Don’t forget to stock decaf pods too; everyone deserves something hot to drink. 

Fight for Employee Benefits 

To be an employee is to invest a large part of your time and energy into someone else’s business. The deal doesn’t have to be a bad one; as an employer, you have the opportunity to make a large difference in your employees’ lives. Look for ways that your business can provide benefits that staff would not be able to acquire on their own. This might include package insurance plans, vendor discounts, or even chances to travel. Working for your business should feel like an opportunity, not a cost. 

Encourage Career Growth 

If you’re the business owner, you’re likely already living your dream. Your business is a culmination of your career and the effort you have put in. On the other hand, your employees are likely at the start of their careers. As much as you enjoy seeing them every day, it’s important to remember that your staff want to grow and move forward in life. Try to provide opportunities for growth and success within your business. If an employee has a dream that will one day take them outside of your company, don’t be afraid to encourage them. The person you help go to school today could very easily be your industry contact of tomorrow. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to employee morale; what helps one person’s mood might make no impact on someone else. The best strategy is to set a standard of respect, communication, and care for your employees’ needs. If you have a good attitude, a good work environment will follow.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Move Up With Confidence

Are you about ready to quit? Perhaps your job is really beginning to grind you down.  Maybe your rights are being eroded and you’ve had to call on the services of a wage and overtime claim lawyer or maybe you’ve just outgrown your current role and there’s no scope for moving upwards.

Whatever the reason, you might just be ready to make a change. We know this is easier said than done, especially when it feels that there just aren’t the jobs out there but if you need to start thinking about jumping ship, then we can help you get that resume in great shape and help you get interview ready.

Get the basics down

If you’re preparing your resume then the first thing you need to do is gather all your basic information together. If you’re organized, you’ll have filed all your educational and training certificates all in one place and know the months and years that you started and left your previous jobs. If you’re not quite this organized then start getting everything together so you don’t have to spend time searching for dates and bits of paper when you’re in the flow of creating your perfect resume

Now you’re ready to start.

Times change and so do resume styles, often within the industry you’re in. It doesn’t have to look space age but it should look modern so ditch your paper version and check out some online templates to download and start filling in.

Resume

Start with the summary of who you are and the skills you bring, remember to be precise and give real examples. For instance, don’t say you’re a great communicator tell your future employer that you are great at liaising with clients and solving their problems. You need to show in this short paragraph what added value you bring to a company.

You’ll then need to list all your hard and soft skills. Again try and be specific and give real data. If you write that you’re a great salesperson, can you put a figure on that from your last quarter? Impress with numbers. You can do the same with soft skills, which are fast becoming seen as equally as important as the tangible skills you bring to a position.

Interview

When you’re interview ready you’re going to need to spend some time reading through the person specification again and finding examples for every skill they call upon to talk about. Be specific and clear, don’t rush through your answers, take your time and engage with your body language as well as with your words.

You don’t have to spend any more time in a job you hate when your next role could be right around the corner. Don’t rush into creating your resume. Do your research and find a template that sells you and everything you have achieved to date. Then say goodbye to bad bosses and low pay and hello to a future with all the prospects and rewards that you deserve.

Employees Exasperated? 4 Ways to Improve Their Working Conditions

As an employer, you owe it to your employees to give them more than just a paycheck. You need to make sure they have all the necessary provisions to stay safe and happy. It doesn’t take much to provide hospitality to your employees. Here are four ways to improve their working conditions. 

Improve the HVAC 

Your employees can’t be expected to work in peace if the heating or air conditioning is constantly on the fritz. A stuffy or freezing office isn’t one where you can expect much to get accomplished. If employees are complaining about this on a regular basis, it’s time for an upgrade. Look for commercial air conditioners and heating systems that will be able to cover the needs of your employees. A system that is energy-efficient with a long-term warranty is the best way to go. Additionally, make sure your office is well-ventilated; otherwise, you and your employees may experience respiratory problems.

Add Decorations 

A lack of decor can give your workplace a very drab and glum appearance. You can remedy this very easily by adding decorations. You can start by putting up some plants and hanging some attractive paintings. You don’t want to put too much up, as this can turn your office into a bit of an eyesore. Let all of your employees have say in terms of decoration. You should also encourage them to decorate their desks and/or cubicles in any way they see fit. 

Proper Lighting 

The hum and harsh glare of fluorescent lines can be very irritating for employees. Your workplace shouldn’t be dimly lit, but it should be lit in a way that’s more bearable. You can also be more environmentally-friendly by using energy-efficient bulbs. Teach your employees sustainability by having them turn out lights and unplug devices when they’re not in use. 

Clean Up

Some clutter is bound to happen in a work environment. However, if everything is disorganized, people are going to be frustrated. While some of this is the responsibility of your employees, you should be doing your part. Make sure that you clean up after yourself in places like the break room and that your employees are held to the same standard. Additionally, adding bins or storage areas can remedy clutter.

If your employees are losing morale, consider their working conditions. It’s very likely that they feel under-appreciated due to their work environment. You can make your workplace a place of productivity as well as comfort. By following these tips, you can help your employees to have the best possible experience at work.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley