Flex time: The work perk employees can’t get enough of

There are all sorts of things you want more of at work. You might want more pay (of course!) and maybe more experience. Maybe you even want more chances to manage others and move your way up in the company. But we’re diverse in what we want—most of the time. The one thing that many of us are not diverse in in wanting? Flex time. Turns out the majority of us just want it, period. We want to be able to set hours that aren’t standard 9 to 5. We want to be able to work at home, maybe. And we want the freedom to have work-life balance if it’s important to us.

 While the desire for flex time is more important to more employees, then the reasons are diverse. Some people don’t enjoy the politics that seem to come with an office culture. Some simply don’t like their commute. What else? This graphic gives some thoughts.

 

Empowering Your Employees: It’s The Ultimate Investment

You’re one in a million! Few people would have the gumption and self determination to quit the rat race and carve out your own niche for yourself in the fast paced and ultra competitive world of modern business. Moreover, none could do it with the same flair, panache and expertise that you have. Yet, amazing as you are, you’d be the first to admit that you can’t do it alone. Your fabulous employees have been with you almost every step of the way. When things have been at their worst you’ve always known that you have a fantastic team that you trust and can fall back on. You respect, love and appreciate your team and you want to make sure that you keep them. But while you enjoy their respect and admiration, these alone will not prevent them from straying into the arms of your competitors the moment they stop feeling valued.

This is why employee empowerment is so important to SMEs. Fortunately, there’s a great deal you can do to make them feel more valued and empowered. Some of it is simply a matter of good practice, like ensuring a safe and pleasant working environment for them some will require some upfront investment. But while entrepreneurs tend to be a little gun shy when it comes to racking up overheads, empowering your employees is an investment that will continue to pay dividends for years as your employees take you to dizzying new heights.

Give them the flexibility they need to achieve work / life balance

Some employees will have young families. Others will care for sick or elderly relatives. Some will have disabilities which you need to bear in mind. For many reasons you may need to be a little flexible in your working practices to enable them to work remotely from home every once in a while. This can be done fairly easily and with a modest outlay thanks to solutions like Vertex who offer Cloud Computing Solutions For Businesses. This empowers your employees by giving them a cloud based desktop filled with secure copies of their emails, apps, and data to enable them to do their job anywhere. Allow your employees the opportunity to do their job well while honoring their other commitments and they’ll reward you with loyalty.

Keep your distance, yet always be there when they need you

Nobody likes bosses who are relentless micromanagers, always standing over them, scrutinizing everything that they do. Not only is micromanaging dangerous and a potential impediment to productivity, it’s rarely the best use of your time. Give your employees some space yet give them the guidance and support they need when they need it and they won’t disappoint you.

Give them a voice

A hearty “thank you” is good. A competitive incentives structure is even better. But there’s a difference between making your employees feel like valued collaborators and making them feel like well paid slaves. Make sure that they always have a forum in which to voice their ideas, suggestions and objections. This can be anything from a suggestion box to a Facebook group.

Deny them an opportunity to make their voices heard, however, and they’ll wonder how much you really value their input.

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.

Devious Dealings: Handling An Errant Employee Properly

Providing a comprehensive security in your business isn’t just relegated to your IT infrastructure, you have to consider the human aspects too. There are some industries where this can be low down on the priority list. But, there are personal issues that are very difficult for a business to deal with. An errant employee, either one who isn’t pulling their weight, or is even committing fraudulent activities on site, is something that every entrepreneur and business owner can have a struggle with. Firstly, it reflects poorly on the business if any employee does anything to undermine the company, but also, dealing with the person can be a very sticky situation. So, generally, how can you deal with the person, but also, how can you make sure that this doesn’t happen again?

Astute Observation

For something like an employee committing fraudulent activities on site, you need to make sure you gather enough evidence. Nowadays, there are so many different approaches to collecting this data, there are companies like WesTec Services that provide video security, so you can see exactly what is going on. On top of this, if the offending employee knows how to cover their tracks, you may need to spend a lot more time developing more sophisticated ways to keep tabs. You have to be very careful when amassing evidence, because if you are accusing someone of something that they will flat out deny, whether it’s a criminal offence, or if it’s something relating to their personal attitude towards the work, you need to ensure that you can display this evidence clearly before progressing with any form of punishment or feedback.

The Punishment Matches The Crime

For something like criminal behavior, it’s more clear cut; it’s usually an instant dismissal. But when it comes to making sure that the person who isn’t pulling their weight in a business is adequately punished, this is where semantics is best discussed. Especially, with regards to HR rules and regulations, you need to make sure that you are developing the member of staff appropriately, and not punishing them needlessly. Learning and development, as well as constructive criticism are things that will help, but also, implementing specific deadlines can be something to ensure that they are taking the feedback seriously. This is why quarterly reviews and one-to-one sessions are so beneficial now.

Give A Clear Message

It’s a very overused sentiment, using someone else “as an example”, but it’s important that you give a message to the other members of staff who are going down this slippery slope. For something like criminal activity, an instant firing can give the right message to the employees, but for those employees who are underperforming, using someone as an example is certainly a great way to make sure all that other workers are performing to standard. In addition to this, this communicates to clients and people outside of the company that you have a handle on dealing with these types of employees appropriately.

It’s very difficult from the perspective of a business owner, because you have your own reputation as well as your business’s reputation to maintain. You don’t want these types of employees to show up your company, and this is why you have to have something in place that deals with these errant types effectively.

Signs That Your Company Is Growing Faster Than You Can Manage It

Who wouldn’t love to grow their business? It usually means more attention, more profits and more ideas, but there will always come a point where you’ll realize that your business is actually growing faster than you can manage it. If you want to detect the early warning signs that your business is growing out of control so you can manage it better, then here are a couple of things to look out for.

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  1. Your infrastructure is starting to cost too much

If your basic business infrastructure, such as paying for cloud services and salaries, is costing you far too much of your budget, then there’s a good chance that you’ve started to outgrow what you can manage and you might need to start shuffling your money and removing expensive services like freelancers and outsourced work.

  1. You’re running out of space to grow

Physical space is another concern. You can easily run out of office space if you’re not careful and you’ll want to ensure that you always have extra space for new employees to work and storage space for your products.

  1. You’re hiring people far too often

If you find yourself hiring people for every little task, then there’s a good chance that you’re going to run out of money extremely quickly. You’ll need to start training employees instead of just hiring someone for every problem you encounter.

  1. You’re investing in things you know nothing about

Whether it’s a laser drill, networked devices or a powder coating booth as part of your manufacturing line, if your employees are asking you to invest in things you know nothing about then there’s a good chance you’re starting to grow beyond your knowledge. Regardless of if you’re planning on upgrading computers or adding a laser drilling service as part of your workflow, it’s a good idea to learn more info about it so that you better understand how it plays a part in your business. If you lack this knowledge, then consider speaking to your employees and having them explain it to you without technical jargon.

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  1. Your team is starting to grow further apart

Have you ever noticed that your team are starting to disagree on more things and work less together? If so, it’s a clear sign that your business is growing large enough to need separate departments that will rarely ever speak to each other. 

  1. You and your staff are lacking in direction

If you’re lacking a sense of direction and you’re unsure how to approach your business growth or adapt to new market conditions, then you need to be wary because you could start making poor decisions that affect your success in the future.

  1. Your employees aren’t growing anymore

Once your employees hit a wall, it can be difficult to overcome it and teach them new skills. This is a problem that can be overcome with professional training, or you might need to bite the bullet and hire more agile and flexible employees to replace them.

  1. You’re failing to communicate with your customers

Lastly, if you’re failing to communicate with your customers in a meaningful way then it’s possible you’re starting to grow too large for what you can handle.

4 Easy Ways To Show Your Workforce That They Are Valued

The days of finding a job when you leave college to then remain with the same company for the next forty years or more have long gone. Graduates are now keen to broaden their horizons by experiencing different working environments and joining different companies on a mixture of short and long-term contracts. Securing the loyalty and services of an exceptional employee can be tricky, especially if you work in a fast-paced and dynamic industry such as advertising or PR. However, there are some strategies that you could implement to ensure that you not only attract the best candidates but that you can retain their services.

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Pay More

It’s a pretty obvious concept but to show your staff team that they are truly valued, you need to ensure that the remuneration package that you offer exceeds that of your rivals and the market rate. By stretching their salaries just that little bit further and providing an exceptional benefits package, you will gain a reputation for rewarding staff. This is one of the easiest ways of attracting the best potential employees.

It’s not just the basic salary that can create the most productive team. You could provide healthcare insurance, contribute generously to a pension and even cover legal fees should your employee need them. Head to https://www.hupy.com/offices/des-moines–iowa-auto-accident-attorney.cfm or any other local attorney to see the sorts of services they could provide for your staff, such as help with personal injury claims, automotive accidents and negligence.

Get To Know Your Staff

It’s vital that you know your staff especially if you only have a small team. They need to know your face, see you around the office and know a little bit about you. When your team are going on away days, make sure that you attend with them, take part in the team-building exercises and take the time to learn your employees’ names. By inquiring every so often as to how little Jimmy is getting on at school, you are showing your staff that you care. The tiniest action can boost the morale of your workforce and keep them settled with your company.

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Be Open With Your Employees

There’s nothing worse than working for a company that remains secretive. This doesn’t mean that you should share every single detail of your business plan with your staff, but you could send a weekly email to celebrate the company successes with your staff team. Tell them how different projects are going, inform them of upcoming events, and single out those employees who have gone above and beyond to exceed a target. By being open and giving your employees recognition for their achievements, you will be actively showing them that you care and that you value their contribution to your company’s performance.

Allow Freedom Within Their Roles

Being stuck behind a desk for eight hours a day is a working model of the past. No longer do we have single booths to lock ourselves within and beaver away on a desktop computer sending out emails, answering calls and writing documents without so much as looking up over our cubicle. Office environments need to be more fluid, free and more conducive to a comfortable way of working as displayed at https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/03/08/. You should be making opportunities for those water cooler moments when your staff might be having a chat over a coffee and come up with the finest marketing idea that will see your company’s online exposure go stratospheric.

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By having a more open, transparent and flexible workplace, you can show your workforce that they are valued. As described at https://trainingindustry.com/articles/workforce-development/, a valued workforce is a more productive and happy workforce. Set the core expectations and allow your team the freedom to decide how they meet them. They may wish to work from home a couple of days a week or take a break every so often in the company games room. Empower them to fulfill your business vision.

Being the sort of boss that helps their employees look forward to work every morning and enjoy their jobs means that you have the greatest chance of keeping the most talented and hardest working staff members. To be that boss you need to give praise where it is due, keep your team updated, celebrate successes and allow your employees a level of autonomy that shows a deeper level of trust. Only then will you have shown your staff team that they are truly valued.

3 Keys to a More Productive Workplace

How productive of a workplace would you say you have? For many running companies, productivity can be difficult to measure.

Sure, they can rely on the monthly sales numbers to see if things are going in the right direction or not. But can they know if their offices are running the best they can?

One of the keys to a productive workplace is making sure one has the right employees along for the ride.

Although there are no guarantees when you hire, you should at least have an inkling how they’re going to work out.

With that being the case, could your workplace be more productive?

Knowing How to Run an Efficient Office

In doing all you can to have the most productive workplace possible, remember these keys:

  1. Hiring – Take the time to get to know someone during the interview process. Yes, you may be interviewing countless people for a single position. That said you or those doing interviews should spend time listening to candidates. Are they excited about the prospect of working for you? Do they seem from a personality standpoint like a good fit for your office? Is their resume one that stands out from others? By putting time and effort into interviews, you lessen chances of hiring those who will bail.
  2. Human resources – Whether you run a sizable company or a smaller one, don’t neglect human resources. Your human resources efforts are one of the cornerstones of your company. If you have not had much experience when it comes to human resources, it would is wise to turn to HR consultants. Such consultants can give you experience you need to handle about anything possible. From how an employee may sue to making sure you meet all workers compensation rules, don’t fall short. When you have your human resources needs covered, things seem to fall into place better.
  3. Rewards – Last, rewarding your employees can go a long way in making for a successful and happy office. For example, be sure to highlight when an employee goes above and beyond what you need of them. It could be exceptional customer service. It may be putting in long hours on an important project. It can also be something as simple as referring new business your way. Though you pay employees competitive wages and benefits, it never hurts to go that extra mile.

Productive Workplaces Tend to Attract Others

When you run a company that is productive and fun to work at, you’re keep attracting a new crop of applicants.

Although salary is often the main factor when one chooses a job, he or she also wants a good working environment. That is not harsh or unpleasant to go to on a daily basis.

As an example, do you run a tight ship or a little bit more laid back type of office? If it is the latter, there’s a good chance many people want to come and work for you. It is human nature to want to feel appreciated and respected while still working hard.

Last, review your workplace on a regular basis to see how it matches up to competitors. More times than not, there will be things you can improve upon once you’ve completed your assessment.

So, is your workplace as productive as it can be?

If the answer is no, then take some time to get things headed in the right direction.

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes about business topics on the web.