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 

 

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 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.

4 Ways Management Can Use SMS to Optimize Workflow

SMS texting is a valuable tool to manage your HR team and optimize communication throughout your company. When you implement an SMS texting platform, you will see how text messaging boosts HR functions and makes communication easier. When you have a busy company, you’ll be able to send out meeting reminders to staff, let everyone know in an instant if you need to close, and even communicate to employees who are working off site with ease.

Send Out Meeting Reminders

In a busy company, it can be easy for your employees to get overwhelmed with the number of meetings being held. When you want to be sure that employees attend all necessary meetings, a quick text message reminds your employees that a meeting is about to occur. In addition, if you have an employee that has to attend specific trainings, you can keep them up to date using an SMS platform. You’ll be able to send out a reminder to specific employees about a training coming up and make sure that everyone has the trainings that they need.

Use SMS Texting for Emergencies

Text messaging boosts HR functions and allows you to reach all of your employees in an instant. Text messages are opened at a rate of more than 98%, which makes it clear that this is the best way to reach your staff in an emergency. If you have a security risk, a quick message sent out to your employees can let everyone know that they need to shelter in place. When you want to close for the day because of weather, you’ll be able to reach your employees fast before they leave for work in the morning.

Survey Employees to Make Your Business Stronger

You can send out a text message that includes a link to a survey to learn more about how satisfied your employees are. You can send out a text message after implementing a new strategy, asking your employees for feedback. When you want to know what your employees are thinking, a quick SMS survey can give you the answers you are looking for. When you aren’t sure if a new technique is working, just ask your employees and they will let you know.

Send Out Job Notifications Through Text Messaging

You can share job notifications with potential employees who have shown interest in your company through text messaging, or you can send out a message internally first. A text message can share a link to a new position you have open, and anyone that wants to consider the job can apply right through the link. It’s a great way to share internal job postings, as everyone will get the same access to the text message. When you use a job board website, anyone that signs up to receive text messages from your company will receive messages about new jobs.

Make Decisions Through Polling

When you have decisions to make for your company, send out a poll to your employees for input. For example, a quick survey to find out what your employees prefer for lunch at a training can make your employees feel taken care of. It’s easy to send out a quick text message, and it’s even easier for your employees to answer. While you can send out an email to poll your staff, text messages are read more quickly and more often.

Text messaging is an easy way to reach your employees and improve communication. Send out a quick survey, or let employees know about an upcoming training. Keep your employees informed through text messaging.

To learn more about how integrating an SMS software can improve HR communications, click here!

Author Biography:

Ken Rhie is the CEO of Trumpia, which earned a reputation as the most complete SMS solution including user-friendly user interface and API for mobile engagement, Smart Targeting, advanced automation, enterprise, and cross-channel features for both mass texting and landline texting use cases. Mr. Rhie holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. He has over 30 years of experience in the software, internet, and mobile communications industries.

 

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!

The Foremost Factors Of Any Transportation Company

When it comes to setting up a new business, there are many different kinds to choose from. One which is almost always likely to be a good idea, however, is that of transportation. There are certain kinds of business which are likely to always be needed by certain industries. Going for these kinds of business is therefore a relatively safe way to get started in the world of business. This makes them a good option for those who do not have much – or any – experience in running a business. Transportation is the perfect example of such a business. Of course, that doesn’t mean that running a transportation company is easy or straightforward. There is a lot to it, and you need to know as much as possible before you get started to ensure your success. Let’s have a look at some of the foremost factors of any transportation company. Here are your main considerations.

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Find Your Place

As we have seen, the major benefit of a company of this kind is that it is always going to be needed by someone or other. Of course, there is another side to that: you are likely to have a considerable amount of competition as well. Competition is not necessarily a problem as such, but it is definitely something that you want to consider and take on board as early as possible. Before you even get started, you need to decide on a location for your transportation business. In one respect, you might say that the location is not all that important for a business of this nature. After all, the main task is transportation. But the location of the depot does matter – and so too does the area that your business is likely to service. So how can you find the best possible location for your new transportation business?

Above all, you want to try and find somewhere that does not have too much in the way of competition. This can be hard to discern to begin with, but with a little research you should be able to find out a good location in your area before long. You want to try and place your business physically so that you are as likely as possible to get as many customers as you can. It might help if you draw your desired radius of operation on a map, and try from there to work out the ideal location for your depot. Wherever it ends up being, you want it somewhere neither too cluttered, nor too distant from anything else. You should be locatable, but not dwarfed by other, well-established businesses all around your depot. You would be surprised at just how important this kind of detail really can turn out to be.

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The Fleet

Regardless of what kind of transportation you are going to be involved in, you will need to get your hands on some vehicles. Finding your vehicles is one of the most important early stages of setting up a transportation business. You should endeavor to spend a lot of time on trying to find only the very best for your fleet. What you want to end up with is a fleet of trustworthy and well-maintained vehicles with a good history. If you can’t trust the vehicles that your colleagues will be driving, then you will find that you lose faith also in your business, so be sure to find the best vehicles that you can.

Where do you look for such vehicles? In general, it is a good idea to stay within the industry. Don’t go straight for private sellers offering incredible deals. More often than not, you will find that this results in poorer vehicles and a fast buck for them. Instead, look to reputable dealers whose reputation would be damaged if they sold you something of poor quality. You will need to make some executive decisions here regarding balancing your books and the quality of the transportation itself. But it is worth bearing in mind that the quality of the vehicles is something that will see your business through to the future, regardless of their short-term cost.

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It’s also hugely important that you do everything you can to keep your vehicles in proper working order. Being able to properly maintain them is a big part of running this kind of business. If you allow them to fall into disrepair, it causes a number of issues. For a start, it is not the most financially savvy move for your business to allow your most important assets to fall apart over time. But more importantly, you should not do anything to put your staff or clients at risk. So it is very important that you carry out regular checks on your vehicles, and give them everything they need to keep as good as new. When a vehicle has really had its day, don’t be afraid to replace it entirely with a brand new alternative. Look after your fleet; look after your business.

Staffing Levels

In any business, finding and keeping hold of the right staff, and the right numbers of staff, is always something of a challenge. For a business of this kind, it is no different – except that you need to make sure you are being pretty diligent with your recruitment process. You need to be very careful about the people you hire, not least because they are going to be driving your precious fleet and the cargo that you have chosen to transport in your company. You should be rigorous, put them through a lot of tests and so on, and make sure that you are hiring primarily for experience rather than motivation. As long as you are able to trust your employees, there is no limit to what you can achieve in your transportation business. But the moment that you don’t quite feel you can trust them, you will find that your business soon starts to fall apart. A strong recruitment is necessary, and so is a solid training program for all new members.

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Training is vital, because it ensures that you keep your employees in the right way from the very beginning. They need to know exactly what you expect of them and why, and this is the best way to get that information across without hassle. Training is not just for the start of employment, either – you should try to re-train your employees every now and then (about every six to eight months) just to ensure you are doing everything you can to keep them at their best. Get the staffing right, and you will have much more faith in your new business – the team themselves are the core of any business.

Safety

As an employer, you have something of a moral and legal duty to keep your employees as safe as possible at all times. For a lot of transportation businesses, safety is going to be hugely important. Clearly, for drivers in particular it is important that safety is given the status it deserves. The most beneficial way to approach this topic in your business is to have clear, defined rules that everyone knows they should follow. These rules should be clear to all, available to view or read at any time, and they should make sense to everybody. You should also try to encourage in your employees a sense of individual responsibility. At the end of the day, everybody is responsible for their own safety. Make sure everyone understands that, and it is much more likely that your employees will enjoy their work in safety.

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It’s just as important that your workers know their rights, should there be an accident of some kind. Whenever anyone in your employ suffers an injury as a result of a truck accident on the road, they have the right to contact a truck accident attorney. They also have the right to time off with sick pay – but how much should be delineated in your rules and regulations. It is vital that you allow your employees everything they are entitled to, otherwise they might not be quite so pleased, and before long you could find yourself in a much less reputable position with your employees. Safety ensures that you are taking care of everyone in your business, so this really cannot be overlooked.

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Licensing & Insurance

There are always certain legal procedures that any business needs to follow, and yours is going to be no different. For a transportation business, some of the most important regulations and laws are licensing and insurance. You need to have a license to carry out the kind of business you are engaged in – as a business and individually. You also need to make sure that every single person in your company is insured to drive. If they are not, you will find that your business gets into some very big trouble very fast. But as long as you have this satisfied, your business will be able to continue trading for as long as you like. And that is what you are likely to aim for in the early days of your business.