Staffing Secrets: Efficiency Is All In The Team Atmosphere

As a business owner, you should already appreciate the importance of your staff. Whether you’ve hired three people or 3,000 doesn’t matter – their productivity is the lifeline of your entire company.

You’ve probably invested heavily in perfecting your recruitment drive. However, this is only a small part of getting the most from your staff. Embracing positivity in the workplace is arguably even more important than hiring the right people. In truth, it could be the difference between a good company and a great one.

Here’s how you can promote it in four easy steps.

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Create A Great Place To Work

For an employee to work effectively, you must first ensure that their surroundings are suitable. After all, an environment that actively discourages work will immediately put a limit on your success.

Knowing when it’s time to move office is hugely important, as not doing so could be holding you back. Meanwhile, it’s imperative that all working environments are kept safe and clean. After all, absences through injuries and illnesses could be extremely damaging to both morale and workflow.

A few staff perks, such as upgrades to the staff room could have a telling difference. Underestimate their influence at your peril.

Prevent Divisions

Inequality in the workplace is easily the worst problem that you could ever encounter. From your perspective, it’s important to pay every individual worker fairly. However, it’s equally crucial that you promote a positive vibe throughout the workplace.

If you detect bullying or unfair treatments within the company, you must stamp it out immediately. Ultimately, you’re looking to build a team atmosphere, and even the smallest of gestures can help. Polos from Dynamic Gift can promote a unity while also providing consistency for employees and customers alike.

Nobody wants their business to be negatively influenced by segregations among the team. Take the necessary precautions, and you will be just fine.

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Encourage Communication

Every strong team should be built on a foundation of great communication. If yours isn’t, this should be one element that you look to overhaul immediately. Team building exercises are the perfect starting place.

Technology has changed the way we conduct business forever, and it can be used to embrace better communication. Whether it’s team messaging phone Apps or video conferencing services doesn’t matter. Any investment that bolsters the team cohesion and general atmosphere is a bonus.

If nothing else, better communication will reduce the risk of wasted time and basic errors.

Be A Leader

Promoting positivity within the group is one thing. But as well as their colleagues, employees must display respect for you. Without it, you’ll never get anywhere.

Encouraging a better employer-employee relationship will work wonders for staff motivation. Meanwhile, you should also capitalise on their individual ambitions. Invest in their development while showing them the pathway to bigger and better things. With that extra incentive, there’s no reason that they won’t reward you with the level of work you desire.

Above all else, it will make your management tasks far easier to control. If that isn’t an additional reason to make those upgrades, I don’t know what is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revealed: The Top Reasons Why 3 In 4 New Businesses Fail

If you’ve ever considered starting a business, even the most basic research will have opened your eyes to the difficulties ahead. The most worrying statistics is that over three-quarters of all new startups will be destined failure. Those figures can fluctuate anywhere between 50% and 90%; either way, gaining success certainly isn’t a walk in the park.

Accomplishing your business dreams is possible, though. But to give yourself a fighting chance in the fierce environment of modern business, it’s imperative that you are prepared for the tests. Understanding those potential problems, and how to avoid them, could be the most important knowledge you ever gain.

Here are the biggest threats, and how to combat them.

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A Lacklustre Team

In business, maximizing your assets is arguably the most important challenge of all. When utilized effectively, the staff can be the best tool at your disposal. Conversely, an inadequate team will cause major harm to your progress.

The first question you need to ask yourself is whether you’re hiring the right candidates. After all, nothing else you do can compensate for employees that don’t boast the skills or personality to thrive. Investing in their continued development through staff training should be high on the agenda too.

Perhaps more importantly, though, you need to encourage a positive atmosphere throughout the company. Keeping employees motivated will promote greater productivity, which will lead to bigger profits too. Quite frankly, if you aren’t empowering your team, success will always be limited.

No Focus

It’s impossible to reach your dream destination without following the right pathway. Unfortunately, a lack of direction is often the biggest killer to any business plan. This is especially true when it comes to converting sales.

The main job of any company is to satisfy customers to the point where they keep coming back for more. But it’s incredibly difficult to do that if you don’t take the time to understand exactly who your audience is. Very few businesses can target everyone. Finding your niche is one of the most important steps to creating a brand.

This information won’t only influence your products and services. But it will impact your branding and marketing strategies too. Essentially, the customer is the most important part of your entire venture and catering to their needs is essential. Without that focus, your bland company will be destined for failure.

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Poor Organization

Establishing an audience isn’t the only area where you need direction. The way you conduct your business tasks needs to follow a strict and suitable plan. As such, you need to ensure that there’s great organization throughout the company.

Poor organization will lead to wasted time. Creating a paperless office could be the first step en route to building a better platform. You also need to ensure that communication between different employees and departments remains strong. As soon as people stop working as a cohesive team, problems will start to surface.

With the help of smartphones and modern tech, scheduling your days and tasks is easy. If it helps your team stay on track, it will generate far greater outcomes. What more incentive could you need?

No Funds

Let’s face it; money is the most important factor in any business. Earning profit is the primary focus behind starting a company in the first place. However, it’s virtually impossible to start making money from day one. You need time to establish yourself, but this will only be possible if you have the necessary funds.

Far too many capable entrepreneurs fall into the trap of jumping in at the deep end without enough funds to float. If you can’t get yourself through those initial stages, then you won’t even get the chance to see how far the business can progress. Finding a line of credit for your business is crucial if you want to have a realistic chance of success. Fail to gain that funding, and you will inevitably fall short.

It’s a harsh reality. But it underlines the need for strategic planning even before you’ve taken those first strides into the world of business. Ultimately, financial aspects should be at the heart of every decision you make. Do not forget it.

Poor Service

Building trust is a fundamental feature of any modern business, and offering a quality service is the only way to achieve it. Sadly, many new entrepreneurs make the mistake of focusing solely on the goods. In truth, the purchasing process and interactions with the company are just as crucial.

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A customer that has positive feelings towards the company will be far more likely to complete future purchases. Therefore, going the extra mile to generate a positive transaction is key. Tediously slow services, online or offline, can damage your hopes of repeat sales. Likewise, you should use social media as a way to offer improved customer care services too. Knowing that your team is at hand to help them through problems will feel your customers with confidence.

Offering a better all round service shows customers that you care. Most consumers act on emotions, so feeling appreciated really could be your secret weapon. If it helps you in the battle against your competitors, you’d be foolish not to capitalize.

Low Productivity

All other elements play an important role. Ultimately, however, your goods and products need to a key focus. It doesn’t matter if you are manufacturing items, selling them or offering a service. The crucial element is that you do so in a winning fashion.

Time is money, so investing in the quickest and most effective methods is critical. Whether this means investing in new equipment or changing tactics, you must pay attention. At the same time, you want those processes to be completed in the most cost-effective manner too. After all, low overheads will shoot your profit margins through the roof.

Whatever you do in business, you should strive to do it well. If you don’t, your competitors will leave you for dust. Business doesn’t stand still for a second and you must always be on the hunt for new opportunities. You owe it to your staff, your customers and yourself.

 

Collaboration in the Workplace: A Goal or Mission-Critical

Collaboration is the latest buzzword in the business world. Businesses are deploying collaboration software, hiring community managers, and employees are being told to “work together.” Collaboration sounds like a good thing, but, do you know what effective collaboration looks like?

collaborationEphraim Freed, self-proclaimed Internet Nerd, defines collaboration as two or more people (team), working together (processes) toward shared goals (purpose.) In the workplace, collaboration often takes place in the form of a team, a network or a community.

Teams include members that are focused on a joint goal or product, such as a presentation, completing a project, writing a report, or creating a new design or prototype.

Networks are systems of people who share information and services usually around a common interest.

Communities are made up of members with shared interests and who want to learn from each other, building and sharing knowledge, they are not necessarily focused on achieving a specific goal.

In each of type of collaboration, new ideas are generated and explored. However, collaboration is not a one-time event nor is it easy to implement without practice. Collaboration is a process that continues to get better over time. The more people collaborate, the more significant their working relationships become and teams are better able to share and discuss ideas, leading to more successful results.

Strategies for Successful collaboration

According to this article in the Harvard Business Review, there’s a big difference between working together and truly collaborating with one another. Collaborative activity is the “secret sauce” that enables teams to come up with innovative new products or creative, buzz-worthy marketing campaigns. Chris Jones, an IT Strategy & Change Management consultant, agrees with the idea of a “secret sauce” of ingredients for driving effective collaboration. Jones’ recipe includes engagement, authenticity, respect, positivity, and focus.

In the video below, Apple CEO Tim Cook describes his strategy for hiring people who will focus on collaboration and deliver the “magic” that happens when great minds come together.

What is the best way to ensure that your team is successful collaborating?

Sarah Maynard shares three tips for encouraging collaboration in the workplace; communicate, visualize and acknowledge.

  • Communicate by sharing ideas with your coworkers, contacts, managers, and anyone who will listen.
  • Use visuals to help communicate your ideas and clarify your ideas at the most simplistic level. Visuals are a great facilitator to aid strategic thinking and planning. Acknowledge the work that your team is doing.
  • Give credit when a team member has contributed a good idea, hard work, or even good constructive criticism. Collaborative relationships work best when team members feel appreciated and valued.

Dr. Carol Kinsey Gorman shares her 7 insights for collaboration in the workplace telling us that collaboration is a leadership issue which requires a change in the attitudes and behaviors of people throughout an organization. Some of them include:

  • Collaboration is essential for organizational change whether the change involves creating new products, services, processes or a total reinvention of the organization.
  • Success dictates that the individuals impacted by change be involved in the change from the very beginning.
  • Visioning is a team sport. Today’s most successful leaders guide their organizations not through command and control, but through a shared purpose and vision. These leaders adopt and communicate a vision of the future that impels people beyond the boundaries and limits of the past.
  • Diversity is crucial because it makes people to consider perspectives and possibilities that would otherwise be ignored. Group members who think alike or are trained in similar disciplines with similar bases of knowledge run the risk of becoming insular in their ideas. Instead of exploring alternatives, a confirmation bias takes over and members tend to reinforce one another’s predisposition. Relationships are critical to the outcome of any collaborative effort.
  • Collaboration is dependent upon well-developed personal relationships among participants.
  • Trust is the glue that keeps it all together. Trust is the belief or confidence that one party has in the reliability, integrity and honesty of another party.
  • Finally, don’t forget that your body language matters.

Do you encourage your team to collaborate? What tips can you share to help others lead their teams to work better together? Post a comment with your ideas!

Group and Teams in the Classroom

Faculty Focus has a great report available for download titled, “Student Collaboration in the Online Classroom.” There are a lot of good resources on creating a collaborative classroom environment. Dr. Teshia Young Roby wrote an article highlighting “17 Tips for Successfully Including Peer Collaboration in an Online Course.” The article is based on data collected in a survey conducted within the University System of Georgia exploring examples of peer collaboration exercises in online classes.

  • Get rid of preconceptions.
  • Adapt and adopt existing collaborative exercises.
  • Begin with a manageable amount of collaboration.
  • Consider a course orientation.
  • Make the collaboration a stated course outcome.
  • Teach students how to collaborate.
  • Provide structure for and require deliverables from the students.
  • Organize the student groups early and stabilize the groups throughout the course.
  • Create groups of 3 to 5 students.
  • Instruct groups to report large problems.
  • Provide feedback often.
  • Carefully choose discussion topics.
  • Prepare in advance for chat room discussions.
  • Organize the discussion board for productive discourse.
  • Constantly facilitate and monitor online collaboration.
  • Promote peer collaborations through grading.
  • Receive student feedback on collaboration exercises.

Tips for Encouraging Student Participation in Classroom Discussions