Best Ways Managers Can Motivate Their Team

It’s hard to keep everything right on schedule when the office morale is low and people are slacking at half of their work capacities. According to Gallup, only 29% of millennials are engaged at work, 55% of them are unengaged and as many as 16% are actively disengaged. So, how do you get the other 71% to wake up? Simple, by following the instructions below:

Make it worth their while

No matter how interesting your employees’ job may be, sooner or later, their initial enthusiasm will fade, and they’ll feel like dogs chasing their tails. As a result, their productivity levels will drop, leaving you with a workforce operating at half-capacity. To avoid this, you need to constantly be raising the bar and setting new challenges for your employees. According to these statistics, 86% of millennials would keep their current positions if their employers provided them with career training and development, while 87% of them stated that professional development and career growth opportunities are very important. This could be anything ranging from specific job-related skills, languages, computer skills, and so on. In essence, by investing in your employees’ development, you’re effectively hitting two birds with one stone, as their newly acquired skills will keep them both motivated and more productive at the same time.

Provide them with regular feedback

Providing your employees with a steady stream of feedback will show them that their efforts aren’t going unnoticed. According to PwC, 69% of employees stated that they would work harder if their efforts were better recognized. Give praise where praise is due and acknowledge all of your employees’ hard work to keep the morale afloat. Also, don’t hesitate to hand out constructive criticism to those employees who might be slightly under-performing, as 92% of people surveyed agreed that, when appropriately delivered, negative feedback is an effective performance booster. So, skip the dry formalities of the annual and quarterly reviews, and call up a meeting face to face. Just be wary, as some employees are more sensitive than others. Always give positive examples of their performance first, before criticizing them, in order to avoid hurting any egos.

Give out incentives

For some of your more competitive employees, a simple pat on the back simply won’t do. Instead, they’ll want a more formal sign of recognition for their troubles that they can share with their friends and families. Show them that you care and give them a master gift card, take them out for a fancy dinner, or offer them some paid time-off to spend with their loved ones. This will give them a sense of accomplishment that will motivate them to work even harder. Also, don’t forget to commemorate important milestones with your employees, both company and individual ones, as they are the ideal time for you to be generous and thoughtful.

‘Laissez-faire’

One of the worst possible things you could do inside the office, is to try and micro-manage each and every one of your employees. This is not only highly demotivational, but counter-productive at the same time, as frankly, no one likes having someone breathe down their neck while they’re working. What’s more, employees will get the opinion that you don’t trust them and as such lose confidence in their own abilities. Rather, what you should be doing is giving them some increased autonomy by letting them do things their way. Be flexible, let them organize their own schedules, don’t choke their creativity with unnecessary rules and regulations, and they’ll respect you more for it. According to this survey, 89% of companies reported better employee retention due to the implementation of flexible work options. So, focus your attention on more important matters, and cut your workers some slack every once in a while.

Create a positive working environment

Nurturing a healthy office atmosphere is vital for the overall productivity of your employees, and their mental well-being as well. Team-building events are an excellent way to break up the monotony of the daily grind and let your employees have a bit of harmless fun. Mind you, it doesn’t have to be something elaborate and expensive, but something as simple as a casual Friday, or a spontaneous night out. The most important thing, however, is that it’s something totally unrelated to work, as the main idea is for people to let off some steam and get their minds off work. All in all, these events present the perfect opportunity for your employees to bond with their co-workers and improve their mutual working relationships.

To sum up, different strategies appeal to different people. What works for one employee may not be the case with the rest of the lot. Therefore, it’s vital to keep experimenting with various combinations of these methods, in order to find just the right concoction for your specific workforce.

Guest author, David Webb, is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.

How to Make a Basement Startup a Successful Business

William S. Harley was only 21 when he built his first motorcycle in his friend’s garage. Clear back in 1923, Walt Disney created the first Disney studio in his uncle’s house. In 1974, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple in Jobs’s home in Cupertino, California. Jeff Bezos started Amazon in his home in Bellevue, Washington, in 1994. If you are trying to get your own business off the ground, then make sure you take some practical steps.

Create a Network

It is hard to succeed in business if you live inside a bubble. Therefore, you need to form a network of other professionals who can help you. Harley would not have been able to build his first motorcycle consisting of placing an electric motor on a bicycle without the bicycle builder. The first Apple computers were constructed of parts made by others. Make sure that you connect with others who are good at their jobs.

Market Your Product

You may have the perfect product, but if no one knows about it then it will still be a failure. You must connect with customers who can use their product to solve their problems. You need a plan on how you intend to tell the world about your product. Your plan may include the internet, direct marketing, door-to-door marketing and email marketing. If you do not have marketing skills, then make sure to work with a professional.

Create a Positive Work Environment

While the average American worker usually works 34.4 hours each week, the average micro-business owner usually works 52 hours each week. Make sure that you have a good work environment. Use replacement windows to let the light in as you work. Install work tables and other surfaces so that you have a dedicated area for your main activities. Choose energy-creating colors for your work environment. As you start to hire people, expand the work area so that everyone can be comfortable.

Take Care of Yourself

Getting a startup business off the ground can be hard work. Make sure that you are eating a reasonable diet. Take time to exercise on a regular basis. Get away from it all by spending time doing something that you enjoy. While it can seem like you need to be working continually, doing so will have a negative effect on your enthusiasm and motivation.

Use these tips and your own ingenuity to grow your basement business. You will succeed if you want to bad enough and there is a need for your product.

Guest author Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

Bringing Nature to Your Office Will Benefit Your Business in These 4 Ways

Bringing the outside inside through the use of plants has many benefits for the workplace. Yet, according to Truspace, 47 percent of workplaces are designed so that natural light does not enter and 58 percent do not have living plants. Here are some reasons to introduce plants to your work environment.

Increase Productivity

Workers who are surrounded by plants are more productive. Part of the reason is that being surrounded by nature, even a small item like a hanging terrarium makes people feel more positive. Additionally, numerous studies show that nature makes people more productive and creative. Introducing plants may increase the level of oxygen in the room allowing people to be more attentive.

Reduce Stress & Sickness

According to researchers at the University of Washington, introducing plants in the workplace helps to reduce stress levels. After testing participants’ blood pressure levels, the researchers found that those working in rooms with plants had lower blood pressure readings after just a few days. Plants may also help reduce the number of headaches, sore throats and coughs. Since plants help clean the air, introducing them may help reduce the number of days that workers call in sick as well,

Fulfills the Need to Return to Nature

Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson first described the human need to return to nature in his book Biophilia. Plants can help create a geometric cohesiveness to space. They can also help people feel calmer and more in tune with the natural world around them. Plants can help people feel more caring about projects and others around them. They can also help people fulfill their inborn need to connect with a natural environment.

Create a Quieter Environment

Many people find it difficult to work when the noise level is too high. Correct placement of plants in the workplace can help defect sound away from worker’s areas. Stems, branches and other surfaces also can help absorb sound. Plants can also refract sounds away from work areas. Since more work can generally get done in quieter work areas, companies may find that plants pay for themselves quickly.

There are many different reasons to introduce plants to your work area. Use these reasons and your own creativity to convince your company that it is a great idea today. You may want to create a plan showing how plants can be used in your particular workplace. Then, simply ask for them to approve the plan.

Guest author Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

Saving Your #Business Money On #Legal Costs

If your business is unfortunate enough to become the victim of a lawsuit or legal movement, then it could prove costly.

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Flickr

This could spring from dozens of situations, including failure to pay taxes, poor staff treatment and breach of contract. However the case arises, reducing costs will prove tricky – but not impossible.

So, if you’re concerned about the legal status of your company or just want to prepare for a rainy day, look no further. This is how you save your business money on legal costs!

Control the working environment

The best time to prevent accidents is before they ever happen. So, perhaps the best way to cut legal costs is to simply… not get involved in any type of legal movement. If someone slips at work or if your health and safety isn’t up to par, it could be you who ends up being sued.

So make sure you take a basic set of steps to protect yourself from litigation. It’s not going to take thousands and thousands, though it could if things go to court. You could try the following:

  • Placing ‘wet floor’ signs above slippy patches.
  • Lighting dimly-lit areas.
  • Give staff regular breaks to prevent accidents
  • Run emergency drills frequently
  • Maintain and check equipment for faults
  • Place floor markings
  • Thoroughly train staff in health and safety

This way, you reduce the chance of an accident happening, which could lead to a lawsuit further down the line. A safer environment can also bump staff productivity and increase revenue.

Consulting law experts

Let’s look at an example. You have had a severe disagreement with one of your employees, which is resulting in legal action being taken. By enlisting the help of a company who offers employment tribunal services, the impact on your business is reduced.

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WikiMedia

This tribunal could lead to a lengthy court case and could result in your company losing lots of cash. By seeking aid at this stage, your company is more likely to live to see another day!

Don’t pay with money

You may not think it, but yes, this is possible. In some cases, anyway. If your business has a valuable service to offer the lawyer, then perhaps they’ll take that instead of a cash payment.

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Pixabay

For example, you could be a marketing firm and offer these services to a lawyer in exchange for legal aid. Or, you could be a web designer and spruce up their website at no extra cost. It’s worth a go – if the lawyer needs those services anyway, then it makes sense to offer them for free.

Alternative payment arrangements

If you’ve ever haggled the price on a house or a car, you’ll know exactly what to do here. By attempting to negotiate the cost of your legal fees or trying to pay them in a different way, you can cut them substantially.

For example, some lawyers may lower their price if you pay in a cash lump sum, while others allow you to spread costs over many months. Not every lawyer will agree, but it can’t hurt to give it a try!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Will Franchises Suffer from a Proposed Higher Minimum Wage?

franchiseMany workers across the nation are protesting, and some states and the federal government appear to be listening.

During his January 2015 speech, President Obama mentioned wanting to see a small hike in the current federal minimum wage per hour (the wage varies in states).

In Seattle, the mayor announced a plan to incrementally increase the minimum wage in his city over a span of between three years and seven years to up to $15 per hour.

It seems inevitable that minimum wage employees will be able to look forward to higher wages in the near future.

What Do Industry Leaders Say About It?

On the flip side, however, some organization leaders, like Steve Caldeira of the International Franchise Association (IFA), are claiming that minimum wage increases like these would devastate the franchise business.

He claims that it would lead to higher prices up to 50% more, lost jobs, and less foot traffic. It’s hard to imagine that paying lower level employees more would do anything of the sort, leading to negative repercussions for businesses and franchise owners.

As the following article asks, does a higher minimum wage hurt franchising?

Is Seattle leading the charge?

First of all, Seattle’s decision to implement a scale of higher minimum wages isn’t federally-mandated, so their goal of reaching $15 per hour isn’t one that lower income cities would have to follow.

Seattle is one of the wealthier areas around the country, with higher incomes to match. It costs more to live there; the economy is thriving there, so it seems reasonable that employers should pay more for their labor. Meantime, less affluent areas like Alabama or Mississippi won’t be forced to match that $15 mark.

President Obama talked about a 10-cent hike, which will actually do little to impact payroll and payroll taxes for franchises, and will do even less to alleviate poverty among the minimum wage working class.

Ten Cents is a Drop in the Bucket

A 10-cent wage hike forced on franchise owners by the federal government wouldn’t likely be a burden at all for many of them.

In fact, franchise owners who are able to offer a little more than the minimum may oftentimes find it easier to attract employees who are eager to prove themselves worthy of being highly valued. This in turn could prove beneficial to sales in two ways.

Better Wages Mean a Better Working Environment and Higher Profits

First, happier employees always give better service. An employee who feels that they are earning a fair living wage will be one who serves happily. It’s also one who will go the extra mile to show that he is capable of more in the way of promotion.

Second, franchise owners who pay a little more will get a well-deserved good reputation from the public. In these days of transparency and social media, a business that treats their employees well will soon be called out.

Consumers who make it a point to shop deliberately will flock to their doors, offsetting any extra cost a franchise owner might incur for increasing their minimum wage.

Who Should Influence Your Decision?

Finally, as a business owner, you should be listening to your consumers and your employees, not wealthy CEOs, lobbyists or special interest groups.

Your daily bread depends on meeting the needs of your customers by meeting the needs of your workers. The rest you can tune out.

With that said, what do you as a business owner think a fair federal minimum wage is for employees?

About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.

Are Your Employees Fit for Work?

Running a business puts you in control of myriad of decisions. While some are easy to make, others can be a little more challenging.

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One area that sometimes leads to a gray area is corporate wellness.

Ultimately, how responsible are you for the health and well-being of those who work under your leadership?

While business owners can’t watch how their employees live outside of the workplace, they can certainly see such activities in the office.

As a result, they can provide their employees with a good working environment that promotes a healthy lifestyle. The key is straddling that fine line between being a caring manager and being too involved in your worker’s lives.

So, how do you determine what is best for your employees when they are under your watch?

Give Workers a Positive Working Environment

In order to give your employees a healthy and happy working environment, consider a wellness plan for starters.

Whether you go with a corporate wellness plans from MDVIP or elsewhere, you’re off on the right foot. With a corporate wellness plan, your employees are better suited to meet their daily tasks, putting you and your business in a great position to succeed.

So, what should a corporate wellness program look like?

You want one which offers a regular wellness exam and wellness coaching and tips from a certified private doctor. This will allow your team to access the best level of care year-round.

The plan should also permit any traveling execs and employees the ability to visit an affiliated doctor where they are visiting, along with a visit with a specialist when deemed necessary.

If this sounds all too expensive for your business, it does not have to be.

Illness and Injuries Cost You Money

Think of the flip side and having employees who are regularly dealing with illness, injuries and an overall lack of energy to do their jobs. In the long run, that can be figuratively and literally more expensive for your company.

As you mull over the idea of an official corporate wellness program, here are few other things you can do in the meantime:

  • Look into a corporate gym membership for all your employees who wish to take advantage of such an opportunity;
  • Have some after work outings that involve physical activity. Events like bowling, softball etc. not only are good for everyone’s physical well-being, but it can also promote office camaraderie ;
  • Encourage employees who are sick to stay home and get better before coming to work. Having one or two workers down to the cold and flu is better than having an entire office of sick people;

As someone who runs a business, what are you doing to keep your employees fit and healthy?

About the Author: Dave Thomas writes for a variety of websites on topics such as marketing and small business.