If a business is to survive, it’s important that great people are found at every level of its structure. Not only are these the people who will manage the daily functioning of your business, but they are the ones promoting your brand image, interacting with the public and other businesses, making sure everything you do is above board and documented, and also providing ideas for long-term growth and profitability.
If you neglect your staff, you neglect your brand. This is why every company sees the importance of hiring good staff and looking after them. You may hire yourself or you may delegate that responsibility to trusted individuals. But are you really ensuring that you’re bringing the absolute best people into your business? Are you overlooking some simple factors that can determine if hiring them is a good choice or not?
It’s easy to be punctual and look good in your first, second or third interview. But does the specified individual have the temerity and inner character necessary in order to flourish in their role? What follows are the most important, lesser understood factors that can help you identify the resource you’re really after.
Are They Familiar With The Subtleties of Their Role?
This is role dependent, but it’s still something to look out for. Instead of only quizzing your prospective employee on how well they’ve familiarized themselves with your business (easy to do online,) how much do they actually know about the role they are asking to undertake? Do they know the subtleties? For example, do they know how to buy b2b leads? Are they familiar with the psychology of marketing? Drawing up a list of the lesser known aspects of the role you’re advertising and quizzing them about one at random can give you an idea of how well they’d learn.
Not knowing how to perform what you’re asking isn’t necessarily a downside either. If they’re forthright that they don’t know the topic at hand, and honestly seem like they’re enthusiastic to learn, that can be a great resource in itself. Remember, this is someone you’ll be interacting with for a while. Getting a good judge of their character at every opportunity will be advantageous.
How Do They Interact With Those In The Waiting Room?
This is a sneaky trick, but one to think about. If you’re interviewing a number of people that day, consider placing someone outside to wait in the hall with the potential recruits, posing as an interviewee. This might be a better way to get a grip on someone’s character, as they’re more likely to be honest about how they truly feel about the process and job. This will only work if you can justify paying someone to sit in a room all day, but if you do, it might yield interesting results.
Do They Have A Sense Of Humor?
This is a great quality to look for. Dependent on your personality, it might be interesting to drop a light comment or joke and see if your employee runs with it. Nerves might abate their response, but if they make an awkward attempt to continue the humor, this might be more of a positive sign than someone who decides not to for risk of ‘blowing it.’ This could also show an ability to take risks, which is invaluable. As we all know, offices that joke together stay together.
Keep this list in the forefront of your mind in order to profit the most from your interviewing process. You never know, it might just help the day become that little bit more interesting.
There was a time when people went to work to get paid. They started young, got into a company, worked their way up the corporate ladder for 45 years, got themselves the house with the white-picket fence and retired. But these days have gone. People want more than just a salary and, as their employer, you should want them to want more too.
You see, if your employees have a passion for what they do then they will be more productive, more efficient, and more effective. But how do you encourage this passion? Simple. Give them recognition, show them your appreciation and forever encourage them.
Here is a list of ways to really make your employees feel valued:
Give Them the Power
One of the best ways to give your employees some worth and sense of value is to allow them to take control and make decisions. You could even go one step further and allow them to come up with their own strategies. This trust will see them become more engaged because of the level of responsibility placed on them. You will help them feel that much more appreciated because you trust their opinion and value their expertise, and that will go a lot further than a simple, “good job, Bruce.”
Let Employees Reward One Another
When you hear about reward ceremonies, even big ones, such as the PFA awards, the one award that people want to win is the one that is voted for by their colleagues. As such, speak to a company like http://namebadgesaustralia.com/corporate-awards-plaques.html about having some plaques made up, and then put the power of recognition and reward in your companies hands. Not only will this see people become more engaged and see people value the rewards more, but you will have an understanding of who is putting in the effort, and who is valued among the front line. You’ll be shocked too.
Everyone Likes Surprises
These can big small, medium, big, wild, simple or whatever. The choice is endless. But offering them as surprises will make staff feel like their work is appreciated all year round. Take certain people or teams out for lunch randomly, let them go home early when the sun is out, send them on activities together or team building days, hand out vouchers. All of these things are little things, but they will go a huge way in making staff more valued, and maximizing their output.
Be Specific With What You Say
This one should be obvious, but all too often it is ignored. Yes, saying something like, “Great work, Fiona” is praise, but it is so generic that it won’t have any effect whatsoever. It will feel like a cop out like you are just saying it for the sake of saying something positive. So be more specific. Praise someone for their role on such and such account, and how they managed to turn what looked like an impossible situation around, it was exemplary. As https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/the-9-elements-of-highly-effective-employee-praise.html explains very well, detail adds meaning. It inspires people. It gives them something positive to build off and raise the rest of their game.
04.12.17 | Get Safety Savvy In The Workplace
Keeping your employees safe whilst they’re at work should be one of the top priorities for any business. The employees are the lifeblood of any company and their comfort and safety will determine the level of work they produce. Not to mention it is illegal to neglect certain aspects of employee safety, so there really is no excuse. Different workplaces require different measures, here are some specific suggestions to get you started…
Why Is A Safe Workplace Essential?
As an employer, you are responsible for the safety of your workers whilst they are at work. Taking the time to care for your employees and setting up health and safety programs will make you a better employer and business. You need to have a clear strategy in place for dealing with and preventing illness and injury.
In Any Workplace
Every single workplace needs an emergency plan. This plan needs to be explained in detail to employees. The plan should be put in place in an emergency situation, and everybody must understand it. Include this plan in your procedures manual and give all staff copies so that they can read it in their own time too.
Once you have a plan in place and have sought legal counsel to approve it, practice your procedure. Nobody likes to have to do a drill but it is essential that you practice this plan. This means that it can be carried out seamlessly in an emergency. You also may need to assign a team leader. Somebody who is responsible for organizing and overseeing the plan in times of emergency.
In A Warehouse
Warehouses used to be notoriously dangerous workplaces. In recent years, with the right management, warehouses have become much safer places to work. The problem is, there’s usually so much heavy machinery around. The first thing to make sure of is that there is a good procedure in place for injuries. Every warehouse should have a well stocked first-aid kit which is regularly checked and updated. Similarly when using heavy machinery employees should never be alone. Always have a watcher/spotter nearby to aid the process.
It’s also essential that warehouse staff receive proper training. Whether their manning forklifts or welding equipment, safety is of paramount importance. Invest in proper training and high-standard equipment to keep employees safe. Find out more from weldingoutfitter.com about the latest innovative equipment out there.
In An Office
Firstly it’s important to keep offices secure so that nothing is stolen, and staff feels safe. Have a ‘lock down’ procedure at the end of the day. This might include closing and locking all the windows and doors, setting the alarm system, and taking stock of all laptops, tablets, and other electronics. Also, make sure that entrances and exits to your offices are secure. You may have a reception at the entrance, this makes it difficult for unannounced visitors to turn up. Another good safety measure is to make sure ID cards are issued to all members of staff. In the workplace itself make sure that proper training is given on how to use all the equipment. Health and safety training is also a must. Store all stationary and furniture out of harm’s way, and be particularly vigilant of trip hazards.
As a business consultant, I’ve seen a lot of different companies working in a lot of different ways. And it’s fair to say that some of my easiest wins have come from businesses that just need a little tweaking here and there, on issues such as finance, marketing, or planning. But some companies face huge problems, stemming from one simple fact: the employees do not respect the boss.
If this sounds familiar to you, read on. There are some excellent reasons why you haven’t earned the respect of your employees, and I’m sorry to say that the vast majority boil down to you. Nothing is set in stone, however, and you can still pull things around. Let’s take a look at some of the issues -and solutions – that could be relevant for your business if you want to earn that respect.
It’s Not Your Problem
Some employers these days still take the view that their employees should be happy they have a job. But study after study by business experts over the past few decades all show the same thing – you need an engaged and loyal workforce if you want to enjoy success. And expecting them to feel lucky enough to take home a wage is not sufficient – you need to give a lot more than that. Any staff issues that you have right now are ultimately down to you, whether it’s bad hiring mistakes or poor leadership.
You Disregard Their Safety
There are plenty of rules and regulations to follow when it comes to workplace safety. But too few businesses follow them. And if you don’t respect the fundamental basics of your employee’s health – and their lives – how can you expect them to respect you? As an employer, you need to look at risk management and risk assessment, follow the rules, and provide a safe and comfortable environment wherever possible. Fail to do so, and you can’t be too surprised when an accident to an employee results in a huge compensation claim.
You Don’t Appreciate Your Staff
When you appreciate someone’s efforts, you will be surprised by how much more they will give you. Recognized people feel wanted, and that they are bringing value to whatever it is they are doing. The simple fact is that if someone slaves away for you and you don’t recognize their work, they are unlikely to do so again. Respect is a two-way thing, and sometimes you have to show yours to get some back.
You Are Unreliable
When you say something, stick to it. If you have a plan, go through with it. And if you make a promise, you better make sure that you deliver it. As a leader, every single one of your employees will be looking at you and the actions you take. If you miss deadlines or talk the talk without walking the walk, there’s a good chance your staff will think less of you.
As I mentioned above, if you want the respect of your employees, you need to earn it. Many bosses and employers all over the country struggle to succeed yet are too blind to see why. Don’t end up like one of these guys…
03.30.17 | How Can You Find The Perfect Employees?
Your employees can make your break your business. The right employees can take your vision and not only turn it into a reality, but also elevate it to something more than you ever imagined. There’s something akin to magic that happens when an amazing team comes together to make your business amazing. Of course, there’s always the other possibility. If you’re unlucky, then you could end up with employees who do the exact opposite. The wrong employees can drag your business down into the dirt. Not only can they make life more difficult for other employees but they can actually damage your business, taking your vision and grinding it into nothing. Plenty of businesses that had huge amounts of potential but failed because of employees who weren’t willing to work with everyone else to achieve a common goal. So how do you make sure that you get the first kind of employee and not the second? In reality, it all starts with recruitment. You might get lucky and find that you can turn a problem employee into an ideal one but that’s hardly the most likely scenario. Instead, you should focus on getting the right people for the job at the very start. Here are a few simple things that you can do to help you go about doing just that.
Use External Agencies
Trying to wade through the sheer volume of candidates for any given role can be exhausting. You spend the vast majority of your time dealing with applications from people who are clearly unsuited for the role. By using agencies to connect you with potential candidates, then you skip an entire chunk of that process. Agencies search through applications and send you only the most qualified and suitable candidates, meaning that you simply have to decide who is the best of the bunch. Whether it’s payroll recruitment agencies, temp agencies, or agencies dedicated to helping you find specialists, there are hundreds of agencies out there whose sole purpose is to connect you with the very best candidates possible. As long as you let the agencies know what it is that you’re looking for, they can separate the wheat from the chaff and help you avoid wasting your time on candidates who are never going to be a good fit with your business.
Know Exactly What You Want
Of course, knowing what you’re looking for is something that’s easier said than done. When the time comes to hire new employees, you meet with a single candidate until you’re sure what it is that you want. Ask yourself, what duties is this employee going to need to do? Then figure out what qualities they’re going to need to have in order to fulfill those duties. Are you going to need staff members who can take the initiative? Follow instructions? Lead small teams of people? Each of these skills is going to be specific to each role and each candidate. Make sure that you know exactly what it is that each candidate needs to have and demonstrate to you before you speak to a single one. If you don’t know what it is that you really want, then you’re just going to end up picking the wrong candidate and causing more trouble for yourself in the long run.
Once the time comes to start selecting and interviewing candidates, give yourself a lot of time. There’s nothing worse than trying to find a new member of staff while working to a looming deadline. That extra level of pressure is just going to lead you to make rushed decisions that you’re eventually going to come to regret. You should be as selective as possible when interviewing candidates. Make sure to not only learn about their skills and qualifications but their personality as well. What kind of person are they? Is this kind of person guaranteed to fit well in your company as it stands? Not only that but are they willing to help shape the company as well? How well do their principles align with your own? These questions might all seem incredibly specific, but they’re crucial to help you figure out whether or not someone is going to be a good fit within your business. It’s definitely easier to spend a little extra time and effort finding the right person for the job than hiring the wrong person and trying to mold them into what you want, or worse, having to fire them and start all over again.
Give Candidates Trial Runs
Don’t take an interview as the only sign of whether or not someone is suitable for a particular role. It’s one thing to talk the talk; you need to see if your candidates are capable of walking the walk as well. Make a short trial run a part of the application process. Even just half a day is enough to give you an incredibly strong indication of how well suited to the role a candidate is. It shows you how they work under pressure, how they communicate with others, what they are like when faced with new situations. By getting to seem an applicant put into practice all of the things that they told you during their interview, you can figure out whether the things they said were true, or if they were just saying the things that they knew you wanted to hear.
Hiring candidates can be a laborious and difficult process. But make no mistakes, it’s far more difficult to deal with an employee who isn’t willing to pull their weight and is actively dragging down your business. By taking that extra time and effort to find the perfect candidate, you save yourself a lot of trouble further down the line. Once you find the right person for the job, then make sure that they are well supported and cared for. The last thing you want is to find the right candidate and then lose them because you weren’t able to nurture and develop them in the way that you should have.
Ask any serial entrepreneur – someone who has had successes and failures – and they will tell you that the reason they failed in the past is because they didn’t have the right team around them when they launched. Some of them will even tell you that they had no team. The reason this led to failure is because no one person has all the qualities to make a startup a success.
In order to take your idea and build it into something great, you need to accept that you don’t have all the skills necessary. You may be great at a lot of the things needed, but those weaknesses of yours will be your downfall. You need people that complement your skills and people that complement the team nicely too.
As such, here are the types of people you need to bring on from the outset.
You Need a Creative
The reason you need a creative person is because creative people tend to think about things in a different way and approach them from a different angle. They are ideas people. You may have had the original idea, but a creative will be able to expand on it, run with it a bit, solve solutions on the spot and see something that you may have missed. What’s more, creatives are people that see everything as art, your product include. They will find a way to link practicality, usability, and art together; fuse it. That will become a big selling point at the end of the process.
Someone Who Knows Technology
The reason for this is simple; technology has advanced our lives through increased efficiency and accuracy, and both of those will be assets when starting a company. They will know what software will be of best use, and how to use it. They will be able to take the lead when it comes to building a brand online. They will know how to perform a hard drive recovery operation when that day comes, and it always comes. And they will have the technical skills to actually build your product. Basically, we live in a technological day and age, and having someone who knows how to navigate those needs is going to be an asset.
A Finance Controller Is Seriously Necessary
When starting a company, you are always short of one thing – money. That is the common denominator among all startups. There just is never enough money at your disposal. That is where a finance controller comes in. They will be able to come up with a budget and let you know how every decision you make could affect that all-important bottom line. They know money, and so they will be able to tell you how much is available for this, what is bringing in the most revenue, what area of the business is leaking funds and how to secure further investment.
Someone Who Knows How to Sell
There is no point in having a business if you have no one to take the lead when it comes to maximizing your revenue streams. That is why you need to know what makes a successful salesperson and then hire that person. It could be that you bring on board a marketing executive that knows the different avenues available and what the different acronyms mean when it comes to strategizing your plan. It could be that they are experienced on the phone and as tenacious as a bulldog, able to get your products into stores and online. But without money coming in, your business will sink. It is a simple and terrifying formula.
Let’s face it; without a productive staff, your business is going nowhere. Therefore, you should be willing to cover all the bases as you look to gain maximized results. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs forget one very crucial factor: the employee’s human needs.
Human matters can impact an employee’s work greatly. Before worrying about whether your computers have the right software, it’s vital that other influencers are under control.
Here are the factors that every employer should appreciate at all times.
#1. Employee Health
A healthy body leads to a healthy mind is one of the oldest sayings in the book. However, it isn’t one that we tend to link with the working day – unless working in a physically demanding role. In reality, though, it’s one of the most important elements of all.
The impacts of health on employee productivity are huge. As an employer, you cannot suddenly show preferential treatment to your healthy staff members. Having said that, you can at least encourage company-wide improvements in a positive manner.
Adding a water cooler to the office encourages greater hydration. Meanwhile, cycle to work initiatives and group activities can have a similarly huge influence. You’ll be improving the health of your company and your employees in one fell swoop. What more incentive could you ever need?
#2. Employee Safety
Safety in business should be top of the agenda at all times. The benefits of a better workplace extend to the customers as well as your various financial assets. Nonetheless, employees are influenced by those factors to an even greater level. This is why you cannot ignore these obligations for a second.
A personal injury claim could impact productivity throughout the business while costing a lot of money in the process. These aren’t the only issues worth consideration, though. Knowing that the work environment is safe allows staff to concentrate on the job at hand. Being prepared for the worst with regular fire extinguisher servicing is vital. Not only will it help you in an emergency, but those actions actively remove employee fees.
Going the extra mile by ensuring all staff members are equipped with the right safety tools will aid your cause too. Perhaps most importantly, though, they need to be educated with continued training. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
#3. Employee Happiness
Research shows that a happy employee is a more productive employee. Moreover, as an employer, you should naturally care about you staff members. So if the positive attitude is lacking, this is one aspect that needs to be improved ASAP.
Learning to spot the signs of workplace bullying is crucial if you want to stamp out those issues at the earliest stage. Encouraging better communication between colleagues should lead to a far better atmosphere too. In turn, this should lead to increased productivity both individually and collectively.
Apart from anything else, an unhappy employee paints a bad image for the customer. Keep your staff in a positive frame of mind, and the long-term rewards will be plentiful.
03.01.17 | How Health Impacts Employee Productivity
A healthy diet can promote good health and as a result, employee wellness is tied closely to worker efficiency. According to a recent study, 77 percent of lost productivity is attributable to health-related issues. Furthermore, employees who did not regularly eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables were 66 percent more likely than healthy eaters to say they had experienced a decrease in productivity. Exercise, getting enough sleep and whether a worker smokes also are key factors that determine whether an employee is bringing his or her “A” game to work on an everyday basis. The following infographic displays how health impacts productivity and what employees can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle while working a desk job.
When it comes to running a business, there are always loads to think about. There are a lot of complex areas to a business. And, if you want to handle them all; you’ll have to start studying. A lot of the jobs that need to be done should be handled by professionals. And, to do this, you need to know what you need help with. So, to get you started, this post will be going through some of the professionals that are essential for your business and some good ways to go about finding them.
A lot of people have started using online website building tools, which let you make a website by yourself. Of course, these are fine for a personal site. But, for a business, they can look very bad. They’re easy to spot, and people will instantly know that the site has been built this way. So, for your website, you’ll need some professional help. Finding a website developer isn’t too hard. In most towns, you’ll find several examples. So, you just need to find the best one in your area. This is usually a matter of making sure that you research and find their past customers. Seeing their sites will give you a good idea of the quality of their work. Get more than one quote, from different people. Web design costs will vary greatly between different companies. So, it’s worth looking for examples with the best prices and past work. People in this position may also be able to help you with things like marketing and branding.
A lot of business is all about the numbers that you move around. And, of course; most people don’t like math. It’s important to take this area seriously, though. It’s easy for a business to make mistakes with their accounting which can lead to trouble in the future. Failing to pay taxes correctly or over-valuing your business can make life hard for you in the future. So, it’s best to get the help of an accounting expert to handle these things for you. They will be able to focus on the numbers behind your business; while you can to work in other areas. All while making sure that you are handling your numbers correctly. You can usually avoiding having to hire someone here, by going for a company that offers pay-as-you-go services.
It’s important that a business operates within the law. Of course, it’s unlikely that you’ll accidentally do anything criminal. But, you may break the law in other ways. Failing to make sure that staff has the right equipment for their jobs can cause a lot of trouble. Or, you may accidentally rip off another company’s logo. In this situation, it’s best to have a professional legal advisor by your side. They can help you throughout the growth and start of your business; making it easy for you to sleep well at night.
Hopefully, this will inspire you to take some of the weight off of your shoulders when it comes to your business. It can be hard to make sure that you’re not trying to do work that you can’t handle. So, it’s worth doing some research to make sure that you can’t get rid of some jobs.
If you have been in the world of business for any length of time, then you will probably be aware of the incredible power of outsourcing. This is a method which, in actuality, very few businesses operating today can do without. Outsourcing is very much keeping a number of industries alive through partnering different businesses up seamlessly. If you are wondering how your business might use outsourcing to improve how it operates, then the truth is that there are a few choice situations in which it is particularly powerful. Let’s take a look at when you might want to consider using outsourcing in your business.
All businesses need to promote themselves as well as possible, and you will probably find that using an outside firm to help you here is likely to make a big difference to the effectiveness of your marketing attempts. In general, outsourcing your marketing is likely to save you a huge amount of time, a lot of money – and you will still get everything done that needs to be done. As long as you are able to communicate effectively about what it is that you want, what your brand is meant to be like, and so on, outsourcing your marketing will probably make a big difference to the ongoing success of your business.
A clear sign that you should outsource something is if it is something that a professional could do much more effectively than you or your colleagues. It is often the case that businesses feel the need for a professional website for their business. After all, a good business website is like having a constant front page which the public can see of the brand. But the technicalities of getting the design of the website right is often too difficult not to outsource. In these cases, it is probably a good idea to find website design help, so that your business’ site can stand out much more easily and readily.
This is something that you will almost certainly need to outsource. As a rule, security firms are always external from the company they are protecting, and this is useful for a number of reasons. For a start, if your security team is not part of your everyday team in the business, then they are unlikely to have a vested interest in helping anyone to gain access who shouldn’t have access. It is also true that these firms tend to be much more professional, and more effective than those which are built up within the company itself. If you are concerned about the security of your business and the safety of your people – and all good business owners are – then hiring an external security team is the best way to go.
One of the biggest areas for corruption is within payroll, and for this reason alone it is a good idea to outsource it if you are able. It is also helpful in that there are so many regulations, tax laws and so on that you probably need a professional to make sure it is all done in the proper manner.
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