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Entrepreneurship

10 Tips to Create a Business and Work Environment that Employees Love

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One of the benefits of having a healthy company is a productive team that goes above and beyond the call of duty. This is especially true for online businesses and brands that can hire in-house and remotely at the same time. With better time, money, and employee management, this allows the business to grow and scale, while also keeping the internal structure secure at all times.

Having happy employees and team members is more then just about ‘working environment’, it can also lead to a more accountable staff, which often show up to meet deadlines and complete projects not only at a faster pace, but also in high-quality. This type of atmosphere can actually lead to healthier morale for other employees.

However, just having this type of work environment and in-office ethics doesn’t just happen. It’s usually seen when the leaders of a company show them how much they care. Caring for employees means more than making sure they receive a paycheck. You have to be present.

A great boss shows up to set clear expectations. They coach their employees to meet goals and offer constructive feedback. But compassionate leaders don’t stop there. They go beyond goals and expectations to ensure their employee’s happiness and health.

If you want to keep your employees committed to the company’s success, keep reading. Here are 10 thoughtful tips for practicing top-notch employee care.

1. Keep the Workplace Safe

One of the best ways to show your employees you care is by maintaining a safe work environment.

Establish safe office practices and make sure your company is up-to-date with its safety training through a platform such as SaftetySkills. These practices serve as preventatives. And, less illness and injury occur.

You reduce health and safety hazards and help your workforce boost productivity. And, you protect the company’s reputation by shielding it from grave consequences.

2. Employee Surveys

You won’t know how to care for your employees if you don’t know what they need. Employee surveys offer that opportunity.

Poll your staff about all the services and benefits you provide them. With anonymity, your team can provide honest data about the company as a whole.

Through surveys, you can also discover the needs of your employees you haven’t served.

Use the survey data to find avenues for improvement. Set up action plans. Then implement them in a way that services the entire staff.

3. Open-Door Policy

The open door policy is an age-old communication policy. Leaders-CEOs, managers, and supervisors leave their doors open to promote transparency in the office.

An open door encourages employees to communicate with the upper manager. This policy gives them an opportunity to voice their concerns.

This may not work in every office situation, but the principle itself can. Set aside specific hours where you are available to floor staff.

Or, host weekly or monthly office town hall meetings. Use this platform as a forum for employees to shed light on concerns plaguing them and the company.

4. Wellness Benefits

The mental and physical well-being of staff is important for every company. Unhealthy employees mean an unhealthy office.

A good employee wellness program comes with several benefits.

Office wellness promotes less absenteeism. Employees look and feel healthier, eliminating health risks that keep them out of the office.

Productivity spikes as a result of a great wellness agenda. When you encourage employees to eat, sleep, and focus well, they perform better in the office.

Also, when a healthy staff knows that a company cares about their overall health, they stick around.

Wellness programs improve employee retention. Good employees stay where they’re cared for.

5. Relate to Your Staff

Often senior executives believe and behave in ways that make them appear superior to their staff.

Resentment can grow in the office as a result of this. Your team should not view your position as an unobtainable one, but rather one to strive for.

Find positive ways to relate to your team to change their view of you as a leader. Host company family picnics. Company picnics create a family environment.

Professional bonding outside of the office boosts morale amongst employees. Also, seeing a boss in a family atmosphere changes an employee’s view of them.

Leaders appear more paternal than pompous.

6. Professional Support

The unspoken rule is the client is always right. That’s not always true or right, especially when it comes to backing good employees.

When a staff member has a complaint about a client, listen to the complaint then do something about it. Let your employee see you act on it. Then follow up when the action’s complete.

It’s important for employees to know they’re not just seat fillers schmoozing clients to make money for the company.

They need to know the work they put in matters. And when a client shows them otherwise, the company should have their back.

7. Stay on the Honeymoon

In the application process, recruiters break out all the stops. They court potential employees with paid vacations, sick time, and weekends off.

And then when they hire them, they give nothing else but paychecks.

You have the employees you hired for a reason. Their qualifications and skills met the job requirements, and they meet standards every year.

Don’t let the good you do for them stop at the hiring process. Stay on the honeymoon.

Offer perks and random spiffs. Reward perfect attendance. Payout unused vacation time. Allow top performers to use the company jet once a month.

Lease out a restaurant and celebrate employees when the company achieves record sales.

Keep the professional love alive. This keeps good employees from looking at other companies as well.

8. Growth Opportunities

No person with secretarial skills wants to be a receptionist their whole life. Offer multilevel training to your employees.

This benefits them and the company.

Training and development opportunities can be anything from customer service to human relations.

Offering employees other avenues to grow within the company increases job satisfaction. In turn, you decrease the employee attrition rate.

Morale increases and staff members become self-motivated when they know opportunities are available.

9. Unique Working Spaces

A cubicle should never feel like a prison, even in the most productive situation. Let your employees modernize their workspaces.

Be open to the concept of different furniture styles and color schemes. Let your staff hang art and use tasteful cubicle walls covers.

Since they can’t open the windows in most office buildings, allow for small indoor desk plants.

Employees spend 10 to 12 hour days working hard your company’s vision. Let them feel comfortable doing it.

For any entrepreneurs working from home, you will understand this all too well. Your workspace needs to be a fun and productive place to be!

Just take a look at my home office below as an example!

10. Culture is Everything

Your company’s culture is its personality. Make sure the vision, mission, and expectations aren’t driving good employees away.

Quality company culture fosters loyalty. When employees believe in the company’s purpose, they support and remain true to it.

Job satisfaction is an important part of company culture as well. When you invest in your staff, the result is happy, committed employees.

A corporate culture steeped in positivity and opportunity reflects care for employees. It can make a company one of the best places to work.

Connect with Your Team through Employee Care

Employee care is the driving force for any company who desires continued success. It is the backbone of company culture.

And, it shows that you’re a leader of leaders, not just worker bees. Show employees you care by making the success of the company a collaboration.

If you found these productivity and business tips useful, be sure to also check out our recent article on ten productivity killers that are wasting hours of time per week.

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Entrepreneurship

Analyzing the Many Benefits of Starting a Home Business in 2019

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There are many people these days that would love to run their own business but many have no idea where they should start. Most are put off right away but the thought of raising enough money to start a business. However, what many people fail to realize is that in today’s digital era it has become far easier and cheaper to start a business because you can start it from home.

Whether you want to provide a freelance accountancy or writing service, set up an online retail business, or even start your own drop shipping business, working from home is an ideal solution. You can enjoy many benefits when you set up your business from home and this includes keeping costs down to a minimum. In fact, more and more people have been able to start their own business these days thanks to modern technology and the online revolution, which is why has become so viable for many people.

Some of the Key Benefits You Can Look Forward To

There are many fabulous benefits that you can look forward to when you set up your own business from home. As mentioned earlier, one of the key benefits is that it is far cheaper to run a business from home than to worry about paying for business premises, business rates, bills, building maintenance and other unnecessary costs. All you have to do is set up a home office, which can be done very cheaply by investing in high quality used furniture and equipment. This immediately makes it more financially viable to set up your own business.

A second benefits is that you won’t have to worry about traveling to and from work every day, which will not only save you a lot of time and hassle but also a lot of money in gas or public transport fares. You can simply have breakfast at home and then stroll to your home office, settle down, and begin work for the day. This is a great way to enjoy working for yourself and improving your work life balance.

The sheer number and types of jobs you can do from home is yet another benefit you can look forward to. Many people these days set up as freelancers working from their own home office or set up a small business from home. You can consider all sorts of options ranging from online sales through to freelance writing, web design, accountancy services, and more. All you need to do is consider your skills and interest so you can better determine the type of home career that will suit you.

If you want to enjoy the benefits of being your own boss and working from home, setting up your home business has never been easier. Thanks to high speed internet technology and the online revolution, there are all sorts of jobs you can do when you set up a home office. What’s more, you have a far better chance of making a great income if you put in the work.  

The Financial Benefits of Starting Your Own Business from Home

You must also bear in mind the many financial benefits that come with setting up your own business from home. You can benefit from minimal upfront costs because you don’t have to worry about things such as paying for business premises and associated costs. You can also benefit from big savings when it comes to travel, as you won’t have to go back and forth from the office each day.

In addition to the many savings you can make by working from home, you also have to consider the boost in income that you can look forward to. When you work for yourself, you have the ability to boost your income dramatically by putting in the hard work and commitment necessary. This means that you can look forward to a far better quality of life for you and your loved ones as well as being able to enjoy far more financial freedom. Many people spend years working for someone else and still find themselves on a low salary at the end of it all. However, when you work for yourself you have the ability to more or less set your own income based on the amount of work you are prepared and able to put in.

Improving Your Future by Setting Up Your Own Home Business

With so many benefits to look forward to, it is very easy to see how working for yourself from home could help to improve your future. You can then look forward to not only the flexibility and freedom of being your own boss but the chance to enjoy a brighter and more exciting future doing something that you actually have an interest in.

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Entrepreneurship

5 Office Decor Must-Haves to Make Your Home Office or Workspace Pop

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When you work from home, you need to have a nice place in your house that is yours, which is also secluded from other noise and distractions. At the same time, you also want to make this an area where you can work and enjoy your atmosphere.

The same holds true for employees and professionals that have their own cubicle or workspace as well.

If you are looking to spruce things up and make your workspace more enjoyable, then you my friend, have come to the right place. Let’s jump straight to it. Below you’ll find the best recommendations to turn your office from drab to fab with four office must haves.

To kick things off, let’s take a look at what my home office looks like today! For more pictures and guidance on how I set up my home office, be sure to check out the full article here.

Now, let’s move on to five helpful decor tips that you can start using to improve your own workspace!

Office Must Haves #1: Natural Light

The modern trend is shifting toward spaces flooded with natural light. The effects of natural light both energizes and inspires your employees. It’ll increase their productivity and happiness. We’re talking large, clear windows with the curtains drawn back.

Evaluate your present sources of light. Open your curtains or shutters. Do they allow enough light to come through? If not, and if you can’t replace the windows, consider changing to full-spectrum light-bulbs.

Full-spectrum bulbs offer up the same spectrum of light as our sun. You can choose wavelengths that imitate morning, afternoon, or evening sunlight to create an awesome office space.

#2 Plants and Flowers

In addition to natural light, plants and flowers will lend your industrial office an organic quality. Don’t settle for fake flowers. Regardless of what you’ve been told, they won’t give your office an organic feel.

Stick with the real stuff. Potted plants work wonders. If you water them every few days, you’ll have them for years.

Bouquets of flowers are far better, but they can be expensive. You can always compromise. Buy fresh flowers during the summer at farmers markets. They’re much less expensive than florists.

For the rest of the year, keep a few potted flowers around. Lilies are our recommendation.

#3 Interactive Whiteboard

Whiteboards are paramount in today’s communal workplaces. They offer your staff a place to throw around ideas and think through strategies. If you leave your written work on the board between sessions, your staff will unconsciously continue developing ideas.

It’s also a simple way to keep all your business’s ideas in one place. It’s much easier and less time consuming than dozens of back-and-forth email chain letters. With whiteboards, you can take in the entire scope of your strategy in one glance.

Don’t worry, they’re not hard to find. Here are a few suggested online stores for office goodies (outside of Amazon):

Next, let’s talk about your furniture choices.

#4 Comfortable Chairs

No, we’re not talking Barcaloungers. We’re talking office chairs, seats, and stools. The only reason to furnish your office with uncomfortable chairs is that you want to push people to leave. That works fine in cafeterias and coffee shops.

For everything else, think ergonomically. When your visitors or your staff sit in a comfortable chair, their stress levels decrease. This leads to an increase in their productivity.

Comfortable chairs are also a sign of prestige. They work the same as a stylish desk or a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. They signal people that you care about more than the function of your space.

You also care about the people in it.

#5 Add Some Minimalist Art and Photos

Have you ever been to a home of office where there are pictures and photos all over the place? Sometimes it can get quite overwhelming.

There is nothing wrong with having motivational messages or pictures of your loved ones around you, but there are nice ways to set this up as well.

Try to stick with only a few art frames or photos on your desk, and make sure they have a nice frame and compliment the area around you.

It also couldn’t hurt to add some motivational posters to your walls for those days that you need an extra work ethic pick-me-up.

Motivational_Posters_Zac_Johnson_Office

What’s Next?

Now that you’ve discovered our office must haves, it’s time to start shopping. But, before you do, evaluate your present office style. Look at your color schemes and overall style. Then you can match your new goodies and your old.

Was this information helpful? Then come to pick through our library full of other helpful articles.

So long and good luck!

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Entrepreneurship

Pros & Cons of Offering Small Business Benefits Packages to Employees

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If you are planning to expand your business from a one man company, to a multi-person organization, you will likely need to start thinking about employee benefits and how you might be spreading the best packages across your employees and staff. As much as I love the concept of being a sole-entrepreneur, if you want to grow and scale your business in size, this is just another process that is required to have in place.

Wondering if you should go the extra mile for your employees?

79% of employees would choose a benefits package over a salary increase. But a small business may have as much to lose as it has to gain by offering a benefits package.

Below, we’re taking a look at the pros and cons of offering a small business benefits package to employees.

Pro: Attracting Quality Employees

The most obvious advantage of offering employee benefits lies in the quality of candidates it helps attract.

A flat salary actually has limited use to the modern worker. It may help pay for basic living costs, but it leaves many of the big stresses of life up in the air. A single look at life insurance quotes will be enough to show you what your employees are up against when they’re trying to cover everything with only a salary.

Add the medley of other life expenses, and it’s clear to see why employees are getting pickier about who they work for. By offering a benefits package, you can attract employees who are more serious and selective about their careers.

Pro: Giving Something Back

“But I already pay a salary!” we hear you cry.

Think of it this way: is a salary enough compensation for the many long hours of their life an employee spends at your company? After all, we only live once. A salary represents the minimum possible compensation for the raw labor an employee provides.

In truth, most employees provide a lot more than that.

Offering benefits can give something back to the people who spend that time bringing success to your company. It also shows them that you value them as individuals with personal lives and circumstances.

Pro: Driving Motivation and Retention

A business needs more than warm bodies to become a success. It needs employees who are engaged and motivated. Motivated employees will work hard, innovate, and even boost sales.

Extra incentives are a great tool to add that extra spark of motivation. Employees with access to benefits feel they’re there for more than the “daily grind”. Not only are they less stressed, but they’re also more positive about the company they work for.

Over time, that means more productivity and less attrition through employees moving on to better opportunities.

One of the benefits of offering company health benefits to employees should be clear: fewer sick days. Your staff might take more days off for smaller problems, but the upshot is that those smaller problems won’t progress into more serious conditions.

Pro: Creating Brand Ambassadors

Even for megacorps that have achieved the status of a household name, marketing makes up a huge percentage of their business spend. For small businesses, it can bleed them dry.

So, the value of free marketing is clear. But free promotion doesn’t begin and end with social media. Have you considered the value your employees have as brand ambassadors?

People expect employees to be a little cynical about the company they work for. It’s a real achievement to turn that cynicism into positivity. A benefits package could lead to your employees singing the praises of your company.

Positive word-of-mouth about your company then starts with your employees – and ripples out through their social circles and online presence.

This is also something Sarah Lahav, CEO of SysAid, had to think about. Founded in 2002, the company has grown their customer base to over 10,000 companies, while also serving locations in more than 140 countries around the world. This simply wouldn’t have been possible as a single-person company, but being a brand ambassador and an image for her company, Sarah continues to see daily improvements and growth within the company.

Con: The Visible Cost

The additional cost of offering benefits isn’t always welcome for a small business.

On top of that, a small business also won’t have a lot of buying power to negotiate cheaper rates. For a small business, benefits might turn out to be a luxury you can’t afford.

Benefits can also obscure your cash flow. The price of insurance can fluctuate over time. Any benefits you offer based on reimbursement are unpredictable.

It’s vital for a small business to control its cash flow. Providing benefits is often undesirable for small businesses, as it introduces uncertainty.

Con: The Hidden Cost

The full cost of offering benefits isn’t obvious at first glance. We’ve outlined the obvious costs, but what about the hidden costs of a benefits package?

Offering benefits sucks up a wealth of administration time. You might even need new hires capable of delivering the details of your benefits scheme. That heaps extra costs on top of the obvious cost of offering benefits.

As you offer more benefits, your administrative time increases. For a small company, those costs can run out of control. This isn’t an option for some small businesses that struggle to control their cash flow.

Con: Legal Pitfalls

When you enter the insurance game, you’re also entering a legal minefield.

Making a misstep along the way could leave you subject to legal action. That could be a deathblow for a business operating on thin margins.

Legal action against your company will soak up time and money. It’ll also drag your reputation through the dirt, making it harder to attract quality employees in the future. It could even damage your brand.

You could take extra care to make sure this doesn’t happen, but that’s yet another expense on top of the cost of providing benefits.

Con: Finding the Benchmark

Information is one of the most powerful weapons you can have against your competition. But it can be hard to figure out what sort of benefits package your competition has on offer.

In contrast to offering a flat salary, that makes it tough to decide where your benefits package should stop. You’ll need to put some serious work into finding out what candidates in your industry are searching for.

If you lowball your benefits package, the accompanying reduction in salary will drive candidates away. Overextend, and you risk bankrupting your business. You need to find the balance that keeps you competitive.

The Small Business Benefits Package: Yea or Nay?

The exact situation of every business is different, so we can’t tell you whether a small business benefits package is right for you. But we’ve given you enough info that you’re now equipped to decide whether it’s the way to go for your business.

Looking for more business advice? Check out our top podcast episodes.

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Hi, I’m Zac Johnson

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