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Expert Tips on How to Retain Your Employees as Your Business Grows

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As your startup begins to gain traction, you’ll need to hire more staff to handle the increased workload or expansion of services. This has a dramatic effect on small businesses: Going from, say, a staff of 10 to a staff of 30 may sound incremental, but you’ll quickly find that the processes you’ve used up until that point may not work as well. More decision makers and more chains of command mean more chances for confusion.

The change in culture can carry an additional cost: loss of long-time employees. It’s easy for someone to feel uneasy with big changes, especially if they’re no longer sure of their place in the company.

To help you keep your staff as you scale up your company, we asked 14 members from YEC for their best advice on retaining employees.

1. Conduct Surveys

We love surveys. In fact, we just recently surveyed our employees about their benefits and which ones they appreciate the most. This helps us know which benefits should be restructured and which ones we should keep offering because everyone loves them. It definitely makes the team feel involved, cared for and like they truly have a say in what benefits are offered to them.

Kelsey Meyer, Influence & Co.

2. Keep Employees Informed

To help retention, make your employees feel like they have a stake in the company. Keep them up to date on company updates, initiatives and successes, as you would with fellow C-suite members. Consider holding a monthly or quarterly business review online to make sure all employees understand the status of the organization, as well as the “bigger picture” projects and goals.

Chuck Cohn, Varsity Tutors

3. Have an Open Door Policy

One way to retain more employees in the workplace is to create an atmosphere that promotes expression. We have an open door policy where anyone, at any time, can come and get things off of their chest. By removing a lack of communication, you’ll better understand what’s really happening within your company and help keep your employees happy.

Russell Kommer, eSoftware Associates Inc

4. Prepare for the Development of Your High Performers

Continuously write down a list of your high performers and think through professional development opportunities, exposure to different lines of business and “stretch” creative assignments that are unrelated to their core tasks. All these things keep employees interested in what they’re doing. For those that push back on new opportunities or challenges, they might not be a good fit.

Matt Murphy, Kids in the Game LLC

5. Promote Internal Bonding

Promoting and encouraging spontaneous conversations between coworkers about random (usually non-work-related) topics is beneficial to improving employee retention. Conversations like these can help synchronize your team, defuse messages and ideas across the organization, and can even jumpstart productive discussions. Not only that, but they also help build relationships within your team.

Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

6. Ensure All Feedback Is Addressed

We provide a variety of avenues (surveys, one-on-ones, discussions, etc.) to encourage all team members to provide their input on areas for improvement and, perhaps most importantly, we make a concerted effort to ensure that all feedback is addressed whether we agree with it or not. It is of paramount importance for employees to know that their input is indeed heard; if not, they will stop offering it.

Kevin Yamazaki, Sidebench

7. Formalize Perks

Add perks that you can now offer because you have a larger group, such as greater benefits, group activities and group discounts, as well as social events that bring everyone together. You can formalize this with a quarterly plan and accommodate it in the budget.

Peter Daisyme, Due

8. Focus on Building a Team

Focus on building your team, rather than finding employees. My co-founder and I make time to interview every potential employee to make sure they will fit with our company culture. If you build a team of people who enjoy working together, they are more likely to want to stay. It is easier to teach an employee skills than it is to make a talented employee fit into your culture.

David Ciccarelli, Voices.com

9. Offer Them the Chance to Guide Their Own Growth

I hired my people to do things I couldn’t, so it only stands to reason that they would understand some things better about their roles than I do. I retain my better people by giving them flexibility as they continue at the company. They get a say in their direction, so it’s hard for a competitor to make them a better offer on interesting work.

Matt Doyle, Excel Builders

10. Create an Ownership Culture

Use open-book management and empower employees to become an integral part of company success. Let them make decisions that directly contribute to a company’s business goals and incentivize them likewise.

Dan Golden, BFO (Be Found Online)

11. Reward Long-Time Employees

Employees like to be valued, so I think it’s important to implement rewards for long-time employees, such as consistent pay raises, more vacation time or perks that new employees don’t get right off the bat.

Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR

12. Talk About Change Before It Happens

Both early and recent employees can often become misaligned with the company when they feel taken aback by change. It should be clearly communicated to everyone in advance that as the company grows, not everything will be the same as when they started. This understanding will keep people open-minded and even result in great suggestions on how to change in a way that doesn’t alienate your team.

Roger Lee, Human Interest

13. Spend Time Talking With Employees

The bigger your company grows, the less time you will have to speak with your employees individually. Make more time to build relationships with your employees and you will reduce turnover. People like to be cared for and if they see that the boss actually takes the time to speak with them, they will take notice. Not a lot of companies show interest in spending that time and people will value it.

Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

14. Build an Organizational Structure

After a few unexpected employee departures last year, our leadership team focused on building an organizational structure. This included outlining our core values, creating monthly goals for each employee and understanding who is accountable for every critical function. In the end, it’s helped every member understand who we are and the direction we’re headed in.

Ben Camerota, MVP Visuals

 

Keep Employees Longer with a Better Business Model

Now that you’ve learned some of the best ways to keep your employees happy and continuing to work with your company, it’s also important to think about how you can grow and scale your business in the long run. Most employees will want to work with a company that is not only rewarding for them and a fun place to be, but also one that is growing in size and profitability in the process.

To see more expert roundups like this one, be sure to view our previous articles on improved Facebook marketing and the best tools for monitoring your brand online.

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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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