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Back Off!

Micromanaging is toxic — here are 3 tips to help you stop today

At my first full-time job after college, the office manager routinely sorted through the recycling box to ensure that tossed junk mail had been cancelled with the sender. If someone from my department did not write the cancellation clearly enough, there was a lecture. This culminated in a 20-minute rant and the ultimate request to track all incoming junk mail, date of cancellation and subsequent mail on a spreadsheet for review. I refused. And then I quit.

Dec 19, 2014 Kelly Azevedo

Food for Thought

Acuity with Chris Jarosz

Chris Jarosz is the founder of Broderick Restaurant & Bar and co-owner of the Wicked ‘Wich food truck. This year, he also took on the overhaul of midtown’s Capital Dime restaurant and its sister eatery, Trick Pony, which have been folded into the Broderick Roadhouse family of restaurants. It’s not all glamorous, but it is pretty tasty.

Dec 15, 2014 Christine Calvin
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Missing Moms

Can an employer require employees to return after maternity leave?

I run a small business. Twice in the past two years, I’ve had employees quit directly after taking maternity leave. Prior to their departures, it was understood that they would return to work. This has caused understandable upheaval in the office. What questions, if any, can I ask employees taking maternity or paternity leave? Can I require them to come back to work in order to take the leave? Are there any options for me to avoid this happening in the future?

Dec 8, 2014 Coral Henning
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Sick of Sitting Around?

Don't be surprised if HR won't buy into office furniture fads

I know sitting all day is bad for me, even if I’m getting exercise, so I’d like to try a standing desk. Some of my coworkers would, too. How do I approach my boss about potentially making a change to the way his employees do their work? I have the same question for getting new chairs. I know they’re expensive, but many of us are uncomfortable. How can I convince him that it’s a good idea to spend the money?

Dec 4, 2014 Suzanne Lucas
Design by Lily Therens (elements courtesy of Shutterstock)

Content Marketing Starter Kit

3 basics that will make an impact

Sometimes the best way to stand out is to stick to the basics and nail them. Before cooking up an elaborate six-part blog post series complete with diagrams, infographics, and a really neat flowchart on how to choose the best frozen turkey for your teen driver, take a step back and resolve to start small. The following ideas will help get you started:

Nov 26, 2014 Melissa Sorcic
Illustrated by Zuza Hicks with elements from Shutterstock

On the Cover: Web of Thieves

Big-name cyberattacks make headlines, but smaller businesses have more to lose.

In cyberattacks against multimillion-dollar companies, computer criminals break in and steal personal information from millions of customers. Though there will be big losses and maybe a high-profile resignation, the reality is, these retail giants will live to sell another day. But the stories that won’t make the front pages involve the most frequent targets, whose survival isn’t guaranteed: small businesses.

Nov 18, 2014 Russell Nichols
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Stop, Drop, Open Up Shop

The region’s new Small Business Development Center sends a clear message: We want YOU for the Capital Region

Existing business expansion is the single biggest source of job creation in the United States, accounting for nearly two-thirds of new jobs nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s why the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is bolstering small businesses by kicking off a one-stop shop for regional employers looking to grow and expand.

Nov 17, 2014 John Blomster
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Retaining Talent

What Sacramento can learn from Nashville’s investment in its young professionals

Recently I had the opportunity to join 100 local business, nonprofit and public sector leaders on a four-day journey to Nashville, Tenn. to discover how this boot-scootin, honky-tonk city is thriving. Nashville has an identity no one can deny, and one this country girl couldn’t get enough of. But, let me tell you, it is so much more than a music town. Nashville is a thriving hub for business and forward thinking.

Nov 14, 2014 Emilie Cameron
(Illustrated by Zuza Hicks with elements from Shutterstock)

Bank Role

3 ways financial institutions can safeguard against cyberattacks

Compared to other industries, banks operate from a unique position, in that they have to focus intently on their own security, but also make sure their clients have the knowledge and tools to protect against computer criminals. Providing that protection usually comes down to a matter of security versus convenience.

Nov 13, 2014 Russell Nichols
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Tactical Training

An efficient system will save you time and energy

You’ve finally done it. Your business now has that elusive support team that should enable you to take the odd weekend off, serve more clients and stop being the bottleneck for every decision. Time to celebrate! … Except, you remember, you still need to train those new team members.

Nov 7, 2014 Kelly Azevedo
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Catty Chatting

When you need to reprimand a digitally dubious employee

I manage a group of about 13 people, and we communicate via instant messages. I have one employee who persistently bad-mouthed me in online conversations. I confirmed that he was aware that I could see his messages, and I told him I saw messages that concerned me. Since then, he’s disengaged from his job and is only doing the bare minimum. I feel I should address this with him, but I’m unsure of how to do so.

Nov 5, 2014 Suzanne Lucas
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Threat Control

Smart companies take a proactive approach to risk

During the recession, risk management seemed a lot more like crisis management than a forward-looking, enterprise-wide approach to handling risks in a way that promoted sustainable growth. But today, smart companies align their risk management tactics with their strategic plans, which is helping them achieve their most important business priorities. 

Nov 3, 2014 Christine Calvin

High-Speed Hiring

How to automate your process from start to finish

In a world with automated bill paying, direct deposits and DVR, you may be thinking “what will they automate next?” If you’re a business owner looking for seasonal help or another employee, then I have good news for you. Automating your hiring process can not only save time and headaches, but it can also help identify the best applicants easier than ever.

Oct 20, 2014 Kelly Azevedo