Every well-meaning small business owner is capable of inflicting wounds that stifle drive, trust, employee engagement and motivation. Maybe not as blatantly as calling out incompetence, but neglect and disrespect through lack of communication de-motivates too. Worst of all, we don’t even know we are doing it.
Like a prophet from on high, global futurist and author Dan Burrus’ has a rare knack for technology predictions that provide us with a blueprint for change in the business world. His book Flash Foresight challenges leaders to examine hidden trends, using them to shape the innovations of tomorrow versus allowing for aimless solutions that lack relevance.
Job growth and wages are on the rise, which should signal a great time for businesses in the U.S.—except that no one wants to run them. Only one-third of U.S. workers believe becoming a manager will advance their careers, according to recent survey by professional staffing website Addison Group.
I just started a new job where I am an exempt employee. When I started, I was asked to provide a “regular work schedule” that I selected as 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. When I inquired about coming in at 8:30 on Monday and Friday mornings, my employer said they didn’t favor that and as a new employee, I didn’t feel comfortable pushing back. As an exempt employee, what are the rules about standard hours?
It’s an unwritten but long-standing axiom in business: You can’t get to the top alone. You need a mentor in your corner who is older and wiser. As a young, aspiring publisher almost 27 years ago, I certainly had help from all around. The business owners with whom I spoke supported me with their wisdom, as they continue to do today. I’ve received guidance, know its value and am extremely grateful.
You might experience a scenario like this at the office: A colleague, boss or employee is incredibly gifted; they are technically skilled, knowledgeable, strategic and very smart. But a frustrating paradox is that they are terrible communicators: unable to take on other’s perspectives, constantly interrupting and long-winded, putting themselves ahead of others, defensive, inflexible, emotional — you get the drift.
In the coming months, Chris Johnson will ask a lot of his employees, whose average age is just 24 years old. He expects to do $30 million in retail sales this third year of manufacturing, recently signed a powerful licensing deal with Disney’s Marvel, and plans to expand from the four products currently on shelves to more than 100 next year. But Johnson’s hiring strategy emphasizes passion over experience, something he says his team has in spades.
I am currently handling a nasty investigation into bullying and harassment at my company. What do I do after the investigation if all parties remain with the company? The relationship has broken down — do we just have to move the employees? I think it’s too late for mediation.
Studies show that the problem isn’t bad workers as much as bad bosses, who aren’t just a nuisance — they’re expensive. They cost a company productivity and turnover. Yet for some reason they’re being hired again and again. So why are we so rotten at hiring leaders, and how can we change?
Whether or not your business is in retail products, you can make the most of this momentum to promote your company and offer special promotions to existing customers and leads — making your last quarter more profitable and less stressful.
You live a crowded life. We all do. You probably looked at your smartphone before you rolled out of bed. You immediately checked your email, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Maybe you glanced at your phone on your morning commute. Your job demands multitasking, so at work your computer has 25 open tabs — Outlook, Excel, Word, Powerpoint, and on and on and on. As you read this article, the odds are good that you’re also kind of doing something else.
Wages are still stagnant, yet employers have found something else to help attract and retain employees: health-care benefits. A good insurance plan has become a more vital tool than ever for hiring, according to a recent survey from the Society of Human Resources.
Community involvement is key to a smart marketing strategy. One of the best ways to make an impact with your business is to first make an impact in your community. Not only does your business generate valuable philanthropic karma points, but you will be more likely to distinguish yourself from competitors, boost customer loyalty and have a happier workplace.
Some families love being together, some enjoy short visits and others have a hard time just getting through Thanksgiving dinner. So how do families who have decided to go into business together make it work? Recently I had sat down with three families-turned-business-partners to find out.
It’s September, the nationally recognized time to get back to school and learn something new. Even if you graduated long ago, it’s still a great time to introduce new systems to improve your business. Whether you’re a brick and mortar, a solo entrepreneur, exclusively online or fall somewhere in the middle, documenting what you do and how you do it is more important than ever.
There’s an old saying about family businesses: Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations. Grandpa hustles and creates the business,Dad takes the baton and then Junior goes down with the ship. According to the Family Firm Institute, just 30 percent of family businesses survive into their second generation, and only 10 percent make it to their third. Why do these firms fail?
I work for a small, established company, and we don’t have policies in place for employee reviews. Actually, we don’t really do reviews at all. I find this odd. Is there a reason a company wouldn’t ask for or provide formal feedback? If I wanted to put a procedure in place for the people I manage in my department, what would I need?
Have you ever walked into a semi-dried lake bed? You start out on firm sand, and little by little the ground gets softer and stickier and deeper until finally the mud pulls your boots straight off your feet. That’s the position of many companies battling today’s marketplace, particularly small-business owners set in their ways and family businesses unable to overcome Dad’s unwavering march into the ground.
Competing with big-league firms for employees is tough — average pay at small businesses runs about two-thirds that offered at other companies. Not keeping up with pay hikes elsewhere can create staff turnover, eating into morale and creating operational problems. Enter profit-sharing plans.