Search Results for: employees

Five Effective Training Tips For New Employees

 

Training new employees is rarely a fun walk in the park. In fact, it takes a lot of time, money, and effort. However, this doesn’t take away from the fact that well-trained employees are vital to the success of your business, and as such, are an investment, rather than an expense. If you make a good first impression and use the right methods, then every single penny will be worth it, because you’ll have an efficient member of staff that you can count on to make you way more money than they cost you. To get your training just right, here are five tips.

 

  1. Figure Out A Plan

Before you start training your new hire, it’s vital that you figure out exactly what it is that you want them to learn. If you don’t, then you’re only going to end up wasting time and money teaching them information that is of no use at all. Write down a list of all of the skills and information that they need to complete their job, and then work out ways to teach this to them.

 

  1. Remember The Tour

When you’re planning your employee training, it’s important that you remember to fit in some time to give them a tour of the office. This will probably be most effective at the start of the day before you do anything else. Doing this means that they won’t have to stop and ask someone where to go every time they need to use the bathroom, grab a coffee, or get a pen.

 

  1. Try Different Methods

No two trainees are the same, which means that no two trainees are going to learn in the same way. Because of this, it’s important that you have a few different training methods that you could use, such as presentations, a corporate video, quizzes, manuals, and more. Switching things up also makes training a lot more interesting, both for you and your new hire.

 

  1. Let Current Employees Help

Allowing current employees to help with training is a great idea for a few reasons. The most significant is that it tends to help new hires feel a little more relaxed and comfortable. It also provides the perfect opportunity for your new employee to get to know your current ones and helps your current employees to refresh their memory of their training.

 

  1. Always Be Available

Even with all of their training, your newbies are still going to get stuck and confused every now and then, and are going to need some help. As their boss, it’s essential that you’re always available to help them when they need it. If you can’t be available for some reason, then you need to make sure that your new hire knows who to go to when they need help, such as a buddy.

 

If you want your new employees to be productive and efficient in their new role, then it’s vital that you provide effective training. Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be able to do this.

Category: Business

Freshen Up Your Office To Freshen Your Employees’ Minds

 

As a small business owner and CEO, you will probably always be trying to improve your employees’ creativity and motivation in the workplace. Did you know that one way you can give their minds a boost is by freshening up the office? The workspace and office environment has a huge impact on how people get on with their work throughout the day, and making some small changes can go a long way in improving the overall productivity of your company. Here are some ways that you can really make a big difference.

 

Keep It Clean

 

First and foremost, it’s really important that you keep your office as clean as possible. Not only does clutter and junk increase the number of hazards lying around in the office, but it can also make things difficult for your employees. For instance, it will be ever so easy to misplace and lose small items and equipment. Looking for misplaced items will take up a lot of time. Need some help keeping things clean? It’s always worth hiring a contract office cleaning service from a cleaning firm. Not only that, but a cluttered and busy office will only clutter up your employees’ minds, making it increasingly difficult for them to concentrate.

 

Minimize Decor

 

Something else that can make it very difficult for workers to concentrate is a busy decor. Rather than filling your walls with lots paintings and prints, it will create a lot of distractions for your employees. So, try and keep your interior design as minimal as possible. This will also help your office feel super contemporary and very fashionable.

 

 

Create A Breakout Room

 

It’s really important that your employees have a space where they can go and relax when things get a bit too much for them. This can also be used as a space where they can go for some peace and quiet if they ever need to do some serious thinking. A breakout room is the perfect way to add this kind of space to your office. Make sure to add some facilities and amenities that your employees can use during their breaks, such as vending machines and table football.

 

Add Some Useful Tech

 

Over the past couple of decades, new technologies have really revolutionized life in the office. Tech makes many processes and jobs a lot easier than before when we could only rely on paper documents and drawn-out processes. So, it’s important that you try and stay up-to-date with your office technology and try and add as much state-of-the-art pieces as possible. You will certainly be amazed by how much this improves the working day for each of your employees! You might even be able to benefit from some tech yourself!

 

Once you start to follow all of the above tips, you will find that you can freshen up both your office and your employees. And that will be a fantastic way to boost your company’s overall productivity!

 

So, how do you think you will update your office over the coming months?

Category: Business

Keeping Your Employees Connected

 

As a result of a law passed late last year, employees in France have enjoyed the ‘right to disconnect’ since 1 January. This may sound like a rather aggressive use of the government’s power to intervene in the workings of private businesses, but the measure was taken because constantly being aware of the stresses of work is not just good for people. A study conducted in England found that work is, in fact, the biggest causes of stress in people’s lives. It was followed by debt and financial problems and remarkably, one’s own health. With modern technology making it so easy to check your emails while you are at home after work, or at the weekend, it is easy to see how the line between one’s professional and personal lives has become blurred. To work most effectively, a person needs to find a way to take time off effectively. Being burnt out by constantly worrying about this and that is a great way to damage your health. There are a lot of benefits to being connected though. If you run your own small business, you will have probably learned first-hand that processes that once took a while can now be expedited simply because everyone is available either through instant messaging services or video conference call software like Skype. However, if you are going to help your employees connect and work together as efficiently as possible, here are a few things you may want to think about:

 

While mobile devices are a great resource and have made so many things so much easier, they have their defects too. They, like every other aspect of your business, need to be managed. If it is going to work at all, you will need to keep track of the infrastructure of mobile devices that is allowing you to communicate. You also need to think about how to best integrate things like smartphones and tablets into your business environment. Since these technologies have become so popular, the discipline of Enterprise Mobility Management has also come into existence. One important aspect of this is to ensure that there is no potentially sensitive information on the devices because they are so easily lost or stolen. Making sure that the devices are secure is an important step in using them in your business.

 

In terms of connection between employees, a lot of the emphasis in the contemporary discourse about business tends to be on the digital kind. However, if a company becomes too reliant on technology, they can find themselves becoming vulnerable. If you see one of your employees sending an email to someone that is on the other side of the same room, you may want to invite them to go and actually talk to that person instead. If these decisions become habits, how is your business going to survive if there is a power cut for a morning? Will you simply have to stop trading? That is obviously not a great situation. Besides, real human contact is crucial if you are going to develop and maintain a vibrant, healthy company culture.

Category: Business

Hiring Your First Employees: Guidlines To Success For Social Enterprises

So, you have started your social media business, and things are going well. Business is booming, and you have plenty of customers. The trouble is, you have no time to take on anymore and your business runs the risk of becoming stale.

The answer, of course, is to seek out some help, and hiring your first employees is one of the most obvious solutions. But before you do, it’s vital to understand that as soon as you bring on full-time staff, many different problems can arise.

Well, we’re going to explore some of those issues today. And, we’ll take a look at many of the other guidelines to make sure your social business hiring process is up to scratch.

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Do you need to hire full-time workers?

First of all, hiring employees is an expensive business. They will need space and systems to work in. You have to pay them, regardless of whether your business is making money in any given period. And, of course, the extra costs of insurance and security can weigh heavily. So, before hiring anyone, ask yourself if you could outsource instead. Doing this means you will only pay for the work you need, and there are no tax or National Insurance issues to contend with. Plus, you could consider using freelance workers as a trial period to see if you genuinely need more workers on board.

Are you prepared for the paperwork?

The second you take on full-time staff, you will find yourself swamped with paperwork. Contracts, sign-offs, training schedules and a lot more besides can all eat into your time. In fact, without proper organization, you might find that managing employees starts to take you away from your clients. And that can be bad news for your business. So, look into HR software, or consider hiring human resources professional to help out as your first recruit. It should take away a lot of the pain you will endure, otherwise.

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Are you hiring the right people?

Building a great team relies on having an impressive hiring process. And, again, this can take a lot of time out of your busy schedule. There are solutions, of course. Finding a recruitment agency or agent can help you reduce the amount of time you spend finding the right candidates. However, you will have to ensure that you are taking in the right people that fit with your social business. The right mix of personalities is essential for success. And, taking on people that you can trust to represent your brand just as you would is critical.

Employee retention

One of the biggest issues you will find when hiring great talent is that unless you are appealing to their needs, they will look elsewhere. Retention is vital if you want to keep your business performing consistently. It’s not a great look for your company if your clients have to start again with a new face every month or so. So, work on your business culture and invest in personal development for your staff. Think about giving them a benefits package, too. You might not be able to match your competitor’s wages, but you can provide staff with a better environment.

I hope these ideas help you find the right people at the right time for your social business. All the best!

Category: Uncategorized

The Ultimate Guide To Happy Employees

Employees are one of the keys to a successful business. But, only if they’re happy and motivated. Unhappy employees can end up damaging your company, instead of helping it. Bearing that in mind, here are some ways to keep your staff happy:

Pay Them A Decent Wage

The number one way to your employees hearts is to pay them well. If you’re paying your workers below minimum wage, they’re not going to be happy. In fact, it’s against the law to pay full-time employees less than the minimum wage. But, you could also be paying them less than what other companies are paying for the same job. It’s only natural that your staff will be annoyed if they’re getting less than people that do the same work at another company. If you pay them a decent wage, they’ll be far happier. People find it easier and more motivating to work if they’re being paid well. When you know you’re getting a good paycheck; work life is much more pleasing.

Happy_Employees

(Photo via Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/8QBPth)

Offer Employee Benefits

A surefire way to ensure your employees are happy is to offer them benefits. These are a range of things, in addition to their salary, that you offer when they sign their contract. Benefits can come in all shapes and sizes. A free lunch is an example of a small benefit that can still keep them very happy. Then there are bigger things like a pension fund or health insurance. You could also consider things like an employee support programme by Health Assured as a benefit. This is a programme that offers your workers free help and guidance with any problems they’re having. Things like this are a brilliant way to ensure your employees are constantly smiling and joyous. If you don’t offer them any benefits at all, don’t be surprised if they’re always sour and bitter.

Keep Them Motivated

Often, employees will be unhappy because they’re bored at work. They have no motivation to do anything. Every day is the same, they turn up and sit behind a desk for a few hours and then go home. Most of the time, they lack motivation because the boss isn’t providing it. If you don’t push your employees and egg them on, they’re bound to become bored and unhappy. However, if you start being more motivating and getting involved, this can change. Become an active boss, someone that gets more involved with their employees. Walk around the office and check on everyone’s progress. Make sure they know what they’re doing and when they have to complete it. If you show more of an interest in your employees, they’ll start to get more motivated. When the boss is walking around trying to give everyone a boost, the mood changes. People prefer bosses that are involved and don’t just lock themselves away in their office all day. Give your employees some motivation and you’ll soon see a change in the way they are.

 

Do all three of these things if you want happy staff all year round! Trust me, it’s a lot easier to run a business when everyone has a smile on their face.


Category: Uncategorized

Engaged vs Disengaged Employees… and What to Do About It

An “engaged employee” is one who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about their work, and thus will act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests. According to Scarlett Surveys, “Employee Engagement is a measurable degree of an employee’s positive or negative emotional attachment to their job, colleagues and organization that profoundly influences their willingness to learn and perform at work”. Thus engagement is distinctively different from employee satisfaction, motivation and organisational culture.

Category: Careers

Should You Let Your Employees Work From Home?

Today, many companies offer their employees the option to work from home, even if they live relatively close to the office.   But common sense tells us that for some employees, this may not be the best option. This decision tree created with Mindflash, will help you decide if you should let your employees work remotely, or if they should be required to work in-house.

Let me know which route you chose.

Ability for Employees to Work With Greater Mobility is No.1 Reason for Cloud

Small to medium business’s are now looking beyound the cost and resource efficiencies that can be delivered from a cloud enviroment, they are now focused on how a cloud deployment can improve business outcomes and bring strategic value. In a recent study by IBM two thirds of snior managers surveyed had either implemented or intend to implement a cloud service, with over 45% of UK business looking to do so over the next two years.

The most popular reasons identified for doing this are:

  • Increased ability for employees to work with greater mobility was number one
  • Cost efficiences was named as the number two reason

As cloud continues to be a key priority businesses are looking to technology providers, known as Managed Service Providers (MSPs). The emergence of such MSPs is in response to a significant market shift as SMBs move their business applications to the cloud in order to increase their ability to work in a more mobile and flexible fashion.  With limited IT resources, many are looking to a new kind of partner, to help them do this as they seek to off load the management of their IT infrastructure.

“Midsize firms are under increasing pressure to become more efficient and continue to identify new opportunities to grow their business,” explains Lubomir Cheytanov, director of midmarket sales at IBM in the UK and Ireland. “They are looking to local technology providers or MSPs with deep expertise and innovative cloud portfolio to move their business applications to the cloud.”

About the Cloud Research Study:

For the independent study, conducted by YouGov, the opinions of 530 senior managers at small and medium-sized companies in the United Kingdom were surveyed. It was conducted in the second quarter of 2012 to capture current and upcoming business and IT priorities for cloud computing.

If you are looking to transform your business with cloud capabilities why not get in touch or click here for more information

Why Existing Customers are So Important

 

The biggest portion of customers that visit your store or website will do so just one time, and in fact, some estimates put this at around the 80% mark. All the hard work that goes into marketing your brand, and the outlay involved in driving traffic your way, and then many of them turn into a one-off hit. It can cost 5 times as much to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. Research also shows that you will make higher profits by retaining the customers you already have compared to taking on new ones.

 

Although, of course, new customers are important to your brand, so is taking care of the loyal buyers you already have. The probability of selling to a new customer is between 5 and 20%. The probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60 and 70%, and they are likely to spend more. So which is the most important? They both are in their own way but there are advantages to keeping the customers you already have.

 

Relegating Sales Duties

 

When a new business starts, it will often be the owner that deals with customers. There are not so many in the early days and it is much easier to build a relationship with them. However, as the business starts to grow this becomes unsustainable. There are only 24 hours in each day, and only so many customers an owner can deal with.

 

Those early customers are likely to stay loyal, as the personal touch they received will not be forgotten. However, at this point, you will need to take on employees to handle the extra customers, and you will need to train them to be a personable with the customers as you have been.

 

You may well feel that no one will sell the brand as well as you do, and that may well be right. You cannot expect your staff to win over every enquirer but a process that enables you to start scaling sales enables for that to happen, and you should just be looking to get your fair share of conversions. This may take some time and effort, but it will be worth it.

 

If as the owner of the business, you never do anything else other than sales, you will be restricting the growth, as there are other tasks you should be doing such as dealing with suppliers to ensure you are getting the best deals.

 

Recommendations

 

When you have created a loyal customer base they are almost like a free form of advertising. They will become advocates of your brand and recommend you to other potential customers. Past research has shown that consumers will more likely buy from a brand that they have been recommended to than one they know nothing about.

 

Word of mouth can create you a lot of new sales, and as those new customers become loyal too, it has a knock-on effect of even more recommendations.

 

 

Feedback

 

Consumers that have been buying your products for some time are far more likely to give you feedback, good and bad. They will not be so concerned about picking up the phone or emailing you and telling you about a problem with something they have just received. Having feedback from loyal customers like this is invaluable, as it lets you correct any problems that a new customer may encounter, which can stop them buying from you again.

 

Good feedback is also great, as then you know there is something you are getting right.

 

Paying The Price For The Service

 

Long-time customers are less price conscious, as they will trust your brand and know that they are receiving a high-quality customer service. Often, when they see a similar product at a lower price, they will still pay you the premium because of the trust and service factors. It is sometimes thought that if it costs less it must be of an inferior quality, and of course, that could well be the case.

 

Less Marketing Costs

 

As it costs much less to retain existing customers, you may be able to reduce your marketing budget. This could then be extra profits for your business or could be passed on as a price reduction in the form of a special offer, free gift or loyalty bonus to your existing loyal customers.

 

Simple things like sending them a calendar before the start of a New Year can mean so much toward their continued purchasing of your brand.

 

Caring about your existing customers is vital to the continued success and growth of your brand, and letting them know they are more than just a number will be a huge help in retaining them.

 

Category: Business

Workplace Harmony: Tips For Small Business Owners

 

When your small business has progressed to a point where you are ready to hire employees, it is essential to think about the workplace culture, environment, and overall harmony that those employees will work in. After all, your staff will spend around 40 hours per week in the office, and there is an onus on you as a business owner to ensure that their working experience is as pleasant as it can be.

 

Over recent years, what constitutes a good working environment has changed somewhat. Once, a business would be considered to be doing well if they provided a pleasant office layout, invested in comfortable chairs, and provided necessary on-site facilities such as a kitchen. However, businesses are now expected to expand their remit, with unconventional workplaces such as Google leading the way as the new normal.

 

However, whether you believe ping pong tables in the office are essential or not, there is one critical element of a good workplace that has remained consistent throughout the years: the need for workplace harmony.

 

What is workplace harmony?

 

Workplace harmony is a catch-all concept that describes how well a workplace functions, and how happy the people working there are. It is thought that with a harmonious workplace, productivity is higher, as is overall staff happiness.

 

What constitutes good workplace harmony?

 

Interestingly enough, what makes a workplace harmonious is rather difficult to pinpoint, and perhaps the single biggest factor is, simply, the absence of causes of disharmony. Essentially, by minimising the factors that can cause bad workplace harmony, you naturally create good workplace harmony as a result.

 

What are the disharmony factors you need to eliminate?

 

There are a number of issues that can greatly impact the harmony of a workplace, so it’s advisable to investigate and rectify these in turn:

 

  • Disagreements between colleagues are among the biggest influences on workplace disharmony, and it can proceed to the point that it becomes bullying or even harassment. This is a serious issue that needs addressing head-on, as the last thing that you, or your employees, need are to experience disputes severe enough to require assistance from an employment law attorney to resolve. If you identify issues developing between two or more employees, then separate them as far as is possible, and potentially explore mediation options that can help get them back on the same page.
  • A lack of empowerment can also influence workplace harmony; employees need to feel that their contribution is important, that their work is valued, and that they have the ability to make their own decisions. There are some great tips for empowering your staff here, all of which could greatly benefit the overall workplace harmony of your business.
  • A poorly-designed office space can also be damaging to harmony, especially if the layout of the office prevents employees from communicating with one another effectively. It’s well worth asking your staff how they feel about the overall office design; if they’re unhappy, then work with them to improve it.

 

In conclusion

 

With a harmonious working environment for your staff assured, you should be all the better equipped to ensure a high level of achievement from that staff, which should greatly contribute to your chances of sustaining a successful business.

 

Category: Business