Should You Give Your Employees a Second Chance?

I’ve always believed that my business’s success hinges on the open and honest relationship I have with my team. I have to trust that my employees will do the job they were hired to do so I can focus on running and growing the company. However, I have unfortunately had to deal with members of my team breaking that trust in the past. And, while you should always consider giving people a second chance at the workplace, second chances also mean you should look at what they did, and determine whether what happened was a minor transgression, or a serious breach of trust. second chance

Look at the big picture

It can be really easy to focus too heavily on the employee when making this sort of decision, but you need to consider a lot of different factors. Firing someone can leave a long-lasting impact on your business, especially if other employees don’t agree with your decision. Was this betrayal of trust more personal, or professional? Occasionally we have to swallow our personal pride for the betterment of the company, and objectivity is key to making this sort of a decision. If this is an isolated incident, then maybe a second chance is in order.

Consider the impact on your business

If this employee has proven themselves to the company and has spent years working within it, firing them could hurt your business. So you need to ask yourself if the employee’s separation will actually be good for the company. Do they contribute to inter-office harmony? Are they replaceable? Will their absence help or hinder day to day operations? Being slighted by someone you trust is always a jarring experience, but it isn’t worth sacrificing your team’s dynamic to make a point. But if this employee did actually harm the company, it may be worth sending them out the door for good.

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4 Sales Tips to Lead Small Business Sales Teams to Success

How to Increase Holiday SalesThere are many critical variables for sales success, especially when it comes to small business sales. Because small businesses typically have more obstacles to overcome due to their size and lack of resources, it’s extremely important that small business leaders learn how to master the sales process. Ultimately, mastering sales skills can provide long lasting revenue. Below are a few simple sales training  tips and tricks to help small business sales teams to succeed.

Quick Tips to Remember:

  • Target: The right client means everything
  • Good Energy: Be upbeat and positive
  • Preparation: Stay prepared and continuously practice your selling skills
  • Delivery: Always deliver polished presentations

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Managing Remote Employees: Part Two: Measuring and Communicating

Managing Remote Employees: Part Two: Measuring and CommunicatingYou don’t have the ability to always physically oversee and monitor their progress, so measuring effectiveness and keeping open lines of communication is very important.  If you introduce a framework and a structure that allows for easy communication and measure output, telecommuters can be just as effective as if you’re in regular physical contact.

What should be measured and how do you do it?

Let’s start with the obvious one – productivity: You can virtually drop into your staff’s office every day – or as often as you like – using a program that will track remote workers’ activity, including typed keystrokes, internet history, emails sent and received, webcam shots in addition to taking periodic screenshots throughout their workday.  A variety of activity tracking software exists to accommodate whatever your specific needs are and this can help improve accountability and transparency to your virtual office.  This also helps you quantify exactly how much time the workload of each project is taking.

The second – and equally important quantitative measure that both you and your staff need to keep track of – is time management.  Using shift scheduling software not only helps employees and managers stay on top of their schedules and payroll, but it also helps define how long employees need to dedicate to a specific task as well as tracking the progress being made or that has to be made for you to reach your goals and accomplish your projects.

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How to Apply Performance Management at a Startup

How to Apply Performance Management at a StartupI’ve thought long and hard but I just can’t think of a large, successful company that does not implement performance management. Famously, Jack Welch, CEO of GE, was a huge advocate of it.  The reason is probably fairly obvious. Performance management helps businesses achieve results. How so? By ensuring that all employees are performing at their best and pushing in the same direction.

So why don’t start-ups embrace performance management? Typically, there are a number of perceived barriers and questions small businesses have about how it’s done. How do you set up the process? Do you need an expensive system to manage it? Is it too much effort for the ROI (return on investment) in the end?

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How to Manage a Business that’s Open 24/7

How to Manage a Business that’s Open 24/7Businesses that operate 24 hours a day tend to have their own unique operation structure and vary from one type of business to the next. But when you don’t have a set closing time in place, how can you handle issues that come up that 9-5 companies don’t face? Here’s how to keep your business running smoothly from the AM to PM with the following tips!

1) Have a manager you can trust

A responsible team member you trust should be delegated as being in charge for each shift in the schedule. Be sure that each supervisor is properly trained, understands what tasks must be done on their assigned shift, and knows how to delegate out duties accordingly to the rest of the team.

2) Be fair with employees

If you don’t have one or two people who prefer the overnight shift, scheduling can get tough. Rotating shifts is usually the fairest way to work, but switching shifts isn’t easy on anyone. The key to a successful overnight shift is to offer employees an incentive to work it. Monetary incentives usually get the best results, but survey your employees first to find out what they want. If you run a repair business that is open 24/7, like Advanced Roofing Company, the best option may be to have someone on call at night. This way you can still meet the customer’s emergency needs, but everyone can just take turns being in charge of the late night calls once a week or so. If you must have someone work the graveyard shift every night full time, try hiring someone specifically for that position so that the terms and hours are agreed upon in advance.

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The Importance of Online Transparency in Business

The Importance of Online Transparency in BusinessThere was a time when big brands had a lot of control over how they were perceived and how they were portrayed in the media. Consumers had limited options when it came to communicating with brands, and the companies themselves had the power to create demand for products simply through being good at PR. Those days ended with the advent of widespread internet access and the rise of social media. Today, the power is in the hands of the consumer.

People now expect to be able to have two-way conversations with brands. Bad products are ridiculed, and news of poor customer service or unethical business practices spreads quickly.  Good news travels fast too, and even small gestures can go viral and have a huge impact on your brand’s bottom line. There is also a new generation of influencers in the form of bloggers, YouTube users and internet celebrities – and any bad experiences they have with a brand will be shared with their followers and are sure to make a big impact there.

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7 Tips for Promoting Environmental Action Through Social Media

7 Tips for Promoting Environmental Action through Social Media

Social media has changed the way we communicate and interact with one another. If you’re part of a movement and want to spread and share your message, social media gives you the platform to voice yourself while engaging millions of other people around the world. Whether it’s through Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube, there are plenty of platforms available to reach your target audience.

If you’re an activist, an entrepreneur, or a marketer, it’s time you take advantage of what social media has to offer and use it to advance your green agenda. Here are 7 tips on how to get started.

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5 Ways to Make International Student Interns Feel at Home

5 Ways to Make International Student Interns Feel at HomeFor college students on the job search in a tough economy, internships are often the best way to work toward landing a full-time position. According to Forbes, 69 percent of companies that have more than 100 employees offered full-time positions to their interns during the 2011-2012 school year. Nearly every college student understands that internships are essentially just a long interview, after which they hope to receive a job offer.

For international students studying in the U.S. under an F1 visa, landing a full-time position is crucial, as the visa only allows unemployed graduates to stay in the country for 12 months post-graduation. Here are five ways to make your international student interns feel welcome, at home and comfortable in your office.

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How to Give Good Feedback

How to Give Good FeedbackGiving and receiving feedback is essential if you want your business and the people around you to evolve. Constructive feedback should be welcomed and if you’re tiptoeing around worrying about hurting somebody’s feelings, you’re probably doing it wrong.

The feedback process is definitely delicate and you need to be sensitive about how you project yourself. Done right, it can help the person become even better at what they do instead of sending them into a shame spiral of anxiety.

Why are you giving feedback?

One of the most important things you can do when giving feedback is to understand why you feel the need to give it.

Are you after a particular result? Is it for the benefit of the person you’re giving it to? Some people can get defensive when they’re receiving feedback so make sure you’re thinking about the end result and how it benefits the recipient. You can end up with a breakdown in the relationship if you’re giving feedback based on personal preference.

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5 Emerging Workplace Trends That are Becoming Mainstream for Small Business

Successful businesses and employees must be able to stay on their toes to keep up with emerging workplace technologies and trends. Practices that were once considered fads or eccentric habits are now the norm. Here are five emerging workplace trends that are becoming mainstream.

Fragmentation of Structure

Ask your parents and grandparents what the structure of their first grown-up job was like and they’ll mention something about everyone being in a single office building, most likely with an abundance of cubicles and offices. That’s just not the case anymore. Modern businesses are increasingly decentralizing their physical and hierarchical structure.

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