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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How to Handle Freelancers at Tax Time

This guest post is brought to you by Outright, the simplest way to manage your small business finances online. Sign up today for a less taxing tax time!

You hired a freelancer for some temporary work at your business, but now you’re worried about what the Tax Man requires. After all, you were already so busy you had to get somebody else to come in to write that blog post/add on to your home office /upgrade your computer/etc. How in the world are you going to find the time to do extra taxes?

Luckily for you, they’re actually not that complicated. While they seem like they should be tougher, freelance taxes are simple for the small business owner to deal with. But first, there’s something we should clear up.

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Guest Post: 4 Things You Need to Know About Taxes and the Fiscal Cliff

Taxes schmaxes – I am so over the fiscal cliff. These on-again off-again talks were insane and it’s crazy to me that the negotiations came down to the 11th hour. Post signing the legislation of the fiscal cliff deal, here are the top 4 things you need to know about taxes and the fiscal cliff.

1. All tax rates stay the same. Congress added a bracket. The only tax bracket that changes is the top rate, which was 35% and is now 39.6% for individuals making over $400,000 and $450,000 for married filing jointly.

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Guest Post: Could MBAs Be Your Business’ Secret Weapons?

When a small business owner looks at hiring a new manager, the hiring cost can seem discouraging when the prospective employee has an MBA. There is a strong assumption that MBA students are trained too generally and that they lack decision making skills from a lack of real world experience. Can they be trusted when left unattended with helping to run your business? These are undeserved and unfounded assumptions as MBAs bring real value to small businesses.

The EMBA Advantage

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Guest Post: Can Interns Really Boost Your Business?

Finding the perfect employee for your small business can leave you caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. You want to hire a candidate who is enthusiastic and a good fit for the position and prepared to work hard. But your budget may not allow you to pay them more beyond hourly wage or provide the full set of full time hours that they want.

Meanwhile, your current staff can’t cope with the extra work, and having an extra pair of hands would be more than welcome. So what is the solution? Continue reading

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6 Facets of Employee Safety Every Office Should Consider

If you haven’t given your company’s safety policies some careful thought lately, you are making a big mistake. Failure to adhere to prevailing workplace safety guidelines subjects you to legal liability that can cause you to incur fines and leaves your employees at risk for accidents and injuries.

Creating and maintaining a workplace safety plan not only helps to protect a business from lawsuits, it fosters an environment where employees feel valued, knowing that their best interest is being looked after. In assessing your workplace safety plan, think carefully about steps to help prevent accidents as well as procedures to deal with an incident after it occurs. Continue reading

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Three Awesome Perks from Big Time CEO’s

What is the coolest thing your manager or CEO has ever given you? A free lunch? The chance to work at home? Free samples of whatever your company produces?

Whatever it is, it probably pales in comparison to some of the things big name CEO’s are handing out to their employees these days. Of course we could have found a lot more than three examples of CEO’s being generous – there are plenty of stories out there about bosses divvying up their holiday bonuses, or taking a pay cut to help out with things get tough. But these were the three that had our social media department buzzing, and we thought’d it would be pretty cool to look at the perks being given out in the corporate world. Continue reading

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Guest Post: 3 Motivational Training Tips For New Hires

Training new employees should never be the rudimentary process consisting of a used manual, a few words of encouragement and a “here ya go” send off. Whether your business has 10 employees or is a 1,000+ strong, the training methods should be oriented in a way that excites and enlightens, while being streamlined all the same.

Skills should be seasoned; regardless of how well-qualified a candidate is from the onset. And there are many ways to make the introductory training programs adaptable and accessible for each and every employee.

Here are a few tips towards achieving not just a well-trained employee, but gaining better perspective on your company’s productivity for the long run. Continue reading

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Is Your Office Harboring a ‘Michael Phelps’?

Poor Michael Phelps – after a dismal fourth place showing at the Men’s 400 M race in the London 2012 Olympics, everyone is talking about the new golden boy, American Ryan Lochte, and wondering how Phelps will make up ground from his abysmal fourth place finish. Phelps’ performance in the water has been the focus of most Olympic coverage since Saturday. He may have shrugged off his loss by just calling it ‘a crappy race,’ but it was probably a little bit more than that considering Phelps only started training again six months ago, and commentators have been talking about his poor performance during the qualifiers. So, since everyone else is talking about it, we figured that we could shoehorn the topic into our own blog by helping our readers figure out if they have a ‘Michael Phelps’ situation in their own office. Continue reading

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Guest Post: How to Improve Your Cold Calling Results

Your company may be one where routine cold calls contribute to your business and keep new customers coming in. But when it comes to cold calls, your staff probably hears more “no” responses than “yes” when you’d like it to be the reverse. Whether you have an outbound call center or a single employee who focuses on cold calls, these tips can help improve your results. Continue reading

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