From small startups to Fortune 100 corporations, company culture seems to be the topic du jour as of late. But, is all of this airtime really warranted? Does a company’s culture truly matter that much? Who pays attention to this? A recent study jointly conducted by professors at Duke and Columbia Universities found that an overwhelming number of C-level executives believe culture matters—a lot. So much so, in fact, that they said a potential business merger or acquisition could even fail if the cultures of the two companies involved did not mesh. (more…)
As you small business grows, it’s hard to pin down the best time to hire new people. Managers are especially difficult to time correctly. In many cases, they are seen as a luxury for small business and should only be brought into your management team if absolutely necessary. But as your company grows and your job as owner changes, managers are the key to a successful, growing small business.
When you first started you may have ended your day at 6pm, then it became 7pm, and now you leave later than you ever intended. If you find that your days are getting longer because you have to fix every little problem in you company, it’s probably time to hire a manager. As Reza Chowdhury, of AlleyWatch said in an interview with Bplans, ”You’ll likely find yourself trapped in a perpetual hamster wheel, focused on tasks that are not a good use of neither your time nor skill set. At this point, it’s time to bring in the help to allow you to focus on the big picture.” (more…)
Hiring your first employee is an exciting time for your company. Your daily duties have expanded and you need to hire someone to take over some of the responsibility. Before you interview and find the person you want to bring into your company, you need to understand the legal requirements for hiring and maintaining employees.
Although internships are not necessarily a new idea, their rise as an essential part of the college kid’s life has only occurred in the last decade or so. Employers set out every year for a new batch of interns, each with their own set of requirements. From talking to my own college intern, I can tell you that most students her age don’t have a great grasp on the specific characteristics employers look for in an intern. The issue arises because many consider interns to be their own class of employee that has very different expectations than the rest of the company. We asked some experts on what exactly they look for in an intern and, as to be expected, the results were all over the board.
Whether you have a great HR team or you deal with your employees directly as the small business owner, dealing with sensitive workplace issues is always tricky. We’ve all heard about the co-worker who likes to warm up fish in the microwave everyday, or skips the all too frequent shower. Between dealing with body odor and inappropriate dress, we asked our pool of small business experts how they deal with sensitive workplace issues. These were our 10 favorite answers:
1.“I deal with workplace issues privately and head on in real-time as they happen. Dancing around the real issues is tiresome, wasteful, and sets the foundation for a water-cooler culture.” -Ryan P. Blanck, CPF, CPT, offtrackonpurpose.com
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.
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.
A lot of social media analysts see LinkedIn as being a tad one sided – there are plenty of people who consistently update their profile anytime they think of something new to brag about, but there aren’t many employers looking for new hires on the service. Most sectors have more jobs than people, so employers don’t feel compelled to strike out and search for that perfect new hire.
So LinkedIn sadly stagnates with page upon page of resumés.
I find this extremely disappointing – LinkedIn should be just as widely used by employers as it is by people looking for a job. Employers just need to learn how to make the leap and start using LinkedIn properly.