|Small Business Information|
Recognizing Employees? Contributions Can Go a Long Way
Every employee would like to earn as high a salary as they can at their job but surprisingly it's not the number one motivating factor for them in the workplace. Human resource surveys indicate that wages are not even among the top five motivating factors for an employee. What does rank as one of the highest factors is being recognized by their employer for their contributions.
With the current job outlook being referred to as a "buyer's market," job seekers have a lot of positions to choose from. Employers, on the other hand, know there are more jobs than candidates so they have to boost the morale of their employees to retain staff or there might be even more slots to fill.
Bryant Garcia, a corporate recruiter based in Fiducial's Technical and Administrative Support Center (TASC) in Columbia, MD, noted that if you have a motivated employee you'll have a productive employee.
"In order to motivate people you have to acknowledge their efforts," he said. "It's important for employees to have that sense of accomplishment and their employer or their boss feels that they are doing a good job and contributing to the overall success of the business."
While HR studies reveal that employees want to feel valued and know that their contributions are being recognized, some small companies feel that they can't do much in the way of showing their appreciation. But Garcia says that's just not true.
Energizing your employees
"There are a lot of things they can do and most of them are free," he said. "A word or two at the end of a tough week from the office manager or boss who can go around and congratulate everyone on a job well done can go a long way. On Friday, you can let employees leave a little earlier and tell them they've done a great job that week. That has such a resounding effect on their morale that it just energizes people. That's really what you want to do-get to a point where they are energized."
Other suggestions include having an employee of the month club with a small plaque or something that would be displayed in the place of business for everyone to see. Another option would be to energize the entire staff by providing a monthly pizza lunch or something that everyone shares together. Depending on the type of business, awards can be given for the numbers of calls received or the number of clients helped. Milestones can be set for each job and when these are met, make sure that employees are recognized.
"That boosts productivity more than anything," Garcia said. "It makes employees feel happy and productive and they're going to be loyal and want to do well because their job is important to the overall business."
At a time when many companies seem to take their employees for granted, Garcia says that with the abundance of available jobs right now, employers don't have to break the bank to get a lot of return on their goodwill efforts.
"There are simple programs that cost little or no money that can go a long way in keeping people happy," he said.
The most valuable asset
David Moore, a Fiducial franchisee in Fort Lauderdale, FL, doesn't have an awards program for his employees but he makes it a point to celebrate birthdays and special occasions such as anniversaries.
"We have a little luncheon with cake and ice cream," he said. "On Fridays I'll bring in a dozen bagels and we'll all sit down and talk and work together. It gets to be real important. They don't want to miss a birthday. If we were to miss it they would be upset."
Each year, Moore hosts an after tax season party at his home where he invites all his clients, employees and their spouses. "We had about 140 to 150 people attend this year," he said.
Moore says that maintaining morale is very important for him. "Let's face it: our employees are the most valuable asset we have," he said.
In Flagstaff, AZ, Sean Duffy also takes time to recognize birthdays and anniversaries. The Fiducial franchisee also takes his staff out for Christmas dinner.
Like Moore, Duffy considers morale very crucial to the survival of his business so he holds periodic meetings, usually every two weeks where any issues or concerns are addressed.
"It could last anywhere from two to three minutes in length to 45 minutes to an hour," he said. "The topics could be anything from bookkeeping issues with particular clients, clients who keep making the same mistakes or clients that are falling behind and how to resolve that. We always have closure with the ideas as well such as who's going to call which client and when."
Since he's investment licensed, Duffy wants to set up a retirement plan in the near future for his staff.
"It's a major issue with a lot of people," he said. "It's not an incentive plan as such but it really is. People of all ages even those in their 20s should be concerned about retirement."
With pride comes good morale
On Florida's East Coast, Jim Rizzolo tries to create an environment where his employees feel that they are doing something worthwhile in the Fiducial franchisee's Port St. Lucie office.
"I believe that and instill that in my staff," he said. "And I try to have them do work that they can be proud of and to motivate them to be proud of the work they do as it stands up in the community against others."
Rizzolo says that with pride comes good morale and one thing he always does is keep his word when he says he's going to do something.
"If I say you're going to get a raise on a certain date you will get it on that date," he said. "That helps my staff's confidence. They know what to expect from me. I'm pretty much of a straight shooter."
Rocky St. John likes to surprise his employees in his Fiducial office in Colorado Springs, CO. Recently, he gave away two tickets for dinner at a local restaurant to an unsuspecting staffer.
"I appreciate what they're doing," he said. "That's something that will put something behind my words."
St. John says he's pretty liberal about giving employees time off. His payroll person has a husband who's in the U.S. military in Afghanistan. "Whenever he calls nobody bothers her," he said. "We want to support her."
He tries to say "thank you" to his staff when they've gone above and beyond the call of duty by putting a little extra money in their paycheck.
"We just wanted to say thank you with a purpose," he said.
They normally have a gathering for birthdays complete with cake and ice cream along with a $25 check and a birthday card. It's a kind of tradition for St. John who admits he's been doing this in his business "as far back as I can remember."
Having created an environment that's conducive to getting things done, it's also a setting where employees know their work is appreciated.
"I'm slow to attack people and hold them accountable," he said. "I want my door open. I'm much more forgiving and focused on fixing the problem than tearing them down. I'd rather lift them up."
St. John also tries to teach his employees that their absence puts a burden on someone else so they need to be considerate of their fellow staff members. He applauds initiative and will praise his employees during weekly staff meetings.
"I'd rather have people work out their own solutions because they take ownership of it," he said.
Stephen Parezo has 28 years of experience writing for a variety of media and a knack for taking complicated subjects and making them easier to understand. He received his BS in Journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park and has covered industries ranging from air cargo to natural gas. Currently, Stephen is the media manager for Fiducial and writes incisive stories on news and topics affecting America's small business owners. His articles appear regularly on http://www.Fiducial.com as the Feature Story of the Week and on http://www.smartpros.com.
Local Government Relations for Small Business
Most small businesses simply go about their daily business and serving customers without ever worrying about local government relations. For some it turns out okay but for others it can become a disaster. You never know when a new project down the street may call for new plans to adjust the roads or put in center medians. If you are on a busy road you rely on traffic from both directions. A five-month road project can kill a business and what if it is in your busy season. If you are in retail that could be Christmas Time; imagine half you customers not being able to turn into your driveway? Then imagine after the holidays are over you have to deal with a center median which does not allow cross-over traffic. Or a do not cross over the line sign with a police car enforcing the new laws from your drive way leading into your business?
Business Checks are an Added Cost to Your Small Business - Try Making Them Yourself!
Starting and managing a small business is no fun chore, especially when it comes to the accounting. There are a few common sense ways that you can help that bottom line.
You Dont Yet Know What You Dont Know
Someone new to business ownership recently told me, "Before I opened my business, I thought I was pretty well prepared. I knew how to produce and deliver our product. I worked through the numbers with my accountant and banker. I talked to many others in the same business. I was optimistic that my first year would go well."
Three Small Business Secrets to Getting More Billable Time
As small business owners we're in business to make money doing what we love. And that means we need enough billable hours to cover our expenses, our payroll, upgrades in skills and technology, and profit. But if stay in business for any length of time, you eventually reach the point where you just don't have more hours in the day to give to your business. After all, you have a personal life too. (If you don't have a personal life, you really need to work on that.) So, if you've maxed out on the hours you have available to build your business, how can you get more billable hours?
There Is Security in Change... But Use Caution
It has been said that the only constant is change. That statement, while true for everyone, it is especially true for those engaged in business activities.
Collection Agency Selection
Frankly, given the legal and regulatory requirements involved in attempting to collect a debt, it makes as much sense to do it yourself as it does to try to remove your own appendix. A collection agency is, on the whole, much cheaper than a doctors - and lawyers. Do yourself a favor and let a professional collection agency handle this complex matter for you.
Reaping the Rewards of Cost Cutting
In these days of insecurity and uncertain futures, the tendency is to manage for survival but the smart business leaders are actively hunting for profits.
Advertising - For Small Businesses (Part 2)
How to do it
Boy oh Boy, The Obstructions and Obstacles
The bad things starts with the letter 'O'?.like Obstacles, Obstruction, Obscene?.overly-poor? There's bound to obstructions and obstacles in everything that we do in life. Like riding a bicycle. We get a few scrapes and bruises and think that we're never going to ride a bike ever again. We try to blow bubblegum and we blow it up in our own face and have our laughing friends jeering at us. We try to dress up only to find out that we look dowdy. Everything in life, there's an obstacle.
Chamber Membership will BOOST your Business
When is the Chamber ideal for your business?
Covenants Not To Compete: Another Franchise Quandary
Imagine that you have operated a successful franchise business for the past several years. Your franchise agreement's term expires in the near future and you are contemplating whether renewing the agreement would be a wise business decision. In the past couple of years it has become all too apparent that you are receiving little, if any, benefit or assistance from your franchisor. Yet, you continue to pay the franchisor thousands of dollars each year in royalties and other fees. You therefore decide that it would make better "business sense" to operate independently after expiration of your franchise term. After all, you are very familiar with the business and have worked extremely hard in developing and establishing a solid client base to enable you to continue running a profitable and prosperous operation.
Using Technology to Manage Customer Loyalty
Don't let your customer satisfaction research initiative collect dust on a shelf. Integrate technology with research to optimize the use of customer information.
Going Public by Way of Regulation D (504) Offering
Under the Securities Act of 1933, any offer to sell securities must either be registered with the SEC or meet an exemption. Regulation D (or Reg D) provides three exemptions from the registration requirements, allowing some smaller companies to offer and sell their securities without having to register the securities with the SEC.
Finance Your Small Business: So Much Money, So Little Time
$37.4 million funded from venture capital today. $86.4 million funded yesterday. $51.4 million funded the day before.
The Wrap on Ag Plastic
While driving through Pennsylvania farmland, you have probably noticed an increased amount of white plastic bundles stacked in lines or piles along farm buildings or edges of farm fields. Sometimes referred to as "marshmallows" or "long white tubes", etc. these objects are increasing in farmer popularity and represent a changing trend in harvesting of farm livestock feeds.
Mobile Truck Washing, Case Study
Most folks in the pressure washing business are happier to do business cleaning concrete or flat work, because it appears to be easy. Some do both fleet truck washing and concrete, which makes sense. But what some do not understand is once you are totally efficient at truck washing you can surpass the dollars per hour that those in concrete cleaning generally charge. I have been washing fleets of trucks for over 12 years. What I have found is that our car wash guys www.carwashguys.com which is a mobile car wash business ended up being a fleet washing business and not only for car washing. This is because customers needed services and kept calling and we were able to do the work as good as any company could.
Reverse Merger: Have They Taken the Reverse out of Reverse Merger?
Are the promoters and consultants destroying the market for Reverse Merger? First lets take a look at reverse merger. In a Reverse Merger, an operating private company merges with a public company that has little or no assets, nor know liabilities (the "shell").
Small Business Spoiler - Procrastination
One of the most common issues that comes up for business owners is procrastination -wasting time, putting obstacles in the way of taking action towards goals, making excuses for delays, creating confusion/busyness etc. Procrastination is a self-defeating behavior.
How Most Business Owners Sabotage Their Success
Owning a business is a challenging endeavor. If you're like many novice small business owners, you've taken numerous risks with your time and your money, only to see all of your efforts producing little or no result. This can leave you frustrated and ready to give up. That's no surprise. The more we focus on the negative parts of owning a small business the more negative results we will attract. Learning how to deal with obstacles is the key to avoiding failure. Those small business owners who never learn to deal with obstacles will often become overwhelmed and end their business. Negative thinking is the center of the small business failure scenario.
Small Business Grants - Tips from the Pros
Every business starts with an idea or a dream. To implement this idea or to turn your dream in to reality you require finance. A grant supports the business ideas and turns the dreams of an entrepreneur in to reality.
|home | site map|