Archive for the ‘Franchisee Resources’ Category

5 Ways to Make Your Employees Happier in 2019

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

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It’s no secret that a happy workforce is a loyal, motivated one. If you have reason to believe that your employees aren’t all that satisfied with their work experiences, it’s critical that you focus on addressing the issue immediately.

With the current strong job market, there’s a world of opportunity for your most valued players to take their talents elsewhere if they’re not content where they are. Here are a few things that you, as a business owner or manager, can do in the new year to raise your employees’ satisfaction quotient and entice them to stay on board.

1. Give them a voice

We all have opinions, ideas, and concerns — in life and at work. And it’s important to make your employees feel like the things they say are taken seriously, whether you’re talking about a senior manager or an entry-level administrative assistant. If you send the message that everyone is welcome to share thoughts freely, your workers will feel more valued and respected.

2. Be generous with time off

U.S. companies are notoriously stingy when it comes to paid time off — so much so that 73% of workers would welcome more time off over a holiday bonus, according to LinkedIn. By giving employees ample opportunity to recharge, pursue hobbies, and take care of life’s many obligations, you’ll make their jobs less stressful in the process.

3. Offer some scheduling leeway

An estimated 70% of U.S. employees are dissatisfied with their work-life balance, according to FlexJobs. If you want your workers’ outlooks to improve, think about the different ways you can offer them more flexibility on an ongoing basis.

This could involve letting them set their own working hours (within reason) or allowing those whose jobs can be done remotely to work from home. Extending that courtesy shows that you respect and acknowledge the fact that your employees have lives outside the office, and if you give them enough leeway, they’ll not only grow more content, but most likely return the favor by being flexible when you need it.

4. Be more available

If you own or manage a business, your days are probably jampacked with more tasks and meetings than you can count. And while you can’t necessarily take the time to sit down with each of your employees on a daily basis, you should make a point of being available when workers are struggling or encounter pressing issues that warrant your attention. To that end, encourage employees to reach out and ask for guidance, as needed, so they don’t feel like they have to handle their challenges alone.

5. Foster career development

Nobody wants to feel stuck in a dead-end job. If you want your employees to feel better about coming to work, give them something to look forward to. Allow lower-level employees to shadow higher-ups to learn the ropes and dabble in new things. When possible, give your workers time off for professional development, whether in the form of taking classes or attending industry conferences. If you show your workers that you’re looking to help them grow, they might get more excited about the potential your company has to offer.

Happy employees tend to be loyal employees. If you want to retain your staff in the coming year, focus on making their work experiences more satisfying. It’s certainly a worthwhile investment.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

 

This article was written by Maurie Backman from The Motley Fool and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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To be a leader is to be a creator. Whether you’re a builder of timelines, a maker of company of culture or a designer of operations, leadership requires vision. You have to inspire others to do the work.

This year, I had the pleasure of interviewing so many incredible creative women from all over the globe, from actress and creative entrepreneur Karyn Parsons to music video director Hannah Lux Davis. And with every interview, I heard stories of resilience—lessons in brave creative leadership, resourceful decision-making and bold ambition.

So, as we head into 2019, I’d like to share the five key lessons I gleaned from the 51 pieces I wrote on creative entrepreneurship in 2018. I hope you learn just as much from these five entrepreneurs as I did.

1.) Show up and set the tone.

When you’re leading a team or self-employed, it’s on you to show up for your staff and for yourself. You have to push through moments of disappointment and doubt. You must show up and do the work. “On a daily basis, as an artist—or generally people who are creative-inclined—we’re just self-critical. There are times when everyday feels like a failure. There are times when I go to the studio and I am just sitting there and everything feels wrong. Or I feel like my career is falling apart and I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. At some level, there’s a part of you that has to treat it like a job. You have to go in and you have to sit there and you’re going to stare at your work even if you don’t make it. You have to work through it. You can’t stop. You can’t give up. My grand theory is that if you don’t give up, you can’t fail,” artist and painter Hiba Schahbaz said.

2.) Invest in your operations. Invest in your team.

In order to establish a solid company culture, you must understand your business’ values and you must have the capacity to articulate these values to others. So, don’t skimp on the foundation of your business. Take time on your mission, your goals and your team. “My personal leadership style is to invest in really great, well-matched team members, give them the tools to do their job and then the freedom to be creative with their own approach while offering support when needed,” Meg Erskine, CEO and co-founder of Open Arms Studio said.

3.) Stay focused and lean.

When you’re running your own business, it can be easy to compare your entrepreneurial journey to others. And when we compare, we oftentimes go after milestones or symbols that have nothing to do with our company’s actual success. So, stay focused. “Keep your overhead low and diversify your income streams. There may be pressures to live beyond your means–wait on all that. Until you are making passive income, have steady funds for three years or more, or you win the lottery, keep that overhead low. Any extra income should be saved or invested,” DJ and creative entrepreneur Jasmine Solano said.

4.) Create the business you’d like to see in the world.

When you feel like giving up, remember why you started. As an entrepreneur, you have the ability to create something new for yourself and your team everyday. Take advantage of that privilege. “Our gut feelings are actually a really big part of how we operate. We’re discerning in the kinds of projects we take on board and which collaborators we decide to work with, but we tend to know when a thing feels right and when it works for us and we try not to overthink it. We move forward and we take action. In terms of starting this company, as well, we all had a desire to rethink the corporate structure we operate within in the film industry. Sure, you can sit in an office from nine to five or nine to ten, but you can also work from home one day. There are many different ways to work, and for us it is really about that, the work. It’s about getting the job done, and making sure that everyone who works with us and everyone who works at the company is happy and has a healthy work-life balance,” film producer and co-founder of Nowhere Studio, Maria Kongsved, said.

5.) Remember—your future, or your company’s future, is not limited by the scope of others’ opinions.

You will face rejection. You may not get the client you want, you might fail at a big project, or you may realize you need to change course. That’s part of the process. “I’m a badass woman and I am a good artist. I’m not going to let someone who doesn’t make art define my art. What artists share with the public is a reflection of our true selves. And everybody doesn’t like everybody in real life, and it needs to be looked at that way. Just because you don’t get the gig you want, it just might mean that gig is not for you. And every time I forget that, the universe just hits me with someone better than the thing I wanted so badly,” singer-songwriter and lead singer of The Suffers said.

 

This article was written by Jane Claire Hervey from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Management Tip: Calmness Counts

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

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Over the years I’ve spoken with a small army of people who’ve told me essentially the same thing: They had a good job but they just couldn’t take the agitated, excitable, too-high-octane temperament of their boss.

Or to put it another, simpler way, as the old management saying goes, “People leave managers, not companies.”

It was a phenomenon I came upon repeatedly as I was researching my book The Type B Manager. Too much intensity can wear employees down. While calmness is something employees can rarely get too much  of. The more, the better.

This makes good sense when you realize that, at its core, management is all about accomplishing work through others. Following are three reasons why calmness is a substantive managerial asset.

It’s reassuring.  Calmness inspires confidence. It’s a leadership style people want to follow. In most jobs (less so in the remote working world of course), you spend a lot of time with your boss. It’s only natural to want to feel comfortable about that — rather than having your stomach perpetually tied in knots.

It creates a better environment to solve business problems.  It helps employees (and organizations) make good decisions. The best decisions are well-thought-out and analytical, calmly and rationally made. Impulsive decisions made in the heat of the moment (why do I keep thinking of a certain president here?) are generally not the best way for any management to operate.

It’s conducive to loyalty and productivity. Employees respond well to calmness. Over the long term it’s a pleasant, easy attribute to work with. Employees are apt to remain loyal to a calm, effective manager. And long-term loyalty breeds productivity.

Calmness isn’t one of those big marquee qualities we tend to hear a lot about when celebrating rock star executives. But it probably should be.

 

This article was written by Victor Lipman from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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Last week, I hopped on a video conference with a client, and the first thing he said to me was that I looked tired. As a career consultant, that’s never the first thing you want to hear from a client you’re supposed to be motivating and energizing. I actually was exhausted after a couple long nights with our 11-month old struggling to sleep with her cold.

However, it reminded me that when you’re the face of your business, there often isn’t room for you to look tired, even when you are. Your business’s survival and growth depends on your ability to show up at every single client engagement full of energy and enthusiasm so you can not only get the job done but also give your clients the confidence to know you can get the job done.

Being self-employed involves more than just building a business from scratch, bringing in clients, and delivering a useful service or product. It involves maintaining a positive mindset and firm belief that you absolutely will succeed so you can always bring your A-game to everything you do.

While running my own business has been incredibly rewarding, and I wouldn’t trade it for a stable full-time corporate job like the one I used to have, self-employment has also been the most challenging professional endeavor of my life. Building my own personal brand, managing all aspects of my business, and figuring so many things out on my own without any sort of roadmap to guide me can be exhausting, both physically and emotionally.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of small businesses don’t survive beyond the first few years, a statistic that always looms in the back of my mind. So here are two principles I’ve kept in mind that have helped me stay productive during the more challenging parts of my own journey when I felt like stepping off the gas.

Don’t Celebrate Too Soon

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Last year, I was invited to be a presentation skills trainer at the European headquarters of a large corporation. After a few discussions over the phone, I eventually traveled to meet the team in person, and after my initial pitch presentation, they seemed impressed. They even went on to ask me whether I could share a proposal to roll out my public speaking workshops to several more of their offices in Europe. They agreed to my fees, and we even booked tentative dates. Everything looked promising.

When I was confirming final details, I literally never heard from them again.

The workshops never happened. The opportunity fizzled out. Just like that. To this day, I still have no idea why. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a big opportunity come up, just to have it fall through later. Or to get excited about a new collaboration, only to later find out about some catch. Or to feel like I’ve finally found the perfect person or team to hire, only to later realize it wasn’t meant to be. 

These days, I make a point not to celebrate too soon. I, of course, remain committed and engaged through to the end, but I try to detach myself from an assumed outcome to avoid a bigger let down in case things don’t work out. This mentality also forces me to ensure I’m still working hard to earn business, create other content, or nurture other client relationships so I’m not dependent on any single engagement necessarily proceeding.

Remember That Seeds Can Sprout At Any Time

 

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When I look out into the sea of independent business owners and solopreneurs, it’s hard not to notice those who have built a huge following or achieved enormous growth, especially because these exact people tend to be the ones featured in the popular press.

On the other hand, having run my own business now for five years, although it’s grown steadily, I’ve never felt like I’ve achieved a similar level of explosive growth. When I put out my first podcast episodes, I had hundreds of listeners, not thousands. When I posted my first career change videos and blog posts online, I got a handful of views, not millions. 

I sometimes wonder if my efforts will eventually bear some real fruit.

Sometimes they do, but sometimes, they don’t. So I just try to remind myself that you just never know when the seeds you plant will finally sprout.

I’ve had former colleagues whom I worked with over a decade ago become clients. I’ve had videos I posted online years ago lead to a big keynote speaking opportunity. I’ve had article pitches initially fall on deaf ears, but eventually get published months, even years later.

You just really never know when you will turn a corner. Keeping this in mind can help you keep going when you feel like throwing in the towel.

Maintaining A Positive Mindset Is Critical To Growth

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I’ve had plenty of times when I didn’t gain the traction I wanted to after a ton of work. Remembering that business ownership is indeed challenging and doing my best to be persistent during these inevitable moments of frustration has helped me stay on track and remain in the game through the tough times.

I certainly don’t have it all figured out, but five years in, my business continues to expand, my work remains incredibly fulfilling, and I can’t imagine walking away from this dynamic, rewarding ride as a self-employed business owner anytime soon.

 

This article was written by Joseph Liu from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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When you become an entrepreneur, TGIF may not hold the same meaning it once had when you had a 9-5. Many business owners find themselves working weekends in order to keep up or get ahead.

Running a business can be rewarding but also stressful and time-consuming especially if you have a lot of responsibilities on your plate. I’ll admit, I used to use weekends to keep my business afloat by catching up on assignments and working on side projects that were on my long to-do list.

Working every day can lead to serious burnout after a while. Plus, if you are your own boss you should be able to enjoy the freedom or setting your own scheduling and taking time off to relax and refuel.

Here are a few things you can do to manage your time better manage your time and workload so you can add more freedom and flexibility to your weekends.

Wake Up 1 Hour Earlier During the Week

It’s no secret that waking up earlier can do wonders for your productivity. Simply said, it’s a sure way to have more time in the day to get stuff done.

You can kick off your morning routine earlier and be ready to crank out work by the time you would normally just be waking up. If you want to work fewer hours over the weekend, this is one of the best solutions to try although it may not be easiest at first.

If you get up one hour early Monday – Friday, you’ll be adding 5 hours back into your work week. This will likely make you less stressed and overwhelmed by the time Friday afternoon rolls around.

Adjust Your Daily Schedule

Your to-do list isn’t a schedule. It’s simply a list of stuff you have to get done. You create a schedule when you organize those tasks effectively. Smart business owners create clear and realistic schedules to follow each day. If you’re looking to add more freedom and flexibility to your weekends, you’ll likely need to adjust your schedule to accommodate that. This often means becoming more efficient so more gets accomplished during the week.

Determine how much time you have to work on your business during the week and what amount of limited hours you’d like to put in on weekends if any. Then, consider block scheduling tasks or knocking out the most mentally challenging tasks on your list during the work week.

If you only have to do something small like social media posts or sending follow-ups for an hour on Saturday morning, it probably won’t really ruin your entire weekend and you’ll still have the freedom to take a step back from your business.

Start Being Unavailable For Business Tasks During the Weekend

Have better control over your calendar and set expectations with customers and clients that your availability will be limited during weekends. This way, no one is expecting you to respond to their email they sent on Friday or Sunday afternoon.

I always set my calendar as unavailable during weekends and specific days. You would think most people wouldn’t be doing business on those weekends anyway but you’d be surprised. I try not to agree to specific deadlines for tasks that fall on weekend days either because it’s better that I don’t have anything business-related scheduled and can just work if and when I please.

One of the most common reasons why business owners end up working and adhering to strict schedules on weekends is because they fail to determine a stop time for their work. It’s great to love what you do but working and sticking to a schedule 24/7 won’t help you out as much as you think in the long run.

It’s important to dedicate time to unplug and scale back especially if you have an online business as it’s often so easy to just log on and start working anywhere and at any time.

Theme Your Weekends

You’re likely reading this because you want to have more freedom and flexibility to do what you want to do on weekends instead of just tending to your business. Creating a loose theme around what you truly want to do during weekends can help seal the deal.

Just like you set goals for your business and create themes, theme your weekend based on what you truly want to spend your time doing whether that’s spending time with family, catching up with friends, taking day trips etc. It’s simple to do but it really works.

Sometimes, any free time we have can get spent doing unproductive work that doesn’t add any value to our lives. Just like you want to schedule important meetings and deadlines, schedule family days or time to read or plan. Establishing a loose theme will provide direction but also leave you with the freedom and flexibility to divvy up your time.

Weekends can fly by quickly and if you don’t manage your time and priorities well during the week, you’ll pay for it during the time when you truly want to relax and unplug.

The best thing an entrepreneur can do is put themselves on a schedule and set boundaries. Having a schedule doesn’t mean being glued to work 24/7. You should be sure to schedule in downtime and theme your weekends so you don’t let the opportunity to create memorable moments outside of work pass you by.

How do you create more freedom and flexibility during weekends?

This article originally appeared in Calendar.

 

This article was written by Choncé Maddox from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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Entrepreneurs bring all sorts of skill-sets to their venture, such as the ability to sell, or to organize activity, or to raise funding. Some might have a business background, but others might need to learn the ways of business while on the job. Here are 14 terms you and every entrepreneur should know, because they involve central concepts that affect your business.

Accounts receivable:

Money owed to your business by clients. Typically, you invoice a client and receive payment some time later. An account is receivable until it is paid.

Assets:

Economic resources your business owns. Current assets are items like cash, receivables and inventory. Long-term assets include equipment, buildings, vehicles, furniture and patents. You utilize assets to generate income.

Capital:

These are the total resources available to your business, and is equal to your equity and debt. Working capital is equal to current assets minus current liabilities, and represents the resources available to run day-to-day operations.

Cash flow:

The movement of money into, through and out of your business. Inflows bring in money and include collections of sales revenues, tax refunds, and interest earned. Outflows are expenditures of cash and include payment of expenses and acquisition of assets.

Depreciation:

The decrease in the value of long-term assets due to the passage of time. Depreciation is a tax-deductible expense that spans a set number of years.

Equity:

Your ownership interest in your company. It is equal to your assets minus your liabilities. Equity is evidences by stock shares distributed to owners based on their percentage of ownership.

Expenses:

The costs of running your business, including rent, salaries, legal costs, advertising, taxes paid, and utilities. A good business tries to minimize expenses while not skimping on essentials.

Financial statements:

Highly structured reports that indicate your business’ financial condition. They include the balance sheet (a snapshot of assets, liabilities and equity), income statement (revenues and expenses for a given period), and cash flow statement (inflows and outflows for a given period).

Liabilities:

Debt owed by your business. Current liabilities are due within one year and include obligations to pay credit-card balances, invoices from suppliers, taxes due, and wages earned but not yet paid. Long-term liabilities include mortgages and loans that mature in more than one year.

Losses:

Negative net income, created when your costs exceed your revenues. If you have too many losses, the chances are that your business will fail unless you have other sources of funds.

Profits:

Also called net income or the bottom line, these are revenues minus costs for a given period. Profits can be drawn off by owners or accumulated in an account called retained earnings. You can use profits to expand your company.

Revenues:

Also called gross income and sales, this is the money you earn from operations. You direct your marketing and sales activities to generate revenues.

Valuation:

A number representing how much your business is worth. Valuation is important when you are seeking funding from investors.

You don’t need to be a financial expert to have a successful business, but knowing basic financial terms will help you communicate with other stakeholders. For those wanting to broaden their knowledge, the Internet is loaded with learning resources, and many colleges offer continuing education courses that might be useful.

This article originally appeared in IOU Financial.

 

This article was written by Robert Gloer from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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Chances are your inbox is a lot like that abandoned basket of stuff sitting in the back of your closet. You know it’s dying to be cleaned out (and is housing many hidden surprises), but the thought of tackling such a task is overwhelming. And who has six hours of free time to spare for something like that?

But organizing your emails doesn’t have to take all day—in fact, you can do it in just one hour if you set aside the time for it.

 

Minutes 1 to 10: Clear Out the Junk

Set a time for 10 minutes and just start mass deleting (or archiving) any messages you know you don’t need, like notifications from social media accounts, reminders for past events, confirmations for deliveries you’ve already received, newsletters you already read (or will never read), and emails that are no longer relevant.

You can make this easy by searching your inbox for common senders or subject lines (for example: LinkedIn notifications) and deleting a bunch of stuff at once.

 

Minutes 10 to 30: Create Folders and Labels

Now it’s time to organize the messages left that don’t need any action but that you need or want to keep.

There are as many folder systems as there are email users, but an easy one to try is making a folder for any topic or type of email that have several messages that relate to it. So, that could mean folders like: Receipts, Projects, Trips, and so on. You can always add and adapt folders as you learn what works best for you.

To speed this process along, you can even create a “To File Later” folder for anything that you’re at all unsure about and an “Unsubscribe” folder for anything you don’t want anymore. Tip: Those are great folders to sort through when you have five minutes between meetings.

Oh! And if you want to get even more organized, try some labels (called “categories” by Outlook) to add more info to your messages. You can have multiple labels on one email or even multiple layers of labels. So, that email in your “Trip” folder can have a main label of “New York 2018” and sub-labels of “Flights” and “Monday.”

 

Minutes 30 to 50: Use the Two-Minute Rule or Make a To-Do List for Emails That Need Action

The emails you’re left with now should only be ones that need action. If the action can be completed in less than two minutes, do it now. If you need more time to take care of the message, add it to your to-do list with a notification to remind you to actually do it. Then, archive the email to keep your inbox clear (you’ll still be able to search for it later)

If you’re just not a list maker, you can instead use Gmail’s new snooze feature to have the email show up in your inbox when you’re ready to handle it. Or, if you’re an Outlook user, the follow-up feature lets you do the same.

 

Minutes 50 to 60: Update Your Settings for Easy Maintenance

Congratulations on the world’s most organized inbox! OK, not the world’s most organized inbox—but your best inbox yet.

But don’t let the party go on for too long or you’ll find it filling up again. You can avoid this by setting up filters that’ll automatically sort your incoming messages so you don’t have to.

My favorite filter is for newsletters and offer emails I actually want to read but don’t always have time for right when they come in. Instead, I set up a filter in Gmail which sends them all to a “Read Later” folder. (Outlook has its own version of filters called “rules” that can do some heavy lifting for you.)

You might also consider setting up an auto-reply for your Gmail or Outlook when you won’t be able to reply to emails as quick as you usually would (like if you’re at a conference, working unusual hours, or on vacation)

And, to really fly through your messages, you can enable and learn some keyboard shortcuts for Gmail or Outlook.

After this clean up, you’ll be rid of that nagging feeling that you missed a message or that sinking feeling that you have to face a full inbox every morning. In fact, you might even be ready to move onto more advancing email organization such at taking advantage of the new Gmail, using Chrome extensions, or trying out this Inbox AI tool.

Or, on the flipside, if you find that you still have a lot of work to do—start setting aside 20 minutes every week to tackle these steps one at a time. Do that for a few weeks and you’ll find yourself with an inbox that actually makes your life easier.

 

This article was written by Kelli Smith from The Daily Muse and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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Standards set the bar for achievement, and in business, that bar raises and shifts position. No wonder professionals often burnout — they’re competing in a rat race, never making it out of the maze. Work culture must move from a focus on performance to a focus on learning.

The prioritization of performance over learning persists in education, where the root of the issue lies. Many studies have shown test results are not accurate indicators of student potential, talent and knowledge. Still, the goal remains to get the A and move on to the next score goal, rather than truly learning the material — as if they’re given the time to do so in the first place. When students graduate, this damaging mindset often persists in work culture.

There’s nothing wrong with challenging yourself, but without learning, you continue to fight the same fight. You lose in the end when you burn out and limit your potential as a professional. Prioritize education to achieve improved, sustainable performance over the long-term with these four tips.

  1. Ask for Feedback

Like tests, annual performance reviews rarely get into the nitty-gritty of generating improvement. This once-a-year picture usually fails the employer and employee. Feedback notes feel like a chore for both parties and don’t encourage growth or nurture development of talents.

Feedback must function collaboratively — employees want and deserve better feedback. Of all generations, millennial workers most desire regular feedback, but every worker should frequently seek it out.

CEOs should also seek feedback from their employees. More constructive, transparent and positive feedback opens the door to improved trust, communication and performance. View feedback as a learning opportunity on the road to improved performance.

  1. Focus on Learning Outcomes

Reviews measure how someone performs at a specific time, offering only a snapshot of an employee’s work while a focus on learning stretches the view longitudinally. Regular reviews help track the results of knowledge and provide a more holistic vantage point of learning through time. The focus on both performance and learning outcomes adds value to employee contribution and growth, but a broader lens is needed to nurture success and growth.

Develop a customized feedback process with your supervisor and plan timeframes during which you’ll regularly ask for feedback. Communicate your learning objectives to measure your performance more holistically and get a better view of how on-track you are to achieving your learning outcomes. You’ll feel less stressed and more focused on your professional development.

  1. Participate in Mentoring

Open up mentoring opportunities for yourself to gain knowledge and give back to those rising in the ranks. Do you admire a specific professional or entrepreneur? Arrange a time for a coffee meetup — your treat — to discuss the possibility of a mentorship.

Come to the table with your learning objectives and possible outcomes in mind. Don’t worry if what you have outlined feels abstract — this is part of the learning process. You’re gathering information and developing a pathway to learn and grow professionally.

Senior-level employees who give back usually feel good about passing on their knowledge but could stand to learn more about how they work through the process of exchange. Of Fortune 500 companies, 71 percent offer mentoring programs for employees because they realize the proven link between learning and performance.

Does the company offer mentoring programs? Why not be the first to pitch this as an idea and help set it up? Cultivate something bigger than one employee — an opportunity that benefits you in the long run, too.

  1. Pursue Enrichment Opportunities

Achieving the work-life balance feels like trying to clone a dinosaur — nearly impossible. You must make the time. Build a full life in your personal and professional worlds by pursuing enrichment opportunities.

Enrichment opportunities is a broad term, but one that encompasses endless potential. What opportunities for learning exist on the job and in your personal life? Take advantage of exercise programs, employer tuition reimbursement and stipends for night or online classes. Attend that life drawing or marketing class you always wanted to schedule.

What opportunities might you cultivate by talking to the right people and pitching the right ideas? Speak up.

Research reveals that satisfaction among employees relies on having a fulfilling experience on the job. One study found employers who deepened worker knowledge through enrichment opportunities possessed higher motivated teams and company loyalty. The workers were also more productive and happier due to benefits and programs that promoted recognition, achievement, advancement and responsibility.

It’s possible to achieve the right balance of completing duties and pursuing growth through learning. Open up the lines of communication toward a culture of knowledge and enrichment, and productivity and performance will follow. Honor quality over quantity.

Don’t let your focus on performance hold you back from the wealth of the learning experience. By redirecting your attention to creating learning objectives and outcomes, you can broaden your horizons and improve your performance over time.

This article originally appeared in Personal Branding Blog.

 

This article was written by Personal Branding Blog from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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Nothing kills a vacation faster than obsessing about the work you left behind. Next time you’re OOO, try these real-world hacks for leaving the office at the office.

I used to be distracted with work for the first few days of every vacation because I don’t turn it off and on easily. Now I know that I have to have a system in place to release work thoughts. When I’m with my family, we bookend the trip with some kind of relaxing activity. We might sleep in on the first and last days, at a minimum. We don’t schedule anything. That helps me put away the work thoughts and transition into relaxing. Being intentional about the transition is so important to me. — Jennifer Kem, 44, CEO of Branding Agency Kemcomm in Honolulu

One goal I have when I vacation is to stop multitasking and just focus on a single thing at a time. I use the vacation to experiment with letting go of the world I’ve created for myself and escaping my routine. I also like to think about what I want to get out of the time. Ask yourself, “What kind of vacation is this? Is this one for the kids? Is it a retreat for me? Is it for R & R, to get away?” Knowing the answer creates a purpose for my vacation. — Marsha Nunley, 68, Physician Specializing in Bioidentical Hormones and Healthy Aging in San Francisco and Austin, Texas

Before I go on vacation, I write out what my intentions are for the trip. I might write down, “I desire this to be a really rejuvenating time” or “I hope to have ease during my check-in and flight.” I meditate on those intentions and put them on an altar in my house, which I use as a place for all the things I want to come to fruition. I also take crystals and stones with me on vacation: rose quartz for love, citrine for happy energy, and carnelian because it’s grounding. Anytime little things happen on vacation that might agitate me, I take out my crystals and hold them to help me stay in my restful state. — Jo-ná Williams, 37, Intellectual Property and Business Attorney in New York City

Last year my wife and I went on a trip to Costa Rica. We bought plane tickets six months in advance and took Spanish classes at a local college to prepare. Since we’d been looking forward to the trip for so long, it was easier to not let myself work while we were away. I didn’t want to spoil all the anticipation we’d had by working. Planning everything so far in advance also helped us make the best use of our time and really made the trip feel special. My first day back at work, I set aside some time to catch up on everything. — Jon Busdeker, 35, Freelance Videographer and Nonprofit Group Leader in Orlando, Florida

We schedule our work and phone time so our family time doesn’t revolve around it on vacation. I make sure I schedule about an hour of phone and computer time each day and like to do it first thing so it’s out of the way. I feel better knowing the sky isn’t falling back at work. We also have a family agreement that when we sit down for a meal, there is a no-phone rule. My children fought this rule for a while, but now they put their stuff away and we just enjoy our time together. It’s such a stress reliever. — Sunny Hostin, 49, Cohost of the View and Senior Legal Correspondent for ABC News in New York City

 

This article was written by Jane Porter from Real Simple and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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Whether you’re just starting out or thinking of ways to further your ability to succeed with your business, you will certainly benefit from getting into an informed position and learning as much as you can about boosting your business. It means that, with any luck, you can increase your sales and revenue. Boosting your business performance will take time, resources and effort but it’s well worth the investment. It is far easier than you might at first expect, all you need is the know-how to do so and the desire to achieve. If your business performance often slips and slides, then you need to be focused on trying to find a strategy that reliably works for you and keep your business consistently achieving and growing towards further expansion.

  1. Review Business Processes

Business processes are structured activities that help the everyday running of your business, and they’re hugely important. These can include maintaining customer relationships, weekly emails of company updates, checking stock reserves and using a warehouse inventory system to help you know exactly what stock you have and where they’re going. If your business includes a warehouse, then it needs to run like clockwork, and you cannot afford for mismanagement where product and delivery is concerned. Business processes are subject to aging, and it’s important to remember that they will not stay new forever. They need regular review to see if, and where, they could benefit from a change.

  1. Use Best Companies

In order to earn your place among the best, you must work and interact with the best. If you want to boost your business, then you need to make sure you’re working with other companies that are reliable and have a good reputation. You should be able to benefit each other mutually by doing business together, so wherever you can, try and purchase and connect with the local businesses. When it comes to deliveries, make sure that you do business with those that can promise a high standard and that your goods can be with you in time. Do some research and find out which companies have a great reputation for service and excellence. You cannot afford to waste your time on companies that cannot promise brilliance.

  1. Have a Great Work Environment

Your environment needs to be conducive to work for both yourself and your team. A happy and contented team is a productive team, so to boost your business, you’ll need to pay attention to the conditions of where your employees work and spend their time. You need to be providing a bright, clean and clear space where they can work calmly. Surfaces need to be clear from clutter, and efficient and timesaving technology should be installed. If your business processes cannot be carried out at speed, then you’re losing time and therefore money and resources. The office space is far more important than you might have realized, so pay attention to it. If you’re unsure about how to go about brightening up the work premises, conduct some further research or (better yet) interview your staff and ask for their opinions and suggestions.

  1. Maintain Customer Relationships

Booting your business involves increasing how many clients and customers you work with, that’s clear. However what is not so clear, is that you need to maintain the customer relationships you have already been able to form. Customers like to know they’re appreciated and valued, so don’t shirk on your responsibility of letting them know how important and fundamental their custom is to the success of your business. Consider getting customers on an emailing list and updating them of company news such as new and improved products, an increase in company revenue, and other anecdotal pieces of information that let your customers know you’re thinking of them. Strike up a meaningful relationship with customers and ask for their advice on matters too. Find out exactly what the customer wants and work out how you intend on bringing it to them.

  1. Utilize the Power of Social Media

Social media can be the difference between failure and success, so make sure you are harnessing the full force of its power to boost your business. Social media is used by millions of people worldwide, so it’s important that you’re active on it. If you’re going to ramp up your business and sales prospects, then you must rival the competition. Let’s face it, there’s going to be many other companies just like yours that sell similar products and services so you must make yours stand out from the crowd, and the internet is a great place to get started. Make sure your product stands out by using marketing skills such as SEO copywriting, using attractive graphics and video, and adding share buttons to allow your content to be more widely distributed.

  1. Boost Management Skills

As the manager, you’re largely responsible for how the company performs, so working on your ability to lead a team to success is going to boost business performance. Learning how to manage a team expertly comes with time and experience, however, if you don’t have this time to spare, then you should consider attending lessons, workshop, and programs to help you go from strength to strength. Managerial skills have a significant impact on how well a business runs, and you must be up to date with technological advancements and knowledge of how to improve staff morale for example, as well as how to deal with conflict, lateness and maintaining customer relationships. Always be interacting with impartial business professionals and ask for tips and tricks and pose questions.

  1. Be on Hand to Answer Queries

Make sure you’re not a distant manager who fails to interact with staff. Your team will look to you for guidance, advice, and inspiration so make sure you’re in the best position to inspire and impact the wisdom you have down to others. Think about holding an office hour once or twice to a week to discuss matters and points of interest with colleagues and your team. Always be seen to be helpful and to genuinely care about the welfare of both the company and also your workforce.

 


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This article was written by SmallBizViewpoints from Small Biz Viewpoints and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.