5 Ways to Make Your Employees Happier in 2019

January 24th, 2019 by The Franchise Development Team

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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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A new Goddard School will be opening in Kennesaw Farms, TN.

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5 Lessons In Creative Leadership To Take Into 2019

January 17th, 2019 by The Franchise Development Team

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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.

Brothers Join Forces To Open Preschool In Avery Ranch

January 16th, 2019 by The Franchise Development Team

After spending 10 years as a member of the Round Rock community, educating young children, Ryan Rastelli, owner of The Goddard School in Round Rock, felt it was time to extend The Goddard School’s philosophy’s reach to Austin (Avery Ranch), TX.

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Exploring Your Franchise

January 16th, 2019 by The Franchise Development Team

Joe Schumacher, CEO of Goddard Systems, Inc., explains what entrepreneurs should look for when exploring franchise opportunities.

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4 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Employees

January 10th, 2019 by The Franchise Development Team

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The greatest investment companies can make is in their people. 

As the older generation departs and the new era of workers take over, companies are struggling to adapt to the reduced tenure an employee has with a company. The typical baby boomer stayed with a company for an average of 20-years while the new generation only stays for around two. 

The idea of working for one employer until retirement is non-existent in today’s workplace. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the new generation of workers holds an average of 11.7 jobs with 27% of people changing jobs every year giving them the chronic job hopper title. 

Job hopping is defined as spending two years in a position before seeking out another position, typically for a higher salary or a better cultural fit. Companies are failing to accept the new job hopper mentality preventing them from getting the most out of their current talent. Instead of focusing on keeping current talent they’re investing more in recruiting new people to keep up with turnover.

According to a report published by the Society of Human Resource Management, companies spend an average of $4,426 per candidate with more than 50% of turnover happening in the new hires first year of employment. Companies lose $11 billion every year due to turnover because they’re neglecting current talent and focusing on attracting new.

Here are four ways companies can get the most out of their current talent

Cultivating Open Communication With Clear Expectations

Setting expectations doesn’t solely revolve around the goals of the actual position but also expands to cultural expectations, understanding the hierarchy and the contribution to an overall purpose.

Flattening the layers of the hierarchy and eliminating the micromanagement associated with them increases involvement and performance. Phil Shawe, CEO of TransPerfect, has found “when employees feel connected to the company and their management, they’re naturally more loyal.” He said, ”fostering a close-knit management team tends to inspire people to always consider the big picture and the overall well-being of the company when approaching business decisions.”

Keith R. Sbiral, a certified professional coach with Apochromatik says “open communication is a key component of a driven team.” Keeping employees involved in projects and processes keeps them motivated while increasing trust. Setting clear and specific expectations is one of the most impactful things managers can do for their employees.

Promoting Entrepreneurial Mindsets

Many companies are resistant to nurturing an entrepreneurial mindset in their employees for fear they’ll lose top talent. The reality is, a true entrepreneur is going to leave a company regardless how great their position is. Companies who aren’t afraid to let their employees leave show their current team they value their growth and development.

Hult International Business School describes an entrepreneurial mindset as “people with an appetite to do things differently and a talent for coming up with fresh ideas.” Employees that are given the freedom to think outside of the box are more innovative in finding more efficient ways of doing typical tasks.

Susana Yee of Digital Everything Consulting hires people who are hungry to create, grow and learn. She coaches them to better understand their thought process to solutions. After discussing possible solutions, she gives them “as much freedom as they want to solve those problems” empowering them to achieve more than they thought possible.

Fiona Adler, Founder of Actioned, fosters an entrepreneurial mindset through ownership and accountability. She created a system using a shared spreadsheet where everyone writes out their top actions for the day. As each person completes their top actions they cross them off keeping everyone updated on their own tasks. This helps to show how each person is contributing to the project. Every team member is held accountable for their daily tasks making them more deliberate about what they’re going to do for the day.

Investing in Their Development

A business is only as strong as their weakest employee. Gallup found that 87% of the new generation values professional career growth and development opportunities, yet 74% don’t feel they’re reaching their full potential.

When employees feel valued their loyalty increases reducing the overall turnover. This doesn’t always require financial output, it can be as simple as opening lines of communication, increasing responsibility and defining their journey throughout the organization.

Matt Ross, Co-founder and COO of RIZKNOWS and The Slumber Yard believes the best investment is empowering his employees by letting them take control over a project, campaign or department. Since taking a step back from directing his employees on how to do certain aspects of their job, Ross quickly realized his employees “want to feel like they’re making an impact on the business instead of just taking and executing orders.”

Driving Growth With Gestures

Giving praise is a simple and powerful way to build a sustainable culture. A lack of recognition leads to a dying culture. Employees are no longer motivated by their paycheck alone but instead fueled by praise and incentives. Recognition comes in various forms and can be as simple as a thank you. The way a business recognizes employees is entirely dependent on the culture.

The founder of Accelerated Growth Marketing, Stacy Caprio, believes in treating her employees as “an actual person.” She does this by “asking them about their day as well as letting them know they are appreciated and thanking them when they do a good job.”

Adham Sbeih at Socotra Capital implemented a peer recognition program where employees acknowledge their peers when they do something that demonstrates the company core values. He calls it “a goodie.” It doesn’t just stop there, employees are then recognized in an email blast with a detailed explanation of what they did and how it aligns to the company core values with a $25 gift card.

Companies who invest in their employees can extend their tenure by years. Start by opening up communication and creating conversations about what they need and collaborate on creating an effective strategy.

 

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

How to build a culture of trust in your company

January 3rd, 2019 by The Franchise Development Team

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Trust is often cited by relationship experts as the key to a long-lasting and successful union. But trust is also an essential ingredient in your workplace relationships, impacting employee satisfaction, retention, and even productivity.

In a 2016 global CEO survey, 55% of CEOs said a lack of trust poses a threat to the ability of their organization to grow. And, a recent study published in Harvard Business Review shows they are right.According to the study, people working in high-trust companies reported 74% less stress than those working in low-trust companies. They also report 106% more energy at work, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives, and 40% less burnout. All of these factors fuel stronger performance. Trust, it seems, is at the core of a strong company culture.

Jeff Yurcisin, president of Zulily, agrees. He argues trust is critical to Zulily’s success. As a fast-paced company, Zulily encourages employees to feel empowered to take ownership of their work. However, Yurcisin says this empowerment doesn’t happen if trust does not exist among colleagues and between employees and their managers.

So, how can you build a culture of trust in your workplace?

Foster Open Communication

“The best thing any leader can do to earn trust is facilitate transparency,” says Yurcisin. In addition to all managers having an open-door policy to encourage communication within their teams, Zulily also hosts bi-weekly company-wide meetings, allowing for open communication among the entire staff of 3,500 people in real time.

During these meetings, Zulily shares news with all employees, addresses concerns, and ensures everyone is aligned to the company’s goals and mission. “While we also rely on emails, newsletters and a company intranet, we believe in the interpersonal communication channels,” says Yurcisin. This transparency helps to build a culture of trust among employees and the leadership team.

Show a Clear Path

According to the Harvard Business Review, only 40% of employees report being well informed about their company’s goals. Uncertainty about the direction the company is taking or inconsistency in messages leads to chronic stress among employees and erodes feelings of trust between employees and the management team.

Ensuring employees are clear about the company’s goals including where the company is going and how they will get there leads to a more engaged workforce that is unified around a shared purpose and helps to build trust within the company.

This doesn’t mean you have to have all the answers. “When it comes to instilling trust between managers and employees, what’s most important is first establishing a shared mission. A clear goal,” says Yuricisn. Leaders may not have all the answers, and that’s okay. Being honest about the things you don’t know can actually help to establish your credibility.

Recognize Your Talent

According to the Harvard Business Review, recognition has a large impact on trustworthiness.

Yurcisin says Zulily attempts to ensure that every employee in each department is celebrated, both at an individual level within their departments, and through all-company communications. This recognition helps to ensure that employees don’t just feel like another number.

“Though it’s tempting in today’s data-driven culture to reduce people to mere data, what engages people is human connection, and that’s done by sharing each other’s stories,” says Yurcisin. By telling these success stories and highlighting the work that’s being done across the company–from the accounts payable team to the logistics team–you can earn trust and align staff to the broader mission of the company by demonstrating these important contributions to the company’s shared goals.

Allow for Failure

Imagine working in an environment where you are too afraid to try something new because failing may mean you’ll be issued a pink slip.

Yurcisin says Zulily has adopted a policy of embracing failure, even adding some humor to mistakes. He speaks of the website’s tech team, who have a small pig figurine that gets passed around to engineers who crash the site. “It’s our way of celebrating failure,” says Yurcisin. “That mistake is a way for our team to learn what works and what doesn’t,” he says. Allowing your team to learn through failure instills trust that enables that creativity and ingenuity to happen.

Keep Your Word

Trust is not built overnight, or in a single meeting, but is something that is established over time through every interaction an employee has with another team member. Encourage everyone in the company to stay true to their word. If you schedule a meeting with someone, make sure you show up. If you say you’ll get something done, do it. Building a culture of trust begins with these small acts.

Get Personal

Leaders can foster a culture of trust by encouraging employees to be open and honest about their professional goals. Encouraging an open and candid conversation about employees’ career paths and opportunities, listening to each team member, and understanding them on a human level is critical to building trust.

 

This article was written by Lisa Evans from Fast Company and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

New Goddard School in Long Hill Set to Open Soon

January 2nd, 2019 by The Franchise Development Team

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Sumara and Imran Ahmad, owners of the newest Goddard School located in Long Hill, NJ, are one step closer to fulfilling their dream of opening a preschool.

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Effective Leaders Choose Humility Over Hubris

December 27th, 2018 by The Franchise Development Team

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Hubris occurs when a person exhibits extreme pride or dangerous over-confidence. It often signals a loss of contact with reality. For business leaders, hubris represents the gross overestimation of one’s own professional competence, accomplishments and capabilities. The impact on the organization is severe. Subordinates are often mistreated and company performance can suffer.

In a previous article for the Forbes leadership channel, I wrote about the research documenting the high costs of workplace incivility in terms of dragging down the organization’s performance and poisoning its culture. Leaders tainted by hubris give life to toxic environments, workplaces where incivility, and downright hostility often flourish.

However, the reverse can also true. Leaders who choose humility, and who model humbleness in their actions, create the opposite kind of environment. This environment is grounded in respect, tolerance, and outcomes that are mutually beneficial for the firm and for the individual. Leaders who are good role models tend to radiate positivity, and instead of spawning a downward spiral, they create an upward spiral that elevates pro-social employee behaviors.

Given the power of ethical leaders, why is it, then, that these leaders seem to be in short supply? Part of it is how our brains are wired. Due to evolution, humans have a negativity bias in which we tend to pay attention to and remember negative information more readily than positive information.

Positive behavior can also capture our attention, if for no other reason that it stands out from workplace norms. Actions by ethical leaders are most powerful in negative or neutral contexts, which shape what employees pay attention to and model. The actions also provide a model for how we are expected to act and interact with others. Leaders, therefore, can have a significant impact depending on whether their behaviors provide positive or negative cues on what others should value and, in turn, emulate. Thus, hubris versus humility is a critical choice for every leader in every situation.

Several research studies by Christine Porath and her colleagues show that positive behaviors by leaders are correlated with pro-social employee outcomes. Behaviors that model workplace civility have a greater impact than any of the traditional approaches associated with increased employee satisfaction. This includes providing meaningful employee feedback, effectively communicating a vision, providing developmental opportunities and even offering pay raises and bonuses for top-performing employees. Leaders who model civility have workplaces with the highest levels of employee engagement, satisfaction and retention, according to Porath’s work. Thus, it is not just a matter of stopping workplace incivility; it is equally important for leaders to actively shape positive behaviors that reinforce and normalize positive workplace civility.

Another line of research, positive organizational scholarship (POS), focuses on the ways in which leaders can enhance individual and organizational outcomes by leading with positive prosocial behaviors and interactions as opposed to negative, destructive actions. Scholars in this area focus on personal strength, resiliency, restoration and forms of inclusive leadership that help to maximize human potential.

As described by Kim Cameron, one of the originators of POS, leadership practices should create a “culture of virtuous action” within organizations. While a wide variety of leadership behaviors are involved in shaping this type of culture, there are four primary actions undertaken by leaders that emerge. I label it as the CARE Model of Effective Leadership, with the acronym standing for communication, authenticity, respect and ethics.

  • Communication styles of effective leaders may differ in some respects but all engage in positive, productive and purposeful interpersonal interactions. Poor or divisive communication styles lead to high workplace conflict and erode trust in leadership. A leader’s style of communication should also include gratitude that values people, their talents and their contributions.
  • Authenticity involves what Laura Morgan-Roberts calls “bringing your whole self to work” as a critical step in the process of becoming extraordinary. Her work suggests that authenticity has become one of the highest virtues for effective leadership. A leader’s authenticity gives permission for employees to present all aspects of their identities at work in a safe environment.
  • Respect means treating others in an ethical and responsible manner. Effective leaders set standards for behavior and serve as role models based on their actions and not their words alone. Instances of unfair treatment, unconscious bias, unwarranted favoritism, conflicts of interest and acts of injustice violate the trust necessary for high levels of employee engagement and a positive workplace culture.
  • Ethics must go beyond a written code and be modeled in the everyday behavior of the organization. This has value to the organization beyond the avoidance of costly litigation or a negative reputation. When ethical rules or the norms of justice and fairness are broken by a leader, employees often become morally disengaged. That can cause unethical behavior to spread throughout the organization. Ethical roles models, in contrast, help to shape a workplace culture where being fair and trustworthy is contagious.

Humility over hubris is a clear choice for leaders who understand that there is substantial evidence for the impact of positive role modeling for producing effective organizational outcomes. Effective leaders should consistently strive to maintain the principles of the CARE Model. This approach creates a type of affirmative bias that focuses on the abundance of people’s strengths rather than on their weaknesses, and proactively leverages opportunities rather than avoiding or assigning blame for threats or failures.

Humility over hubris also recognizes that organizational effectiveness is not solely based on the leader; it is focused, too, on the development, health and well-being of those being led. Every choice and decision by a leader should involve being a positive role model of the four key components within the CARE Model.

The choice for a leader is clear. Choose humility.

 

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

Five Tips to Be a Happier, More Balanced Business Owner

December 20th, 2018 by The Franchise Development Team

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If you run a small business, you probably have become accustomed to working hard….really hard. Seven-days-a-week hard, with nary a day off. Admirable, but also dangerous, because you risk burnout, health problems, and grumbling employees. It’s up to you to create a healthier work-life balance, so here are five tips to get you started:

Shorten your workweek:

Nowadays, many business owners feel guilty if they work less than 10 hours a day, including weekends. This is sure to exhaust your mind and hamper your creativity. If you want to increase your productivity, shorten your workweek. Put in no more than 40 per week and try to not work on weekends. Remember, sitting at your desk for long hours doesn’t equate to productivity. Work the hours you actually need to and relax the rest of the time.

Use technology:

We live in the high-tech era, so let technology do some of the heavy lifting for you. Automate your workday with a suite of apps that collect, process and distribute information. AI apps can automatically generate your Twitter tweets, schedule your appointments and alert you to important news. Update your old apps – email campaigns are much more sophisticated than they were five years ago, so use a modern app to manage your email marketing.

Enter the cloud:

Are your data and apps still residing on a hard disk on your computer? That’s a shame because migrating to the cloud opens up all sorts of possibilities that can make you more productive and save you time. Look at apps like accounting, CRM, design, and development. They need to share data to operate most efficiently. By putting your databases on the cloud, you can take advantage of scalable software that is constantly updated and doesn’t take up valuable real estate on your computer.

Take a vacation:

If you feel you are indispensable all the time, you’ll never get any time off. You deserve a vacation, and two weeks of sun and fun will do wonders for helping you get through the remaining 50. Pick your least busy time of year, and either close up shop or assign tasks to employees you can trust. Maybe two weeks is out of reach right now, but try to get at least three or four days in a block, and build from there.

Stop fretting about money:

Many small businesses have variable cash flows that sometimes leaves them cash-starved. This constant worry will drain all the joy out of being a business owner. The solution is to create a relationship with a trustworthy business lender, like IOU Financial. You can borrow and pay back quickly on convenient terms, with never a pre-payment penalty. Daily or weekly payments mean no large monthly lump-sum repayments to worry about. And with loans up to $300,000, we can give you peace of mind for just about any circumstance.

You started your own business to make money, be your own boss and do things the way you want. But wasn’t the ultimate goal to achieve a happy life? Don’t wait until it’s too late – add some joy to your life right now. Adopt our five tips, plus ones you come across in other articles. If you work with a team, what better way to demonstrate the value you place on work-life balance than to practice it yourself? Protect yourself from burnout now, and you’re more likely to happily remain in business over the long run.

This article originally appeared in IOU Financial.

 

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