Posts Tagged ‘Owning a Franchise’

In his latest contribution to Forbes, Paul examines the role public relations plays in this new era of media.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE>>>>

Exploring Your Franchise

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

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

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE>>>>

Group of co-workers around table laughing in meeting

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.

Blank Black Image

Effective Leaders Choose Humility Over Hubris

Thursday, December 27th, 2018

two people shaking hands with excited co-worker behind them

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.

Blank Black Image

4 Ways to Get Some Midday Motivation

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Woman doing yoga

Midday can be rough for people. Chances are you’ve been working for a few hours, you just ate some food and all you want is a nap. While some people can nap, I’m not one of them. I either sleep for seven hours or I don’t sleep. Period. Additionally, most people don’t have the luxury of taking a midday nap. The question then becomes, how to we get some midday motivation so we can get over the hump?

Meditate

Meditation is the next best thing to napping. Sometimes are minds just need a quick reset so we can lift the mental fog and refocus. There are some great apps you can use to find guided meditations specifically for focus. One of my favorites is the Calm app which has an entire series on meditations designed to increase focus and concentration.

Move your body

Another way to get some midday motivation is to get out of your chair and move your body. If you have a gym in your building like I do, you can hop in for a quick sweat session. If not, you can always find some fun music on Spotify and shake it out for a little while.

The idea here is that your mind will follow your body. If you give your body a quick jolt then your mind will wake up. While it’s not a long-term strategy, it does help when you’re trying to find some quick midday motivation.

Take a break

Sometimes we really just need a break in order to get some midday motivation. However, I notice that taking a break by watching YouTube videos is not helpful – at least not for me. That’s because I get sucked into a black hole and find it even more difficult to focus.

What does help me is going outside. For example, at the time of writing this, it’s currently a beautiful 70 degrees outside. The sun is also shining. I can take a quick ten-minute break on my balcony and just let the fresh air hit me.

(As a sidebar, sometimes I actually move my laptop out to my balcony. This keeps me awake midday when I’m starting to fall sleepy but know I can’t nap.)

Try the Pomodoro Technique

Some people, like myself, thrive under pressure. If I know I have to finish something by a certain time, it gives me a surge of energy and focus. For example, if I know I have to leave for SoulCyle around 5:45 PM, then I know I have to be done working by 4 PM.

Some days I actually have an appointment or engagement to attend, other days I don’t. For the days that I don’t, I trick myself into thinking I’m on a time crunch by using the Pomodoro Technique. This is when you give yourself 20 minutes to work and then a five-minute break. Each round is a Pomodoro and you continue the process until the task is complete.

Final Thoughts

While the afternoon slump is annoying, it can be overcome by giving yourself a jolt of midday motivation. Use the techniques to give yourself a little jumpstart the next time you find yourself falling asleep at your desk.

This article originally appeared in Calendar.

 

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

blank black image

Woman at home office answering phone

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.

blank black image

Woman at computer smiling

A solid team can make or break your business. Even if you are a control person, you can’t handle everything in your business. Having team members you can trust and rely on makes a huge difference.

While finding a promising team can seem like a challenge, keeping those people onboard and happy should be your true focus. That way, you can focus on long-term goals and start to build a routine.

Here are some tips for keeping team members happy.

Set Clear Expectations

As the business owner, you have to clearly define your expectations for team members. Make sure you communicate effectively about job roles and what you expect. If you notice any issues or slip-ups early on, be sure to address them so everyone is on the same page.

When your team knows what you want and expectations are set, it makes it easier for all parties to be happy with the process.

Show Appreciation

Showing appreciation is important and easy to do. Members of your team may be the first people to interact with clients or customers on your behalf. If they’re doing good work, be sure to say thank you. A nice gesture around the holidays is also a nice way to show appreciation.

Make the hierarchy in the business as flat as possible and you will have an appreciated and engaged staff. Encourage your frontline staff to be creative in coming up with new ideas and ask for feedback on what the clients really want.

Make the Environment Pleasant and Comfortable

Every business has a company culture even if you just work virtually. You want each team member to fit in and feel comfortable with the way things are run.

Be sure to make the workplace as comfortable as can be with suitable conveniences and regular team meetings so everyone can interact. If you’re working in an office give your employees the freedom to personalize their workspaces.

When I worked for a small business, I loved the environment. We got to decorate the office and our workspaces and there were often weekly informal meetings to discuss the team’s progress and share suggestions.

Reward Small Achievements

Nothing makes employees like being recognized for the small and big things. It doesn’t have to be anything major. A simple ‘thank you’ email or an inquiry on how your employees spent their weekend. Your employees are more likely to feel great about their work when they know you care about them.

You may also want to take things a step further and incentivize certain activities that your team helps with. At a previous job, my boss offered Amazon gift cards to anyone who could get a client to leave a review on our company on Google or Yelp. Your reward doesn’t have to be monetary either. You could consider doing an ’employee of the month’ type of recognition easily.

Consider Offering Benefits

Depending on the size of your business, it may or may not make sense to offer employee benefits. Doing so, however, can make a big difference and lead to employee retention.

If you have part-time team members or can’t afford to provide benefits like health insurance or a retirement plan, consider other benefits your team members may enjoy. Providing a monthly gym membership may not cost much but can help your team members focus on their health. Maybe you have a product or service that your team can get for free or at a discount when working for your business.

If you run an online business, structure work schedules to allow unlimited vacation days and time off so long as team members meet their deadlines.

At the end of the day, be mindful that with no staff there may not be a business. Focus on keeping your team members happy and treating them with respect to grow your business.

How do you keep your team members happy and productive?

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.

Blank Black Image

Raise your hand if you feel like work-life balance is a myth. When you’re freelancing or running your own business, your job demands a lot. You are all the things: the public relations department, the marketing department, and the one who does the work.

Study after study shows that one of the best things you can do for your productivity and to increase your happiness levels is actually take a break from work. That might feel impossible if you’re a one person show, but it’s all the more crucial. Burn out is very real, and it can derail your career if you let things get too bad.

Setting boundaries on your work is a proven method to create more work life balance. With boundaries on your work, you’ll feel less anxiety and more productive. Increase your happiness with our tips.

Create Work and Play Hours

When you’re a freelancer or working from your own home, it’s very easy to let the lines between work and play blur. You might find yourself running errands at noon on a Tuesday, and then working on the weekend to make up for those hours.

While a flexible schedule is one of the biggest perks of working for yourself, having a regular schedule is also one of the best ways to get things done and still reserve time outside of work.

Your schedule can be whatever you want; maybe you start work at 11am and go until 8pm every day. Just makes sure that once 8pm comes, you put down the work and engage in the rest of your life. Boundaries are important.

Take A Real Vacation

Unplugging is crucial to that work life balance. Trying to sneak in a few hours of work while you’re on vacation can be a slippery slope, and it can create the anxiety and stress you’re supposed to be walking away from.

Americans are some of the most over worked people on the planet. Taking a vacation can restore your creative energy and give both your body and mind the break it needs. Take a few days away from hunching over the computer.

Pursue Hobbies

When you’re not working, what do you do? If the first words that come to your mind are along the lines of ‘cit and watch tv’, maybe you need to pick up a hobby.

Hobbies are ways to truly disengage with your work. When you’re focusing on painting a new piece of art, or knitting a sweater for your puppy, your brain is engaged at the task at hand. There’s no space to worry about work or to reach for your phone to check your social media feeds.

Drawing a line between work and the rest of your life is a favor that you do for yourself. It’s important not to lose yourself in your work. You’re a complete person; increase your happiness by celebrating your life outside of work.

This article originally appeared in Due.

 

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

Blank Black Image

Franchisee Liz Smith emphasizes the importance of providing fun, individualized lesson plans at The Goddard School located in Waukee, IA.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE>

The Goddard School located at 360 Coddle Market Drive NW in Concord, North Carolina is owned and operated by franchisees, Malvika and Basant Maheshwary.

“We know that the children learn best through play and when they’re having fun,” Malvika Maheshwary, on-site owner, said. “This curriculum teaches the level that the child is, and it builds upon the child rather than just teaching to the class. The child is excited to learn, and students who come out of Goddard School typically are keen, eager learners and excited learners.”

READ THE FULL STORY HERE>