September 26, 2018

Retention Problems? 3 Ways to Keep Your Employees on Board

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Employee retention is an issue that every employer faces. In fact, employee turnover costs US businesses $160 billion each year. You stand to lose a lot when your employees feel dissatisfied by their work experience—especially since happy employees are more productive and more effective workers.

If you’re worried about employee retention within your company, then try these tactics to keep your people engaged and on board.

1. Use a Rewards and Incentives System

No matter the industry, all employees appreciate incentives, rewards, and positive feedback. You can cut down on turnover rates by showing your employees that you value them as assets to your company.

For example, you can have an awards ceremony once a year or once every quarter to show your appreciation. Some companies even acknowledge their employees’ work each day. For example, according to Womply’s Glassdoor reviews, their company holds morning “stand-ups” where they meet to define goals and give acknowledgments and praise where it’s deserved.

You can also give annual raises to your workers, which is something that not every establishment does. Offer employees benefits and discounts for working for you. They can be anything from discounts on merchandise to memberships to local programs and services.

2. Conduct Surveys

Company surveys give you insight into how your employees feel about their jobs. Issue a company-wide survey and ask questions regarding their feelings and experience with the company. Keep these surveys anonymous and analyze the information so you can come up with strategies to keep them satisfied.

You may find that they aren’t thrilled with the pay rates, or maybe they would like a full-blown cafeteria instead of just a break room. Surveys will make this information come to life so that you can see it and act on it before employees decide to leave over their concerns.

Pay attention to exit interviews and read online reviews from former employees. While you may not like hearing negative reviews, you need this information to ensure that you won’t continue to lose employees for this same reason. While some retention problems are beyond your control, a majority of the reasons why employees seek new employment are well within your control.

3. Maintain a Friendly and Caring Company Culture

The company culture is often the reason why people leave jobs. They may love the position and adore their pay, but they will still leave a company that has an unpleasant culture.

For that reason, companies need to put some effort into their company culture if they want employees to stick around. That means nurturing an atmosphere that is friendly, motivational, and empathetic to other people.

In Glassdoor reviews of Bain & Company, an employee observed that “the company values are practiced and seen everyday; the environment is fun, supportive, and interesting; and the people are intelligent, caring, and, for the most part, all wonderful to be around. I hope to be at Bain for many years to come.”

This is the kind of feedback all employers want to hear from their team. If you can create and maintain that type of environment, then your employees will want to work for you and excel in their position.

These are just a few tips that can help you keep your employees happy at work. Really, the best strategy for improving employee retention is listening to your employees. Be open to criticism, ask for their feedback, and be willing to address employee concerns—that’s the best way to keep your people on board.

For more information on developing a high-performance team and managing your business, book a complimentary 30-minute strategy session with Shannon.

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The Trick to Independent Sales…is Sales

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As part of my business and career coaching, I work with many wonderful men and women who have undertaken to build a brand around selling products through independent or network marketing. These are men and women with ambition, who believe in the products their selling, and who understand the value of leveraging interpersonal networks to build their own brand. However, with all the hype surrounding this model, some believe that success comes without effort. Truthfully, there is no product on the market that sells itself, and there has never been. The people that reach colossal levels of success distributing for these organizations are expert recruiters and sales reps. If you want to succeed in this industry, you need to identify the skills and strategies from their example that can be replicated. Here are a few case studies:

 

Jackie Ritz

Jackie started distributing doTERRA oils in 2009. She credits initial sales success to her enthusiasm for the product. “After feeling such a difference using dōTERRA, I couldn’t stop talking about them.” But the secret to Jackie’s success was moving into recruiting and success coaching. Whereas many multi-level organizations’ compensation plans produce diminishing returns the farther down your downline you recruit, Jackie leveraged this organization’s “unilevel compensation” method to drastically increase earnings with a depth-of-roster strategy.

Takeaways: Pay attention to your organization’s compensation methodology when determining the best sales strategy. A cookie-cutter approach might not work for every commission structure or product category.

 

Rolf Kipp

Rolf calls Forever Living “The Most Beautiful Business on Earth.” While perhaps overly poetic, his book is retailing for over $40 on Amazon. It’s unclear what percentage of his millions has come from product sales and referrals versus the book and speaking engagements, but it’s clear from his current marketing push that the latter is not insignificant.

Takeaways: Your level of sales success in sales pays off twice; once directly, and again when it can be leveraged to sell training materials to up-and-comers in the industry. While this is a strategy that may not pay off until later in your career, it is a lucrative one.

 

Brian McClure

Brian receives a staggering monthly income from a company that is (technically) a multi-level, Ambit Energy. Whereas most utility companies have contracts with municipal, county, or state governments that provide them with a de facto monopoly, Ambit operates in deregulated energy markets where this disruptive model can potentially drive down the cost of energy and gas bills significantly. Because these markets are new and few, Brian’s outstanding referral bonus can be attributed to his being an early arrival to a new and lucrative opportunity.

Takeaways: Truly successful, disruptive companies operate in “blue ocean” spaces where there is minimal competition. Try to identify new ways of solving old problems, and stake out that territory before someone else does.

 

No matter which brand or product you’re selling, the essential skills related to success are a willingness to learn and innovate, an emotional intelligence that can fuel your recruitment efforts, and above all, a willingness to get out there and drum up leads. The independent model might be an innovation of the last thirty years, but the keys to success are as old as markets themselves. Don’t let that discourage you; these skills are replicable. But it’s never going to happen without effort, no matter how convincing the hype.

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How to Handle Disagreements Between Coworkers in the Workplace

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Disagreements between employees are inevitable. If you are a business owner or manager, you will sometimes be responsible for handling these disagreements. Forbes explains thatthe ability to recognize conflict, understand the nature of conflict, and to be able to bring swift and just resolution to conflict will serve you well as a leader – the inability to do so may well be your downfall.” So before you get involved with settling disputes, take a few moments to stop and think about the best strategies for fairly handling disagreements using the tips below as guidelines.

 

Understand What It’s Worth

Before your involve yourself in any kind of employee problem, stop to figure out what the problem is worth. Is this an issue that actually impacts the day-to-day operation of the business? If so, how far are you willing to go to solve the problem? Regardless of what’s going on, you need to be aware of what’s potentially at stake before you involve yourself at all. If the problem is entirely interpersonal and doesn’t impact anything else in the workplace, you might not need to be involved with the disagreement at all.

 

Know What’s Important

One of the most important things you can do is to distinguish between disagreements and illegal offenses. Just because there are disagreements or bad feelings between a boss and an employee or between coworkers does not mean illegal offenses have been committed. However, the Law Offices of Jeremy Pasternak specify that “harassment may involve: offensive comments, jokes or physical conduct that denigrates a protected class; requests for sexual favors to keep your job or get a promotion; unwanted leering, touching or physical contact.” Even if you don’t feel you should otherwise get involved, an illegal offense is something that your business must take seriously. After all, your lack of action could end up being read as supporting a hostile or illegal atmosphere, which could put your business at risk. It’s important that you put your personal feelings aside and figure out whether the disagreement has been caused by something that might be legally actionable.

 

Remain Impartial

It’s also important for you as the employer or manager to remain impartial in the disagreement. It doesn’t matter what history you have with either employee. What is the objective situation? In some cases, this might mean siding with an employee with whom you would not usually side. In others, it might mean not taking action even when you feel for one of the two parties. The most important thing you can do is to protect the long-term health of your business, and that means keeping your feelings out of the matter.

 

Cover Your Bases

Finally, make sure your bases are covered. If you have any company policies that dictate how disagreements are handled, make sure you follow those dictates to the letter. If you have a human resources department or legal department, make sure you run any potential issues by them first. While it might seem self-serving, it really is in everyone’s best interest to make sure that you make sure the company is covered before you begin to involve yourself in any employee disagreements. From there, you can start to make the hard decisions that will help to resolve the situation.

If there are disagreements between your employees, don’t go with the instinct to immediately interfere. Instead, stop, take stock of the situation, and figure out if action is either required of you or is best for the health of your company. If you do need to be involved, follow protocols and be as objective as possible. While you can’t make everyone happy, you can adjudicate disputes fairly. As a leader, you must be prepared to be an example and to guide your coworkers and employees to a peaceful resolution.

To learn more about creating agreements for results and collaborations, schedule time at www.meetme.so/ShannonGronich

 

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Business Trip Cheats to Make Your Next Meeting in London Out of This World

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It is no secret that business trips are often long, stressful affairs, packed with multiple meetings and little downtime. When you know your destination is London, however, you want to see as much of England’s capital as possible. With iconic sights such as the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye, this city’s food, culture and attractions are as diverse as those who live there. To help you out, keep these cheats in mind to make the most of your trip across the pond.

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The Number One Piece of Advice

First and foremost, plan ahead. Chances are you received a schedule or list of the professional responsibilities that you need to complete while in London. Make sure you know when and where those are, then block out your free time and determine what you have time to do. Time management skills will be key here. Make sure you keep on task while you are there. Use some productivity hacks to maximize your productivity while you are abroad.

Where to Stay

Where you stay in London is highly dependent on your job duties. You might have been assigned a place to stay, but if not, look into hotels or even better, London corporate apartments that are near where you will be spending most of your time. London corporate apartments offer all the luxuries of home, making your trip feel more like a relaxing vacation or homestay instead of a work trip. One that gives you a beautiful place to sleep, get work done and is within your budget is sufficient for business trips. Look for a site that offers complimentary breakfast so you can save time as well. Efficiency and comfort are essential.

What to See

London has many well-known attractions. Some that are worth checking out are taking a ride on the London Eye, an enclosed Ferris Wheel, strolling through the Victoria and Albert Museum, which showcases exhibits related to art and design and picking up some souvenirs from Harrods, the iconic department store. If you want advice on lesser-known travel locations in the city, here are a couple of suggestions. Stroll through some of Hyde Park, located right in Central London, for a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Or, spend time in the West End, taking in a show.

Where to Eat

For restaurant tips, it is a bit difficult because London has so much good food that it might seem impossible to decide what to try. For restaurant tips, if you are going to see the sights, finding places that are high-quality and get you food quickly are useful when you are short on time. Visit a pub to try traditional British foods, like pies and sausages, or get prepackaged sandwiches from a grocery store or café so you can stick to your time schedule. Try to avoid common American chain fast food stores. Order something you have never seen before or that you always heard of but never had a chance to try.

Use your free time to your advantage and experience some of what London has to offer. With these hacks, you can have a great trip from a personal and business perspective.

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5 Companies That Improve Our Standard of Living Daily

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5 Companies That Improve Our Standard of Living Daily

There are many companies that provide beneficial services to the world today, but which companies have impacted our lives the most? That’s difficult to answer because each company aids each other in serving the greater good. But there are a few companies, that have stood the test of time and made their permanent mark on the daily lives of civilization.

Microsoft

The software giant, Microsoft, in addition to having one of the largest market capitalizations has also had nearly the largest influence on society today. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, originally sought to place a computer within every household. The seemingly outrageous goal has changed the educational opportunities, communication, and entertainment options that people have.

Google

Google has been able to provide people with near-endless information. As a seemingly infinite library source, Google has also changed the way people find services in real life. As a continually evolving company, over their course, Google has continually improved their designs and been able to impact processes such as the way that people purchase stocks or find their nearest hospital.

ADT

Developed in response to a home invasion of the founder’s house, ADT is one of the pioneer security service companies. This American security giant currently serves over 35 countries in total. The services offered by ADT have saved many customers from home intrusions, fires, and a variety of other harmful incidents. At the moment, ADT is the only security company offering monitored flood detectors.

Apple

Apple has been an influential company for decades, but with the creation of the iPhone, Apple took the world by storm. Their iPod device already introduced the world to a new way of listening to music, but the iPhone introduced a new way of doing almost everything; from shopping to taking care of children. Apple not only improved civilization’s standard of living through a few devices, but through the innovations that they continue to achieve.

Tesla

Tesla, one of the few companies founded by Elon Musk, was created with an innovative vision. Focused on sustainability, with three vehicle models, Tesla has surpassed their original goals. Tesla has proven to the world that efficient electric vehicles can be created, and that combustion engines are soon on their way out.

Summary

Each of these companies has played a role among the others at some point during their history. It can even be argued that they play a role among each other daily. However, there is no denying that each of these companies has permanently change our standard of living for the better.

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How to Keep Your Travel Expenses in Check During Your Business Trip

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The expenses of a business trip can add up very quickly. Many people use business trips as an opportunity to splurge on a few things and enjoy their travels while accomplishing work. This splurge places the stress on business owners to find sources to pay for the travels. With some creative thinking and a few solid plans, keeping business trip expenses down can be a simple task.

Rentals

With the advent of ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, it is not as necessary to have a business car rental. There are plenty of cases where a company should rent cars, but it is not as essential as it used to be. For example, if your employees fly to a city, they can travel throughout the town by using one of the ride-share services to go to their destinations.

If you do need to pay for a business car rental, arriving prepared with your car insurance can help lower the cost of a rental. Employees can also carpool with one another to reduce the number of vehicles that a business needs to rent. According to Avis, if you enroll in their Avis for Business program, you get access to exclusive service advantages and rewards from 30% off base rates to getting a free day for every 15 rental days. This is how many car rental agencies act.

Travel Rewards

Take advantage of the reward programs offered by any airlines and hotels that your business commonly uses. In exchange for your continued business, many airlines and hotels offer their customers discounts and free services. By remaining loyal to a select few companies, your business can reap rewards that will ultimately save you money.

You can receive miles from flying with specific airlines. Accruing points through particular car rental companies is also an option. It allows you to earn a return on the investment necessary to build your business and brand. Make the most of the opportunities for traveling that you have.

Virtual Meetings

During a business trip, your employees may not need to travel to as many destinations to get business done. Make a note of the clients that will not mind having a virtual meeting and have your employees conduct business with them virtually. This meeting will save a little on travel expenses, which adds up over time.

Conclusion

The key to keeping your business’s travel expenses in check is to eliminate small costs and progress towards more significant costs. However, your primary goal should be to decrease minor costs, as these can add up quickly without being detected. Make a list of all of your business’s travel expenses, then make a note of the largest ones. After you eliminate small and unnecessary costs, begin to develop a plan for decreasing your most substantial costs. Often you will find that, like low costs, your most significant costs can be eliminated too. Technology has created many new ways to conduct business without the need to travel.

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How to Become a Respected and Engaging Leader in Your Workplace

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Becoming a workplace leaders does not always mean that you are given a title and a pay raise, at least initially. You may have to prove yourself first. Fortunately, it is not that hard to do when you utilize the following strategies.

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Lead by example.

Dress, speak, and act the part of the leader you want to become. Treat others the way you want to be treated to earn their respect. Don’t play favorites; instead, view everyone as equal. Perform your work in a positive and productive way to let others see that you are serious about your job and expect others to be, as well. Avoid negative behaviors such as being overly critical, judgmental, or biased. Maintain ethical integrity and encourage employees to do the same.

 

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Apply leadership tactics.

Read books about leadership and study positive role models. Then do as they suggest to build rapport and gain respect at work. Plan projects efficiently to ensure success, selecting the most suitable individuals for each role. Monitor without micromanaging. Provide adequate training and skill-building opportunities to help employees reach their potential and excel at their jobs. Use company resources prudently to build success.

 

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Encourage input.

An interactive workplace is more effective than one that operates from the top down. Use various means to solicit employee suggestions and feedback. For example, a suggestion box may attract new ideas or recommendations. Company newsletter recognition fosters awareness and appreciation of employee efforts. Meetings or focus groups enable employees to have a say about their department’s performance or problems. An interactive in-house discussion board may elicit informal comments or insights. Employees who feel valued are more like to respect and follow company leadership.

 

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Provide structure.

Employees want to know how the company is doing and where it is headed. Routine updates or periodic reports will keep them apprised of the organization’s status and allow them to feel like they are part of the loop. Employees who feel disenfranchised are less productive and more likely to grumble about company policies or even leave their jobs if they are dissatisfied and feel unappreciated. Maintain a hierarchy of authority and an environment of openness to instill employees with security and a positive attitude toward your ability to lead.

 

It has been said that leaders are born, not made. But someone who is willing to stand up and show the way to others within a company can quickly earn respect as a leader. 

Apply to attend the upcoming Business Acceleration Summit and mastermind with our industry leaders and mentors, including Forbes recognized Transformational Leadership Strategist. 

 

Featured Image credit: ASEA

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How to Make Your Next Business Trip More Productive

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When traveling on business, it can be hard to be productive. After all, there are a lot of factors you need to balance while away. But if you use the tips below, you can get more out of your business trip, so you can be both productive, relaxed, and happy at the end of it.

How to Make Your Next Business Trip More Productive

Car Rental

If you spend time waiting for public transportation, it could really eat into your trip itinerary in a big way. Furthermore, you might risk missing an important business meeting or an event. The small amount you might save by not getting a car will pale in comparison to the downsides. Car rentals allow you to have complete control over your time, which when you’re doing business is essential. Plus, renting a car is easier than it ever with online booking and confirmations.

 

Coworking

Having stable WIFI access is becoming more crucial for business travelers today. Without the internet, you can’t hop on to live calls or send important emails. Sometimes you can use the data from your phone, but if you’re out of the country, this strategy might not work. Coworking spaces allow you to rent an office or at least access to WIFI internet for the day, week, or month (or however long you’re traveling).

 

Sleep

Don’t think you can get results if you don’t get the right amount of sleep. It could be tempting to try it all while traveling by working, partying, and getting less sleep. To stay productive, get your hours of shuteye and you won’t regret it. Space out your schedule and be sure you have accommodations where you’ll feel comfortable sleeping.

 

Relax

Aside from simply sleeping, you also need to make sure you don’t work too hard. Take moments for yourself to relax and take in the new environment. Consider a massage or a trip to the spa. Whatever puts you in hour happy place, make sure to make it a priority.

 

Proximity

Book a hotel close to your event or meetings. The faster the commute time, the better. That way you can spend more time practicing what you’re going to say, and less time rushing around from place to place, even if you have a car.

 

Business travel can be taxing if you don’t have the right strategy to make it worth your while. So use the advice above to make your business travel productive for the present moment and the long term. Then, you’ll be able to have peace of mind that you made the most of it and didn’t waste precious time during your travels.

Would love to hear your tips and tricks for traveling.

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How to Streamline Your Company’s Clunkiest Processes

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If you run a business of any kind, then you already have several processes in place that help you get work done in a more efficient manner. Sometimes you may not have defined exactly what these processes are, but you’re doing some kind of process whether it is efficient or not. The key is to find out which processes are necessary for your business and streamline them as much as possible. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here’s how to make it happen for your own company.

How to Streamline Your Company's Clunkiest Processes

Define

Without a clear definition of your end goals, you are prone to run your business in circles. Start with a defined purpose for each task, not just a to-do list. For instance, emailing five customers or calling five customers might each be on your daily list, but they might support the same outcome: getting more sales. If you turn the sales steps into a documented process, you can stay focused on the end goal. This is an example of defining what you want before getting busy.

 

Assign a “Why”

Knowing why your outcome is what it is will help clarify your clunky processes as well. For instance, perhaps sales are important to please the shareholders and get your bonus this year. Or perhaps it’s because you need the extra capital to buy a new building. This motivation will help you keep going through the process even when it seems mundane. This can also help employees grasp a bigger picture and help them feel connected to the business as a whole.

 

Get the Right Tools

Without the right tools, even the best workers will suffer in terms of productivity. That’s why you need to have key systems in place that help you do more in less time, such as manufacturing software. Instead of having your projects spread out and bouncing between people or places, your project lead can delegate all manufacturing stages from one central dashboard, share files, and keep tabs on the progress of each project in real time in the cloud.

 

Review Regularly

Once you’ve defined what your goals are for your process and have the right tools in place, you still need to maintain it. Periodically perform a review of your systems. Make sure they are still meeting your needs and aren’t wasting more energy than necessary.

 

When it comes to business, efficiency is everything. Without efficient business processes, you risk wasting not just time but also money and energy from your employees. By streamlining your processes with the tips above you can enjoy a competitive advantage that puts you miles above your competition, and saves your company resources for the places you can really leverage them.

Share your favorite tool or program and how it helps streamline your processes.

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Grow Faster by Identifying Your Target Audience

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Grow Faster by Identifying Your Target Audience

Modern day business is more competitive than ever. Because of this, firms can advertise all around the world for any industry. If you’re going to stand out and compete with the major brands in your space, you have to work smarter, not harder. You can’t outspend a Fortune 500 company, so instead you need to take a closer look at your target audience and then focus your attention on them. Here’s why:

Conversion Focus

As SEO marketing agency Big Leap puts it, when you identify your target audience it allows you to create “experiences and websites that drive conversion.” This is because you know the deepest needs and fears of your audience. When you know what they want, you can give it to them.

Imagine you are trying to cook for a large crowd. You try to guess what they want, so you grill up a bunch of hamburgers. But after trying to serve it to them and asking for $5 each, you find out that the audience consists totally of vegetarians! This is the same thing you’re doing when you try to guess what your audience wants in any capacity of your business. With the tools available today, it’s easy to find out what your audience wants, so don’t waste time and energy on your ego-based guesses.

Getting the Market View

How do you meet your market’s desires then? There are several ways. Each one has advantages and disadvantages.

Create a survey. There are many services that allow you to plug in emails and send people surveys about what they’re looking for. You can trim the responses to determine who is more likely to buy your products.

Money matters. Are your ideal clients making six figures or are they struggling and in debt? Knowing their income needs and realities will help you speak to your target demographic more compellingly.

Don’t forget geography. There’s a difference to a market in NYC and LA. And there’s even more so between those cities and Hong Kong. Know your locations and go from there.

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When it comes to marketing, the biggest mistake you can make is not identifying your audience. Your audience tells you everything you need to know about what products to create and how to brand them. If you start here, with the end in mind, your development won’t just be cheaper — it will be more profitable and more speedy. So don’t throw away time, energy and dollars. Put the marketing tactics above into use so you can identify your target audience and hit the ground running with your next project.

We offer business and marketing consulting to increase revenues, develop a high performance team, and avoid costly mistakes. Book a complimentary 15-minute strategy session with Shannon today!

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