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General Business Tips

 The newest articles are are towards the bottom of the page. (higher number)

 

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B101
Word Count: 163

Getting Ahead In Your Organization

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f you are looking for ways to promote your own ideas within your company, the best strategy is to help the boss achieve their goals. It helps to know what your ...

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B102
Word Count: 182

Roadblocks to Success

 

Here are some career mind barriers found especially among new entrants to the workforce, from News From Kaplan, a fact sheet published by Simon & Schuster.

•  Waiting to be discovered. Instead….

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B103
Word Count: 95

THREE STEPS TO AGREEMENT

To reach agreement with other people about anything, try this 3-step "triangle" process:

YOU. First….

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B104
Word Count: 71

Respect

Studies over the past 60 years have regularly shown that employees covet respect almost as much as money—and sometimes they even rate…

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B105
Word Count: 370

Changing Landscapes by Seeing with New Eyes

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 Story – One day a very wealthy father took his son on a trip to the country for the sole purpose of showing his son how it was to be poor.  They spent a few days and nights on the farm of what would be considered….

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 B106
Word Count: 131

 PERFORMANCE

If your company is using economic excuses and cutbacks as an excuse for not rewarding your employees who remain, your problem is a lack of imagination, not a lack of dollars. Here are some possibilities for recognition and rewards:

1)      A picture of a winning department on a local billboard.

2)      A personalized director's chair with a...

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B107
Word Count: 56

SUCCESSFUL SMALL BUSINESSES

About 80% of the successful small retailers had written business plans compared to 35% of the unsuccessful ones. Successful owners were also more likely to get information for themselves from professional journals and newsletters. Unsuccessful owners...

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B108

Word Count: 114

The Top 10 BUSINESS Commandments from Sam Walton

This might be the world’s shortest top ten, but sometimes simple is better. When I saw these keywords taken from Sam Walton, I felt like sharing them with everyone as they will make a difference if you follow them—he did!

1.     Commit to your business.

2.     Share your profits....

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B109
Word Count: 393

Going for Excellence

by Dave Thomas

When you have your own act together and get along well with others, you’re ready to reach for excellence.

From our earliest days, we are taught that excellence is snazzy, glossy, and bigger than life. It’s that three seconds of glory, not the constant training workouts. But that’s just false. Most people think excellence in business is sitting at a big desk and making power decisions, but true excellence is really the years beforehand making little and big right decisions and learning from mistakes when things go wrong.

No one can excel in everything. In fact, excellence in any one...

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B110
Word Count: 307

Top 7 Ways That Business Is Just Like Racquetball:

1. You need a few kill shots to keep the business alive if you intend to succeed. Kill shots are your best and biggest deals, that slam dunk your profit and sales goals for the month or quarter.

2. If you can't play three games in a row without heart failure or exhaustion, it's time to increase daily...

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B111
Word Count: 160

Deciding where to sit

You enter a room to attend a meeting. Two seats are empty. One would put you on the same side of the table as your opponents and your boss. The other would put you across from them. Which do you head for? Suggestions:

Think opposite. The power positions are opposite your competition or chief decision maker. Don’t sit...

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B112
Word Count: 151

What to wear

You’re about to dress for that important presentation. However, you don’t know much about the culture of the audience or the organization. You don’t want to overdress or underdress. To avoid a needless and possibly embarrassing blunder:

Check the organization’s culture before...

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B113
Word Count: 326

Recognizing Workers Needs

Successful managers create work environments where employees can contribute according to their individual talents. However, to get the most from those talents, you’d better check employees’ hot buttons first.
Learning what employees need from you will help you bring out their best for the organization. So, be sure to address these four categories of employee needs and use their complementary management styles:
Employees with security needs are likely to seek assurances, play it safe, prefer clear instruction, and stay within ...

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B114
Word Count: 147

Why is taking the consequences for something "facing the music"?

This expression almost sounds like the name of a quiz show, but what it describes is hardly entertaining. When you face the music, either you've done something wrong and now have to "pay" for it, or you've made a tough decision that will result in some negative consequences for you. Either way, you're not headed ...

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B115
Word Count: 179

Can you start a memo right?

Rate your ability to seize and hold the attention of those who receive your memos by picking the best opening statement:

1. "Kevin Donaldson and I recommend that we cancel the Carstairs account."

2. "Kevin Donaldson and I met yesterday to discuss ...

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B116
Word Count: 94

Gaining management support

You want the best way to present your ideas to your management group — including the boss. Others failed because they seemed unprepared or didn’t know what to expect. To avoid that quagmire:

Seek support from all decision-makers before the meeting. Nevertheless, at the meeting, pitch your ideas to the top decision-maker...

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B117
Word Count: 353

author removed

 

B118
Word Count: 373

NETWORKING TIPS

How to Prepare for the Mixer:

1.     Adopt a positive attitude; don’t go if you’re not in the mood to meet new contacts.

2.     Focus on the benefits; do not be blinded by your goals to meet everyone; be open to possibilities.

3.     Plan your 8 second introduction; name, company, feature and benefit; keep it sharp/fresh

4.     Check your business cards

·         Carry ample supply (pocket, briefcase, purse, car, wallet)

·         Your name and address are readable

·         Carry your business cards in your...

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B119
Word Count: 99

Don't Buy It

Jacquelyn Lynn, Entrepreneur

Small businesses lose millions of dollars annually to bogus office-supply firms. Remember that you don't have to pay for supplies or services that you didn't order, even if you use them. Train your staff to recognize...

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B120
Word Count: 220

Manage Change With Personalities

 It’s a mistake to expect everyone to react to change in the same way. Instead, say consultants Kathy Kolbe and Jim Woodford, it makes more sense to benefit from what Kolbe calls the instinct-based actions of these four personalities:


1. Fact-finders need to investigate and process information.


2. Follow-throughs want a sense of...

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B121
Word Count: 669

Be Unrealistic!

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et's take a closer look at this word, "unrealistic." Was it realistic, in the early 1960s, for John F. Kennedy to proclaim that we would put a man on the moon by the end of that decade? Ten years ago, was it realistic to believe that millions of people worldwide would be exchanging e-mail messages every day? Was it ever realistic to believe that a sheep could be cloned?

As you'll probably admit, all of these things were unrealistic. And yet, all of them were accomplished! Why? Because certain people dared...

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B122
Word Count: 215

BUSINESS TIPS

PICTURE BUSINESS CARDS

For years, business cards with full-color pictures have been available. And a few people have been putting their own pictures in the corner of their cards. It's long been known that pictures attract attention. If it fits your business image, consider adding a picture to your business card.

GOOD BUSINESS MANNERS

When dealing with customers in person or on the...

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B123
Word Count: 238

Here are three easy ways you can alleviate stress—right now!

The first step in tackling stress is to understand that you are in control of it. Stress is not the outside world attacking you—stress is the way you react to the outside world. Two people may undergo the same experience, but one may feel “stressed” while the other may not. The person who feels easily stressed probably has a weaker coping mechanism.

Here are some shifts you can make to reduce stress:

·         Get physical.  Make exercise a part of...

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B124
Word Count: 92

THREE STEPS TO AGREEMENT

To reach agreement with other people about anything, try this 3-step "triangle" process:

1)      YOU. First address the other person's interests

2)      US. Then relate their interests to what you have...

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B125
Word Count: 228

ID THEFT - HOTEL/MOTEL ROOM CARDS

 

Southern California law enforcement professionals assigned to detect new threats to personal security issues, recently discovered what type of information is embedded in the credit card type hotel room keys used through-out the industry.

 

Although room keys differ from hotel to hotel, a key obtained from...

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B126
Word Count: 336

Having fun at work doesn't happen by accident

Having fun at work boosts morale, productivity and creativity, while reducing burnout and turnover. But it doesn't happen by accident. Here's how three companies promote fun at work:

·         Lands' End recruits about 2,600 employees a year for its catalog business in Dodgeville, Wis.-a small town in a state with low unemployment. What's the draw?  To start, department heads listen to employees' ideas for activities. Managers sometimes serve their staff members cookies and other treats. And the Lands' End Choir provides a musical outlet for about 70 employees. One result: Fortune magazine ranked Lands' End among the 100 best places to work in 1997 and 1998.
Fun events: On "Inside-Out Day," warehouse workers wear clothes-what else?-inside out. At a "Harvest Ball," customer service reps wear...

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B127
Word Count: 110

Managing Change

Facing change, a group divides into three factions — those for it, those against it and the fence sitters. Which group should you encourage?

Answer: Spend your time with those who already favor it, says Ron Koroscil and Jack D’Urso of Pitney Bowes.

Reason: In their manufacturing group, the pair encouraged and supported those who...

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B128
Word Count: 576

Technology Planning - It's not just hardware!

As part of the ever ongoing need to plan for your business, you need to look forward and assess your need to integrate technology into your daily business transactions. Like the people in your business, effective technology deployment is key to the success you are having today and will have into the future.

When we hear the words technology we immediately think of the PC, your computer network, maybe even your PDA or cell phone. Technology today is more encompassing...

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B129
Word Count: 54

When to meet

The best time to start a meeting is mid-to late morning, when most staffers are at their best. Morning people are still energetic, and others are beginning to function effectively.

Also, the meeting...

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B130
Word Count: 780

The Top 10 Steps to a Clean, Clear Desk

 Is your desk a disaster area? Desk clutter creates stress, confusion, and cuts down on your productivity. It is estimated that people waste and average of 30 minutes per day searching for papers - that translates into 10 hours per month or a whole 3 weeks per year of unproductive time!

1. Take everything off your desk and out of your drawers. This is very satisfying as you have a quick win by being able to see your desk in two minutes!

2. Give your desk a good clean. Make sure you remove all the dirt that has been lurking in those darkened corners.

3. Get a large, strong bin bag and start dumping! Put all your papers in one big pile, and start to "divide and conquer." Remove large items such as catalogues and manuals. Are they out of date? Do you really need them? If the answer is YES, they should go in a filing cabinet. Over 80% of your paper pile can probably be thrown out. The only papers you should keep on your desk are the ones that you are actively working on, so make a file for each topic and keep all the papers together. Anything else should be thrown out or filed for future reference / audit purposes.

4. ...

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B131
Word Count: 319

When employees go bad:

Tips for stopping the cyberstalker

You’ve fired an employee. Next thing you know, you’re getting obscene e-mails and phone calls from people you don’t know who say they met you in a chat room. Sounds made up, but it’s not. It’s called cyberstalking, and it’s a new technique used by disgruntled employees to “get even” with their former employers or colleagues. In some cases, cyberstalking can be just an annoyance. In other cases, it can result in bigger headaches like “denial-of-use” attacks. If your company or a particular employee has been the victim of a cyberstalker, here are three tips for stopping the harassment:

1. Make a log. Keep track of every occurrence by writing down the date, time, and a brief description of what happened (for example: June 21, 2000; 3:35 p.m.; obscene e-mail).

2. Gather evidence. Try to trace the attack back to the harasser. In the case of e-mails, this can be done by following the sender information back to the...

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B132
Word Count: 546

It’s Not The Difficult People, It’s The Difficult Behavior

 It’s a human tendency to identify people as being difficult or easy to get along with, and that affects how we interact with them. The question is - is it that some people are difficult or is it their behavior that bothers us?

How Labeling People As Difficult Causes Problems

Most if not all of us, talk about difficult people. We think: “Oh, that’s John again, why is he always a pain in the posterior,” or “Why is Mary so darned stubborn and difficult all the time.” We tend to characterize (or label) people and put them into boxes or categories.

If you do that, it’s not a character flaw on your part, but a way of trying to simplify the world. In fact our brains are wired to do this automatically. Brains are wonderful information reduction and labeling machines. They classify, label and...

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B133
Word Count: 200

7 Successful Business Tips

1.         Establish your long-term vision.

Take a good look at your company and its core competencies and create a written picture of your future.

 2.         Communicate your vision.

Let everybody know what your vision is and ask them what it means to them. This will help you to get buy in and help others know where you are going in the long term so they can see where they fit in.

 3.         Establish some core...

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B134
Word Count: 156

Tap The Benefits Of An Open Office

You probably agree that creating a workspace where people who should work together can see each other is a good idea. But perhaps you want some hard evidence about benefits. Consider:

No one has a private office at the headquarters for Michael Bloomberg’s multimedia empire—and that includes Bloomberg himself. Even the conference rooms have glass walls.

Why does Bloomberg prefer an open-plan layout that puts everyone constantly in front of their peers? He says it offers these benefits:

People "absorb information peripherally" while focusing on their own work.

The openness prevents...

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B135
Word Count: 100

Tips On Diversity

Diversity is defined as having differences.  These differences may range from personal preferences such as being a vegetarian to physical limitations such as limited vision or hearing. Yet, a recent national survey suggest that most define diversity as either having racial or cultural differences.  To embrace a more global definition of diversity, try incorporating these ideas in your corporate culture:

·        Keep an open mind to all individuals and their ideas

·        Respect all individual differences

·        Become...

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B136
Word Count: 116

BITE YOUR TONGUE

Anyone can enter your name into an Internet search engine and find information about you, including postings you have made long ago in discussion groups! The author suggests how you can avoid damaging your business image with such information:

*    Avoid using bad language in all of your e-mails or in postings in discussion forums.

*    If there is already something damaging out there, move it further to the back of search results by...

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B137
Word Count: 173

Simple Ways To Spot A Business Trend

Successful managers should be able to anticipate and adapt to changes in their industry. The following are some quick tips to help you spot trends that may affect your job:

• Scan your junk mail before you discard it. What trends in advertising, marketing, new products and emerging technologies can you see?

You may want to let the mail collect for a week or two before reviewing it. It’s easier to spot a trend when you have plenty of data to analyze.

• Reflect on the...

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B138
Word Count: 357

Five Ingredients for Loyalty

Do you think your employees are happy? Consider these findings from a recent survey of 700 workers at 70 firms:

• 54% said management decisions aren’t explained well.

• 61% reported they aren’t well-informed about organizational plans.

• 64% admit they just don’t believe the information that management dishes out.

So if you see signs that your staff’s ...

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B139
Word Count: 456

Business Boost
20 questions

"The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes."
Benjamin Disraeli

Are you, and your business, ready for each opportunity as it arises? Do you know where you are going and how you will get there?

Here is a list of questions to help you prepare for future opportunities and today's success.

Answer these questions to the best of your abilities and keep this as a working document for your business...and life.

  1. What will your company look like in 3, 5, 10, and 20 years from today?

  2. Who is your competition?

  3. Are they better in any areas than your business? (If so, what areas and how?)

  4. Who will be your...

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B140
Word Count: 284

Managing Stress

The business world is filled with many challenges and opportunities. In order for a business to take advantage of opportunities and overcome the challenges, a business owner must be able to continuously perform at top levels of achievement. When stress is not managed this consumes much of a persons energy therefore not allowing great portions of that persons capabilities to be effectively used in the work or personal environment.

A Simple Stress Test.

Take the Business Owners Stress Test:

1. I am impatient with others at least several times a week.

2. I worry about the sustainability of my company’s revenue streams.

3. I have business debt that is more than 20% of my annual revenues.

4. My spouse (or employees) just...

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B141
Word Count: 599 - can be broken out into smaller sections.

How Many Small Business Are There?

States, according to Office of Advocacy estimates. Census data show that there were 6.0 million firms with employees in 2006 and 21.7 million without employees in 2007 (the latest available data). Small firms with fewer than 500 employees represent 99.9 percent of the 29.6 million businesses (including both employers and nonemployers), as the most recent data show there were about 18,000 large businesses in 2006.
Source: Office of Advocacy estimates based on data from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, and U.S. Dept. of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

What is a small business? The Office of Advocacy defines a small business for research purposes as an independent business having fewer than 500 employees. Firms wishing to be designated small businesses for government programs such as contracting must meet size standards specified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Size Standards.

How many businesses open and close each year?

What share of net new jobs do small businesses create?

What is small firms’ share of employment?

How do regulations affect small firms?

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B142
Word Count: 204

How important are small businesses to the U.S. economy?

Small firms

  1. Represent 99.7 percent of all employers.

  2. Employ half of all private sector employees.

  3. Pay 44.3 percent of total U.S. private payroll.

  4. Generate 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade.

  5. Create more than 50 percent of non-farm private gross domestic product (GDP).

  6. Supplied over 23 percent of the total value of federal prime contracts in FY 2003.

  7. Produce 13 to 14 times more...

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B143
Word Count: 208

The Economy and Small Business

How many businesses open and close each year?

An estimated 627,200 new employer firms began operations in 2008, and 595,600 firms closed that year. This amounts to an annual turnover of about 10 percent for entry and 10 percent for exit. Non-employer firms have turnover rates three times as high as those of employer firms, mostly because of easier entry and exit conditions.

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B144
Word Count: 799

How to Run an Effective Business Meeting

By Jennifer C. Selland, CPBA, CPVA, CAIA, TriMetrix

How productive are your business meetings? Would you describe the culture that governs your meetings to more resemble World War III or crazy chaos? During a meeting, do you focus on the agenda at hand or do you concentrate more on breaking a foam cup into bits? Would you qualify eating all of the donuts in a meeting as a major accomplishment in your agenda? If these meeting scenarios sound familiar to you, you are not alone! Many studies have shown that more time is wasted in meetings than in any other business activity. It is estimated that people spend 20-40% (upper management is much more) of their time in meetings and that meetings are only 44-50% efficient (source: Steve Kaye). By improving the efficiency of your next meeting, you may increase your bottom line.

The first step in improving the efficiency of your business meetings is to recognize that meetings are a collaborative effort. The very definition of a meeting is...

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B145
Word Count: 243

Productivity Boost!

Goal Setting - "The savvy 16"

"If everybody was satisfied with himself, there would be no heroes."  Mark Twain

  1. What are your top five business goals?

  2. What are your top five personal goals?

  3. Do these goals coincide with each other?

  4. What rewards do each of these goals give to you?

  5. What are the consequences of not achieving each of these goals?

  6. What is standing in your way from accomplishing these goals?

  7. What are...

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B146
Word Count: 171

The End Of Human Resources As We Know It

Conventional wisdom says that human resources finally has achieved its sought-after seat at the table. But the ability of human resources to add value at a strategic level "is currently more promise than reality." That’s the sobering finding of Creating a Strategic Human Resources Organization (Stanford Business Books), a long-term study of human resources by Edward E. Lawler III and Susan Albers Mohrman.

The authors found that today’s people managers still are most comfortable with...

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B147
Word Count: 94

Interesting LEGAL FACTS

 

Don’t Try Docking Pay For Smoking Breaks

An employer who allowed his workers to take a series of short smoking breaks had to compensate them for the time. Reason:

Such approved short breaks (20 minutes or less) are considered hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). That opinion comes from an opinion letter by the U.S. Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division. (W&H Letter No. 2007) The FLSA doesn’t require you to give workers rest periods, but if you do decide to allow short breaks, the time is compensable.

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B148

Word Count: 169

You May be liable if employees do business by car phone

You want your managers to stay productive, so you suggest they get wireless phones. You may even buy phones or reimburse for them. This is fine, as long as the employees don’t drive carelessly.

In a Pennsylvania case, a Smith Barney broker who allegedly was talking on his cellular phone dropped it, bent down to get it, ran a red light and killed a motorcyclist. Smith Barney agreed to pay $500,000 to the motorcyclist’s family, which sued the firm for contributing to the accident.

Despite the company’s big...

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B149

Word Count: 232

How To Help Employees Manage Workplace Stress

In their paper, “Reducing Occupational Stress:  An Introductory Guide for Managers, Supervisors, and Union Member,” co-authors Janet Cahill, Paul Landsbergis, and Peter Schnall offer some useful information that may help you improve the health and productivity of employees.

 

Here are a few of their recommendations:

 

·         Increase the level of social support from co-workers and supervisors.  Approaches can include proactive supervisory training, conflict resolution training, and staff retreats.

 

·         Improve physical working conditions.  Approaches include improving indoor air quality, reducing hazards such as noise, toxins, and chemicals, and...

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B150

Word Count: 235

Get more done between flights

Look for more Wi-Fi Internet access at airports. Nineteen of the top 50 U.S. airports either have it or are installing it, and another six are now accepting bids to get it.

Airline carriers such as American, Delta, United and US Airways are also offering it free in airport lounges.

For Chuck Blaisdell, a regional minister for the Christian Church of Northern California and Nevada, the proliferation of wireless access points means he can log on between...

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B151

Word Count: 134

How To Support An Employee Going Through Depression

If you have an employee who is suffering from a mild depressive disorder, there are a few things you can do as a manager to be supportive. Here are a few tips:

Help your employee set reasonable goals. In light of the depression, the employee may have an unrealistic view of what he or she needs to accomplish.

Assist the employee in breaking a large task into several small ones. This will help take the pressure off of the project. Encourage them to set priorities and accomplish what he or she can.

Provide information about any employee assistance program your company might have.

Try to get the employee...

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B152

Word Count: 98

Create A Drug-Free Workplace Program From Scratch

A useful online tool from the U.S. Department of Labor takes employers step-by-step through setting up and administering drug-free workplace programs.

To map out a customized plan for your organization, visit the Drug-Free Workplace Program Builder at www.dol.gov/workingpartners and click on the Program Builder link.

The tool provides best-practice case studies, links to...

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B153

Word Count: 253

“How to protect yourself from credit card fraud”

When another person succeeds in using your credit information to commit credit fraud, it can cause a lot of hassle in your life. So how do you protect yourself?

Here are a few tips on how to avoid becoming the victim of this type of crime:

s         Periodically review your credit reports. There are three main credit bureaus. Order your credit report from each of them at least once a year. Request copies of your credit report from TransUnion (800.680.7289), Experian (888.397.3742) and Equifax (800.525.6285).

s         Properly discard documents. Cut up, shred or otherwise destroy credit card statements, bank statements, pre-approved credit offers or any other documents that contain your personal information. Destroy credit card receipts, too.

s         Limit identification...

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B154

Word Count: 409

Do You Know and Plan For The 3-R’s for Your Business?

Everyone is familiar with the 3-R’s from school – reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic. This was our first introduction to an effective performance model. As proficiency increased in each R, performance was further enhanced. Effective performance models by their very design are a continuum that automatically raises performance to the next level.

Today’s businesses have their own 3-R Performance Model.  This model hasn’t really changed since the early of origins of business enterprises. No matter what the latest business guru advocates, good business practices and most importantly the “bottom-line” always appear to return to these basic 3-R’s.  For without Relationships, Referrals or Revenue, today’s businesses will not achieve current goals nor grow.

R1 – Relationships - With the Internet providing immediate access to unlimited vendors, products and services, today’s business owners must develop sustainable and loyal relationships. Current customer service research suggests that...

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B155

Word Count: 136

IRS Announces 2017
Standard Mileage Rates

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2017 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 54 cents for 2016

17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 19 cents for 2016

14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The business mileage rate decreased ...

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B156

Word Count: 912

What Is Sexual Harassment?

 

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when one or more of the following is true:

1.        A person feels that submission to the conduct is necessary in order to get or keep a job.

2.        A person feels that employment decisions such as raises, promotions, and demotions depend on whether he or she submits to or rejects the conduct.

3.        The conduct interferes with a person's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Some important facts to remember about sexual harassment are:

·         Both men and women can be victims of sexual harassment.

·         Either a man or a woman can be a harasser.

·         The person complaining of sexual harassment does ...

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B157

Word Count: 391

10 Ways to Have Your Best Year Ever!

We often think of New Year’s as the time to start fresh and make those famous resolutions.  But anytime is the right time to take control of our lives, to choose how we will live.  Real success in life is about balance, about choosing priorities, and then following a plan to focus on the things that are most important to us.  The following suggestions can help.

1.   Take time to decide what you really want this year.  What would make it a great year, a fantastic year for you?  Dream and scheme, and then dream bigger!  And write it down, just for the fun of it.

2.   Mark one day each month, just for you.  Use ink, not pencil, and schedule an appointment with...

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B158

Word Count: 250

Guidelines for Roth IRA Contributions

Taxpayers confused about whether they can contribute to a Roth IRA should consider guidelines based on the following categories:

·        Income Limits - To contribute to a Roth IRA, you must have compensation (e.g., wages, salary, tips, professional fees, bonuses). These limits vary depending on your filing and marital statuses.

·        Age There is no age limitation for Roth IRA contributions.

·        Contribution Limits - In general, if your only IRA is a Roth IRA, the maximum 2005 contribution limit is the lesser of your taxable compensation or $4,000 ($4,500 if 50 or older). The maximum contribution limit phases out depending on your modified adjusted gross income.

·        Spousal Roth IRA - You ...

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B159

Word Count: 452

Build A Workforce That Will Work Wonders

At then end of the interview, you should know all there is to know about a potential employee.  Why then does it often seem as if an interviewee walks out of the office as an enigma?  After all, you’re holding all of the cards.  There’s no reason to feel blindsided, but you do.

 An interview is your chance to get to know a potential hire and to understand those things about him or her that would best suit your business.  But not everyone knows how to get the most out of an interview. 

 To maximize the helpful information you get from a potential worker, you must do each of three things.  First, you must develop interview questions which will elicit answers that identify skills specific to the position for which you are hiring.  Secondly, know exactly which answers you are looking for with each question asked.  Finally, you need to have the courage to challenge the answers candidates give you, to make absolutely sure that you have the information from them that you want. 

 Being unprepared for an...

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B160-negotiating to win

Word Count: 292

Negotiating To Win

Often when we think of “negotiating to win” we visualize someone raising their hands triumphantly and the other party going away defeated.  In sales negotiations, the objective is to have both sides win.  Let’s face it; if there is a win for the selling organization and a loss for the customer, the selling organization will eventually lose.  If there is a loss for the selling organization and win for the customer, the customer eventually loses.  Therefore, the Champion Sales Person seeks to have a win/win scenario where both the selling organization and the customer win.

There are four negotiation alternatives that the Champion Sales Person can use to arrive at a win/win:

  1. Trade-off – giving the...

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B161

Word Count: 404

We’re All Entrepreneurs

The New Work World is project management and team collaboration with a variety of clients/customers.

As William Bridges states: “more and more of the work that must be done today is being done by people who do not hold ‘jobs’ at the company that needs the work done.”

  • They work for some other company to which the work is outsourced.
  • They work in a role too fluid to be called a regular job.
  • They are self-employed and arrive on the doorstep as consultants or independent professionals.
  • They are hired on a temporary or fixed term basis.

Daniel Pink takes our thinking yet another step. He says, “Ours has been the age of the “knowledge worker,” the well-educated manipulator of information and deployer of expertise.” But that is changing. Thanks to...

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B162

Word Count: 244

Helpful Tips For Effective Computer Use

In today’s environment using a computer has become an essential part of most professions.

To avoid undue stress of fatigue, loss of work, or eye strain, follow these suggestions:

s         Keep your monitor screen clean by using one of the many cleaning pads available. This will cut down on your eye strain.

s         If you are working on your computer and start to experience visual fatigue, blink more often. As you blink your eyes you lubricate them. It may also be helpful to get up and walk around the office for a couple of minutes.

s         One of the most frustrating things ...

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B163

Word Count: 207

How To Run An Excuse-Free Office

Is excuse-making a problem in your office? Excuses are really just defense mechanisms because employees fear blame, embarrassment, reprimands, and firings. As a manager, it is your job to turn mistake-making into a learning experience for your employees. Here are some suggestions to help you reduce the amount of excuse-making that goes on under your command:

·        Make sure your employees know your expectations. Clarify tasks and assignments that will be each employee’s responsibility. Explain how what the employee is doing fits into the bigger picture. This is often an oversight in many businesses and detaches the worker from feeling like he is performing meaningful work.

·        Help the employee anticipate possible problems and how she will handle them.

·        Make sure the employee knows where to go for help.

·        After the task has been completed, ...

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B165

Word Count: 470

Employee Loyalty

To get loyal employees employers must:

•           Select employees carefully so they match the job and the company environment.

•           Pay fair market value wages and salaries

•           Provide training in safety and job skills

Often when speaking to organizations or talking with clients, the subject of employee loyalty comes up. The questions asked are usually the same: “How come employees aren’t loyal any more?” or “How can I find employees that will be loyal to me?” The questions are the same and so is my response. Employees today are as loyal as they were years ago. Today’s employees, like many employers have lost the ability to define and recognize loyalty in the employee-employer relationship.

Employers are looking for employees that ...

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B166

Word Count: 631

Networking: Sowing the Seeds of Opportunity

S

ure, you’re a talented businessperson, and you’re good at what you do.  But you’ll never be as good as you could be with just talent alone.

Yes, you work extremely hard.  You do the little things that make a difference.  But you’ll never be as good as you could be through hard work and determination only.

We agree; you’ve accumulated a wealth of experience over the years.  You know the ins and outs of your profession.  But you’ll never be as good as you could be through experience alone.

The above attributes are certainly integral to being successful.  But there’s one thing that brings them together and acts as their “glue,” so to speak.  It maximizes the effectiveness of all three individually and also collectively, as a group.  And that one thing is networking.

People, first and foremost

The need for networking is often ...

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B167 - H140

Word Count: 371

Is Offshoring Waning?

For years, the United States and some other developed countries have been sending jobs to less-developed countries. In most cases, the motivation has been cost-savings…almost always in labor costs. It was assumed that workers in the receiving countries would be able to perform the work at least as effectively as the workers who had held the jobs for years---sometimes for decades. Manufacturing jobs shifted overseas, along with administrative, back-office, coding and design, and information technology positions.

Recently, because of the difficulty of finding qualified workers in the home country, jobs have moved to other countries. Employers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, for a few examples, have found the task of hiring skilled workers increasingly difficult. When competent workers are not available in the home country, employers will seek workers with those abilities in other countries.

Thousands of jobs are moving overseas while there are still people in their home countries eager to take those positions. Unfortunately, it has become ...

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B168

Word Count: 802

Increase Results By Building Endorsement

“Why is it that so many companies invest millions in buildings and equipment, and yet invest so little in the development of their most important asset-people?  It would seem we should take care of the people first and then they will take care of the company.” Judy Suiter

T

he most effective way to gain the commitment and cooperation of others is to “get into their world” and “blend” with their behavior style.  By meeting a person’s behavioral needs you are able to earn endorsement. Through this endorsement you are able to diffuse many problems before they happen. Also, endorsement allows a person to gain the most benefit from their time with you. Every interaction you have with a person either increases or decreases your endorsement.  Human performance is directly proportionate to endorsement.

There are 6 ways in which you can build endorsement of which 1 is earned (position) and all the others can be learned.

1.       Position – A person’s position gives them a certain amount of endorsement.  However, this endorsement increases or decreases based on “how” they act and “what” they believe.

2.       Appearance – Whether you like it or not, your appearance will dictate whether you are liked or not.  People notice the way you dress, your stationery, briefcase, eye contact, handshake, walk, etc.  Anything a person sees can positively affect your endorsement.

3.       Beliefs – People who do what they say and say what they do will develop greater endorsement than people who are “wishy-washy” in their actions.  A straight shooter will develop a greater level of endorsement because of his/her reliability and trustworthiness.

4.       Competence (technical, systems, and people relations) – A specialist in a field is seen as the one to listen to in order to solve problems.  Also, if you develop good people skills you have a competence that can build your endorsement.

5.       Oral Presentation Skills – A person who stands up and is unable to effectively present his/her ideas will have trouble gaining endorsement.

6.       Feedback – The ability to give, receive, and act upon various forms of information from others greatly impacts endorsement.  Most people want to do a good job.  The manager’s task is to give effective feedback allowing the employee to make appropriate changes.

The following 5 steps will assist you in ...

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B169

Word Count: 513

Rewards and Recognition

Satisfied, dependable and productive employees make business happen. Often a consumer will choose to purchase your product or service based on the employee who represents that product or service

I

t seems that one of the secrets to a productive workforce—and therefore a successful business—is an elusive thing called good morale. Just what is good morale? It usually refers to how your employees feel about their jobs, you and your business. And that can directly affect your bottom line.

So the next question would be: "What contributes to good morale in the work environment?"

It’s a myth that good employees care only about money. Money is important, but there are many items that contribute to an employee’s morale. Interestingly, some are so fundamental that we tend to miss them completely. For instance, do your employees feel:

§         Treated fairly and respectfully?

§         Valued and appreciated?

§         Recognized and possibly even rewarded for their work?

It shouldn’t take you long to realize that if you wish to attract, recruit and retain good employees, fair and respectful treatment is a given.  Employees who do not feel valued and appreciated will either contribute less effort as time goes on, or leave for greener pastures where they will be appreciated.

In addition, everyone likes to have achievements and efforts recognized. Even though personal satisfaction is usually generated from within ourselves, it is always more meaningful if someone else notices and shares the success. Thus the concept of recognition and rewards.

Rewards can motivate and encourage employees to contribute to their own success and that of your business. Now, we’re not talking big-ticket items like a car or trip to some exotic locale. On the contrary, employees are often delighted with a range of rewards that can be provided at little or no cost.  Most importantly, ensure your program fits the culture and image of your company.

he most effective reward and recognition programs have ...

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B170

Word Count: 473

Observe the Secrets of Your Best Employees

“Lauren has to get a shot at her next doctor’s visit so you have to take her,” my wife said. Lauren is thirty years younger, two inches shorter, about ten pounds heavier than my wife, and terrified of shots. So I took my daughter to the doctor. When the time came for her shot, she reacted as always. She recoiled, backed into the wall, turned her face within a moment of crying and said, “Wait, don’t give it to me yet! It’s going to hurt!” The nurse said, “Don’t worry. You will feel a little pinch but I will do it quickly so I won’t hurt you so much.” My twelve-year-old daughter turned her head away and down, tensed up a little, and took her shot with little trepidation.

I never really paid much attention to what the nurses did or how they gave the shots because I was almost always preoccupied with chasing, cornering or restraining Lauren. This time I may not have noticed what the nurse was doing or how she did it, but I couldn’t help but notice the result. This nurse had somehow established a relationship with my overly timid daughter that caused most of her fears to dissolve into quiet cooperation.

Similarly, many managers pay attention to the result of their employees’ efforts while failing to notice exactly what the employees did to get that result. They don’t really know what ...

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B171 - H143

Word Count: 373

US Facing Surplus of Hispanic Workers?

T

he second largest contributor to Mexico’s Gross Domestic Product is the money sent back to families in the country from citizens who are working in other countries, particularly in the United States. That amount may soon surpass the revenue generated from Mexico’s leading industry, oil. Labor, much of it unskilled or semi-skilled, is the country’s most significant export.

A wide range of American employers use Hispanic workers as full-time, long-term employees, and as transient and temporary workers. Employers have found that these employees are most often dedicated and hard working. Their strong work ethic is accompanied by a welcome appreciation for having a job and respect for management. Interestingly, these values which built American industry, are lacking in many US citizens---both white and black. While longer-time workers complain about employer use of Hispanic immigrants, there are important differences in productivity and attitude.

Undocumented Mexican workers in the United States are a primary source of day labor for landscapers, construction and home remodeling companies, cleaning contractors, and similar employers whose need for less-skilled labor may vary from day to day. In many cities, there are established ...

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B172

Word Count: 202

FREE TAX GUIDE FOR INDIVIDUALS

A

re you facing a lot of different tax questions this year? IRS experts have pulled together an overview of common tax issues in one convenient place — Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax. This updated publication, available on the IRS Web site, IRS.gov, contains a vast array of helpful information for individual taxpayers.

From stock sales to student loans, this nearly 300-page publication holds the answers to many of your questions:

  • Need help deciphering the mysteries of the Roth IRA? Try Chapter 17 for retirement accounts.
  • Do you have a new child in the house? See Chapter 34 for the Child Tax Credit.
  • Are you selling stock for the first time? Check Chapter 16 for capital gains. If you’re unloading losers, capital losses are there, too.
  • Do you need to report the profit on your home sale? See Chapter 15 for some good news. Generally, you only need to report the sale of your home if your gain is more than $250,000 ($500,000 if married filing a joint return). ...

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B173

Word Count: 302

Goals & Goal Setting

"Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan." - Tom Landry

The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get.

When Andrew Carnegie died, they discovered a sheet of paper upon which he had written one of the major goals of his life: to spend the first half of his life accumulating money and to spend the last half of his life giving it all away. And he did!

Some people are disturbed by those tough days because all they have is the days. They haven't designed or described or defined the future.

Goals. There's no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them.

There's no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there's no telling what will happen when you act upon them.

We all need ...

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B174

Word Count: 405

IRS Warns of Phony E-Mails Claiming to Come from IRS

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service alerted taxpayers about Internet scams in which fraudulent e-mails are sent that appear to be from the IRS.

The e-mails direct the consumer to a Web link that requests personal and financial information, such as Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers. The practice of tricking victims into revealing private personal and financial information over the Internet is known as “phishing” for information.

The IRS does not send out unsolicited e-mails or ask for detailed personal and financial information. Additionally, the IRS never asks people for the PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank or other financial accounts.

The information fraudulently obtained by scammers is used to steal the taxpayer’s identity and then his or her financial assets.

In the on-going e-mail schemes that use the IRS name, the recipients ...

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B175

Word Count: 130

IRS Warns Taxpayers of New E-mail Scams

The Internal Revenue Service alerted taxpayers to the latest versions of an e-mail scam intended to fool people into believing they are under investigation by the agency’s Criminal Investigation division.

The e-mail purporting to be from IRS Criminal Investigation falsely states that the person is under a criminal probe for submitting a false tax return to the California Franchise Board. The e-mail seeks to entice people to click on a link or open an attachment to learn more information about the complaint against them. The IRS warned people that the e-mail link and attachment is a Trojan Horse that can take over the person’s computer hard drive and allow someone to have remote access to the ...

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B176 & M144 & L160

Word Count: 776

How To Run An Effective Business Meeting!

How productive are your business meetings?  Would you describe the culture that governs your meetings to more resemble World War III or crazy chaos?  During a meeting, do you focus on the agenda at hand or do you concentrate more on breaking a foam cup into bits?  Would you qualify eating all of the donuts in a meeting as a major accomplishment in your agenda?  If these meeting scenarios sound familiar to you, you are not alone!  Many studies have shown that more time is wasted in meetings than in any other business activity.  It is estimated that people spend 20-40% (upper management is much more) of their time in meetings and that meetings are only 44-50% efficient (source: Steve Kaye).  By improving the efficiency of your next meeting, you may increase your bottom line. 

The first step in improving the efficiency of your business meetings is to recognize that meetings are a collaborative effort.  The very definition of a meeting is a TEAM activity where SELECT people gather to perform WORK that requires GROUP effort.  All participants of a meeting, therefore, must play a role in remaining focused and progressing through the meeting in a timely manner.

Before calling a meeting, it must first be ...

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PD149

Word Count: 235

 

I would like to say I never procrastinate, but that’s not true.
Is there a cure?

Sometimes people think procrastination is a time management problem; truth is you cannot manage time.  You have 24 hours each day.  To make the most of your days, and eliminate the stress of procrastination, think about managing your choices.  Managing choices is a Character Management issue.  Character comes from saying what you will do (honesty) and doing what you say (integrity).   This is true whether it is something you say to others or a goal or commitment you “say” to yourself.

Are you a person who keeps promises?  Many people are better about keeping ...

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B178

Word Count: 599

 

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition….

 Many people plan for the unexpected.  We buy insurance to be prepared for possible theft, car accidents, house fires or a countless number of other unexpected events. We can even buy insurance in case we lose our jobs, but this type of insurance is minimal coverage, and not indefinite.

 

 Few people plan for having their company acquired or a down turn of the economy both of which could lead to unexpected job loss.  In addition, if your company is not growing or you have no upcoming prospects for advancement in your career you could be experiencing job stagnation.  Whether you have just started your career or you have been in your career for twenty years, something you should always consider is what I call the “what if scenario”.  What if you lose your job? What if you suddenly realize there is no further advancement? What if your company is acquired or merges with another company in another city?  What if you get a new boss that is a @8^%!  Creating options to possible “what if scenarios” in your career before the need arises is the insurance you will need to achieve your long term goals. If you do not prepare for potential “what if scenarios”, you can ruin your career potential, livelihood and overall happiness. Do you have a plan for change?  

 

The first step in devising this plan is to consider your options.  Do you live in a city big enough to find another job?  Is commuting across town feasible?  If not, maybe you’ve always wanted to live in another part of the country possibly by the coast, in the mountains or in a big city.  Do you have ...

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B179

Word Count: 388

Can You Take a Home Office Deduction?

If you plan to run your small business out of your home you may be temped to “write-off” many of your household expenses. But how do you know what is deductible and what is not? The IRS has some advice that may help answer the question: “Can I take a Home Office Deduction?”

Generally, expenses related to the rent, purchase, maintenance and repair of a personal residence are not deductible.

However, if you use part of your home for business purposes you may be able to take a home office deduction. Expenses that can be deducted include the business portion of real estate taxes, mortgage interest, rent, utilities, insurance, painting, repairs and depreciation.

In order to claim a business deduction, you must use part of your home:

  • Exclusively and regularly as your principal place of business, as a place to meet or deal with patients, clients or customers in the normal course of your business, or in connection with your trade or business where there is a separate structure not attached to the home; or
  • On a regular basis for certain storage use such as inventory or product samples, as rental property, or as a home daycare facility.

In addition, if you work as an employee you can claim this deduction only if the regular and exclusive business use of the home is for the convenience of your employer and the portion of the home is not rented by the employer.

“Exclusive use” means ...

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B180

Word Count: 388

 

Measure Your Activity

“When performance gets measured, performance improves”

This old adage remains true year after year. The question is will you do the measuring that can get you the improved performance that you desire this year? We see time and time again in the sports world how records are broken. They constantly measure past performance in order to set new levels of expectation.

During the year, if you want to achieve improved performance, set up a system to measure all your activities that will insure success for yourself and your organization. It is much like a dashboard on your car.

The dashboard measures the activity of the car to insure that it is performing at its expected levels. So if you want to perform at the levels that will achieve success, set up a dashboard that will measure how you are doing.

The first step in setting up your dashboard is ...

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B181

Word Count: 199

Tips To Make This Year The Best Ever!

Create a vision for your company.

A vision statement crystallizes what you want your company to look like in the future. It is a clear image of the end result. (Even though you may never really have an end)

Create a vision for yourself.

Describe your future the way you would like it to be. Avoid slipping into the negative of what you think your future may really be. Allow yourself to dream big. Now write it down!

Set personal and professional goals

Set goals that will ...

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B182

Word Count: 242

Keeping Good Records

You can avoid headaches at tax time by keeping track of your receipts and other records throughout the year. Good recordkeeping will help you remember the various transactions you made during the year, which in turn may make filing your return a less taxing experience.

Records help you document the deductions you’ve claimed on your return. You’ll need this documentation should the IRS select your return for examination. Normally, tax records should be kept for three years, but some documents — such as records relating to a home purchase or sale, stock transactions, IRA and business or rental property — should be kept longer.

In most cases, the IRS does not require you to keep records in any special manner. Generally speaking, however, you should keep any ...

 

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B183

Word Count: 770

Beware of Tax Scams

Don’t fall victim to tax scams. These schemes take several shapes, ranging from promises of large tax refunds to illegal ways of “untaxing” yourself.

The IRS suggests that you remember three important guidelines:

1. You are responsible and liable for the content of your tax return.

2. Anyone who promises you a bigger refund without knowing your tax situation could be misleading you.

3. Never sign a tax return without looking it over to make sure it is accurate.

Beware of these common schemes:

Return Preparer Fraud:

Dishonest tax return preparers can cause many headaches for taxpayers who fall victim to their ploys. Such preparers derive financial gain by skimming a portion of their clients’ refunds and charging inflated fees for return preparation services.

They attract new clients by promising large refunds. Choose carefully when hiring a tax preparer. As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. No matter who prepares your tax return you are ultimately responsible for its accuracy and for any tax bill that may arise due to a questionable claim.

Identity Theft:

It pays to be choosy when it comes to disclosing personal information. Identity thieves have used stolen personal data to access financial accounts, run up charges on credit cards and apply for new loans. The IRS is aware of several identity theft scams involving taxes or scammers posing as the IRS itself. The IRS does not use e-mail to contact taxpayers about issues related to their accounts. If you have any doubt whether a contact from the IRS is authentic call 800-829-1040 to confirm it.

Frivolous Arguments:

Promoters have been known to ...

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B184
Word Count: 208

7 Quick Secrets To Writing Powerful Content

These are successful tips for writing powerful sales letters, articles, titles, and other marketing material.

We have spent a small fortune learning this information not to mention the incredible amount of time of actually doing it. This is a partial list of some of the most important aspects.

Now you can benefit from all this research, education, experience, and trial and error condensed in this short article.

Use these tips for all of your sales letters, titles, and articles.

1.      Create an outline before writing the content.

2.      Spend 80-90% of your time on

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B185

Word Count: 535

 

Staying Motivated In A Struggling Economy

Fear is a very powerful emotion.  When we live in fear, even of the unknown, there is a tendency to isolate, exert control and be on the defensive.  It drains our energy and creates exhaustion.

The majority of coaching conversations I am having these days are about this fear generated by a struggling economy.  Worry over business progress, finding a job, salary and bonus eliminations, increased job performance expectations have taken over people’s mindsets thus decreasing motivation and focus for themselves and their business.

While no one has a crystal ball to know exactly what will happen with the economy, you do have the keys to move through this time by the actions you take to minimize the fear and maximize your choices.  Following are three key tips on how to refocus and regain motivation during a challenging time:

Tip #1 Go Back To The Basics

What are the critical ...

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B186

Word Count: 513

Top Performer’s and the Law of Attraction (aka The Secret)

The Secret and the Law of Attraction have been circulating the airwaves.  A basic summary of the Law of Attraction is that “like attracts like”.  The law works by attracting similar forces to each other.  If we focus on the positive, we will manifest abundance from the universe and positive things will be attracted to us.  If we think negatively, we will attract negative experiences and results.  There are mystical elements wrapped up in the Law of Attraction.  As if we have a magical power to bring good things in our direction.  It is extremely alluring.  Is it true?

Yes and no – both!  Yes, the truth beneath the mysticism is based in cognitive psychology which has a firm research footing.  What people think will drive how they feel and what they do.  If a person focuses on the negative it will impact their mood, their expectations and their actions.  If an individual chooses to be optimistic and look for opportunity, they will be more positive, open and confident.  As a result, they seize opportunity when it arises.  In fact, a British researcher found that “lucky” people actually behave differently than “unlucky” people.  Those who are “lucky” are more optimistic, open and skilled at seizing opportunities.  Lucky people do not have exceptional fortune or magic power; they behave differently and thus get different results.  I believe that the Law of Attraction is

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B187

Word Count: 296

 

Don’t You Or Your Staff Fall For Tax Scams

The IRS is among a growing group of government agencies and corporations whose names and Web sites are being copied by imposters seeking your personal information.  The IRS does not use e-mail to initiate contact with taxpayers about their accounts. Do not open links in unsolicited messages claiming to come from the IRS.

Not all scams come by way of the Internet or email.  The telephone is a low-tech source of scams.  Do not give away personal information to callers claiming to be from the IRS unless you have verified the caller’s identity.  You can confirm an IRS contact by calling 800-829-1040.

Thieves can use stolen data to access your financial accounts, run up charges on credit cards or apply for new loans. With a stolen identity, a con-artist might try to use your Social Security Number to intercept your refund or falsify employment records.

Some con artists earn their living by preparing false, and illegal, tax returns. Dishonest return preparers, ...

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SP126 & B188

Word Count: 781

Sharpen Your Vision to Create a Competitive Edge

If you can keep your head when all about you,
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you.
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too.           
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting...
... Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it…!

Excerpt from “IF”, by Rudyard Kipling. 

Whether you are an entrepreneur, company executive, or employee, economic uncertainty may have you tied in knots.  The remedy, TAKE CONTROL.  When we feel powerless, we become victims.  And if you’re reading this, you probably don’t care to play that role!  Operating from positions of fear or scarcity takes a heavy toll on people and organizations. 

The media keeps the economy on everyone’s minds.  Not only do we watch the Dow and S&P, we now keep tabs on markets around the world.  There is uncertainty and volatility. Global markets are becoming more and more complex and ambiguity abounds.  What are we to do?  The answer:  strategically determine how to outperform the competition.

Throughout history there have always been winners, even in the direst of times.  There is no better time than the present to

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B190 & H164

Word Count: 456

 

If the Job Could Talk

What would a job say to us about superior performance if it could talk?  Would it tell us both what hard and soft skills we would need for top performance?  Would it describe the necessary behaviors?  How about what attitudes or values are required to excel in the position?  Even IQ and EQ (Emotional Intelligence) should be discussed.

We all know “jobs” can’t talk… but we can talk to superior performers in the job.  The key is to know what questions to ask.  The latest issue gaining attention is the difficulty of finding technical talent with “people skills”.  The leading experts are strongly suggesting that organizations review all existing job descriptions and conduct a thorough job analysis on which defensible hiring decisions can be made.  They are also suggesting that organizations take a good look at their needs for management skills versus leadership skills for all management positions.  Today, “behavioral interviewing” is being used in the hiring process by more and more organizations.

Top management is now talking about the value of “soft skills”.  Peter Drucker’s latest book is pushing “managing one’s self”.  Coaching continues to grow worldwide and corporations are talking about managing human assets.  Can you ...

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Align Structure With Goals For Higher Performance

Customer focus combined with proper alignment of vision with strategy, structure, people and processes is the best way to outperform and outlast your competition. When these critical components are in harmony, results are astounding. To sharpen your competitive edge, look at what keeps you from getting results you deserve.

Whether you are a group of one or many, the way you structure your organization can make the critical difference between simply satisfied and overwhelmingly loyal customers. That significantly impacts revenue and profit.

The best organizations deliberately make the most of their resources…in this case people. Winning companies define clear roles and responsibilities and their customers (internal and external) find them easy to work with. How about you? Does your structure make it easy, or difficult, to create loyal customers and get great results?

You can have outstanding people and motivate them toward action, but if structure restricts innovation and higher levels of productivity, improvements are temporary at best. Structure can either help or hinder your ability to react to the changing needs of the customers you serve. You cannot change the world in which you do business, but you can create a structure to best respond to your own market.

Definition

Structure is different than culture and different than process.

Structure is about roles and reporting relationships; process is about rules and procedures; and, culture is about attitudes and behavior. Culture influenced how your current structure evolved and will affect your ability to successfully implement structural changes.

A great tool for evaluating and improving your structure is a ...

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Second Passports: The State Department's Best-Kept Secret

Some countries won't permit entry to travelers whose passports show that they've previously visited certain other countries. Most Arab countries, for example, won't allow entry to people whose passports have a stamp showing that they've visited Israel. A similar situation confronts people traveling among some African countries. Traveling freely among these countries is a matter of carrying two passports and knowing when to use them.

You can get a second passport, a restricted passport. It looks just like a regular US passport, with one exception ... it clearly states that it is limited to use for travel to specific countries. The restricted passport can't be substituted for a regular passport. It can't be used to enter every country, only the ones that are specified on the application. And it isn't issued for countries with which the United States has no diplomatic relations.

Apply for one at your regional passport office, but be prepared to document your legitimate need ... itinerary, assignment from your employer specifying that you need to do business in a particular country, etc. Take two signed passport-sized photos.

To find out if you'll need a restricted passport, check the Visa Information Sheet available from any passport office. That document will help you to determine if there are visa or passport conflicts among the countries on your itinerary. Extra protection: Check with the consulate or embassy of each country you plan to visit.

Reason: Customs regulations of foreign ...

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Are You Infected With This Insidious Virus Preventing You From Success?

Much has been written about the forthcoming pandemic virus spread by birds.  State agencies within the U.S. have received hundreds of thousands of dollars to inform and educate people about the potential dire consequences of this anticipated virus.  Yet, there is an even a more insidious virus that is now alive and thriving in the global marketplace.  This virus is not transmitted by birds, ticks or even in air, but rather by those who provide a considerable amount of information necessary for us to think and make decisions in our ongoing efforts to achieve success.

Think of it for a moment.  Your thoughts through the information that you take in are how this virus infects you. Your vaccination against this virus is the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, along with those resources that rally against this terrible disease of the mind.  Only when you understand how you can eradicate this virus from your body, will you become inoculated against it and continue to be successful. Self Improvement Tip: There are many books that can ward off this virus, but in my opinion, this is the best one.

By the way, the name of this virus is ...

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Improve Morale - Give Employees Time Off!

Given the current state of the economy, giving your employees time off is probably the furthest thing from your mind.  However, not giving enough attention to this subject could come back to bite you later . . . and it might do so sooner than you think!

The reason is simple.  There’s a good chance that the employees you currently have are anxious and apprehensive at the moment.  With layoff figures and unemployment numbers in the headlines just about every week, it’s only natural that they carry some trepidation with them to their job.  The problem is that you need them at the top of their game in order to put their talent and skills to the best possible use.

This is why you should ensure that your employees take the time off they need, especially their vacation time.

If they’re well rested and refreshed, then you’ll reap the benefits upon their return:

·        Company culture—A more relaxed atmosphere contributes to a better culture within the company.  Employees, like everybody else, are intrinsically drawn to people and/or things that help them to reduce the stress in their lives.  Your company could be one of those things.

·        Productivity—Employees are more productive when they’re rested and relaxed, not when they’re frazzled and feel worn out.

·        Loyalty—A ...

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Employment Laws You Should Know

There are a plethora of complex laws that governs the employer-employee relationship with many provisions requiring government reporting or record-keeping. The more employees an employer hires, the more such laws apply to it, and the more likely the employer is to inadvertently violate a law simply because it is unaware of its requirements. Here are some of the laws and terms relating to those laws:

Health Information Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") is a federal law that protects confidential medical information belonging to all individuals. In the employment context, HIPAA means your employer may not have access to your confidential medical information unless it is necessary for the business (i.e., your employer views the results of a drug screening test to ensure workplace safety, or you submit medical certification to your human resources department to confirm your eligibility for FMLA leave).

National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA") is a federal law that regulates ...

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Top 12  Qualities of True Business Professionals

Professionalism is a word embraced by many, but in all honesty demonstrated by far fewer individuals. Its Latin's origins come from the word profess which means, "to avow before." So the question is what are these individuals who believe themselves to be true professionals avowing before? Possibly the answer may be found within the word professional.

1. P = Positively proactive. Professionals demonstrate behaviors that are positive and proactive instead of negative and reactive.

2. R = Respect. Through this ethic and value of respect, professionals are known and trusted within and without their respective organizations.

3. O - Opportunities to help others. Those who avow before understand they have a responsibility to help others whether it is to grow self leadership skills or provide some expert advice.

4. F - Follow-up. No one ...

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The Faster YOU Grow, The Faster YOUR BUSINESS Will Grow

What do you want for your business during the next twelve to twenty-four months?  Increased Revenues…Greater Customer Retention…Better Margins????  Common objectives, but where do you start?  Savvy business owners develop highly effective strategy, people and processes.  The savviest also recognize the impact their own personal and professional achievement has on business results.

Why?  It’s been said that the only sustainable competitive advantage is the ability to learn faster than your competition.  It’s also true that the leader sets the tone for the team.  That means it’s critical to stay at the top of your game.  Successful leaders regularly take a high level look at their business.  A similar personal assessment is also good business practice. 

Think of it as a holistic approach to great results.  Evaluate, develop and balance organizational, professional, and personal capabilities to get the competitive edge you need.

Leading others and your business is only part of the picture.  As a leader, the most important person you lead is YOU.  Mastering SELF LEADERSHIP enables you to most effectively lead others.

How much of your personal wealth is tied up in your business?  If the answer is much, most or all, it’s even more critical to incorporate personal development into your strategy. YOU are the most critical ingredient in your personal and business success formula and you can’t afford to skimp on your own development.   

How to Begin—How do you become a better ...

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"Want To Make Your Company More Successful?"

Creativity is the key to keeping a business flourishing. And while creativity will help your business grow stronger, there are other tools and opportunities businesses should use to their advantage.

Here are some quick tips:

* Make your business appear bigger than it may be.

You might not have a huge warehouse or dozens of employees, but you can still give your business the professional appearance of one 10 times your size. First impressions are important. Start branding. Design a great logo for your company and put that logo on all of your media. Have a company newsletter with information that focuses on the reader. Utilize your Web site and blog, and see if you can get them linked to your community's Chamber of Commerce or city Web site. Join ...

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Providing Opportunities for Employee Engagement

Employees who have a passion for what they do are practically self-engaging.  In other words, they seek out reasons to stay engaged in their job and with the company.  But what about those employees who aren’t quite as passionate, for whatever reason?  The fact of the matter is that you can lead them down the road to engagement just by providing opportunities for them to do so.

Many times, employees don’t need a reason to become engaged.  What they really need is the chance to become engaged.  Below are five ways in which you can provide opportunities to do just that.

  • Recognize the accomplishments of employees and celebrate them—Both parts of this initiative are important.  By both recognizing and celebrating, you not only increase engagement and retention, you also build a greater sense of camaraderie among the members of your team.
  • Celebrate traditions within the organization—This is another ...

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Attitudes Are Contagious…Is Yours Worth Catching?

Attitude development is at the core of achieving successful, desired results and outcomes.

The way you feel about yourself and others plays a crucial role into your personal and professional lives. In attitude development, we tend to always want to rush through the process. You cannot do this. You have to take it one step at a time if you are going to truly change your attitude. Attitude development is an important and difficult task- but not impossibility. And remember; it’s up to you…only!

Here are a few tips on how to begin to develop a great attitude:

1. Don’t Stress- This may be the hardest step of all in attitude development. Our level of stress can control what we feel about ourselves and how we judge others. It is very hard at times to control your levels of stress. You can decrease your stress levels by looking at every situation logically. There is always a logical explanation to all the stressful things that are plaguing your life. Take a moment to look at the area around you in times of stress and slip into a calm and relaxed feeling. With practice, you can be stress free…almost!

2. Grow some skin- Not literally. Grow some skin refers to not taking colleagues comments personally. People are going to name call or joke with you. You need to be the better person and shake it off. Ignore the comments that are more often than not, jokes, and you will be better off.

It is hard to “turn the other cheek”, but it is more important that if you ...

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Just Say “No” to Make Space for a More Important “Yes”

Today, you are bombarded with demands for your time. How are you handling the choices? To what are you saying “No” and “Yes?” Do you still have the thought at the end of the day that “nothing got done?”

Here is a practice to increase your sense of professional accomplishment.

  • Name the three to six critical expectations of your job. (Job Accountabilities)
  • Prioritize those expectations and the percentage of time you should spend to do them well.
  • Set yearly goals for each expectation.
  • Plan your quarterly, monthly and weekly goals and tasks based on those yearly goals.
  • Check daily and weekly on your progress toward your stated and continually updated goals.
  • When something comes up that ...

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The Cost of Keeping Non-Performers

You may be surprised on the amount of money that is wasted when you have non-performers in your business. With businesses feeling the economic crunch, it is important to be able to recognize those who are hard workers, and those who are only costing you money. There are many reasons why eliminating the non-performers in your business is a smart business move.

Here are some reasons why you should not keep the non-performers in your company:

1. They Cause Bad Customer Service- If you have a non-performer in your place of business, their attitude is going to show to your clientele. The non-performers won’t feel impelled to give good customer service and often don’t want to do anything to help the company. Your clientele doesn’t want to deal with someone who is not catering to their needs, especially when they are buying from you. As the business owner, you must address these issues before your clientele starts using your competitor(s).

2. They Cost You A Lot Of Money- When a non-performer is not doing his or her job, it is costing you money and productivity. Plus, you ...

 

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How Do Regulations Affect Small Firms?

Very small firms with fewer than 20 employees annually spend 45 percent more per employee than larger firms to comply with federal regulations. These very small firms spend four and a half times as much per employee to comply with environmental regulations and 67 percent more per employee on tax compliance than their larger counterparts.

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How important are small businesses to the U.S. economy?

Small firms: • Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms. • Employ just over half of all private sector employees. • Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll. • Have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years. • Create more than half of the nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP). • Hire 40 percent of high tech workers (such as scientists, engineers, and computer programmers). • Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises. • Made up 97.3 percent of all identified exporters and produced 30.2 percent of the known export value. • Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms; these patents are twice as likely as large firm patents to be among the one percent most cited.

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What is small firms’ share of employment?

Small businesses employ just over half of U.S. workers. Of 119.9 million non-farm private sector workers in 2006, small firms with fewer than 500 workers employed 60.2 million and large firms employed 59.7 million. Firms with fewer than 20 employees employed 21.6 million. While small firms create a majority of the net new jobs, their share of employment remains steady since some firms grow into large firms as they create new jobs. Small firms’ share of part-time workers (21 percent) is similar to large firms’ share (18 percent).

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M150 & B206

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Managing People For a Positive Environment

With the beginning of a new decade comes the optimistic view of a brighter future for our businesses, family, and self. Focus on creating an environment that fosters a positive attitude and watch your employees become more productive.

So how can you create that environment? Follow these 3 easy steps:

1)      Focus on catching people doing things “right” instead of only saying something when they make a mistake. When you see someone helping a coworker or going the extra mile for a customer give them praise.

2)      Start a “Wins” board. Create a ...

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Do You Create Opportunities For Your Employees
...to make a significant contribution to the organization?

Of course you do.  Employees already have their responsibilities and deliverables. They know what to do and how to do it. A system of audits and quality control already ensures that human errors are caught and corrected. A system of rewards and recognition is in place; a monthly or year-end incentive plan motivates the high performers.

But now you wonder why sales only shows minor incremental growth.  You realize that there is little innovation.  Decisions come slowly, and only after being passed up the ladder.  Senior management has to push for new programs; none are being suggested from the rank-and-file.  You struggle to identify “high” performers who deserve the year-end rewards.

Let’s concentrate on the phrase “significant contribution”.  Generally a “significant contribution” is the result of innovative thinking – thinking outside the box – considering a situation from alternative points of view. 

But explicit responsibilities and deliverables are, generally, simply lists of tasks.  A list cannot generate innovation.

Employees can ...

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Want To Effectively Build Trust And Boost Morale?

"The happier your people are, the better they are at what they do." Despite being one of the oldest business clichés out there, the previous saying also remains a universal truth that many company managers want to achieve. Good morale tends to have a domino effect, and when the manager's morale is boosted, everyone else will become more productive. However, in terms of sales boosting, everybody is required to be enthusiastic regardless of whether or not the manager is also joyful, which is another sad but universal truth employees are aware of.

At any rate, morale and trust building throughout a workforce can be achievable through employee coaching. However, it's the kind of activity that must be done right in order to work; owners and managers alike should invest real commitment to this program in order to entice their workers to meet them halfway.

As a side note, the results of morale boosting can serve as morale boosters themselves to business executives and supervisors too, so the importance of keeping your employees happy should not be underestimated.

Morale and Trust Building Dos and Don'ts

The wisdom of ...

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Disengaged Managers Are A Leading Cause Of Disengaged Employees!

In developing strategies for dealing with disengaged employees, one unspoken assumption is that “employee” means “front-line worker.”  Certainly if there is disengagement, then the problem does exist in the trenches, and must be addressed.

However, managers are also employees; and as such, they might also be disengaged.  Worse yet, a disengaged manager is a leading cause of disengaged employees.

How could a manager be a disengaged employee? Is there not a daily rush of adrenaline thanks to the stimulating meetings, the high-stakes decisions, the varied responsibilities, and the unswerving loyalty from within the department?

First, is a manager an ...

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B210 / H185

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Do You Need To Learn About The DISC Behavioral Assessment?

DISC is the behavioral model based on the work of William Moulton Marston (1893-1947) to examine the behaviors of individuals. This model is based on his book, “the Emotions of Normal People” and focuses on the styles and preferences of human behavior.

Understanding the term DISC is very easy and incredibly powerful.

DISC stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance. These all have different areas of definition in themselves. Each area gives us information on:

How you approach problems & challenges

How you deal with people and information

How you relate to the pace of the environment and change

How you respond to procedures, rules, and constraints.

Learning the DISC behavioral assessment will help ...

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H186 & B211

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"Who Needs To Use Personal And Professional Assessment Tools?"

With society changing everyday, it is important to look at other ways which can help us keep up with the rest of the world. Having personal and professional assessment tools in your everyday life is a great benefit.

However, many people aren't familiar with what personal and professional assessment tools are. To understand what they are, you need to realize how they can help you. Acknowledging who you are, where you are going in your life, and how to get there are very important issues that personal and professional assessment tools help with.  But first, here is some background information about the tools.
Personal assessment tools: These are simply an assessment on you.

This is achieved by answering a wide variety of questions which assess qualities ranging from relationships, attitudes, work styles, and skills. One such ...

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Does Employee Disengagement Cost Your Company?

Disengaged employees cost your organization money – but how much, and where does it show?  Here are several areas where you can, and should, measure these costs.

Disengaged employees do less work per day; they waste time by procrastinating or griping.  An outside firm can survey your workforce, anonymously, to determine the level of engagement.  One example: in 2008 Staffing World reported that, on average, American workers wasted 2 hours in each work day.  To annualize this, multiply those lost hours by the number of working days in a year (about 200 days). To determine the annual cost, multiply that by the number of employees, times the average hourly wage in your organization.  (Another approach to this calculation is to determine the wasted fraction of a work day.

In the Staffing World report, this would be about 2/8 hours, or about ¼ of the work day.  Multiply that by ...

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Re-engaging managers to re-engage the workforce

Why should managers need re-engagement?Customized newsletter service - Sorrell Associates

They are employees, and susceptible to the same forces that lead to employee disengagement.

What role do managers serve in re-engaging the workforce?

Executives do perform vital roles in setting the corporate framework, in creating the appropriate culture, and in communicating “from the top down”.  However, much of the work in employee re-engagement is performed directly by the employee’s manager.

What are the steps at the corporate level?

The first step is to ...

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How to Accurately Measure Talent

In order to inform and support the success of both your selection and retention processes, you must accurately measure the talent of every candidate and employee in your organization. By accurately measuring talent, you are able to ensure that you successfully match the best talent to the job you hire them for. This way, company managers will be able to know the key factors which will enable them to successfully motivate, manage and develop the talents of each individual.

Moreover, accurate talent measurement also ensures that jobs are performed at superior levels. This is because teams are able to work much more effectively and profitably. Talent measurement will also enable each individual to understand their strengths and challenges, and therefore learn how to best adapt to the work environment.

Accurately measuring talent also ensures that talent is properly identified, developed, and allowed an opportunity to succeed on an ongoing basis.

In order to accurately measure talent, you need to ...

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 Using Team Building to Boost Morale and Build Trust

When it comes to building trust and boosting morale, companies have been turning to team building as an immediate solution.

The team building concept has served as an umbrella term that covers an extensive assortment of exercises designed to boost productivity and morale simultaneously, often by concentrating on the people who don't particularly feel enthusiastic with their job, which in turn has an effect on their performance. Effective team building focuses on goals and outcomes more than on individuals that tend to be slacking in their jobs.

Profiling Team-Building Exercises in a Positive Light

Despite the allegations of critics with regards to the constrained and coerced nature of team building in terms of forming bonds and linking employees together, it still has a lot going for it. Events centered on team building are considered as

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B216 / Legal1264

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Do You Know Which Of Your Employees Are Entitled To Overtime Pay?

In certain cases, based upon the employee’s position and/or experience, an employee making up to and possibly over $100,000/year may be entitled to overtime!

Recently, the Fair Labor Standards Act was revamped, and it now provides increased threshold salary caps before the overtime exemption kicks in.

How to avoid a problem: To ensure ...

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Dressing for Success

by Alison Sfreddo of The Mentoring Connection

So, you have just signed on to the mentoring program, been matched with a mentoring partner and are now looking forward to the unlimited possibilities of networking and new visibility.  Next question, have you looked in the mirror lately? Many people do not realize that their appearance is the first impression that will linger and that first impression is what can give them the edge on the competition.  The simple fact is that if you look sharp you will be perceived as sharp.

In our efforts to achieve the next level of advancement, the ...

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Managing Your Staff With Questions

Asking questions is a great way to get your staff involved, motivated, and engaged in their daily jobs. If you make this a part of your daily routine you’ll be sending the message that their opinion really matters. In addition you may get some incredible ideas to help your company grow.

* What part of your job takes too long?

* Is there anything that caused you to waste ...

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Retirement and The Lost Workforce

This year, a large number of the baby boomers will be turning 65, a ripe age for retirement. This proves to be a challenge to organizations everywhere because of the financial implications of providing retirement benefits, losing experienced and highly trained employees and replacing the lost workforce.

A survey conducted by Challenger Gray & Christmas Inc. provides a different perspective. In the said survey, human resource executives were confident that companies will not need to worry about labor shortage because baby boomers are predicted to put off retirement. This is in conjunction with a Merrill Lynch retirement survey which found out that about 76% of baby boomers do not seek traditional retirement. They would rather take lessons and additional training so that they could shift to a line of work different from their current one.

If the aging workforce is going to stay, how should executives adjust?

Sometimes, executives label the older segment of the workforce as more reliable but also, more difficult. When changes need to be implemented, baby boomers generally are more often than not resistant because they have the prevailing idea that what worked then will also work in the future. This is not true. Many businesses have to do restructuring and remolding their mission, goals and strategies in order to keep up with the times. The key to convincing them to change is to practice good communication. Listen to them and get their feedback.

What can you do for them?

First, ...

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B219 & I124

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Ten Business E-mail Etiquette Tips

Have you ever received an e-mail that seemingly had more than one meaning? Or an e-mail that doesn’t really answer the question that you asked? In a business setting this could be time consuming, dangerous, or ever disastrous. Help protect your company and people from liability issues and improve efficiency by using appropriate professional email communications.

Here are some tips for professional email etiquette for any business.

1.      Use short to the point emails to avoid confusion.

2.      Answer the question concisely and have the recipient confirm the understanding.

3.      Use correct grammar, English, punctuation, and spelling.

4.      Avoid acronyms, abbreviations, and emoticons. Example: lol. Is it laughed out loud or lots of love? Can you see how this could be inappropriate in business emails?

5.      Do not use ...

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B220-Serial Entrepreneurs Driven by Need for Practical Return on Effort

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Serial Entrepreneurs Driven by Need for Practical Return on Effort

Featured in the Harvard Business Review's - The Daily Stat

62% of serial entrepreneurs see it as a top priority to get a practical return on time or money spent, a value that is viewed as primary by only 38% of U.S. adults, according to a study by TTI Performance Systems. Only 10% of ...

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B222-Seven Steps for Creating a Culture of Commitment and Accountability

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Seven Steps for Creating a Culture of Commitment and Accountability

1.) Communicate to everyone that accountability and commitment are important!

2.) Align every job description to your company’s strategy and goals for the coming year. Ask everyone to commit to a shared vision of results.

3.) Make accountabilities clear for everyone by using the benchmark for their job to start a discussion about how their individual contributions matter.

4.) When you onboard new employees, have job-related professional development planning already in place to help them reach their full potential.

5.) Build accountability into ...

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SP134-Are You And Your Company Prepared To Handle A Crisis

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Are You And Your Company Prepared To Handle A Crisis?

If you are in a management position or are the CEO of a company then you know that you have to be prepared for any event that may happen. Crisis management is one of the duties that go along with your corporate job. Are you good under pressure? Are you ready to manage a crisis? How strong is your bench? This article will discuss ways to control the risks involved with crisis management and strengthening your bench.

If you want to be sure that your company is able to withstand a crisis then you must see if your bench is strong enough. Amazingly there is a lack of executive talent out there and there is even less being seen for the future.  Many CEO’s are worried that their corporation does not have the talent to see them into the next twenty plus years. Many baby boomers are reaching the retirement age and the new hires just do not seem to be up for the challenge. In fact, 11,500 people will turn 65 each day starting January 2011. How are you handling the lost of experience?

If a company is to succeed in this global world where crisis seems to be the norm rather than the exception, all ...

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B223-0411-Are you optimistic about business growth

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Are you optimistic about business growth?Gary Sorrell, Sorrell Associates Customized Marketing Service, www.newsletterville.com

According to a recent business outlook survey conducted by CFOs, nearly 50% of CFO’s are more optimistic about the US economy than they were just last quarter. Many have plans to hire new workers, and develop new revenue streams. They are willing to spend more on capital expenditures, technology, & research-and-development and increase marketing and advertising spending.

On average, CFOs project a 2% increase in full-time domestic employment over the next 12 months.

That increase would represent 3 million jobs, and should bring U.S. unemployment below ...

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H192-0411-Three Essential Steps To Take When Attempting To Blend Generations

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Three Essential Steps To Take When Attempting To Blend Generations.Gary Sorrell, Sorrell Associates Customized Marketing Service, www.newsletterville.com

Every generation has a place in the workplace. All are able to get the job done, only in different ways. Each generation comes equipped with their own styles of work and though different, all styles are proven to be effective. So what does this mean when generations come together in the workplace? Where do they fit in? Can they fit together?

Established Generations

  • Vets born 1922-1943
  • Baby boomers born 1944-1960/65
  • Gen X born 1960/65-1980
  • Gen Y born 1980 +

3 Steps to a Successful Combination of Generations

A common problem in the workplace is the inability generations have to understand and adapt to one another. Blending generations in the workplace

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H191-0411-Identifying the Best Talent for Your Company

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Identifying the Best Talent for Your Company

CEO’s are aware of the importance that an organization’s top talent holds in the overall success of their organizations. Given the current state of the economy, companies are becoming more and more reliant on procuring the types of leaders that will give them the edge over their competitors. It is prudent, therefore, to have a full understanding of what characteristics these employees or potential employees possess.

In order to identify the best talent for your company, seek individuals who have not yet developed their full potential. It is best to choose intelligent employees who still have room to grow. They should be confident, self-starters whom you foresee being able to progress through the ranks of the company hierarchy at least two positions higher than their entry position with the company. Look for characteristics that are indicative of their abilities to take on broad, complex roles and to solve broad and complex problems, should they arise.

It is important to be thorough in the screening process. View their track records with previous employers. Pay particular attention to the speed with which they achieved promotions and merit awards and ascertain what results they ...

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B224

Word Count: 639

Understanding the Cost of a C Team

To comprehend the cost of a C team, it is important to understand what a C team is. C team members are unhappy in their position within an organization, are unfulfilled and, more often than not, disengaged. A team member exhibiting these characteristics has a negative effect on team morale and motivation, resulting in poor work performance.

Integrating Existing Team Members into A Teams

To make improvements to employee morale, increase job performance, and ultimately to net an increased profit, begin by restructuring the members of the organization. An employee assessment is a crucial part of this strategy. The purpose of the assessment is to select areas and roles best suited to individual employees.

Characteristics Included in the Assessment Process

- Experience

- Intelligence

- Skills

- Behaviors

- Attitudes / Values

An employee’s experience for a managerial position may look good on paper, but having the ...

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B225

Word Count: 490

Are You Onboard the Economic Optimism Train?

Everyone has been affected by the state of the U.S. economy and has seen how slow job growth, lack of consumer spending and a decrease in profits has derailed some businesses. The state of our economy is not projected to last forever which has recently led to some seeing a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the defunct economy.

Should you be optimistic?

According to the CFO Outlook Survey, a substantial number of chief financial officers say yes. The survey, distributed by Zicklin School of Business (Baruch College) in conjunction with Financial Executives International (FEI), noticed a significant increase in CFO confidence when it came to talk of hiring new employees this year. According to those who participated in the survey, when it comes to business, their optimism levels are high.

Who’s Hiring?

  • 64% - Number of CFO’s projecting to hire supplementary employees within the following six months
  • Ford Motor – Plans to hire an estimated 7000 workers in a two year time period
  • Lowe’s – Confirmed they will be hiring between 8000 to 10,000 employees slated for weekend sales associate positions

What’s to be Expected

A percentage ...

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B226

Word Count: 634

Teaching Employees How to Deal with Emotions in the Workplace

Good or bad and whether we like it or not, emotions are abundant in the workplace. There has always been some question as to why employees behave a certain way while at work and now there is an explanation. Emotion and mood greatly affect how one behaves. Recently, it has come to light how important it is know and understand the distinction among the two. Why? As an employer, your bottom line is to run a successful business and make a profit. Learning how to recognize and deflate an emotionally saturated situation will only benefit your bottom line.

Emotions are classified as being temporary and often intense by nature encompassing a full spectrum of feelings ranging from fear, anxiety, sadness and happiness. Often, the first three on the spectrum lead to feelings of anger. Anger leads to poor workplace behavior which is often experienced on different levels by males and females.

It is important to understand what constitutes emotions in order to construct a course of action, turning bad behavior into good.

On the contrary, moods tend to last for shorter periods of time and their origins are not quite as well known. Some wake in a disdainful or cheerful mood, carrying it to work with them. There is a correlation between ...

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B227

Word Count: 623

Technology Sector Fueled by Optimism

Technology is everywhere you look and no matter which business sector you are a part of, technology is one of the driving forces behind the success of your business. This year, the technology sector is forecasted to show one of the largest comebacks from the ill fated U.S. economy. This has many CFO’s talking about the future of their own businesses and how technology will play a role in their own comebacks.

Investments in the technology sector are speculated to rise as are the number of employment opportunities in the field. CFO’s in the technology sector are predicting a 9% increase in full-time job openings in their industry. The 9% increase would steadily contribute to the overall 3 million jobs projected to hit markets this year.

Where is Technology Happening?

This may come as a surprise to some, but Washington D.C. seems to be attracting those from near and far with a stake in the technology industry. Seasoned professionals set the stage in the 90’s by establishing home bases for AOL and Network Solutions in the area. Younger generations moving up the technology minded ladder are steadily following suit.

What sets Washington D.C. apart from other popular technological centers around the United States?

As new generations, firms, and companies both large and small are ...

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B228

Word Count: 631

Improve Employee Satisfaction by Understanding Your Employer Brand

Improve Employee Satisfaction by Understanding Your Employer BrandEvery corporation from large enterprises to small and family owned businesses have felt the strain put on by the faltering economy. For many of us, hiring new employees has been put out of the equation and layoffs have run rampant. Where does that leave our current employees? How can we make them feel secure and stable in their jobs and keep their performance levels running high?
 

The Affect Unhappy Employees Have on a Company Brand

In regards to the aforementioned faltering economy, employee morale and overall satisfaction in the workplace has suffered. Budget cuts, layoffs and stringent money saving strategies are seen as a threat by many employees. They have stood waiting on the sidelines witnessing adjacent departments being downsized and their once loyal, hardworking counterparts getting laid off. This leaves them feeling unappreciated and under-valued. Not feeling valued and feeling under-appreciated leads to a decline in performance and productivity. This can spell disaster for your company.

It is imperative to maintain a healthy employer brand throughout any hardship, not only economic. When it comes time to begin ...

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M160

Word Count: 681

Employee Management Techniques

With an upturn in the economy, more companies are planning on hiring additional employees. Many will be college aged students, young and fresh out of school. Most are eager and ready to jump into the workforce. Even more are grateful to have secured a job while the economy takes its time recovering. As an employer, what are your techniques when it comes to training and managing a new team of employees, especially the younger generation?

Characteristics of the Younger Working Generation

Before you can begin effectively managing your new employees, you must come to an understanding of what makes them tick and what motivates them to work to their fullest potential. You may be wondering why this is an important step in management. The answer is simple. If you properly manage your employees, especially across generations, they will work harder and produce a better result which in the long run nets you a better profit.

·        Eager to Learn

·        Crave Affirmation of a Job Well Done

·        Better Motivated by Acknowledgment

·        Motivated by Educational Opportunities

·        Encouraged by incentives

Characteristics of a Productive Manager for the ...

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B229-1011-Visible Personal Accountability is Critical to the Creation of Business Success

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Visible Personal Accountability is Critical to the Creation of Business Success

In today’s business world, being a personally accountable organization is more valuable than ever before. The average consumer has his hands full just trying to pay the mortgage. Often, consumers complain that they have no confidence in the government, in banking, or in big business because these industries lack personal accountability. Where personal accountability is maximized, consumer confidence is increased. This increase in consumer confidence leads to the result every business is seeking to obtain; a healthy profit. Show a person that a business takes responsibility for its actions and decisions, and that person begins to trust.

Locate the Personal Accountability in Your Business

In any business, the people working on the bottom level tend to have the most visible accountability system. This is standard practice because the newest employees often need the most oversight. Moving up in the chain of command, that visible system of accountability seems to disappear. This lack of visible accountability is the reason that mistakes go unnoticed until a corporate catastrophe occurs. Looking at those at the very top of their business, it is easy to see that success can be measured in personal accountability.

The fear of ...

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L183-1011-Do You Have What it Takes to Manage a Crisis?

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Do You Have What it Takes to Manage a Crisis?

Personal Accountability in the Workplace

Everyone needs it, but not everyone has it. It’s referred to as personal accountability and it’s the foundation for building the necessary skills it takes to be accountable for one’s own actions. This is not always an easy task, but it is one prized by many companies and employers. Those with a strong sense of personal accountability are responsible, focused on producing results, and make immense contributions to the company.

You may be wondering how personal accountability has any bearing on managing a crisis in the workplace. Who would you rather have leading your team through a crisis situation? Someone who is quick to transfer blame to others or someone who is willing to stand up, take charge and is not afraid to hold themselves accountable if their plan of action goes awry?

When a crisis occurs in the workplace it means there is an overwhelming and urgent need that must be met. A leader with personal accountability not only possesses the ability to recognize the need but also the qualities and knowledge needed to nullify the situation.

Leadership Turnaround Qualities

When it comes to business turnaround strategies, the optimal...

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B230-1111 - The Art of Performance Evaluations

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The Art of Performance Evaluations

Most managers and employees view performance evaluations as necessary but difficult to do. Managers do not look forward to the process and most employees see it as a time when unfair demands or criticisms are made of them.  They also see it as a one-sided (biased) view of their performance.

Reflecting on the performance evaluations many employees have experienced, there is good reason for the apprehension they feel about the process, which is the primary reason why evaluations are not done on time if at all.  When an employee’s performance deteriorates to a level that makes him or her expendable, it is often too late for performance evaluation.  Yet if an evaluation is conducted, there is a good chance the employee could be saved. A retained employee increases company moral, reduces costs and increases productivity and profits.  

Like many tasks in business, there is need for ...

 

 

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L186-1111-What Are The Challenges To Managing Top Talent?
B231

Word Count: 643

What Are The Challenges To Managing Top Talent?

As we close out this year and begin the next, the economy has left us wondering what the future will hold for our business, leaders, & strategies. Despite the perception that the global economy woes would increase the talent supply, it still remains a leading challenge facing all corporations globally. As a matter of fact, attracting, developing, & maintaining top talent is a vital issue facing companies of all sizes globally.

Talent is no doubt critical to business success. Every organization aims to grow its talent in addition to widening the knowledge base of its employees. However, with increased competition and every organization racing to secure the best talent, management of this talent is likely to become even more challenging this year.

Top talent management challenges / trends include:

1.      Outsourcing

2.      Development ....

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B232-1111-Discover What Matters Most to Your Employees and Include it in Your Company Brand

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Discover What Matters Most to Your Employees and Include it in Your Company Brand

After the employee surveys have been taken and the results read, it’s time to understand the results and implement them in your course of action. This step is crucial in improving your company’s employer brand. There are lots of important steps that you and your company can take.

§         Incorporate your employee’s values into your company’s strategic plan

§         Reward employees in accordance to their values

§         Hire individuals that share the same values as your company

When a company stays on the same page as its ...

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B233-1111-Business Thoughts

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Business Thoughts

Did you know that through traditional hiring techniques there is only a 14% likelihood that the hire will be successful?

Research shows approximately 80% of turnover is caused by bad decisions made during the hiring process.

You might have found the best talent but this employee will only dramatically increase your success if they are placed in the right job.

Have you interviewed and assessed someone who would be a great fit with the company but doesn’t fit the open position? (Continued)

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B234-0212

Word Count: 393
Recognize the Global Demand for Professionals

Recognizing the global demand for professionals puts you ahead of other businesses. By getting top talent on board before the competitors, your business propels forward. While other executives are still searching for professionals, you already have the best ones on board. In the next year, there are several staffing areas you should consider.

 

Return On Investment

 

Project management professionals with IT skills are essential for your organization to succeed. Modern technologies move fast and you have to keep up with the pace. Properly planning projects and overseeing their implementation are crucial to keep your company profitable and progressive. Look for a project manager with leadership abilities, a positive attitude and excellent people skills. 

 

Protection

 

Letting the ...

 

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B235-0212

Word Count: 98

Business Thoughts

Companies must offer more than money or prestige to retain high performing employees, they must offer an engaging job.

Each generation has distinct attitudes, behaviors, expectations, habits and motivational buttons. Knowing other generations’ quirks can be the difference between your success and failure.

Business coaching boosts profits by ...

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B236-0212

Word Count: 404
Employment Growth Projection in the United States

The employment growth in the United States commonly stems from the bond among the country’s labor force, population, and requirements for supplies and services.  In a general notion, the population limits the size of the labor force, which typically contains working individuals and those searching for employment.  Consequently, the size and efficiency of the labor force restricts and controls the number of supplies and services the country can produce in a year.  Furthermore, the variations in the requirements for goods and services affect the type of industries that will develop or contract in the succeeding years.

 

Nevertheless, it is worth considering the vast developments in the technology field and the demand for that talent. The research shows this area will have the highest growth rate.

Moreover, the changes in the composition and size of the country’s population over the next year or two can greatly influence the state of the economy and job growth. 

 

As the population of baby boomers grows, the older population will rise 29.7%, which marks ...

 

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B237-0212

Word Count: 653
Steps to Creating a Successful Multi-Generational Workforce

A combination of generations in the workplace can be a successful venture but only if all sides are willing to comply with one another. Older generations have built a career on the knowledge and experiences they have gained. Newer generations, often fresh out of college, think they know everything. They have spent the previous four years studying in a higher learning institution and have earned their place, no matter the starting position, in your company. In order for a multi-generation workforce to garner respect from one another and become assets to the company, they must possess an acceptance and the willingness to learn from one another.

 

Sizing up Cross-Generation Competition

 

Do not let age deceive you or become the basis of the opinion you form of an older or younger employee or coworker. As the age of retirement is consistently pushed upwards, more and more “baby boomers” are staying in the workforce and all but demanding a certain level of respect they have worked so hard to establish.

 

Sizing up a coworker based on their age is a fruitless venture. Focus on the person’s attributes and contributions to the company rather than age.

Focusing on age tells you nothing about your coworker except maybe they are too young to be the next leader of our country or that they may have amassed a clan of grandchildren. More importantly, it won’t help you establish a line of communication or show you how to work alongside one another in a productive manner. In order to create an industrious working relationship and workforce, you will need to focus on the information that pertains to the contributions you can make to the company together.

 

The Assessment Report

 

The assessment report contains vital information necessary ...

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PD164-0312-Emotionally Fueled Behavior Affects Working Relationships

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Emotionally Fueled Behavior Affects Working Relationships

You have worked hard to get to be in the position you are in today. Along the way you have created a network of relationships. Whether you realize it or not, these relationships are emotionally fueled. Not only can workplace relationships be created on emotion, they are often enhanced, defined, and destroyed as a result of the way we handle our emotions.

Being seen as unprofessional, unstable, and untrustworthy can lead to a downward spiral in your work relationships and put an end to your hard earned career. To keep your emotions and relationships in check, you and your coworkers must realize there is a place for emotion in the workplace. How you use your emotions and how they are displayed contributes to the way your coworkers view you and what level of respect they hold for you.
 

Where Emotions Fit In
 

  • Emotions affect the quality of decision making
  • Emotions affect the formation of relationships
  • Emotions fuel motivation and performance
  • Emotions make creativity and innovation possible
     

Reversing Job Dissatisfaction
 

Overall satisfaction in ...

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H196-32912-Talent Assessments and Strategies in Retention

Word Count: 395

Talent Assessments and Strategies in Retention

In order to conduct successful talent assessments in retention, you need to provide managers with essential information for talent management. Below are some of the facets of this essential information.

·       Job-related traits necessary for superior performance – When the manager knows what the job entails, they are better placed to nurture such traits in the individual. Moreover, they are also able to match the best talent to the tasks they are required to perform.

·       Job-based coaching and development – Managers are thereby able to identify the key factors which will enable them to successfully motivate, manage, and develop the talents of every individual.

·       Individual’s strengths and challenges – By understanding the strengths and challenges faced by the individual, managers are able to assist them in finding the best ways to adapt within the organization or situation.

·       Keys to management effectiveness – Effective managers will have fully understood what rewards and motivators drive the individual to do their job.

·       Keys to team building – It ...

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SP138-32912-How To Write An Action Plan

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How To Write An Action Plan

When writing an action plan to achieve a particular goal or outcome, you can get much help from the following steps.

·        Clarify your goal. Can you get a visual picture of the expected outcome? How can you see if you have reached your destination? What does make your goal measurable? What constraints do you have, like the limits on time, money, or other resources?

·        Write a list of actions. Write down all actions you may need to take to achieve your goal. At this step focus on generating and writing as many different options and ideas as possible. Take a sheet of paper and write more and more ideas, just as they come to your mind. While you are doing this, try not to judge or analyze.

·        Analyze, prioritize, and ...

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B238-073012-How Social Media is Impacting Business

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How Social Media is Impacting Business

Social media is more than a way to connect with friends and family. The modern use of social media helps businesses reach out to clients and associates. Businesses need to harness the power of social media to remain competitive in a growing online marketplace.

 

At first, some entrepreneurs wrongly believed social media was a passing fad. They thought Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites were for kids. The reality is that social media is here to stay and more businesses are using it every day.

 

Businesses turn to social media to reach a wider audience. Competitors go beyond the local area to capture customers regionally, nationally and even internationally. All demographics are represented when businesses engage in social media marketing.

Social media also ...

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PD167-073012-Emotions Affect Company Morale and Performance

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Emotions Affect Company Morale and Performance

 

Emotions in the workplace, whether positive or negative can have a short-term or long-lasting effect on employees and the business. Some employees, without ever realizing it, have the power to bring workplace morale down in the blink of an eye. This is usually with a negative side comment or from an angry glance. Whether it is the employee’s personality, a problem they are experiencing at home, or the fact that they are simply unhappy at work, their negative attitude can spread like wildfire throughout the office.

 

All employees experience different moods throughout the day. Some are short lived while others drag on for hours or even days. Stress, anger, happiness, disposition, and everyday duties all have a way of affecting morale and performance. It is how we display our moods and feelings and how we interpret the moods and feelings of others that determine how they will affect the workplace.

 

Some employees try to mask their feelings by voiding their faces of all expression and carefully choosing the way in which they speak. Others have no qualms about voicing their unhappiness and negative opinions regarding work related issues.

This often creates a level ...

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B240-121212-Ideas and Innovation - The Engine and Fuel of Entrepreneurship

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Ideas and Innovation - The Engine and Fuel of Entrepreneurship

 

We may be living in an unprecedented time. A time different from all other times. A time of times. A time when America is overwhelmed with debt, emerging from a recession and generally questioning, whether or not, we, as a country, may have lost our "Mojo."

 

Realizing that jobs fuel the economy, and that a healthy U.S. economy brings about a healthy world economy, much attention is being paid to the value of the business start-up in this country.

 

For instance, the Kaufmann Foundation proposes that "all net new jobs" in this country, in the last decade, have come from business start-ups. Now that is pretty valuable.

 

All of this has brought about a rush from many to identify "secret traits" to be found among certain individuals that would indicate a propensity for Entrepreneurial success.

They have not yet found them. However, there are two traits that I believe are essential to entrepreneurship and new business start-ups: They are Ideas and Innovation.

 

I cannot think of a single circumstance where a new business has been started without both. I call these two the engine and the fuel of entrepreneurship. To explore these two factors ...

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B241-122712-Could Misalignment Exist In Your Company?

Word Count: 449

Could Misalignment Exist In Your Company?

 

Alignment is the delicate balance between an organizations' people, processes, resources, and departments.  It is a matter of aligning your vision with people, strategy, structure, and processes with a focus on the customer and a foundation of core values.  Because they are interdependent, they must be aligned for success. Misalignment is when one or more of these components are not working towards the same goals or strategy. The longer the misalignment goes on the more destructive it can be. Sales, profits, turnover, & additional waste are just some of the outcomes from any one part being misaligned.

 

Often, misalignment slowly creeps into an organization under the radar. When left unattended it starts to undermine the success & outcomes of a company and its people. There are numerous reasons for this to happen but it cannot be left out of sync.

 

If misalignment did exist within your company, would it have a negative impact on the accomplishment of your overall strategy and goals? The answer is most likely YES!

 

Look at these questions to see if misalignment may exist in your company:

·       Are employees recognized for accomplishing the goal?
Yes____ No____ Sometimes____ Don’t know____

 

·       Has growth stalled?
Yes____ No____ Sometimes____ Don’t know____

 

·       Does the ...

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B242-122712-The Power of Brainstorming

Word Count: 355
 

The Power of Brainstorming

Brainstorming is useful and effective when you have a challenge, problem, or stale patterns of thinking. It helps you overcome issues and will get buy in from the team, especially since they are a part of the solution. Having many people involved in solving an issue brings incredible richness and better solutions. Brainstorming sessions can be used for any issue from increasing sales, cutting down employee turnover and reducing waste, to improving morale & attitudes.

I worked with one company that had a goal of reducing errors & waste at a manufacturing company. In one two-hour session we came up with a plan, and within six months reduced the errors and decreased waste by 22%. That savings went right to the bottom line and everyone was excited because it was their idea. It also made it easier to give raises during performance appraisals.

Seven quick brainstorming rules:

1.           Have as many people from multiple areas of the company in the session. You never know where the next great idea will come from.

2.           No ego’s in the room. Everyone is equally important.

3.           Clearly define the ...

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B243-11413-Senior Executives Top Challenge

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Senior Executives Top Challenge
this year

Employee Engagement!

What is employee engagement? Engaged employees really care about the company. They are willing to “give whatever it takes” to make the company the best it can be. Engaged employees have an emotional bond to the company, which results in higher levels of productivity, increased customer satisfaction, and decreased absenteeism & turnover.

However, a recent study by MSW Research, Gallup, & Dale Carnegie Training shows that only 29% of employees around the world are fully engaged. Now you can see why this is a top challenge for senior executives!

This is not just an HR situation. This is a critical business issue. The entire company, including the “top brass”, needs to be involved, responsible, and encouraged to make engagement the top priority in the company.

The ability to engage and retain talent has an incredible affect to the company’s bottom line. According to the Bureau of National Affairs, turnover costs approximately 1.5 times the annual salary and costs US businesses around $11 billion annually. In addition to increased turnover costs, disengaged employees are unproductive and drag morale down. What is this costing you?

 

What to do… what to do?

If you want to increase employee engagement within your company, concentrate on these areas: ...

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B244-11413-How To Have A Great Brainstorming Meeting

Word Count: 160

How To Have A Great Brainstorming Meeting

In our previous article on brainstorming, we explained the power of brainstorming. This issue explains how to conduct a brainstorming meeting. (If you missed that issue, please contact us and we will send it right away)

  1. Put a large place card or flip chart on the wall with the four brainstorming principles on it:

Criticism & judgment is ruled out

Freewheeling is welcomed

Quantity is wanted

Combination and improvement is sought

  1. The leader has a bell and explains to the group that he or she will ...

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H203-11413-Should YOU Be Hiring For the Future?

Word Count: 566

Should YOU Be Hiring For the Future?

Everyone has a limit to what they can afford and what they are allowed to spend when it is a business. There are many issues that surround the idea of hiring for the future, that it makes the topic logical. When managers and business owners talk, they are talking about the performances of the employees and where the bottom line is. It is a smart investment to invest in employees because of the high turnover rate people are having in major companies today. Everyone is always looking for the bigger and better. This is bigger in salary and better in duties. As the world grows older, the human race is looking for faster and more efficient work. There are many reasons why you should think ahead and start hiring for the future. Reasons include:

 

1. No down time- You don’t have to worry about having a break in production or work time because you will have the right amount of employees necessary to run your business. The turnover rate regardless of the crisis is high enough. People are always trying to improve themselves and this is by jumping jobs. Having ...

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B245-031313-Employee Engagement – Key Drivers

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Employee Engagement – Key Drivers
Executives Top Challenges this year

 

In our previous newsletter, we talked about Employee Engagement; what it is, what to do, and questions to ask. This article will discuss the “Key Drivers” of Engagement.

 

While employee surveys make it possible to identify engagement, it does not pinpoint organizational improvement very well. There are many factors that will help increase employee engagement known as “Drivers.”

 

These drivers, when managed correctly, will help a a company effectively manage the levels of employee engagement.

 

Drivers such as clearly defined goals, vision, culture, management & peer relationships, career development & opportunities, performance feedback, communication, rewards & recognition, and trust are some of the elements that enable employee engagement.

 

Here are some points (in no particular order) to consider as you look to increase employee engagement:

 

Organizational Goals & Vision – Everyone within the company ...

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B246-031413-IRA Traditional or Roth

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IRA – Traditional or Roth?
What is the difference and which one should you open?

 

The main difference between the traditional and Roth IRA’s is in the taxes.

 

While both plans will grow “tax free” while in the account, you pay taxes at different times with each one.

 

With the traditional IRA, you pay taxes when you withdraw it from the account at retirement. You deduct the amount of the contribution from your yearly income tax at the time of the contribution. For instance, if you make $50,000 a year and you put $2,000 in the plan, you get taxed on $48,000 for that year. (Tax deduction)

With the Roth IRA you ...

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B247-050313-Does employee engagement matter to company success

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Does employee engagement matter to company success?

 

Today you hear a lot about employee engagement. Senior executives have been concerned about this within their company for some time… and for good reason.

 

There are many descriptions of what employee engagement is and what an engaged employee looks like. In recent newsletters, we have discussed these areas. If you missed these articles, contact us and we will send them to you right away.

 

An engaged employee is:

  • Willing to put in the extra effort

  • Have high levels of loyalty

  • Have an emotional bond to the company

  • Promote the company as “the employer of choice”

  • Strive to inspire peers

 

Are your employees engaged?

According to a Gallup Study and a recent report from SHRM, on average, employees were only moderately engage. In addition, employee engagement levels have been ...

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L202-061413-Your Brain Under Stress

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Your Brain Under Stress

 

In our previous months newsletters we have talked about emotional intelligence and how important it is for leaders to understand and apply the power of EQ. While essential for survival, the ability to react quickly on emotion alone doesn’t necessarily serve us well when it comes to making decisions in our personal and professional lives.

Successful leaders have the ability to effectively manage emotions and emotional triggers. 90% of the difference between average and superior performance is EQ. Do not overlook the importance of EQ. If we are not aware of our emotions and how they impact others, the other emotional intelligence skills become more difficult to demonstrate. If we are unaware of our emotions, it’s virtually impossible to regulate them.

 

 Love – A profoundly tender, passionate affection.

 

Joy – Great delight, keen pleasure or happiness.

 

Sadness – Sorrowful or mournful unhappiness.

 

Hate – Intense dislike, extreme aversion or hostility.

 

Anger – A strong feeling of ....

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B249-071713-Do you have the business acumen for success?

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Do you have the business acumen for success?

What is business acumen?

 

Business acumen is the ability to see a business situation, make good judgments and quick decisions that are likely to lead to a positive outcome. It is the ability to assimilate information from a multitude of areas and quickly react with sound decisions that have a favorable, profitable, and successful future.

 

Executives who possess a strong business acumen truly understand how all the parts of a company work together to make it successful.

 

Important drivers and abilities of someone with a strong sense of business acumen are:

 

Vision: Ability to see where the business is going, how it is going to get there, how each person fits in, and how everything works together to become profitable. Capable of quickly analyzing a situation and making a decision that is in line with the company’s direction.

 

Financial understanding: To not only be able to read the financial statements, but also to ...

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B250-071713-Why develop business acumen?

Word Count: 235

Why develop business acumen?

 

Because it is a critical leadership competency. Today’s leaders are bombarded with challenges to get results. Their decisions have a bottom line impact and they are required to do more with fewer resources.

 

Because managers without business acumen lack the in-depth understanding of how their actions influence the company. They agonize to implement and link decisions to the overall strategy.

 

Because it gives you a competitive advantage. In sales, customer service, turnover, profits, and success.

 

HR professionals were recently surveyed ...

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B252-080113-Identity Theft In The Workplace

Word Count: 261

Identity Theft In The Workplace

 

As identity theft continues to be on the rise, we are often asked; how are these thieves getting our information?

 

Experts report an increasing number of corrupt employees offering private customer information to identity thieves. The most common victims are small organizations with fewer than 100 employees, according to the most recent study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners 2012 Report. Often smaller companies have fewer controls and less training on handling private data than larger companies.

 

Handling private information correctly is vital, necessary, and the law. Poor business practices may lead to liability suits and loss of customers.

 

What should you do to protect ...

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B254-091913-Is electronic shredding important?

Word Count: 400

 

Is electronic shredding important?

Identity theft continues to be the top consumer complaint reported to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) for 13 straight years. 12.6 million Victims of identity fraud in the United States in the past year cost victims more than $21 billion. That is an increase of one million more consumers over the past year, which equates to 1 incident of identity fraud every 3 seconds.

Keeping consumer’s private and sensitive information safe is not only a good business practice, but also the law. These state and federal data protection laws require businesses to properly maintain and properly destroy personal information.

Using electronic shredding is a good practice for battling identity theft in the workplace. Experts report that there are an increasing number of cases that can be traced back to corrupt employees who somehow obtain private information of customers & employees and offer it to identity thieves.

What to shred?

Credit card information
Social Security numbers
Online banking log in user name and password
Banking statements & Receipts
Credit reports
Old employee files
CD, DVD, thumb drives, computer hard drives, & data disks
Staff badges
Health insurance cards, etc…

How to destroy sensitive information. If you ...

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B255-091913-Business planning is conducted for three complementary purposes

Word Count: 278

 

Business planning is conducted for three complementary purposes.

  As a tool to conduct strategic planning.
 

Strategic planning within the context of a business plan is an effective way of organizing the many facets of strategic planning. Because of the holistic nature of business plans individual components of strategic planning are placed in a logical order and linked together. As such the content, focus and comprehension of the strategic plan is increased.

 
As an internal ‘constitution’ for the firm which communicates the firm's mission, goals, and strategy.

The business plan is an excellent tool for creating constancy within an organization. It serves as a repository for the firm's operating guidelines such as goals and mission statements.

Business plans also contain ...

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H206-091913-Manufacturing & Services Hiring Rate Will Hit a Three-Year High

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Manufacturing & Services Hiring Rate Will Hit a Three-Year High

 

In a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the hiring rate in manufacturing and services will rise compared to a year ago.

 

The survey examined four key areas: Recruiting high-level talent, New-Hire compensation, Employers expectations, and Job vacancies.

 

Recruiting challenges:

Manufacturing -1.2% Services +10.0%

 

New-hire compensation: ...

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T128-091913-Organizing by priority

Word Count: 306

Organizing by priority

A time management skill to help you be more productive.

 

Get in the habit of organizing and prioritizing your day. You will become more productive. This is a proven simple way to saving time, being organized, and increasing productivity.

 

Before leaving the office for the day, or first thing the next morning, make a list of everything that needs to be done.

 

Next, prioritize your list.

Give each one an ABCD or E priority mark.

 

A - Must be done first – very important. Serious consequences if you do not get it done. Often this is a task you don’t want to do and have procrastinated to get done. Think about the sense of accomplishment you will have once it is complete. In addition, you get to check it off your list.

 

B - A ...

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B256-111913-Three types of conflicts that can cause distress

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Three types of conflicts that can cause distress

 

When conflicts occur, they typically fall into three categories.

Intrapersonal (Me-Me), Interpersonal (Me-You), and Personal/Functional (Me-Job).

 

When conflicts happen, often you experience decreased performance, higher anxiety, demotivation, lack of engagement, and an energy drain.

 

Intrapersonal (Me-Me) Conflicts -

These conflicts are often caused by having two natural tendencies and the need to suppress one of them.

For example, someone that is driven by immediate results but also has a need for the task to be done perfectly will experience this conflict. These two behavioral styles require different energies. The results driven behavior tends to like an active fast environment, the perfectionist behavior likes to take their time, and do it right. You can quickly see how this can cause some distress. This is like having one foot on the gas and one of the brake. It burns up a lot of energy.

 

Interpersonal (Me-You) Conflicts -

These conflicts occur when two people that have very different behavioral styles try to interact with each other. This happens at all levels of interaction; at work, with family, in relationships, and among friends. Conflict between people is not always a bad thing. When conflicts are handled well, they can be productive, lead to a deeper understanding, and increase mutual respect. When they are not handled well you may feel resentment, hostility, and have un-repairable relationships.

 

Personal/Functional (Me-Job) Conflicts -

These conflicts happen when a person’s ...

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B257-122013-Small businesses create 70 percent of U.S. jobs

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Small businesses create 70 percent of U.S. jobs

Small businesses are the driving force of the economy, which creates 70 percent of the jobs in the US. When the economy is doing well, small businesses provide a boost in job creation. However, when the economy is sluggish, small businesses often lead the way in job losses.

 

What defines a small business?

The Office of Advocacy defines a small business as an independent business having fewer than 500 employees.

 

In latest period for which data were available, there were 300,000 net new jobs, about 85 percent of which were created by businesses that have fewer than 500 employees, according to the BLS data. Private companies provide nearly 110 million of the 131 million jobs in the US.

 

Small businesses comprise what share of the U.S. economy?

 

Small businesses make up:

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B259-122013-7 Successful Business Tips

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7 Successful Business Tips

 

1.  Establish your long-term vision.

Take a good look at your company and its core competencies and create a written picture of your future.

 

2.  Communicate your vision.

Let everybody know what your vision is and ask them what it means to them. This will help you to get buy-in and help others know where you are going in the long term so they can see where they fit in.

 

3.  Establish some core values.

By establishing some core values, everyone will know the guidelines of their actions and decisions. Core values allow us to come up with similar answers to a problem regardless of the position of an employee based on our values.

 

4.  Establish your ...

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B260-021714-Do not become the next identity theft victim!

Word Count: 382

Do not become the next identity theft victim!

As we have discussed in previous articles, identity theft is growing daily and is costing victims billions of dollars every year. These thieves are working hard to get your personal information. We have very little ability to prevent identity theft, but we can take some precautionary steps to decrease our risks.

 

Here are some suggestions to minimalize the risk of becoming the next victim.

 

Watch out for the phone solicitors – unless you have initiated the call, never give out your personal information over the phone. This ploy has become increasingly popular and the callers sound legitimate.

 

Shred all documents that contain personal information – pre-approved credit card offers, insurance quotes, etc… that you typically throw in the trash, needs to be disposed of properly. Shred instead!

 

Do not give out your ...

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B261-021714-Senior Executives Challenges This Year

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Senior Executives Challenges This Year

 

With this year well on its way, CEO’s will have some challenges to overcome. Passive decision making will not resolve these concerns. Many sleepless nights are ahead for these individuals as they commit to making the right decisions. There is no doubt that the CEO’s of companies large and small have similar difficult problems to solve. Most companies will have to take into consideration the following issues for this year:

 

Marketing:

 

With each passing year, new and innovative ways of reaching the masses in marketing are being implemented in companies across the globe. CEO’s have limited moneys to fund these campaigns, and deciding which methods best suit their target markets prove to be challenging. For businesses that have been hit hard by recession, finding the money to create effective marketing strategies is difficult. However, without proper marketing, these companies don’t stand a chance to become as profitable as they need to be. It is a vicious cycle that is hard to break. Often times, CEO’s have to make budget cuts in other areas to fund these marketing strategies, leaving the company vulnerable to being understaffed or in other areas.

 

Hiring or Downsizing:

 

As CEO’s move throughout this year, ....

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B262-041014-Take Charge: Don’t Let Your Business Run You

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Take Charge: Don’t Let Your Business Run You

 

It is time to take back the control of your business functions and start making your business work for you again. Without regular evaluation of the way your business is progressing and working, you can easily wake up one day feeling like you are being run by your company. Use these guidelines to put your business back on track and get your employees on board to create a more efficient work environment.

 

Expectations:

 

As a company grows and changes, it is important to re-evaluate regularly more efficient ways of doing business. The way you ran the company at the start may not be the way you always do things. When changes are made, it is important to clearly define your expectations of policy and procedure modifications with your staff. When employees have a clear understanding of the overall strategy, goals, and job descriptions, they can help find more efficient ways of doing things. This assistance will further in the achievement and success of the company.

 

Time Management:

 

Many times, you can get ....

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B263-041014-Shredding Compliance is Law

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Shredding Compliance is Law

 

With the number of fraud cases each year, shredding compliance laws have become more stringent to protect individual’s information. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) was put into place to guard private information from being unlawfully accessed by unauthorized persons. Since these laws bring stiff penalties and fines of up to $1,000 on a state level and $2,500 on a federal level per each violation, it is in the best interest of all business to understand and comply with shredding laws. 

 

Education:

 

All businesses that handle client’s personal information are mandated to destroy documents according to specific standards that are put in place by the state in which the business is located.

Researching and understanding what the laws are in your state in regards to your specific company, will help you to serve your clients the best. Also, by adhering to these laws, you will save your business from potentially paying out large amounts of money in penalties and fines. Abiding by the proper shredding policies of private information is in the best interest of all parties involved.

 

Strategy:

 

It is important that once you are aware of the ...

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B264-041014-How to keep your top talent from leaving your business

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How to keep your top talent from leaving your business

 

Avoid losing your high performing top talent with these quick tips.

 

Conduct an employee survey – find out what your staff thinks about the direction of the company, their role, job satisfaction, their supervisor, company benefits, communications, training, development, support, etc… Once completed, compile the information and look for any trends or common themes.

 

Salary analysis & competition – There have been a plethora of reports stating that most people do not leave primarily for more money. However, they do leave if they feel underpaid for the value they bring to the company. Conduct a competitive wage analysis to ensure your pay scale has not fallen behind.

 

Treat your employees like they matter – As the economy continues to show signs of improvement, it ...

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B265-041014-Shoot...Goal

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Shoot…. Goooaal!

 

One of the most important qualities of leadership & management is goal setting. Effective goal setting empowers you and your staff to higher levels of achievement. Goal setting is the tool that can (and will) take your company to the next level.

 

So why aren’t you doing it… Daily?

 

Researchers found that 90% of us never set goals. Of the 10% who actually do, only 3% have actually written them down. The latter 3% group, believe it or not, consists of some of the most successful people in all fields of endeavor.

 

People have been conditioned to believe that there is no use in setting goals because over a period of time nothing good is going to happen to them anyhow. They have been told too often that they cannot do something with the basic message being negative. (adapted from Zig Ziglar) When in fact goal setting is what proves this to be wrong!

 

In order to stay competitive and get ahead of the competition, you must be able to do more with fewer people. Everyone must become more productive. Everyone must set goals!

 

Goal setting is the tool that will make the difference!

Key principles of goal setting are:

 

Clarity – You must be able to see the completed goal. Have a vision of what it looks like when achieved. A clear goal makes it easier to measure and achieve.

 

Dedication – You must be dedicated to the goal. Have ...

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B266-041014-What are QR Codes

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What are QR Codes?

You see those little square boxes everywhere anymore. On signs, business cards, print advertising, etc… But what are they?

 

QR stands for Quick Response. You scan them with your smart phone and they quickly display information about a product, service, or contact information. It can also direct you to a website or play a video. Many marketers are putting a special offer on QR Codes that cannot be accessed anywhere else. The promotional possibilities are virtually endless.

 

Scan the QR code on the right… Enjoy!

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B267-060614-Retirement Savings Plans

Word Count: 489

 

Retirement Savings Plans

 

With the ups and downs of the economy over the past several years, staying on top of retirement plans can easily fall by the wayside. Now more than ever, employees need to understand the retirement accounts they have set up with their place of employment. Taking these years of economic decline off from savings will put you in a bad place when you hit retirement age.

 

Retirement Years:

 

The idea was once held that you would be able to live comfortably in retirement years living off 80% of your ending income level. Retirement is becoming increasingly complicated, and these numbers may not accurately reflect what will be needed to live comfortably by the time you reach retirement age.

 

Some factors that are adding to these complications are: people are living longer, need for long term health care, social security cuts, low interest rates, and increasing inflation.

 

Working with your employer, you will be able to understand your retirement ...

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B268-060614-Set Goals and Write Them Down

Word Count: 352

 

Set Goals and Write Them Down

 

Set Goals and Write Them DownWe all have goals. But those who write their goals down tend to achieve their goals more often.

 

Why? Two reasons:

 

1)         First, writing them down crystallizes your goals. It keeps you on track, because you know exactly where you’re going. You’re less likely to wander off and get distracted by the next bright and shiny idea that catches your eye.

 

2)         Secondly, putting your goals down on paper makes you more committed. You almost feel guilty if you don’t follow through – after all, you’ve basically made a promise to yourself!

 

Here’s a tip: Write down both your big goals and your small goals.

 

You see, if you just write down your big goals, it will ...

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B269-090414-Handling A Bad Performance Review

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Handling A Bad Performance Review

 

Should there come a day that you receive a bad performance review at your job, there are some things to keep in mind to handle the situation appropriately. It can be so easy to feel offended about critical feedback, especially if you feel that you are doing a good job at your place of employment. Here are a few helpful tips to handle the review in a positive way and improve your job performance for future reviews.

 

Don’t Take Offense:

 

As hard as it is to not take offense about the feedback, this is very important. When you take personal offense to the statements being made in the review, you will likely make poor judgment calls about how you handle yourself in the meeting.

You tend to act defensive when you take a personal offense to something and it can easily cause you to point blame at other people or processes within your company. It is important to not immediately begin placing blame on others when you are called in for a performance review, because it will seem that you are not willing to take personal responsibility for your own actions.

 

Listen to the Feedback:

 

Another difficult thing to do is ...

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B270-090414-In Business - It Takes Money To Make Money! In Business - It Takes Money To Make Money!

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In Business - It Takes Money To Make Money!

 

We have all heard this saying. And now that we are in business; owning, leading, managing a company, how does it affect our company & what does it mean?

 

We continue to see an increase in training & development spending and it is worth the investment. US spending on corporate training rose by 15% last year. This represents the highest grow rate in 7 years according to ...

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B271-090414-Improving Performance Evaluations Improving Performance Evaluations

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Improving Performance Evaluations

 

Performance evaluations of employees can be a difficult task for senior management. Often the problem comes in that there are no real guidelines or expectations for these reviews. In order to improve performance evaluations, the process must be improved. When staff has been given clear expectations about their job, and a clear guideline of how they will be rated, the evaluations will be much more successful.

 

Define the Expectations:

 

At the start of employment for new hires and at the beginning of the year for everyone else, it is important to clearly define the evaluation process.

Explain when evaluations take place each year or quarter and also give the rating scale.

Employees should be given clear guidelines of their job duties in an employee handbook. When staff are uncertain of their roles within the company and are not sure how their performance will be rated, it can give them an uneasy feeling when evaluations come up. Should they receive an evaluation score that is below their expectations, it can leave for poor morale in the work environment.

 

Give Ratings That Don’t Appear Negative:

 

When determining the ...

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B272-011915-Addressing the Pressures on Our Professional Talent Today

Word Count: 395

 

Addressing the Pressures on Our Professional Talent Today

 

Part of running a successful company is addressing the real-life pressures on our professionals today.  Hiring top talent is not enough. You need to nurture professionals to ensure maximum productivity and ongoing loyalty. Recognizing the needs of your valued professionals makes it easier to keep them engaged and working as a team.

 

Long Hours

 

Inevitable parts of professional life are long hours. While most professionals expect to work overtime, it gets grueling when it happens all the time. You as the leader must recognize the need to have time off. Encourage professionals to cover each other on a rotating basis so one person is not overloaded with all the work & hours. (If possible)

 

Maintain workload balance so everyone does their fair share. Consider temporary outsourcing if your entire crew of professionals seems to be burned out.

 

Stress

 

Professionals experience stress at work because of the demanding nature of their jobs. Many progressive companies offer a human resources professional who listens to these stresses and offers suggestions. The simple acknowledgment of stress in the workplace makes people feel better. Trying to ignore it ultimately makes professionals ...

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B273-011914-Taking Steps to Improve Crisis Management

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Taking Steps to Improve Crisis Management

 

It’s important to have a well thought out and rehearsed plan of action in place in order to properly and efficiently manage a crisis situation. It is common place for a crisis to occur without warning. First and foremost, familiarize yourself with the different types of crisis that may happen within or to your company. Every business is based on different fundamentals and is characterized by numerous factors, as is crisis. Crisis can be clustered into groups. Here are some suggestions you should consider, familiarize and plan for in case of a crisis.

 

* Management misconduct crisis: Management engages in the misrepresentation or concealment of its products/services or practices dishonest customer relations.
 

* Deception crisis: Deliberate deeds of misconduct.
 

* Misconstrued management value crisis: Management ...

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B274-011915-More States Ban Social Media Snooping

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More States Ban Social Media Snooping

 

One of the first things many of us tend to do when trying to find out more about someone is to find them on a social media outlet. Many people do not use the highest privacy settings, and their information is there for all the world to see. It is slowly becoming a way for others to get to know you, without actually getting to know you. What about employers and their employees? How do these roles intertwine with one another in the professional field?

 

Can Employers View Public Social Media Accounts?

 

An employer has every right to view public social media posts that are made by potential and current employees. While many companies and hiring managers do not use this information as a means for hiring a candidate, social media often does play a role in the interviewing process.

 

Why Do Some Employers Ask For Login and Passwords to Private Accounts?

 

Many employers have ...

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B275-011915-Talent vs Engagement

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Talent vs Engagement

Having a satisfying work experience is important to the growth of your business. When an employee loves what they do and feels challenged by their job, they will perform with more enthusiasm. While talent can be an important criteria in a successful company, having employees that are excited to work for the company can be a big tool as well. To lead your team in a successful business endeavor, these are some areas that can bring life back into your unengaged workforce.

 

Instill Confidence:

 

Often times, individuals who are talented and capable of doing a task are not confident enough in themselves to perform at a high level. In that case, as a leader it is important for you to identify the lack of confidence and encourage them to do more. Giving them a task that is outside of their comfort zone and allowing them to use their best judgment will go a long way in instilling confidence.

 

Invite Participation:

 

In many companies, inviting the ...

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B276-011915-EQ & You!

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EQ & You!

 

In order to achieve higher levels of productivity, performance and leadership, a person must develop high levels of emotional intelligence.

 

Self-Awareness

If we are not aware of our emotions and how they impact others, the other emotional intelligence skills become more difficult to demonstrate. If we are unaware of our emotions, it’s virtually impossible to regulate them

Being Self-aware is the first step towards Self-regulation.

 

Self-Regulation

Once we are aware of our emotions, then we can begin to regulate them. If we fail to regulate our emotions, it becomes difficult to stay focused and on task. Self-regulation also comes into play when changes occur in our personal and professional lives. If we allow our emotions to run amok, we become demotivated.

Self-regulating leads to ...

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B277-011915-Shaping Organizational Culture

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Shaping Organizational Culture

There are many challenges that face executives and the leaders of a business. Guiding and directing the way employees handle the business, transactions, relations with one another, and overall functions of the company are key parts of being in leadership. Establishing a well-defined organizational culture is vital to being successful in business development.

 

What is Organizational Culture?

 

All businesses and organizations create a way in which the employees relate to one another and the outside world. There is a set of expectations that are passed around by the environment of the business. This can include the way employees handle transactions, conflicts, customer service issues, policies, and many other aspects of the business. These expectations encompass everything that is written in the form of a policy, to the unwritten rules that have been established over the course of time.

 

Who is in Charge of Shaping the Organizational Culture of a Business?

 

It is best that these cultures are ...

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B278-011915-Tips For Giving Good Feedback

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Tips For Giving Good Feedback

 

Quite possibly one of the most difficult tasks that you can have as a leader is to give those under your authority feedback on their job performance. There is always the fear that what you have to say will be taken in a negative way by your employees and cause tension or resentment. Regardless of your hesitations, giving good feedback is important to keep the team growing and working well together. Here are few tips that will help you formulate the best possible evaluation for your employees.

 

Be Willing to Take Feedback:

 

If you want to be able to give the necessary feedback that your employees and those under your authority need, then you will have to set the example. You should make it clear to others that you are open to hearing some of their ideas and observations about the business. It is important to model for others on your team a positive reaction to feedback. If an employee suggests a change that will be beneficial to the company, you should give them credit and make it known that you used the idea. This will make you more approachable when you need to evaluate your employees.

 

Prepare Ahead of Time:

 

It is very important to establish ...

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B279-011915-Understanding Social Media Marketing For Your Business

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Understanding Social Media Marketing For Your Business

 

Social Media marketing is a very valuable resource for growing a business. There are some things you need to understand in relation to this form of marketing, before you jump on every outlet. When deciding which communities to be a part of, here are some things to keep in mind:

 

What is the Purpose of Each Social Media Network?

 

Each outlet provides you with a different opportunity to brand your business, engage with followers, and give valuable information about your niche’. This is a quick breakdown of the largest networks you can get involved in.

 

Facebook

 

Many people have a Facebook account that they check at least a few times a week. This outlet is a broad reaching venue where you can engage with your customer base. It is perfect ...

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B280-011915-Enabling Decision Making In Others

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Enabling Decision Making In Others

 

Business owners and upper management have tremendous opportunities to train their staff for success. A company can only be as successful as those working for it. When you have well trained staff that are capable decision makers, you can be confident that your business will grow.

 

Enabling Decision Making in Others

 

There are guidelines that you want to put in place in your business for employees. However, there are many things that happen in the day to day which require your staff to think quickly and make good decisions. You will not be successful if you micromanage everything in the company.

 

Being a leader requires you to help others excel in their jobs by providing them with the resources they need to make good decisions.

 

Give Team Members Guidance

 

Allowing your team to make decisions does not mean that you  ...

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B281-011915-3 Common Work Email Mistakes to Avoid

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3 Common Work Email Mistakes to Avoid

 

Likely it has happened to you at one time or another, you click send on a business email and you immediately regret it. There is no way to get back email correspondence that you sent once it has gone out. It is important for the sake of your job to make sure that you avoid these common mistakes when sending out messages.

 

Sent to the Wrong Person:

 

It can be easy to send an email to the wrong person when you are handling multiple responses at the same time. This causes a great deal of confusion to the individuals that receive the email in error. It can also mean that you are giving private information to unauthorized parties. To avoid this mistake, leave the recipient field blank until you have completed the email. When you hit the send button, it will not immediately send your information, instead, you will have to stop and manually input an address. This is a particularly good thing to do when you work in a field where sensitive information is being shared through email communications.

 

Being Unclear:

 

When you are addressing information that you have received from someone ...

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B282-042115-Proper Handling of Private Information is YOUR Responsibility

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Proper Handling of Private Information is YOUR Responsibility

 

If you are in business for yourself or on the top rung of the latter of a company, you have many different responsibilities. With so many areas to focus on, certain parts of your operations are sure to be passed over. Paper shredding likely falls into that category of things that get put on the back burner.

 

Assign Someone to Handle Paper Shredding

 

It is necessary that the destruction of important documents takes place in your business. The best way to make sure it stays a priority is to assign the task to a someone you can trust. Be sure you put an employee or manager in place that will do what is necessary to ensure proper destruction takes place.

 

Help Them Create a Policy

 

Ultimately, the responsibility falls on you to make sure that documents are being shredded properly. If sensitive information is leaked, you will be held liable. For that reason, you need to be a part of creating a policy for shredding. Work with your associate to put together a policy that can be ...

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B283-042115-The Need To Know WHY

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The Need To Know “WHY”

Helping people understand their purpose

 

Many things lead to the success of a business. Productive management and employees are certainly one of the top reasons a company is able to meet their goals. With motivated team members, customer service soars, office morale is higher, retention is greater, and the company is able to grow. The true challenge is figuring out how to motivate your team to accomplish their tasks. While most of your staff likely understands what their job entails, they probably have no idea why they have been assigned these tasks. If you are looking to keep those that work for you productive, you must answer the biggest question, “Why?”

 

The Need to Know Why

 

If you have ever spent any time with children, they want to know why they have to do everything you ask them to do. The need to know why carries into adulthood as well. One of the biggest differences is that many adults will not ask the why question, but instead draw their own conclusions. When an individual understands the purpose behind seemingly mundane tasks, it will help them stay motivated.

 

Creatively Share the Vision of the Company

 

As a leader, it is your job to make certain that the employees of the company understand the vision of the business. People are more likely to stay committed to a purpose rather than a company. Having the ...

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B284-042115-Soft Skills Are Essential For A Lasting Career

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Soft Skills Are Essential For A Lasting Career

 

There are certain skills that you must possess to succeed in the career you have chosen. Soft skills are at the top of the list. You can have all the right hard skills in the world, but if you do not know how to relate to others, you are sure to fail. Let’s take a look at how developing soft skills will benefit you long term.

 

What Are Soft Skills?

 

First, we need to define what soft skills are. This includes personality traits, character and other emotions that will help an individual socialize with others. It is also the ability to interact with others in an effective and harmonious way. Surely you know that person that everyone just loves because they know exactly how to work a crowd.

 

Soft skills are a bit more than just schmoozing those around you. They are understanding how to communicate with others in a way that brings unity to the group.

 

Employers are looking for team players. Those with soft skills are able to work alongside others and resolve issues.

 

Why Are People Skills Important?

 

Having the ability to ...

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B285-042115-Assessments In The Workplace

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Assessments In The Workplace

 

Giving potential employees a behavioral profile, sometimes called a personality assessment, is an important part of the hiring process. One thing hiring managers fail to realize, is that the assessment is not the only piece of criteria you should consider. This is to aid you in the hiring process. However, if it is not administered with the right mindset, it could potentially damage your business.

 

Behavioral Profile Assessments Can Help Your Business

 

The purpose of these types of assessments is to give you an idea of the kind of behavior you can expect out of an individual in the role you are hiring for. Certain personality types do better in different job environments.

 

Not everyone will make a good salesperson or office person. The same could be said about any job. To figure out who will best suit your position, an assessment can give you a good indication of the best personality/behavior.

 

When you administer this assessment and use it as an aid, it can be very beneficial to you. It will help you make a wiser decision when hiring someone to complete your team.

 

Behavioral Profile Assessments in the Workplace Can Harm Your Company

 

Unfortunately, these assessments can ...

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B286-042115-New Year Old Files & The Law

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New Year, Old Files, & The Law.

 

You are into a new year now, and it is time to look through all the old files and paperwork in your office. When paperwork and files are old enough to discard, what do you do with the paper? If you aren’t in the habit of shredding paper with personal information on it, then you are violating HIPPA. Here is a look at the kinds of paperwork you need to make certain you shred.

 

Financial Documents

Whether it is a client’s financial information or your own, you need to shred all documents. This includes paperwork that has credit card information or bank and routing numbers. It can be voided checks or bank statements. Any pages that have sensitive financial information need to be shredded.

 

Social Security Numbers

Any paperwork that has employee, client, or your personal social security numbers should be shredded. This can also include customer ID numbers that are used to get into accounts.

 

Pin Numbers and Login Information

If your forms require someone to ...

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B287-062615-Engagement and Culture are Top Issues This Year 

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Engagement and Culture are Top Issues This Year

Engagement and Culture are Top Issues This Year

 

As the job turnover rate increases, HR departments have to turn their focus to what the core issues are. Employees that are unhappy with their jobs either find a new job or underperform. Either way, it makes for a difficult situation with business owners. For that reason, focusing on engagement needs to be a high priority.

 

Where is the Breakdown in Engagement?

 

So often, the breakdown happens because we executives are spending too much time in the office and not enough time with the employees. We are seeing the company and function of the business from the numbers standpoint. When thinking of changes, we ask ourselves if the change will increase profit.

 

Unless you put yourself in contact with your employees and their environment, it is hard to see what they are up against from day to day. Employees that are being asked to do more than what they can manage feel frustrated and have a poor outlook on the company.

 

What Happens When Employees Have a Poor Attitude About Your Company?

 

When you have disgruntled staff, you can bet that other people will hear about it.

 

With the social media outlets they have access to, an individual may choose ...

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B288-062615-Open Communications Start With Understanding Behaviors

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Open Communications Start With Understanding Behaviors

 Open Communications Start With Understanding Behaviors

Communication is a difficult task in any situation, but especially in the workplace. We work to strike this balance of not becoming too personal with employees that might lead to favoritism or you being taken advantage of, but getting to know them well enough to work with them. To know how to best communicate with someone, you need to understand their behavioral style. It takes time to understand a person to tailor your communication style to them. With a DISC profile assessment, that time can be dramatically shortened. These assessments are beneficial for you as a manager to take so that you understand your own behavioral style. Then giving this same assessment to your employees will help you understand their style and know how to best communicate with them.

 

Why are DISC Assessments Important?

 

DISC assessments reveal an individual’s natural and adapted behavioral styles and how these traits play into decision making, work abilities, communication, and overall relationship building in the workplace. The main goal of DISC is to allow people to take a look at themselves more in depth to better understand their style and how they relate to others. When you become more self-aware, you are able to see how your actions affect those around you.

 

How Does Communication Increase With Understanding Behaviors?

 

We all have a different style of learning and communicating with those around us. No two people will handle situations exactly the same. Understanding ...

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B289-062615-IQ vs EQ

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IQ vs EQ

 

EQ vs IQHave you ever hired a person who had a rocking resume? Their education level and performance was off the charts, but you brought them into the job and they did not do as you hoped. Just because an individual is book smart, does not mean they will do a good job in your business.

 

What Else is There to Look at Besides The IQ of a Candidate?

 

That is a good question. If a potential candidate’s IQ does not necessarily mean they will be a good fit, what else should you be looking for?

 

Recently, people are better understanding that the best candidates are not always the top of their class. Just because they present themselves as book smart does not mean they are people smart.

 

When you really think about it, someone with a higher IQ does not always relate well to the average person. They have a way of thinking that goes over the heads of the world around them. For this reason, often they may not have a highly developed emotional intelligence (EQ).

 

What is EQ or Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Quotient is the ability to ...

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B290-062615-How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

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How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

 

With more and more business occurring on the Internet, protection from identity theft has never been more important.  However, despite the increased attacks on personal computers and websites, few people are taking the necessary precautions to secure their information.  To help make you a safer user and to keep your information away from those looking to steal your identity, below are a few suggestions as to what you can do.

 

Preventative Measures

 

Most people only ever run a virus scan on their computer when they think something is wrong.  This is a mistake many people make.  By constantly running virus scans, you ensure that nothing can get a foothold on your computer.  In addition, by updating your anti-virus software constantly, you ensure that newer viruses can’t get through, providing you with identity theft prevention. 

 

In addition to keeping anti-virus software up to date, make sure that every program you use is as up to date as possible.  People looking to steal your identity will make use of outdated patches to hack into your system.  Don’t give them the opportunity.  In particular be sure to update your web browser and operating system every time they require it.

 

Limiting Exposure

 

Beside preventative measures, limiting your exposure is an excellent way to protect yourself from identity theft.  One way that people steal ...

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B291-082615-Tell Others About Your Goals

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Tell Others About Your GoalsTell Others About Your Goals

 

In one of our previous issues we talked about goal setting and those who write down their goals tend to achieve them more often. This article continues on that path of motivation and goal setting success.

 

Another way to motivate yourself is to tell others about your goals.

 

It works the same way as writing it down, in that it makes your vision clear about your goals and helps you commit to your goals. Indeed, telling others is an even bigger commitment than merely writing your goals down.

 

Think about it…

 

Let’s ...

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B292-101315-The Importance Of Soft Skills In The Workplace

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The Importance Of Soft Skills In The Workplace

There are a great number of people entering the workforce that lack soft skills. These necessary skills are lacking in many people that are just graduating college and taking on professional jobs. Why is this a problem and what can we as employers do about it? 

What Are The Soft Skills That Employees Lack? 

Soft skills include relationship building, motivation, attitude, character, and anything to do with emotional development. These skills have nothing to do with an employee’s trade abilities. Soft skills are learned by interacting in society and part of a social upbringing. It is the ability to interact with others in an effective and productive way.

 Why Are Soft Skill Lacking in The Upcoming Generation of Employees? 

We are definitely living in a disconnected society. Not only do the younger generations have a problem with soft skills, but employees of all ages have not spent enough time developing these skills. 

In a day and age where we do drive by chats and digital communication, it has taken away the need for small talk. We get in ...

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B293-101415-Talent Mobility And Career Management Strategies Are Necessary To Compete

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Talent Mobility And Career Management Strategies Are Necessary To Compete

 

Many companies of today have a huge turnover rate. There are a lot of reasons that employees choose to not stick with companies like they once did. This trend costs businesses a lot of time and money.

 

Why is it Beneficial to Keep the Same Employees

 

There are many reasons that it is beneficial to keep your employees the same. That is not to say that there are times in which eliminating team members is the best option. However, if you have a high performing employee, keeping them on staff will help your business grow.

 

When you have team members that have been with your company for years, they understand the culture of your business and how it functions. A new employee can come in with a fresh outlook on how to do the business, but it will take time for them to learn your company.

 

Also, there is something to be said about ...

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B294-101415-How To Develop Soft Skills

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How To Develop Soft Skills

 

In our disconnected culture, it is no wonder that people have a hard time with soft skills. We are accustomed to quick texts and short emails. Those types of interactions do not lend themselves to soft skills. In general, we just want information and we want it now. No time to do small talk or find out how someone’s day is going.

 

Believe it or not, soft skills are very valuable in the workplace. When a boss is seen as cold and harsh, employees will not respond as well. It takes those personal connections for your team to feel excited about the job.

 

How to Develop Soft Skills For the Workplace

 

If you have not spent much time developing your soft skills, then it will take changing your mindset to undo some of the bad habits you have formed. Also, you will have to be intentional in your communication and actions. Here are some of the top ways to develop soft skills that are needed to be successful ...

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B295-101415-Using Social Media To Increase Your Business 

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Using Social Media To Increase Your Business

 

Whether you are a social media person or not, it is important that you understand this beast for the sake of your business. Many people have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or LinkedIn accounts. If you do not have a presence on these outlets, then you are missing out on great opportunities.

 

What You Post is Important

 

A lot of business owners create social media accounts, but do not have a single idea of what to post. What you put on your status updates, pin, or tweet is very important. The quality of your posts will make the difference between engagement and silence.

 

Engagement on your accounts is very important to the success of your social media campaign. Take Facebook for example, the more comments and likes you receive, the more likely Facebook will show your posts to followers.

 

Knowing What to Post

 

When thinking about your updates, you need to put yourself in the place of potential customers. What information do they need to know about your niche’? Also, what types of services do you provide that your potential customer needs to know about?

 

Think about ...

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B296-011216-The Importance Of Company Reputation

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The Importance Of Company Reputation

 

A lot of business leaders have the idea that if they just post a job opening in their company, that talented candidates will start beating down their door. Yes, a good number of people will apply for the positions, but are these individuals top performers?


Did you know that your company’s reputation has a lot to do with the type of candidates you attract? Good employees want to find good jobs, not just any job. If a person knows they have a lot to offer a company, they are not going to just go to work anywhere.

 

Why it is Important to Invest in Your Current Employees

 

There are many ways that you can work to build a good reputation for your company. It starts with ...

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H215-011216-Are any of these staffing issues a challenge in your company

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Are any of these staffing issues a challenge in your company?

 

Every company faces the same basic staffing challenges. Of course, there are particulars for every industry, but these are a few things you can guarantee that you will need to deal with as a business owner, CEO, or HR professional.

 

Employee Turnover Rate

 

The turnover rate in your business will certainly depend on different factors. It is important to ask yourself if you have these things in place:

 

Management development program

Aggressive training program

Communications program

Employee feedback

 

Many people chose to leave their place of employment for ...

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B297-011216-Do You Know The Numbers?

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Do You Know The Numbers?

 

Crunching the numbers in your business is a vital part of determining the health of your company. CEO’s know these numbers all too well as they keep a watch on the figures. Here are the numbers you need to know in your business.

 

Inadequate Profit Margin

 

Without enough profit, owning a business is a financial drain. When profit margins are low, a company is not able to grow.

 

Here are some things to consider in regards to your profits.

 

Do you understand where your business makes the most money?

Do you have a profit plan?

Do you have a profit design set up?

Do you have competitive prices or an effective price structure?

 

Once you have ...

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B298-011216-Performance Management Will Continue To Be Redesigned

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Performance Management Will Continue To Be Redesigned

 

In many companies there is a growing problem with performance management. This year, business owners need to turn a focus on identifying the problem. Once they identify what the problems are, they can address the issues and turn their businesses into successful establishments.

 

Why is Performance Management a Problem in Businesses?

 

We can go ahead and say it; we’ve gotten a little lax when it comes to managing our employees. For whatever reason, we are not doing performance evaluations like we should. Here are some of the top reasons business owners have stopped doing evaluations.

 

·       Jealousy- One of the reasons we have put the ax to evaluations, is we have seen the jealousy that runs through the office when employees are praised. When you give one person a good performance and raise, other employees question why they were not given the same treatment.

·       Inconsistency- Evaluations do not happen when they should. If you do not have consistency, then employees will not respond well to the evaluations they are given.

·       Classification Happens under the Radar- even if ...

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TM126-011216-How To Increase Team Productivity

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How To Increase Team Productivity

 

Employee goal setting increases employee productivity and profits because it builds a strong foundation of employees for business success. It gives an external focus that enhances performance culture and coordinated efforts among all employees.

 

Ultimately, it helps to provide a competitive advantage!

 

Employee goal setting tips:

 

- Set goals that will tie employees into the success of the organization. Financial incentives and bonuses can be the basis to encourage hard work and teamwork among your employees. This will also show that you value your employees' contribution to the company's growth.

 

- Set a ...

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T129-011216-Time Management Strategies

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Time Management Strategies

In order for companies to be successful, time needs to be managed properly. When schedules are run properly, more work can be accomplished in a day. The faster the work is done, the more a business can increase their revenue.

 

Lead From the Front

 

Leaders are the forerunners for change in the business place. It is important that you get a good grasp on time management before you implement a plan of action in your company.

 

Start work early in the day. Statistically, you will accomplish more if you start earlier. Create a reasonable timeline for the day. Be sure to give yourself extra time to accomplish each task.

 

Make the distinction between being busy and being productive. Commit to ...

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TR125-011216-Winning the War for Talent-The Best Companies Use Training

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Winning the War for Talent: The Best Companies Use Training

 

If you haven’t invested in training your team in a while, then it is time to re-think your strategies. Companies are focusing more time and energy on advancing their employees education. Why is that?

 

People Want To Be Invested In

Just like you work hard to add value to your customer’s lives, you need to put focus on your staff as well. They are people, just like the ones you serve. Finding ways to add value to their lives will keep them loyal to you.

 

It is the same principles you would use for keeping your customers happy and coming back. There is so much that goes into brand loyalty. Getting your staff on board is just as important as getting customers on board.

 

It Benefits You to Have Highly Trained Staff

Not only is it valuable for the individuals but it benefits you as well.

If you want to keep up with your competition ...

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B299-032116-Companies Are Scrambling to Figure Out How to Retain Their Millennial Employees

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Companies Are Scrambling to Figure Out How to Retain Their Millennial Employees

 

Have you heard the rumor that companies are scrambling to figure out how to retain their millennial employees? Is there really truth to this claim, or is it just a misconception?

 

According to the research data in an article that was posted on Five Thirty Eight, young people are not leaving their jobs any more than any other generation. Truth be told, they are actually staying put more than expected.

 

So, why does it seem as though they are job hopping more than other generations?

 

For one thing, Millennials are the largest generation that is currently represented in the work force.

 

There are surprisingly few people in the middle generation between them and the oldest generation. The gap is becoming greater and greater, which is another problem on its own.

 

The turnover rate is actually increasing, and here’s why...

 

Beside the sheer number of people that make up this group, there has been an increase of ...

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B300-032116-Career Development Needs To Be A Top Priority!

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Career Development Needs To Be A Top Priority!

 

Employers should make it a top priority in getting their employees the job training they need. All employees benefit from conferences, refresher courses, and other educational venues. This allows both the employer to have more competent employees and employees to have the confidence to do the job. Job training and career advancement programs will give employees a goal to reach for. There may be a lot of untapped talent that is going unnoticed. When people become complacent, more complaints tend to happen.

 

Employer Benefits:

 

When employees have a chance to attend a conference or extra training event, renewed excitement will overtake them about what they do. Performance levels will soar as employees will work harder and more proficiently. They will also have the ability to breed a hard working attitude amongst other staff. A boost in overall moral will be noted for employees that have been given the chance to increase their knowledge.

 

Employee Benefits:

 

Employees stand so much to gain from career advancements. Greater amounts of ...

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B301-032116-Shredding Laws, Fraud Prevention, & the Environment

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Shredding Laws, Fraud Prevention, & the Environment

 

It is very important that your business comply with the paper shredding laws of your state. Not only is paper shredding used to prevent fraud and legal ramifications, but it is also great for the environment. While many companies are working to go paperless, there are just some documents that cannot be paperless. Even if you cannot go completely paperless, you can still help the environment through paper shredding.

 

Why Should You Shred Paper?

 

The shredding of sensitive information is very important to your business. According to HIPPA laws, you must shred information that has personal information listed on it. When you comply with these mandates, you keep yourself from being in danger of suffering lawsuits. Your customers are counting on you to make sure that their personal information is kept safe from potential fraud.

 

Why Should You Use a Company to Handle Your Shredding?

 

Maybe you aren’t sure that it is important for your business to use a paper shredding company. There are ...

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B302-041216-Do You Need An Improved Business Design

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Do You Need An Improved Business Design?

 

The tactics and plans that you put together to start your business will not work forever. As the company grows and dynamics change, you will need to re-evaluate. Improvements to your company can always be made and should remain a top priority if you plan to stay relevant in business.

 

Need For An Improved Business Or Profit Plan

 

It is important that you re-evaluate your current business plan. There are a few things you need to determine when putting together your evaluation.

 

  • What is your company’s ability to make a profit?
  • Do you work from a defined profit model?
  • Do you have an understanding of how customer intelligence impacts your profitability?
  • Would you say your sales process is well developed?

 

Take the time to really evaluate and answer these questions honestly.

 

Customers Are Migrating Away From Your Products Or Services

 

Many businesses are ...

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B303-041216-Are Your Strategies Building A Successful Business

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Are Your Strategies Building A Successful Business?

 

In any company, it is important that you give your staff what they need in order to be successful. For your business to grow and improve, employees need to have a clear cut vision and direction of which way they need to go.

 

Project Management And Resource Coordination Challenges

 

Do you have processes for project management in place? If so, are the processes being followed? It is time to evaluate this area of the business.

 

* When a new process is established, is it captured and written down?

* Do you review the processes regularly?

* If you have ...

 

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B304-102016-How To Deal With The Cost Of Lost Expertise When Employees Leave

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How To Deal With The Cost Of Lost Expertise When Employees Leave

 

All companies go through turn over in the staff. Some employees are very knowledgeable about their job and bring a lot to the table. You will have to account for what the business will suffer in the event of losing them.

 

Dealing With the Cost of Lost Expertise Or Knowledge When Employees Leave

 

Do you have a process in place to capture intellectual capital? Your staff has knowledge that is important to the company.

 

One thing to consider is setting up processes with the staff ahead of time. Encourage them to collaborate and offer rewards on account of this. Also, you should have a reward system in place for staff that gains new information.

 

Chaotic Periods Destabilize The Company

 

When a business goes through ...

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B305-102016-Help Young Talent Develop a Professional Mindset

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Help Young Talent Develop a Professional Mindset

 

Depending on how long you have been in business, it can seem that the talent is getting younger and younger every year. The generational gaps we experience are not just in social environments, but are truly felt in the workplace as well. So, how do we help these young professionals develop the right mindset that will help our businesses grow?

 

Develop Emotional Intelligence

Many people that are entering the marketplace do not believe that social skills are necessary. In fact, somewhere around 69% of those that enter the workforce believe that people skills can actually get in the way of doing their job well. It is not surprising that these people also believe that their technical skills are far more valuable than their people skills.

 

It is very important that young talent is taught the soft skills they need to ensure that a team works together smoothly. Those that are emotionally unintelligent are more likely ...

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B306-102016-Company Culture Is Generally Resistant To Change

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Company Culture Is Generally Resistant To Change.

 

If you have been running a company for any length of time, you understand that company culture is difficult to change. You likely inherited a certain culture when you stepped into the role of CEO. Once a culture is determined, it takes time and intentionality to change it.

 

Company Culture is Generally Resistant To Change

 

We are all resistant to change at the start. It is only when we have true understanding of how things can be better through the change that we get on board.

 

Your employees should have one-on-one meetings with managers. The managers need to share with them the weekly reports to help them understand the needs in the business. Likewise, the CEO should be addressing the company monthly to share insights.

Make sure that employees ...

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B307-102016-Why You Need To Offer New Products

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Why You Need To Offer New Products

 

Your customers’ needs will continually change and grow over the course of time. The way you started your business out, cannot be the same forever. If you want to be successful, you must stay relevant and grow with the culture.

 

Growth Must Continue to Occur

 

Being stagnant will not allow you to be successful in an ever changing market. You must constantly be looking for ways to expand your business. Understanding your customers and their needs is step one in knowing which direction to take your company.

 

Creating new products and offering new services based off of customer demands is the only way to be successful over the long haul. Many major corporations have gone under over the years, because they lacked the flexibility to change with the culture.

 

Develop the Mindset of a Builder

 

In your business, you should ...

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H219-102016-Research Reveals The Real Reason People Switch Jobs

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Research Reveals The Real Reason People Switch Jobs

 

Most of us think that employees leave the job because they do not like their boss, or maybe they aren’t being paid enough. The data is in and you aren’t going to believe what it tells us.

 

The Data Reveals Why People Leave Their Job

 

No one wants to be stuck in a dead end job for the rest of their lives. Employees that do not feel like there is any room for advancement in their current job will go in search of new employment.

One survey was conducted interviewing 10,000 people. Of those individuals:

 

·       45% said they left because of concern of lack of advancement opportunities

·       41% said they were ...

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H220-102016-The Latest and Maybe Greatest New Company Benefit

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The Latest and (Maybe) Greatest New Company Benefit

 

Student debt is painful for college graduates today.  They are unable to begin saving toward their 401K, start a family, or even buy a house due to their mountain of student loan debt.  

In fact, the debt amounts are so high for these grads that approximately 40% of them are in default on their loans.  In one word, this is a PROBLEM. 

However, the issue could potentially be remedied by making student debt payoff a benefit of your company.

5 reasons to add this benefit to your package:

1.     Top Talent

If you help college graduates pay off what they owe, then you’ll most likely attract the best of the best job seekers.  These promising candidates quite possibly could be facing a large debt amount.  If you help them pay their loans off, then they will be more likely to accept your position over another company.

2.     Innovative Concept

The idea to add student debt pay off to a benefits package is, currently, considered to be more cutting edge, different and new.  (Perhaps not for long!)  Try and be innovative with your benefits package!  You’ll ...

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B308-11116-What matters most - Performance or Management

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What matters most - Performance or Management?

 

Many companies today want to change how they measure employee performance.  For years, businesses have given annual reviews but trends are showing that may not be the best format anymore.

 

Recently, businesses have switched up their typical review system to year-round coaching.   Employees no longer have to wait with expectation for their yearly review because they receive ongoing feedback throughout the year.

 

One has a better chance to correct their behavior if they are told in advance rather than allowing them to continue down an incorrect path.  Further, an employee is able to hear affirming words of what they do right and they will most likely be inspired to continue.

 

Here are a few facts:

 

•  The phrasing of performance management is changing.

•  Employers are ...

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B309-12916-3 Takeaways for the Root Cause of Stress

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3 Takeaways for the Root Cause of StressSorrell Associates Customized Newsletter Service

 

Stress is as evident in the workplace as the day is long.  Employers need to recognize this issue within their company because it absolutely destroys productivity and employee morale.  To define, stress is the mental or emotional strain that is the result of adverse or difficult circumstances. 

 

Not yet convinced that it’s expensive and detrimental to your daily, weekly and monthly goals?  Statistics show that stress reportedly causes businesses $300 billion in lack of productivity and medical expenses.  This info is staggering and employers need to come up with ways to help their teams handle the stress of their workload.

 

Consider doing an assessment of each employee in order to find the root cause of stress.  Not only will your team like that you care enough to uncover the cause but you’ll gain valuable information that will benefit your employees and business.

 

The goal ...

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B310-12916-3 Reasons Your Employees Leave Bitter Sorrell Associates Customized Newsletter Service

Word Count: 440

3 Reasons Your Employees Leave Bitter

When employment ties are cut, an employee may leave bitter or frustrated.  Unhappy former employees can cause a lot of damage on the way out the door and after they are no longer employed.

 

The latest Employee Branding Study by Career Arc explained the staggering results that 38% of employees that were fired or laid off, posted bad reviews online about their former employers. 

 

The unpleasant and negative feedback that potential job seekers may see online will give them a negative taste for your company.  Plus, these potential candidates tend to change their minds on their application submittals.

 

As an employer, your goal should be to figure out why the employees leave bitter in the first place.  Knowing the why will help to address the issue and move forward to correct it in the future.

 

3 Reasons Your Employees Leave Bitter Include:

 

1)     Did you hear me?

Unhappy employees ...

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B311-12916-Year-End Business Preparation-Setting Goals for the New Year

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Year-End Business Preparation: Setting Goals for the New Year

The New Year is upon us. We’re at the timeframe where companies begin to focus on year-end business prep and goal setting for the upcoming year.

 

This time period is crucial to your business and will make a difference on your bottom line, efficiency and even your employee’s morale. As you prepare for the end of year, be sure to consider the following to ensure greater success in the months ahead.

 

Take time to reflect

Meet with others in your company and reflect on what worked and didn’t work over the past year. Discuss how you can improve the areas that need a few tweaks. Brainstorm ideas together and reflect over the last year’s data before you jump into setting new goals. Further, drop whatever is not working and move on. Don’t try and force what’s not working to work.

 

Set realistic goals

Goal setting is a helpful habit if they are realistic. You must be able to set a timeframe and then measure the goal. A plan that ...

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H221-12916-Challenges of Hiring and Training the Right Personnel Sorrell Associates Customized Newsletter Service

Word Count: 401

Challenges of Hiring and Training the Right Personnel

There is not a business out there that doesn’t have some amount of trouble with hiring the right staff. This is a common problem for any and all industries. Even if there are a fair number of skilled individuals in your industry, this does not mean all are a good fit for your business.

 

What is Most Important When It Comes to Hiring Someone?

 

Many companies are getting away from hiring simply on the basis of skills and knowledge. In fact, a lot of businesses have chosen to hire based solely on these types of criteria:

 

·       Chemistry with the existing team

·       Moldable and trainable

·       The right attitude

·       Passionate about the company

 

Many CEO’s and managers have ...

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H223-12916-Why New Staff Orientation Is So Important

Word Count: 386

Why New Staff Orientation Is So Important

 

Hiring on and training new staff is one of the biggest challenges that employers face. These individuals will make the difference between success and failure in your business. Here are the top reasons that staff orientation is so important.

 

Employees Need to Understand Your Values

 

In a new employee orientation, information about your business should be the place you start. Where else are your new staff members going to learn about your passions and visions for the company? This is an important part of any orientation, as it helps the employee understand the culture of your business and why they need to get on board.

 

Company Culture Shines Through in Orientation

 

A new staff person’s first impression of your company’s culture will be evident through the orientation they receive. If the orientation ...

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B312-121516-Process and Procedures Matter Sorrell Associates Customized Newsletter Service

Word Count: 349

Process and Procedures Matter

In a growing business, there are many challenges. One such challenge is putting together manuals that outline new processes and procedures in the company. Not just the putting together of the actual manual, but getting a working system in place is difficult.

 

It is very important that as your business grows, you implement new ways of doing business. There is no way to keep working things the same way you used to when the volume of business changes.

 

Here are some things you need to consider when putting together procedures for your business.

 

What is the Employee’s Role?

 

Employees must understand their role in the process in order to be efficient in the business.

 

 When they have no idea what part they play, they will waste a lot of time aimlessly wandering around waiting for the next step.

 

Processes and procedures need to ...

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B313-121516-Starting Off the New Year - Implementing New Year Goals

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Starting Off the New Year: Implementing New Year Goals

 

New Year’s is that time where goal setting permeates our work life, home life and even the entertainment and social media arenas. We get the chance to reflect on the last year and set goals that will launch us into a fresh start and new beginning.

 

While setting goals is important, we often forget them just a few months into the year. Setting our well laid plans is the easy part and the implementation part is far more difficult for any business.

 

4 Tips to Actually Implement New Year Goals

 

1)     Write them down

Write your goals down. This first step should not be skipped. Be as detailed as you want but get your thoughts down on paper. How can you implement something that is a hazy thought from months ago that you sort of mulled over for a while. You can’t implement what you don’t have set as a clearly written out and defined goal.

 

2)     Set benchmarks

Your goals need to be measurable. The best way to pull this off is to set benchmarks. Your company can track progress via a goal board, spreadsheet, announcements or some other method. However, you need to set goals that can be measured success wise throughout the year. Benchmarks will enable you to ...

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H224-121516-Customized Hiring Simulations - 4 Benefits You Need to Know Sorrell Associates Customized Newsletter Service

Word Count: 449

Customized Hiring Simulations: 4 Benefits You Need to Know

During the holiday months, many businesses are hiring for seasonal help. This is the time when you will bring in those that will get you through the season and possibly stay on in a long term role.

 

Even if you know exactly what you are looking for in a candidate, how do you know that they will perform well with your current staff? This is one of the biggest worries of hiring managers. Picking the person that you think is perfect, only to find out they do not fit well with the existing team.

 

Simulation Tests Are On The Rise

 

Many companies are choosing to give their potential candidates a simulation test that is customized to their specific jobs within the company. These tests are not the same as figuring out a person’s skillset as much as they will determine how the individual will respond in real situations.

 

Why should your company consider using these types of tests? Here are the top 4 benefits to customized simulation tests.

 

Prove to Be Accurate

 

These tests have been proven to be more accurate at determining if a candidate is ...

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B314-021617-Paper Shredding At Its Finest

Word Count: 408

Paper Shredding At Its Finest

 

If you run a business, then you know how important it is to keep client’s private information out the hands of the wrong person. Maybe you have a paper shredding policy already in place because you know how important it is. The question is not do you shred; rather, how you shred.

 

Paper Shredding Services

 

Despite how large of a business you have, paper shredding services can be of huge benefit to you and your staff. Having employees place all documents in bins for shredding is a good idea. Using a company ensure no one is falling down on the job.

 

With the amount of responsibilities you place on your staff, paper shredding is one you do not want to see fall by the wayside. When you have ...

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SP145-022017-Strategy Smategy

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“Strategy Smategy”

We hear a lot about strategic planning these days….but does it work?

Often we hear; my business is doing fineI got here without a strategic planwhy bother?

The answer; because your competitors are…and they are looking for ways to grow their business…which means taking business away from yours.

Strategic planning is the process of creating a vision of the future, aligning your people, processes, and systems, and creating the necessary steps/goals towards that future. It is like looking at your company and industry from a helicopter to see where it is going, what has changed, and to see if there are other opportunities. Then coming down and setting the direction for your business based on the information.

After you create the vision for your company, you operate under a mission statement which is the short term objectives (1-3 years) to help you achieve your vision.

Strategic planning answers these questions:

·       Where are we today?

·       Where do we want to be in the future?

·       How are we going to get there?

·       What is standing in our way?

·       Who are our competitors; are they better, why are they better, are we better? etc…

·       What helps govern our decisions?

Once ...

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B315-031517-Make Your Company Values Known

Word Count: 432

Make Your Company Values Known

  

Every business owner has a reason behind starting their company. Whatever that reason is, it is important that your staff understands it. When employees know your passions, they will feel more motivated to help you be successful.

 

People will put more of themselves into something they believe in. It is your job as a CEO to make your vision for the company known to those that work for you. It is just as important for your top level management as well as your entry level employees to understand your vision.

 

Here are ways to make your values known to your employees.

 

Incorporate Your Vision Into Staff Orientation

When a new person ...

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H227-031517-7 Employee Handbook Must Haves

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7 Employee Handbook Must Haves

 

Every business needs an employee handbook. If you don’t have one, then you need to contact your HR department ASAP. There are so many important sections in an employee handbook but I’ll focus on the 7 essentials today.

 

7 Must Haves for an Employee Handbook:

 

1.     Code of Conduct

You must have clear expectations laid out in writing for specific behaviors, dress code, attendance and a variety of other policies.  The only way to have clear expectations is to put them in writing.

 

2.     At Will Disclaimer

Be sure to have an “at will employment disclaimer” in your handbook.  Everyone needs to ...

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B316-031517-How To Boost Staff Morale

Word Count: 356

How To Boost Staff Morale

 

When you run a business, there are a lot of challenges that you will face. Bringing on great employees is definitely a difficult thing to achieve. What might be even more difficult is keeping those individuals happy in their job.

 

It is very important that you invest in the staff and do things that will boost their morale. If you have people that are unhappy in their job, they will find other places to work.

 

Here are some great ways that you can boost staff morale.

 

Find Ways to Thank The Staff

Everyone needs to be ...

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B317-031517-Things that Mentally Strong People Avoid OT

Word Count: 426

7 Things that Mentally Strong People Avoid

 

Mentally strong individuals have common characteristics such as optimism, persistence and a drive that help them to succeed. They are a force to be reckoned with and often avoid things that will draw them away from productivity and their overall goal for success.

Mentally strong people avoid these 7 things and find greater achievement and fulfillment as a result.

 

1) Entertaining the fear of change

Those that are strong mentally do not fear change. Rather, they embrace it and feel more inspired because they do. These individuals won’t shy away from change but instead they welcome new opportunities.

 

2) Wasting time feeling sorry for themselves

Mentally strong people don’t sit around and feel sorry for themselves. They know how to handle a variety of circumstances and grow from the hand their dealt rather than “cry over spilled milk.” In fact, they tend to rise up with a shrug of the shoulders and press on.

 

3) Worry over things outside their control

Mentally strong individuals are not ...

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B318-031517-The Benefits of Teleconferencing Sorrell Associates Customized Branding Solutions

Word Count: 416

The Benefits of Teleconferencing

 

Companies constantly look for new ways to attract the most talented candidates to hire for their open positions. One way to obtain and keep top talent team members is to embrace technology and encourage them to use it in their work.

 

Video conferencing is a popular and excellent communication option for your team. You’ll find this type of meeting is good for employee morale, a low cost way to meet and a welcome change to the traditional staff meeting.

 

Employee Morale

The younger generation believes in and trusts technology. Companies that embrace options such as teleconferencing often are able to build trust amongst their employees. By incorporating video conferencing, you’ll be able to increase the confidence your team has in upper management.

 

Further, your employees will ...

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H229-031517-The Cost of a Bad Hire Sorrell Associates Customized Branding Solutions

Word Count: 427

The Cost of a Bad Hire

 

When you need to fill a position, you are often in a time crunch and feel urgent. No matter the need, try and slow down to hire well. The cost of a bad hire is both pricey and hurts a variety of other areas of your business.

Costs Associated with a Failed Hire

In the event that you make a hire that doesn’t work out, you’ll find that the costs associated with this unpleasant situation are not just financial.

 

Other Costs include: 

  • Salary loss

  • Recruitment time

  • Training and education

  • Missed deadlines or potential business

  • Team morale

  • Increased supervision

When you think about all those costs, then you’ll want to avoid a bad hire more than anything. Some of the most trying aspects of the above list are ...

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B319-051517-4 Tips for Marketing to Millennials Sorrell Associates Customized Branding Solutions

Word Count: 439

4 Tips for Marketing to Millennials

In the United States today, there are over 80 million millennials.

 

This age group wants to feel connected in their purchasing decisions, so they identify best with less traditional marketing tactics.

 

They crave a more personalized approach and one that they can relate to. In fact, studies show that millennials don’t trust traditional marketing.

 

Check out these four tips for marketing to millennials. They are a force to be reckoned with and certainly must be considered when planning how to spend your company’s marketing dollars.

 

1.     Make Mobile Marketing a Priority

Approximately 85% of millennials use a smartphone so you must have a mobile friendly website in order to capture their attention. More and more they use their phones and tablets instead of a computer when they make their buying decisions.

 

Use your marketing dollars wisely and be sure that your site’s load times are quick and that there is an obvious call to action for your millennial customer base to embrace with ease.

2.     Get Them Engaged

Most millennials don’t remember life without internet and social media. They thrive best when ...

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B320-071017-How To Bridge The Soft Skills Gap Sorrell Associates Customized Branding Solutions

Word Count: 450

 

How To Bridge The Soft Skills Gap

 

As more and more young people are coming into the market, the larger the soft skills gap becomes. There is no way to avoid hiring individuals that lack these skills. Instead of limiting your hiring radius, build soft skill training into the culture of your business.

 

Determine What Soft Skills Are Most Important

There are some soft skills that you will want to be especially honed in your employees. Identify what these skills are and work with employees on these areas. When you know what needs to be focused on, it will help you to implement training programs that will increase your team member’s soft skills.

 

Help Team Members Understand The Importance

People will get behind ...

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B321-071017-How CEOs Handle Their Power Sorrell Associates Customized Branding Solutions

Word Count: 424

 

How CEOs Handle Their Power

Emotional Intelligence

 

CEOs typically put in countless hours to prepare for this important company role. They tend to learn how to be a leader during their stay in middle management. Often, these managers make mistakes such as being overbearing, micromanaging, and forgetting to invest in people on occasion.

 

Over time, they learned what they did well and what they could have done better. They figured out how to read people, support their team, detect signs of rebellion, and what motivates their staff.  While these were all helpful aspects of learning how to manage others, it did not completely prepare them to be a CEO.

 

The Power Struggle

Newfound power can cause issues both for a team and a new CEO.  For one, a CEO may not realize how blind they can be with staff relationships. There are two necessary emotional competencies to have in order for them to handle power and their team effectively.

CEOs need: ...

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B322-080217-Successful Leaders Understand and Use DISC

Word Count: 513

Successful Leaders Understand and Use DISC

When you are a leader in a company, the biggest job you have is communicating well with your staff and facilitating a good environment in which the staff can communicate to one another. In order to boost communication levels you must understand your own personality as well as the others you work with. Personality traits play a key role in how we express ourselves and understand the way others express themselves to us. It is only natural to think everyone has the same thought processes that you have and understand things the same way that you do. On the contrary, each of us have a different way of communicating and understanding what is being said to us by those around us. With the use of a DISC profile assessment, you can understand your behavioral style and how to best interact with others that have a different behavioral style.

 

Why Take a DISC Profile Assessment

 

DISC stands for four different characteristic traits: dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance. DISC is the ...

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B323-092517-Corporate Learning Will Be Transformed and Will Take On More Importance

Word Count: 449

Corporate Learning Will Be Transformed and Will Take On More Importance

 

It’s time we take a look at the changing world around us. Corporations are coming face to face with being in need of running their businesses differently. If you do not make the transformations needed, you will face difficult financial times.

 

It is best for you to understand that technology and the internet has opened doors for people that have never been opened before. These developments already have impacted your company and will continue to do so.

 

In order to be successful doing business in the future, you will need to make certain your staff is properly trained. Not only that they are trained but how you train your staff needs to be addressed. Corporate learning will take on a more important role. It is vital that your team have the training needed to keep up with the changes.

 

Focus on Building a Complete Learning Experience

Using the ...

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L240-092517-Implementing Big-Business Leadership

Word Count: 473

Implementing Big-Business Leadership

 

Regardless of the size of your business, strong and effective leadership is the key to success. In order to pull this off, you need to set a clear vision, engage your team, and get everyone focused on the common goals you wish to achieve.

 

The principles are the same for a large or small business, but the roll out can differ. Smaller companies don’t have the same training resources that larger firms do. However, there are several ways a small business can implement effective leadership that stays the course to reach the overall goals with a winning strategy.

 

Try the following:

 

Clear Goals

Be sure to be clear on winning the final goal and destination as a team. Leaders must paint an accurate picture of the vision and what it takes to pull it off. People will flounder without purpose, strategy, and clarity.

 

In small businesses, there is often fewer resources and manpower. Therefore, it can be more of a challenge to stay the course with a particular vision. The goal should be to stick to your plan and focus on the clear win. Don’t let your team get scattered and off course. Strong leadership will ensure this does not happen.

 

Effective Communication

Once you’ve conveyed the goal, be sure ...

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B324-092517-Getting Clarity of Purpose for Your Business Sorrell Associates Customized Branding Solutions

Word Count: 406

Getting Clarity of Purpose for Your Business

Getting clarity of purpose for your business

What does a big win look like for your company today? Do you think that your team could answer the question in a similar way as you?

Some may mention the core values or income goals while others wouldn’t be able to recall the company mission statement. What would it take to get everyone on the same page? How can we get better clarity with our purpose for business?

We Want to Win

Our deepest and most core instinct are to win in life and business. However, we all define that a little differently. Some people say they hope to make it until 5:00 while others want to achieve the goals set before them, with their competitive edge shining through, for the win. Regardless of what the “win” looks like, we all want to achieve our goal.

How can we transition that mindset to our business? We need to show our team absolute clarity regarding what a win looks like for the company. If we don’t ...

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Members can read this entire article by clicking here

 

 

Members can read this entire article by clicking here

 

 

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