Motivation in the Workplace — What Can You Do to Make It Happen

Every business owner wants their staff to be productive. Some will spend an incredible amount of time, and put in just as much effort to make it happen — and it’s often on motivation, in particular. Because when you know that motivation is low, and productivity levels are down too, it’s safe to say that your business isn’t at its best. And when you want to grow and progress, your staff have to give it their all.

So, it’s often essential that, as the boss, you’re able to figure out what will make them tick, inspire them, and keep them on track. If you’ve not found the answer yet, you’ve come to the right place, as one of these five ideas might just work for you.

Set the Standard

If there are issues with motivation in the workplace, you’re going to need to work on the standard you’ve set. Because either the high standards you started out with have slipped, or you didn’t really set them in the first place. Working on setting the right standard in terms of corporate culture is what you really need to do, notes on which Jozef Opdeweegh gave in that post. You should take this and ensure that you can create the right office dynamics to keep everyone motivated and working as they should be.

Encourage Communication

But you have to be careful, because you don’t want to end up creating the kind of working environment that suppresses your staff. Instead, you should be thinking of the ways you can encourage effective communication among everyone. From morning meetings to an open plan office space, there are various ways of achieving this. Making an effort to ensure all levels of staff and departments communicate well should aid working relationships, which in turn can improve employee motivation.

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Provide Incentives

Sometimes, good old-fashioned incentives work a treat. Because sometimes, you’ll find that your staff feel demotivated based on a tough period or external circumstances that you can’t always control. But one thing you can control is an incentive. Whether it’s financial or otherwise, you may find that putting an incentive structure in place, or just running a sporadic, incentive for fun, can get the results you need.

Influence the Atmosphere

When the atmosphere in your office is awful, it can be really off-putting for your staff. And this is something that will always be demotivating for them. So you’re going to want to work at creating a positive work environment. For this, a positive attitude, smiles all round, a little celebration every once in a while, and vocal praise will go a long way.

Relax and Live a Little

Finally, you’re going to want to learn to relax and just let go sometimes. If you’re always wound up and uptight, your attitude will impact on the rest of the office. And a stuffy, strict work atmosphere is not only demotivating, but it’s also demoralizing too. So choose to live a little and lighten up the mood. It will make a world of difference the everyone’s motivation levels.

Planning for Any Eventuality Makes a Good Business Leader

Becoming a good business leader, in fact becoming a great one, requires that you prepare for the unforeseen. It means you expect the unexpected. It means you rule nothing out in the continued attempt to support and grow your business. If you have trouble with this, you’ll likely become lost at the first hurdle, and that can be an unpleasant space to occupy. For this reason, we’re here to help you understand that planning for any eventuality can make you the business leader you have always dreamed of being.

But what eventualities should you consider? How can you get advice for things that haven’t happened yet, and if you act right and safely should never occur? Well, read on to find out:

Disaster Insurance

We all know that while we can predict things with a certain degree of success on a daily basis, each time we do, we are making an act of faith. It’s an act of faith that you will have a safe work day, when any number of things can occur to injure you accidentally or render you unable to work. It’s an act of faith to work towards a goal that you have planned, and we often complement leaders with a strong vision if it turns out the way it was intended.

These acts of faith are important to us making it through the day, and having a successful workday and life is predicated on the fact you aren’t overly worrying about the things that could go wrong.

However, they can go wrong, and they do go wrong on occasion. For this reason, implementing disaster relief insurance in your business through QuoteColo can be of massive benefit. This can help protect you against unexpected disasters, such as cyber breaching, failure of integral and critical equipment, loss of online capability or even a natural disaster.

We can never be sure if and when these things will occur, but with the right insurance, you can be certain your financial standing will not be destroyed because of it. This leaves you time to implement safety policies, such as great fire escape plans, online defence systems such as using premium VPNs for online access, or protecting against a mass exodus of staff with close temp agency links.

Close Communication

The only way to properly identify an issue early on, be that social, an equipment failure, or a financial pitfall, is to open up channels of communication in your business. We all know the caricature of the spy leader in movies and television, the one who has eyes everywhere and knows important information before the protagonist does. You should seek to occupy this role in your business, with a vast network of communication ‘nodes’ which help relay information to you in an accelerated manner.

It’s important to test the waters from the bottom to the top of your business, and so treating the reports and insight of every level of the hierarchy with equal import will give you a tremendous 360-degree insight into all avenues of your business operation. This helps lessen your reliance on the bureaucracy of business and will prevent untrustworthy managers from spinning you false narratives of success under their watch when something could drastically be improved.

With these tips, you should be strong in the face of chaos, and able to resume your operation as you have always planned.

Seven Personality Traits of an Amazing Boss

It’s shocking, but around 50 percent of employees who quit their positions do so because they have a bad boss. Having a boss who doesn’t know what he’s doing, or a boss whose mean and unfair is also the biggest cause of disharmony, disengagement and poor performance in any organisation.

It is for these reasons that it is important that you do whatever you can to ensure that you or the managers you appoint are great bosses. How, by ensuring that you have some of the personality traits of an amazing boss.

1. Optimism

I would be lying, and you wouldn’t believe me if I said that it is possible for things to always run smoothly in business — things are always going to go wrong occasionally. That’s why it’s important that, as a boss, you have a positive outlook on life.

If when things go wrong, you can put a positive spin on it and look to the future with optimism, you’ll be able to steer your staff through those choppy waters with ease and bring them along with you. If you’re negative, everyone will be bummed out, and productivity will undoubtedly drop as a result.

Learning optimism

It can be tough to develop an optimistic outlook if it isn’t your default setting, but keeping a gratefulness journal, where you point out the positive things in life each day and repeating optimistic mantras when things aren’t going right can really help you to get better at this.

UK Entrepreneur James Caan | Image Credit: LinkedIn
2. Honesty

Honesty really is the best policy, especially in boss-client relations. Why? Because one likes to be lied to especially when it affects their job and quite possibly their livelihood.

Amazing bosses are the ones who are always willing to speak truth to their staff, no matter how good or bad it might be. By being transparent, they gain respect and ensure that employees feel secure in their work, which can really boost morale and productivity.

Of course that saying that knowledge is power also holds true in business, which is another reason to be truthful.

Develop a habit of honesty

Start by admitting any small mistakes that you make throughout the working week. It might feel really hard at first, but you’ll soon see how much better it makes your employees feel to know that you too are infallible and that you won’t push your mistakes onto others. Once you can admit your own personal failings, it’s much easier, to be honest about pretty much everything.

3. Fairness

An amazing boss must be fair at all times. That means, you can’t afford to play favorites, and if you know that it’s a client being difficult, not your employees being bad at your job you must know how to fire a toxic client and be willing to do so.

Stand up for your staff against bad employees and treat everyone in the office absolutely equally and you will be loved by all except, perhaps, those toxic clients.

Developing a sense of fairness

Humans are naturally programmed to favor their friends and allies, but you can increase your sense of fairness by spending more time with your employees, giving them equal opportunities to be with you and express their feelings.

You should also ensure that if you discipline or praise one person for a particular thing, then you should do the same to everyone who does it. That way, no one can accuse you of playing favourites, and pretty soon the thought of doing so won’t even enter your mind.

American business magnate, investor, engineer, and inventor, Elon Musk at a Tesla Motors unveiling
4. Delegation

An amazing boss should also be good at delegation. Knowing you want your employees to be happy and your business to run as smoothly as possible, you can’t just go handing out assignments haphazardly. You need to understand your employees’ strengths and weaknesses. This will allow you to be more effective in assigning tasks.

If you have a knack for doing this then your staff will enjoy their work. This leads to more productivity and less of your time spent micromanaging — a common annoyance for all involved.

Learning to delegate

Start by getting to know your staff’s strengths and weaknesses and trusting them to know what to do. I know it is, like many of the things in this post, a lot easier said than done, but practice makes perfect.

5. Good Communication

Good bosses are bosses who know that communication is one of the most important factors in building a successful business. After all, if you do not communicate effectively with your employees, how are they to know what is expected of them or what needs to be done?

Of course, part of being a good communicator is knowing when to keep your mouth shut and knowing how to effectively explain things and motivate your team. It only takes a few misplaced words to strike discord in your team. You don’t want to become the kind of boss that drives people away from the company.

Becoming a better communicator

Think before you speak, use as few words as possible to explain various concepts, and perhaps take a course in leadership communication or public speaking. If you aren’t already, you’ll be an excellent communicator in no time at all.

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6. Inspirational

Amazing bosses don’t just get on well with their teams and make the time spent at work as pleasant as possible — they also inspire their staff. They do everything they can to help their employees achieve more and be more.

They are willing to let staff have time off for personal development, and they will invest in courses and events to boost their employee’s skills. They will also lead by example.

Learning to inspire

If you aren’t already an inspirational individual, or at least not as inspirational as you think you could be, start working on some of your own dreams and ambitions in your own time. Your zest for life and passion for improving yourself will rub off on your employees and give you a passion for helping them too.

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7. Team Player

An amazing boss is a team player. He or she does not think that she’s bigger and better than any other employee in the business. If you want to be seen as a great boss then be as willing to get stuck in on the ground floor as you are to take executive meetings.

Be willing to do this without any complaints. Getting involved with your employees will help to keep them motivated and focused on the goal at hand and ahead. It helps to eliminate divisions based on perceived rank in the workplace.

Being part of the team

I know team-building exercises get a bad rap, but going away for a weekend with your staff, so you can really get to know them is a good place to start. As is realising that every role in your business is vital to the successful running of the place, which means that no job is too demeaning for you or anyone else.

If you have, or you know you can develop, as many of these traits as possible, then you are undoubtedly going to be a good boss — a fair boss — a boss that makes people want to stick around rather than go running for the hills, and that’s exactly what you need to be if you want your company to be productive and successful in today’s global market.

4 Simple Business Methods to Make Your Life Easier

Business is hard. There are no two ways about it. Striving for relevance is one thing, but striving for dominance is another. Going for both of these will take internal grit, the correct systems being set up, and a workforce to envy. But despite pursuing all of these fundamentals of success, it’s easy to make your entire operation too complex as time wears on. Before long, diminishing returns in efficiency might be experienced if you neglect to constantly refine your operation.

We’d like to suggest four simple business methods to make your life easier. Implementing these will hopefully help you avoid difficulties sometimes faced in your struggle to grow.

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Cloud Computing

While total security is definitely found within lock-and-key storage, the online world no longer allows business to completely operate this way. Not only does it waste your time in communication and administration, but it can demotivate employees who know there are better alternatives available.

For that reason, implementing cloud computing support by Prosyn is the best way to divulge and send important files where they need to be. Here you can add administrators, departments and employees, and allow them to view online the necessary files they need. With the right service provider, this can be as secure, if not more so than any other solution you have.

Scheduling Well

Your employee schedules are not always likely to be limited to the 9-5 office hours. You may have night shifts during busy sales periods, or overtime. Don’t be afraid to list this clearly in the contract of new employees. If you do this, you must be sure that your scheduling is absolutely correct, and supports your salary or hourly payment system well.

Keeping track of the hours with the correct software suite is important, as there’s no faster way to demotivate an employee than to make them believe their extra efforts haven’t been noticed.

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Caffeine Love

Caffeine is the close ally and bonding companion of anyone who works a hard job or manages a team. Make sure you spend the necessary allowance on refreshments such as this in the office. Not only is this a low-cost way of making your staff happier, but they’ll become more effective and alert as a result.

Communication is Key

Great communication is the key asset a successful business will have over a failing one. Every one of your employees should never be in the dark or unsure of how they should proceed. Not only that, but bad communication can lead to completely wrong understandings, leading your managers and employees in directions you never intended for them to go. When hiring new staff, bad communication can leave an employee unsure and feeling awkward in their surroundings, not exactly the feeling you want to promote when someone is coming to apply their skills to your firm.

Standardise your employee training videos, develop and invest in yourself and staff’s interpersonal communication skills, as well as public speaking ability. These investments will pay off big time in the future, especially when considering that even the lowliest employee is an ambassador for your brand.

With these tips, you can be sure that your business life and road to success is much less rocky.

Basic Technology All Aspiring Business Owners Should Have

As a newbie in the world of business, you will be working your way down a list full of ‘to-do’ jobs that need to get done before you can even call your idea a business. Some of those things will be boring yet necessary legal stuff, like registering your company and working out your taxes, some of them you will find that you don’t need to do at all. And some things are fun and creative that will really kick your company into gear. These things tend to be the more tech orientated jobs. But what you need to decide is which technology is the best choice for your business.

Define Your Website’s Purpose

If you’re setting up a website, as every business should, you need to decide what is going to be the prominent use of the site. Is it going to be used for commerce, research, blogging, photography, etc.? There are so many different options for your site, and you need to determine which angle you’re going to take.

If you’re a travel writer, obviously your site will be geared towards your writing. If you’re a florist, you might choose to promote your work through photography. Once you have chosen what sort of site you want, you can decide on which platform you want to use. Popular DIY sites include Wix and WordPress, where you can build your site from existing templates.

You also have the option to have a free site, although that does limit your options and won’t allow you to own your domain name.

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Begin at the End with Your Online Store in Mind

You might be setting up an online store rather than a physical service, and this calls for something a bit different from your average website. A lot of platforms aren’t geared towards selling products, so it can be tricky later on when you try to mash the two together. If you begin with an all-in-one ecommerce platform, you lessen the risk of having to start again further down the line.

An online store needs to be kept up to date regularly, and needs to be a lot more secure than any other type of website; people are willingly entering in their card details, trusting that they will be kept safe. So when you choose a platform for your store, ensure that the security is top-notch.

Communication via a Business Email is a Must

Whether you’re communicating with clients or with employees, you need to make sure that you do a good job of it. Set up a business email from day one and make sure you check it multiple times during your working day and reply to the emails you need to. You can link your email with other useful apps, like your calendar, to make sure that nothing is lost in your inbox.

Using sites like G Suite will help you keep everything together. You should also set up a group chat on messenger or WhatsApp with your employees so that you can quickly convey information to them all out of hours.

3 Widely Available Tools to Build Good Online Relationships

Pretty much everything is done online these days; you launch your business through a website, you use social media to market it, and you cultivate beneficial relationships through email and instant messaging. However, building relationships online can be a bit tricky — all the social cues that you read to gauge whether a meeting is going well are no longer available to you. Without body language to indicate how a customer or prospective business partner is responding to your proposal, you have no way of knowing if their emails are really favourable, and vice versa. It’s more important than ever that you develop good communication skills, and here are a few tools that can help you build good relationships with clients and partners.

A good IT system

Although there are a lot of apps out there to help you stay in touch with business partners, and to help customers stay in touch with you, a good IT system should never be underestimated. There’s a limited chance that your contacts will have certain apps for encrypted communication, but everyone will have an email address and a phone line.

The last thing you need when you’re trying to launch a business is for the computers to go down, so make sure you have a good IT support team at hand to fix any bugs or viruses. Having IT support will provide more freedom to focus on building your relationship, and your tech guys can keep your IT services and Cloud backup services up to date to keep up with your expanding business.

Communications apps

Most social media sites have an instant messaging function, but using these to communicate in the workplace can be distracting. Instead, use software such as Slack, Hipchat, Voxer, or Campfire to instantly pass work updates to your partners. You can use each of these programmes to share files, start conversations, and automate tasks.

They have none of the distractions of a social media, and they are far quicker than writing an email and waiting for a response. These apps also make collaboration easier, allowing you to meet your goals sooner.

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Social media

It’s best not to use social media to touch base with your business partners on a regular basis, but you can’t ignore that this is a form of communication that most of your customers would use as a first point of contact. Companies that include a social media page on their website offer customers a direct line of communication to their customer service department.

If you have a social media page for your business and you make good use of the messenger function on the site, you can respond to customer queries quickly and efficiently. Customer service is vital to all businesses, but particularly growing ones because their reviews can make or break your company’s future.

If you manage to create an outstanding customer service communications and response team, and thus nail the relationship between you and your customers, you will have a loyal customer base for life.

Balancing the Books: Easy Ways Your Business Can Save Money and Boost Efficiency

Making money is one of the most important objectives in business. To generate profits, you don’t just have to bring in the orders. You also have to be able to balance the books. There’s no use in selling hundreds of units per day if your overheads are so high that you emerge with virtually nothing at the end of the month. If you’re hoping to create a more cost-effective and efficient business, these hacks should prove helpful.

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Making the most of technology

Technology has revolutionised the way we do business. From speeding up the manufacturing process to saving money on marketing, most modern companies are heavily reliant on the latest technological innovations. Cutting-edge technology can be expensive, but sometimes, it’s worth investing in the latest systems to save you both time and money in the long-term.

Determine new ways of working together, for example. In the past, you had to travel to a chosen location to have a meeting with colleagues, clients, buyers or investors. Today, you can make Internet calls or even participate in a video conference thanks to VoIP solutions and desktop and mobile applications.

Think of the money you could save by eliminating travel and transport costs, as well as the time you save. A single call could save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars and hours of travel time. Manufacturing is another area where technology can make your business much more cost-effective.

Consider carefully about your staffing structure and whether investing in technology could improve productivity at a lower cost.

Planning ahead

Unexpected costs can have dire consequences for small businesses, so try and plan ahead wherever possible. Sometimes, disasters are inevitable, but having contingency plans in place can save you cash and ensure you can bounce back quickly. It’s a good idea to have access to IT experts and to make sure you have the relevant insurance policies to protect you.

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Going green

Many businesses are keen to go green for environmental reasons, but being more eco-friendly can also help you cut costs. Saving energy and water, using recycled materials and switching to energy-efficient appliances can all help you to save money while also doing your bit for the planet. Swap traditional bulbs for energy-saving bulbs, install sensors to reduce electricity consumption and avoid leaving appliances on standby.

Encouraging communication

Time is money, and good communication can help your business to run smoothly. Encourage employees to talk to each other, keep the channels of communication between different offices and branches open and make it easy for people to get in touch. In this day and age, you can interact through all kinds of different media, so a breakdown in communication should never be an excuse.

Every business owner dreams of running a cost-effective business like clockwork. If you’re searching for ways to save money and time and make your company more efficient, it’s worth looking at where you spend money, and how you can scale back the overheads to balance the books more effectively.

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Improving the Communication in Your Company

How much thought have you put into the communication in your business? With a million and one other tasks to oversee as the boss, it can be easy to overlook. However, being able to relay information quickly and effectively is so important, and lack of communication could even lead to failure of the entire company. Here are some of the ways you can ensure communication is up to scratch in your business.

Update Your Phones

The way we communicate has changed massively over the last decade, and using standard telephones may no longer provide all of the functions you need in business. The new generation of business phones can be seen with companies like Commander. If you want to ensure your company remains up to date with your competition these are the kinds of technologies you should consider implementing. As well as phones, using video calling software to hold meetings and conferences with those who can’t get into the office is useful too.

Drop The Unnecessary Meetings and Emails

Meetings and emails are key to communication in business. However, they should be kept to important points only. This means that when an email or meeting is held, staff know they really need to pay attention. Too many of these can not only disrupt workflow but also might lead to staff missing important points where they didn’t realise what was being said was priority.

Consider a Business Social Network

Since you will be keeping priority information to important emails and meetings, you need another way for staff to communicate with each other. A business social media platform can allow staff to quickly message and contact each other without physically getting out of their seat (which can again disrupt workflow). Enterprise social networks like Salesforce’s Chatter Podio, ZenDesk, and FreshDesk, are all options to consider.

Arrange Some Team Building Activities

Team members that work well together will have better communication, and so this isn’t something to overlook as a boss. In the recruitment stage, prioritise people who are open and friendly, and have a good track record of working as a team. You need great teamwork and cooperation, this ensures a pleasant working environment for all staff and means information is being relayed correctly where it needs to go.

Listen

Being the kind of boss that employees can speak to is always useful. They will feel confident coming to you with any issues, and things can be resolved much more quickly when they’re reported directly. Check in with your workers on a regular basis, be a friendly and approachable boss, and let them know they can tell you if something isn’t quite right. It’s your job as the boss to ensure everything is running as it should, so keeping tabs on potential issues which can affect communication is important. It could be anything from bullying problems to systems that just don’t work correctly.

What systems do you have in place to ensure effective communication in your business? Is this something you’ve put much thought into? Leave a comment below.