Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Flexible Schedule Benefits - Part 2: More Rested Employees

In an earlier post, I spoke about the many benefits that come from flexible working arrangements and how it impacts both sides.  Recent studies have shown that flexible schedules will help employees feel more rested with increased sleep and possibly better health. Adults who are sleep deprived, can suffer from many ailments and lack of engagement, which in turn can greatly inhibit their productive time at work.

Low productivity=higher costs

As an employer, depending on the nature of your business, you have the option to provide more flexibility and your employees will greatly thank you!

Improving Health with Flexible Work Schedules

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Managing Your Social Media Updates

Unless you have all the time in the world, not likely if you are a small business owner, or can pay big bucks for someone to manage this task, you may be interested in reading this post.

Social media is a "must" for any business and a great way to keep your clients or prospective clients abreast on the latest products, services or recruit your next best talent.

18 Minute Social Media Plan

Monday, January 19, 2015

Low Cost Ideas for Recognition - Part 2

Simple award certificates are always a great idea to recognize your employees for various accomplishments.  You can add a small gift card as an extra bonus, and set aside funds to do that on more of a quarterly basis, instead of monthly, to keep costs down.

Some certificate examples are:  Employee of the Quarter, Perfect Attendance, Going Above and Beyond, Best Idea Award, Key Contributor, Most Promising New Employee, Quarterly Safety Advocate, Amazing Team Award (for a group project that went well), etc.

Awards do not have to be costly and there are many more ideas you may not have thought of that cost nothing, or very little:

Front Row Designated Parking Spot  (great for Employee of the Quarter)
Movie Tickets
Free ½ Day Pass
Car Wash
Starbucks Coffee (get list of who likes what so you can surprise an unsuspecting employee for her service)
Extra long lunch
Office Trophy (to be passed around to the next recognized employee – be creative and can even be something that relates to your products or services)
Free lunch on the company

These are a few ideas to get started. Sometimes you just need to be creative or think outside the box.  Get employees involved and have them help come up with other suggestions as well. 


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Creating Employee Policies

The main purpose of creating employee polices are to protect your company against liability and also to set governing standards each employee should abide by, or be aware of.  Creating mew polices can seem overwhelming and daunting, but at least be sure you have polices in place for the basics for a good starting point.  You can add more written polices as time allows and your business grows.

Creating Effective and Legal Policies

Friday, January 16, 2015

10 Tips for Getting High Quality Candidates

This article, on About.Com,  has some great tips that may help you bring quality talent to your small business.  As a small business your funds are limited and you don't have tons of money to advertise.  I have already given you some ideas on using Linkedin to post your openings and there is no need to spend a lot of money to recruit.

To view the article click on the link below...

10 Ways to Attract Quality Employees

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Orientation and Onboarding


Orientation's main focus is to help a new employee get familiar with who your company is, what is your mission, structure/org chart, products & services, important need-to-know upfront policies/procedures (they should read the employee handbook for the rest of the details), benefits you offer and more.

An employee's first day should be comfortable for them and you will want to eliminate as much nervousness as possible. Try to remember how you felt your first day, on a new job, and especially if the orientation was non-existent. If it is in the budget, there are some things you can do to make them feel a bit more welcome such as: provide lunch (either brought in-house, or take them out), give them a "welcome bag" full of small goodies (such as company logo products, $5.00 Starbucks card and more), or other creative ideas you can think of. It is very important to show them around the building and introduce them to those they will work closest with at the very minimum, or the whole office if you are able.


Onboarding is a continuous process over a few weeks or months time frame (depending on your organization) and helps with retention of that new employee.  If possible, part of the process should include a respected and experienced employee who can act as a "mentor" and help the new hire have a "go to" person when they have questions.

What is Onboarding?

"Onboarding is the process by which new hires get adjusted to the social and performance aspects of their jobs quickly and smoothly, and learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills and behaviors required to function effectively within the orientation." 
Quote Source: (www.shrm.org/about/foundation/products/pages/onboardingepg.aspx")

Friday, January 9, 2015

Low Cost Ideas for Recognition - Part 1 "Manager's Tool Kit"

Recognition is one of the key players to keep employees engaged and happy.  We all enjoy hearing that we have “done a great job” or just a simple “thanks” is all it takes to make employees feel valued.   When the days get crazy, it is hard to remember to just take a moment to recognize others for contributions to the company.

Recognition does not have to be expensive.  One inexpensive idea that I like to do is create what I call a Manager’s Toolkit.  This allows a supervisor or manager to  perform “on the spot” appreciation.  

Supplies needed or add your own creation:

Toolbox of sorts (I get a small bucket or plastic tub from the local Dollar Tree that has a handle on it)

Tokens of |Appreciation – can be ordered from Oriental Trading (bag of 144 pieces for $5.25)

Gold Chocolate Coins (can get at Winco in their bulk bin for a few dollars/pound)

Set of Thank You Cards – I buy the blank ones so the managers can write any personalized note they wish.  (Can get a small box of 50 for about $10-$15 at Office Depot)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Not Screening Properly = Large Risk

This article by SHRM talks about the importance of checking references and backgrounds for any potential hires you are considering.  The article mostly focuses on just a "bad" hire in general where they don't have the experience or education you may think they have, but there are even worse implications than that:  Let's say you don't run a criminal background check on an employee and that same employee causes harm to another person(s), which is a worst case scenario.  If there was something in their background check (you did not run) that may have alerted you to the possibility, then your company will be at fault for "negligent hiring" and potential large lawsuit.

Read the article below for more details and information to the above subject:

Screening Lapses by Small Business Invite Large Risk

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Upcoming Workforce - Generation Z

Interesting article from last July, compliments of  SHRM, in regards to our latest Generation Z who will be or are just now beginning to enter the workforce.  Generation Z was born after 1996 and many  of whom are just graduating from high school and possibly looking for work.  They are even more challenging than their predecessors, Generation Y and managers need to know what they may be up against with our future generation.


Using LinkedIn Tip #2

My second tip would entail another way you can recruit perspective candidates utilizing the FREE version.  The best way to do this is with a simple update on your home page Your update can mention what position you are looking to fill (briefly) and to contact you if interested.  it is also a great way to reach out to your colleagues and inquire if anyone knows someone who would have the qualifications and may be a good fit. 

Many job candidates who are seeking a career in a professional field, will be using LinkedIn to search for jobs.  If your small business has a professional company page on LinkedIn then you have a better chance at being recognized as a great place t work.  

Friday, January 2, 2015

Do You or Will You Offer Flexible Work Arrangements?

Take a look at the survey conducted by SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) and check out their findings.  The numbers are pretty high within the 5-Year outlook and showing a combined 80% (approximately) of the organizations who will very likely or likely be offering Flexible Working Arrangements or ability to Telecommute. I truly believe when we offer more flexible options to workers, you will be rewarded with happier, engaged employees and lower turnover.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

SHRM Study about Challenges Regarding HR Functions of Small Biz

Below is an interesting article n regards to human resource challenges facing many small business owners. Are you feeling any of pains listed in the article below? Managing your small business is hard enough and sometimes it is nice to get a bit of help with HR projects OR tasks that seem time consuming and overwhelming.