Management and Human Resources
Find information below to help you manage your business and your employees. Also see our sections on hiring employees and motivating, training and retaining employees.
Whether they're working remotely from home or are coming into the office every day, employees are experiencing much more stress and anxiety than usual. As their leader, showing them how much you care is just as important as engaging and motivating them. Here are nine ways to do that.
Information overload and endless digital disruptions are crippling your employees and harming your business. Use these strategies to help employees manage the "noise" so they can stay focused and give you their best.
Business planning is a great way to spend the downtime many businesses have at the end of the year. Use these seven tips to get your business ready to start next year off on the right foot.
Conflict in teams is inevitable, but that doesn't mean it should be left unchecked. Use these five steps to resolve team conflict.
Why is managing change in an organization so difficult and slow? More importantly, what can you do to get your employees on board and solve the problem and achieve sustainable change? Read this eye-opening book excerpt from Miracle Minded Manager: A Modern Day Parable about How to Apply A Course in Miracles in Business by leadership expert John J. Murphy.
Everyone knows how much of a time-waster meetings can be, but what would happen if you made your meetings optional? You might be surprised by the results.
How you manage business risk determines just how much your business will suffer. Here are three ways you can manage risks and even put procedures in place to avoid some risks entirely.
Having a hard time finding the right candidate for your job opening? There are four reasons interview techniques fail. Here's what they are and how to conduct better interviews.
Hiring an intern can be a win-win for both employer and student, but it may not be a good fit for everyone. Here are things to consider to decide if using interns is a good choice for your business.
As an independent consultant, your entire workload falls on you. So, when your practice becomes successful and busy you might consider taking on a partner. Before you do, consider these six important factors.
Are your employees not getting as much done as you think they should? Here are ten simple things you can do to help them want to work harder and be more productive.
Using humor in the workplace can be risky, but done right, humor at work can help you be happier with your job, feel less stressed out, and even make you more productive. Follow these three guidelines for using humor in the workplace successfully.
Employees have been known to bill unusual (and sometimes questionable) items to their expense reports. Here's a look at common problems and abuses that AppZen uncovered in their research of expense reports from over one thousand companies.
Holding the same kind of meetings, where one person talks until everyone is bored out of their minds, is no longer acceptable. Instead, consider using these more effective meeting practices.
Mergers, acquisitions, and changes in business model can all require changes in a business' culture. Here are strategies for successfully blending and changing culture and getting employees to buy into the changes.
Business holiday gift-giving can be stressful, especially for small business owners. While you want to show appreciation to customers, clients, employees, and vendors, you don't want to offend or break your budget. This holiday gift-giving guide can help you choose the right gifts.
Retaining your best employees is important for your business. Be sure you're not giving them reasons to leave by avoiding these seven mistakes.
Your Millennial employees aren't as committed to your business as past employees were. In fact, as many as 6 out of 10 Millennials are currently looking for a new job. Here are 12 ways you can create a Millennial-friendly workplace that encourages retention and loyalty.
Thinking about donating to a cause outside the US? There are many good reasons for giving abroad, but before you do, consider these four questions.
What would you do if a disaster struck your business? Most disasters aren't preventable, and many aren't even predictable. But you can take steps in advance to minimize your potential for loss from catastrophic events. Here are some guidelines.
Make your meetings more productive and enjoyable by learning the 16 different types of meetings and how to use each of them best.
Working with family members presents a unique set of challenges, but they are not insurmountable. Use these nine tips for creating a family work environment where everyone gets along.
An effective mentoring program will help your best employees grow and become leaders within your company. Here are ten guidelines for creating an effective mentoring program for your business.
Is your fear of failure causing you to turn down opportunities that could help your business grow? Of course, you want to be smart about your business, but for it to grow, sometimes you have to take risks. Get past your fear of failure so you don't hold your business back.
Most of us care about doing our jobs well, and about the relationships we have with customers and employees. But your actions might be sending the opposite message. Here are 17 things you may unknowingly do that tell others, “I don’t care.”
Having a culturally diverse workplace comes with many advantages, but not all of them are obvious. Here are five benefits of workplace diversity you may not have realized.
For small business owners, taking a vacation - at least one where you don't spend the whole time tethered to your smartphone or computer - may seem nearly impossible. Here's what you need to do so you can relax and enjoy the time away from your business.
Doing whatever it takes to succeed in business might actually be what does your business in. Here are six ways integrity can improve your business.
Labor law posters must be posted in the workplace by any business with employees. Finding required state and federal labor law posters & updating them can be confusing. Unfortunately, some companies selling labor law posters attempt to take advantage of businesses, claiming notices need to be replaced when they may not. Here's how you can be sure your notices aren't out of date.
Employees who come to work sick or suffering other conditions that prevent them from working productively may be costing you more than absenteeism. Here are causes and solutions for presenteeism.
Is your team toxic and dysfunctional? Backbiting, gossiping, blaming - all these things can undermine teamwork in the workplace. Here are five steps to get your team working together again.
Finding good employees to help out during your busy season is tough. If you want to continue to meet the needs of your customers - and not lose sales - use these 15 tips for finding and hiring seasonal help.
Ready to retire from your small business, but your business partner isn't? Read what Barbara Corcoran has to say about small business exit strategies.
In their new book, Ed Hess and Katherine Ludwig lay out their case for an automation boom that will cost millions of jobs and lead to unprecedented unemployment. It will also lead to failure for some small businesses. Read an excerpt from their book here to make sure your business is prepared for what is to come.
Jet lag can make a business trip miserable or ruin a chunk of your vacation. Here are remedies that work best for combating jet lag so you can enjoy your trip.
Is your company giving out holiday bonuses this year? Did they give them last year? Find out what other businesses are doing and get tips on how to give (or not give) holiday bonuses without causing bad feelings among your employees
If you're used to asking What was your last salary? during job interviews, you might want to check your state and local laws. Many states and localities have made asking the salary question illegal.
Outsourcing work to freelancers can free up your time so you can focus on more important work. Here are 25 tasks that are good to outsource.
It's normal for your business to go through up periods and down periods. When you're in a down cycle, employees can get worried about their job security and jump ship. Here are three tactics you can use to keep your best employees happy during a downturn for your business.
The Internet has made it possible for businesses to sell globally, dealing with customers in different time zones is challenging. Here are seven tips to make it easier to communicate with and serve customers in other parts of the country or world.
Making assumptions about employees based on their age and generation is counterproductive. Here's how to address and eliminate generational stereotyping in your company.
A job analysis details the tasks, responsibilities, and skills needed to perform a job. A job analysis will provide the facts you need to write an accurate job description. Here's why job analyses are important and how to prepare them.
In their new book, Ed Hess and Katherine Ludwig lay out their case for an automation boom that will cost millions of jobs and lead to unprecedented unemployment. Read an excerpt from their book here to make sure your business is prepared for what is to come.
Human resources departments are facing changes and adjusting to the expectations of new generations of workers. Here are the HR trends anticipated for the coming year.
To succeed in manufacturing - or in any business - you need strong leadership at all levels of the organization. This book excerpt explains why and discusses 4 critical elements of good leadership.
Are your employees stealing from your business? How can you tell? Here are 12 signs that you have some sticky fingers on your payroll.
Client expectations don't always meet up with reality in the consulting business. So what do you do when a client expects the project you were hired to be finished much sooner than is possible? Here are 4 steps for handling an unrealistic deadline.
The new overtime rule is about to go into effect. Many small businesses that never had to worry about nonexempt employees will now be faced with the issue. Is your business prepared? Here's what you need to know about the new overtime exemption rules.
You learn a lot about potential employees during job interviews, but performing a reference check can ensure that the applicant is being honest and is a good fit for your business. Here's how you should go about checking references and a list of questions you should ask.
What causes consulting clients to fail to commit - and more importantly, what can you do about it? Some clients will always be wishy-washy, but take these five steps and they will be more likely to move forward with their project.
Sometimes you're brought into a consulting job or management position for the sole purpose of cleaning house. Here's how you can salvage the situation and perhaps not have to fire everyone after all..
What should you do when your client or boss asks you to do something that's illegal or unethical? Here's what to do and why.
While it's true that women have made great strides in business ownership equality, they still face challenges not as common among their male counterparts. Here are four of those challenges and the solutions for overcoming them.
As the boss, should you have your desk out in the open with your employees or should you have your own private office? Both have benefits and disadvantages. Get help deciding which office setup is right for your business here.
Don't let the inevitable conflicts between family members get in the way of your family-run business' success. Follow these tips to keep the peace and avoid problems caused by working with relatives.
How do you write an employee handbook? What do you need to put in it? Whether you're writing your first employee manual or you're updating one you've had for a while, this article explains the topics you should cover.
Health insurance costs are a huge portion of many small business's budgets. One way they might seek to recoup some of those costs is by charging smokers more for their insurance. But is that actually legal? Find out here.
Employees are expensive, so when they aren't productive it costs your business money. These 16 tips can help you get them to be more productive and to work harder.
It can be very frustrating to deal with an employee who is frequently late or absent, but employee attendance problems aren't always due to irresponsibility. Here's help for dealing with the situation.
Bad writing makes your business look unprofessional and your employees look uneducated. It also tells customers you don't care enough to bother with good communication. Although the occasional typo is inevitable in this day of email and social media, writing well is important. Here are a few tips to help you improve your business writing.
Having a written contract or agreement between you and your customer can help your customers know what to expect when buying from you and, in the event of problems, protect you from unnecessary losses. Here's what you need to know to write the customer contract and advice on when you need to use it.
Having employees that work together efficiently as a team helps your business run smoothly. But, teamwork doesn't always happen like it should. Here are five of the biggest teamwork problems and what you can do to fix them.
It's tempting to hire a friend or family member when you have an opening in your business. You'd be helping them out and would get to work with someone you already know well, so it's win-win, right? Well, not usually. Here are three not-so-great things that often happen when you employ friends or family.
The use of temporary workers has steadily increased over the years. Would your business benefit from temporary help? To find out, check out these pros and cons of hiring a temp.
Keeping employees happy and satisfied with their jobs is important for small businesses, but you might not have the budget to pay the same salary big companies can pay. Here are seven things you can do to prevent them from jumping ship when another job offer comes along.
How's your business growing? Not as fast as you'd like? Here are four things that can cause your business to slow or stop its growth along with advice on correcting the problems.
Are you making management mistakes that could damage your business? Whether it's unhappy employees, lack of customers, or poor cash flow, there are many things that can threaten your business' success. Here are the top critical small business management errors you should watch out for.
Your top employees are integral to your business's success. So what happens when one of them resigns? Here's a guide to making the transition as smooth as possible..
Making business mistakes when you're self-employed can have serious consequences. Here are 5 common mistakes people who work for themselves make - and tips for avoiding them.
Transparency - being open about and accountable for your business operations - is important to today's employees and customers. Here are 5 ways you can increase transparency in your workplace.
What makes entrepreneurial geniuses like Steve Jobs different from other people who start businesses? It's not what they know, says best-selling author Michael E. Gerber. Read why.
Are your employees giving you 100%? If they aren't, you're losing money on them. Here are 4 steps for getting all of your employees to work to their fullest potential.
Businesses struggle with finding and keeping good managers, leading to employee turnover and lost productivity. Hiring more women managers could be the answer to the problem. Find out why in this excerpt from the new book Running in High Heels.
When you started your business, you had to do everything. But as your business grows, you need to give up the tasks better performed by employees or outside professionals. Here are three areas of your business you should consider delegating.
The hope of a bonus check is no longer enough to keep employees motivated. Here's the trick to getting engaged employees to do their best and unengaged employees to start caring.
Some 87 percent of businesses fail to execute their strategy each year. Here, author Dan Prosser explains why—and offers eight startling insights into human interaction, the hidden forces that drive leaders, and the astonishing power of the conversations we enable and nurture.
Hosting a holiday party for employees is traditional for most businesses at this time of year. But hosting one that shows your appreciation for a year of hard work without breaking the bank isn't easy. Here are a few hints that can help.
Failing at a business isn't the end of the world. In fact, it could be the beginning of a successful new business. Here are ten things you can learn if you've had a business fail.
Shark Tank isn't just good entertainment - there are business lessons you can learn from it too. Even if you aren't seeking investors, these six lessons are worth studying.
Employees are quick with an excuse when they've missed a deadline, and they might even believe it's a good excuse. Many times, though, the delay could have been avoided. Here's what you can do about three of the most common excuses you'll hear.
Whether your SMB manufactures guitars, heavy equipment, or foodstuff, the logistics of moving your products safely and on time through your distribution network can be a costly nightmare. Here are tips for better managing the process.
Open office layouts are popular among today's businesses because they supposedly encourage collaboration and save office space. But are they really that beneficial? Read about the pros and cons of open office layouts here.
How much should you tip your business's delivery driver? What about the postal carrier? The nanny? The building handyman? How about the guys that keep the lawn looking nice or the lady who comes in and cleans the office after hours? Here's a holiday tipping guide for business owners that will help you decide how much to give.
So you've got some extra room in your building and are thinking about subleasing it to offset the cost of your rent. Here's what you need to know before subletting that space to someone else.
When your employees just don't seem to care about what they do and put little effort into their jobs, it's easy to blame it on the employee. Before you give up on ever finding anyone with a good work ethic, check out these eight things you should be doing to motivate and inspire your employees.
Giving to charity doesn't just make you feel good, it is also good for business. Here are eight ways that being charitable can benefit your business.
When you have remote employees and freelancers, it can be hard to keep tabs on what they're doing. This advice on managing them via email and social media will help you keep communication open and productivity high.
It's all too easy for small business owners to make legal mistakes that could be costly. Most entrepreneurs aren't legal experts but don't expect a judge to be sympathetic of your ignorance. Inform yourself about these five common legal mistakes so you don't make them yourself.
What questions should you ask job applicants during an interview? What questions shouldn't you ask? Here is a quick guide to help you ask the right questions and select the best candidate for the job. See the tips at the end of the article for questions to avoid during an interview.
Employees can present you with some awkward situations, but as the boss, you have to be prepared to deal with them. Here's how to handle three of the most common difficult conversations you'll face.
Choosing a lawyer for your business isn't as simple as opening up the yellow pages and picking the one with the best-looking ad. And asking for free legal advice when you're in a pinch isn't likely to gain you any popularity points with attorney friends. Here's how to go about finding the best lawyer for your business situation.
Job descriptions are important for attracting the right job candidates, helping employees understand their responsibilities, evaluating employees' performance, and much more. Here are tips for writing good job descriptions.
January is when most people reflect on the past year's successes and failures, and therefore when they consider what their course should be for the coming year. Find out what questions you should ask yourself as a business owner this time of year.
Writing a reference letter for a former employee and don't know what you should say? Here's how to make sure your letter of recommendation doesn't get you sued.
You don't have to be greedy and selfish to run a successful business. In this article from August Turak, author of Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks, find out why selflessness can actually help your business succeed.
How can you tell when a job applicant or employee is lying? Workplace body language expert and author of “The Truth About Lies in the Workplace,” Carol Kinsey Goman offers these tips for spotting liars at work.
Every successful business owner has a team of people behind him or her that helps make that success possible. Here are three ways you can build a successful team for your own business.
Whether you are a fan of the Affordable Care Act or not, it has passed into law. Here's what you need to know about how it will affect your small business.
Are you going through office supplies faster than usual? Noticing inventory discrepancies? Here's the best way to stop employees from stealing from your business.
Do you find it hard to work on the money-making parts of your business - like finding customers and meeting with clients - because you're so busy with the "little things" like sending invoices, answering the phones, and responding to email inquiries? Find out how a virtual assistant can help.
Is your business struggling? Are you losing customers or money and don't know how to plug the hole? Here are three things to look at when your business is failing.
When an employee makes sexual harassment accusations shortly after being disciplined, it's natural to assume the employee is lying. Consider these points before you jump to conclusions about the credibility of the employee's complaint.
How do you know when verbal threats in the workplace need to be taken seriously? When should you fire the employee and when should you give him or her another chance? Here's what you need to know about dealing with threats from employees.
Why do so many small businesses fail? For some businesses, it's because they decided to expand. Here's why a bigger business isn't necessarily better.
Should you form a partnership with another business? Partnering can bring many benefits to both businesses, but there are also downsides. Here are five questions you should ask before partnering.
Do you have someone in your workplace who seems to be able to find the downside to every situation? Here's how you can deal with negative people in a positive and constructive way.
Talent management is typically considered a responsibility of HR. Yet small businesses that thrive and grow have leaders who understand that they are not only in charge of managing their budget and numbers but the people that work for them as well.
People naturally avoid change and risk, even when that change could ultimately lead to their company's survival. So how do you combat workplace inertia to achieve the impossible? Find out here.
You know throwing an office holiday party will be good for morale, but the expense isn't good for your bottom line. Try these ideas to keep costs low while keeping holiday spirits high.
Good communication in your small business is important for your employees' morale and productivity. Here are five steps to improving workplace communication.
Bad business decisions can cost your company thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, they aren't always easy to spot before the damage has been done. Here are five questions you should ask to help yourself make good business decisions.
Would your employees tell you if they were being harassed or threatened on the job? Here are seven reasons they might not report workplace violence and tips for how you can make it more likely that they will.
In this article, the authors of the new book Fuse: Making Sense of the New Cogenerational Workplace, explore the five qualities that make someone a good boss and how these qualities help to create a collaborative and productive workplace.
Wondering how you'll take any time off from your business during the upcoming holidays? If you want to work less, get more done, and make sure your staff does things the way you want, you need to create systems in your business.
Is your company giving out holiday bonuses this year? Did they give them last year? Find out what other businesses are doing and get tips on how to give (or not give) holiday bonuses without causing bad feelings among your employees.
If you've ever had a drunk customer - or worse, a drunk employee - show up at your business, you know that reasoning with them seldom works. Here are five ways you can effectively and safely handle a drunk in the workplace.
When times are challenging, businesses often need to make big changes to stay afloat. Here's how to get employee buy-in on the changes.
Running a successful business means wearing many hats, including the "boss" hat. If you find yourself frustrated with your employees' performance, see if perhaps you're making one of these five mistakes.
When you just don't get along with someone at work, it can make life miserable for you both. And though you might wish for a personality transplant for your annoying coworker, that's probably not going to happen. Here are seven steps you can take that may help make things better.
While it doesn't always make headlines, fraud in small businesses accounts for the majority of employee fraud. Learn how to recognize and prevent fraud in your business with these tips.
Most small business owners don't spend a lot of time thinking about what would happen if they became unable to run their business, but even if you think you are a long way from retirement, there are many important reasons to have an exit plan in place.
Have you ever tried to make a change to something important in your business only to be frustrated a few weeks or months down the road when employees are doing it the same as always? Learn what major factors stand in the way of effective organizational change and find out what you can do about them.
Once you've had a consultant helping out with some aspect of your business, you may realize what a great asset he or she would make to your company. Before you hire a consultant as a full-time employee here are three things you need to consider.
Making decisions is possibly the riskiest part of a manager's job, but it's also one of the most important. In this article from the authors of Managers, Can You Hear Me Now?, find out why the willingness to commit to a decision and take action are key factors in a manager's success.
One of the biggest challenges for businesses today is integrating the Millennials or Gen Y twenty-somethings into a Baby Boomer culture. So who are the Millennials and how do we manage their expectations while maintaining high performing organizations? Find out here.
Leading a virtual team requires more than just setting up the right technology so team members can communicate. Learn what else you should do to make your virtual workforce feel connected to each other and the company mission.
Confused by key performance indicators (KPI)? Learn what they are and which KPIs are important to your business for current and future success.
Most mistakes and errors in business aren't a result of poor materials or disgruntled employees. They are the end result of not having clearly defined procedures for common tasks. Here are 10 steps for creating procedures and systems that will make your business more successful.
Outsourcing isn't always about shipping jobs overseas. In fact, work can be outsourced to other businesses within your own community and outsourcing can be a big help to small businesses trying to grow. Here are some benefits your business can see from outsourcing and three tips for making it successful.
How can you make a client happy who is driving you crazy by complaining, refusing to pay your bill, and haggling over your fees? The fact is, those clients can drain the life out of your business-- and you.
If you keep large amounts of cash in your place of business or home, you've just made yourself into an easy target for would-be thieves and armed robbers. Here are several proven cash control tips that can make your business less appealing to crooks looking for someone to rob.
How do you retain and prepare your best talent to lead? Mentoring programs are one of the most effective tools in achieving business results. Here are ten guidelines for creating an effective mentoring program.
Every employee in a small business has a big impact on performance, company culture and the bottom line. That’s why hiring the wrong candidate is a costly, sometimes critical, mistake. Be aware of these five common lies your job candidates may tell in an interview or on their resume.
If you are a small business owner and you have non-exempt employees on staff, beware. There’s a danger lurking that makes sense but almost no one saw it coming.
Just one person behaving badly at work can send company morale into a downward spiral. Unfortunately, most companies have more than one ne’er-do-well bringing everyone else down. It’s time to call those morale- and productivity-busting personalities on the carpet so you can spot them and steer clear of their mess.
The concept of planning for disasters, whether they are man-made or natural, just doesn’t come that high up on the radar during normal small business operations. But if a disaster strikes, your small business is much more likely to survive if you have an emergency preparedness plan in place.
As your business grows and matures, it's easy to lose sight of the practices that worked when you started your business. Here's ten point checklist to help you stay on track while you grow your business.
If you run a business and have people working for you, it is important to properly classify them as either employees or independent contractors because your decision will have payroll tax implications. Answer "yes" to any of these seven questions and you can be sure the IRS will consider your worker an employee, and so should you.
Conflict in the workplace is inevitable, but it doesn't have to bring down morale or effect productivity. Here are eight things you can do to handle conflict and restore the peace.
Sometimes choosing a supplier or service provider is as simple as asking a friend who they use in their business. Other times you need to go through a formal selection process. To make sure the vendor you choose is the best one to provide the service or product you need, use these six steps.
Small business owners often fear changes, but that fear may be holding their business back. Here's why change is important and how to know when it's time to make changes.
How much stress is your staff under because there is no one who can fulfill their function if they were to go on vacation or to be ill? What contingency plans do you have in place for dealing with the sudden disappearance of one of your key players? Here are some important points you need to consider to keep your business healthy.
It is impossible to plan for every problem that your business could face, but there are some issues where a little preparation will go a long way towards reducing the damages. Here are three areas that you should address in your business before it's too late.
Any successful small business can quickly be confronted with this question. You’re moving along well, making money, growing both your business and your dedicated customer base. Now you likely have some decisions to make.
In the face of this severe, take-no-prisoners economic downturn, far too many organizations are responding in knee-jerk reaction to the thought of holding all but the smallest of meetings. Yet communicating is precisely what needs to be done to make it through the recession and be ready to move once the economic cloud lifts. Here's why.
When times are tough, even healthy business relationships can become strained, and incompatibilities between business partners may surface. If you're ready to dissolve your business partnership, the economic downturn may have actually made it easier to get out.
Virtual meetings are hailed as a way to save travel costs and boost productivity. But they are effective only if the attendees actually pay attention. Here are five things you can do to keep your online meeting participants interested and engaged.
In this article from Jay Abraham, author of The Sticking Point Solution, he shares 7 smart things that successful businesses are doing in order not just to ride out the recession but to grow and thrive as never before.
Most companies today use a performance appraisal system or an annual performance review system that was invented decades ago in a much slower business economy. The assessment given often leaves employees wondering if they actually did their job or not. Here's a way to provide useful information to employees and make annual performance reviews easier.
With a suffering economy there is the temptation to operate in fear. Implement one of these principles and make a difference. Implement all seven and change the culture you live and work in.
Outsourcing is often seen as a bad word, but for small businesses it can be what makes the difference between meeting a deadline and losing a client. To get the best results from outsourcing, follow these 18 guidelines.
If you're in a business partnership or a longstanding working relationship that isn't working, ask yourself these questions. Then, if you need to change or end the partnership, follow these five steps.
Employers face major challenges when they consider the increasing difficulty of finding skilled people, a younger workforce with different attitudes about work, and a growing population of older workers heading toward retirement. Use these five tips to help you attract the best workers and keep your existing workers happy and motivated.
An open-to-buy is a tool that in the hands of a fully committed small retailer can profoundly improve financial performance. It allows a retailer to manage inventory, plan purchases, and budget effectively. Find out what goes into a good open-to-buy and how you can put it to use in your business.
An employee who has to choose between work and family may very well quit - costing you money as you try to replace that employee. Flexible work arrangements enable companies to keep good employees and create more loyal and productive workers.
Sooner or later, most managers must face up to the task of firing someone. Though it is never easy, this advice will help you handle this odious task when you must do it.
Don’t be one of the many workers who suffer from back pain and other ailments as a direct result of sitting in a substandard or poorly adjusted chair. Use these guidelines for choosing a chair that will be both comfortable and healthy.
For leaders managing constant change, conflict is built into the very fabric of their organizations. When conflict is not dealt with well, it can create strained relationships and grow to sap the time, energy, and productivity of even the best teams. Here are tips for dealing with your most difficult people.
In order to build the right small business infrastructure, you must think strategically -- that's having a business mindset. Here are seven examples of having a business mindset.
Is your business or product name protected against others who intentionally or unintentionally use the same name? Could someone register a web site using that name and get away with it? Registering your trademarks has many advantages. Find out how you can benefit from registering yours.
As a manager, you have the opportunity to lead, supervise, mentor and motivate others - and your ability to do so effectively makes a huge difference to your company's overall success. But, statistics show that 50% or more of middle managers fail to achieve the expectations of those who promote them. Find out why and what you can do about it.
In an effort to be less than constructive as a manager, here are ten sure-fire ways to alienate and demotivate your team on your change journey. Hit-or-miss approaches don't go far enough; this is your chance to use the best methods of corporate torture and humiliation developed by dictators, steamrollers and other "tough guy" bosses.
There are five big mistakes that managers often make when giving performance reviews to employees. This article tells you what they are and how to avoid them.
Small slights can generate big problems. Take the boss who impatiently drums his fingers as an employee pitches an idea. Or the co-worker who is left out of an email loop on a critical project. Find out how to identify and stop these "microinequities" before they harm your business.
Succession planning is a hot topic these days, but according to surveys, not many businesses are taking it seriously. Here are six common myths about succession planning and the proof against them.
What will it take to make your project successful? Get the top 20 steps to success and learn the 5 things to avoid in this excerpt from The Ultimate Guide to Project Management for Small Business by Sid Kemp.
Employee theft is not uncommon in today's workplaces. And it's often the employee you least suspect that is the culprit. Here are tips on spotting and eliminating employee theft in your small business.
The right desk can make the difference between a busy, productive day or a harried, disorganized one. When the time comes to replace your office desk, consider these important points in choosing the right work desk for your needs.
By now, you've set a working direction for the 2006 and established clear-cut objectives. Or maybe you're still trying to find time to plan it all out. Either way, asking yourself these 10 questions will help you fine tune your efforts and grow your business in the coming year.
Has business been slow? Are you just hoping to make it through another year? Knowing how to survive during lean times is a valuable skill, but sometimes things we do in the name of "survival" can themselves bring about the end of a business.
As you see Susie round the corner to your desk, you try to look busy, pretending to make an important call. Susie, you see, is the office motor mouth. And, unfortunately, avoiding her doesn't usually work. So just what can you do to get Susie to be quiet without being rude? Here are 12 tips that can help.
The use of temporary workers has steadily increased over the years. Would your business benefit from temporary help? To find out, check out these pros and cons of hiring a temp.
When you need to correct an employee, do you use the technique of "sandwiching" your reprimand between a compliment or pat on the back? Though it may make it easier for you to deliver your bad news, it doesn't work that well in changing employees' behavior. Find out why and what you should do instead.
Employees love flexible work arrangements, and employers benefit from higher morale, lower absenteeism, and being able to attract better quality workers. But flex plans don't come without problems. Here's a rundown of the most common problems and the ways to solve them.
Creating a high retention workplace has more to do with good managers than anything else. Yes, you have to pay people well. Sure, you have to provide decent benefits. But first it begins with leadership. Improve retention and make your business a good place to work by following this five-step PRIDE model.
The thought of being sued sends chills down the spines of most business owners. But a law suit doesn't have to mean the financial death of a thriving business. Follow these five tips for keeping your legal costs down.
To get the most from attending a trade show, you have to a clear strategy in mind. This trade show expert has tips for what you should do before, during and after the show to be sure your trip is a success.
Do you think you’re pretty good at spelling, punctuation and grammar? Many businesspeople do, but the truth is there are some common mistakes that nearly everyone makes time and time again. Take our quiz and see how you do.
Poor writing says many different things about you and your business, not the least of which is that you don't care enough about your business to proof the words you use to represent it. Is that the kind of company you'd want to do business with? Here are a few tips to help you improve your business communications.
Over 53 charges of sexual harassment are filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission every business day. What have you done to prevent sexual harassment in your workplace? Here are a few guidelines that can help.
A sales manager's primary responsibility is to recruit, train and motivate their sales force to achieve peak performance. Of these three vitally important tasks, recruiting is the least understood and by far the most challenging. Follow these guidelines for help hiring the right person for the job.
Training sessions are there to help your employees do a better job and in the end benefit both you and the employee. But why do they seem to get so little out of them, and some actually fear the training? Get the answers here, along with four ways to create an effective training program.
Why is it so difficult to get to the real reason a problem exists? What is necessary to identify the root cause of a problem? Find out here.
Your Power Point presentation should help you get your point across, not replace your message. Make sure the focus of your presentation isn't just slick graphics and fancy charts, but you and what you're saying.
Do your voice mail messages go unanswered? Here are five reasons voice mail goes unanswered and what you can do to improve the likelihood that your calls are returned.
Despite the hours invested in developing strategic plans, all too often they don't work. According to a survey, there are five main reasons that they fail. Learn what they are and improve your own success.
How important is the work you're doing? What you do and when you do it are important to the success of your business or career.
When communicating with your workforce about complex issues, such as your benefits program, only a small number will actually understand it the first time its presented. Here is a technique you can use to be sure that the majority of people eventually absorb the information.
Middle managers are often blamed for the communication gap that exists between front line employees and a company's upper management. Instead of wasting time pointing fingers, discover where the heart of the problem lies.
If you’re looking at a build up of dead inventory, and feel a little overwhelmed by the enormity of it, here are a few ideas to help you get started turning it into cash.
Sure, you know how much your on hand inventory is worth, but do you know how long it should be on your shelves? Being able to answer that question is the key to keeping your cash flow in the positive.
Have you ever heard a wholesaler, importer or distributor say, “We’re committed to inventory” or, "We can't sell it if we don't have it"? But inventory is one of those things where more is not necessarily better. Read why.
For many small retailers, the largest asset on the balance sheet is inventory. But without careful planning, inventory can easily get out of whack, resulting in heavy markdowns due to overstocks and ultimately, serious cash flow problems.
Want to begin offering workshops (by phone or in person) to attract clients and maybe build another revenue stream? Here are seven tips for teaching a profitable and fun seminar.
If you go to the doctor with a headache, do you demand a particular treatment before she examines you? Of course not! Well then, why do managers send their employees for customer service training -- before they know what the problem is?
Do you think business plans are just for starting a business? Better think again. Business plans are about results, and here's how reviewing your business plan regularly will help you improve your business results.
Finding good employees is one thing, but getting them to stay is another. So just why do good employees leave? Uncover the reasons in this week's Quick Takes column.
Employees often won't discuss problems with managers for fear of being labeled as "negative" or "not a team player." Yet it's in the manager's best interest to be informed. Here are ways to facilitate communication rather than discouraging it.
Conflicts are inevitable, but the more we know about human nature, the more positive the outcome of a conflict might be for both parties. Here are seven tips for avoiding and resolving conflicts.
The only way to survive in our competitive world is by obtaining full customer satisfaction through the consistent delivery of high quality products and services. Learn how you can build quality in your company.
Ever presented a fantastic idea to your boss, just to have it shot down before you hardly finish explaining it? Here's how you can respond and keep your idea alive.
Everyone hates to be micromanaged, yet managers continue to do it. Are you a micromanager, too?
Customer service often means dealing with angry, frustrated, or rude customers. Dealing with those customers effectively can often make or break a company. This article presents a five-step process for dealing with difficult customers.
When your employees leave your office after a performance review, do they know whether or not they've been doing a good job? Here are some ways you can make sure they know where they stand -- not just once a year, but all the time.
Most managers have been in the situation where an employee’s performance is not meeting their expectations. Many times this poor performance has to do with a miscommunication or an employee not understanding the expectations of the job. Here's how you can bridge the gap.
You work hard to find your best employees, so don't let them get away! Use these tips to keep your star performers happy and motivated.
In spite of all the talk about balancing work and family, most people feel they must choose between the two, resulting in high turnover in many workplaces. By creating a Flexible Work Arrangement, companies can keep good employees and not force them to sacrifice family life.
When diagnosing problems with employee performance, don't waste precious time and resources on solutions that don't work. Instead, ask "why" at the outset and get to the heart of the matter.
There are many reasons why good employees quit, but most are preventable. Here are the top ten reasons why people leave jobs.
How can you increase employee performance, levels of involvement, desire for responsibility, interest, initiative, and attentiveness? When stepping up to the challenge of low employee performance, a plan is most definitely a necessity.
Reports of aggression and hostility in our homes, in our schools, and on our streets are all too common today. And, violence in the workplace has become a reality. One in four workers are attacked, threatened or harassed each year. With that in mind, we must implement training to counteract violence before it happens.
With the belt-tightening of recent months, you are probably tempted to cut down on training and development. But if you want to retain your employees and keep their productivity up, you might want to rethink that position.
Using a professional speaker to drive home a message can be very effective. It can also be a hefty investment. Be sure you get the most out of your event by following these tips.
Your business has finally reached a point where the basement is no longer an adequate office, and the family room is not an acceptable conference facility. What's your next move? Click Here for tips on selecting the right office space for you!
In today's workplace, almost limitless job opportunities and less employee loyalty has created an environment where the business needs its employees more than the employees need the business.
Change is an inevitability in today's workplace. According to one author, some of your workers need a little more help adjusting than others. Read this excerpt to explore how well your organization is prepared to deal with change, and discover what you can do to ease the transition.
Do you know where your company is headed, or who will be in charge when it gets there? Succession planning is an important part of any business, large or small, family-owned or publicly traded.
Having trouble getting those high-paying consulting gigs you want? Or maybe, you need a way to make your company sound like it is uniquely superior to your competitors? Or perhaps you have to give a speech and you want your audience to fall asleep because you really don’t have a whole lot to say? Well, we’ve found a tool to solve your problems. Click here, but not before you move the coffee away from your keyboard.
When was the last time you spent half your day looking for an important document? Don't let clutter waste your time. These tips will get you organize your business in no time at all!
In today's booming economy, workers have become more important to their employers than their employers are to them. Learn what's really important to your employees and keep them from getting away!