Ways To Invest In Your Team For Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Invest in your Team|Ways To Invest In Your Team For BusinessYour team is important to your business, and if you’re not making an effort to look after them and to provide everything they need to be successful, then, as a result, your business will suffer. Here are a few ways to invest in your team for business.

Have A Budget For Staff Training

A budget for staff training is useful to have because there are lots of opportunities that you can give your staff to build up their knowledge, the skills that they have, and the experiences that they can receive whilst in your employment. Some businesses have been known to part-fund and even fully fund degrees, whether that’s to the University of Nevada Reno or even overseas. If they can see the benefit that it can have for the company, then any good business owner will take that investment risk and hope that it pays off. Even if you start off small, being able to offer some opportunities for learning can be great to keep your staff happy but to also benefit the business in a variety of ways.

Consider Their Mental Wellbeing

Everyone has mental health, and the way we look after it can influence how well we cope in our day to day lives. Whether it be the stress of a particular campaign that a staff member is working on or issues outside of the workplace, as an employer, you can do your bit. Think about the support you can offer to help your employees look after their mental health. Flexible working could be an option if there are staff members who might need to work home occasionally. Having more one to one meetings can be good with their line managers to discuss how they’re getting on and whether there can be any improvements or issues fixed that they’re concerned about.

Support New Ideas

Everyone can have an influence on a business, and each person can bring something new to the table. When it comes to your team, try to incorporate everyone into any directions that you want to take the business in, no matter big or small. Make team meetings more interactive and engaging for everyone, rather than the few confident colleagues who might like to talk a lot. Give everyone a chance to bring new ideas to the table, and you might find someone in your workforce that’s got something great.

Reward Their Work

Hard work certainly deserves rewards, and whether that’s in a financial form of a bonus or an extra day off, it doesn’t go unnoticed with staff. Make a point of ensuring that all staff will get acknowledged and praised for putting in the hard work. Those extra perks can be essential for staff who need it and want to feel valued within their workplace. It also feels good as an employer to reward hard work, and it inspires others to work harder too.

Your team matters, no matter how big or small they may be. Use these tips to help improve your investment in the company.

Workplace Depression: This is How to Tell Your Employees Are Depressed

StrategyDriven, Business Management, Mental Health, Work-Life Balance,You’ve always dreamed of having happy, hardworking employees that grow your brand every day…

…But life happens.

Sometimes employees are upset or not working as hard as they once did, whether because of personal problems or unfortunate social situations.

As their leader, you may wonder how to tell if your employees are showing signs of depression.

Keep reading to learn how to identify workplace depression along. We also offer a couple of tips on how to approach a depressed worker.

The Signs of Workplace Depression

Depression in the workplace may be difficult to look out for, especially if your Bachelor’s degree isn’t in psychology.

Depression is not balling up and crying in a dark corner or isolating yourself in a cubicle and never talking to people.

Types of depression can range from a state of low moods to immense hopelessness and everything in between. These states of being can strongly impede cognitive functioning and working relationships.

The constant negative thinking patterns brought about by a depressive mood set can welcome in unhealthy thoughts, including suicidal ones. Depression can be a very personal mental health issue that is hard to spot in certain individuals.

However, the Mental Health Foundation has provided guidelines for employees, coworkers, and friends to look out for:

  • Physical signs of self-harm (such as seeing scarring on the wrists)
  • Decreased appetite
  • Loss of interest in once exciting things
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Persistent states of sadness
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Anxious tendencies
  • Comments about death and suicide
  • Strong statements about hopelessness

A general lower state of being may seem to plague your employee.

These signs can come to fruition in different ways. Once productive employees may suddenly start missing deadlines. Once excited employees may no longer have anything to say in meetings.

It is a general rule of thumb to look for major behavior and productivity shifts. These could be major indicators that there is a problem afoot.

Unhealthy Workplace Situations

While the workplace environment may not exclusively cause an employee to become depressed, conditions within the workplace may not be doing much to help a depressed employee.

Having your employees work long, irregular hours will only encourage the fatigue and tiredness that come along with depressing thoughts. Working these excruciating kinds of hours also makes it difficult to have a life outside of work, not to mention the lack of sleep that often comes with irregular, demanding work schedules.

Having a routine that is – perhaps – too scheduled may also contribute to depression in the workplace. Overwhelming redundancy in workplace operations may not be stimulating enough for some employees.

Making projects or due dates that are too challenging, or maybe even impossible, also lends to an upsetting workplace environment. It is always important to recognize employee strengths and be sure to help your employees grow and learn without having goals that are overly strenuous.

All businesses have to deal with difficult situations, which may or may not involve difficult customers. Handling these situations may be part of an employee’s daily tasks, but it is important to support any employee that is enduring any sort of heat for any issues with or complains about the company or its products or services.
The goal is to create a productive yet supportive workplace that recognizes hardworking staff.

What Happens When Depression Goes Unnoticed?

As depression unfolds over time, small behavior changes follow. Then, major shifts of behavior changes follow.
These shifts could bring major consequences, which could include unsafe decision-making, poor communication, and even dramatic lash-outs.

Depressed employees may start missing deadlines or stop producing quality work. They may not be properly dressed or start coming later and later. They will be less dedicated to the company overall because of the war going on in their mind.

The last thing that these people need to hear is that they’re fired.

They need support. They need help. They need someone to care.
There are many ways that you can go about supporting these employees and turn your work environment around.

What You Can Do As Their Boss

The number one thing that you should make sure of as a boss is that your staff is comfortable. If they aren’t comfortable, good work will not be done.

Vulnerability in the workplace is one of the biggest challenges for all businesses. Being open with your boss about your mental health – especially if your thoughts aren’t positive – is nearly impossible to do. There are many fears about termination or judgment that circle around the idea of sharing mental health in the workplace.

The number one thing you can do is to put an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in place. EAPs are fantastic for giving your employees a place to voice their personal problems, whether these involve issues at home or at work. Learning more about EAPs is important to establishing a healthy working environment and giving a platform for your employees to get the help that they need.

Having staff members who are trained in identifying signs of depression and other mental health issues is also a great idea to ensure you’re supporting your team. These professionals will be able to spot the signs and help your employees before something goes wrong.

Along with preventing the unhealthy workplace situations that we discussed earlier, it would be beneficial to encourage regular, clear communication overall. Stress builds up over time when expectations aren’t being met or not even being set. Communicating your wants and needs while taking their wants and needs into consideration is important for a smooth-running business.

Overall, the best thing you can do is support your employees. You are their leader in the workplace.

Moving Forward

As you carry on with your business, it is important to know how damaging depression can be. It is important to remember that depression is a complex chemical imbalance, and it is not the employee’s fault or your fault.
Be sure to support your employees and provide the mental health resources that they need. These resources may even be useful for you in times of trouble.

Remember to reach out and support your team, especially when facing possible workplace depression. You’re all in this together.

How to Show Appreciation to Employees for a Job Well Done

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |show appreciation |How to Show Appreciation to Employees for a Job Well DoneIt’s easy for bosses to take their employees for granted. Yet there are consequences if you do it all the time. One survey found that 66 percent of employees would leave a job if they didn’t feel appreciated.

Telling someone you appreciate them is one thing. But you have to show appreciation as well. Everyone likes to know they matter.

Employee appreciation week is a good start, but you should show appreciation all year long. Read on for four staff appreciation ideas that will boost morale at the office.

Buy Them Food

This is a basic method of staff appreciation. In fact, it’s so basic it can be easy to overlook.

Bring in a catered lunch on days where the workload is big and the deadlines are coming up fast. It’s a reminder that you see your employees as people, not just cogs in a productivity machine.

If you can, give them a few minutes to actually enjoy the food as well. If someone wants to eat at their desk, that’s fine. But it’s always nice to say, “The work can wait.”

Don’t Micromanage Their Time

Speaking of time, try not to be an obsessive bean-counter. Yes, that’s true even if you’re in an office full of accountants. If someone comes in five minutes late on a Monday, don’t scold them.

Now, if they come in an hour late, it’s fair to ask if something’s wrong. That’s especially true if they don’t call or text first.

But a significant part of employee appreciation is trusting adults to act like adults. You’re managing an office, not a daycare.

Don’t assume people are irresponsible or untrustworthy. As long as they’re getting the work done, it shouldn’t matter as much when they arrive or leave.

Allow Office Dogs

Pet ownership has a clear connection to better heart health. Yet not everyone has an apartment or house suitable for a pet. Other people might want dogs, but not want to leave them at home all day.

You can help out both groups by inviting dogs into the office. If a dog is well-behaved, there’s no reason why it can’t join its person at work.

Again, this is a way to show staff appreciation by reminding people that work is not the be-all and end-all of their existence. Encourage them to spend their break time petting dogs. Both the employees and the dogs will be better off for it.

Dogs are a gift for everyone. Check out gift ideas from Bonusly for more.

Remote Work Days

As remote working becomes more common, you’ll have a choice: Allow it or continue insisting everyone is in the office 40 hours a week.

The best businesses will offer more flexibility. You can start by offering remote work days every Wednesday, for instance. If that goes well, you can add more remote work options.

Not everyone will want to work remotely, and that’s fine. But it’s a good option for people who feel more productive in their home office.

How to Show Appreciation to Employees

Figuring out how to show appreciation to employees may feel awkward, at least at first. Yet that’s no reason not to try. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it.

Did you like these business leadership tips? There’s much more where that came from, so bookmark our site to stay informed.

How to Make Your Office a More Vibrant Place to Work

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Vibrant Workplace|How to Make Your Office a More Vibrant Place to WorkIf your business is going to succeed, it needs to have a base from which to operate that reflects its values and facilitates good work from your employees. A workplace shouldn’t be dour or boring; you get the most out of people when they’re working in a place where they enjoy spending time. There’s nothing wrong with a workplace being vibrant; in fact, that’s the way it should be. Here are some ways to make your office a more vibrant place to work.

Use an Open Plan

One of the quickest and easiest ways to make your workplace more vibrant and dynamic is to break down barriers. You can do this by making the layout open plan. That way, people aren’t shut away in their cubicles away from what other people are doing. It makes communication and teamwork far easier and more viable. So, if you want to switch things up, this is one of the ways of doing it.

Make it Bright and Light

A workplace needs to be bright and light if you want people to feel positive there and you want them to enjoy working there each day. A dark and dingy workplace is never going to help you achieve the things you want to achieve because people will hate being there and lack motivation. So, make the most of natural light and ensure the place feels bright and welcoming as soon as you step inside.

Redecorate It

Maybe it’s time you redecorated your office too. If it’s been a while and the place is starting to look a little dull and uninspiring, changing things up could have a huge impact. You can make use of Custom Made Stencils to put your stamp on the office walls with your logo or brand name. Simply make it feel fresh and bright once more. It might not sound like much, but it’ll have an impact, that’s for sure.

Hire the Right Personalities

Hiring the right people is another thing that’ll help your workplace to feel a little more vibrant. People with the right personalities will help the company to shine and they’ll bring people together. You don’t want too many negative or divisive people working for your business because that’ll just make success harder to find.

Encourage Team Working

Finally, you should think about how you and the other people running your business might go about encouraging everyone to work together a little more closely as a team. It’s not always easy to make this happen but it’s worth at least making an effort. When everyone’s collaborating, the place immediately feels more vibrant and alive.

As you can see, there are tons of ways of making your office a more vibrant place, so all that’s left for you to do now is start putting some of these ideas into action. By doing so, you’ll turn your workspace into a place your employees enjoy being each day of the week, and that can only be a good thing.

Five Productivity Mistakes for Entrepreneurs to Avoid

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Productivity| Five Productivity Mistakes for Entrepreneurs to AvoidMost entrepreneurs are led to believe that successful business models prosper quickly and easily. However, in a study by Statistic Brain, “Startup Business Rate by Industry Business, the failure rate of all U.S. companies after five years was over 50 percent, and over 70 percent after 10 years

Too many entrepreneurs may be focusing too much on their hopes and dreams of success rather than maintaining daily best practices to stay productive and healthy. Here are five mistakes entrepreneurs should correct in order to help them achieve a more productive day and a healthier lifestyle.

1) Don’t Ignore Your Own Well-Being:

Exercise, relaxation, and spending time with friends and family is key to having a healthy mind and body. According to the Gallup Wellbeing Index, 45% of entrepreneurs report being stressed compared to 42% of “other workers.” Entrepreneurs also report being more likely to have “worried a lot” — 34% vs. 30%.. Physical and mental healthcare the most important components for long term success at anything, especially the highly stressful project of building a successful business. Disregarding your personal welfare in favor of pushing yourself to the limit and beyond can result in a negative domino effect and usually compounds every other mistake you’re making. Most often these topics are unspoken and not confronted because there is a need to be perceived as confident and able to handle anything, but this is a real problem that takes down many entrepreneurs and causes them to fail. Neglecting your health and working yourself until you drop isn’t good for your business, even though that may be the kind of culture that is being promoted in the social media narrative. It’s not worth the damage you’re doing to your life, and it doesn’t produce good results for most people anyway.

2) Don’t Overthink Strategy:

It seems as if many of us spend way too much time thinking about what we should be doing instead of actually doing it. People assume that entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos or Warren Buffett mostly think about their long-term vision because that is what you hear about in the media a lot of the time. What you don’t hear as much about is what they do every day to move towards those long term goals. They didn’t build huge businesses spending most of their time strategizing and dreaming about the future. Most of the time you spend working should be producing some kind of tangible results for your business. You can spend some time thinking about where you want to be in 5 or 10 years, but that should be a small part of your schedule. If you don’t produce results now, you will never get to your long term goals.

3) Avoid Distracting Communication:

Some entrepreneurs will spend a lot of time micromanaging and refereeing personality conflicts in the workplace or engaging in their own workplace drama with partners, colleagues, and investors. This usually leads to a destructive cycle that harms the business. If there are people on your team causing you too much stress or drama, you need to remove them from your team as soon as possible. Or if you can’t remove them, you need to think about removing yourself and moving on to something else with your life. Like a bad relationship, if you can’t fix it, you have to move on. Hanging around for the drama or trying to “win” a bad relationship is not productive, and it’s the same thing in your business. Nobody wins in these drama filled scenarios.

4) Lack of Prioritization:

Many entrepreneurs will find that they lack the ability to prioritize their time. They spend way too much time on things that may be interesting or happen to catch their attention even thought those things aren’t important for the business. You should not be spending much time on low value items that can be done later, delegated to someone else, or often completely ignored with minimal consequences. This seems obvious, but many entrepreneurs fall into this trap, obsessing over things like the corporate logo, mission statement, team happy hours, office space, employee complaints, or many other things that don’t usually produce tangible results for the business. One of the worst examples is working very hard on acquiring and keeping small, unprofitable customers. Another example is spending a lot of time trying to build a corporate culture long before the business has achieved any success or traction. Success and traction builds your corporate culture, not the other way around. Focus on producing good results and many of these other things will not matter or can be handled later when you have more resources.

5) Time-Management:

You should have an awareness of time, value, and desired results when planning meetings, events, or activities. Your time management is crucial to productivity and successful decision making. As you better manage your time, you will be more aware of your own productivity and results you are generating. The more aware you are of your own time management and results, this will also help you better manage your colleagues and help them to make the most out of their days. This will also allow you to have more time for yourself to relax, exercise, and lead a more balanced life. There are many good productivity tools for helping you accomplish this, but any simple calendar, timer, and alarm apps will do the job. The software won’t fix your time management problem or make you more productive. This is about taking responsibility for budgeting your time, staying aware of how you are spending time, and then holding yourself accountable to your schedule unless there is a compelling reason to alter it.

Avoiding these five common productivity mistakes won’t make you a billionaire. But avoiding them will give you a much better chance of success than the 70% of entrepreneurs whose businesses fail.

About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Christopher GreyChristopher Grey is the co-founder and COO of CapLinked, an enterprise software company offering an information control and risk mitigation platform for the sharing of confidential or sensitive documents and communications outside of the enterprise. Previously, he was a senior executive and managing partner in private equity and corporate finance for 15 years and directly involved in the deployment and management of billions of dollars of debt and equity investments in various industries. Christopher founded two companies, Crestridge Investments, a private equity firm that made debt and equity investments in micro cap and middle market companies, and Third Wave Partners, which made debt and equity investments in distressed situations, and was managing director of a subsidiary of Emigrant Bank, the largest privately owned bank in the country. Most recently, he is a co-founder of TransitNet, a platform for security token issuers offering title verification, chain of ownership tracking, and other post issuance tools for improving the security and reliability of security token ownership.