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Want Employees To Love What They Do? Here Are 4 Ways To Get There.

Want Employees To Love What They Do? Here Are 4 Ways To Get There.

Bosses might want to take notice if employees view their jobs as “the daily grind.”

A disgruntled and disengaged workforce can undermine production and harm customer relations, while a happy, engaged workforce does the opposite.

“If you take care of your employees, they will be better prepared and far more motivated to take care of your customers,” says Shawn Burcham (www.shawnburcham.com), founder and CEO of PFSbrands and author of Keeping Score with GRITT: Straight Talk Strategies for Success.

“Ideally, you want employees who think and act like owners.”

Burcham says one of the first steps toward cultivating such an environment is to communicate openly with employees. And that may be even more crucial today because newer generations entering the workforce want to know the “why” of what they are doing.

“Millennials value truth and honesty,” Burcham says. “They also are looking for personal growth, education, and continuous learning. If companies want to scale, then they need to embrace millennials and work to create an environment where they are engaged.”

He suggests four ways leaders can help their employees love what they do:

Have fun at work. People spend more hours at their jobs than doing just about anything else, Burcham says, so the time might as well be enjoyable rather than drudgery. Some simple ways people can have fun at work include cracking jokes, decorating their work areas, or celebrating employee birthdays. For Burcham, the work itself is fun. “As a leader, I want to provide an environment conducive to having fun,” he says. “I also let our employees know that it is up to them to make having fun a reality within their job and their department.”

Coach them up. All employees must be willing to learn at a pace consistent with the company’s growth, Burcham says. “Usually, we hire people with a skillset that enables them to scale with us,” he says. “Sometimes, though, we have employees who are challenged to ‘make the leap’ with us. When that happens, we work with them to find a role on our team where they can excel. We want to provide them with every opportunity and tool we can to help them adapt.”

Maintain a positive attitude. Most successful people exude a positive attitude, are optimistic, and have a never-quit personality, Burcham says. “Who wants to work in an environment of doom and gloom?” he asks. One way to cultivate an upbeat workplace is to strive to hire only “A” players, people who want to be the best at their jobs and take pride in making positive contributions.  “But anyone can be or become an A player,” Burcham says. “It simply revolves around having a positive attitude along with a desire to learn and constantly improve.”

Show appreciation. Employees want to know that the bosses – and their coworkers – appreciate them, so it’s important to find ways to show them. Burcham says at his company new hires are welcomed by dozens of emails from their team members before they even arrive for the first day of work. When they start, two or three dozen employees gather to greet them with a high five. “For our team, it’s all about gratitude,” Burcham says. “It’s not, ‘I have to go to work today.’ It’s, ‘I get to go to work today.’ ”

“I think the real key,” Burcham says, “is to hire people who are already motivated and then put them in an environment where they can excel. Engaged employees are fun to work with and they will go the extra mile for their customers as well as their peers.

 

Shawn Burcham (www.shawnburcham.com), author of Keeping Score with GRITT: Straight Talk Strategies for Success, is the founder & CEO of PFSbrands, which he and his wife, Julie, started out of their home in 1998. The company has over 1,500 branded foodservice locations across 40 states and is best known for their Champs Chicken franchise brand which was started in 1999. Prior to starting PFSbrands, Burcham spent five years with a Fortune 100 company, Mid-America Dairymen (now Dairy Farmers of America). He also worked for three years as a Regional Sales Manager for a midwest Chester’s Fried chicken distributor.

employees

5 EFFECTIVE WAYS TO IMPROVE EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE

One of the things you will undoubtedly want to do as a leader is to improve the productivity of your employees. While technology has certainly made things a lot easier over time, employees are actually spending more and more time in the office and the typical workweek of 40 hours is getting rather stretched. So how can you improve the productivity of your employees and get them to save more time? Here are a few tips I learned while working at AssignmentMasters and a few other places.

Delegate

It might seem obvious that you should delegate, but a lot of leaders and managers somehow find themselves in the micromanagement trap. It’s actually quite difficult to train yourself to delegate more in practice. You will often feel that your company and business is your baby and that you want to have full control over everything that goes on at the workplace

There is nothing wrong with wanting to see everything going according to plan. It is, after all, what guarantees that no one will hijack your ideas and that your business will be successful. However, you don’t have to check every little detail of what’s going on at your company while you’re at it. You are better off delegating as many things as you can to other qualified people. If you try to do every little thing yourself, you’ll just end up wasting everyone’s time. 

The most important thing you will have to develop is trust in your employees. Start by employing only people who are well qualified at what they do, and then trust them to do it well. You will not only take a huge load off of your back, but you will also give your employees the chance to put their skills to work, to learn problem-solving, to learn how to work independently, and also to learn some important leadership skills. These skills can then later be used to grow your company even more than you could ever have managed to do yourself.

This is actually common in the most successful companies. Zipjob, for example, is very large on delegating and as a result, can even afford to have a lot of employees working remotely. 

Think back to when you first hired your employees. You saw a lot of potential in them and that’s why you brought them on board. Now, give them the opportunity to prove your judgment correct!

Tasks Should Match Skills

While we’re on the topic of delegating, it’s also important to know what to delegate to whom. You should have an intimate knowledge of all of your employees’ skills and their different levels of skill. That way, you will be more efficient in your delegation of tasks to the employees. Some are extroverted and creative, who can think on their feet and are very charming. Allowing these employees to pitch to your clients makes a lot more sense than giving that work to your more introverted and methodical employees. On the other hand, if you have any work that is big on following the rules, then you’re better off delegating that to the more shrewd and methodical employees.

At AustralianWritings, different employees with diverse skills are hired and the work delegated to them according to their skills. As a result, this company has consistently beaten its rivals.

It would be unreasonable to expect your employees to do everything perfectly. Instead, always ask yourself who is best suited to what task before you delegate the tasks. If you can’t find them among your existing employees, then you can either hire someone new or outsource that piece of work to someone else.

Communication is Key

We all know about the importance of communication. It makes the workforce productive overall. With technology, it’s even easier to communicate in the modern office. However, just because more channels of communication are available to us doesn’t mean that communication has become more efficient. Sending emails, for example, takes up more than a quarter of the average employee’s day. That’s a huge portion of the day to dedicate to sending emails!

As a leader, you should look for the most efficient way to communicate with your employees. There are numerous technologies on the market, including collaboration software and scheduling software with direct video conferencing and voice to voice features. You can use these to carry out quick meetings or a speedy paper review and communicate with your employees. That way you will make sure that no more time is used on correspondence than is necessary and your employees have more time to do what you actually pay them to do. 

Have Clear Goals

The whole essence of efficiency is that you are trying to be efficient while trying to achieve some goal. Your employees can therefore not be efficient if they do not have a goal to work toward. You need to give them something to aim for. 

If you don’t define your goals clearly enough, and make them reasonable enough to be achievable, your employees will not be as productive as they actually can. This applies both the goals of the individual tasks you assign to employees and the overall goals of the company as a unit. 

You should always let your employees know, in no unclear terms, what your expectations of them are and what kind of impact the assignments you are giving them will have on the overall goals of the company.

There is a mnemonic for the perfect kind of goal: SMART. 

-Smart

-Measurable

-Attainable

-Realistic

-Timely

Your goals should not only be clever and attainable, but also realistic, easy to measure, and achievable within the given timeline. Always check if your goals meet these criteria before you assign any tasks to employees.

Best Essays and EssayWritingLab are two companies known for this. They pin their weekly goals on the bulletin boards for all employees to see and act accordingly. Each employee is also assigned individual goals so they know what to aim for.

Train Employees

Your employees are one of your greatest assets, if not the greatest assets themselves. You should, therefore, be eager to train and develop them, making sure they get all the skills they need to do their jobs even better. While it might seem like a good idea to cut costs on training and forcing your employees to learn on the job, it has a massive potential to backfire.

Take some extra time and invest some extra money to train your employees in the skills they require to do their jobs. That way, they will be even more independent and competent with the tasks you assign them. 

To prepare training material, you can outsource the work to a writing service like AussieWritings or AssignmentMan to do it for you expediently.  

By making your employees more productive, you maximize the value you get from your business and improve your bottom line. The tips on this list are certainly not exhaustive, but they are a good starting point on the road to making your employees and company more productive. 

This guest post is contributed by Kurt Walker who is a blogger and college paper writer. In the course of his studies he developed an interest in innovative technology and likes to keep business owners informed about the latest technology to use to transform their operations. He writes for companies such as Edu Birdie, XpertWriters and uk.bestessays.com on various academic and business topics.

3 Ways to Finding Happiness at Work

“Which do you think comes first? Success or happiness?” That was the question I posed to a group of student athletes at UC Berkeley. I was there to talk about using humor for mental health, an important topic for all students, particularly those in high-stress situations.

There were a lot of mumbles and then a booming voice from one of the basketball players in the back. “I think it’s success. Once you get something, it makes you happy.”

It’s a common belief, that once we achieve a certain goal or reach a certain status, we’ll be happier. If only we got that raise, or landed that job, or had that car, or this, that, or another thing, we’d be content. But that’s not how happiness works. Happiness is not a result: it’s a way of being.

The truth is happiness precedes success. Those who can find joy in the work they do will be more successful. As Shawn Achor shares in his book, The Happiness Advantage, people who are happy at work see an increase in sales, are more creative, and are 39 percent more likely to live to the age of 94.

So how do you be happier?

Your Happiness Setpoint

In positive psychology, there’s a concept known as hedonic adaptation. The idea is that we all have a base happiness setpoint, where our general demeanor returns, regardless of what happens to us.

When we experience something negative, it will lower our mood for a period of time, but we will eventually return to our base. This is called resilience. The same is true for when we experience something positive. We will be happier for a period of time, but we will eventually return to our base. It’s why success doesn’t lead to long-term happiness—when we get that raise, job, or car, we will be happier for a bit. And then we’ll adjust to the new norm and the positive effect wears off.

Research suggests that 50 percent of our happiness setpoint is determined by our genes. That we can’t change. Ten percent of our happiness is determined by what happens to us. The remaining 40 percent is determined by how we respond to what happens to us. Meaning: we are in control of that 40 percent.

Research has shown that there are three primary ways to raise that 40 percent of happiness that we control:

1. Increase Your Gratitude

Being grateful helps remind you of the positive things in your life while also improving your relationships with other people. The key to know here is that the bar doesn’t have to be high in terms of what you are grateful for.

Studies have found that writing down the things you are grateful for at the end of each day, can increase the number of positive emotions you feel and improve your overall mental health.

2. Find Happy People

Which do you think would make you happier: receiving a $4,500 pay raise or a stranger being happy? You’re a bit a torn, aren’t you? The obvious answer seems to be the money but then you’re thinking, He wouldn’t be asking this question if it were the money.

A team at Harvard Medical School recently analyzed more than 5,000 people and more than 50,000 of their social connections. They found that if a friend of a friend of a friend (a.k.a. someone you’ve never met) was happy, you were 6 percent more likely to be happy. That’s triple the 2 percent chance of being happier because of a $4,500 pay rise. And the closer the connection, the bigger the effect. If it’s a friend of a friend who’s happy, the odds jump to 10 percent, and if it’s a direct friend, 15 percent.

Whether at work or home, surround yourself with people who are positive and make you happy.

3. Use Humor

The third way to increase happiness is by using humor. In a longitudinal study done at Harvard, researchers found humor was one of the healthiest adaptations to being happy in life.

When it comes to using humor at work, it’s not about making the workplace funny but about making the workplace more fun. This means opting for positive, inclusive humor rather than sarcastic or aggressive jokes. One easy way to do that is to think: one smile per hour. What is one thing you can do each hour of the day to bring a smile to your face, or the face of someone else.

For example, if you’re giving a long presentation, add a few images to your slides that will make people smile; if you’re sending emails, add a joke at the bottom to thank people for reading; if you’re sitting in traffic, listen to a comedy podcast to relieve stress and show up more present for your family when you get home.

Success and Happiness at Work

By finding ways to enjoy your work–or in the case of the student athletes, your classes and practices–not only will you boost your happiness, but you’ll also increase your success. To get started in your pursuit, practice finding things to be grateful for everyday, surround yourself with positive people, and use humor in the workplace.

Andrew Tarvin is the world’s first humor engineer, teaching people how to get better results while having more fun. He is the author of  Humor That Works: The Missing Skill for Success and Happiness at Work and CEO of Humor That Works, a consultancy for human effectiveness. For more information, please visit, www.humorthatworks.com and connect with him on Twitter, @drewtarvin. andrew@humorthatworks.com.

employees

The Workplace Blues: 5 Ways To Help Stressed-Out Employees

Problems with the emotional health of employees is costing employers up to $500 billion per year.  As a result, the global wellness market is growing nearly twice as fast as the global economy, according to the Global Wellness Institute (GWI).
For employers wondering whether their workers are stressed out and unhappy – and thus hurting the bottom line – the signs are everywhere.
Discontented employees are less likely to engage each other in conversation, relying instead on email. The absentee rate increases and production declines as workers call in sick more often. And, of course, eventually employees begin to search for a more emotionally stable place to work, leaving managers to constantly look for replacements.
“The employers who do not consider their employees’ emotional wellness are bound to suffer high turnover rates,” says Alex Zlatin, CEO of Maxim Software Systems, a dental-practice-management software company, and author of Responsible Dental Ownership(www.alexzlatin.com).  “Employers who are not responding to those needs will feel a significant impact.”
Zlatin says there are many ways to change the company structure to accommodate employees who are feeling stressed out:
1. Review existing (or create new) core values, vision and purpose: These items often sound like flaky ways for big corporations to show their connection to clients. The reality is, if done right, these items are the pillars of every company.
2. Walk the Walk – Leadership’s role in corporate change begins when its leaders behave the way they expect their staff to behave. If one of your core values is “have integrity” and the leaders do not act with integrity consistently, they cannot expect it from their teams.
3. Invest in employees – Create a “game” room for staff. Explore team activities that are pure fun and are not specifically designed to “enhance teamwork”. Treat random employees to lunch.
4. Monitor client feedback. Are your clients happy? If they are not happy, is it because your employees are not happy? When client feedback starts heading south, it might be because your employees are not “smiling on the phone” and if they are, it feels and sounds fake. Client feedback is the canary in the coal mine that your employees are not happy.
5. Don’t let employees suffer in silence. To reduce and prevent burnout, employers need to create a workplace culture that encourages employees to raise their hands and ask for help.
“The pressures of today’s society are unlike anything we have seen before,” Zlatin says.  “These pressures don’t go away when a person goes to work.  If employers want to have happy, satisfied employees, it is important that they offer comprehensive emotional wellness programs.”
Alex Zlatin, the author of the book Responsible Dental Ownership (www.alexzlatin.com), had more than 10 years of management experience before he accepted the position of CEO of a company that makes a dental practice management software (Maxident).  His company helps struggling dental professionals take control of their practices and reach the next level of success with responsible leadership strategies.  He earned a B.Sc. in Technology Management at HIT in Israel and earned his MBA at Edinburgh Business School.