How to keep your team motivated and productive

It’s no secret that a motivated and productive team is key to the success of any business. But keeping your team on track can be a daunting task. Here are eight simple tips to help you get started.

1. Establish goals for your team

Setting goals for your team is a great way to motivate them and help them stay focused. When establishing goals, be sure to keep the following in mind:

  1. The goals should be achievable and realistic
  2. The goals should be relevant to the team’s mission or purpose
  3. The goals should be time-bound, so they can be tracked and measured
  4. The goals should be challenging yet achievable
  5. The goals should be specific rather than vague
  6. The goals should be shared with the team so they are aware of what is expected of them
  7. The goals should be updated regularly to reflect changes in the team or the business

2. Provide recognition and encouragement

One of the best ways to keep your team motivated is to provide recognition and encouragement. When team members feel appreciated for their efforts, they are more likely to put forth their best effort. Some tips for providing recognition and encouragement include:

  1. Thank team members for their contributions
  2. Acknowledge good work in a public setting
  3. Provide positive feedback
  4. Give rewards or incentives for a job well done
  5. Show appreciation in words and deeds
  6. Make it a point to know what each team member is working on
  7. Celebrate successes as a team

3. Foster a positive work environment

A positive work environment is key to keeping your team motivated and productive. When team members feel like they  are part of a positive and supportive culture, they are more likely to do their best work. Some tips for creating a positive work environment include:

  1. Adopt company values and let team members know what those values are
  2. Ensure open and candid two-way communication with all the teams in your organization
  3. Create opportunities where team members can learn and grow as individuals
  4. Promote diversity and inclusion by hiring people who represent the population you serve
  5. Be transparent about the business model, the vision, and decisions being made
  6. Make efforts to be environmentally conscious  (e.g., encouraging carpooling or biking to work)

4. Set deadlines and expectations

When deadlines and expectations are clearly defined, it helps team members stay focused on their work. Some tips for setting reasonable deadlines and expectations include:

  1. Establish a timeline to accomplish tasks or achieve goals with your team
  2. Clearly communicate the required timelines and any related parameters  (e.g., earlier is better, later is acceptable)
  3. Ensure that schedules are up-to-date and reflect changes in priorities
  4. Encourage teamwork by working together with your team members to set up realistic deadlines
  5. Avoid giving conflicting instructions by clarifying who owns which tasks  and when they will be done as well as what each person’s role is within the project

5. Communicate effectively with your team

 

When team members cannot communicate effectively, they have a hard time getting their jobs done. What’s more, problems can arise when there is disconnect between what is communicated and what is understood . In order to stay on top of this issue as well as prevent misunderstandings from happening in the first place, try some tips for communicating better with your team:

  1. Keep channels open so that people have multiple ways to connect
  2. Ensure that messages are clear and authentic  (e.g., use concrete examples rather than abstract generalizations)
  3. Make it a point to be sensitive to different communication styles  (e.g., listening versus speaking)
  4. Be concise and avoid using too many words

6. Offer training and development opportunities

 

When people feel like they are growing and learning, they are motivated to stay with the team. By creating training opportunities for your team members, you can motivate them to put in their best efforts. Some tips for providing rewarding training and development opportunities include:

  1. Provide regular training so that everyone has the information they need
  2. Offer customers or clients an opportunity to give feedback  (e.g., suggestion box)
  3. Create educational materials (e.g., templates, manuals) so that team members can access them online when needed
  4. Encourage participation in professional associations  such as industry trade associations or non-profit organizations
  5. Foster collaboration by working together towards a common goal

7. Reward hard work and dedication

 

When people feel like their efforts are recognized and appreciated, they are more likely to continue hard work. Some tips for rewarding team members include:

  1. Give sincere praise  (e.g., be specific about what makes it meaningful to you) 2. Spend time socializing with your teammates (e.g., build camaraderie) 3. Recognize milestones or provide other types of recognition as appropriate 4. Celebrate successes as a group 5. Offer bonuses or incentives if appropriate

Being able to roll with the punches is essential because things will happen that can change priorities and direction.

8. Celebrate successes together

When team members are able to celebrate their successes together, it fosters a positive work environment. Some tips for celebrating with your team include: 1. Be transparent about the reason behind the celebration  (e.g., recognize that certain milestones have been achieved) 2. Allow everyone who contributed to give input when determining how to celebrate 3. Take pictures of the celebrations 4. Consider writing an article sharing what was learned or created 5. Look towards future success by looking at next steps and setting new goals When people feel like they are making progress, they are more motivated than when they do not see any change in their situation.

Navigating shareholder disputes: from those who know

Shareholder conflicts can happen for a variety of reasons, including a dispute over the company’s management and direction, shareholders not doing their part or no longer working with the firm, personal issues affecting business relationships, conflicts of interest (lack of) dividend payouts, breach of a director’s service contract, or uncertainty about whether any or all members of the board are acting in the best interest of the company.

Often, disgruntled shareholders will try to take over the business for themselves or have the other members removed from the board.

Disputes frequently get worse as a result of the lack of early legal advice and the inability to understand which choices and tactics are best.

Expelling a partner

According to Crestlegal.com there are a few options available when expelling a partner from a partnership:

Check the Partnership Agreement

If a Partnership Agreement exists, it should provide partners guidance on how to handle any expulsion. In the absence of a formal partnership agreement, the Partnership Act 1890’s basic provisions may apply unless otherwise agreed by the parties.

There are no laws that enable a partner to be dismissed, so these clauses should be included in the partnership agreement explicitly (a compelling incentive not to wait until you lose your entire investment!).

If you don’t have an agreement in place, the legal position may be that the only way a partner can be removed is through the partnership’s dissolution.

This may not be what the participants want. A partnership agreement will give partners complete control over any exclusions without requiring them to go to the default position in the Partnership Act.  

Expelling a Partner

If you believe a partner should be removed from your firm, you must follow the partnership agreement and the expulsion clause meticulously. If it says that you must meet with the partner before any removal, for example, then you should do so.

Also, keep in mind that the expulsion of one partner effects the partnership as well, since you’ll need to handle the settlement of the expelled partner’s stocks, earnings, and equity. The terms of payment must be agreed, as must how the payment will be made if the collaboration is to continue.

Expulsion Clauses

Typically, partnership agreements include provisions regarding disputes and the resolution of conflicts. The first step in any dispute should be taken here. If there is no dispute resolution, a well-written partnership agreement will lay out the groundwork for how a partner may be kicked out.

The list includes:

  • Criminal behaviour
  • Insolvency/bankruptcy
  • Material breach of the terms of the agreement
  • Misconduct
  • Dishonesty
  • Permanent Incapacity

The withdrawal clause in the agreement should always describe how and when a partner will be kicked out. The usual procedure is for partners to receive a notice of expulsion, followed by a suspension period.

So, what are the common causes of shareholder disputes?

According to tremblylaw.com, the five most common shareholder disputes are:

Breach of the Shareholder Agreement

Breaches might be as severe as a shareholder selling their shares in violation of the agreement, especially if they do so to a rival or competitor. Other examples of breaches include one investor wanting to withdraw from the partnership against the will of other investors.

Disagreements Over Direction

This is a frequent cause of shareholder conflict, particularly in small family firms that are closely held. A decision to move the company in a new direction or even a choice to cease operations might trigger a shareholder protest. Other issues that could lead to disputes include firing or letting go of non-shareholder staff, major purchases or outlays of money, and selling or leasing property.

Fiduciary Misdeeds

Shareholders in privately owned businesses have a fiduciary duty to one another, regardless of whether they are working for the company. Shareholders are obligated at a minimum to deal with each other in an open and honest manner, with loyalty and candor. In dealing with minority shareholders, majority owners are particularly under an obligation to be candid and loyal.

Minority Shareholders Getting No Respect

Minority shareholders in private corporations face an uphill battle from the start since they own fewer shares than the majority owners and may have little power to effect substantial change.

However, many states recognize and protect minority shareholders’ rights, who are frequently excluded from managerial and decision making. Because the stock is not marketable to others, many minority investors may find that their investments are trapped and at the disposal of majority stockholders who have no interest in seeing them prosper.

Differences in Compensation or Contribution

Shareholder workers should be paid fairly and in line with their experience, training, and industry. When this does not happen, and employees are compensated at different rates for no apparent reason other than family connection, conflict will arise.

Differences in shareholders’ contributions, either financial or sweat equity, might also cause conflict, especially if one investor is perceived to be not giving their fair share.

Why marketers need data to find leads

Clever marketers can use data to find, engage and convert the right customers.

Brett Shaw from scvbespoke.co.uk explains how to turn cold data into hot leads.

So, let’s assume you’re marketing a product or service to a specific group of individuals. To sell your goods/service, you’ll need to get in front of key decision-makers within organizations that may be interested in purchasing it. To tell your tale, you’ll need an audience that will listen. Where can you discover these people?

Before you can execute a successful outbound sales and marketing campaign, you must first establish a method of reaching out to the key purchasers for the product or service you offer. You should be able to identify who your primary target audience is, although even knowing this inside and out, you’ll need to know how and where to reach them.

What about GDPR?

Fortunately, in B2B sales, you can contact a person without them agreeing to an ‘opt-in’ if you have a genuine business proposal that you believe will benefit them. However, if someone requests not to be contacted by you again or opts out of receiving messages from you, then you must comply with their wishes and avoid contacting them again.

Then you’ll need high-quality data. This may be a difficult procedure, and if you’re not careful, you might end up losing a lot of time and money only to find out that the data you collected is inaccurate or out-of-date. There are many data suppliers out there who provide incorrect or outdated contact information and are only too happy to sell it to you.

When you have good data, you can finally start your outbound sales process by creating a campaign.

Finding Your Data

How do you go about selecting a reputable data source? To begin with, consider your sector. For example, the legal industry is distinct and separate from other industries. You may have a product/service that lawyers would benefit from but that not all law firms may be able to use.

If the data provider you’re considering allows for a free trial or a method of sampling the information before buying a large quantity, that would be really beneficial. If you can’t locate an example of their data, it’s very unlikely they have good data.

Take a look at the data they’re offering. You’d want to believe that if you’re buying data, it would be accurate and up to date. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to demand full accuracy or at least near-perfection.

Last but not least, having it in little installments might be beneficial when purchasing data. There may be no point in obtaining 20,000 contacts on your desk and then having to maintain it clean if you’re going to have your sales staff call through them one by one.

We are not simply a data provider, we have experience in the legal sector and with outbound sales and marketing campaigns, so we can assist you not only get 100% correct and up to date information, but also help you make the most of it and reach your key target audience.

How to deal with / avoid employee disputes in the workplace

How to deal with / avoid employee disputes in the workplace

Many disputes in the workplace originate from one of three points: personality clashes, misunderstandings, and management practices. If you want to deal with employee disputes effectively, it’s important to take a step back and examine the root causes of the issue before jumping into action. The following list outlines some potential causes for disagreements between employees that can be seen in any company:

Autocratic leadership. Employees in a company need to have an idea about the rules and policies that are being enforced, or else they will feel that they are being treated unfairly by management. If your employees don’t know what is expected of them, you’ll likely see greater rates of absenteeism, insubordination, rule-breaking, and turnover. Communication is a key part of any manager’s role – if you can’t communicate with your employees or make them comfortable with knowing what to expect from you, they won’t be as productive as they could be.

Be unrealistic about goals and deadlines. If you give an employee a goal that is too large, he will not only fail to accomplish it, but he will feel overwhelmed and resentful of management. If you give an employee a goal that is too small, she will feel unproductive and bored. Goals should be set at the right size so that employees are challenged to achieve them, but can still realistically do so within a reasonable amount of time.

Corporate bullying. Bullying in the workplace is a hot topic at the moment, and not one that usually resolves itself quickly. Although it can be difficult to spot in the moment, you should take a good look at any bullying behaviour from management towards employees. Bullying causes morale to drop and productivity rates to plummet. When employees feel bullied, they’re more likely to behave in ways that are detrimental to their own success and to the success of other employees.

Negativity. When negativity spreads like wildfire through your workplace, it can damage morale, productivity, and relationships between co-workers. You should make an effort to build positivity into your management style; be positive about the work that you do with your employees, and make a conscious effort to develop a positive relationship with all of your employees. Negative people don’t only affect the work environment—they also tend to bring others down, which can cause a ripple effect throughout an entire company.

Inconsistent enforcement of policies and rules. If you enforce a rule one way for one employee and another way for another employee, both employees will be confused about what is expected of them. It’s important to treat your employees equally and establish a more solid system for policy enforcement. If you change the way you enforce a rule from one day to the next, or if policies are enforced inconsistently even within your own department, then it means that something must be wrong with your system, and you should investigate what makes your method of enforcement so flimsy.

Unclear job expectations. If employees aren’t clear about what is expected of them, they will struggle to complete their jobs well; it’s as simple as that. This problem is especially common in small businesses where management practices are less defined than they would be in larger corporations. Make an effort to define the role of each employee within your company, and what you hope they will accomplish during their tenure with your business.

Stressful work environment. When employees are constantly stressed by work conditions, there’s generally a larger problem in management that needs to be addressed. An overly stressful work environment takes its toll not only on employees, but also on the work they produce. Establish clear company rules and enforce them consistently to alleviate stress levels among your staff members.

Being an absentee manager. A key part of being a boss is demonstrating that you are willing to get your hands dirty when necessary. If you hire someone because she needs help with a specific project or skill, then demonstrate that you are willing to help her accomplish the task. If she doesn’t ask for help, offer it anyway. There’s no harm in being an active manager—in fact, it will benefit both you and your employees in the long run.

Expecting too much from employees. When employers expect too much of their employees without providing additional support, it can make the employees feel overwhelmed and under-appreciated. If you ask too much of your employees without offering them substantial support, they won’t feel like they are being treated fairly or that what they are doing is meaningful or important.

Lack of open lines of communication. Employees who lack open lines of communication with their boss are employees who lack clear direction; employees need to be told what’s expected of them, and they need the chance to ask questions about their work. If you’re not open with your employees, then they will struggle to do even the most basic parts of their job.

Taking credit for other people’s work. Your company depends on all of the hard work that you and your employees put into it, so always give them credit for their accomplishments. If an employee does something great, don’t just pat yourself on the back—make sure they know how proud of them you are, and make every effort to acknowledge their efforts in front of customers or clients.

Employees who receive recognition and praise work harder and more productively. Give credit where credit is due, and make sure that your employees feel like they are making a difference in each project they complete for the company.

Favouritism . If you play favourites with your employees, it can make others feel undervalued and resentful; this will cause them to perform poorly, and could even lead to their quitting the company. Don’t play favourites, and don’t let your emotions dictate how you treat employees—instead, create a system of rewards for hard work that applies regardless of whom it is given to.

Lack of career development opportunities . If your employee isn’t growing in her position with your company, then she will consider you to be a bad boss; worse, she may choose to look for new employment elsewhere. Provide opportunities for professional and personal growth within your company, and make sure that employees know where they can go to keep moving towards their goals.

 

Simple steps to creating a successful wellbeing program for your employees

Creating a successful wellbeing program for your employees can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many steps you can take to make sure your company’s wellbeing program is a success.

First, you should create goals that are SMART goals. This will ensure that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. Next, you need to identify who is in charge of the program and what their role will be.

Then you’ll want to create a team so everyone can work together on this new project. After that you’ll need to come up with a budget so the company knows how much they’ll have to spend on these wellness programs.

Lastly, you’ll want to figure out how employees can participate in the wellness program. There are many options for this category, such as healthy food options or fitness classes. Once you have all of these steps taken care of, your wellbeing program will be a success!

One of the most important steps in creating a successful wellbeing program for your employees is to make sure your goals are SMART goals. This will ensure that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.

Having SMART goals is important because it helps you stay on track and keeps the program accountable. It’s also important to make sure everyone involved in the program knows what their role is and what they’re responsible for. This will help keep everyone on the same page and ensure that the program runs smoothly.

Finally, it’s important to come up with a budget for the wellbeing program. This will help the company know how much money they’ll need to spend on these programs.

Creating a wellness programme for employees can seem overwhelming, but there are many things you can do to make it a success. First, you need to set SMART goals for the programme. This will ensure that your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. It’s also important to identify who is in charge of the programme and what their role will be. This will help keep everyone on track and ensure that the programme runs smoothly.

After you’ve set your goals and created a plan for the programme, it’s time to figure out how employees can participate. There are many different ways for employees to get involved in a wellness programme, such as through healthy food options or fitness classes. Once you’ve decided how employees can participate, your wellness programme will be a success!

Top 5 training courses for business owners and managers

You’ve always wanted to be more successful, but you don’t know where to start. You think it might help if you had some training courses on how to grow your business and become a better leader.

Well, here are the top 5 training courses for business owners and managers that will teach you all of this and more!

1) Communication Skills

This course is designed for people who want to understand their own communication style in order to improve their interactions with others.

It also teaches participants about what others are trying to communicate when they speak or act out in certain ways.

Participants learn how different types of communications can affect relationships with co-workers, customers or clients, which will allow them to better manage these relationships in order to deal with them more effectively.

2) Business Ethics

This course is designed for people who want to make smart business decisions by understanding ethical theories and their application to real-life examples.

It lays out the basics of philosophical thinking about ethics, then continues into how it applies to business practices.

Participants learn about moral rights, which gives everyone involved in an organization clear guidelines on what’s acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

There is also a section on leadership ethics, which explores how leaders are responsible for the ethical decision making of those they lead, as well as how they can create an environment where ethical reasoning will flourish among employees.

This course will set you up to have not only sound business judgment but also be able to remain true to your own personal values.

3) Finance Fundamentals

This course is designed for people who want to better understand their company’s financial situation in order to make smarter business decisions.

Participants learn about the different types of accounts that are needed in every business, including assets, liabilities and equity accounts.

They also explore how to use ratio analysis to get a clear picture of their company’s performance over time, before getting into the specifics on financial statements like balance sheets and income statements.

This course will help you not only understand what each account type means for your company but also how they work together so you can get the complete picture at all times.

4) Budgeting & Forecasting

This course is designed for people who want to better understand the concepts of budgeting and forecasting in order to make smarter business decisions.

Participants learn how a good financial plan consists of both planned items (budget) and unplanned items or actual results (forecasts). Once they get the hang of these two concepts, they then move on to what you can do with all this data once it’s compiled, like making financial plans based on forecasts. This course also covers how to use different forecasting techniques so you can choose the one that works best for your company.

5) Leadership Skills

This course is designed for people who want to become better leaders by understanding motivation. Participants learn about leadership characteristics and styles, as well as how to motivate employees. They also explore how to gain commitment from people who work for you so they remain motivated by their work.

This course will show you the different traits and characteristics of great leaders and teach you something called situational leadership where you’ll be able to match your leadership style with that of the employee’s needs at any given time—it’s a win-win!