Office politics, workplace politics, corporate politics… You may refer to ‘politics at work’ by a different name, but, they all mean the same thing.
The danger for a business where office politics take hold is that everybody involved becomes distracted and loses sight of the common purpose that galvanizes a team. (more…)
Can you say that you and the people in your business form a dynamic team?
When geese fly in V formation, I see a dynamic team at work. This level of cooperation benefits each goose and the overall team. They reach their destination quicker and use far less energy.
Let me share an effective approach for translating this into the small business environment – the V is a great example of employee engagement. (more…)
Why does your company do what it does?
If you’ve thoughtfully identified this motive, you have probably embedded it in statements of your business mission, vision, and values.
These documents are akin to the ten commandments – guidelines that suggest how to act in the course of delivering your products or services. They are foundational to any corporate culture. (more…)
Many businesses, organisations and leaders have created a ‘meeting culture’ whereby they need a meeting to decide what they are going to be meeting about and then another meeting to prepare for the meeting itself and another to de-brief after the meeting.
Wow, that’s a whole lot of meetings going on.
Meetings are the killer of productivity and part of being a ‘productivity ninja’ is centred on valuing your time and the time of others. Small businesses tend to understand this better than big business, simply because resources are tight and time is scarce, but I have no doubt we’ve all fallen into the ‘meeting for meeting sake’ trap.
Now, if you’re in this trap and not sure how to get out of it follow these five simple, but effective, guiding principles on how you can halve your meetings AND reduce the time they take whilst still making them productive. (more…)
Improving company culture is at the top of the agenda for most modern day businesses, as more employers are coming to appreciate the role it plays in attracting prospective employees.
However it is not as simple as placing a ping-pong table in the staff room; a company culture needs to be fostered over time. To foster a better culture businesses need to take a multifaceted approach that demonstrates genuine commitment to equality, transparency and valuing employees. (more…)
Starting a business often consists of putting out fires. Despite all the planning and contingency scenarios, you may have drawn up in preparation, you usually have to rectify things that have gone wrong before you can focus on what’s right.
As you move past the start-up phase, you’ll want to flip that equation. Then, as you begin to identify what’s working well, look at the people on your team who are getting that good work done – and thank them for it. (more…)
We call the best leaders for the 21st Century, Transpersonal Leaders. They lead beyond their ego, are radical, ethical and authentic whilst emotionally aware and caring, yet focused on performance enhancement and sustainability.
There are many differences between being a senior corporate executive of a large company and running your own small business (I know, I have done both) – but leadership is not one of them. (more…)
For any small business, the decision to switch to a cloud-based system where all pieces of data can be stored online is one that’s worth deliberating.
Platforms such as Microsoft Office 365 have many benefits, but they might not always be suitable for every business. To help you decide whether or not it’s a system that works for your business, here are the pros and cons of using MS Office 365 for business. (more…)
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Running your own business can be very enjoyable, if also fraught with potential distractions. You must make sure that you stay focused while instilling the same attitude in any employees that you have brought under your wing. However, software can help ease both responsibilities for you.
Here are some great examples of tools that can help you manage your corporate time, cut out administrative errors and, ultimately, maximise your workforce’s productivity and output. (more…)
What constitutes ‘fun’ at work, and why is ‘fun’ in the workplace deemed essential anyway? And more crucially for business owners, does having a fun workplace bring real benefits to the business?
We asked change consultant, Philip Cox-Hynd to share his experience and reveal the 9 Do’s and Don’ts of building an open and honest work culture where employees feel valued and engaged. (more…)
The Christmas holiday season is eagerly anticipated. But the forthcoming festivities mean that the number of working days in the month is curtailed – and at a time when planning for the new business year makes life busier than ever.
So how can you maximise available working days to ensure a fully relaxing festive period? Richard Morris, UK CEO of workspace provider Regus offers three top tips for a dynamic and productive December.
Every business, regardless of size, scale or industry wants to get the best from its people. When people work hard, it logically follows that output goes up.
The idea of achieving that through incentives is not a new one, but from the outside, it seems that a defined recognition and reward program is reserved for big business.
Smaller businesses just don’t have the time or resources to invest in developing something as grandiose as this and, when the focus needs to be on sustaining the business day-to-day to protect the jobs for everyone involved, it certainly doesn’t look like a business priority.
It has been proven that the happiness of your employees can have a huge impact on their productivity. In fact, job satisfaction can lead to your workers being 12% more productive, according to a study carried out by the Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick.
One of the best ways to increase happiness and morale throughout your business is by implementing an employee engagement scheme.
Here, Steve King, Director of Gifts International, explains how you can help your staff to be happier and more productive with an employee engagement scheme.
Striving to find a meaning in life is the most powerful driving force in humans. Acknowledging this as the key motivator for everyone involved in your business will help you to nurture the best achievements and results.
Neuroscientific research taking place around the world is beginning to piece together connections between the brain and behaviour, especially at work. This research is providing valuable insights into how to be a more effective leader. (more…)
“Time is money” isn’t just an adage when running a small business, it’s a way of life. When your business model is to sell your time and expertise, it’s important to monetise every moment of every working day.
There are plenty of hacks to help freelancers and contractors get more and more efficient with reducing the cost of non-billable time. These tend to focus on outsourcing your unproductive time and automating repetitive tasks, but you also need to pay special attention to the time and effort you spend on winning new business. (more…)
Technological innovation is happening ever more rapidly and the changes will transform every industry. Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) can benefit from these innovative technologies but must strike a balance between using technology and being overwhelmed by it.
To help business owners embrace the potential of new technologies we asked Rohit Talwar, editor of, ‘The Future of Business’ and ‘Technology vs. Humanity’ to provide some practical advice on how to survive, and thrive, in the face of this continuous tidal wave of technological change. (more…)
Successful business owners know how to make the most of every minute of every day. Wasted time costs money and clients, but when you’re slowed down by administrative tasks, an over-spilling inbox and endless meetings it can be hard to keep up with the pace.
Here, Richard Walton highlights ten ways to maximise your productivity every day: (more…)
The inbox has changed from an exciting place where anyone from anywhere in the world can reach you within seconds to a daily burden where tasks disappear under the onslaught of new emails coming in.
Email productivity experts agree that dealing with emails instantly as they appear in our inboxes, decreases productivity. New emails can be dangerously distracting and research suggests that we need to turn off new-email notifications.
But this alone is not enough to curb distraction. It is maybe even more important that we sort our incoming emails into various categories. So how do you handle your inbox productively? (more…)
We’ve all been in business meetings where we’re clock watching and wondering how long it will go on for, worrying about our to-do lists which are not getting any shorter. This is especially true in start-ups, where time is especially precious for everybody in a small team..
When it comes to meetings, especially internal ones, it can be difficult to enforce the discipline needed to get the most out of them. This includes starting and finishing on time and sticking to the agenda. Meetings should have a purpose and a definite outcome, otherwise they can be an unproductive use of time for all involved.
What’s more, poor meetings aren’t only wasting our valuable time, they are also having an impact upon our bodies. Research has shown that spending long hours sitting down can play a significant role in the development of chronic diseases, so it’s imperative that you, as an employer, implement changes to protect the health, wellbeing and productivity of your employees.
It’s time to transform the standard routine and be more creative and active with work meetings, not only to breathe more life into them, but reinvigorate your colleagues too. Here’s how you can achieve more from meetings, eliminate wasted time, improve your health and potentially have some fun in the process: (more…)
Technology is the modern day malaise. On the one hand it has helped businesses become more efficient, but on the other it often means people are switched on 24/7 – something business owners need to overcome to improve productivity.
The Chartered Institute of Management (CIM) suggested in a report called the, ‘The Quality of Working Life’ that the ‘long-hours culture’ has now been replaced with an ‘always-on culture’ – with devices such as smart phones and tablets allowing people to be at work all the time, checking emails, answering calls wherever they are. (more…)
When you start and run your own business, your company inevitably means more to you than anybody else.
As a business owner, it’s easy to get wrapped up in everything and become frustrated with staff that don’t understand ‘your’ business like you do. This mindset can lead to you spending too much time and effort battling with employees, and this is not good for business. (more…)
Latest figures from the Government have shown that 131 million working days are lost to sickness absence very year in the UK, and over 1 million workers had sickness absences greater than one month.
The cost to employers, and to the country, in lost productivity, is considerable. Therefore, steps are now being taken to reduce longer term sickness absences by between 20% and 40% annually.
With the recent introduction of the ‘Fit for Work’ scheme, the Government is attempting to cut the cost of sick days, but how does the scheme work, and how can employers use it to lower the number of staff absences in their business? (more…)
Working is a balancing act. Whether its deadlines or internal demands, we all have plates to spin. This is particularly so in small businesses where there are fewer resources to draw on when the pressure is on.
Being busy at work is the norm for most of us, and often leads to an imbalance between work and life. Letting this equilibrium tip more towards work is not good for our wellbeing and can have negative effects on health and performance at work.
With recent news reporting that 40% of employees are suffering from “brownout”, a milder form of burnout, and are consequently disengaged and demotivated at work, businesses need to think how they can get the best out of employees, including allowing them to re-energise themselves. (more…)
As a start-up or small business, you may feel that you don’t have the necessary funds to create a luxury office environment that fuels employee creativity and impresses your clients.
However, instead of thinking from an interior design perspective, you should be working from a psychology angle to ensure you get the most from your office design.
The look and feel of your office can have a direct impact on the output of your employees, so here’s how to create a workspace that boosts efficiency and productivity without costing huge amounts of money. (more…)
Instances of anxiety and depression in the workplace have become much more common in recent years; it’s a matter of record. For example, the number of mental health related absences in the NHS last year showed a two-fold increase since 2010, and on average in the UK 23 days are lost for each case of stress, depression or anxiety.
Whilst these statistics may not exactly represent the state of mental health in your business, it’s worth thinking about. Not least because mental health issues affect more people in the UK than you might think, about four in ten adults having experienced anxiety about their work in 2014.
So, as an employer, what should you do if one of your employees encounters mental health issues? If they’re work-related especially, what is expected of a business?
When it comes to the subject of employee wellbeing, it is very easy for employers to push it to the bottom of the agenda, or shrug it off as a waste of valuable time.
But with many firms now taking staff wellbeing seriously, and beginning to recognise the benefits of a focus on ‘mindfulness’, this guide explains what business owners and leaders need to know about mindfulness in the workplace and highlights the benefits in can bring to modern businesses.
Do you have trouble getting done the things you need to? Do you sometimes find there are jobs left over at the end of the day? Do you not feel satisfied with what you have achieved?
Whether it’s in a business situation or home environment, procrastination is a true monster that takes away confidence and ultimately undermines self-worth. It also saps vital energy, stifling you and your business.
Every time you delay something, you add imaginary weight onto your shoulders while the item joins the long queue of “to do” items: a burden of a promise you need to fulfil.
Over time this burden grows and grows and your self-worth shrinks in its shadow. You drag along a big suitcase of things you can’t seem to get around to doing, but which you want to, or think you need to, get done soon.
Whether you are starting a business for the first time or have run your business for years, every business owner knows that the demand on their time is one of the hardest things to manage.
With time being so precious, you need to make every minute matter. So how can you be at your most efficient each day? What efficient or inefficient routines have you grown accustomed to in your everyday life?
Improving personal efficiency is not about forcing yourself into a daily regiment of torture, it is about creating awareness of what you want and discovering a few natural steps that lean more in the direction of where you want to go.