Small Business Owners

Whether you run a small department or the whole company, how to be a great boss means a lot of different things. Making sales targets, managing budgets and supervising team members, are just a handful of everyday obligations. But being a good leader is often associated with being an effective manager of people. As cliché as it might sound, a company’s most valuable resource is often its people, so taking care of the most important asset should be the chief concern of every boss. be a great boss

Here are some ways to be a great boss:

The holiday season is well underway, as we are constantly reminded by commercials, sales, decorations and red-suited welcomers at every store. If your business sees an uptick this time of year, it is not too late to consider hiring seasonal workers. While the obvious businesses are retailers, a whole slew of different companies see more activity this time of year. Some organizations want financial advisors to review their accounts at the year end. Other companies see a surge in manufacturing and packing. Caterers, photographers and event planners are in demand for company holiday parties and family gatherings. And within retail, it’s not just more cashiers at the registers, but more stockers, delivery people (UPS announced that it planned to hire as many as 95,000 temporary workers this season), security personnel and customer representatives. Especially needed is help with online sales, as nearly half of Americans plan to do at least part of their shopping via the Internet. Hiring for this time of year begins as early as October, but the positions can last well into January (someone has to handle all those returns and post-holiday sales).

hiring seasonal workersHiring seasonal workers for the holidays can be entirely manageable if you plan and are organized.

Bosses dread it. Direct reports dread it even more. It’s often unhelpful, always stressful and happens every year. It’s annual performance reviews. The idea of offering feedback to your team comes from a good place, a great place actually. In a perfect world, you would have a comfortable conversation about how the past year had gone, what your direct report feels they accomplished and where they would like to improve. You would have a concise but thorough document outlining their important projects, where they had demonstrated leadership and how they could plan for the coming year. If only it were that easy. good performance review

But here are some tips on how to give a good performance review:

For decades, many companies have provided employees with benefits like pensions, medical insurance and vacation. But in recent years, employers are getting more creative in what they offer. Useful perks – things really perceived as having value – can increase morale and encourage loyalty. And not all ideas have to be a huge investment. best company perks

Here are five of the best company perks that can really matter:

There have often been comparisons, rightly or wrongly, to hiring employees and finding dates. Both require a certain mutual positive chemistry, shared interests and alignment of goals. Many can result in long-term relationships. But whereas it can be a bit touchy to run a criminal background search, do a credit check and interview references on a date, it might well be best business practices before sharing computer passwords with your next employee. An applicant can look great on paper and sound fantastic in an interview without ever tipping off that they have a less than stellar past. Some of that might not be a cause for concern – after all, do you really want to hold against someone an arrest for a student protest from decades before? But people are aware of the stakes when they are applying for a job, and can selectively forget to mention criminal histories and financial difficulties that can take them out of the running. It is also not unusual for people to get “creative about their educational or professional pasts – a correspondence course gets reinvented into a four year degree, a summer internship is elongated into a two year role. Whether it is truly misleading or just poor judgment, it can be an important step in your hiring process to ensure that you have independently researched your potential employee. In fact three-quarters of small businesses now conduct background checks.

Five Suggested Background Checks

First, there was the closed office, one to a person, hopefully with a window. Then there were cubicles, lauded as increasing productivity (no hiding behind closed doors and surfing the internet), then came open plan (now embraced by 70% of all employers) – no walls between cubicles, just communal tables demarcated by one workstation after another (among other things, very cost efficient). But still very much in the mix is no office at all – at least not at the employer’s site. Telecommuting is popular both with small companies who are still tight on space, to large companies like Dell and Xerox (where a reported 11% of their workforce work from home). Is telecommuting right for your organization? Well, that depends. Is telecommuting right for your company

Here are some things to consider to make telecommuting work for your company

You would have to be under a rock, inside a hole, in the middle of the desert to not know LinkedIn and Facebook. But, many people think of them as an individual user tools, for personal professional promotion and social use, and not enough for business recruiting purposes. But that kind of logic could cost you great opportunities to connect with the perfect candidate. LinkedIn has over 380 million members as of 2015, and over 100 million are in the U.S. And as we discussed in our article about jobseekers ditching paper resumes, LinkedIn profiles have essentially become the leading way to promote yourself in the job market. Social Media for Recruiting

Using social media for recruiting can be highly effective when done smartly.

There is almost nothing harder than finding the right new hire for your team. Do they fit interpersonally? Will they be able to align with the mission? Do they have enough experience, or too much? Can they integrate into the culture? A dozen questions bombard the hiring manager as they meet each candidate. Unfortunately, the right candidate can be blurred by unimportant noise, or the wrong candidate can rise to the top for the wrong reasons.

Here then, are five tips on making the right hire:

Making the perfect hire

It’s lonely at the top. If you’re a solopreneur, an entrepreneur with a small team, or running a good-sized organization, you are used to making decisions that you are alone are qualified to assess. One of those considerations may be when to make a new hire. Whether it’s your first employee or your 50th, you have to weigh if perception (yours’ or your employees’) that you need help is real or imagined. So how can you pressure test your company to see if it is time to start reading resumes?  

when to hire