Employee Recognition: Vital For Businesses?

Employee Recognition

By John Allen – Director, SEO, 8×8

These are not easy times for businesses, big or small. There are some considerable challenges on the horizon – not least of which is employee retention.

Keeping people satisfied and excited at work is key to growing and maintaining a successful company. Though it can be easy to think of staff only in terms of statistics and output, it’s crucial to remember the human faces behind all those reports and numbers.

Employee recognition is one way of doing this, and it’s a great way of making staff feel valued and seen. In turn, this is more likely to make them want to stay at your company and work hard.

We’ll first run through a quick refresher of what employee recognition is as well as how critical it can be for your business. Then, we’ll take a look at how exactly you can implement an employee recognition program at your company.

 

What is employee recognition?

If employee recognition sounds simple, that’s because it is. Employee recognition means you acknowledge all the great stuff that your employees do – and not just big achievements.

It could be as small as a pat on the back for a well-executed presentation, or a quick thank you when you notice a colleague’s positive effect when teaching others how to use the company’s small business CRM

Recognition doesn’t have to happen solely in the office, either. With the rise of remote working over the past few years, there are some great business virtual phone systems that allow you to hop on a quick 1-1 to make your appreciation known.

In simple terms, employee recognition means acknowledging any quality or action of an employee that you appreciate – from mundane tasks and team interactions to workplace behaviour and more.

 

The benefits of employee recognition

Have you ever heard that people don’t quit jobs, they quit their managers?

Employee recognition helps prevent this. People are four times more likely to be engaged at work and five to eight times more likely to see their future path at that company if they receive authentic recognition.

What this really means is that simply acknowledging the hard work your employees do will make them work harder and smarter. It will also make them more likely to stay.

Employee recognition can also have a positive effect on work relationships. Happy employees tend to work better together, especially if they don’t feel like they have to compete for their superior’s attention. 

Moreover, if you can encourage peer-to-peer recognition, staff are likely to feel more positively invested in the people around them. Building on this, using a staff-wide VoIP communications system can be crucial for maintaining staff morale when your teams are meeting virtually, as they often are nowadays.

Finally, outwardly acknowledging and valuing positive behaviour is a great way of moulding the culture you want in the workplace. Simply put, rewarding an employee for an action incentivises this employee – and anyone else around – to continue acting in this way. 

 

What employee recognition isn’t

It may seem as if recognising your employees is the same thing as giving them a reward – but not quite. There are some slight yet significant differences between these two concepts.

Firstly, rewards often take the form of financial compensation. They tend to be strictly transactional, in that the employee receives a tangible benefit for a specific performance or occasion.

In contrast, employee recognition is not done in exchange for anything else. It is a simple, quiet acknowledgement of positive behaviour. 

Crucially, it is also relational, as it builds trust and confidence between the two parties – precisely because it is not transactional. What is important is the acknowledgement itself, rather than any concrete benefit.

 

Implementing an employee recognition programme

So now you’re all up to speed on the importance of employee recognition to both your company and your employees. But perhaps you’re wondering how to implement all this in a programme?

Your first step would be deciding on what type of behaviour you want to reinforce.

 

Define the behaviour

Bearing in mind that employee recognition is a key step in reinforcing your company’s values, you need to get specific about what actions you deem valuable enough to acknowledge. 

You may want to focus, for example, on particular behaviours that employees exhibit. Various qualities can be suitable for recognition, such as being:

  • Creative
  • Solutions-focused
  • Motivated
  • Quick to learn
  • A strong team player
  • Adaptable
  • High-performing
  • Long-serving

 

Once you have this list (feel free to write it down – and add your own!), it’ll be easier to acknowledge these qualities in the moment. 

Next, you should think carefully about how each person prefers to receive feedback.

For example, your quieter employees may prefer a quick word in private. Their more gregarious counterparts, in contrast, might enjoy a company-wide announcement. In fact, you may even want to send out a mass email on such occasions.

 

Define the method

Finally, it’s important to decide what method you’d like to deliver your acknowledgement.

Are you partial to a quick thank you email? Or will a verbal, in-person acknowledgement suffice?

Recognition can also come in other forms. Days off, certificates, holidays and team-building days are all great ways of showing your team that you recognise and appreciate their value and input. Providing employees with ample health and wellbeing benefits is becoming increasingly important, as folks begin to put emphasis on a healthy work-life balance.

And one final tip? Don’t wait too long to shoot off that thank you email. Immediate recognition helps promote a sense of authenticity and connectedness.

 

The future of work

The pandemic has forced us all to really think about what it means to run a business well. Remote working has shown to be key to making the workplace more inviting, as a way of attracting and retaining new recruits. 

This can be intimidating for smaller companies, as traditionally this technology has been expensive and geared towards larger companies. However, opting for a small business VoIP phone system is a cheaper and more effective way to give your workers the flexibility they deserve.

Seen in this context, employee recognition is simply another string to your bow to keep employee engagement and retention at satisfactory levels.

The Benefits of Pop-Up Events For Businesses

Blank mock up creative exhibition stand design with shapes.

It doesn’t matter if business is an international success of not, a pop up event could be enough to attract unsuspecting clientele and boost brand’s visibility, including younger demographics. Exciting and innovative, pop-up events might be the commercial glow-up you’ve been looking for.

This article will explore some of the benefits of pop-up events. Whether you’re an entrepreneur eager to expand your market base or a welfare officer searching for ways to boost morale, this could be the next step for your business.

 

Utilising empty storefronts on the highstreet

There’s no denying it – online retail is taking over. According to the Future Retail Distribution 2021-2022 report, 28% of all retail sales will be online by 2026. As a result, more and more highstreet retailers continue to close throughout the nation. In fact, one in seven shops were empty in 2021.

To revitalise the world of in-person shopping, your business can consider taking part in a pop-up event. There are lots of different pop-up shops to choose from, such as seasonal or marketing event pop-ups. These can take place in shopfronts that were previously abandoned, bringing life back into a fast dissolving highstreets throughout the UK.

This is useful for a number of varying businesses, From a sole trader from the countryside looking to find a base in a bustling city centre to an established online brand experimenting with bricks-and-motor. Either way, a pop-up event could be the next best thing for your business.

 

Creating excitement for your online brand

The pandemic contributed to the change in online retail. Even as the world begins to resemble its former self, online shopping trends continue to dominate the market. In fact, 50% of everyday consumers still prefer to do the majority of their buying online today.

These trends are beneficial for online retailers. However, considering we can buy all nature of goods online in the technological age, how can your business stand out from the crowd and continue to entice its customers?

One of the best ways to attract customers is to create excitement for your brand. One of the best ways to do this is a pop-up event. Whether you sell bespoke chandeliers or vegan chocolate, you can hire a storage container and take the Sunday markets by storm. To keep the lights shining bright and the music playing all day long, an onsite generator might be the solution for you. Convenient and hassle-free, generator hire may be the best way your business to obtain one of these.

Pop-up events are normally a temporary alternative to bricks-and-motor stores. So, you may want to forewarn your customers of your pop-up event. To do this, you can create excitement on social media.

 

The number of people using social media in the UK is set to rise in the coming years. This includes over 61 million people in 2022 and almost 64 million in 2026. The power of social media is evident and ready to be utilised by online businesses, including yours.

 

Having fun as a business

Pop-up events are fun for the whole business. As well as attracting customers with something new and exciting, this is an opportunity to let your staff try something new – or yourself, if you’re a sole trader. After a worldwide pandemic, we’re all searching for enjoyment in everything we do, including our working days. So, mx things up and consider throwing your own pop-up event this year.

These are three reasons why your business should consider utilising pop-up events. They don’t have to be a grand or expensive affair. A simple shopfront or a sipping container for hire is enough to pull in your next clients. After all, something simple could be exactly what you’re looking for. When will your business have a glow-up?

What Employers Must Do to Retain Staff

Stack of hands. Unity and teamwork concept.

According to new research by the CIPD Good Work Index, over 6.5 million people in the UK are considering leaving their jobs in the next year. Employee turnover can lead to issues with productivity and efficiency within the company. It can also be an indicator of problematic areas within your company which you might need to pay attention to.

While 23% are looking to leave for a change in career, a larger percentage of workers are looking to move due to a range of workplace factors.

Here, we will explore changes your company can make to retain your employees.

 

Start off strong

The employment journey is a long one which starts with recruitment. Making sure you are recruiting the right people for the job can help with employee retention. Hiring the right person for a team can help create synergy and productivity within your company. However, hiring the wrong candidate can negatively affect the team – which could lead to resignations. If you are going to hire enthusiasm over experience, it is important to have a good training scheme in place to help your new recruits settle in. Nearly 59% of employees claimed to have received no training at all within their roles. By establishing a training scheme in each of your company’s teams, you can help new recruits get the most out of their job role quickly.

Choosing candidates with the right experience and enthusiasm for the role can help maintain retention. Using recruitment software can help your HR department effectively select candidates, comparing the abilities, experiences, and soft skills of each candidate across the board.

Starting off strong also includes having effective orientation and onboarding programs in place to welcome new recruits. The Society of Human Resource Management found that 69% of employees who experiences a good onboarding scheme were more likely to remain in their role for three years or more. Among other things, a good onboarding procedure is tailored to new recruits and their job descriptions, allows time for the recruit to meet their teammates, and is simple so that it doesn’t become overwhelming.

 

Development schemes

Development schemes are another way to encourage employee retention within your company. Allowing your employees to expand within their roles can help maintain worker morale, as well as satisfaction within their job role. CIPD found that 27% of workers want increased satisfaction within their jobs.

A strong culture of education within a company can lead retention rates to rise by 30–50%. Managing a strong development scheme can establish your company as an employee-conscious business. By encouraging personal and professional growth, your employees won’t see their role as a dead-end, but rather as something to progress in. 18% of employees planned to quit their job due to boredom, so providing development opportunities across a broad range of subjects and sectors can help reduce the issue of role stagnation leading to resignation.

 

Company culture

Another factor which can contribute towards increased employee retention is company culture. Not only can a good company culture help manage retention, but a high turnover of employees can also negatively impact company culture. Research conducted by Wiley Edge has found that 22% of long-term employees have left due to changing company culture, with the same percentage of organisations finding a rise in toxic culture within the workplace.

A good company culture depends on multiple things. Management must be approachable. Your workplace should also encourage teamwork, focusing on the involvement of all levels across the business. A good work culture takes care of your employees. Your company should prioritise employee well-being and establish healthy work practices. Another Wiley Edge survey found that younger employees were more likely to stay at a job if they worked with supportive management and colleagues (54%) and experienced a culture that matches company values (44%). So managing your workplace environment is important for the retention of employees. 46% of repondents also claimed they would consider remaining longer at their job if they had a socially active team, so encouraging communication and team bonding can actually help your company.

 

Work-life balance

Something which has grown more popular among workers in the last few years is a desire for a work-life balance. By managing flexible working hours and arrangements, you can increase your company’s employee retention rates. Employee burnout can lead to an increase in resignation rates as over one-third of employees have quit a job due to stress. And with 46% of employees claiming to have extreme stress levels due to their work, it is more important than ever to recognise signs of burnout in order to maintain employee retention.

Offering flexible working times and arrangements, including hybrid and remote working, can encourage staff to stay in their role. Not only does it help reduce stress, with 39% of employees claiming working flexibly helped their mental health, but it can also increase employee productivity. Airtasker found that by allowing flexible work arrangements, employees worked an average of 1.4 extra days per month.

High rates of employee turnover can be detrimental for any business as it increases onboarding and recruitment costs while reducing productivity across the company. Employee retention is crucial for the progression of your company, and the loss of skilled workers can result in productivity issues for the entire business. By focusing on your company culture, healthy work habits, and effective training and onboarding programmes, you can increase the likelihood of employee loyalty.

Can a Remote Work Set-up Really Cut Company Expenses?

Remote Work

By Grace Lau – Director of Growth Content, Dialpad

One of the major shifts in the world of work right now is remote working.

Recent years have seen this work model explode in popularity, and whilst many employees do prefer working from home, the businesses that employ them are confronted with a pressing question:

Is it time to return to the office, or stay remote?

We’ll tackle that question by explaining the benefits of a remote work set-up, as well as considering potential drawbacks, and the solutions used today by leading businesses.

So, whether you’re new to remote working, or are an expert simply looking for a refresher on your knowledge, read on to learn more about whether remote working is right for your business…

 

What is remote working?

In simple terms, remote working is when an employee performs their work duties outside of a company’s premises.

It can be summarized by the mantra: “Work is what we do, not where we are.”

That means that employees can ditch their traditional office HQs to work wherever they wish. Quite often, they will choose to work in a home office, Internet café, or telecenter.

The concept of remote work goes back a long time. However, today the term is almost synonymous with “teleworking” – first coined back in 1973. This is essentially a subset of remote working that relies on an Internet connection and PC programs to keep employees connected.

Today, remote companies are building entire digital workspaces. You’d expect to see a communications app for voice calls, video meetings, and file sharing. Workflow apps, like an integration for Formstack, also allow executives to track their project’s progress.

With this has come a rise in flexible offices and coworking spaces around the world. Plus, with platforms like coworking software, it’s increasingly easier for employees to work from anywhere and still access the tools they need, when they need them. 

 

Cost-cutting aspects of the remote work model

So now we’re clear on what remote working is, what are the benefits?

 

Lower wage costs and a broader talent pool

A primary advantage of remote working is that you have access to a wider talent pool. Think about it: you may hire employees from all over the world, rather than just those who live near your offices. 

This may be particularly beneficial for highly qualified employees who have an employment gap through no fault of their own, yet are struggling to find work where they live.

The reason of course is that, on the Internet, we are all neighbors. Aside from tracking the latency rate, you would have no idea if you were connected with someone from your city, country, or continent.

So, how is this useful from a business perspective? Well, it means that you can hire overseas employees with ease. That’s especially true if you’re based in a Western country where wages are generally high. You may find that an international workforce is a completely different employment situation, with far lower wages for the same skills.

Of course, there are challenges to overcome when creating a dispersed, global team. Namely, the problems of time zones and communication. If portions of your team are offline during your active hours, you can see how this would require significant operational planning.

But if you’re a global business, having global employees is a great solution – especially if you need to take calls. Instead of having a bunch of queued calls waiting because no-one speaks the right language, you can simply ensure an employee who does is available.

 

Increased employee productivity

A widely-acknowledged benefit of remote working is that it boosts worker productivity.

In fact, a study from 2021 found that 90% of employees who worked remotely reported no detriment to their productivity, with them being 22% happier across the board. And how does that help you? Well, happy employees are:

  • Less likely to be absent from work.
  • More likely to stay with your company for longer (increased employee retention).
  • Happy to market your company by word-of-mouth to other potential candidates or customers.

However, these findings are of course qualified by other exceptional criteria, owing to the various differences in a company’s workforce or sector.

For instance, employees with less than 5 years of experience were more likely to see their productivity decline when working from home. The reason, of course, is that new employees need guidance. Without the support of an in-person work environment, their skills may lag behind their peers. As such, extra care may be needed to foster this development.

 

Cheaper overhead costs

Finally, adopting a work-from-home business model could remove huge costs from your company’s balance sheet.

A dispersed team does not need a big downtown office. They might not even need an office at all. You could run your business out of the study room in your house and save a small fortune on rent, utility bills, and cleaners. That’s not to mention the savings you could make on tax.

Of course, new costs will appear in place of these savings. Without physical infrastructure, you will need to build out a digital workplace for your employees. Instead of a PBX telephony system, you would opt for an Internet-hosted VOIP service, for example. 

There are some clear benefits to using SaaS providers. The most notable being their low upfront cost and maintenance. You simply sign up for a recurring payment plan and be ready to go almost immediately. If at any point you’re not happy with the service, you can cancel your subscription. Plus, you can scale as needed, instead of paying upfront for things you might not need.

Of course, you’ll still need to train your employees on the best ways to use these programs. The best programs will offer advanced features as part of a custom package. This allows you to tailor it to your exact needs, e.g. three-way calls, custom caller ID, or voicemail to text.

 

Conclusion: Should you make the switch to remote working?

Remote working is certainly a dynamic opportunity for the businesses of today.

It offers several key advantages over a traditional office set-up, and looks set be the work culture of tomorrow. Employees seem to prefer it, companies can cut down their costs, and it brings together dispersed global workforces.

On the flip side, it also introduces new challenges for business owners. If you’re new to the concept, you might find it very different from your previous ventures. The online economy can be a volatile place where you’ll face stiff competition from rival businesses.

However, even if you don’t choose to go fully remote, there are lessons to learn from those who too – for instance, digitalizing your workflows, looking further for talent, and getting rid of all those extra costs you don’t necessarily need.

Burnout Britain: How UK Employers Can Recognise the Signs & Symptoms of Burnout

Burnout

Research shows that employee burnout has steadily risen by 17% since 2020. People no longer want the archaic working model, and they’re actively looking for roles where workplace wellbeing is prioritised and more flexibility exists because they’re putting their mental health first. Research from Deloitte has revealed the cost of poor mental health to UK employers has increased to a staggering £56 billion. A significant part of the business cost is due to reduced productivity caused by employees who are unwell but still come to work, known as presenteeism.

Burnout goes way beyond a buzzword. It is impacting businesses on an unprecedented level. Especially financially, absence due to poor mental health costs employers twice as much as that relating to physical health. A recent report from Westfield Health found that 59% of respondents said their mental health was driving them to find a new role. Striking the balance between a healthy, happy workplace and lifestyle for employees has never been more important for businesses.

 

What is burnout and how can you recognise the signs and symptoms?

People who are finding their work and the workplace difficult to manage may be at a higher risk of burnout. Burnout can leave them feeling empty, worn out and unable to handle the weight of life’s obligations. While burnout is not deemed a psychological disorder, it should still be taken seriously.

Here are three ways to recognise employee burnout:

 

1. Cynical disposition

No one loves their job 100% of the time, and some cynicism is natural. However, if someone is displaying an increased negative outlook both in terms of the work itself and towards their colleagues, this could be a sign of burnout, especially if their normal disposition is usually upbeat. It could be that they’re displaying signs of more irritability than usual or are unable to accept feedback.

 

2. Performance and productivity

Employees suffering from burnout may have been less engaged with their work than normal. They may feel as though they can’t get anything right and show signs of frustration. Many people feel unable to manage their frustration and stress levels at work, leading to decreased productivity and, in turn, a poorer quality of work.

 

3. Detachment

When an employee is experiencing burnout, it can be very difficult for them to feel as though they are part of a team, especially if their workload is unmanageable. Isolation may set in, and they may feel as though they cannot participate in company activities because that will impact their work, leaving them experiencing more stress and anxiety. The longer this is the case, the more detached from the business they will feel.

Knowing which work-related pressures trigger burnout and what to avoid as a manager can be most helpful.

Here are some of the key causes of burnout:

 

  • Lack of support from their manager and team
  • Uncertain or excessive expectations
  • A toxic environment
  • Feeling unvalued
  • Pressure to be online/available constantly
  • Being micromanaged

 

What can you do to help?

The first thing you should do is be aware and acknowledge that your employee is struggling. Start the conversation – they may well feel too stressed or anxious to ask for help, so it’s up to you to look out for the signs and to offer help and support. Be empathetic, as feeling understood at work is crucial in their recovery. Don’t vilify them for not being able to cope; instead, listen to what they need and recognise the areas where you can help immediately alleviate some of the pressure.

Here are some of the practical ways to offer support:

 

  1. Check in with them, but not in a ‘monitoring’ sense, as that will only add to their stress. Drop them a line to see how they are and if they can manage their workload daily.
  2. If your company has mental health support services, ensure they know how to access them and that they are available to help as well.
  3. Encourage them to take some time off to relax and reset. Be flexible with their working hours to allow for their current needs.
  4. Delegate their workload across the team to take some of the pressure off. Avoid overwhelming them with projects you know will be highly stressful.
  5. Be human. Yes, it’s work but remember we can all experience burnout at any level. They need to feel like a person, not a number.

 

Preventing burnout

Naturally, avoiding the causes and circumstances that could lead to burnout is the greatest way to safeguard employees’ mental health. Although doing so might necessitate a total change in your business’ culture, it is vital to foster a nurturing and supportive workplace for your team.

Investing in your people is paramount to your company’s success and profitability. Research shows that on average, every £1 you invest in employee well-being, sees a £5.30 return. A team who feels valued and supported with a work-life and wellbeing balance is a happier team and, in return, will be far less likely to leave. So, if you’ve noticed burnout amongst your colleagues, maybe it’s time for a culture shift.  

Technology Leaders Are Facing Unique Challenges – Only a Unique Approach to Leadership Will Solve Them

Businesswoman sharing new ideas in meeting

Putting expansion plans on pause and re-thinking hiring strategies will help tech companies overcome industry struggles

As spiralling inflation, interest rate hikes and the threat of recession drive up the cost of doing business, tech leaders must be agile, look to new methods of management and be open to rescheduling pre-existing plans. This is according to STX Next, Europe’s largest software development company that specialises in Python.

Alongside economic struggles, talent shortages are continuing to expose skills gaps in technical teams – 68% of tech companies say they are held back by a lack of qualified staff – while decision-makers are still struggling to fine-tune remote working models and implement new technologies in the workplace. However, Maciej Dziergwa, CEO of STX Next, believes that tech companies can survive and thrive by adapting practices to reflect the business landscape.

Dziergwa said: “It’s important that tech leaders recognise the current economic slowdown is halting the IT industry’s momentum, and react accordingly. For instance, they shouldn’t be afraid to rein in growth plans during the height of the crisis, allowing for flexibility if the climate suddenly worsens.

“Downsizing is a concerning trend in the tech industry – Amazon, Meta and Twitter are the latest high profile organisations to slash employee numbers – so it is vital that businesses grow sustainably to avoid turning to job cuts.

“Technology leaders should also prioritise the investment of time and funds into client acquisition and retention. This involves adopting a more client-focused approach, such as travelling to meet existing or potential partners face to face. Regular contact shows a business will be far more dependable during an economic slowdown than less visible competitors.”

To cope with the shortage of IT workers, Dziergwa believes that technology companies should seek to enhance the employee experience in order to set themselves apart from competitors.

He added: “With skills shortages putting a strain on recruitment strategies, it’s time for business decision-makers to be more proactive to attract new talent or retain incumbent employees.

“Flexibility is a priority for the bulk of today’s workforce, so appealing to candidates begins by ensuring that remote working models are watertight, and that staff are well-supported even if they are based at home.

“It’s important to remember that the offer of hybrid work is now a minimum requirement for prospective staff. The tech companies that differentiate themselves will go above and beyond to meet employee needs, providing financial, emotional and educational support to guide workers through the cost-of-living crisis.”

He concluded: “Times of economic slowdown are great opportunities to pinpoint areas for improvement and strengthen company culture. The pandemic came as a shock and stopped the world in its tracks – tech leaders must not let history repeat itself, regardless of what transpires in the coming months.”

Technology leaders can share their thoughts on how to weather the oncoming storm by completing the CTO Survey: https://www.thectosurvey.com

How to Choose the Right Point of Sale System for Your Business

Regardless of how a customer discovers your business and decides to make a purchase, there is one aspect that unites them all that they will all have in common eventually – they will all make their purchase through a point of sale (POS) system. A good POS system is vital for the successful running of a business as it ensures that you can take payments efficiently and securely. To enhance the customers purchasing experience in order to encourage them to purchase with you again, the process needs to be effortless and seamless. Evidently it is vital to invest in a good POS system in order to take payment and secure business.

However, modern POS systems today are lot more powerful than simply cash registers that take payments. The POS systems of today can become crucial components in almost every aspect of your business. Invoicing, inventory, accounting, and reporting are all elements that can be affected, and assisted, by your POS system. It proves that a POS system is more than a method of making sales, it’s a way of making your business a success. With so much resting on one system, it’s vital that good decisions are made when it comes to choosing the right POS system for you, especially when there are so many different options to choose from out there. Obviously, it is very important that as an individual responsible for making decisions for your business, you learn more about the topic so that you can come to an informed decision and take the best steps moving forward.

First Things First – What is a Point of Sale System?

So that everyone is on the same page when thinking about a POS system, these are the components that facilitate a point of sales process. It is made up of both hardware and software that work together in order to process sales. These systems can be mobile, even cloud-based systems thus allowing for greater freedom and flexibility when it comes to make sales and taking payments. Furthermore, the best POS solutions allow for payments in multiple forms, including digital wallet transactions and credit card payments. As previously mentioned, POS systems today are more than stand along checkouts, they involve a back-office system too that comes with inventory management, analytics, and CRM capabilities.

Benefits of a Point of Sale System

Making the leap and investing in a good POS system will bring benefits across your entire business. Let’s discover a few:

Improved Credibility. Implementing a sophisticated POS system that accepts various types of payments and provides a smooth and stress-free purchasing experience will do great things for your credibility. Even if you are starting out as business, a POS system will elevate how people perceive you as soon as they walk through the door.

Competitive Preparedness. By embracing the technologies available to improve your business, you are going to be working hard to stay ahead, or at least keep up with, the competition. The payment landscape is changing rapidly so it’s important to keep up to date with the tech so that you can provide the best experience for your customers and prove yourself to be a contender in the competitive business industry.

Simplified Back-Office Procedures. Tracking sales and analysing your business transactions will be made a whole lot easier with the implementation of a modern POS system. You will gain a greater insight into your business, deepen your understanding of customer trends and spending habits, and keep tracking of business dealings from inventory to employee productivity. Your operations will be greatly enhanced with the help of a powerful POS system.

How to Choose a POS System

Now you know what benefits a POS system can bring to your business, it’s time to start looking for one. It’s hard to know where to start with so many different options available, but the key is to first understand your business. You can do this by asking yourself a few simple questions:

What is the state of my business? If you are new to the business world, it might be best to get something that is simple and easy to use. If you are looking to upgrade from an old or different system, you might want to consider how a system could help with issues you currently face.

What are the biggest struggles my business faces? Think about your pain points and then find a POS system that can help to address them. Consider the processes that take the most of your precious time and look for a solution that can handle them.

What tasks could a POS system simplify? As a business owner, you likely need to wear many different hats and fill lots of shoes to fill. Therefore, look out for a POS system that will take over some of the roles and save you from business owner burnout.

Shopping Around for Shopping Support

As you begin your search for the best POS system for you and your business, there are a few things to keep in mind and consider that will help you to refine your search and be successful in finding the solution. Think about the ease of use – you want a system that is easy to use and navigate in order to provide the best experience for your customers and the least headache for you. Investigate the capabilities of the software, along with the costs, to get the most value for your money and the most competent solution. What systems can this solution integrate with? If you also have other tools and apps you want to keep using, you want to make sure that the systems are going to work well together. Furthermore, what is the support for this system like? You want to sign up with a company that will give you the training your need and help you whenever you run into issues.

What to Do When Your Business Is Facing Redundancy and Employee Layoffs

Close up view of new female employee intern holding box

By Alex Hattingh, Chief People Officer at Employment Hero 

 

The economic impacts of the cost of living crisis and inflation have taken a significant toll on SME businesses up and down the country.  As a result, many are looking at how they can reorganise their operations to get through what could be a long recession ahead. 

Restructuring the business to seek greater efficiencies may need to include a number of roles being made redundant. Whilst redundancy should be the last resort for any organisation, there are ways you can help employees to deal with the emotional and psychological impact, and to make the process as painless as possible.

 

Always do things by the book

The number one thing to consider when dealing with employee termination of any kind, including redundancy, is compliance. Employment laws can be complex, especially when it comes to redundancy, so it’s an extremely good idea to consult an employment lawyer before making any decisions or taking any actions. There will be many things to consider and seeking additional advice will ensure you are able to consider all factors.

 

Don’t rush your redundancy strategy

Just like anything else in business, redundancies need a solid strategy behind them. You need to understand why these people can no longer be a part of your team, and how your business will operate without them. If you’ve switched over to panic mode with your business’ finances, don’t start slashing your workforce in search of a quick fix. Whatever situation your business is in, you’ll need team members who are great at their jobs to help you get back on track, pivot your business model, or explore other revenue streams.

 

Be kind, transparent and personalised with your communication

It generally goes without saying, but if you need to make someone redundant – do so with kindness and respect.

Communicate the information kindly but immediately, and be as transparent as possible about why the decision was made. Assure them that it was not a performance-based decision. Come prepared with all the details about the person’s redundancy, including their redundancy package, so that you are ready to answer any questions they may have about the process.

To support your departing employee, consider how you might assist them with finding their next employer. Offer to write them a glowing reference letter, and always be available for any reference calls that they might need you to take.

 

Empathetic leadership is essential

While pressure and stress can be overwhelming, it’s important not to remain kind and respectful as an employer. After all, your employees are likely feeling just as much anxiety about the future as you are.Empathetic leadership is one of the most powerful mindsets you can engage in difficult times. Especially when you’re doing things like breaking bad news to your team members, it’s critical to put yourself in their shoes and treat them how you would want to be treated.

Ways to Help You Build Up Your Business

Whether it’s a simple expansion to becoming an entire corporation, growth is something every business experiences. Going from a handful of clients to seeing regulars is a showcase of growth. However, building up a business stems from a lot more than how many customers you see every day. Here are a few tips to help you build up your business to be as successful as possible.

Come Up with New Ideas

How does a business keep the crowd wanting more? The answer is relatively simple: coming up with new and inventive business ideas. However, it’s worth pointing out that not everyone is going to invoke new ideas whenever the situation calls for it. You may even experience a rough patch where you can’t think of anything at all. A great way to craft new ideas is to look around you for inspiration. Look at what’s currently trending and see how you can put your own creative spin on it. You should be abreast on the top tech trends for business, but also know how to expound on them yourself so that you can marry existing ideas with your specific brand of innovation.

Consider Investing Your Funds

You might be confused on how taking such a huge risk can help your company grow. If there’s one thing business is known for, it’s most definitely the risks. In fact, simply opening one is a risk because you don’t know if it’ll do well. Even with all the planning involved, there’s always a chance things could go south. But the same rings true for investments as well. Fortunately, not every investment is so deep-seeded in risk, you’ll lose a ton of money either way. There are a few types that are very safe with a low risk factor. Currently, the safest form of investment is real estate.

Investing into a real estate property may not seem like the best idea as it does require quite a bit of money. However, there’s more than one way to invest into real estate than simply purchasing a property outright. That’s a process within itself as there are many different rental property types. You can take things slow and easy by putting your money toward shares. Real estate shares are very similar to stock market shares. You choose a place that’s promoting them and simply buy as many as you can afford. However, you need to be mindful of where you buy said shares. Not every property is worth the money and this can be for a variety of reasons, like a less-than-savory neighborhood or a high vacancy rate.

Get the Proper Protection

Growing your business can take a lot of work, but you don’t want to leave yourself unprotected. You never know when something can happen; you could have a data breach or a client experienced an accident while on the business’ property. This is why you need to have a few insurance policies in effect. Here’s a quick list of the necessary types of insurance you’ll need:

  • General liability
  • Commercial property
  • Professional liability
  • Data breach
  • Fleet insurance

Insurance can protect you from losing your finances and personal assets in the event of a lawsuit. Make sure to research each type of insurance, so you can pinpoint the ones you need the most.

The Benefits of Coffee Culture in The Workplace

Young freelance team at a coffee break

Some days, a good coffee can see you through, especially when it comes to work. In the UK, 95 million cups of coffee are consumed every single day, so many will certainly appreciate the chance to take a little time out from work and enjoy the hot beverage.

However, while it might simply be a habit for you to pour yourself a cup of coffee, there’s more to the drink than it just being part of an office routine. It can boost your performance at work and help you form relationships. In this article, we will explore why you need to be prioritising a coffee break during your day at work.

 

More physical activity

Staying seated for the entirety of the working day is good for no one. Research has found that sitting down over a long period of time is related to numerous health issues, like increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol levels, so it’s necessary to get away from your desk.

Taking a walk to get a coffee, whether that be at a nearby café or just to your office kitchen, gives you an opportunity to stretch your legs. Every half an hour, just three minutes of standing and moving is enough to reduce the likelihood of any health issues that you could face from sitting for too long, so take a moment to have a little walk to the kitchen to fix yourself a drink, whether that’s a creamy vanilla flavoured coffee or a strong Americano.

 

Relationship building

Your colleagues are a major part of your life. In the UK, the average employee will spend approximately 3,515 days working in their lifetime – so that’s a huge amount of time spent with co-workers. With that in mind, it’s important to build relationships with those who you are surrounded by during the office days.

Coffee breaks are a great opportunity to unwind and take some time away from work talk. While teamwork might play a key part in your role, which requires plenty of conversation, having a coffee break together offers the chance to get to know your co-workers on a more personal level to form a relationship. Plus, this can improve happiness and mental health, as well as making you more engaged with work.

 

Increased productivity

Spending hours on end without a second to breathe can be exhausting. From back-to-back client meetings to staring endlessly at your screen, it’s essential to take some time to unwind. In fact, doing so can boost productivity.

Taking micro-breaks throughout the day allows your brain to reset. You’ll notice a happiness boost, and this can even improve your concentration, which, in turn, allows you to focus properly on your objectives for the day and be more productive. Simply walking to the kitchen to make a rejuvenating coffee, even just for a few minutes, will make it much easier to stay focused.

 

Protects eyes from strain

Having your eyes glued to a screen all day to complete your work is bound to cause some discomfort, so it’s no surprise that 77% of adults claim that their eyes feel strained after a long day of working. The symptoms of digital eye strain can include fatigue, dry eye, blurry vision, and headaches, which are all likely to be distracting while you try to work.

Thankfully, a micro-break can reduce your eye strain, so taking some time away from the desk is necessary. Something you could try is the 20-20-20 rule, which consists of looking 20 feet outside into the distance for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. Taking a sip of coffee during your break is important here, not only to keep you alert, but it can also combat dry eye that you might encounter from your screen.

 

Aids learning

Some days at work can be more intense than others, particularly when participating in training for something that you’re unfamiliar with. But a cup of coffee after learning something new actually helps you absorb and maintain information quickly.

A quick coffee break to reflect on what you’ve learned during the day will help you to thrive. While it may be overwhelming to have plenty of new information thrown at you, you can always rely on your coffee break to unwind and keep that information locked away until it comes in handy at work.

Coffee has many benefits beyond the taste, and it’s clear that these can boost your performance at work. Thus, it’s crucial to remember to take these small breaks to keep you going during the day and to reach your potential.

4 Things You Need to do to Retain Your Employees

Magnet and figures of people. Customer acquisition and retention.

Employee turnover can lead to issues with productivity and efficiency within the company. It can also be an indicator of problematic areas within your company which you might need to pay attention to. According to new research by the CIPD Good Work Index, over 6.5 million people in the UK are considering leaving their jobs in the next year.

While 23% are looking to leave for a change in career, a larger percentage of workers are looking to move due to a range of workplace factors.

In this piece we will explore changes your company can make to retain your employees.

 

Start off strong

The employment journey is a long one which starts with recruitment. Making sure you are recruiting the right people for the job can help with employee retention. Hiring the right person for a team can help create synergy and productivity within your company. However, hiring the wrong candidate can negatively affect the team – which could lead to resignations. If you are going to hire enthusiasm over experience, it is important to have a good training scheme in place to help your new recruits settle in. Nearly 59% of employees claimed to have received no training at all within their roles. By establishing a training scheme in each of your company’s teams, you can help new recruits get the most out of their job role quickly.

Choosing candidates with the right experience and enthusiasm for the role can help maintain retention. Using recruitment software can help your HR department effectively select candidates, comparing the abilities, experiences, and soft skills of each candidate across the board.

Starting off strong also includes having effective orientation and onboarding programs in place to welcome new recruits. The Society of Human Resource Management found that 69% of employees who experiences a good onboarding scheme were more likely to remain in their role for three years or more. Among other things, a good onboarding procedure is tailored to new recruits and their job descriptions, allows time for the recruit to meet their teammates, and is simple so that it doesn’t become overwhelming.

 

Development schemes

Development schemes are another way to encourage employee retention within your company. Allowing your employees to expand within their roles can help maintain worker morale, as well as satisfaction within their job role. CIPD found that 27% of workers want increased satisfaction within their jobs.

A strong culture of education within a company can lead retention rates to rise by 30–50%. Managing a strong development scheme can establish your company as an employee-conscious business. By encouraging personal and professional growth, your employees won’t see their role as a dead-end, but rather as something to progress in. 18% of employees planned to quit their job due to boredom, so providing development opportunities across a broad range of subjects and sectors can help reduce the issue of role stagnation leading to resignation.

 

Company culture

Another factor which can contribute towards increased employee retention is company culture. Not only can a good company culture help manage retention, but a high turnover of employees can also negatively impact company culture. Research conducted by Wiley Edge has found that 22% of long-term employees have left due to changing company culture, with the same percentage of organisations finding a rise in toxic culture within the workplace.

A good company culture depends on multiple things. Management must be approachable. Your workplace should also encourage teamwork, focusing on the involvement of all levels across the business. A good work culture takes care of your employees. Your company should prioritise employee well-being and establish healthy work practices. Another Wiley Edge survey found that younger employees were more likely to stay at a job if they worked with supportive management and colleagues (54%) and experienced a culture that matches company values (44%). So managing your workplace environment is important for the retention of employees. 46% of repondents also claimed they would consider remaining longer at their job if they had a socially active team, so encouraging communication and team bonding can actually help your company.  

To further add it is evident how important company culture is. Managing director David Hartley said “MMC is fast becoming the norm rather than the exception. Our growth is built upon our consistently high performing team, and creating an environment in which they can thrive, and of course our long-standing, forward-thinking clients.” Who owns one of the fastest- growing companies in the North West.

 

Work-life balance

Something which has grown more popular among workers in the last few years is a desire for a work-life balance. By managing flexible working hours and arrangements, you can increase your company’s employee retention rates. Employee burnout can lead to an increase in resignation rates as over one-third of employees have quit a job due to stress. And with 46% of employees claiming to have extreme stress levels due to their work, it is more important than ever to recognise signs of burnout in order to maintain employee retention.

Offering flexible working times and arrangements, including hybrid and remote working, can encourage staff to stay in their role. Not only does it help reduce stress, with 39% of employees claiming working flexibly helped their mental health, but it can also increase employee productivity. Airtasker found that by allowing flexible work arrangements, employees worked an average of 1.4 extra days per month.

High rates of employee turnover can be detrimental for any business as it increases onboarding and recruitment costs while reducing productivity across the company. Employee retention is crucial for the progression of your company, and the loss of skilled workers can result in productivity issues for the entire business. By focusing on your company culture, healthy work habits, and effective training and onboarding programmes, you can increase the likelihood of employee loyalty.

Top Tips for Reporting on Project Success

Young Asian Start up new business working together to success a new project in creative office.

An effective business should conduct regular reporting on project success. Analysing performance will help you work effectively towards your KPIs, and allow for beneficial changes to be identified. By not reporting on project success, you are putting your business at a disadvantage.

Here, we will look at how to carry out reporting of your own, and why reporting on project success is important to the success of your business.

 

Top tips for reporting project success

 

Know what you’re measuring

The key to reporting your project success is to know what you are looking for, the outcomes you are expecting, and measure the current outcomes alongside these expectations. There are many factors your company could measure. Perhaps you are looking at customer engagement and feedback, whether cash flow is positive, or how many deadlines are being missed. Knowing what you are measuring and what this means for your business can help you set changes in place that will improve your company’s efficiency and thus improve your return.

 

Establish key performance indicators

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are crucial for the analysis of your company’s progression. KPIs use quantitative, measurable values to help you better understand the success of your project, and whether your company is actively achieving targets or not. With the goals of your KPIs in mind, you can better identify the steps you need to take to hone in on those goals and implement problem-correcting measures when they are not being met.

 

Use software

By successfully reporting your project success, you can use data analysis alongside prediction modelling software to manage risk. Having a backlog of monthly project success reports can give you historic data to inform your future decision-making. You will be able to better understand what projects do and don’t work for your company. You can even use this alongside market trend predictions to get a better understanding of upcoming consumer demands and whether a new project would be successful or not.

Equally, you can use software to establish a timeline for your project. Whether you have one project on the go or multiple, commissioning software can assist in tracking the progression of projects, as well as their results. This is useful when reporting on project success as data is managed in one place, making it easier to collate.

 

Know your audience

Project reporting is much more than numbers on a page. It is important to know the target audience for your report – whether this is an internal investigation to help improve processes or it is a document for investors to see the return on their financial contributions. By removing technical jargon that could cause confusion in your reporting, you will make the information accessible to many, so more of your people can benefit from the insights offered by your reporting.

 

Why reporting on project success is important

 

A business overview

There are many benefits of reporting on project progression. Reporting project success involved analysing data to understand how a project is progressing, what issues and roadblocks might occur, and whether you are on track for success. Project success is not solely based on the big wins of your company, but it is also based on understanding the pitfalls. It can give you a 360-degree view of a project and the expected outcomes.

 

Creating opportunities

Alongside an overview, correct data analysis will highlight opportunities you are missing. This will make your business more efficient, as you can use monthly reporting as a technique to understand areas of growth within your business, as well as common issues. 32% of companies alter business plans in line with changes in data analysis, highlighting the importance of regular reporting to support growth and decision-making in business.

Equally, regular reporting will build your company a portfolio of data which can be used for current and future investment opportunities. Not only will you have a better grasp of your financial situation and support decision-making, but you can also use recurring data analysis to increase investor confidence and as a bargaining tool when it comes to future business opportunities. Being able to demonstrate the success of your business, as well as the solutions you have to problematic projects, can be an effective tool when opening communication with investors, bank loan specialists, and other contributors.

 

Benchmarking

Being able to benchmark your company against competitors is also useful both for personal and market development. Analysing your company’s project management and progression against the market standard and direct competitors can give you a better understanding of your current position. This, alongside noticing opportunities for growth, can see you gain a competitive edge.

Business growth in the first half of 2022 has skyrocketed, especially in Manchester. ‘’Manchester saw 36 new businesses created every day in the first half of 2022 — a huge rise of 34 percent compared to the same period last year.’’ According to Manchester Evening News. So whether you are handling one project or more, making sure you report on project success is important for the progression and growth of your business. Accurate reporting can help encourage decision-making, find opportunities for growth, and assist in avoiding roadblocks. And managing your projects through software with established KPIs in place can make collecting and analysing the data easier than ever.