Archive | August 2016

Mental Health & the Workplace: 6 Ways to Assist Troubled Employees

 

 

mental.pngAs the years have gone on, we’ve all become much more informed about mental health and the effect it can have on the workplace. Taking care of our employees is certainly in our best interests if we want them to be productive and happy in their environment. However, mental health is a complex issue, and it isn’t easily dealt with unless you understand it properly.

We’re going to look at the sheer basics of mental health and what you can do as an employer to assist troubled employees.

Establish the Right Atmosphere

In the first instance, the most important thing you can do is to establish the right type of atmosphere in the workplace. This means having an open door policy, where your employees are welcome to seek assistance at any time. Additionally, it’s crucial that you communicate with them about the type of environment you want to create.

Make it known that you are always open to any concerns they may have, whether it’s health or work-related. You want to be in a position where your employees never feel like they can’t tell you something. If you want to maximize productivity, this is crucial.

Bring In the Professionals

The most important thing you need to remember when dealing with mental health concerns is that you’re not a professional. Medical health experts can tell you a lot about a mental health condition, and the potential severity of it.

They can also help to ease the issue, or potentially get rid of it altogether. This is why EAP solutions for employers are popular in today’s world. Having that expertise to call upon is important for those who need the support. Whatever you do; don’t go jumping to conclusions if you don’t possess the relevant knowledge.

Discuss the Matter Privately

So, now you’re in a situation where you’ve decided that you need to talk to the employee in question. Maybe you’ve noticed that their performance has taken a sharp downturn, for example? In the first instance, you need to prepare what you’re going to say. The last thing you want to do is come across as challenging or overly negative.

Call the person in for a private meeting, one-on-one. Explain to them your concerns, but also make sure they realize that you want to help them in any way you can. This gives them a chance to explain anything that might be causing a problem and you can then work together to find a solution.

Make Allowances If Possible

Mental health issues are debilitating for those who suffer from them. Unfortunately, employers aren’t in a situation where they can simply pull them out of work for extended periods of time. Still, it can often be very beneficial to try and make allowances wherever possible.

Is an area of work causing severe mental distress for them? Maybe it’s worth allocating that role to another employee. Could they do some of their work from home for a while? Maybe it’s worth putting them in their main comfort zone for now. Find ways to make allowances if you can.

Maintain Regular Contact

No matter what happens from this moment on, you need to make sure that you maintain regular contact with the employee. Schedule weekly meetings to report on their progress such as if they’re going to be taking time off, ask them to come back for a meeting now and again. You don’t want to lose track of their progress, especially if things aren’t improving.

This is also important to ensure they feel valued, reducing the risk of isolation. Ultimately, you both want to get through this situation as positively as you can. Working closely is the best way of doing this.

Develop a ‘Return To Work’ Plan

For those who are going to be spending long periods of time away from the office, a ‘return to work’ plan is crucial. There are lots of reasons why this is important. For you, it helps to determine the state of your employee’s mental health, as well as their suitability to carry out their tasks.

For the employee, it gives them a chance to air any concerns they still may have, and any continued support they require in the future. It’s also an important form of documentation, especially if any issues crop up again. Finally, don’t forget to revisit this plan at some point in the future. Set a review date (maybe for a few months, or even a year’s time) to see how things are going.

 

 

How Taking Care Of Your Office Impacts Your Staff

 

office.jpgWe are all a lot more affected by our environment than we might realize. Particularly if it’s an environment that we’re supposed to be productive and busy in. Not enough business owners pay attention to how their workplace really affects the people working in it. However, the worse condition it’s in, the worse it will be for the staff. So here’s how you should be taking care of it.

Make it easy to take care of

First, look at the composition of the office itself. The furniture you use. For furniture, it’s a good idea to use hard surfaces like ceramic tops that are a lot easier to simply wipe clean. For the floor, consider stain-resistant carpets. The less effort it is to clean, the more likely it is to be kept that way. You don’t need any lingering marks that will stick out against an otherwise spotless office.

Get everyone to chip in

Regardless of how easy-to-clean a workplace is it’s not going to stay that way unless people put in a bit of effort. You can save yourself half the price of your cleaners if the people working there are more considerate of their environment. Getting people to pitch in to keep the office tidy has an effect on their own productivity. It can also make them have a bit more pride of place in both the workplace and the company as a whole.

Lighting is crucial

It’s more than just a mess (or lack of) that can change the feel of the working environment, however. There are other factors that play into it. Few are as important as lighting. Poor lighting is not only a poor motivator. It’s also a health concern that can lead to eyestrain and stress.

Involve as much natural lighting as you can by using minimalist window dressings like solid blinds. Use things like houseplants to add a bit of freshness to the air and work with that light. Avoid the humming, pale fluorescent lights at all costs. Those things are a productivity killer.

Map out the workload

The layout of the office matters as well. If you’re able to move resources and furniture around, you should consider it. Think of the workload of each employee. What do they need to do? Where do they need to move to get certain tasks done?

Reduce the amount of space between them and necessary work tools like filing cabinets and printers. That will reduce the amount of time and effort it takes them to get their job done.

If the office is much less fuss to tidy and deal with, then it will be tidy more often. Getting rid of clutter and mess can make employees all the more productive. Same should apply with good lighting and efficient use of space. Don’t stick them in a dreary box. Give them an office that makes them happy to work in it.

Why Mimicking Your Competitors Is a Bad Idea

 

mmWhen starting a business, competitor research is one of the first things that people tend to do. It’s a crucial part of the process as it allows you learn about the market. You can’t avoid encountering your rivals at some point, so familiarizing yourself with their work is important.

A lot of small businesses are under the impression that copying what others are doing will bring you success. This is false and can in fact be damaging to your business.

Instead of trying to mimic other people’s success and plan of using it to your advantage, you should aim to be unique. What people fail to realize is that those few businesses are successful because their original.

There is no reason why you should copy other businesses. Not in this day and age, where all the tools you could imagine are available for you.
Just because it works for them doesn’t mean it will work for you

Think of a successful business as a viral video. It’s popular because a series of events made it that way. There is no secret formula to it. It just happened. A lot of successful businesses have gotten to where they are this way. They were lucky and had a strong brand identity, which led to their success.

If you’re thinking about copying a business in hopes of reaching the same level of success that it has, your chances are slim. People will know instantly who you are trying to copy. The internet isn’t a forgiving place. All it takes is one person to dislike what you are doing and you risk losing everything.

It’s much better to be original and gain success with your own ideas. Not only will it feel much more satisfying but it will also make you stand out.

Originality makes you stand out

There’s no denying that originality can make you stand out. People are attracted to things that are different; therefore, by doing things your way you are attracting a lot of attention.

Visibility is crucial online and by doing it on your terms; you are paving your own way. Instead of relying on other people’s achievements to carry you forward, get there yourself. You don’t have to be super creative to have a solid original idea. All it takes is a tiny spark that can grow into an incredible idea.

Being successful is all about the strategy you make. Whether it’s digital marketing, social media or by getting help from a company like PRWD, you can be successful if you only try.

Running a business isn’t about mimicking other people. If you want to be successful in any field, you have to be a trendsetter. People don’t like seeing the same old stuff over and over again. If you’re not unique, people will notice and it will put them off from doing business with you. Of course, getting inspired by others is perfectly natural.

Just don’t use that inspiration to rip off another business in hopes of succeeding. Become successful on your own terms and with your own achievements. There is no greater feeling in the world than getting success due to your own work. Try it and see how great it feels.

 

Why Health and Safety Is Crucial To Every Business

 

H s.jpgHealth and safety should be one of the main concerns for all types of businesses. Especially if you’re starting a business, you will need to pay close attention to the health and safety precautions that are required of you.

Keeping health and safety in check on your premises doesn’t just affect you. It’s essential for ensuring the safety of employees, customers, and even protecting your finances. Here are some of the various reasons your business should keep health and safety in check.

It’s Legally Required

Following health and safety rules for businesses isn’t voluntary. There are legal requirements for the health and safety measures of your business. These are in place in most countries in the world, so check your national requirements to ensure your business is up to check.

The International Labour Organization has a database of occupational safety and health regulations worldwide. You should also seek advice for your company from health and safety consultants. These resources will help to ensure your business is not liable.

These laws usually include assessing and reducing workplace risks. All employees must be informed of and protected from any present risks. Neglecting to follow health and safety laws can result in a fine. Extreme cases can even result in imprisonment.

Ignoring Health and Safety Is Costly

Poor health and safety in the workplace can be costly to your business for various reasons. If your business isn’t legally up to par with health and safety, you could get fined. But there are also other ways you can lose out on profits.

If an employee becomes seriously injured at your workplace, this can put them out of work. This will cost your business a lot in productivity. If the injury is found to be your fault, you could also have a liability lawsuit on your hands.

Employees aren’t the only ones who can sue you for liability claims either. Many businesses have found themselves in legal trouble due to customers getting injured. A famous case of this is the McDonalds Hot Coffee Lawsuit. A customer took McDonalds to court after their coffee caused her third-degree burns. McDonalds were found to be at fault for serving coffee at dangerously high temperatures- a mistake which cost them over $800,000.

It Helps Your Employees Do Their Job

Paying attention to health and safety measures will prevent any employee injuries. It can also help employees continue to be productive in general.

Health and safety training is particularly important in places like factories. Factory machinery can be extremely dangerous if not operated the correct way. Employees will need to be educated on how to operate such machinery. Licenses are sometimes needed to avoid health and safety risks, such as the license to operate a forklift.

Even in retail stores, employees should be taught the correct technique for bending and lifting. This will prevent any back injuries. Those who work in offices should be informed of the dangers of being at a screen for too long, and given breaks.

It’s important to take some time to ensure health and safety measures in your work premises are taken care of. As long as no employees or customers are at risk, you’ll have nothing to worry about.

 

Are You Ready To Become A Solopreneur?

 

solo.jpgYou might be wondering about the difference between a solopreneur and an entrepreneur. It’s a good question, and the clue is in the name. A solopreneur works alone. They tend not to have investors pouring money into their company or workers to help lighten the load. Instead, they work alone as a powerful force on the market, making relationships with customers and earning a profit.

They are a freelancer for hire, and this business model has many advantages. First, there is virtually no responsibility to others. You don’t have to worry about how much you pay employees or whether investors are happy. Instead, you can focus entirely on the profits and customer satisfaction. We bet you’re now thinking about whether you’re ready to be a solopreneur. Let’s find out.

Can You Build A Brand?

These days building a brand is remarkably easy and you can do it online at a low cost. You just need to set up different sources customers can use to access your company or you. This would include social media, blogging, your website as well as any other content that you might release.

You may have a Linkedin profile so that business clients can find and hire you for their company. If you know how to setup and use these different sources, you will be able to create a brand. How popular that brand becomes depends on whether or not you can relate to customers. Entrepreneur.com has got plenty more info about business branding that you might find useful.

Connecting To Customers

If you’ve never worked at the head of business, you may want to learn how to connect and communicate with customers. Remember, the success of your business largely depends on whether you can encourage them to buy.

Doing this may not come naturally to you. A lot of business owners invest in a lot of time to gain the knowledge and experience to perfect their business persona. Who you are when you associate with clients will not necessarily be who you are in your personal life. You must know how to present yourself correctly.

You need market yourself as offering valuable services customers want. You can learn all about this on a course from a company such as Trainingconnection.com.

Filling In the Gaps

Remember, you may well be a solopreneur. However, despite the name that does not necessarily mean that you have to work completely independently. There are jobs in your business that you may want other people to take on board. For instance, you may not have the skill or experience to handle your finances.

You might think this job is easy, but when issues such as tax deductions are taken into consideration, it isn’t. It gets complicated quite quickly, and you’d be best to outsource this job. To use outsourcing companies, you need to know how to spot a business that you can trust. Otherwise, you could end up in a risky situation with your small company. Look at a site such as forbes.com for the consequences of outsourcing.

These are just some of the things you will need to know as a solopreneur. Do you think you’re ready for this new adventure?

Improve Your Performance at Work With These Epic Hacks!

 

performance.jpgPeople spend more time at work than they do at home these days. And it’s important to perform as well as possible in your job. That’s why you need ideas and suggestions to help you with this.

Use these hacks as ideas to help you improve your performance at work.

 

Change Your Role

A simple solution for improving your performance at work is to change your job role. There may be elements if your job that you really enjoy. And there may be elements that bore you or that you struggle with. Speak to your manager about the possibility of changing your role to something you find much more enjoyable.

This is bound to improve your morale, and make you more productive. Many business owners will have tips on how to increase employee productivity and performance. And a lot of this will be to do with accommodating the needs and strengths of their workers. So you’ll probably find that they will be agreeable to this.

It will play a big role in helping you deliver the best work you can. Of course, you could always quit your job and get another one. But, sometimes it’s better to stay in your job, but just change your role slightly.

Always Give 100%

The best way of improving work performance is to make sure you always give 100%. This can often be difficult when you have to perform tasks or projects you don’t enjoy. But, it’s important to always take pride in what you do.

This is how you develop a reputation as an important asset. The more effort you put into what you do, the better the quality of world will end up being. So you’ve got to be sure you always give your best. That way, even if you don’t like your job, you still give yourself the best chance of standing out.

Take the Right Amount of Time Off

All kinds of facts and statistics tell us that in order to give the best performance at work, we need time off. This helps us to refresh and recharge the batteries so we can return to work with a clear mind.

That’s why it’s estimated you should try to take a holiday from your job at least once a year. Check out how much annual leave you have and make sure you use it properly. The best thing to do would be to try to take a holiday from work a few times a year, even if you don’t go anywhere.

If you’re one of those people who’s afraid to take time off you are going to burn yourself out.

Prioritize

The secret to a successful and productive working day is to make sure you prioritize. And this is where so many people end up falling down and struggling. The best thing to do is to sit down and make a list at the start of the day of everything you need to do. Then you should take care of the most important things first.

The fact is that certain things may be constant and ongoing in your role. So prioritize the most important and time-sensitive projects, and work on them first. And don’t give yourself too much to do. Patty Azzarello cautions us, “If you’re tempted to work on everything…you will remain unremarkable”. Be sure to spend more time on the things that matter the most.

How you perform at work is important because it reflects on you in a personal and professional sense. You need to make sure you give a positive impression to your boss, as well as making yourself feel good at the same time. Now, there are a lot of things you can do to help you achieve this as much as possible.

 

Tips on How You Can Stay Motivated When Working From Home

 

workThe internet has really revolutionized how we work. There are now more and more people going freelance and working for themselves from home. Even those who are in full-time employment are now able to work from home more often as employers are keen to offer flexi-time.

But there is just one problem with working at home. Motivation! When we are in our own house, it can be super easy to procrastinate and lose all motivation. Thankfully, you can make working from home work for you if you follow these points.

Create an Office

It is super important to have your own little workspace in your house. Obviously, the best option is to make a home office. Some people like to turn their bedroom into an office. If you don’t have any spare rooms, you can simply turn a corner of your living room into a workspace.

Make sure you have ergonomic furniture so you are comfortable while you work. Things like good quality computer desks and office chairs can really help.

Remove Distractions

It’s a good idea to remove any potential distractions from your workspace. If you have a TV nearby, you might end up wasting time watching your favorite TV show! There is one big distraction that you might not be able to get completely rid of. And that’s the Internet!

There are now many cool apps that you can download onto your computer to help you from straying onto websites you shouldn’t be on while working. You’ll find that these apps can really help to improve your focus and concentration.

Give Yourself a Break

The longer you work for, the more likely your mind is to wander, and you will end up distracted. So it’s super important to give yourself plenty of breaks when you are working from home.

Even if it is just for five minutes while you grab a drink from the kitchen. Just a few minutes away from your computer screen can help your brain to refresh. Once you return to your desk, you’ll be ready to go again! Try to give yourself at least one ten-minute break for every hour that you work.

Dress the Part

So you may be spending the day working at home. But that doesn’t mean you can slack off and stay in your pajamas all day! You will find that if you wear a suit or your usual work clothes, you will be able to get into a productive mindset much easier.

It’s super important to try and get out of the ‘home’ mindset. You’ll find that putting on your suit is the quickest way to trick your mind into thinking it’s at work!

Set a Routine

You’ll have a routine in your company’s office, so you should create a routine for yourself to stick to at home. Again, this will help you get into your ‘work’ mindset. Write up schedule and make yourself stick to it. This also makes it a lot easier to fit in all your breaks to help keep you motivated!