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Setting Goals Your Employees Can and Want to Achieve in 2014

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

There are two parts to being a successful business leader. One is having the ability to dream, imagine, and think ahead. The other is ensuring those dreams become reality by making a plan, setting goals, and consistently achieving those goals. Unfortunately, the second part seems to be the more difficult of the two. According to, a survey of small business owners by Staples found that more than 80% don’t track their business goals. Not surprisingly, the survey also revealed that 77% of leaders have not achieved their company vision either.

Those two statistics highlight an important, albeit unsurprising, relationship between goals and achievements. To be successful and accomplish something worthwhile, you have to follow a plan. And when you’re referring to workplace and business success, it’s not just about you setting and working towards goals – it’s about your employees doing those things too. That’s why it’s so important to set goals that your employees can and want to achieve. Read More→

The One Thing You Have to Know Before Hiring an Intern

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Adding an intern to your team, whether for the summer or a semester, can be a great experience for both you and the person interning. However, before you make a hiring decision, or even post the opportunity, there is one question you need to ask. Is the intern position paid? The answer to that question will affect much more than just your payroll.

Unpaid internships have been an acceptable norm for many years, with college students seemingly appreciating the opportunity to add professional experience to their resumes, while businesses enjoyed the fresh ideas and extra help. But, what was once simply considered standard practice is facing increased scrutiny. Today, most students want and expect an internship to be paid, and employers who don’t offer compensation may be missing out. In an article from the National Federation of Independent Business, Jeff Allen, co-founder of and, even points out that “by not paying your intern, you will exclude a segment of the talent pool that can’t afford to spend their time in an unpaid internship.” Students aren’t the only ones expecting employers to pay up, though. Read More→

Employee Development Is More Important Than Ever

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Keeping employees happy and engaged is no easy task – just ask an HR professional or business leader. The amount of information on employee retention alone is enough to testify to the complexities of employee satisfaction. Of course, turnover and retention are hot topics right now, and for good reason. According to a Jan. 2013 CareerBuilder survey, 32% of businesses lost top talent in 2012 and 39% believe they’ll lose top performers in 2013. The survey also found that 25% of workers expect to change jobs in 2013 or 2014. That’s one out of four positions that will suffer from the lost productivity and high costs associated with turnover. And all of those stats spell trouble for employers.

The problem, though, isn’t that leaders haven’t found the connection between satisfied employees and low turnover. The issue lies in the complexity of matching what employees want with what employers can, and will, provide. The list of factors involved is daunting, with pay, benefits, culture, scheduling, and promotions, being just a few. Top employers incorporate these factors into their internal strategy, while other businesses usually just address a few. But recent research is drawing attention to one specific element within the engagement equation that’s been largely overlooked, much to the detriment of employers. Read More→

Getting the Most Out of Your Professional Organization

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

The life of a leader is usually packed full of meetings, deadlines, and responsibilities – and those are just in your professional life. It’s easy to stay chained to your desk or be hyper-focused on internal matters. But, it’s important to your company, and yourself, that you get out of the office every once in a while and mingle with other professionals. And your local professional organization is a great place to do just that.

No matter your industry or area of expertise, it’s likely that there’s a professional organization dedicated to its support and growth. According to the American Society of Association Executives, which supports trade and professional associations across the country, there were a minimum of 90,908 trade and professional associations in 2009. It’s estimated that today there are over 100,000. Whether you’re involved in one or 10, you need to make sure you’re getting the most out of your involvement. Read More→

Beyond Disengaged: The Employees You Should Be Worried About

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Since the Great Recession, employee engagement has become a hot topic in the business world. Over the last five years, research has shown that everyone is struggling with their engagement levels, and even top executives aren’t immune. A Fortune 500 executive told a Forbes reporter, “I am burned out and tired of the nonsense… I am not inspired to put in the extra hours – as I don’t have any real incentive. I just do my job well, play the political game, smile, and get my check.”

That type of disengagement isn’t good for anyone, whether an executive, administrative assistant, employer, or employee, but it shouldn’t be your biggest worry. There is another level of engagement – known as actively disengaged – that goes beyond the usual lack of passion found in unmotivated workers. This mindset is toxic and, if left unchecked, could spread and destroy your entire business. Read More→

As a business leader, you already know that employee retention and turnover are hot topics. Every week, it seems like there’s a new survey out highlighting how many employees are planning on leaving their jobs this year. And leaders across the country are growing more and more concerned. Deloitte’s Talent Edge 2020 survey revealed that 71% of business leaders are highly concerned about retaining critical talent in 2012.

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5 Tips To Keep Your Resignation Classy

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Handing in your resignation is rarely an easy task. But, whether it’s just time to move on or you’re fed up with your employer – it’s never helpful to depart on bad terms. So in the interest of keeping it classy, try following these five tips to ensure you resign with grace!

Give At Least Two Weeks’ Notice
Nothing makes a worse impression than leaving your former employer in a lurch, so offering to work at least the usual two weeks is critical. If you’re in a high-level position, you may even need to stay longer. However, if your new employer needs you immediately, make sure to explain the situation to your former employer to minimize the damage.
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5 Things to Do This Month: April 2012

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Staying attuned to what your employees are feeling, planning ahead, and honoring some of your most hard-working team members are all on the list of things you should do in April. The little time and effort you’ll need to put in at the beginning, will be well worth it in the end!

Stop the Stress
Since April is Stress Awareness Month, take a few minutes to get a feel for how stressed your team is. Sure, there will always be some tension and pressure in the workplace, but too much could be demoralizing your employees and negatively affecting their productivity. According to the American Psychological Association, over a third of workers experience regular stress in the workplace, and it’s impacting everything from employee engagement to turnover. If you find that stress levels are high, ask your team what’s causing this and see if you can fix it. Even if you can’t change the problem, you can at least offer your support, increase your encouragement, and maybe even bring them donuts to lift the mood.
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4 Signs Your Employee is Management Material

Monday, March 26th, 2012

The best managers often start lower within the ranks of a company and work their way up. There are numerous benefits to promoting and filling management positions from within your business, you just have to recognize the talent you already employ. To make that search easier, here are four key traits to look for. And, if you can find someone that exemplifies all four, then you have probably uncovered management material from right under your nose!

People Savvy
The ability to read people, react appropriately, and communicate well with others are must-have skills for leadership. Most weaknesses are easily manageable if a manager is savvy on how to handle their team. So, look for employees who hold a good rapport with their co-workers, communicate clearly in meetings, and have a talent for diffusing difficult situations.
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As a leader, it can feel like everything you think and talk about is negative. From retention worries to issues with poor leadership, there are so many problems swirling around that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless to do anything about them. But, before a leader can fix anything, they must first identify the primary threat they are facing. That’s why, in our February poll question, we asked business leaders to pinpoint the top threat facing their business today.

The survey results showed that not all businesses have the same primary problem. The threat of poor leadership was the most common with 35% of leaders choosing it as their top issue. Another quarter of respondents said employee engagement was their main threat, followed by retention of top talent at 18%. Increased government regulations came in fourth with 14%, and ineffective hiring was the least common with 8%.
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