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5 Perks Every Entrepreneur Should Offer To Their Employees

5 Perks Every Entrepreneur Should Offer To Their Employees

As an entrepreneur running a start-up business, attracting and retaining top talent is essential. While new businesses are often short on cash, one way to achieve this is to offer market-leading perks that employees would not be able to do without.

In this post, we’ll look at five great perks for employees that every forward-thinking entrepreneur should offer to their team to ensure they attract and retain the best team members.

1. A Gym Membership

Reducing sickness in the office is something that businesses have been struggling with for years. But the simple fact is that fit and healthy employees tend to be happier and less likely to take time off than their less energetic counterparts.

Many roles at start-ups are sedentary, meaning employees usually spend the vast majority of their time sitting at their desks, making it difficult to stay naturally active. That issue can be compounded when employees commute by car, and they may end up getting very little exercise at all.

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Offering a gym membership to your employees can be a great way to empower your team to get fit and healthy. Cost can be a barrier to getting in the gym, so with this removed, it’s much easier to give it a go.

Some employers take it even further by organizing team sports after work, such as a company softball team, yoga, or spin sessions. These are great ways of getting your team into a healthy habit as well as an excellent team building opportunity.

2. A Personalized Workspace

For most start-ups, there’s lots to do, so roles are very demanding, with team members likely to spend upwards of 50 or 60 hours in the office to meet deadlines! As a result it’s important to ensure your office is a genuinely nice place to be.

That doesn’t just mean having a nice looking office, it means allowing your team to add a personal touch to their workspace so it feels like their own. In fact, in a recent survey, 63% of employees agreed this was important to them.

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That could mean letting your employees choose their office chair, set up their own notice board, add some photos and other personal items, or even spec out their workstation so they have gear that they enjoy working on.

3. A Chance To Socialize

Being able to get to know the team is another important factor when it comes to running a successful business. Team social events really helps to build a sense of camaraderie among your employees, which improves job satisfaction. It also means team members who get along with one another are more likely to want to stay in the business – as leaving a great team would be another one of the things they’d miss out on if they left.

This could involve team trips to the bar at the end of each month, or parties to celebrate the launch of a new campaign, project, or feature. Part of your marketing and PR strategy may involve entering industry awards, so why not bring the whole team to the awards ceremony to give them a chance to reap the rewards and feel instrumental in the company’s success?

You could also offer other social events such as barbecues for employees and their families, meals out after work, or tickets to the latest cinema releases for groups of employees who’ve worked particularly hard to get a project completed.

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4. Flexible Hours

For many office based roles, it’s no longer necessary to have to work in the office for set hours, particularly if your team is not customer-facing and does not need to be reachable during standard business hours.

The fact is that business hours aren’t always the most productive, as some employees are morning people, some are night people. On top of that, commutes can be so much quicker by avoiding the times of day that the majority of people travel. Offering flexible hours can help employees get the most from their day as a result.

On top of that, it offers better job satisfaction by letting employees schedule their work around their lives, not the other way around. That could mean taking the kids to school or working from home to make a dentist appointment at midday.

Ultimately, your employees are trusted to make important decisions about your business, so isn’t it time to let them start taking control of their own schedule?

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5. No Arbitrary Vacation Allowances

As Richard Branson argued back in 2014, flexible working has revolutionized how and where we do our jobs, so why do we still stick to strict annual leave policies? Inspired by Netflix, Virgin went ahead and scrapped arbitrary vacation allowances. Instead, the focus is put on what work employees get done, not hours worked over the entire year.

Naturally for small companies, there are some limits – the business must be able to support employees taking time off. As a result, unlimited holidays may be offered provided the business can handle a particular employee taking time off. That might mean a developer taking a day off as a hard earned break after completing a lengthy project, or allowing employees to schedule holiday time, provided there is someone with their skill set available to cover for them.

But taking time off is not just a benefit for the employee, it’s a benefit for the employer too. Vacations offer a chance for employees to gain some down time, de-stress and clear their heads. This often results in the employee returning refreshed and re-energized with new ideas, as well as avoiding burnout, which can lead to long term sickness.

As a result, many forward thinking companies encourage employees to take the time off that they’re entitled to, to help foster a happy and productive team.

Featured photo credit: Kevin Curtis via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

“When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

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But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

4. Use Your Phone Wisely

Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

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One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

6. Use a “To Don’t” List

We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

8. Be Concise

Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

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Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

  • Making new contacts
  • Talking about yourself at a job interview
  • Meeting people at conferences or parties
  • Phone calls to new clients

9. Ask the Right Questions

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

10. Learn as Much as You Can

You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

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If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

The Bottom Line

The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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