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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 July 18, 2019

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

Better Job Offers

Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

A Shot at Entrepreneurship

Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

1. Update Your Resume

You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

To hone this skill:

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Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

To hone this skill:

Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

To hone this skill:

Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

How to hone this skill:

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Practice being resourceful.

Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

How to hone this skill:

Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

How to hone this skill:

Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

How to hone this skill:

Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

How to hone this skill:

Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

How to hone this skill:

Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

How to hone this skill:

All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

12. Build Networks and Relationships

You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

How to hone this skill:

Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

Final Thoughts

Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

Happy career switching!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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