2021 Investment Updates: Managing Uncertainty

Raise your hand if you predicted 2020 would see a global pandemic, massive unemployment caused by the first ever government mandated economic shut down in history, a highly contested election, and a stock market recovery from the lows that was amongst the strongest in U.S. history, all in the same year? Ok, put your hand down, there is always one in a crowd! While the calendar has turned all the pages of 2020, there are many differing opinions as to the current health of the U.S. economy and financial markets, have they come too far too soon, what effects will government stimulus and economic dislocations have on the financial markets in 2021 and beyond?

Widespread uncertainty in 2020 failed to dampen the outlook and recovery of equities in Q2 and Q3 2020, record low interest rates were certainly the fuel and spark the markets needed, however the markets took a pause in early Q4 as election chaos gave investors pause, until positive vaccine news once again provided the spark in November 2020. Stocks across the board have risen to new heights, awakening even value stocks from their multiyear slumber. However, following such an impressive rise some on Wall Street believe the rally has come too far too soon, prompting calls of a “bubble” in both stocks and bonds.

While it is our opinion that we are not currently experiencing a bubble in equities, we will grant that the most striking characteristic of economic bubbles, the very thing that fuels their existence is our blindness to them! Perhaps we should first define what a bubble is, one definition of a bubble is that an assets price rises rapidly to the point of being disconnected from any reasonable measure of its inherent value. This is typically caused by emotional inertia driving future expectations higher causing an implausible gap between price and value, some might say Bitcoin! Just an observation largely based perhaps on an inability to make a case for its value given many still can’t even determine if it’s a currency or a commodity! If it’s a currency there is not, and cannot ever be enough in supply to serve this role, if it’s to be viewed as a commodity similarly to gold or silver, I’ve yet to find anything that requires Bitcoin in its manufacture. It may very well continue its explosive price ascent, but attempts to determine “what it’s worth” have been difficult, if not futile.

One asset class where we believe weakness will continue is bonds; with rates at record lows and significantly elevated federal spending to support the economy as well as fund party pledges, we are aware the Fed’s desire is to keep short term rates at low levels, this does not preclude the free markets from pulling the intermediate and long end of the yield curve higher. This realization may seem unsettling to some investors, however, if the economy does start to show better growth in the second half of 2021 as we expect it will, we will likely see rates rise and bond prices fall. Alpha Fiduciary has focused on bond allocations largely supported by real assets or special circumstances which we believe are preferable to own, relative to traditional fixed rate bonds, in rising rate environments.

Finally, earning season will likely provide support for stocks as we begin to see the world return to a more normal operating environment, it would not surprise us to see at least a temporary surge in economic growth before settling in to a more gradual and sustainable GDP growth in the 2.5% range as pent-up demand is satisfied in 2021.

While we don’t think most longer-term investors should underweight stocks in this environment, we favor a core/tactical approach to equities as we believe this presents an attractive upside capture while posed to potentially reduce downside exposure should factors signal to reduce equity exposure in the event it’s warranted.

There are many different approaches to the tactical management of equities, designed and employed with the goal to gain exposure to asset classes when they are rising, and to reduce exposure to those asset classes to limit or reduce downside capture.

If you would like to discover if Alpha Fiduciary’s wealth management approach can benefit you, please visit Alphafiduciary.com, or call us at 480-505-4033.

Alpha Fiduciary is a SEC registered investment advisory firm.  This blog is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as personalized investment advice and should not be considered as a solicitation to buy or sell any security or investment advisory service.    Please refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website (www.adviserinfo.sec.gov) to review our Form ADV Brochure for more information.                                              

http://www.alphafiduciary.com

Payroll Management for Medium Or Small Business – All you need to know

It may be challenging to search for a payroll solution but it’s a need, as a lot of work on payroll management is in the mind of startups or small businesses. Onboarding payments and prioritizing the hiring of the worker is what employers’ first step but eventually, they have to pay their employers for taking their services.

On how to deal with their crucial process of payroll management, every small or medium business will be given a choice. As per the requirements, features, cost, and other related factors, companies will select from the below-mentioned options.

  • Hiring accountants
  • Manual processing
  • Utilizing a payroll management software

It is always advisable to make an informed decision, doesn’t matter how your team plans to go regarding payrolls.

There are various ways with the use of which a small or medium business can run payroll. Let’s see how manual payroll management and payroll management software works.

Manual Payroll Management:

Payroll management doesn’t hurt if the company is fewer than ten people. It becomes easy to manually calculate taxes and pay stubs, pretending that you are aware of every withholding and deductions. Whether you are calculating PF or deducting leaves, every time getting a correct value of deduction can be very critical. In case the subtraction of payroll tax payments is done incorrectly then it may lead to very serious problems.

But these days there is the availability of basics of payroll management on the internet as a video or blog, all you have to do is search for the right tools and learn from it.

It is always useful to use an excel sheet or a calculator when manually calculating the payroll. It sounds easy this way but handling the payroll on your own is very tricky. With the work comes the liability as well. If not done with accuracy, the computation of salary payable with the use of a calculator can lead to various errors on the payroll.

You must be aware of all the deductions and payroll solutions but one incorrect amount can modify the complete end result and that can be very hazardous.

Now, here comes the payroll management software that can minimize the day’s work in just a single click. Therefore, selecting the right payroll solution would be a perfect solution.

Payroll Management Software:

For medium and small businesses, a detailed payroll setup is very valuable. The only problem that occurs is how to search for the best payroll solution.

A payroll solution can save you from high school mathematics and take care of even little details that are beneficial to add.

Keeping the track of all the leaves taken by an employee to adjust the leave balance and deduction of wages based on these details is done by intuitive payroll service.

The best part of this sort of software is that you don’t have to worry regarding the latest updates in government policies or income tax deductions as payroll services like TriNet’s payroll services will update it automatically.  So now you know how beneficial the online payroll management software or service is.

Last Words

Going for an online payroll service is anytime beneficial as it saves time as compared to manual payroll management. For the entire company in just a few clicks, you can easily process payroll online. The best part is they are not at all expensive and are available easily online. You only need to keep in mind that the online service you avail for payroll management must-have features like automatic generation of paystubs, assistance in tax form completion, easy integration with in-house software, and direct deposit. If they have then an online payroll solution is the best one for you.

Insurances to Preserve Your Business’s Value

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

  • Anais Nin

By the time an entrepreneur starts a business, s/he exposes herself/himself to a set of risk factors. Even before you hire the first-ever employee, your entity is at risk. This factor makes it essential to insure the business using the right plan.

Most small or mid-sized businesses start with BOP (business owner’s policy), which insures all the business’s basic needs. The most common types of insurance covered in this policy type are –

  1. Business income insurance
  2. General liability insurance
  3. Commercial property insurance

Many business insurance agencies offer customizable business owners’ policies or insurance plans. This gives the liberty to choose a plan with maximum or minimum covers within a predefined budget.

Importance of securing your business –

A catastrophic incident like a lawsuit is enough to ruin your business’s entire reputation in seconds. Be it the lawsuit regarding company policies or client contract breach, it leaves a major impact on the venture’s financial condition. Here, one needs to safeguard the business with an insurance plan preserving your entity from external damages.

Business insurance plans suitable for almost every business type –

Liability insurance – Also referred to as errors and omissions insurance, the professional liability insurance plan covers a business entity against any negligence claim that may hamper the reputation of the business. The most common types of negligence claims on a business are mistakes or unexpected failure to deliver services. As such, there is no one-size-fits-all procedure in professional liability insurance. Here, every business addresses its own set of customized policies.

Workers’ compensation insurance – Once you have hired the first-ever employee at your workplace, you, as a business owner, become eligible for availing workers’ compensation insurance plan. This covers the medical treatments, death benefits, and disability in employees. The employees are eligible to avail of the claim even if they perform a low-risk job with medical conditions like tunnel syndrome. This can be a pricey claim to bear. Therefore, one must pay attention to the details and terms of a workers’ compensation insurance before handing over the insurance proofs.

Property insurance – No matter you have purchased or have your office property on lease, you would need to have property insurance for both. This insurance type covers the business’s signage, equipment, furniture, and inventory effectively. Here, mass destruction incidents like earthquakes or floods are not covered. According to the standard policy rules, this may vary depending on the insurance plan type. So, just in case your office location is earthquake-prone, then make sure to insure it separately.

Vehicle insurance – There are businesses where the employees use company vehicles to accomplish the field jobs. Here, the business must get auto insurance for all the vehicle issues for its employees. Auto insurance should protect the business against any liability or accident. This industry’s experts recommend going for insurance against third-party injury or comprehensive insurance, which covers the vehicle damages done in the accident. And just in case the employees are using their own vehicles for remote office tasks, those have to be covered by the business at its own cost.

Product liability insurance – This is when you are a product manufacturer bringing new products to the market. If your business manufactures products and puts them on sale for the general public, this type of insurance is a must for your business. One of the biggest examples of this insurance type is – J&J talcum powder lawsuit. It made the giant brand pay a hefty amount to many who raised questions about its talcum powder. The product liability insurance saved the business from damage, making it easy for the brand to neglect any negative impact on its business reputation.

Home-based businesses – Many entrepreneurs prefer to start their venture with minimal investment. Therefore, go for a home-based business setup. With this, they consider it to be saving some money, but that’s not the case in real life. Unfortunately, the homeowner’s business policies do not cover the home-based business. So, if you are running your business from home, consult your insurer and find out which business insurance type would work the best for you.

Business interruption insurance – Be it losing a client or a catastrophic incident, both can damage the business’s reputation in no time. Here, one needs to have business interruption insurance to safeguard the business from unexpected problems. During the adverse phase, businesses often suffer lost income due to the staff members’ inability. This insurance type is applicable to all companies requiring a physical location to commence the operations. One of the biggest examples of this insurance type is a retail store or booth.

The business interruption insurance helps to compensate the business for the lost income suffered during the adverse event. Here, the business can avoid any financial loss due to a lawsuit. This insurance type’s documentation process may vary based on the business nature.

Business income insurance – There are times when a business cannot proceed further due to the property damages done. In such circumstances, a business income insurance plan proves to be of great help. It helps to replace the lost income while helps to cover the ongoing expenses of the business. Generally, this includes – payroll, rent, and utility bills.

Data breach insurance helps a business respond against a data breach case. Many insurers refer to this as a coverage cyber insurance plan. It offers identity theft monitoring services as well.

The bottom line –

Owning and maintaining the business’s reputation comes with a lot of responsibilities and efforts. This requires looking through the different ways to support the financial state while looking upon your business type’s best insurance plans. Here you can seek assistance from a business advisor if required.

Strategies for Finding Supply Chain Talents

If your basic recruiting strategy involves posting an opening and praying to get the right applicants, you are shooting yourself in the foot. There are lots of high performers who are content with their current positions and rarely surf job boards. You definitely can’t attract their attention by placing a job advert.

In order to meet the hiring demands within a tight labor market, you need fresh sourcing tactics that go beyond posting jobs. We will show you how to improve your chances of attracting and recruiting the best supply chain talents.

1. Engage the Services of a Recruiter in the Supply Chain Field

Is your company small or medium-sized? Are you struggling to fill key positions and it is affecting your business? Then one of your option should consider hiring a supply chain recruiting firm because your business may not have the capacity to hire full-time recruiters.

Ensure you conduct research about the firm, both online and through the people you know. This will help you determine whether the recruiter is the right one for your business. Some recruiting firms specialize by geographic area, job level, function, and industry while others recruit across all disciplines and industries.

2. Utilize Paid Tools for Recruiting

You could consider paying for tools that can help you expand the way you reach out to potential candidates for a job. You could use tools like LinkedIn to get access to all members of the network. You can search and filter for candidates according to the job criteria. The tool also offers an option of sending a direct message to help you connect with the candidates.

3. Network with Associations in the Industry

There are various associations that are related to the supply chain industry. They include MHI, ISM, CSMP, and APICS. You could consider sponsoring meetings for a local chapter, then send key members in your organization to attend global or national conferences. They can scout for talents there.

Furthermore, some associations have an online directory that could facilitate networking. This provides another means of finding top talents. When you network with associations in the industry, you are creating awareness for your business. On the other hand, you are expanding your network.

You may otherwise not know when someone is looking for another career opportunity. But through your network, you will be among the first to hear.

You can click here to get more info about top associations in the supply chain industry.

4. Develop a Program for Employee Referral

In most firms, candidate referral is the major source of hires. Therefore, developing a program for employment referral is a sure way of improving the quantity and quality of applicant flow in your firm. The HR personnel and your recruiter can lead the program while the most senior executive in the supply chain department will sponsor it.

You can run this program manually, but you could consider automating the process for better results. It will also help you to keep track of hires and referral sources. Providing incentives like a vacation offer or cash could help to produce better results, too.

5. Partner with Supply Chain Learning Institutes

There are different learning institutes that offer degree programs in supply chain. You could partner with them for entry-level openings. Ensure that the institute’s program aligns with your company’s requirements, company culture, and values.

You could attend the institute’s job fairs and develop a rapport with your potential hires. You could also develop a relationship with the staff members of the institute such as professors who teach courses on supply chain management. They usually know the best students in every class.

Additionally, ensure you post job openings in each institute, outlining the advantages of working in your organization. As soon as you hire entry-level applicants from those institutes, you can send them back to the institutes to recruit more students for your company.

Furthermore, you can connect with the students early while waiting for their graduation. This strategy will help to nurture a relationship such that the students will place your company at the top of their list when thinking about companies to target.

You may want to check out https://www.inboundlogistics.com/cms/article/a-hire-purpose-11-strategies-to-recruit-supply-chain-talent/ to find more hiring strategies.

Conclusion

The tips shared in this article are proven strategies that smart employers use when targeting top talents in the field of supply chain. You can merge them with your previous strategies for optimum results.

How To Provide Better Client Service At Your Business

Your clients are the foundation of your business and you need them to be happy and satisfied for long-term success. It’s not only important to continue to win over new clients but to also retrain and keep the old ones.

There are ways to provide better client service at your business so you can get and stay ahead. Your job will become less stressful and there will be fewer fires to put out when your clients are pleased with your service. Let these ideas inspire you to want to do better and work even harder so you can increase sales and keep customers coming back time and time again.

Be Available

No one wants to work with a business owner who’s never around or is hard to get a hold of. You can provide better client service at your business by being available and ready to respond to those who require your attention. For example, you can get detailed information here realjustice.com, about how personal injury lawyers handle their clients and how they successfully satisfy their needs.

If you give your clients multiple channels and ways to get in touch with you then make sure there’s someone on the other end to respond promptly. If someone is unhappy or needs help then make sure you address it and connect with them instead of look the other way.

Travel to Your Clients

Another way to provide better client service at your business is to travel to your clients and meet with them in person. Sometimes it’s better to have conversations in-person and get a better feel for how someone views you and your business. If you’re driving a lot for work it’s important that you get plenty of sleep and follow the rules of the road to avoid an accident. Make sure you service your company car regularly and eliminate distractions when you’re traveling to your client location. Get in touch with a personal injury attorney should you get into an auto accident and don’t believe you were at fault and need assistance with your case.

Solve Problems Quickly

Customers don’t want to sit around waiting and wondering when you’ll get back to them with answers. Therefore, make it a point to solve problems quickly and not let them linger on for too long. Come up with policies and procedures that help you achieve this goal and so you’re always consistent with your practices. If you don’t have the answers right away then let the client know this and tell them specifically when you’ll be following up with a solution.

Train Your Employees

Provide better customer service at your business by training your employees so everyone is on the same page. You want anyone who picks up the phone or responds to an email to do so correctly and with the right language and a solution that’s acceptable. The better trained your employees are in the area of customer service the happier your clients are going to be because your staff members will be knowledgeable and quick to resolve issues.

Conclusion

These are a few ways to provide better client service at your business and ensure your customers are happy with you. You’ll receive more positive reviews for it and be able to build trust and improve your brand reputation when you follow through with these suggestions. 

Grow your Organization with Mac- Best Business Features

The Mac is a perfect product for business owners and creative professionals. The enhanced hardware, security, and long-lasting battery make it a great system for business. Today, many of the latest Apple laptops in the market keep up with the blend of style, portability, convenience, and power.

Apple is constantly upgrading its features and improving the new OS. These features offer several exquisite choices that help keep the work organized and efficient than ever. The availability of its ideal features for business owners makes it the finest choice. Take a look at these business-friendly features to boost up your progress.

Dark Mode

If you have been longing for a dark mac screen interface, there is an optional dark mode, which you can switch in your System Preferences. It impacts the entire system from Apple’s apps like Photos and iTunes to all of your windows.

The apps like Mail, Messages, Maps, Calendar, and Photos are also open to third-party apps. Dark Mode especially works like magic for artists, designers, and professional photographers. It even works in Apple’s programming environment Xcode, which makes coding much simpler on the eyes.

Battery Life

Apple claims an all-day battery life on the MacBook Air. This means 12 hours of battery life without wireless web use. It also offers up to 13 hours of iTunes movie playback. But you can also stumble upon the list of problems on the battery life.

The issues can be avoided by taking preventive measures. Good battery life is one of the standout business features of the MacBook. The battery capacity is at the same level as the longest-lasting laptops on the market.

Quick Look

Quick Look is a wonderful time-saving feature, which lets you match a document without having to launch an app or opening a new file. You can take the advantage of it by just pressing the spacebar.

This feature helps you to execute Quick Actions to mark up or edit files. For example, inserting a signature into a document, rotating a photo, trimming a video, or performing other actions to the file’s format.

Touch ID and security

Apple creates a fingerprint sensor into the keyboard, allowing you to unlock the computer without any delay. It loosens up from the hassle of typing a password. It not only protects your biometric and personal information but also protects you from Touch ID information. Analyzes software to ensure that nothing has tampered with. It provides data encryption for everything stored on your SSD.

Stacks

You come across a situation when you switch on your system and confront a desktop full of unsorted icons. Stacks feature offers you an automatic arrangement for the files based on document types such as images, PDFs, spreadsheets, photos, and movies.

To better organize your products, you can also classify them by date created, added, modified, or last opened, or by tags. On clicking on a stack, you see an expanded view of all its contents. Converging back into the stack is as easy as clicking the stack arrow.

Having edgy features, the MacBook is designed for worker’s bee. Keeping this in mind, these systems have all those features that business users should have. 

6 Ways To Support Employees Like Never Before

In this modern world where there is so much heartache due to the pandemic, business owners have to take on a newer type of responsibility. They must play a more active role in the care and progression of their employees. No longer, is just giving them a good healthcare plan enough.

No, now you must be able to show them that you care about their mental health, their professional growth, their understanding of management roles, being able to collaborate with others businesses and more especially, their clients that they work with on a daily basis. Helping employees has evolved into a totally different aspect of the professional workplace.

Business owners now have to become mentors, teachers, friends and even equals in some areas, to their employees. Here are some ways in which you can achieve this.

Provide flexibility

Working from home is going to become the norm for many professionals. Recent estimates show that in the future, about 10-20% of the workforce in modern nations, will be those that work from home. Remote working and working from home are the same things, but these titles have to be merged now. A remote worker was once seen as an extra or freelance role. Working from home is pretty much what we have all been doing since the pandemic. But in the future, millions of people will be doing their job from home, for most of the time. Some say it could be 3 days out of the 5-day working week; showing up in person, for meetings and presentations of reports etc.

So how can you be more flexible? Consider all the roles you have, and choose which of those could be done from home. More workers are saying they want flexible working hours, so jobs which don’t have to be done in the normal 9-to-5 should be considered for remote worker roles. Your admin teams could work from home, spotting problems and presenting solutions and doing research about improvements in internal systems, from their home office. Can you offer more flexible working hours and more remote working opportunities? Then be more flexible and offer it to your workers.

Working closely with clients

Employees work with clients very closely. More often than not, one or a group of people handle specific queries and calls, from clients. Whether they are investors, B2B clients or other, clients should be seen as opportunities for your employees to build relationships with. But don’t your employees already do that? Well, of course, they do; but not on the level that they could enjoy.

  • Allow employees that have a good reputation and are mild-mannered, to have breakfast meetings with their client. If it helps to keep a client happy, informed and made to feel cared for, an employee that has struck up a relationship with that client can be offloaded to handle them personally. This is so valuable when you have a small team.
  • Allow employees to build a client profile. This takes time but when you know a client inside and out, you can pinpoint the types of purchases they make, the things they like about you and the areas which they would like to see improvement.
  • Employees that have built up a relationship with a client, shouldn’t be separated from them if possible. Too many companies are happy to break this link when a client is finally onboard. The person that got them to come on board should continue to keep them on your side.

Specialism progression

Employees should be given the opportunity to progress in their chosen specialism. Many of your staff would like to stay as they are. They love their job and they may not see or want any need to progress into a chosen field. But many employees would love to start venturing into unique and often, complex disciplines. For example, an employee in your marketing department may want to learn more about social media marketing. A design employee might want to learn new software that could be used by your company in future. A financial employee might want to learn more about risk management, etc. 

But how do you go about offering this? Your best bet is to work with industry experts that do this for a living. Various firms offer in-house employee training programs which can be implemented with their help. Or, they can show up to your place of work and train employees in person. They can also send your employees to visit their offices. CTC or corporate training companies offer courses in every area. Make contact with a CTC that operates in your industry to see what your options are.

Better healthcare

Every company that wants to keep its employees happy, will not just have basic coverage, but great basic coverage. There is a difference! If you look at this affordable health insurance from TrueCoverage, you see how this is possible. Emergency services are covered, as well as prescription drugs. If your employees are hospitalized and or need lab tests to find out what is going on with them, this is a plan that covers all of it. They also have some pediatric services, such as dental and vision care. And of course, perhaps one of the most important services of mental health is offered too. This should not be understated in its importance. 

If your employees have deeply hidden problems such as drug abuse and they need preventative or rehabilitation services, this plan also covers these areas. As you can see, a comprehensive basic coverage plan is well worth it. You’re not just taking care of your employees when something happens to them at work, but everyday life outside of work too.

Regular communication

Now that we’re working from home, we as business owners have found out how important regular communication is. We are using Zoom and other software for video calling online, but, it’s just not the same! In-person face to face conversations will never be replaced. This period of reflection should give you time to consider how you could improve the latter. You’d be surprised at how much employees would love it if you just talked to them more regularly.  

  • General chit chat. Yes, employees love it when their boss tries to talk about everyday things with them! There’s nothing sadder than a boss that tries to talk about last night’s football game and not actually knowing anything about it. So, don’t try to just start a conversation, want to start it! 
  • Speak to your employees about their ideas. Set aside some time in your meetings to just open the floor. This could be with managers or just, regular employees. Usually, your meetings will be limited to just management. However, you could ask managers to give your feedback from your wider workforce.
  • Take the time to explain your reasoning behind decisions. You will be shocked at how understanding employees are when you explain why you made a tough decision that is negatively impacting them. Explain to them in person, why you want them to work longer hours. Maybe something went wrong during a project and now you have to catch up on lost time. Just be honest and talk to them, don’t give them a notice or late working days.

Reward employees

This is by certainly not the least bit of worry for most business owners. They don’t really worry about ‘rewards’ because they believe their paying a worker a salary is enough. Wrong, it’s not. Sure you will keep an employee satisfied, but you can’t buy loyalty with a salary for some of your most talented workers. They know that they could go to work for your competition for a higher salary if they are really that great. So rewards have to play a big part in keeping them on board and interested in staying for a long time.

  • Recognize hard work. If an employee really hit it out of the park for a particular job or project, give them some kind of reward. Whether it’s an extra week off with paid leave or just a round of applause and recognition. 
  • Bonuses at the end of the year are always looked forward to. But, you could give your employees a bonus during the year too. If they have worked very hard, you could give them a financial bonus with their monthly salary payment.
  • Give an employee something they could use in their normal life. A pair of boots, leather gloves, a gift card for a high-quality ham, turkey or duck, or maybe a gift voucher for a spa visit. Something of this nature that makes them feel special.
  • Invite them to the executive office where they can meet the most senior-ranked C-suite roles. Giving them a moment to meet the top team and showing them that we’re watching and enjoying their success, is a real motivator.

Supporting your employees has become more complex, more involved and more crucial to keeping them happy and loyal. This pandemic has shown us that we should start to really fight for our workforce and cherish them like never before.

9 Tips to Boost Your Employees’ Productivity and Happiness

Several successful business people opine that employees are vital to their success just like customers, making it crucial to satisfy them. It is no secret that employees’ morale can significantly impact their work output.

Research from The Conference Board reveals that 53% of Americans are unhappy at work, necessitating that you seek practical solutions to make your workforce happier and more productive.

So, do you want to learn about ways to keep your workers happy for increased productivity? Consider the following tips.

1. Delegate

Delegation is a vital tool to employ if you want to increase your workers’ productivity and happiness. Several business owners typically fall into the cycle of taking on more responsibility than they should because they want a direct hand in all company’s affairs.

However, this only leaves your employees as unengaged bystanders, which will soon make them bored and unproductive. Therefore, delegate tasks to qualified employees to ease your burden while keeping your employees productive. 

Delegation also presents employees with opportunities to gain valuable leadership experience and skills to grow into valuable company assets.

Business experts recommend merely letting go of specific tasks that your employees can execute while dealing with important things personally.

Also, implement an excellent hiring process based on experience and potential to gain competent workers who can handle delegated tasks effectively.

2. Effective communication

Businesses with many employees and several hierarchies often struggle to maintain adequate business communications. However, it is common knowledge that effective communication is crucial to any business’ success.

It would be best if you articulated expectations to employees at all levels to keep them engaged and productive. Although technology has some positive impacts on communication, many experts advise against over-reliance on technological platforms because unproductive communication still occurs on these platforms. 

For example, a McKinsey study discovered that emails took 28% of workers’ time, making it the second most time-consuming employee tasks aside from official duties. Therefore, encourage the occasional use of a quick phone call or short meeting to settle issues without having to endure too many emails.

Effective communication builds a robust company culture that engages workers and improves knowledge sharing. Interacting also improves open and positive inter-departmental communication across all levels, so you should prioritize this to increase employee productivity. 

3. Improve workplace conditions

Several studies have established a strong link between employee satisfaction and workplace conditions. Therefore, providing a comfortable and safe working environment is another strategy you should try to boost employee satisfaction and productivity around the office.

Experts advise that you keep stress low among employees by monitoring and regulating their work activities and encouraging regular breaks. 

Also, revamping the office can ease stress and boost productivity. Adding lively colors, some plants, a ping pong table, etc., are all worth considering to relieve stress. Improving the workplace’s physical condition is also necessary to make workers productive.

Replace low flickering lights with brighter ones or opt for natural lighting, add comfortable seating, and give them better equipment and tools to carry out their duties more effectively. Finally, ensure that there are no known hazards around the workplace that directly endanger employee safety and health.

Getting hit by falling objects, slips and falls, and damage from defective equipment are some of the most common types of personal injury accidents employees suffer. Ensure that you create a safer environment to prevent lawsuits and disgruntled workers.

4. Encourage remote working

Remote working has become popular in many business’ work cultures for good reasons. Aside from saving on the costs of office space and office supplies, remote working does wonders for your workforce too. According to research, remote workers are better engaged, more productive, have more quality output, and take less sick leave.

Employees commonly cite their absence from loud working environments as central to their increased productivity away from the workplace. Being closer to family and not having to commute daily also boost worker productivity.

Happiness due to the flexibility that remote working allows for is also widespread among employees outside the office. As such, encourage work-from-home arrangements and other remote working options for your workforce to keep them productive and happy and for optimum results.

5. Reduce workplace distractions

A reported three out of four workers admit to feeling distracted at work. Workplace distractions manifest commonly as checking smartphones, using the internet and social media for other things other than work, and office gossip. E-mails, noisy co-workers, meetings, and an extended snack or smoke break are also frequent causal factors of workplace distractions.

All these are bad for productivity because even the slightest attention loss can cause employees to take longer to finish tasks and churn out substandard work quality. 

Consequently, take proactive measures to reduce distractions around your office for increased productivity. Many business owners recommend instituting regular breaks to re-energize your workforce and keep them attentive. 

Also, reduce visual distractions around the office by encouraging decluttered desks because a disorganized table is a prime employee distractor. Constant mandatory meetings can also be a significant workforce distraction.

Reputed Tech billionaire, Elon Musk, says that he prefers short and infrequent meetings to reduce workplace distraction. He also limits meetings at his famous Tesla company to six people, allowing other employees not contributing anything valuable to the discussion to walk away. Therefore, consider adopting this strategy around your workplace to keep workers engaged and productive.

6. Incentivize your workers

Worker incentives are a popular productivity-boosting technique that many of the world’s most successful companies use. So, consider adopting this strategy to replicate its proven success. Tesla employees save up to 35% off at the movies.

Other giants like Facebook and Google are also famous for offering perks like massage rooms and complimentary haircuts. These little positive reinforcers are influential in boosting worker productivity because motivation and satisfaction are key drivers of a productive worker.

You can also use incentives to motivate your employees because, contrary to popular opinion, they aren’t too hard to please. For some, a simple “thank you” after a job well done may be enough to boost employee morale.

You can also give day-offs, a bonus or raise, or take the workforce to lunch or dinner. Even simple gestures like handwritten notes and merely allowing them to leave work early for a week can convey appreciation enough to boost productivity and happiness, so consider incentives to better engage your workforce.

7. Encourage a better work-life balance for workers

Many business experts agree that the most positive workplaces allow for more employee work-life balance, translating into improved productivity and worker happiness.

This phenomenon is because workers who don’t view the job as a chore work harder, make fewer mistakes, and are more likely to become brand advocates. A healthy work-life balance also leads to fewer health problems, increased engagement, fewer burnouts, and more mindfulness. 

You can improve work-life balance among your workforce by encouraging adequate vacations, extended maternity and paternity leaves, etc. Also, consider having reasonable, flexible work hours for employees to work instead of sticking to a rigid 9-5 schedule.

Doing all this will create an environment where workers feel connected to your business through positive work experiences. Therefore, encourage employees to find the right work-life balance to boost their productivity and happiness. 

8. Train and develop employees

After screening and hiring workers, improving their expertise by teaching them the necessary skills for the job is also essential to improving productivity.

Training is critical for output because teaching employees prevents them from accomplishing tasks independently in the initial stages. As time passes, however, these employees will save you from correcting basic mistakes and answering simple questions because they can execute tasks without guidance. 

There are several skills that you can help workers to polish. From everyday skills like typing or using a spreadsheet to more significant ones like effective time management for their work, focus on adding value to your workforce to make them happier and more productive.

A 2013 study in the International Journal of Science and Research indicates that training benefits employers and their employees alike, so prioritize training your workers to improve their capacity and boost productivity.

9. Clarify all goals and targets

Your workers can’t be efficient without goals and targets to aim for, making it crucial to set your business goals as a guide. It would be best to involve employees throughout the goal-setting process to inspire commitment to the set targets.

Multiple experts recommend setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) goals. Ask yourself whether assigned employee tasks fit within any of these requirements, and consider tweaking the work to help workers stay efficient. Also, link individual goals to business objectives to improve worker productivity. 

Linking your company’s goals with everyday business objectives to form team performance goals will make employees more efficient. This increased efficiency manifests due to employees identifying their individual goals and the roles they have to play in your business’ big picture, encouraging accountability and higher performance.

Remember, setting goals without measuring them is counterproductive, so always outline your goals to present you with a tangible standard to track, evaluate, and improve employee productivity. 

Pitfalls Fresh-Faced Entrepreneurs Need To Avoid Like The Plague

The world of entrepreneurship is anything but straightforward. If you’re not careful, you can get burned. And when that happens, it can lead to a massive loss of faith that other people place in you. VCs can suddenly pull up the drawbridge and start denying you funds, leaving you out in the cold. 

So what are these pitfalls? And how do you avoid them as an entrepreneur? Let’s take a look. 

Failing To Conduct Yourself Properly In The Workplace

The days of slapping a colleague on the behind for a “job well done” are now behind us. Modern cultural movements, including “Me Too,” make this kind of behavior unacceptable, no matter how superficially harmless it might appear. 

Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP point out that people who engage in these types of workplace actions put themselves at risk of sexual abuse allegations. And the costs of those can be severe, including being denied positions of authority in the future. 

Not Understanding Cash Flow

Believe it or not, there are many entrepreneurs out there who still don’t understand the difference between profitability and cash flow. 

Remember, you can have a profitable company and still go out of business if you don’t have the cash you need in the bank to keep things ticking over. Mere promises to pay aren’t actual money in your accounts. So you’ll need to ensure you have funds to keep you afloat on a rolling basis. Don’t just rely on your accounts receivable. 

Failing To Put The Customer First

A lot of startups become so obsessed with the technicalities of developing their products that they fail to think about the customer. They’re so dead-set on building something better than their rivals that they wind up failing to see the forest for the trees. Often, customers aren’t interested in specs. They just want something that makes them feel good.

Thus, if you’re new to entrepreneurship, focus on creating products with emotional appeal. Don’t just focus on statistics. 

Doing All The Work Yourself

What’s the point of employing people if you ultimately do all the work yourself? Not only are your workers unproductive, but they’re eating into your time and costing you money. It’s a disaster. 

The trick here is to recognize that you can’t do all the work yourself. That’s not how businesses work. Instead, get comfortable with the idea that other people are going to have to represent you, even if they’re not as bright or as talented as you are. It’s a cost you have to bear in business. And there’s usually no way around it. 

Selling Out

Lastly, you need to be careful not to sell out and give away your business secrets. Remember, all your rivals will be doing their research to unearth the source of your competitive advantage. Thus, the more you can keep your ideas to yourself (or within a small circle of trusted colleagues), the better. 

Where possible, get your products and processes patented. That’s the best way to protect yourself. 

What NOT To Do If You Want To Be An Attorney

Do you have dreams of being an attorney? This is a career that a lot of people envision. However, you will obviously need to work hard if you are to make it in this industry.

It is a competitive and challenging sector, but it is also one that is incredibly rewarding too. With that being said, read on to discover the mistakes that you need to avoid if you dream of being an attorney. 

Not doing your research into the companies out there

One of the first mistakes that a lot of people make is failing to get an understanding of the different types of law firms, and therefore potential employers, that are out there.

The likes of Chad Stavley are good places to start when looking at reputable and successful lawyers that have made a big mark in the industry. You can look at the work they do and the companies these sorts of professionals work for so that you can get a better understanding of the options that are out there and you can figure out what sort of job you would enjoy. 

Failing to tailor your cover letter for every application

When you apply for a job within the law sector, do not send the same cover letter for each and every application. You need to make sure that you are diversifying your application.

Take the time to do research about every company that you are applying to, and then you can tailor your cover letter to suit them. After all, if you simply send across a generic cover letter, which is being sent in for every job application, this will show and it tells the employer that you have not bothered to find out anything about the company you are applying to. This is not the right approach to take.

Not being persistent

Don’t give up. Breaking into any sort of industry is never easy but you need to make sure that you are persistent and that you do not give up. You need to make sure that you keep knocking on those doors until you are able to break them down.

Keep putting in the hard work! You should also make sure you commit yourself to network as well, as this is imperative for anyone who is looking to break into the legal sector for the first time. You never know what opportunities could arise from this.

So there you have it: some of the different steps that you need to take if you have dreams of being an attorney. If you avoid the mistakes that have been discussed above and you follow the advice that has been provided, you can give yourself the best chance of making it in this tough and competitive industry. There is no denying that law is a sector that a lot of people find attractive, but this does not mean that you cannot make it in this thrilling and exciting.