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Could We Do This in a Team Meeting?

August 6, 2013

I spend a lot of time in my seminars imploring leaders and managers to spend more time with their employees: “You need to spend time every day with your direct-reports providing guidance, direction, support, and coaching!”

Often, managers will raise their hands and ask, “Could we do this in a team meeting?”

Team meetings are great. They are critical to any leader/manager’s repertoire. But team meetings are really only useful for four purposes:

  • Creating a feeling of belonging and togetherness. (This reason should be used sparingly. Maybe once a quarter).
  • Sharing a bunch of information to a bunch of people in the same way at the same time.
  • If there is an open question/problem with multiple constituents so the various constituents may discuss together; hear what each other says; respond spontaneously to each other; and move together toward a common solution.
  • Because team meetings so often make it clear that certain one-on-one huddles are necessary and must immediately follow the team meeting!


Do You Trust Your Employees to Work Remotely?

June 26, 2013 1 Comment

Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer unleashed a firestorm of commentary throughout the business world with her recent announcement that remote working was off the table for the tech company’s staffers, who will now be expected to show up in the office every day.

The move goes against the grain at a time when everybody from the federal government to tech startups is embracing the flexibility and cost savings of working remotely.

As someone who initiated working remotely for my team back when I was an employee, I’ve got a lot of experience with what works – and what doesn’t.

At bottom, the work-at-home issue all comes down to trust. In a recent Regus poll of more than 24,000 global workers, a whopping 88 percent say that managers need to be more accepting of flexible work arrangements, and 85 percent feel their bosses need to show more trust in remote employees. (more…)

How Much Should Business Owners Take As A Salary?

May 8, 2013

Business owners are compensated with equity in the company, but they still need a salary to live on. Setting a salary can be tricky as you’ll want to be compensated for your work, while also not taking away from the future growth of the company. How should you set your salary?

Setting your salary

There are a few different ways to determine the appropriate salary for the business owner. The first and most important method is based on company specific financials. If you’re boot-strapping your business, then you’ll need to determine how much net income is available or cash on the balance sheet. Then, you’ll need to identify the amount of your personal monthly expenses. If the cash flow on your balance sheet and expected monthly cash flow exceed your monthly personal expenses, then you can at least pay yourself some sort of a salary. Still, how much should you be paid in salary? (more…)

Why Your Small Business Has the Motivational Edge

March 20, 2013

Are you looking to hire employees this year, wondering how you can keep the employees you do have from heading off for greener pastures, or struggling for ways to keep them motivated?

Sometimes it seems like small businesses are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to hiring, motivation and retention, compared to big corporations that can offer higher salaries, posh benefits plans and luxurious settings. But a recent article by McKinsey (targeted, ironically, at big companies) points out the advantage small businesses have that they may not realize.

McKinsey looked at how business leaders can develop and encourage top performers in their workforce and found that, while both IQ and EQ (emotional intelligence) are important skills for bringing out the best in your team, what truly matters is the “meaning quotient” (MQ) – in other words, offering them the chance to do work that’s meaningful to them. (more…)

Protect Your Business Against Final Pay Issues

January 18, 2013

The end of employment isn’t always the end of your involvement with an employee. If you make any of a number of common mistakes when an employee leaves, or is asked to leave, it could result in liability for your company and, in some instances, liability for you. Final pay, or paying out whatever the now-former employee is owed (while not paying more than is due) can be a minefield.

Below are some of the most common questions about ending employment and answers that will help you protect yourself and your business. Bear in mind that employment law exists at both state and federal levels. Each state has its own statutes and regulations governing at least some, if not all, of the issues in the questions below. It is critical that you understand your state’s requirements. Also note that while employment law is not contract law — not unless there’s an employment agreement — there is this similarity: you can’t arbitrarily change the rules on an employee.

For final pay purposes, does it matter if employment ended voluntarily or involuntarily?

Maybe. In some states, a company’s final pay obligations might differ depending on whether you are reluctantly bidding adieu to a good employee, or gleefully showing a bad one the door. For example, in Connecticut an employer is required to pay a fired employee his or her final paycheck no later than the next business day. (more…)