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Introducing your employees to ethics

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Ethics in the workplace can be defined by the way employees and managers handle both internal and external transactions of the business. Unfortunately, many businesses have proven that the trying economic times, the opportunity for quick financial growth, and ethical treatment of customers and employees do not always go hand in hand. In fact, what has been found by many an employee and manager, is that in times of economic hardship, companies are more apt to disregard their past ethics and use improper ways to grow their profits.

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Why honesty matters in business management

poundingfists30395631.jpg There are a number of different factors that bring about a good manager or a bad one. If you want your organization to run smoothly and effectively, you need to make sure you are an honest person. Honesty will go a long way in fostering a number of relationships like those with your employees, vendors, and your customers. A company that is honest is one that can easily be respected by millions. However the sad thing is that there are a large number of employers that aren't honest with their staff. In fact there have been studies done that show only 2 out of every 5 bosses are honest with their employees. This usually involves promising the employees one thing and doing another and so on.

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Bullying and manipulation at work?

mantiedup28718953.jpgBullying exists in school but it also exists in the office. No matter what type of business you have, you will have at least one employee that plays that difficult person that likes to push others around and manipulates them. This person is often avoided by other employees because they are considered to be a selfish individual that does not care about the team. Self-centered behavior that leads to bullying can reduce productivity, decrease employee morale, cause stress, and lead to a number of other office problems. As a manager it is your responsibility to try and diminish bullying and manipulation at work as soon as possible.

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Using business ethics to guide your choices

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Ethical behavior is an important part of everyday life. Being an ethical person should not start or stop once you leave your home. Parents, for example, cannot expect to teach their children proper ethical behaviors if they act one way at home and a completely different way at work. Personal ethics and business ethics are one in the same. Of course you will probably not encounter the same types of situations at home versus at work, but the same principles will apply. Below are more examples of how you can use business ethics not only to guide you in your business decisions but also in situations outside of the office.

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Background checks and drug testing, what you should know

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When you hire someone you want to make sure that you are hiring someone who will do a wonderful job and who doesn't have a history of stealing or drug use. Most employers now make new hires pass a drug and background check before they are hired. Usually the company will just hire an outside company do the testing for them but it's good to know what the company you are paying is actually doing. This way you can make sure you are getting the most from the company performing the background and drug tests. Getting this kind of information can also help you decide between two employees.

Getting a good company to do the background check and drug tests is important. If you want to save some money on a company that seems cheaper, be careful because not all are good. Some won't give you legitimate results or don't take the precautions necessary to make sure the new hires aren't cheating on their tests.

Background checks include checking someone's credit, their criminal record, and driving records. Some companies also will check the sex offender registry and do reference checks in order to make sure they are not getting someone they don't want. Checking a person's references can also help in making sure you are getting a good employee. Depending on what position the new hire is applying for should determine how much information you might want to get in the report.

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Managing disputes with clients and customers

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Regardless of where you work, there always seems to be problematic customers. So how do you manage these occasional disputes with your customers? The key is to resolve such disputes before they escalate and get out of hand. Here's taking a look at some key steps in managing disputes with clients and customers.

The first step is to try to avoid disputes all together. Some disputes are just bound to happen, but avoiding them all together can save you a lot of time, headaches and money. Some guidelines to avoid disputes are:

  • Deal with customer complaints fairly
  • timely and professionally
  • Make sure all employees treat customers with respect and show good customer service when interacting with them.
  • Develop and train employees on how to negotiate with customers.
  • Comply with all representations and other promises made to your client or customer.
  • Have easy and fair ways with addressing customer concerns, such as: return policies and in-store credit if necessary.
  • Always treat customers with respect and kindness.
Managing complaints and concerns quickly will lessen the chances of a full out dispute. Small percentages of complaints actually become disputes. Any disputes that aren't dealt with and resolved can seriously affect the profitability and success of the company.

What are some common disputes seen in small businesses?

Products:

  • quality

  • service

  • price

  • packaging

  • delivery and customer service

Financial:

  • the ability and willingness to pay accounts

Leases:

  • the term

  • relocation

  • price increases

  • quality of location

Breach of contracts:

  • termination period

  • quality of product

Misleading conduct:

  • failing to meet expectations

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How to set policies for office relationships, coming to work sick, etc.

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Setting up policies for your business is probably one of the most important things you can do to help it run smoothly. Employees need to know what to do in any situation and how the company stands regarding it. Clear policies will help your business recognize and avoid potential risks to your employees and ensure that you abide with the law. They will also help to create an environment where issues are dealt with fairly and consistently.

You are probably wondering where to start and what to do when setting policies for your business. Here is how to set policies for office relationships, coming to work sick and other important matters.

Plan ahead
It is important to have all policies and procedures in order before you hire your employees. You will easily be able to solve any problems just by referring to the business handbook. This is a much easier way to handle things then waiting until the last minute to try and fix it.

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Email Etiquette

Email is one of the most popular means of communication within the workplace; in fact, roughly 90% of all workers who have access to the Internet during their workday use it to write and send emails. People prefer email for good reason - it's fast, efficient, and easier, as many people will opt to send an email than pick up the phone and try to get a hold of someone or make a trip to someone's office.

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How to Create an Effective Drug-Use Policy

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Drugs in the workplace are a real problem for many employers. While employees may not be using illicit drugs in the facilities themselves, 90% of drug users have jobs, and 20% of employees between the ages of 20 and 30 used at least one illicit drug in the past month. So how does that affect you as an employer? Drug users on the job utilize almost twice the benefits of non drug users, are absent almost twice as much, and file twice as many workers' compensation claims. As you can see, those who use drugs can quickly drain a company of its resources and reputation.

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How To Build Loyalty In Employees

Employee loyalty is, for many companies, a trait that is difficult to find. If an employee is not satisfied with his or her job or feels unappreciated, he or she will walk; in fact, the average employee in the United States spends just 3 years at one job.

High turnover rates can be costly for a company. Searching for qualified applicants, posting openings on job boards, the interview process, and hiring a new employee can cost the company both time and money.

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Legal Issues in Checking the Background of Employees

Many employers are opting to run background and credit checks on potential employees. In some fields, such as those where applicants will be working with minors or working in environments where there is a great deal of confidential information is kept, background checks are required for safety and liability reasons; for example, a convicted bank robber would most likely not be hired to work at a bank.

Other times, employers will run background checks simply to verify the person has no criminal record or to verify past employers, and then match that information to that entered in the application or the resume.
Regardless of the reason for the background check, there are certain rules and regulations in place designed to protect applicants when background checks are being obtained about them.

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Advantages and disadvantages of hiring friends and relatives

In business management, especially when it is your own business, there are many advantages and disadvantages to hiring friends and relatives. During the course of running your business, you may decide that you would like to hire a friend or relative. Doing so can create a friendly and pleasant working environment.

Friends and family may bring many useful skills to your business. But it may also negatively affect your business. Hiring friends and family may allow for familial disputes and interactions to negatively affect the way your business runs. Considering the following points may help you decide whether or not hiring friends and relatives is a good course of action for you and your business.

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A Guide to Getting Started in Corporate Philanthropy

Business guru Charles Handy, writing in Harvard Business Review, summarized the value of philanthropic businesses by saying, “A good business is a community with a purpose.” Here are six steps to setting up a corporate philanthropy program:

Step One: Values audit. Start from your values base. Most corporations begin with an audit or evaluation of their values, bringing together leadership and representation from the staff to identify and articulate the company’s ethos and how it relates to the company’s mission and values.

What does your company care about: kids, shelter, domestic violence? For example, Polaroid created a foundation, managed by a committee of employees, to increase self-sufficiency among the disadvantaged by building their business skills with computers, literacy and business comportment.

Step Two: Engage directly. Increasingly, employees look for ways to have an intense, short-term project. For example, Volunteers of America has found over the past five years that corporations often prefer an all-day or weekend-long group project, such as painting a women’s shelter to the longer-term individual commitments such as being a big sister.

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Ten Strategies for Getting Off to a Good Start

A day in the life of every businessperson is made up of a series of meetings and greetings. Whether you are making the initial contact with a client or a colleague, you want to get off on the right foot. Doing so will make the first encounter and subsequent ones go smoothly and easily. Getting off on the wrong foot can make for a difficult recovery. Save your energy for later and use these simple strategies for a successful start.

1. Stand up when you meet someone. This allows you to engage the person on an equal level - eye to eye. By remaining seated, you send a message that you don't think the other person is important enough to warrant the effort it takes to stand. If you find yourself in a position where you can't stand up (such as being trapped behind a potted plant) offer an apology and an explanation. You might say something like, "Please excuse me for not getting up. I can't seem to get around the foliage."

2. Smile. Your facial expression says more than your words. Look as if you are pleased to meet the other person regardless of what is on your mind. Put a smile on your face for the person standing before you.

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Ten Ways to Add Abundance To Your Mind, Your Life & Your World

Abundance isn't something you find from the outside. Abundance begins within and radiates outward. Find the ways that increase your abundance inside. Add time to your day, simplify, or make a difference in the world. Gratitude multiplies. Find something in these ten ways to add abundance to your life and enjoy the positive results it will attract.

1. Step up and become a world peacemaker. Volunteer to help keep peace in the world. Yes, even one hour this year will make a difference. Think about it -- if 2,000 people volunteered just one hour, that 2,000 hours that peace is closer in the world. It is like interest, it compounds. You can and do make a difference. Visit The 1,000 Years of Peace Project (http://www.pledgepeace.org/) and pledge just one hour in 2004 towards peace!

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Have you ever wondered…?

Have you ever wondered about the ridicule of corporate life, where one person - or a small group of individuals - is considered competent enough to judge another’s performance and bring out a report as to whether this other one meets the criteria for pursuing this or that?

Oh yes, it may be that the examiner has particular credentials that justify his or her authority to do the selecting, but how do we deal with the age-old problem of chemistry? As you know, chemistry is not just something that determines the success rate in a love affair. It works just as well in the business world. People determine at first sight whether they like someone or not. And sometimes, unfortunately, they are influenced by historical or personal views about members of other ethnic groups or sexes. It may be an accent, a color, a way of dressing, or anything else that makes this other person different from them. And, even more unfortunate, it is not written on recruiters’ foreheads whether they are influenced by biases of any kind. Many of these recruiters or scrutinizers are wise enough never to admit or show their prejudices. Actually, some of them even make it their specialty to conceal or abnegate this shortcoming.

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The Timing and Importance of Gratitude

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Gratitude is key. Key.
It's key to success. It's key to maintaining and enhancing
relationships. It's key to persuading people. It's key, period. When
was the last time you said "thank you"?

There's a team of people behind you who've been helping shape and
inspire you. Do they know how important they are? Do you tell
them?

Let me give you two true and exceptional stories that I've
encountered when it comes to expressing gratitude. One story
coming from the business world and the other from the political
landscape. I encourage you to consider implementing the
strategies from the stories below into your business and daily
living.

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