In today’s topsy-turvy economy you may think employee turnover is not an issue. You couldn’t be more wrong. The expense of replacing a lost employee goes far beyond the simple loss of productivity created by their absence. Advertising, interview time and training all combine to make a serious dent in any company’s personnel budget. Raises, health insurance and paid vacations are all good investments in your employees. They are not, however, always economically feasible. There are other, more cost effective, ways to increase employee satisfaction without wiping out your bottom line.
This is not to dismiss the importance of fair and equitable compensation. Everyone wants to be paid what they are worth. No matter how much you love your job, if you can’t make your bills you are not likely to stay. Ask any actor who has served his time on the midnight shift at Denny’s and you’ll find they agree.
So, based on the assumption you are paying fair-market value for your staff, what else is there? Consider this; according to a 2008 study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics your average American age 25 to 54 spends more time working than they do on any other activity, including sleeping and caring for their families. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009) In short, the office has become the new “home” and coworkers our extended family.
As such, the paradigm for a “good work environment” has changed. Today’s employees require more than a paycheck, they want validation. Applaud your worker’s successes and help them learn from their failures. Remember their birthdays and know the names of their spouse and children. Offer a clear sense of direction and train your staff well. Give them these few simple gifts and you will be rewarded with loyalty, dedication and longevity.
One of the most critical components of the successful operation of any company is adequate business research. Too many entrepreneurs fail to do their homework, and make tragic mistakes as a result. Business research is necessary when contemplating new products, new services, new advertising techniques, or any other significant changes. Although it doesn’t have to be a complex process, it is an absolutely crucial step.
Doing business research can be as easy as forming a test group that shares common characteristics with potential customers. If focus groups are not an option because of cost, consumer surveys can also be an excellent avenue for obtaining pertinent information. If nothing else, current clients can be contacted for their opinions and suggestions. Brutally honest information can also be solicited from friends and family, but be careful not to allow it to hurt personal feelings Family members will typically not pad their opinions, but sometimes it is harsh criticism that brings about the most needed changes.
Another valuable resource of necessary information is other business owners. Even though competitors may be opposed to sharing data, other entrepreneurs normally are not. In fact, small business operators thoroughly enjoy discussing their strategies, successes, and even their failures. The local chamber of commerce can also provide feedback and ideas in the form of past experiences of their members. If a entrepreneur or other professional can find a way to share referrals and clients, an exchange of information is much easier to come by and could also lead to a very profitable relationship in the long run.
Performing business research can make the difference between succeeding and failing, and that should be plenty of motivation to spend a little time learning. It can either be in a formal or an informal setting, and it doesn’t have to be long and arduous. Analyzing new ideas or studying current methods can prove to be a very exciting undertaking, and the efforts will be apparent.
Posted By: Business and Finance Net