In our last post we talked about the importance of ensuring that your employees are empowered to change your business - it's a critical factor for keeping staff happy. In this post, we're going to talk about flexibility.
2. The ability to be flexible
Life seems to feel very different to how it was. We are certainly living in a world with more information at our fingertips than ever, and people are seeking to learn and explore, and change things for the better. There are so many out there chasing their dreams, exploring the world, and cherishing life and all it has to offer.
In this context, an employee faces their employer and wonders about their work life as they can imagine what their boss may as well have said when they first started. “Well, here at Employment Limited, our staff are employed to work Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm, and here is your desk in our beautifully air-conditioned office with tea and coffee, now we would be grateful if you would sit there quietly and do very well, thank you.”
Is that attractive to an employee? Well, apparently not necessarily these days. How does your business compare and what can be improved? Well, it may not be feasible to relocate the team to the beach, where they can work whilst taking intermittent breaks to sip mojitos and surf. However, it is worth taking the time to talk to your employees to see what valuable changes could be made. For example, can flexible working times be introduced? Can employees work from a remote location instead of dragging themselves through traffic every day unnecessarily? Can annual leave be changed?
How will your employees change for the better when you give them more freedom?
We're passionate about ensuring that employees are rewarded, and can work in an environment conducive to high output and productivity. Drop us an email if you'd like to talk, or follow us on Twitter here https://twitter.com/Dunwiley
What is your ‘go-to’ way of rewarding your employees?
A pay rise? That new title you think they have been after? What about a lunch or drink at the pub?
Employees are crucial to most businesses, and most business owners recognise that looking after them is a key part in determining the success of any business.
But, really, what do employees want? Of course, everybody is different, and what employees want may be determined by the type of industry in which the business operates, the prevailing culture of the time, or personal circumstances, but let us spend a little time thinking about a few ideas over our next few blog posts. Firstly:
1. The ability to change things
It isn't uncommon for an employee to start a new role to soon imagine how things might be improved, re-vamped or simplified. It is part of human nature to question, and problems within the business is a common talking point amongst employees. A working environment where management are not open to feedback usually creates a festering ‘us vs them’ culture, where productivity decreases, communication diminishes, and awkwardness prevails.
Of course, most of us can think of that person that continually bemoans the way things are, and yet doesn't seem to be making much personal progress, and it can be easy to write-off asking employees for their feedback as tedious and repetitive.
Business owners need to ensure that individual employees can make a difference.
But do business owners always get it right? Do we necessarily have all the information to hand to make the best decisions all the time? Are we spending enough time doing the ‘nitty gritty’ to understand how issues are arising and how they should be addressed? Could there be benefit in gaining from the experience of employees, whilst at the same time improving the relationship between employee and employer?
We suggest that engaging with employees over business improvements can be beneficial to all aspects of the business, in particular with regard to maintaining trust within working relationships. It may take various forms, large or small; an open office door, regular lunches to discuss how the business can be improved, or a policy where employees can change the way they work and not necessarily conform to long-standing processes.
We would love to hear your thoughts. What experience do you have of this, good or bad?
A lot of people wonder how successful people have achieved such great things, and often attribute these to 'good ideas' or 'being in the right place at the right time'. While there is always some truth to this, you will often find that successful people have habits and daily disciplines that significantly contribute to their amazing effectiveness. If you want to be successful, starting with some instilling some discipline in your working life is a great place to start.
Here are a few of the best:
1 - They get up early.
Getting up early provides you with an advantage over everyone else. An early start nearly always provides you with uninterrupted time for focus and thought, an opportunity to keep your health in line with some exercise, and the best of your productivity. Jack Dorsey of Twitter,, Tim Cook of Apple and Barack Obama are some well known champions of this daily structure.
2 - They are focussed.
Successful individuals have goals, targets and objectives that they set for themselves. Having an aim, in everything you do, forces you to think about the effectiveness of all of your work and be disciplined about staying on track. Going day-to-day without a clear goal is incredibly demoralising, and results in greatly reduced output.
3 - They delegate.
Trying to do everything is a sign of an inexperienced leader. Those that the most effective have the self-awareness to know their own level of ability and also understand what is the best use of their time. A good leader will always delegate tasks that are better done elsewhere, and not micro-manage. The mantra of "The right person, doing the right job, with the right information" remains true.
4 - They are supportive.
Power often gets to the head of an executive, but those that are the most capable always find time for those at a lower level in the organisation. Realising that everybody, regardless of position, plays a role in the success of the business is really important. Being able to nurture and support more junior employees as they develop is a fantastic attribute of successful leaders.
5 - They make decisions.
'Decision paralysis' is one of the greatest killers of success. So many people are unsure of what course of action to take, and as a result take none at all. Successful individuals take decisions, measure their success and aren't afraid to change course. To a successful person, every decision, regardless of outcome, is a learning opportunity.
As ever, there are many more habits that successful people demonstrate, but we feel this is a great place to start.
All comments welcome!
If your business is undertaking to deliver projects, especially under contract, it is worth thinking about what causes a project to fail, and how to avoid it.
In the context of both large and small businesses, we see project failure coming down to three main areas of deficiency. They are as follows:
Risk - Many project leaders and team members do not have a clear view of the risks that apply to their project, or potential mitigation strategies that could be employed. We recommend risk brainstorming as a team, working through each stage of the project, and identifying potential issues or areas of uncertainty. Each risk then needs a mitigation plan, and an owner who is responsible for managing it.
Requirements - Each project needs a defined and agreed specification that details the required output or deliverables. All relevant stakeholders should sign-off on this to avoid uncertainty and confusion about what is actually being undertaken. It's also worth noting that this is a 'living' document, and can be updated throughout the project via a change process.
Communication - A potential major cause of project failure is the lack, or breakdown, of communication between stakeholders. At project launch, it's worth considering the flow of information required for informed decision making to take place. What information needs to be captured, communicated and reviewed, and by whom?
If you have thoughts or comments on the above, we would love to hear from you. Write a comment below and let us know of your own experiences. Please don't hesitate to get in touch about consultancy, business growth or strategic advice.
We hear a lot of questions about inbound marketing, and how it can be utilised to help you business to grow. Unfortunately, not a lot of people have really understood the concept, let alone applied it with any level of success.
So, what is inbound marketing? Inbound marketing is the creating of high-quality content that is aligned with the needs of your target market, and draws potential customers towards your business. These leads can then be turned into sales, as you deliver first value, then establish trust and ultimately convert them into clients.
The image above, kindly created by https://vtldesign.com is a great little summary of the differing approaches.
For inbound to be successful, you need to create content of real value to your target market, and find a way of enabling them to connect with you. Inbound marketing starts with writing blogs that at are aimed at helping your audience, and over time moving to creating studies, reports, infographics, manuals, guides and other resources. Random blog posts just won't cut it, unfortunately.
Inbound relies on good SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), high-quality, informative content and a clear CTA (Call to Action) that starts the value exchange with the customer.
If you would like to know more, or need help with creating a sustainable inbound marketing strategy for your business, don't hesitate do use the Contact Us page to get in touch.
Hello, and welcome to Dunwiley.
We have started this blog for a number of purposes:
I hope you find the blog useful, we would appreciate your comments and feedback.
If you run a small business and are looking for strategic business advice, get in touch. We'd love to hear from you.