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Five Ways to Celebrate Your Employees this Holiday Season

Celebrating employees during the holidays is a fantastic way to not only show respect for hard work, but also to foster teamwork and inclusion. For employers who are having trouble finding ways to make the season bright, below are five proven strategies to make employees feel valued during the holidays:

Everyone Likes a Party

Whether held at the office or at a fancy venue, company holiday parties are a hit with just about everyone. Parties can be themed, formal, casual or anything in between. The important part is that employees have a chance to relax and celebrate the holidays with one another in a comfortable atmosphere.

Personalized Gifts Make a Splash

Many employers also celebrate employees during the holidays by giving personalized gifts. These gifts don’t have to be extravagant, but they can be customized to match something unique about each employee. When giving gifts, employers should consider that all employees receive something equal to avoid anyone feeling left out.

Give Some (Paid) Time Off

Giving additional paid time off is also a great way to show an employee that he or she is valued. Some employers choose to keep this additional time off a surprise until the last minute, but this can cause problems for employees who have set schedules, so it’s usually best to provide advance notice.

Make It Competitive

Contests and competitions are also great choices to celebrate employees during the holidays. One way to do this and improve team building at the same time is to divide employees into groups and assign each group a task. Whichever team completes the task first wins a prize like free lunch or better parking spots. When doing this, employers should try to make it so that each team wins something at least once in order for everyone to have a good time.

Get Each Employee Involved

Finally, employers need to consider everyone’s tastes, cultures, backgrounds and strengths when planning a holiday celebration. It would be a good idea to have input from all employees and maybe even create different teams that are responsible for different aspects of a celebration. Once again, the goal of celebrating employees during the holidays is to show respect and appreciation for hard work, so everyone should be recognized in their own way.

While the holidays are often hectic, going the extra mile to create a workplace celebration can brighten even the most stressful of days. No matter how an employer chooses to celebrate employees during the holidays, it’s certain that his or her efforts will be met with gratitude and produce a happier workforce.

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The Final Push: Three Ways Your Business Can Close 2018 on a High Note

Every company has had 12 months to make some progress toward their goals. Even if there have been more failures than achievements, it’s important to acknowledge the good parts and plan for the next year. There are three ways for businesses to end the 2018 year on a positive note.

Increase Work Productivity

Increasing productivity means working less, working faster and getting more results. Work less for greater results or work faster and get more work done in a shorter period of time. Everyone has one or two habits that result in hours of wasted time and effort each day. For most office workers, it’s checking their emails for too long or conversing with fellow workers around the office. For managers, it’s doing tasks by hand instead of using faster, automated computers and software. Overall, owners should focus on improving the levels of work productivity in every department from accounting to management.

Be Open to New Things

Being innovative is a hidden advantage in business. Every entrepreneur wants to be trendy, but the idea may be impossible because of social and financial risks. A small business owner doesn’t want to lose an investment for an idea that only works for other businesses. There is also the risk of being ridiculed for trying a new idea. An example is placing self service kiosks around a store. It may work flawlessly for some stores, but it could increase the risk of shoplifting in others.

Reduce Miscommunication

Miscommunication is reduced when communication lines are opened. This means finding more ways to communicate by phone, email or text. Some offices send out memos every morning as reminders of what happened in the past and what needs to be done in the future. One company could encourage coworkers to text each other regularly.

It’s possible to reduce miscommunication but not get rid of it completely. There will still be times when coworkers misunderstand each other every now and then. However, when some improvement efforts are made, the staff is more unified and works more efficiently.

At the close of the year, every business owner should reflect on what was accomplished and what was missed. Every new year should start with a list of new goals and the steps to complete them. The only way for a business to remain successful is to move ahead and to reflect back.

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Tips for Balancing Business Ownership and Philanthropy (Pt. 1)

jason-kulpa-philanthropy

There is no question that philanthropic involvement can be both enriching and beneficial to recipients and benefactors alike. By reaching out to a charitable cause, a business leader can expand his or her presence in the community by forging vital new relationships — all while raising awareness for an issue or bringing attention to an individual or entity in need. Now, perhaps more than ever, businesses have shifted paradigms to include a blend of profit and societal impact.

Still, however, it takes a fair amount of organization and tact to successfully balance business ownership with philanthropy. Speaking from experience in my own philanthropic involvement with UE.co, both endeavors must be handled with care so that they may co-exist in a constructive, successful manner.

 

Exercise foresight

It is crucial to have a plan when venturing into business philanthropy; this is common knowledge. Still, though, fallout from ill preparation is an unfortunate commonality, and depending on its severity, it can lead to misconceptions and poor representations that can subsequently create backlash from the public. An aged, yet enduringly relevant observation is that there are two types of philanthropic failure: constructive ones and unconstructive ones. The former refers to failures providing clear evidence as to what went wrong, while the latter results from an inability to “inform future practice.”

By studying high-profile instances of constructive philanthropic failure, we can extract a number of important lessons:

 

  • One must have a strong, or at least working, knowledge his or her chosen cause — not to mention passion. If you truly care about housing the homeless, for example, do not focus on another cause simply because it is convenient or trendy.

 

  • The aforementioned point in mind, a philanthropic initiative should not be driven by marketing performance and public image alone; this is immoral and stands as the antithesis of genuine philanthropy.

 

  • At the same time, a lack of proper knowledge can lead to a breakdown in your philanthropy’s effectiveness, and it can quickly lead to additional problems that knock the wheels of the entire process despite your best intentions.

 

Build lasting relationships

Most successful charitable partnerships yield the potential for a continued working relationship. This longevity can be instrumental in ensuring the success of future initiatives, which in turn can also make the ownership/philanthropy balancing act easier to approach. A philanthropic relationship allows both participating parties to learn about each other in a different way, which can lead to longer standing interaction as a result of mutual loyalty.

Building this trust and intimacy not only aids in the preservation of the cause in question, it can also strengthen employee engagement, build up the brand of both the business and the philanthropic recipient, and ultimately foster a stronger sense of community and cohesion.

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