How Business Owners Can Motivate Employees Without Breaking the Bank

employees, Wheaton business law attorneysAs the owner of a small or medium-sized business, you probably do not have unlimited money to do the things you would like to do. After paying your bills, honoring your contracts with suppliers, and covering payroll, you might not have a whole lot left at the end of each month. This is especially true of companies in their fledgling stages. Without extra money, you may find it difficult to think of ways to motivate your staff and to keep your employees working hard. While it is true that workers appreciate financial incentives like bonuses or gift cards, you may be surprised to learn that there are other effective strategies for motivating your staff that cost far less than you might expect.

Be a Leader, Not Just a Boss

Have you have ever been to a restaurant that was obviously short-staffed? It might have been obvious by the frazzled look on your server’s face, not to mention longer-than-usual wait times and other indications. Can you remember what you saw the manager or owner doing? If he or she was cleaning off tables, carrying trays, or mopping up spills in the bathroom, there is a good chance you were seeing a solid leader, not merely the boss. A “boss” might have been content to give directions and tell others how to handle the problem while the “leader” was not afraid to get dirty and help.

The same idea could be applied to your business, and the way in which you lead matters. When you treat your staff as if they are stupid and replaceable, you will probably see that type of work from them. If you assume that your employees are intelligent, focused, and capable of doing their jobs—to the point where you are willing to dig in alongside them and help out—your attitude is likely to spread. Productivity will probably increase, as well.

Maintain a Positive Environment

Your full-time employees may spend almost as many waking hours at work as they do in their own homes. Most people would not choose work over home, but that is no reason to maintain an atmosphere of tension and unreasonable expectations. Allow and encourage your team to bring things in to make their workspace comfortable and “theirs.” Talk with your employees, and truly listen to their concerns, needs, and accomplishments. If a staff member makes an error, do not be too critical—especially if the mistake was a result of your employee trying to help the business. You should obviously correct the mistake, but avoid berating or embarrassing the person. Chance are good that he or she feels bad enough already.

Remember That Employees Are People Too

Work should certainly be your staff’s top priority while they are on the clock, but some jobs are simply tedious. Give your employees the opportunity to think of new ideas for how to their jobs better. If the ideas have merit, try them, and see what happens. Those who are closest to the task often have valuable insight on improving productivity.

You should also be sure that your employees have sufficient breaks throughout the workday. Nobody should be expected to go hard for many hours at a time without a chance to relax for a few minutes. A short break every couple of hours allows your staff the chance to check in with their families, have casual conversations, and simply feel human for a little bit before getting back to work.

Seek Qualified Help from a Wheaton Small Business Lawyer

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC, we offer trusted advice and skilled representation to business owners in a wide range of business matters. If you have additional questions about keeping your staff motivated, addressing issues with your staff, or any related concerns, contact an experienced DuPage County business law attorney. Call 630-665-2500 for consultation at our law firm today.

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2013/08/21/37-ways-to-keep-your-employees-motivated-from-a-37-year-old-entrepreneur/

https://www.inc.com/bubba-page/7-motivations-at-work-beyond-money.html

Are You Considering an REO Property?

REO, Wheaton real estate attorneysIf you have shared with friends and family members that you are in the market for a new home, there is a good chance that someone has at least suggested that you look into buying a foreclosure property. In this context, a foreclosure property is a home that is being sold at auction by a bank because the owner of the property could not keep up with his or her mortgage payments. At a foreclosure auction, there is the possibility of getting a fantastic deal, but not all foreclosure auctions are successful. When foreclosure auction does not result in the sale of the foreclosure property, the property remains under the ownership of the lender and becomes a real-estate owned property or REO.

Understanding a Foreclosure Auction

When a home is seized by the lender during foreclosure, the home is typically put up for sale in public auction. As such, the property will be sold to the highest bidder. However, in many foreclosure auctions, the bidders are not given the chance to walk through or inspect the home before making their bids. In most cases, the highest bidder will also be expected to pay cash for the property immediately following the auction. The combination of these factors makes buying a foreclosure property at auction a rather risky proposition. It is also why some foreclosure auctions do not result in the sale of the property.

An unsuccessful foreclosure auction leaves the lender with a home that has already caused the lender to lose money due to the defaulted mortgage loan. Now that the property is considered REO, however, there may be benefits for you as the potential buyer.

REO Sale Basics

While a foreclosure sale is typically a singular event that takes the form of an auction, an REO sale is very much like any other residential real estate deal. The lender will usually list the property and get real estate brokers involved to facilitate the sale. Prospective buyers will also get the chance to inspect the home and arrange private financing without the pressure of bidding in an auction.

You should remember, however, that most REO properties will be sold “as-is.” This means that while inspections can and certainly should be done, the lender is not likely to cover the cost of any repairs. Your broker and your lawyer could try to negotiate with the lender regarding the price of the property if substantial repairs are required, but there is no guarantee that that lender will move on the listed price. With this in mind, you will almost certainly want to include a contingency provision in your offer that allows you to back out if the property needs more work or repairs that you are willing to pay for or do yourself.

It is also important to ensure that a title search is conducted on any REO property that you are considering buying. The home could have liens or other encumbrances on it that might become your problem once the transaction is finalized.

Contact a DuPage County Real Estate Lawyer

If you are thinking about buying a real-estate owned property or a foreclosure property, you could get a good deal, but there are many potential pitfalls. Contact an experienced Wheaton residential real estate attorney to ensure that your best interests are protected at every stage of the home-buying process. Call 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation at Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC today.

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/buying-post-foreclosures-reos-1798183

https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/guide-reo-properties/

Can a No-Contest Clause a Prevent a Will Dispute?

no-contest, Wheaton estate planning attorneysWhen a loved one dies, the loss can be very difficult on the surviving friends and family members. The intense emotions of dealing with the loss can often make a grieving family member act in ways that would be otherwise uncharacteristic, leading to serious disputes over a variety of matters. A common point of contention is the deceased person’s will, and serious battles can affect the stability of a family for years to come, if not permanently. In an effort to prevent such issues from tearing apart your family after your death, you may wish to consider including a no-contest clause in your will.

In Terrorem Provisions

A no-contest clause is also known as an in terrorem clause, which is a Latin phrase meaning “by way of threat.” Such a clause may be included in your last will and testament to deter beneficiaries from formally contesting the will. Most no-contest provisions specify that if an heir files a contest to the will, that heir automatically forfeits the portion of the estate intended for him or her. The idea is that, if there is a threat of receiving nothing, or a nominal amount like $10 or $20, a would-be heir is not likely to push for more. It is important to understand that a no-contest clause cannot stop an heir from contesting a will; its only potential impact is to what may happen as a result.

A Challenge Is Possible Anyway

Before deciding to include a no-contest clause in your will, you should meet with an attorney to discuss your particular circumstances. In some cases, the amount intended for specific heirs might not be enough leverage for such a clause to serve as an effective deterrent. For example, if you have a large number of beneficiaries each set to inherit $1,000, an heir might be willing to gamble with that amount to try an obtain a larger inheritance. If the original amount is $100,000, an in terrorem provision may be more effective.

Concerns in Illinois

The law concerning the enforcement of no-contest clauses is rather vague in the state of Illinois. At least one court has set aside a no-contest provision on the grounds that the will contest was filed in good faith on the part of the heir. However, by closely with an attorney and employing the proper language in your will, you will be more likely to ensure that your wishes are carried out regarding your estate.

Contact a Wheaton Estate Administration Lawyer

If you are listed as an heir in a will with a no-contest clause, but you have reason to believe the will was not properly executed, contact an experienced DuPage County probate law attorney. We will review your case and help you identify your best option under the law. Call Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC at 630-665-2500 today to schedule an appointment and get the representation you need during a difficult time.

 

Sources:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075500050HArt.+VIII&ActID=2104&ChapterID=60&SeqStart=10100000&SeqEnd=10400000

http://www.actec.org/assets/1/6/State_Laws_No_Contest_Clauses_-_Chart.pdf