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

Illinois Upholds the Right to Yelp – What Business Owners Should Know About Online Reviews

DuPage County business law attorneysBusiness owners are used to word of mouth publicity. They even know how to encourage it in the right context – but today's consumer is different. He or she uses social media and the internet to determine where they will shop, eat, or purchase goods. Online reviews, such as those left on review sites like Yelp, play a key role in their decisions.

Many business owners have struggled with this new platform, and some have even attacked the right to leave reviews online, claiming there is no way to verify that the consumer even visited their establishment. However, the law has upheld a consumer's right to use such sites. Learn what this could mean for your business in the following sections, and discover how an experienced business law attorney may be able to help boost your company's bottom line.

The Consumer's Right to Yelp and Your Business

Because consumers have the right to leave online reviews without the fear of retaliation, business owners should handle their bad reviews carefully. Never address a customer or reviewer in a negative fashion, and attempt to rectify the issue if you can. Other consumers may see this and make a different decision about your company, based on what they see. Business owners should also avoid making any retaliatory statements, and they should understand that they do not have any form of recourse against reviews.

Using a Bad Review as Constructive Criticism

In addition to respecting the consumer's right to leave a review and addressing the issues they experienced at a business establishment, business owners can attempt to use the review as a form of constructive criticism. Doing this can ultimately improve the experiences that your consumers have, and it can boost your company's bottom line. It may also clue you in as to whether an employee should be terminated, coached, or needs additional training.

There may also be gaps in your employee handbook that have created confusion about an employee's job duties or your expectations of them. Again, you can use the review to mitigate and potentially solve such issues within your company. In areas such as this, a skilled attorney can help.

Contact Our Wheaton Business Law Attorneys

Whether your company needs help with clarifying its employee handbook or you need assistance in dealing with a legal matter, contact Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC. Dedicated and experienced, our Wheaton business law attorneys have more than 40 years of experience and knowledge in the small business sector. Call 630-665-2500 to schedule your personalized consultation with us today.

Source:

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2018/01/02/illinois-law-negative-yelp-reviews/

Is Your Small Business Violating Federal Labor Laws?

DuPage County business law attorneysAll businesses – even small ones – must comply with applicable federal labor laws. How do you know if your small business is violating one? The first step is to examine the four most commonly violated labor laws. The second is to ensure you have an experienced attorney on your side. Learn more with help from the following information.

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family Medical Leave Act is meant to provide employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for certain medical or family issues (i.e. death, birth or care of a newborn child, placement of an adopted child or foster child, and caring for an immediate family member with a serious health condition). However, not all employees or businesses may be entitled. Companies with fewer than 50 employees may not be obligated to provide family medical leave, and any employee who has not worked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months may be ineligible for this protection.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)

In 2013 and 2014, the Department of Labor implemented two new laws to strengthen the discrimination protections against veterans and individuals with disabilities. The first rule is known as the Vietnam Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), encourages employers to adopt benchmarks for hiring veterans; they can use either the federal goal of 8 percent of employees, or they can create their own benchmark using labor statistics, hiring circumstances, and company needs and desires. The second rule is Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and it requires that contractors strive for an aspirational utilization goal of individuals with disabilities of about 7 percent, or 7 percent of each job group for larger employers.

NLRA Protections for Non-Union Workers

While the National Labor Relations Act deals mostly with unions, there are a few ways that it protects the rights of employees in non-unionized positions. For example, the NLRA protects the rights of employees who wish to unionize, collectively bargain, or engage in concerned activity for their mutual benefit and protection. Restricting this right as an employer can cost you dearly, as can restricting too much of what an employee posts on social media. Whether you need help crafting a non-disclosure agreement or want to ensure you are not violating the union protection laws, contact an experienced attorney.

Fair Labor Standards Act and IRS Misclassification

Many small businesses rely on independent contractors to ensure certain tasks are done. Often, this is because a contractor is more cost-efficient and easier to manage. However, employers should be aware that, in some circumstances, a contractor could become an employee under the federal law. Generally, this is determined by examining the relationship between your company and the contractor, the financial factors, and behavioral factors. If you are uncertain about the status of one of your workers, avoid the consequences of a misclassified employee and contact an experienced lawyer for assistance.

Contact Our Seasoned DuPage County Business Law Attorneys

Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC understands the challenges that small businesses face, and we strive to mitigate against them. Dedicated and experienced, our DuPage County business law attorneys can examine the legal aspects of your business to ensure proper compliance, and to reduce the risk of litigation. Get experienced assistance by scheduling a personalized consultation. Call 630-665-2500 today.

Sources:

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6509-business-labor-laws.html

https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/benefits-leave/fmla