Wellbeing In The Workplace

Supporting and promoting health and wellbeing in the workplace is important for staff and business owners alike. Providing a physically and mentally healthy workplace is beneficial for all who work there, as it reduces staff absenteeism, increases productivity and makes the workplace more enjoyable.

If you are an employer, workplace health and safety laws require you to look after your workers’ mental health just as you would physical health.

This includes minimising risks to workers’ mental health, preventing discrimination based on mental health, protecting privacy and not taking unfair action against workers because of a mental health condition.

Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing Resources

There are many excellent apps available, both free and paid, to assist with all aspects of physical and mental wellbeing in the workplace that you can offer to staff – or use yourself as a business owner.

Creating a Healthy Workplace

Creating wellbeing in the workplace doesn’t have to take a lot of time and resources. Small activities carried out regularly accumulate over time into good habits and everyday practice.

Encourage conversations about health and wellbeing, check in with staff about stress they may be experiencing, offer team activities that promote wellbeing, and provide access to tools like the apps listed above to assist employees in managing their mental health and wellbeing.

Many other apps provide education about mental health and practical tools to change mental and emotional states. Consider offering your employees paid subscriptions to an app of their choice to foster wellbeing. Check out Unwinding AnxietyHeadspaceWaking UpCalmTen Percent Happier and Productive for starters.

HeadsUp has a great guide to promoting health and wellbeing in your business. Find out more about workplace stress, rights and responsibilities, risk factors and how to develop an action plan.

Have You Changed Your Business Purpose?

Many businesses will have been through a tough and transformative period through 2020 and into 2021. In some cases, companies have had to update, change and pivot just to survive – and this means having to rethink the core mission behind your enterprise.

Journeying through the pandemic, your business is faced with a new kind of business reality. It’s a world where buying habits have changed, consumer expectations have evolved, online shopping has boomed and e-commerce is now a far more dominant force.

To cope with these changes it’s likely that your business has had to evolve. But do you know where you’re going and how it’s impacted on your underlying business mission?

Embracing the need to evolve and change

Being able to react to changing circumstances and to evolve your business is one of the key capabilities you need as an entrepreneur, business owner or CEO.

The ability to articulate your new business objective is a fundamental need. And having a clear outline of how you’re pivoting and why will help you to understand the evolution of your business and where you’re likely to go next.

Some key questions:

  • Have you changed your business purpose? Did your company change direction and pivot to move into new markets or new products? If so, do you have a robust plan for pivoting and continuing this evolution? Do you have the resources needed to back up this change in direction?
  • What is your new purpose as a business? What is your updated vision for the business and what do you want to achieve? Do you have this formalised in an updated mission statement or business plan? If not, you need to get this written down and communicated to your executive board, your team and all other stakeholders.
  • Who are your new customer audience? If you’ve pivoted, it may be that your target customers have also changed. If your sales, business development and marketing activity is now focused on a new customer demographic you need to update this in your sales and marketing strategy. Think about who you’re selling to, what their needs may be and how you can service these needs.
  • Are any operational changes needed? Can you successfully pivot to this new purpose using your current systems, processes and resources, or do these resources need to be updated? If you’ve increased your e-commerce footprint, then your production, logistics and delivery operations need to scale up to cope with this increased demand.
  • Do you have the right team on board? Do you need new staff to help you meet your goals? Or are some employees no longer required? If your purpose has changed, it’s likely that your talent needs have also changed. Reassess your key human resourcing requirements and think about the people you need on board for this next chapter.
  • Do you have enough funding? Do you have enough working capital behind you? If changes in equipment, plant or premises are part of your pivot strategy, it’s likely that you’ll need additional finance to fund these changes. Think about approaching your bank manager, business adviser or funding provider of choice. NOTE: Talk to us about government-backed recovery funding.

Talk to us about planning your new business direction

Nothing stands still in business, so there’s always value in taking the time to step back and reassess your business direction. However you’re fairing in the Covid market, taking the time to review your business purpose and planning is time well spent.

Talk to us and we’ll help you to update your mission statement, amend your business plan and get all the operational and financial elements in line for the next stage in your success story.

The Importance Of Having A Business Coach

There are many benefits to having a business coach and as the owner manager, the buck stops with you and that can result in all the pressures of financial management, people management, strategy and business performance ending up on your shoulders.

To ease this pressure and provide some clarity, it’s helpful to have a business coach. A coach can look at your business objectively as an outsider, will act as a professional shoulder to lean on and can help you to focus on and enhance your business ideas, strategy and longer-term tactics as an owner.

What a business coach can bring to the table

If you want to get the best from your business, you need to get the best from yourself, as the owner. A business coach helps you to work on your own progression, but by doing so also partners with you to improve the future path of your business ventures.

For example, having a good adviser and coach:

  • Allows you to get an independent viewpoint – when you’ve been running a business for several years, it can be hard to see the company in an objective light. A business adviser comes to your business model afresh, and helps you to step outside the day-to-day operations and see the company from the outside in. This is incredibly helpful when looking for improvement areas or new opportunities.
  • Helps you to spot the key issues in your business – with the help of an independent adviser, you’re far more likely to spot the flaws in your business model and the areas where you – the owner – need to work on your own management skills. By highlighting the problems, you can start the process of overcoming these issues and moving forward.
  • Provides business planning and strategy – a key reason for working with a business coach is to improve and polish your planning and strategic skills. Drawing on your coach’s experience, you will learn the benefits of proper business planning and how to utilise these skills to draw up a more robust plan for the future of the company.
  • Assists with goal-setting and targets – you can’t draw up a workable business plan if you haven’t outlined the key goals of your business. Working with an adviser helps you to narrow down your goals, set proper targets and create more momentum and drive in the company. With a clear set of targets for you and your team to get behind, it’s easier to understand your business purpose and measure your performance against these goals and targets.
  • Provides you with a mentor – working on your business is important, but working on your own skills and wellbeing is equally as important. A coach can act as both a mentor, sounding board and confidant, something that’s incredibly valuable when you’re entrenched in the business. Being able to share your worries and ambitions with a coach helps you to take care of your own mental health and wellbeing – all of which is good for both you and the business as a whole. When you’re less stressed, you’re a better leader, decision-maker and boss, so there’s an undeniable benefit to working closely with your trusted coach.

If you want to reach your true potential as an entrepreneur and business owner, we’d strongly advise working with a trusted business coach.

Five Tips For Running Good Performance Reviews

The concept of boosting business performance

When times get tough it can be easy to let some of your people processes fall away as you concentrate on the basics of the business.

Take the performance review. They can be unpopular, sucking up a lot of time and making employees and managers stressed. So why not skip them? Well, because good performance reviews work. They’re an effective way to track people’s progress, provide feedback, gain insight, support development and align individual performance with company goals, which helps the business achieve results.

It’s imperative however that they are done well. So here are some tips for getting the most out of your performance reviews:

  • Target the right people – not everyone has to have full, formal reviews. Prioritise the positions that have a genuine opportunity to deliver over-and-above results.
  • Focus on the conversation – documentation provides a basic way to articulate expectations, track performance and measure results, but it shouldn’t replace honest, two-way communication with your people.
  • Keep it simple – structure the review around the objectives needed for success in the role, the skills needed to achieve the objectives and a development plan that aims to improve skills, reach goals and help with career development.
  • Get the review cycle right – align full-scope reviews to an annual cycle and schedule regular check-ins at meaningful times throughout the year.
  • Use software – good software will help lighten the admin load and make it easier to chart and really analyse employee performance.

Christmas Parties and Presents On A Budget

A Christmas hat displayed on a beautiful beach

It’s been a financial rollercoaster of a year for most businesses, but Christmas time invites us to pause and celebrate what’s gone right and thank the people we rode with. Here are eight ways to keep your costs down without sacrificing festive fun.

  1. Go alfresco – Enjoy a free venue that’s good for the body, mind and party games….outside! Ask everyone to bring a rug and head to the local park or beach for a picnic-style Christmas bash.
  2. Share the love – Is your business in a large office or shared space? Throw a party with your neighbours. Saves money, resources and creates a valuable networking opportunity.
  3. Plan a potluck – Putting on a huge spread or taking your team out for dinner can be costly. Why not ask everyone to bring a plate? (Nibbles, cookies or fresh bread).
  4. Go locally-made – Support our economy and buy locally-made gifts for staff and clients.
  5. Make it a day thing – Serving a holiday lunch, brunch or mid-afternoon party can be more affordable because guests fill up with satisfying but inexpensive fare like sandwiches, pancakes, muffins, finger foods, crackers and dip. Plus, it’s often easier to fit into people’s diaries during the busy festive season.
  6. Choose a local venue – Keep costs down for you and your staff by hosting your Christmas party close by. That way people don’t have to spend lots on taxis getting to and from the party.
  7. Give the best present ever – Get in everyone’s good books and give them the morning off after the Christmas party. A small gesture that’s worth its weight in gold.
  8. Take the pressure off – If last year was the bash of the decade, don’t worry – people understand it’s been a tough year. Parties thrown on a shoestring budget can be the most memorable because they strip away all the window dressing and put the focus on people and fun.

Top Tips For Building A Strong Company Culture

A group of people are discussing about strategies to establish a new business

Like it or not, all companies have a culture.

While it might be easy to define culture in nice words, it can be much harder to grab hold of in daily business, especially when times get tough.

A strong company culture is a driving force, underpinning a successful, resilient team. It shouldn’t be ignored, especially during testing times.

But what are the best ways to develop and manage a good company culture? Here are some top tips:

  • Get the basics right – sorting out the basics is critical to establishing solid employment relationships and building credibility, which become the foundation of your company culture. All your people processes are important, from the beginning of employment until its end.
  • Be human – once the compliance work is complete, treat people fairly, listen and seek to understand. There’s little to be gained by approaching every situation like it’s a courtroom drama or your company is an army.
  • Have a clear strategy – when your business strategy is clear, it will shape your culture. You can hire people who support the strategy, team members will know what to expect and what is expected of them, and management can be genuine.
  • Manage problems swiftly – allowing behaviour that is at odds with the company’s values and culture is incredibly damaging, no matter how good a person is at their job. Deal with issues quickly and ethically and stay focussed on the wider team.
  • Be consistent and stay true – a good culture will help carry the company through tough and turbulent times. Stick to your principles, maintain standards, and resist looking for shortcuts when the pressure is on.

Remember, company culture is organic, built by a team, and influenced by many things, never just one department or individual. Business leaders can seek to influence culture, but they can’t own it.

Inspirational Podcasts For Your Business

Podcasts are often on our list of things to do, but for many business owners, there are often not enough hours in the day. The current crisis has challenged normal business activity. It is a stressful time. But it may provide an opportunity to think about where you want your business to head.

Are there opportunities you can grab? These podcasts might provide the inspiration for your business planning or just something interesting to listen to for your walk around the block.

Find them on the author’s website, Spotify or iTunes.

  1. TED Talks – super popular and there are thousands to choose from. Top picks include Simon Sinek and Brene Brown.
  2. Lewis Howes School of Greatness – downloaded over four million times a month; hear interviews with world-class game changers in entrepreneurship, health, athletics, mindset and relationships.
  3. The Bite-Size BizRoom – 15 minute podcasts with business advice you can easily action to grow your business.
  4. The Mike Dillard Podcast – captivating interviews with inspiring leaders to help you fulfil your potential.
  5. The Happiness Lab – surprising and inspiring stories based on the latest scientific research that will change the way you think about happiness.
  6. Building a Storybrand – Donald Miller has helped thousands of businesses grow by getting them to clarify their marketing messages.
  7. How I Built This – Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best known companies. Hear about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists — and the movements they built.
  8. The Mindset Mentor – 10-20 minute podcasts designed to give small business owners a motivational boost.
  9. Goal Digger – a live workshop style podcast to help businesspeople redefine success, chase bolder dreams and tackle their biggest goals.
  10. RISE – this is a series of bold conversations with business powerhouses and personal development leaders that offers real-life valuable takeaways.

Surround Yourself With Champions

It’s human nature to be influenced by the people in your inner circle. In fact, the odds of being successful are a lot higher if you’re surrounding yourself with people who are also successful.

In a business context, consider very carefully the people and friends you associate with. Who plays a role in influencing your life? Who are your role models, mentors, and supporters?

“You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with”.

It really pays to think about who your top five are.

These people play a part in determining how you think, how you act and ultimately how successful you will become.

As entrepreneurs, you’re responsible for yourself. Being around the right people can help success come more naturally to you, instead of being around those who exhibit certain behaviours that hold you back. Keep an eye out for people who have the following traits:

1. People with an unbeatable work ethic

Perhaps this is you! People with the best work ethic will motivate and inspire you. True passion and commitment will breed a successful business.

2. Positive attitudes

If you are working with people who only see the negative or the problem, it will bring you down. It can get very tiring being around people who don’t have a winning attitude.

People who are constantly pessimistic are in every business, so they can be hard to avoid, but you can balance the impact they have on you by finding positive people who look for opportunities and will take you higher.

3. Curious people

These people have an insatiable curiosity for business and life. They’re the ones who are always asking ‘why’ or ‘how’ and genuinely keen to know more. These people will push you to be better thinkers, to ask better questions and ultimately to demand better results.

Take some time to think about your top five people in your life, or set up a regular catch up with people who help you and your business grow – it might be a monthly breakfast. It will be a positive experience for all members. If you’re not surrounding yourself with champions, start thinking about how you could be.

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