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Feature Story:

Corporate Culture: 4 Cultural Values And Behaviors Of Successful Companies »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Whether you're launching a new business or wondering why your existing company isn't performing as well as predicted, longtime corporate executive Larry Katzen suggests taking a careful look at your business plan.
Did you include a section describing the workplace culture and the steps you'll take to foster that culture?
"When you look at why businesses fail, it almost always has something to do with the culture," says Katzen, author of, And You Thought Accountants Were Boring - My Life Inside Arthur Andersen, www.larrykatzen.com. "For nearly half of the startups that fail, incompetence is cited as the major cause, according to Statistic Brain. Tolerating - or not tolerating - incompetence is part of corporate culture."
Katzen, a former managing partner at one of the world's top five accounting firms, says his experience taught him a great deal about what kind of culture results in successful businesses...

Feature Story:

Come Together: CEO Shares Tips For Encouraging Productive Collaboration In Meetings »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

In survey after survey, company meetings get knocked by everyone from employees to senior executives as being among the biggest waste of work hours.
In one poll, by Office Team, 45 percent of senior executives said their firms would be more productive if they banned all meetings at least one day a week!
"The problem that often occurs - beyond the obvious, like lacking a clear agenda - is the underlying current of competition that each person brings to the table," says Berny Dohrmann, chairman and founder of CEO Space International, and author of Redemption: The Cooperation Revolution, (www.ceospaceinternational.com). 
"Competition pulls people apart; cooperation brings them together. Signs that competition is causing unproductive meetings include one or two people dominating the floor; individuals touting their achievements; people consistently failing to contribute their ideas because they fear being criticized or ridiculed," he says...

Feature Story:

Pardon Me, Is This Your Two Grand? »

By Nate DaPore

If you're not filing employee tax credits, it could be

Do you know there is "free" money out there for your business, and that it is easier than ever to claim it? Last year alone, TaxBreak, a tax credit recovery and processing firm, discovered more than $200 million in available tax credits for clients. Many businesses don't take advantage of the tax credit opportunities available to them, for several different reasons.
Tax credits are designed to encourage businesses to provide job opportunities to groups such as veterans, those in a specified demographic, or those in a specific geographic area. To qualify, your business must have recently paid federal taxes and be for-profit. Businesses with hourly workers and high turnover tend to see the highest qualification rates...

Feature Story:

Giving Credit: 4 More Reasons Franchise Owners Should Explore Prepaid Expense Cards »

By Toffer Grant

Corporate prepaid credit and debit cards offer a new approach to managing day-to-day employee spending that, until now, was available only to the largest corporations. Unlike standard business credit cards, a prepaid expense card ensures employees never have direct access to the company’s business credit line. Employers no longer need to worry about exceeding credit limits or getting hit with late fees or interest charges.
Franchisees across a wide variety of industries across the globe are implementing prepaid expense cards to streamline their business expenses. Here are four more reasons to consider a corporate prepaid expense card program for franchise businesses.

1. Prepaid expense cards are less limiting than credit cards...

Feature Story:

Employee Credit: 4 Reasons Franchisees Should Explore Prepaid Expense Cards »

By Toffer Grant

As a franchise owner, your employees are likely making purchases on behalf of you and your business, which can conflict with the strong need you have to control expenses and limit risk. The dilemma here is that many franchise owners are uncomfortable handing over a business credit card to their employees.
Your comfort level when it comes to providing spend authority can be managed based on the type of tool selections you select. However, most options on the market for expense management are credit-based. These require a personal credit guarantee by the business owner to accept the responsibility of the debt if your company cannot pay. It's a big decision.
Companies with workers on the road now have a game-changing option: corporate prepaid expense cards...

Feature Story:

Wasted Time: 12 Reasons Why Employee Training Fails »

By John Tschohl

Most of the money and time companies spend on training is wasted. That's because the majority of companies use outdated training ideas and boring training methods.
Training that is poorly presented goes in one ear and out the other. It's no wonder employees don't change their attitudes or behaviors after they attend a badly presented training session.
After working in the training field for more than 40 years on six continents, I've seen 12 reasons why group training fails:

Feature Story:

Extreme Mentoring: Don't Hesitate To Give The Gift To Someone Else »

By Steve Farber

What if you could give someone a really special gift that would cost you no money at all? And what if that no-cost gift could significantly change another's life? Well, you could and it will.
You can give yourself as a "gift" to someone you love, believe in, or admire by taking that person on as your Greater Than Yourself (GTY) Project. Think of the Greater Than Yourself approach as Extreme Mentoring, if you will.
I'd highly encourage you extend yourself in this deeply meaningful way. I think you'll notice all kinds of payoff. And to help you make this relationship official (whether or not you already have a GTY Project), we've created this gift certificate for you to use.
Please read the following text from the certificate...

Feature Story:

Favor The Customer: Allow Empowered Employees To Create Profits »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Companies can make more money when they empower employees to make decisions that create over-happy customers, says John Tschohl, president of Service Quality Institute.
"Employee empowerment is defined as allowing employees to make fast decisions - on the spot - in favor of the customer. Empowerment is the single most difficult skill to get employees to utilize. That's a problem for businesses and government because if you don't have empowered employees, you will never be a service leader," says Tschohl, who is the author of Empowerment: A Way of Life.
"It is critically important for businesses to give employees the power to make decisions on the spot because one policy can't cover everything. There are too many weird things that happen every day...

Feature Story:

Engaged For Success: Creating Real Employee Engagement From The Ground Up »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

These days we hear plenty about employee engagement. We know disengaged employees are bad for business. We know an office full of innovative, collaborative employees who feel like "owners" is the key to surviving a brutal marketplace. We may even know the statistics like Human Capital Institute's revelations that companies with highly engaged employees enjoy profit growth at three times the rate of their competitors, and that increased engagement reduces turnover--one of the largest hidden costs in business--by 87 percent.
So, yes: We know. Why then is it so incredibly tough to move beyond the "buzzword" phase and truly transform enthusiasm fakers, paycheck collectors, and clock watchers into employees who truly feel like they have a stake in your company's success?
"Frankly, it's because in many cases employees really don't have a stake," says Michael Houlihan, coauthor along with Bonnie Harvey of The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America's #1 Wine Brand...

Feature Story:

Failing To Lead: Avoid These 3 Leadership Myths »

By Erick Lauber, Ph.D.

Bradley was failing, and failing badly.
Not only did the members of his team avoid him in the lunchroom and never stop by to say “good morning,” they had begun taping a target to his back every day and everyone had signed up for archery lessons. Bradley’s leadership style just wasn’t working.
Unfortunately, Bradley’s core problem was that he suffered from several leadership myths he’d picked up from pop culture. Like many of us, he didn’t have any formal training in leadership so his beliefs came mostly from watching movies. Leadership to Bradley was square-jawed men taking on insurmountable odds, rallying the troops with award-winning speeches, and humbly waiting for passionate kisses from pretty co-stars. Bradley thought he was prepared to be a great leader because though he didn’t have a square jaw and no one had tried to kiss him in years, he had been practicing his motivational speeches in the mirror...

Feature Story:

Break The Habit: 4 Things To Stop Doing To Improve The Customer Experience »

By Lisa Ford

The customer experience is all about doing things that will be memorable and of value to the customer. Start with the basics and fundamentals. Once you have gotten them right, you will have earned the customer's trust and repeat business. To keep them loyal, break out and be different. There are plenty of companies offering what you offer, so be decidedly different. With that being said, there are things you must stop doing if you want to stand out.

1. Stop asking the customer to repeat information they have told you already. This includes asking them to repeat identifying information already keyed in while listening to prompts. Make certain transfers are smooth and seamless by sharing key information with the next team member...

Feature Story:

The Human Element: Drive Performance By Managing The Whole Employee »

By Marty Martin Psy.D.

The term "human resources management" is essential in business. But have you noticed that the majority of the literature about the topic focuses on the "resources" and the "management" aspects but barely addresses the "human" element? As a result, most managers see their employees as resources to be managed, and not as a whole person that can contribute so much more.
Managing the whole person means acknowledging that everyone is multi-dimensional and has numerous roles to balance in life--all of which affect job performance. However, this goes much deeper than simply work-life balance. It's about recognizing all aspects of an employee to ensure a work-life "fit" that benefits the company and each individual. In fact, when you focus on the whole person rather than just on an employee's work performance, you build more meaningful connections with employees, resulting in greater loyalty and productivity...

Feature Story:

Well-Balanced Life »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

5 tips that go a long way towards a healthy "life worth"

People are overwhelmed with the complexities of their own lives and are desperately seeking a way to maximize happiness in their home and work lives, says Gary Kunath, an entrepreneur, speaker, and former CEO who works with some of the world's top corporations and business schools.
"I used to be caught up in the spin cycle of thinking that net worth automatically afforded me life worth," says Kunath, author of Life ... Don't Miss It. I Almost Did: How I Learned To Live Life To The Fullest (www.lifedontmissitbook.com).
"I sacrificed time with my family with the justification that I was providing necessary material things, but at a certain point you realize that money doesn't make you rich, it just allows you to buy more stuff...

Feature Story:

A Disengaged Workforce: Recognize 'Human Equity' And Focus On Individuals' Strengths »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

A Gallup poll from earlier this year shed light on an ugly little secret in the business world: Most American workers either hate their jobs or don't care one way or the other about them.
Less than a third of Americans are actively engaged in their work, meaning they're passionate about it, enthusiastic, and energetic. They're consistently productive, and high performing.
Gallup estimates the 20 million who are "actively disengaged" - openly negative and unhappy have a staggering effect on the economy, costing the United States $450 to $550 billion each year in lost productivity.
"To engage the 70 percent of non-committal or 'actively disengaged' employees, business managers need to change how they view human capital," says Trevor Wilson, CEO of TWI Inc...

Feature Story:

Happy Values: NBA Co-Owner Shares His 5 Tips For Staying Happy »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

In his years as a successful entrepreneur creating and selling corporations to the likes of Coca-Cola and Kimberly-Clark, Richard Jaffe, one of the owners of the Phoenix Suns, found a few constants to guide him in business and in life.
"Love myself; live my values, and learn to give back," says Jaffe, who gained respect as an inspirational leader.
The most important of these and the key to happiness, he says, is learning to love himself. It's a recurring theme in the poetry he's been writing for decades and recently published in, Inner Peace & Happiness: Reflections to Grow Your Soul www.richardjaffe.net.
"I've found that loving myself is fundamental to my happiness," he says. "The one person I have a relationship with for my entire life is myself, so it's essential to make that relationship my priority...

Feature Story:

Business Busters: 10 Ways To Avoid Career Killers »

By Daniel C. Steenerson

Fundamentals are stressed in everything from sports to business. Focus in on basic tackling and blocking and success is much more likely to follow. Here are 10 ways to avoid career killers.

10. Set 'em and forget 'em goals. Successful people treat goals as "do or die."
9. Complex communication. You can't persuade people who don't understand. Keep it super simple.
8.  One-shot-wonder effort. If it's worth trying once, it's worth following up and persevering. Most achievements occur after several rounds of follow up.
7. Treating others how you want to be treated. Instead, deploy Tony Alessandra's Platinum Rule: Treat others how they want to be treated.
6. Trying to make brilliant decisions instead of facing the hard decisions...

Feature Story:

Background Checks: Follow The Law When Checking Out Employee Candidates »

Multi-unit Franchisee

You need to hire smart and you'd like to hire efficiently, but not so fast. When making a hiring decision, you might need a bit more information than an applicant provides. After all, some folks give false or incomplete information in employment applications. And workers probably don't want you to know certain facts about their past that might disqualify them from getting a job. Generally, it's good policy to do a little checking before you make a job offer.
However, you do not have an unfettered right to dig into applicants' personal affairs. Workers have a right to privacy in certain personal matters, a right they can enforce by suing you if you pry too deeply. And, you may be legally required to follow certain procedures - such as getting the applicant's consent in writing - before you can get certain records...

Feature Story:

Productive Failure: Turn Your Mistakes Into Learning Opportunities »

By Dr. Nido Qubein

We learn by doing. Think about the basic skills you've acquired in life. You learned to walk by pulling yourself up, turning loose, and taking a step. You fell the first time, but you got up and tried again. Each time you did it a little better than the time before. You were learning by doing.
You learned to drive a car by taking one out on the highway with an experienced teacher who could give you instructions and point out your mistakes as you drove.
With each endeavor, you started as a novice, and you learned proficiency from the mistakes you made. It's that way in any undertaking. When you take action toward your goals, you will make mistakes. Don't worry about it. Everybody makes them. Successful people learn from theirs...

Feature Story:

Searching For Success: 7 Sure-Fire Success Principles »

By Daniel C. Steenerson

Success is something everyone wants but only a few achieve. However, it doesn't have to be that way. No matter where you are in your career - from job seeking to having held the same position for an extended period - there are principles you can apply to ensure your success. Below are seven sure-fire success principles you can start using right now:

Feature Story:

Performance Issues: 4 'Bad Leader Behaviors' That Affect Productivity And Profits »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

What can business leaders and managers learn from watching the earnings of publicly traded companies?
"Plenty," says Kathleen Brush, a 25-year veteran of international business and author of The Power of One: You're the Boss (www.kathleenbrush.com), a guide to developing the skills necessary to become an effective, respected leader.
"When looking at the corporations reporting lower-than-expected earnings, you need to read between the lines. They are not going to admit that the reason is a failure of leadership, but 99 times out of 100 that's what it is."
She cites Oracle, the business hardware and software giant, which recently reported a quarterly revenue shortfall based on a decline in new software licenses and cloud subscriptions...



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