Reducing Stress and Burnout Leads to Ultimate Small Business Success

Reducing Stress and Burnout Leads to Ultimate Small Business Success

Nearly every job is stressful at certain times. Whether it’s meeting tight deadlines, creating dynamic presentations or dealing with unruly customers or employees, workers experience stress in a number of ways.

For small businesses, stress is a common occurrence among owners and staff members. Enterprises often lack the resources and capabilities of their larger counterparts, and therefore have to handle many tasks at once rather than delegating them to certain departments or outsourcing them to other companies.

This causes stress levels to rise and can eventually lead to owner and employee burnout if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are many methods that, as a small-business owner, you can implement to reduce stress and keep everyone happy, healthy and motivated.

1. Revise your habits: Everyone has a habit of how they do things, and this also pertains to work. While some habits are highly effective, others may be slowing you and your staff down. USA Today suggests taking a look at your daily work habits and changing them to become more efficient. Altering your commute or taking extra, smaller breaks throughout the day may bring down stress levels.

2. Log off email after work: In the age of smartphones, work is now always in the palm of our hands. However, checking email after you and your employees have left work interferes with any personal or relaxation time. The Washington Post recommends that owners and staff members refrain from sending and answering emails when not at work unless it’s an emergency. Keeping work-related emails in between working hours helps you and your employees unplug and unwind.

3. Lean on other small business: In many cases, taking the time to talk to someone about stress and possible burnout helps alleviate problems. Finding other small-business owners who understand and have experienced what you are going through helps you build a strong support system, Fox Business states.

4. Get to the gym: Working out is a great stress reliever. Spending time in the gym can help you work out frustrations and clear your head, writes USA Today. Encouraging yourself and your staff members to get active helps reduce stress levels and avoid burnout.

5. Spend time with your family: As a small-business owner, you may have had to sacrifice time with your family to get work-related responsibilities taken care of. Unfortunately, this contributes to stress and leads to burnout too often. Fox Business recommends setting aside time each week to spend with family that helps take your mind off of work and gets you in tune with your loved ones.

You can also take advantage of business coaching services to discuss ways in which you can make your small company an enjoyable place to work by engaging staff and keeping yourself and your employees motivated, happy and loyal.

Just like any other task, putting practices in place to decrease stress takes time and effort. However, by implementing strategies for you and your employees to get rid of stress, your operations will reap the benefits of a more energized workforce, leading to small business success.

Make Workplace Optimism Widespread for Ultimate Business Success

Make Workplace Optimism Widespread for Ultimate Business Success

Businessmen with smiley faces

Whether it’s from an owner or an employee, being committed to a job is key for business success.

Hard work and dedication go a long way within a business. Providing customer service, creating exciting products and reaching out to potential patrons are all tasks that require motivation. Whether from an owner or employee, being committed to the job is critical for business success.

However, there are times when being motivated is not enough. Being happy and optimistic about work is also helpful in order to achieve real results. Fostering these feelings within a business environment can sometimes be difficult, but not impossible. By focusing on making employees happier and more engaged, you, as an owner, can ensure that your staff members are putting forth the effort to see your company thrive.

Small businesses more optimistic
Optimism is being felt nationwide by small businesses, according to a recently released report from the National Federation of Independent Businesses. The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index revealed an optimism uptick in May among companies participating in the poll. The Index now stands at 96.6, which is a 1.4 point increase from April. It also represents the highest level of optimism by small businesses since September 2007.

Contributing to the increased positive outlook are expectations for the economy to continue to improve. Small business owners also have plans to hire more employees based on an anticipated jump in sales revenues.

Based on these results, it’s clear to see that business owners are steadily gaining more confident in various company-related conditions. However, if you want to see realize ultimate success, you need to make it a priority to boost optimism among your employees.

Creating an optimistic working environment
As an owner, you already know that if your employees are not happy with their jobs, your operations can suffer. Fortunately, there are many strategies that you can follow to bring optimism into your enterprise.

Perhaps one of the best ways, as suggested by Business Community, is to always be optimistic, as the feeling is often contagious. By doing this, you are leading by example. Being positive about your work and your business goals will certainly rub off on your staff members.

B2C also recommends allowing your employees to be more creative in their roles and give them the freedom to frequently provide feedback and offer their opinions on business aspects when necessary. This can be accomplished by sitting down with each worker and talking through their suggestions, or by using employee assessment tools to gather their thoughts.

There are other ways to spread optimism throughout your company. TheNewsReports.com suggests providing workers with the opportunity to improve their skills or learn more about the business and its goals. You should also take the time to acknowledge accomplishments and highlight when excellent work has been done. This makes staff members more optimistic, not only about their jobs, but about the company as a whole.

Career tips to help your business connect with employees

Career tips to help your business connect with employees

Understanding employee motivations can help increase productivity.

Understanding employee motivations can help increase productivity.

Professional consulting services help businesses on the cusp of reaching new levels of profitability, efficiency and output attain their goals. Such services also help employers better connect with employees and learn best practices for worker interaction and leadership.

One of the best ways to make sense of what drives workers is to look at things from their perspective. Some overarching career advice from Business 2 Community can help managers and owners understand the motivations of many of their workers, as well as know how they can adapt their offices to better accommodate staff. Some of the advice will apply to you and your managers as well.

Personal branding

Employers and employees should both have an idea of how they want to be viewed by others and make changes to that effect. For workers, those differences may involve extra effort in certain business behaviors and a focus on learning new skills. Reputation is a factor that can be controlled by both individuals and businesses if they put in the work.

The corollary to managing perception is that everyone needs to be honest about who they are. Making positive changes is entirely possible for employees, but they likely can’t become totally new people or go against instinct. Instead of enforcing a too-rigid corporate culture, supervisors should find out what their employees are deeply interested in and see if they can fit those passions into new work opportunities.

Management should offer to help employees who want to learn and do more and be proactive about letting their workforce know that mentoring and counseling for professional growth is available.

When companies bring in a corporate consulting service, they should involve employees as much as possible. Asking for and acting on feedback is a great potential source of growth for employees and supervisors. And when an employee is successful, management should make note of a job well done as well as subtly encourage others to offer congratulations for good work.

Employee-to-employee interaction

Workers often care the most about their relationships with colleagues, according to research by TinyPulse reported on industry website Employee​ Benefits. The happiness of staff often has more to do with co-workers and less to do with managers, especially with businesses becoming less hierarchical and more focused on collaboration.

Employers can foster positive relationships though non-traditional benefits like catering lunch or offering out-of-work activities in a low-pressure fashion to help develop those horizontal bonds between employees on the same level.

The traits and characteristics of successful business owners

The traits and characteristics of successful business owners

Entrepreneurs have to adopt the traits and habits of people who have already achieved small business success.

Entrepreneurs have to adopt the traits and habits of people who have already achieved business success.

Entrepreneurship carries with it a lot of responsibility. Business success requires an individual to juggle multiple tasks at one time like ensuring the company is operating efficiently in order to generate revenue and be a viable entity in the marketplace. Many people who branch out on their own and begin an enterprise don’t always fully understand what it takes to be the kind of leader who can drive an organization toward profitability. Not only does it take a lot of hard work, but it also requires patience, an open mind and a willingness to learn.

One of the best ways for a business owner to gain knowledge is by eliciting the help of others who are more experienced than they may be. There are a number of resources available to be those who start their own companies, such as professional business coaching services that can help guide an entrepreneur through the difficulties associated from running their own enterprises.

However, one of the best educational sources is seeking out the knowledge of those who have already established themselves and their companies as viable players in the marketplace. All of these individuals developed personal characteristics – in addition to strengthening their business acumen – that contributed greatly to the growth and sustainability of their organizations and those individuals seeking business success would be wise to follow their lead.

Common traits of entrepreneurs with strong enterprises
A recent article from Inc. Magazine listed a number of habits adopted by company owners that contributed to their thriving businesses. Here are a few traits that Entrepreneurs and owners should adopt into their daily routines:

  1. Be proactive: Thinking ahead and preparing for the unforeseen is a good way not be caught off guard in the event that something bad happens. Not having enough foresight can derail an organization and cause the head of a company to make reactionary decisions that could do more harm than good.
  2. Strike first: The most successful business leaders are those who don’t wait for things to happen and instead are aggressive in ensuring that their companies thrive.
  3. Serve others: Obviously, putting customers first is an important part of achieving business success. However, the same level of service given to patrons must also be provided to staff members. Ensuring happiness is achieved internally and externally will contribute greatly to an enterprise surviving in a marketplace that has become increasingly competitive.

Change your way of thinking
In addition to creating and developing good habits, a shift in your thought process as a leader should also occur if an organization is to be successful. A recent article from CEO.com highlighted the importance for entrepreneurs to not get too caught up in details but instead keep everything is simplified as possible.

This leads to clarity of thought and greatly diminishes the frustration associated with making things more complex than the have to be. For example, when making a decision to bring staff members on board, focus on the people who appear to have an ability to do their jobs and be an asset from day one. Don’t get caught up in their skills and experience. Instead, evaluate them on their ability to come in and contribute right away in order to help the company reach its goals.

Another suggestion is to envision the solution to the problem as opposed to focusing on the issue itself. This act can be difficult as it is very easy to lose sight of the big picture whenever situations come up that can be detrimental to the business. Having a mindset that foresees a successful outcome when negative situations occur, lends itself to thoughts and ideas that can be beneficial and move an organization past a roadblock with relative ease.

The importance of workplace collaboration

The importance of workplace collaboration

Workplace Collaboration

Business success will be difficult to achieve if staff members don’t work together toward the common goal of seeing the company succeed.

Business Owners that have a staff of any size understand the difficulties and complexities that come with managing multiple personalities and egos. This is a delicate practice that will test the patience of any entrepreneur, although it is necessary if your  business success it to be realized. When there is discord running rampant throughout an organization, it can be felt by customers. This negative energy can be detrimental to business and threaten the viability of a company.

People management isn’t something that comes naturally to entrepreneurs. Many times, individuals who branch out on their own are usually experts or achieved a certain level of mastery in their field of experience, but oftentimes find themselves learning as they go when it comes to running a company.

A certified business consultant is a great asset to owners working to understand their marketplace, customer base and how to ensure that their organization succeeds. However, when it comes to employing a workforce that is happy, engaged and contributing to the success of the company, it’s important for an owner to foster an environment of collaboration in order to achieve this goal and see to it that his or her business does not fail.

How to encourage staff to collaborate with one another
Getting people to work together in harmony isn’t easy. However, owners who set this expectation on the front end have a much better chance of seeing this kind of environment flourish internally.  A recent article from Forbes outlined ways that entrepreneurs can create a collaborative culture:

  1. Be open: As a leader, the people that you employ look to you for guidance and will follow any cues or leads that are given directly or observed. Being an individual who is open and works closely with staff members will encourage others to take similar actions, many times without being forced or told to do so.
  2. Celebrate individual accomplishments or achievements: Everyone wants to receive positive acknowledgement from their boss. This could be in relation to exceptional work performance, or something as small as celebrating a birthday or employment anniversary. Both create positive feelings and contribute to an internal environment that is both happy and productive.
  3. Encourage staff members to engage with one another: Sometimes collaboration happens naturally and other times it must be implemented by organizational leadership. As a business owner, you must make employees understand the value of collaboration. Not only will working together help them achieve professional goals, but it will also contribute to the sustainability of the business.

The value of working relationships
Despite the novelty of collaboration within the workplace, it’s unrealistic to think that as a business owner, everyone that you hire will get along. Obviously, that is the hope, but it’s likely to never happen. Still, that doesn’t mean that people who don’t get along can’t work amicably, side by side.

CEO.com listed some suggestions on how business owners can ensure that staff members who have differences can still work together to achieve common goals.

The first step is to encourage them to keep an open mind and listen to their co-workers. Additionally, it’s important to get them to understand the difference between listening for understanding and listening to give a response. The latter will contribute to discord and have a negative impact on workplace harmony.

It’s also important to get them to understand the value of making themselves available when a colleague needs help. The saying, “we’re all in this together,” applies perfectly to all businesses. If everyone isn’t on the same page and committed to seeing the business grow and thrive, then success will be difficult to achieve and enterprise can easily fail.

Collaboration and competition strategies for businesses

Collaboration and competition strategies for businesses

Working together, along with healthy competition, helps drive positive business metrics.

Working together, along with healthy competition, helps drive positive business metrics.

A healthy competitive spirit can help businesses be successful, whether it drives a company to do more when vying against a competitor for a contract or pushes individual employees to try to attain the month’s highest sales volume.

A progressive collaborative attitude is another driver of business, fostering positive attitudes and a sense of team accomplishment as well as strategies to increase profits and growth.

Managers have to balance sympathetic and antagonistic relationships to get the most out of their employees. A corporate consulting service can help you work with the two sides to create an especially effective business strategy both internally and externally. Taking some advice from Fast Company about the nature of healthy and unhealthy business competition can also help organizations stay positive.

Competition within reason

There’s nothing wrong with rewarding top performers and having employees compete for recognition or prizes, as long as the engagements don’t become overwhelming and negatively influence attitudes, behavior and productivity. Too much contention in the office can eventually have negative impacts on a variety of work metrics, Fast Company said.

Competitions can reward those who respond well to such ventures but may not actually be much better at job tasks, making the long-term health of the business take a backseat to performance rivalries and challenges. Employees who do good work but aren’t as attuned to adversarial matchups may be minimized and, even worse, discouraged, hurting their output and the business as a whole.

Focusing on the positive results of interoffice competitions and not the negatives can help contests serve their intended purpose of benefiting the company. Recognize top performers but take care not to shame those who are on the lower end of the spectrum. Managers can also reward those who put effort into improving their skills outside of a designated rivalry.

Working together efficiently

Collaboration can help isolate and develop new ideas that help a company, as well as create a sense of community amongst staff and increase engagement. Working together also helps sharpen employee focus, Forbes reported.

Intense research and analysis are often best completed individually, but other tasks like developing client interaction strategies, deciding on a quarterly goal for a department or team and brainstorming sessions can all benefit from group work. Collaborative efforts should focus on areas where an increase in creativity and multiple perspectives are needed.

Even if employees aren’t physically near each other, using video conferencing and Internet-based seminar software can help bridge the gap.