Achieving Productive Work Meetings

Meetings are an important part of a company culture, they showcase individual strengths and are a great opportunity for brainstorming sessions from all perspectives. Here are a few tips to improve the quality of the meeting and others time.

Cut the jargon

Businesses deal with complicated subjects and use jargon to simplify communication, but this can sometimes confuse your audience. New employees might not understand critical words or concepts, so providing a brief and simple background at the beginning of the meeting could be helpful.

If an employee uses too much jargon, then calmly explain why this can difficult, and work with them to adjust their vocabulary. Remember, it’s hard to change your word choice, especially if you’ve used the same vocabulary for years or decades – so be patient.

Hold fewer meetings

Anyone who has work meetings knows how easily they can waste time. All it takes is one talkative, overeager employee to sabotage a productive brainstorming session.

Many businesses don’t consider how much money they spend on each meeting. Stationary, hardware, and refreshments aren’t even their most significant investments, employees time.

Instead, understand why you are holding the meeting, and make sure to meet all of your goals by the end. If you are unsure, stop holding meetings until you can gather more data.

The key is to streamline meetings. Employees need to talk to each other to stay productive, and you can’t avoid all group discussions, they are healthy for the culture. You can however make sure every minute benefits your company and staff members.


How To Get More Eco-Friendly At Work

In business, being eco-friendly is one of the biggest current trends. When people are looking for new companies to work with, one of the top things they search for is a company that works in an environmentally friendly way. Luckily, there are a few easy things you can do to make sure that you’re both eco-friendly and up to date with the latest technology in your workplace.

Make Your Workspace Eco-Friendly

First of all, look at your workspace and consider what changes you could start to make. Becoming more energy efficient is a lot easier than you may think it is, and a bonus is that you’ll end up saving money on your energy bills, which you could then push back into your business to continue your aim of becoming more eco-friendly.

Changing your light bulbs to LED or energy-efficient bulbs is a great first start; they last longer than regular bulbs, so they will have to be replaced less often. Also, make sure that people turn off their computers overnight instead of leaving them on, and start a company-wide program of focusing on energy efficiency; encourage taking the stairs instead of an elevator or turning off lights whenever people leave a room.

Change the settings on your technology so that they’re eco-friendly, and when you get rid of technology like laptops and phones, don’t add it to landfills. Instead, wipe the data off it and donate it to charities.

Go Smaller

Many of us think that bigger is better, but when it comes to eco-friendliness, that isn’t the case. You don’t need an enormous office if you don’t need the space; this is just a status symbol that isn’t necessary, and it will turn out to be a whole lot more expensive to run, particularly when it comes to heating and air conditioning bills.

Use laptops instead of desktop computers, and try to veer away from using plastic as much as you can. Bamboo products are much better for the environment. If you offer company cars to your employees, do they need huge trucks? Consider using eco-friendly vehicles instead.

Focus on Waste

Disposing of waste is a huge problem worldwide, but it’s possible for you to make a small difference with what your company puts out into the world. Focus on recycling, and remember that it goes further than throwing leftover printouts into a paper recycling bin.

In the company kitchen, provide different recycling bins for different materials. If you’re changing the furniture, donate the old products to charity instead of just trashing them. If you like to bring in food to have company lunches, then make sure you don’t over-order. If that does happen and you have a lot of food left over, your local homeless charity might be thankful for those donations. Finally, consider packaging: if you provide food for your employees, go for paper bags of fruit instead of individually wrapped candy bars, and check the labels to see just how far those products have traveled.

What About Water?

Wasting water is something that most people do every day without even thinking about it, whether it’s taking an unnecessarily long shower or keeping the water running while you’re brushing your teeth at night. But at work, it is possible to cut down on your water usage. First of all, make sure you have your pipes checked regularly for leaks so that your faucets don’t drip through the day. Invest in taps that stop after a certain amount of time; even though employees might hit them to start them running again, it will remind them that they don’t need to wash their hands for much longer.

Consider Going Paper Free

Going completely paperless isn’t an option for every company out there, but you can always cut down on paper use in your office. Make sure that employees know they should only print documents for which they need hard copies, and consider investing in new technology to encourage people to use tablets and phones instead of paper. Make sure that the paper you use gets recycled regularly. Using less paper means that you’ll require less storage space, which means you can spend less on rent and energy bills.

What About Your Power Sources?

Finally, start thinking about where exactly you get your power from so that you can make some new eco-friendly choices. Installing solar panels on the roof of your building or using wind or water energy means that you’ll be using sources of energy that are entirely renewable, unlike fossil fuels which are gradually running out.

Becoming more aware of the environment is a crucial move that will keep you on track with all the other companies in your industry, winning you both friends and clients. Eco-friendliness is the future.

Effective Employee Onboarding

Finding qualified employees can be a real challenge, and then there is the problem of training those new hires and steeping them in the corporate culture.

Many business owners and hiring managers do everything right, from posting complete job descriptions and screening potential hires with a fine-toothed comb, only to fall down with the onboarding process. They work hard to hire the right people, and then leave them adrift on their first day. That is a big mistake, and one that can be easily avoided. Here are some simple tips for effective onboarding of your new hires.

.   Create a welcoming environment. First impressions count, so take the time to set up a workspace that will make the new hire feel right at home. The computer should be up and ready to go, the desk should be freshly cleaned and there should be a welcome kit with important paperwork and lots of company swag.

.   Schedule time for a facility tour. Too many new employees end up wandering the hallways looking for their colleagues — or their own desks. Scheduling a quiet time for a thorough facility tour can prevent this common problem and make the newcomer feel at home.

.   Build a “Who’s Who” section on the company intranet, complete with current photos, job descriptions and short biographies. This mini directory will give new hires more confidence and make it easier to match names with faces.

.   Send your new hires home with the important paperwork they need, like signup forms for the workplace 401(k) plan and a copy of the employee manual. This will allow new employees to read about the company and its policies at their own pace.

.   Post orientation materials in a central location. Instead of making them search through the entire company website, post all new hire orientation materials, from the employee handbook to an extensive list of FAQs, in a dedicated spot. Use the standard new hire email to link to those orientation materials.

.   Use mentors to make new hires feel more welcome. The personal touch is often lacking during the onboarding process, but a mentor can make things a lot easier. Some companies assign individual mentors based on common interests and backgrounds, while others assign a single mentor to each newly hired group of employees.

.   Sit down for a one-on-one chat. The first day of work can be overwhelming, and this feeling of being overwhelmed can wreck the onboarding process. Hiring managers can fight back by scheduling a one-on-one chat with all their new hires. This chat session gives new employees a chance to ask questions, and hiring managers a chance to learn more about their newest team members.

.   Check in at the end of the day. That first day can be pretty overwhelming, so smart hiring managers always check in with their new hires before the close of business. This last check-in gives employees one final chance to ask questions and learn about the company, and sets the stage for a great second day.

The onboarding process can be a difficult time for hiring managers and new employees alike. Starting a new job can be an intimidating experience, but setting the right environment, providing the right materials and guidance and having a friendly chat can go a long way.