Business leaders and entrepreneurs across the globe tend to share common problems with running their companies. It often takes an empowered and creative manager to cut through the noise of issues to find the ones that mean the most to their employees and their customers. Some of these issues remain the priority for the lifetime of the company. Others tend to be affected by the economic environment and changing markets. What are the issues that concern you most in your business?
The cost of running a business can be wide-ranging. Typical overheads include power, data processing, and connectivity. But it is usually the cost of staffing the business that company bosses feel should be variable. That is, it should be cut when trends suggest that profits may not reach predicted levels. Culling your human resource should be a last resort, but sadly seems to be a preferred cost-saving exercise. It is usually left to the manager to break the bad news, and deal with the fall-out.
The health of your employees is another area that causes great concern for managers and business leaders. Your company is legally obliged to ensure safety. And many companies with over 50 employees are expected to cover much of the cost of their employees’ healthcare. Have a look at some business health insurance quotes to see what your obligation might be this year. Look at it from your employee’s point of view, though. If they’re not healthy, they can’t work for you. And if you can’t provide the cover they need, they might leave you for a competitor anyway.
No matter how many employees you have, it is essential you maintain equal opportunities and fairness for all. This is easier said than done. It’s easier when you have a formal promotion and pay review scheme. It can be difficult for your employees to feel they are fairly considered and rewarded without one. Women have historically seen the effects of gender preference in the boardroom. When it’s your turn to consider promoting someone, can you be certain you’ll reward your employees fairly and without bias?
The Internet of Things and the rise of Big Data is opening up opportunities in technology that we may never have dreamed of. The trouble with all rapid rises of new ideas is that it takes a long time for us to fully digest the consequences. Privacy and security are the biggest issues to consider. Your business undoubtedly holds and accesses thousands of sensitive pieces of data. This can be about employees as well as customers. The big worry is the fall-out should your security be compromised.
As a creative leader in the business world, it’s important you have the freedom to express and present your ideas and suggestions. One of the biggest worries for women that have made it to the top is standing up for yourself. You want to share what you’ve come up with, but are you too afraid to rock the boat? Which of these issues worries you the most in your workplace?
Excellent post and yes the cost of doing business is very real. Often people overlook this fact. Most business people start small and grow with the trends and times to provide that service hopefully finding a niche making them successful.
I have a friend who had a start up company a few years back. She invested heavily into the outdoor Cedar furniture line, designing and manufacturing an excellent high quality product. Her company flourished. Now with the new proposals in Nafta in progress and the possibility of embargoes on her product heading to the US she will be forced to close.
Her bottom line costs have not changed with the exception of the new carbon tax laws. The sad part is her passion to produce quality products at a reasonable price will effectively take her out of the market. It is sad to watch this happen…
Hugs from Alberta
Buon fine settimana.
Christy, I agree with the points you’re making here, and I’d like to raise one more issue. Loyalty. I’ve heard it often said that there is no company loyalty among the employees. I believe it. I also believe that it is because employees don’t feel any loyalty from the company. When the bottom line is the only important measuring stick, then employees will be downsized as deemed necessary. Loyalty is a two-way street. Big business seems to have lost sight of that. If big companies are truly taking care of their employees and listening to their concerns, that care and concern will be returned. That’s human nature. The only reason the union movement blossomed is that so many business owners/shareholders were and are totally engrossed in the bottom line to the exclusion of the well-being of their employees. It is a total lack of empathy… “It’s nothing personal, it’s just business.” Right.
I’m glad you added the point here about loyalty, John. When employees feel appreciated by the company, research shows that they are more likely to stay with the company. Lower turnover rates saves the company money and time. As well, loyal employees will be more likely to work harder than those who feel the organization doesn’t care about them. Your ability to work in a quote from The Godfather shows your fabulous mind :)
Fabulous, eh… you’re very sweet! On Friday, Anne and I went to a very swanky local hotel (the Queen and other dignitaries have stayed there) for lunch and a massage at their spa. It was delightful (I need to rob a bank) and while Anne was waiting for me to bring the car around afterward, she struck up a conversation with an employee. She had been with the hotel for many years and said that the owners/managers treat the employees extremely well. Staff turnover is very low and people don’t leave for better jobs at other hotels. As I thought about that, it explained the cheerful friendliness we encountered with the dining staff and the spa staff. As soon as I rob another bank, I’ll be back!
How many people really take this into consideration?? I am glad you wrote this, because the need has to be recognized. In extension of the fairness, I would like to add a matching of the job to a suitable candidate. Typically, candidates are made to do work not in line with their skills which results in unhappiness and sub-par performance. We need to tailor roles to candidates and not the other way around!
I love your comment, Prajakta! And so happy you’re going to see about that potential health issue (I’m glad you updated me) xx Hugs
I loved this post Christy. And I was reading some comments, particularly John’s comment with which I totally agree. Loyalty has seemed to disappear in the workplace. Cutting corners, pays, hours and benefits has stirred a lot of resentments and I truly believe all these factor in to the many service industries where service sucks. Many people don’t give a crap about their jobs because of how they’re treated and the fallout comes down to the consumer too. Cutting long time employees became a big trend for companies in the last 5 years or so, I call it ‘half the wage for half the age’ syndrome. Well, you get what you pay for and when employers stop caring about their customers to save a dime, is when their businesses begin to suffer. Greed will get you. :) Okay, I’m done now, lol. <3
Hi Debby, sorry for missing this comment earlier! I’m updating the blog and just realized. Many companies are now dealing with the aftermaths of the cuts you mentioned, including hostile workers and those who are majorly stressed about finances… I wish there were an easy solution. You are so right that there are some great comments here – and yours is one of them! <3
Thanks Christy. You know me, if I have something to say, I must say, lol. <3
I adore that about you!! <3
Christy, I love your blog!!! I just found it! :) Thank you for sharing! One thing that I noticed with the passing of the Affordable Care Act was a strange reversal of appeal for small businesses who offered health insurance, and I wondered what your thoughts were. Let me explain a little more- I advised a small company about the ACA regulations and let them know that they had to provide a plan deemed “affordable” (not costing more than 9.5% of the employee’s W2 wage) with minimum value requirements (at the time, the government defined this as a $6000 deductible). They did not offer any insurance at the time, but they found the cheapest plan that met government standards and paid 75% of the premium for their employees so they could remain in compliance with the ACA. It was a huge expense for them but they felt good about offering health coverage for the first time.
They found that their employees were getting subsidies on the Exchange, and by offering the plan, their employees could no longer receive the subsidies. The employees complained that the plan costed more than what they had on the exchange, and the deductible was higher. Their best workers left for a competitor who did not offer insurance so they could keep their subsidies. The poor small business owner had to choose between paying penalties or premiums, and they felt like they were stuck between a rock and a hard place! Just wondering if you had seen this trend in small business and what your take was on it! :) Again, thank you for the amazing posts!
Hi Jessica, this trend is new to me! As I’m in Canada, it sometimes takes a while for the US trends in business to trickle to me. On a brighter note, I appreciate your enthusiasm for this blog and look forward to chatting more with you regarding women, health, and inspiration. Have a great week! :)
When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.