Running a company entails juggling a number of factors at any given time, and that can be draining for first time business owners. Learning to manage your business effectively is a necessity in order to make your company a profitable one, but it’s also important for maintaining the mental health of you and your employees. Especially now during a pandemic where staying at home can be a detriment to your mental health and also drains your productivity.
Now more than ever, it is important to make your business more efficient while being seamless for your employees to help them during these difficult times. Mental health matters, for today’s remote workforce: a vast majority of workers (80%) would consider quitting their current position for a job that focused more on employees’ mental health. That’s according to a recent survey of 1,000 Americans, published by TELUS International. Research indicates that 75% of U.S. workers have struggled at work due to anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and other recent world events. On the eve of World Mental Health Day, it seems that the coronavirus has created massive amounts of stress, anxiety and uncertainty for remote workers and leaders alike. Employers don’t have to let anxiety and stress ruin productivity, however. Nearly all of the respondents said that it was important that companies prioritize workers’ mental health. Here’s what you need to know.
Modern businesses rely on cutting edge technology to improve productivity, but this opens a company up to potential danger in the form of cyber attacks. Businesses are targeted by hackers because of the data they have to offer, information that can have immense black market value. Because of this, businesses need to invest in robust cyber security in order to repel these attacks when and if they occur. Single sign-on systems using standard protocols such as SAML assertions can keep your network safe by verifying the identities of your staff, while a firewall can keep your employees from engaging in certain activity on the network that may be unsafe. These measures will help to keep your business’s operations running smoothly, and that helps both your bottom line and your mental health. In order to benefit even more from that sense of safety, you can hire a cyber security consultant to help you cast the widest possible net to thwart as many known cyber attack methods as possible.
Businesses around the world feel the effects of cyber attacks. In 2017, the global economy lost $600 billion as a result of cyber crime. However, cyber attacks go far beyond financial loss. Cyber attacks can impact businesses’ finances, reputation, operations, valuation, and staff. As cyber crime becomes more lucrative, cyber attacks are more likely to occur. It’s important to understand the short-term and long-term effects cyber attacks could have on your business. Now more than ever, you don’t want to add the stress of a cybercriminal infiltrating your business information system because people are getting desperate in ways of attaining money during these hardships.
Mental health has a profound impact on a person’s productivity on the job. This means that employee morale needs to be a priority for any business. It can be difficult to see how mental health is affected by one’s surroundings, however, and many modern practices within and without the office are actively damaging to one’s mental well-being. Improving morale around your place of business can be relatively simple, however. For starters, a more lenient medical leave policy can put your workers’ minds at ease. Medical problems are bad enough on their own, but the knowledge that seeking medical attention will disrupt your income is incredibly stressful for workers. This stress, paired with medical problems themselves, will lead to a degradation in performance that will be worse in the long run for your business than a single day of paid leave that can keep an employee in tip top shape.
Likewise, regularly giving employee recognition is a great way to boost morale. Try to Focus on the good! When employees feel truly appreciated, they have more self-worth and become more productive employees. Most researches prove that employees who receive regular, positive recognition will experience:
• Higher productivity
• Better engagement levels
• More loyalty to the company
• Higher morale
• Better customer satisfaction
Employee recognition is a no-brainer when it comes to creative and easy ways to boost employee morale. In fact, some research found that “Workplace recognition motivates, provides a sense of accomplishment and makes employees feel valued for their work. Recognition not only boosts individual employee engagement, but it also has been found to increase productivity and loyalty to the company, leading to higher retention.”
One more way of improving morale is to have amazing employee incentives. Now, this isn’t a long term solution, but when morale is low, dishing out some fun employee incentives can do the trick. Bring in some puppies from the local shelter, give out some scratch-offs, give cash bonus whenever employees complete a project early or on time (especially during these times of financial hardships).
OR, you can develop something that can help your employees evolve personally and professionally. Sign them up for a course that ties to their professional responsibilities or give them helpful books to read to develop their skills further. But studies have also found that the longer you stay at work, the more important it is to get outside of the office, even if it’s just for a few minutes because creativity can take a hit when you don’t change environments.
Finances are the crux of any company, because making money is the name of the game. Moreover, small businesses are at risk of bankruptcy in the event of even small mistakes. This burden can take a toll on the psyche of small business owners, so it stands to reason that effectively managing your finances can not only ensure your business’s success, but also keep you from pulling your hair out worrying about the bottom line. Bringing in the professionals is always a great way to alleviate anxiety, so hiring an accountant can help you immensely. However, what you do with the information in your financial records is ultimately up to you.
If you find your finances lacking, there are two ways to approach the problem. Firstly, you can reduce your overhead expenses. For example, shopping around for lower costs from distributors and manufacturers can translate to spending far less money on maintaining your inventory. On the other hand, increasing revenue can help to improve your finances. One way to increase your income is to bring in more sales, so investing in a marketing team that can attract new customers is always a good bet. By reducing expenses and boosting revenue, you can increase your profit margin and, in turn, alleviate the stress associated with finances.
Managing a company can be complicated, but there are always methods you can utilize to even the odds. Approaching your business from a holistic perspective can allow you to prioritize the big picture instead of sweating the small stuff. Perhaps more importantly, you can learn to prioritize your well-being and that of your employees, something that all too often gets neglected in the pursuit of a paycheck.
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