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Online Bookkeeping Solutions Blog

The Online Bookkeeping Solutions Blog is an timely collection of interesting and helpful information for those companies who want to outsource their bookkeeping solution and utilize bookkeeping services by subscription. Outsource your bookkeeping to a cloud based solution backed by experienced CPA's.

The Stress-Free Office

Stress in the workplace is a primary cause of employee dissatisfaction – and a correlating decline in productivity. Can small businesses create a supportive, stress-free environment, where employees actually want to come to work?

Indeed they can.

When you run a small business, you make the rules – and you can define and adapt them to create a company culture that inspires the best work from your employees.

Need a few idea starters? Try some of the following to foster enthusiasm and sustain good morale at your office.

  • Create an employee appreciation system. Have rewards on hand – perhaps $5 coffee gift cards – that coworkers give to each other when they notice another coworker doing something good.
  • Devote a non-work space to your employees, a “relaxation room” that offers employees a respite from their work. When you allow your employees to take breaks, it boosts their productivity.
  • Offer a discount to a nearby gym. Not only does exercise keep your employees healthy and happy, but also working out together builds a sense of camaraderie amongst coworkers.
  • Volunteer together. Pick a cause that the office is passionate about, and get involved! A sense of purpose is a powerful stress-reducer, and again, will build team camaraderie. Take pictures of the “outing” and put them up in the office to remind coworkers of the fun experience they shared.
  • Schedule fun activities. Whether it’s a day at a forest preserve or an afternoon of bowling, giving employees a break from work and providing them an opportunity to bond outside of work will ultimately be reflected in their overall work satisfaction and productivity.

Be cognizant of assigning workers tasks that they are not qualified to do or overqualified for. People work optimally when they feel that their skills are being put to use and challenged sufficiently. Also, make sure employees are able to give their opinion regarding workplace decisions so they feel valued by the company.

It is extremely important that your employees have the chance to earn promotions and progress within their career paths. Make sure you provide such opportunities to keep employees loyal and happy.

I’ve run a small business for nearly two decades, and have found these to be good words to live by. That said, I’d love to hear anyone else’s suggestions for fun employee outings or morale-boosting tips. Please comment and share!


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Create the Best Team Possible

A team does not just happen; it is created. It takes a committed, forward-thinking manager to set up the right conditions for teamwork to flourish. With a good team in place, you will see your business achieve and surpass its vision and goals.

Many people end up spending more time with their coworkers than with their loved ones. It is therefore important for people on teams to feel a sense of belonging as well as a sense of engagement with their jobs. This increases workplace morale and leads to willing collaboration and sharing of ideas to develop new or better ways to get the job done.

To begin setting up a good team, develop a solid vision for the business. If the business doesn’t have a clear idea of where it is going and what it wants to achieve, then you can’t get people to look outside their own immediate task, see the bigger picture, and work towards achieving it.

It’s also important to act as a team leader, and not as a “boss.”  It’s a true challenge to run a group of people as a team, especially when it comes to interpersonal communication and conflict resolution. If need be, take some lessons to improve these skills.

One of the defining features of a real team is the quality of communication that takes place between people. You need to create communication channels that allow people to feel safe in speaking up and sharing ideas. Schedule regular team meetings and make sure to allow all people to talk and feel respected.

Also, schedule some formal teambuilding exercises. The type you choose should be suited to your team and what it does, but there’s a large range you can consider – from trust exercises to weekend retreats. Allow the team to get away from work and have fun with each other.

On that note, don’t forget to foster team celebrations. There are any number of things you could do from workplace drinks and snacks on Friday afternoon to group outings. Because remember, a happy team is a team that makes you happy with its results.


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Turn Your Staff Into A Team

A great team relies on everyone to generate ideas, initiate projects, see them through, and to produce consistently high quality work. Many businesses have a staff of employees who get their job done sufficiently well to justify their paycheck; but these businesses are missing out on the rewards that come from real teamwork.

The solution to this situation is to turn your staff into a team. Team building can transform your business into a smooth running, harmonious workplace with better interpersonal relationships and a greater level of satisfaction for all involved.

One of the keys to building a team is to systematize the business’s processes, operations, and goals. This makes it possible for team members to work together more fluidly because they understand one another’s job and can pitch in when help is needed.  Real team players don’t try to keep their job functions a secret to protect themselves – they go the extra mile to help the team meet its overall goals.

Involve your team in the set-up of systems and the defining of the business’ goals. This will give them a feeling of participation and ownership in decision-making instead of making them feel like they are receiving orders from above. Once your business has good systems and goals in place – and don’t expect this to happen overnight – make sure they are well communicated to everybody on the team.

Keep in mind that your team isn’t going to do things exactly the way you would. But give others a chance to perform and with adequate support they’ll measure up.

Chances are there’s room for some team building in your situation, and there’s no time to start like the present. Call a meeting with your team and be open with them. Tell them what you’re trying to do and listen to what they think. That’s how it begins when you want a team rather than just a staff.


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