Conducting regular performance reviews is an important and constructive way to evaluate the contributions an employee is making to the company. But the traditional practice of sitting down once or twice a year to discuss what an employee has done well and needs to improve on simply isn’t cutting it anymore.
In a recent study, employee engagement company TINYpulse polled over 1,000 professionals to find out what they thought about their reviews. The results showed that employees are generally dissatisfied with traditional performance reviews: 37 percent said they think the process is outdated, and 42 percent said they think managers leave important elements out of their review due to bias. Nearly a quarter of respondents even said they “feared” their performance review, especially those in the millennial generation.
“Traditional annual performance reviews are inadequate,” said Matt Hulett, chief product officer of TINYpulse. “They’re biased towards recent work, goals aren’t communicated clearly, there’s misalignment in objectives between organizations and employees, and quite simply, the whole process just takes too long. With more and more … workers wanting change, the time for
Whether you’ve lost a loved one, buried a family pet or had a near-death experience, death is simply a fact of life. And, as it turns out, the business of death can be quite lucrative.
From afterlife preparations to unique burial methods and memorials, it turns out that there are more businesses related to death than you might expect. Here are 10 businesses that are cashing in on the dearly departed.
Just because you’re no longer alive doesn’t mean your tattoos can’t live on. The National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art (NAPSA) hosts a website called Save My Ink, which is dedicaed to preserving tattoos of the deceased and leaving them in the care of their next of kin.
The tattoo preservation community isn’t just for the recently deceased; the living are so interested in the process that NAPSA is retooling to offer their services directly through funeral homes. The move comes just in time, as Americans are getting record number of tattoos. Will the future homes of millennials be commonly decorated with the
ving feedback to your employees, particularly when their performances fall short of expectations, is one of the most critical roles you play as a manager. For most people, it’s also one of the most dreaded. Such conversations can be very unpleasant—emotions can run high, tempers can flare. And so, fearing that an employee will become defensive and that the conversation will only strain the relationship, the boss all too often inadvertently sabotages the meeting by preparing for it in a way that stifles honest discussion. This is an unintentional—indeed, unconscious—habit that’s a byproduct of stress and that makes it difficult to deliver corrective feedback effectively.
The good news is that these conversations don’t have to be so hard. By changing the mind-set with which you develop and deliver negative feedback, you can greatly increase the odds that the process will be a success—that you will have productive conversations, that you won’t damage relationships, and that your employees will make real improvements in performance. In the pages that follow, I’ll describe what goes wrong during these meetings and why. I’ll look in
There are now more than 4,000 small breweries and brewpubs scattered across the U.S. But like any business, surviving long term can be a real challenge, particularly because the market has become so crowded over the past 20 years.
To compete, you’ll need to carefully evaluate your market and create a clear vision of what you have to offer that other direct competitors do not provide. There is still room in the market for businesses that offer niche products and in less-saturated local markets. You’ll have a better chance for success if you can create a solid vision of what you want to offer, not just with beer recipes, but also with branding.
This article covers these topics related to starting a craft-brewing business:
Do you have what it takes?
So you think you want to go into the beer industry. There are many questions you should ask yourself before pursuing this challenging and costly business adventure.
- Do you love beer?
- Can you clean all day long?
- Are you able to work more than 40 hours per week?
- Do you have sales and marketing skills?
- Are you a good record-keeper?
- Can you afford to work years without seeing
Are you ready to start your own business, but not ready to hire employees? There are plenty of options for people who would prefer to be “solopreneurs” and keep their business operations simple.
Here are six ideas to inspire you to start working on your solo business plan right away:
Virtual Health Coaching
Are you educated in nutrition but are still looking to get your career to go in the right direction? Turn your healthy lifestyle choices and education into lucrative business decisions by becoming a virtual health coach. You’ll be aided in your efforts by the myriad new health-related apps and devices being developed to help clients keep track of fitness goals and weight loss.
Chore/Errand Service for Seniors
Anyone with aging loved ones knows how hard it can be to care for them without extra help. Elderly people living in their own homes need help with lots of routine chores like cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and yard work. Why not start a business that offers senior citizens and their families the help they need to maintain their households without breaking their budgets? With word-of-mouth endorsements and social media targeted at the overworked baby-boomer set, you could get
It’s not easy to run a business with your spouse or significant other. But for couples who have built up a solid foundation and who know how to handle conflict with each other, small business ownership could be a step toward financial independence and even a stronger relationship.
If you and your partner have made the decision to start a business together, you can choose from plenty of startups that are well suited for a two-person team. As with any partnership, these business ideas work best when you each take on roles that best fit your skills and strengths. An entrepreneurial relationship, like all business ventures, is truly a labor of love.
Some couples constantly fight over who has to cook dinner, but for others, preparing and sharing a meal together is an enjoyable bonding activity. If you and your partner fall into the latter category — and, of course, you’re actually good cooks — you may want to consider starting your own catering business. Let the resident gourmand take care of most of the food prep, while the other serves as customer service rep and sous chef.
Food truck vendors
Launching a business can be incredibly challenging, but there are ways to prepare yourself for the tough road ahead. If you do your research and enter an industry with a high annual growth rate, your startup will have a better chance of succeeding.
To help you get started, here are eight industries that are currently ripe for growth.
Artificial intelligence (AI) may have been the stuff of science fiction years ago, but today it’s used in everything from voice-recognition programs to virtual assistants such as Siri and Cortana. Though it’s not a new concept, it’s continuing to boom in the current market. According to GoBankingRates, a Bank of America Merrill Lynch report stated that AI analytical research will be a $70 billion market by 2020 (up from $8.2 billion in 2013).
The popularity of virtual reality (VR), which allows users to become immersed in a 3D digital world, is exploding. In fact, GoBankingRates reported that VR will be a $1 billion market by the end of 2016. Thanks to its variety of applications ranging from video games to health care, the industry will most likely continue to thrive.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly called
Pets are a part of your family. They play with you, sleep in your bed and gleefully greet you after you’ve had a long day at work. Many pet owners are on the lookout for items to spoil their four-legged friends or that will make their pets’ lives easier. Here are just a few businesses offering unique products and services for your furry family members.
Cats are capable of taking care of themselves for the most part, minus cleaning their litter boxes and getting fed (in some cases, however, they know how to break into that, too). But what if your cat could use a cat-size toilet? Dream no more. The Cat Genie, is a full-size cat box that looks, and operates, similarly to a toilet.
According to the site, Cat Genie is a full-size, automatic cat box that uses permanent Washable Granules. Unlike disposable cat litter, Cat Genie’s Washable Granules never need changing and are 100 percent dust-free, biodegradable and septic-safe. The self-cleaning product rids itself of liquid and solid cat waste without owners ever having to handle cat litter again.
The cleaning system will run you approximately $244 without the
If fashion is your passion, then there are plenty of ways to turn it into a career. You don’t have to be a model or a well-established designer to make fashion pay; the possibility of turning your fashion sense into entrepreneurship is far more real than you might think.
Only a select few will ever make it to the runway, but plenty of fashionable startup opportunities await. They all take hard work and a great eye for fashion, but most have very small startup budgets. Here are five startup ideas for the entrepreneurial fashionista.
Fashion event production
Putting on a fashion show is no easy feat. Fashion event producers works with designers and models to help put together a show, and may even help coach runway models.
“You would help the designer with runway show casting and have an understanding of how clothes should be portrayed on the body and how the models should carry themselves,” said Kerry Bannigan, founder of Nolcha, a New York-based fashion event production company.
While startup costs are minimal – you won’t need employees or even an office – you will need to do some heavy self-promotion. Relationships
There are millions of kinds of small businesses out there serving a wide variety of niche markets. If you can think of it, there’s probably someone who’s making a profit from it.
Whether they’re providing socks that come in threes, cuddle sessions or a mobile wedding chapel, these 10 companies prove that you can be successful running any type of business, even if it isn’t exactly conventional.
Sometimes you need the comfort of another person. There’s nothing like a good hug or a solid cuddle, but what if you don’t have the option of an embracing partner? This is where Cuddle Party comes in.
According to the company’s website, Cuddle Party is a “playful social event designed for adults to explore communication, boundaries, and affection.” These events are safe spaces where attendees can go to meet and talk to new people as well as to practice consent and asking for what they want, and yes, to just cuddle. Cuddling with strangers may sound like a strange concept, but there’s value in their mission to teach boundaries, consent, affection, communication and non-sexual touch. The company, which was founded in 2004, is actually a federally recognized non-profit
You need data to accomplish this. Yet having troves of data is of little value in and of itself. What increasingly separates the winners from the losers is the ability to transform data into insights about consumers’ motivations and to turn those insights into strategy. This alchemy requires innovative organizational capabilities that, collectively, we call the “insights engine.”
The vital role of the insights engine was revealed in a global market-research study led last year by the strategy consultancy Kantar Vermeer. The study, called Insights2020 (i2020), involved interviews and surveys of more than 10,000 business practitioners worldwide. Of the factors that were found to drive customer-centric growth, none mattered more than a firm’s insights engine, embodied in its insights and analytics function. (While these go by many names—including “I&A,” “consumer and market insights,” and “customer intelligence”—for simplicity we refer to them as insights functions here.)
About the Insights2020 Research
In this article we describe the elements of the insights engine and show how it works at consumer goods giant Unilever. The firm’s 400-plus brands, which include Dove, Knorr, and Axe, generated $60 billion in revenue in 2015, propelling underlying sales growth of 4.1% for the
Your relationship with your boss is critical to your success. But there’s another person who often has just as much influence over your career: your boss’s boss. What should your relationship with that person look like? How often should you interact with her? What should you say? And how do you foster a connection without undermining your direct manager?
What the Experts Say
“The more you are known and respected by people above you, the better off you are from a career standpoint,” says Priscilla Claman, the president of Career Strategies, a Boston-based consulting firm and a contributor to the HBR Guide to Getting the Right Job. And your boss’s boss — a person who “knows the scoop, knows the vision of the organization, and is helping set the strategy” — is a good person to get to know, she adds. The stronger your relationship, the more insight you’ll have into your company’s future. Moreover, having your boss’s boss on your side gives you professional leverage, says Karen Dillon, coauthor of How Will You Measure Your Life? “Having that person as your champion increases the likelihood that your promotion will be approved, your raise will go through, and
Two important tax breaks for small business have been extended: Section 179 and bonus depreciation. Section 179 allows businesses to deduct the full price of any qualifying equipment or software purchased or leased during the year. The tax-extension bill makes permanent the $500,000 maximum deduction for new and used equipment that was purchased or leased in 2015. Bonus depreciation, which was extended through 2017, allows business owners to depreciate 50 percent of the cost of new equipment purchased in 2015. The two tax incentives can be used together.
“Now that small businesses know they can write off … eligible equipment, we may see a lot more spending by small businesses,” Priyanka Prakash, finance specialist at FitBiz Loans, told Business News Daily. “The nice thing is that Section 179 applies to almost any kind of equipment, from
Among the many issues at stake for the company was one of public perception. Anecdotal evidence at the time of the incident suggested irreparable harm to the Volkswagen brand. So could Volkswagen recover in the short term in this regard? And, the broader question, how can you measure brand perception in times of scandal, particularly in an era where social media can cause negative news to proliferate and reverberate over time?
In the absence of direct empirical evidence, we wanted to find a way to tackle this important issue. We began our research with some key questions: How does social media sentiment change as a consequence of a public relations crisis? How does the public react to recovery efforts initiated by the company? How do topics of conversation shift as a consequence of a brand scandal and subsequent recovery efforts?
We examined more than 100,000 tweets to analyze how the public sentiment changed over time after the breakout of the scandal. Our approach to capturing themes in the evolving scandal involved sampling a few date windows; therefore, we did not examine data for every single day. The following periods were selected: September 29, 2015–October
Many retirees who’ve been employees all of their lives get excited at the thought of running the show, and building a business that reflects their interests and values. If you’re thinking of launching a business during your retirement, here are six ideas to get you started.
Many new business ideas well-suited for retirees harness the power of the internet, as long as you don’t let technology intimidate you.
“Online businesses are truly some of the best types of businesses for people over 50, but they need to get over their fears,” said Diane Eschenbach, owner of startup consultancy firm DE Consultants and author of “How to Quickly Start a Business Online.”
One simple new business option involves researching and compiling information on websites.
“One of my favorite types of online businesses for the ‘post-50 group’ is curation sites,” said Eschenbach.
As people get older, the time invested in activities (such as a new business venture) becomes very important, said Eschenbach. She is a big fan of the idea of retirees