The Top 6 Tools for Managing Remote Employees

remote workersThis guest post was contributed by JT Ripton who is a business consultant and freelance writer out of Tampa. You can follow him on Twitter @JTRipton.

Technological innovation has changed what we know about the age-old office and has given employees the ability and flexibility to work and be productive from home.

Mobility is the name of the game now, and if you have employees working remotely, there are a host of powerful apps designed to help the business person run his company efficiently and effectively. If you have remote employees of any kind, you’re going to want these six tools. Continue reading

Hiring Your First Employee

Most business owners dream of something big when they start their businesses. They dream of competing in the market, of providing a superior service, of helping others, and of building and growing their dream.

This endeavor is rarely a single-handed operation, although it often starts that way. It takes a team to make great things happen and entrepreneurs know this. They know that the time will come when they must make the leap and hire, no matter how difficult and scary it may seem. You know the day will come, but how do you know the day is now?

How To Know When It’s Time To Hire

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Reduce Employee Turnover: Let Them Have Fun

Fun at workEver have one of those bosses who guides the team back to business a minute and thirty seconds into goofing off? From the boss’s perspective, he’s paying a lot of money for a whole roomful of employees to have a chuckle, a chuckle they could just save for after work. It’s like an extra paid break and that’s just not fair, right? But from the employee’s perspective, the time they spend at work is nearly half of their waking lives and the expectation to work seriously the whole time, leave friendships outside the office, and only look up from work once per day at lunch is the fast track to burn out.

So who is right? The boss who has to pay for his employees to have fun with each other? Or the employee who succumbs to his human desire to laugh, play, and banter?

In the grand scheme of things, the boss probably loses if he puts a cork in it too often. Here’s what those few minutes can do for an office:
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Time Tacking for Insurance Agents

Insurance agentInsurance agents have some very specific needs for monitoring employees. First of all, they usually run very small offices with anywhere from 2 to 15 employees, and so they need a system that is intuitive and affordable. They typically don’t have HR departments and usually don’t have the resources to outsource, and so require some kind of informal HR tracking. While they try to keep their offices as friendly and family-like as possible, they sometimes feel concerned that they are paying some employees for hours they don’t actually work and need some way to protect against that.

Our software offers all of this and more. And if my saying so isn’t proof enough, the hundreds of insurance agents currently using our software should be! We have over a hundred State Farm agents signed up with our service and well over a hundred more agents with other companies. But I digress. Let’s get back to the specifics of what our software can offer an insurance agency. Continue reading

Remote Employees: 5 Ways to Engage and Manage Them

This guest post was contributed by JT Ripton who is a business consultant and freelance writer out of Tampa. You can follow him on Twitter @JTRipton

As the modern business world becomes more dependent on independent contractors and remote workers, the models of leadership have to change. Today’s manager has to use every tool at his or her disposal to make sure every member of the team is on the same page, whether in person or telecommuting. Here are some strategies to keep remote employees engaged and on-task.

1. Pop-In Communication

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The Last Paycheck – When Do Terminated Employees Need to Be Paid?

Businessman Handing Last PaycheckThe exact date at which employees need to receive their final paycheck upon termination is a mystery to many small business owners. The fact that there are laws surrounding the issue at all vexes many who are responsible for paying employees. And it’s not surprising. State laws are complicated and the Fed has no laws about it at all. In the words of the Department of Labor,

“Employers are not required by federal law to give former employees their final paycheck immediately. Some states, however, may require immediate payment.”

What exactly is meant by immediate payment, you ask? It depends on the state. Some states require payment be made immediately, some within 2 days, 1 day, or just on the next normal payday. Beyond that, the rules depend on whether the employee was fired or quit. Here is a list of each state’s last paycheck requirements for reference.

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Self-awareness for Maximum Productivity

This guest post was contributed by Sharon Freeman who is a professional freelancer, writing about corporate training and coaching trends.

Even in the last days of his life, legendary management consultant Peter Drucker maintained that making knowledge workers productive is “the biggest of the 21st century management challenges.” He even warned that the “first survival requirement” of developed nations is to improve the productivity of knowledge workers.

Not many may comprehend or appreciate it, but self-awareness is the first step on that road. It improves productivity, performance and satisfaction not only at work but in all aspects of life.

What is Self-Awareness?

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