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SOPs for Businesses: The Right Way to Write Them

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  Do you want to have more control over the consistency and quality of your product or service? Are you looking for a way to help your employees to avoid costly mistakes?  You must provide your team clear-cut instructions on the tasks they perform. You can do this by writing standard operating procedures, which are more commonly known as SOPs.  A standard operating procedure is a set of detailed, step-by-step instructions describing how to perform a specific task in order to achieve a desired outcome. Apart from ensuring that tasks are done correctly, SOPs also save managers a lot of time and effort because they facilitate task handovers and the training of new hires. They also help employees troubleshoot problems on their own by giving them a reference that lets them know what should have been done and what to do should certain situations arise. To be effective, an SOP must be clear. There should be no room for ambiguity, confusion, and misinterpretation. Also, the document should be

Manage yourself first: A guide to reduce workplace stress

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  Manageable demands and workplace stress are often spoken about in the same breath. And it's no wonder - with the ever-increasing pace of life, it can be difficult to keep up. For many people, the demands of work are becoming increasingly unmanageable, leading to feelings of stress and anxiety. It's important to remember that we all have a different threshold for what we can handle. What might be a manageable workload for one person could be overwhelming for another. The key is to find a balance that works for you. If you're starting to feel overwhelmed, talk to your boss or HR department about ways to lighten your load. You may also want to consider making some changes in your personal life to reduce the amount of stress you're under. By taking proactive steps to manage your workload and reduce stress, you can help ensure a healthy work/life balance. In today's business world, it's all too easy to get caught up in the culture of "hustle." With the al

Why Don't Americans Take More Vacations?

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  The United States is the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation days, and American workers collectively leave $52.4 billion worth of paid time off on the table each year, according to a new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). Moreover, the report finds that among OECD countries, the United States ranks dead last in terms of the percentage of private-sector workers with paid vacations. There are a number of reasons why Americans don't take more vacations. For one, the U.S. is a workaholic culture where many people feel guilty about taking time off. In addition, American workers are often afraid of being seen as slacking off or replaceable if they take time off. Moreover, many Americans simply cannot afford to take a vacation, given the high cost of travel and the fact that so many workers are living paycheck to paycheck. The CEPR report includes a number of recommendations for how the U.S. can improve its re

The top 5 reasons people don't get work done

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  Procrastination is a constant drag in many people's daily lives. Getting rid of the things that block getting work done is both an art and a science. Like anything you wish to excel at you need to put in daily practice to master focus and become the master of procrastination. Let's look at the top 5 reasons people don't get work done: Perfectionism – The need to make everything just right can be a huge barrier to getting started on any task. If you're waiting for the perfect conditions to begin, you'll never get anything done. Procrastination – Putting off until tomorrow what can be done today is a recipe for never getting anything accomplished. Learn to recognize your procrastination triggers and find ways to work around them. Distractions – It's easy to get sidetracked when there are so many demands on our attention these days. Turn off the TV, log out of social media, and give your full focus to the task at hand. Lack of Motivation – It can be hard to

Getting the Most Out of Data: Tips for Business Success

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  Data should always be your first consideration when planning any business goal, process or activity. Data provides the granularity and level of detail needed to ensure success. There are many ways to collect data, but automation is often the most efficient method. Automating data collection can save time and money while still providing accurate and up-to-date information. Once data has been collected, it is time to start interpreting the results. Data interpretation can be a complex process, but there are many tools and techniques available to simplify the task. Data interpretation can be used to improve business processes, make decisions, and predict future trends. One great tool I often use extensively both in my own business processes and also with our customers at Clear Simple Business is Microsoft Excel. With the use of a variety of formulas, PivotTables, and other advanced methods our team can automate even the most mundane data-collection, data collation, and data presentation

Worst 5 Outcomes of Covering Up Bad Processes with Additional Employees

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Bad processes can easily be mistaken for employee shortages. As systems fail to work well, it’s pretty common for employees to complain that they are overworked or unable to focus on their “real” duties due to focusing on an inefficient workflows. A standard response to the employee dissatisfaction is to hire more people to shoulder the load. But, without delving into the problem to determine is your employees are truly overworked, you are only masking a problem that may become a bigger problem, in time. Consider these worst 5 outcomes for adding employees, instead of solving bad processes: You will waste money. Recently, it was uncovered that the Pentagon has over $125 billion in bureaucratic waste, involving many unnecessary positions and employees. How did they get to that point? Many inefficient processes probably demanded the hire of new employees to make things run more “smoothly.” However, what has resulted is a gross display of waste. As you hire additional employees to cove

Top 5 Reasons Your Company Needs to be Growing Fast

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Despite the advice recommending that start up businesses grow slowly and at a “manageable” pace, I’m going to suggest that your company should grow fast! While slow and steady may be great, there are so many logical reasons that fast growth in your business makes sense.  Consider these five reasons why your business should achieve fast growth: The world moves fast; so should your business. I always tell clients that your business only runs as fast as your slowest task. And, when the world around you is clicking along at a quick pace, you’re going to be left behind. Do what it takes to achieve consistent growth, move quickly and keep up with the world around you. The Internet makes news instantaneous, sends out products overnight and allows you to reach people around the world in “real time.” A world that moves so fast needs growing businesses to keep up. Technology changes rapidly. Just when you think you have the most advanced methods or software systems, new trends emerge making you