How File Cabinets Are Putting Your Business at Risk – WorkIntelligent.ly

The reasons to digitize your records are simple: paper documents put your information at risk, cost you money and slow your business down.

Even if you’re not in a heavily regulated industry there are plenty of scenarios where the loss of records can put your business at serious risk. You may need them for tax purposes, or to defend your business against litigation from a disgruntled employee or customer. The onus is on you to maintain this information, so “the dog ate my payroll records” is not an excuse that will fly with a Sarbanes-Oxley auditor.

Of course, the easiest way to ensure that you don’t need to worry about physical records is to implement systems that digitize them as they come in or use digital workflows to begin with. Transitioning paper-heavy processes such as employee onboarding to digital forms can improve record integrity and save time for both end users and HR.

Mitigating risk and increasing efficiency can obviously have financial benefits for your business, but digitizing records can save you money in more direct ways as well. Between reducing paper and print costs, eliminating storage expenses and freeing up office space for other uses, digitization can have an immediate impact on your bottom line.

Source: How File Cabinets Are Putting Your Business at Risk – WorkIntelligent.ly

If you are ready to go digital with your records, contact us!

These Will Be The Top 5 Business Challenges Of 2016

FastCompany includes understanding the relationship between technology, the physical environment and work flow as a top challenge for businesses in 2016. Next Chapter Solution provides consulting on precisely that. Adilas is a great choice for companies who have a lot of remote employees. 

As the word “employee” has become harder to define, so too has the word “workplace,” thanks in part to those contingent workers, remote employees, and a slew of new technologies that have made physical distance less of a factor.

“One of the changes that I’m seeing is more of a virtual workforce, and a workforce that’s more adaptable and more global,” says Harry Osle, the global HR solutions practice leader for The Hackett Group. “What does that mean for HR? They need to be more adaptable, and they need to be more focused on driving innovation from a technology perspective to support that workforce.”

“What’s happening in companies is they’re trying to figure out how to radically redesign their entire workplace to adapt to the always-on worker, and that’s why there’s a massive growth of open offices and companies that offer temporary work locations,” he says. “It’s really becoming mainstream, and most companies are confused as to how to do it, so design firms are playing a big part in this.”

Read the full article from the Source: These Will Be The Top 5 Business Challenges Of 2016

 

9 Workplace Lessons to Help Improve Your Daily Grind

Understanding is temporal and changes whenever you gain new information, experience or shift your vantage point.

To quote Heraclitus, “No man steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

The daily grind often makes it difficult to look back on lessons learned in the workplace. Time is in short supply, but carving out a small block of it to reflect is important—the best people I’ve worked with frequently weigh the work they’re doing and the person they’re bringing to work.

1. A little stress is a good thing.

The best kind of stress? Urgency. Feeling hurried is invigorating and drives you toward the finish line. You want to hold tight to a sense of haste without losing the headspace needed for strategy and forward thinking. After all, even the broadest shoulders can’t bear the burden of constant anxiety for long.

2. Leadership isn’t just for appointed leaders.

Think of a time in your career when a project went sour. The response that stayed with you probably came from the person who made the first move, took ownership, and rallied everyone toward a better outcome.

Leadership in these cases doesn’t rest on roles and hierarchy, but on an ability toelevate the people around you.

Even if the conversation is hard, even when discussing your current shortcomings or failings, you always leave with sights set high and the belief you can get it done.

3. You are the easiest person to fool.

It takes awareness to always share the unblemished truth, but you must keep stubborn standards: no one executes well without a firm grip on reality. Remember, it’s the seemingly innocuous, almost “positive” white lies (“Um, looks great!”) that most often sneak in and warp fact.

4. Grade your work as a whole, not as an outcome.

Since the days of cave paintings, and probably before that, creative people have tried to judge their own work.

5. A failure to communicate is your failure.

The job of communication is, in the words of author Neal Stephenson, “to condense fact from the vapor of nuance.” The burden of understanding is on you, not your audience.

As author André Gide put it, “Everything’s already been said, but since nobody was listening, we have to start again.”

6. Feedback is an outcome-oriented activity.

I’ve always favored the term “necessarily honest” over “brutally honest,” because feedback is instructive language given to positively influence behavior. Feedback should be as blunt as it needs to be to incite change, and no more. Even brutally honest feedback is about being honest; it’s never about being brutal.

7. Energy + focus = productivity.

Period. Throw out every productivity app you have and learn to get a good night’s sleep instead. Then remove distractions. It really is that simple, but simple doesn’t mean easy. Although it’s been said many times in many different ways, author Maria Edgeworth penned my favorite variation: “If we take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves.”

8. Research should seek truth, not validation.

The purpose of learning—whether through research, debate, or any other means—is to arrive at the truth.

9. Better judgement tends to show up late.

The worst regret is dealing with an eternity wrought from a hot-headed decision. H.G. Wells may have been asking too much when he said to wait for the common sense of the morning, but at the very least, have the patience to give it five minutes. What seems “right” in the heat of the moment often feels foolish once your good sense has had time to catch up.

Read the full article from the Source: 9 Workplace Lessons to Help Improve Your Daily Grind

9 Unique Traits of High Performing Teams

The team at weekdone came up with this great list of traits the strongest teams and businesses maintain. Managing the people and the process can be difficult in any organization. Refer to this list regularly to help you stay focused on your businesses growth.

 

Checkout the summary below or visit the source for the full article and infograph.

1. Talent Magnet

To spot a strong team you simply have to look for the team everybody wants to be on. For example, Google recruits on the basis of having passion, intelligence and a “learning animal mindset”. The insight here is to look for potential stars who are looking for challenges and a place where they can demonstrate their skills.

2. Healthy Heated Debates

The difference between HPT and LPT is that a heated debate doesn’t cause HPTs to fragment. Instead of becoming more isolated during tough times, these teams actually gain strength and develop cohesion. According to Gallup, HPTs contributed more equally to team’s discussions, rather than letting 1 or 2 people dominate the group. As a team leader you should make sure that everybody talks in equal measure and keep their contributions short. Team members should face one another keeping conversations and gestures energetic.

3. Diversity

Diversity unlocks innovation and drives market growth. Most engaged teams welcome diversity of age, gender, and race, while disengaged teams may do the opposite. Apple has made diversity a priority by hiring 65% more women, 50% more Black and 66% more Hispanic employees. In the process of putting together your team make sure you have people with different backgrounds, gender and strengths.

4. Mind Reading

Researchers from M.I.T. found that HPT members scored higher on a test called Reading the Mind in the Eyes. It measures how well people read complex emotional states from images of faces with only the eyes visible. It is also known that people with high emotional IQ work well with others and are effective in leading change. For instance, Google relies more on recruits with emotional intelligence rather than the grades they received in school. Therefore, find a suitable test or interview format to find people with higher emotional IQ.

5. More Women

In this case it is not “diversity” that matters for a team’s intelligence, but simply having more women. Teams with more women outperformed teams with more men. Coming back to the previous point, it’s partly explained by the fact that women, on average, are better at “mindreading” than men. In order to have a HPT, recruit more women on your team or company who also have other “high-performing” qualities.

6. Laser-like Focus on Goals

HPTs are able to keep the larger goal in view. They are consistently able to put what’s best for the organization ahead of their own egos. In addition, they seek out evidence and try to remain as objective as possible. Once a decision is made, these teams are remarkably quick to rally around it. As a team leader, you should establish an overall goal and make it visible for the whole team and set key metrics to measure them. The most popular method for that is Objectives and Key Results, which is used by the likes of LinkedIn, Google and Intel.

7. Doing Your Best Every Day

Deloitte used the Gallup 1.4 million employee study to see what are the similarities between high and low performing teams. Most powerful commonality between HPTs is the belief that they are doing their best every day. In order to capitalize on that knowledge, team leaders should help team members to define their strengths and give tasks accordingly. For instance, Deloitte set out a clear goal: “We want to spend more time helping people use their strengths”.

8. Work-life balance

Most successful teams have members who are equally engaged to their personal lives as they are to their work. Mervyn Davies, former chairman of Standard Chartered’s, said that he took as much pride in the amount of time he spent with his family as he did in his bank’s extraordinary performance. Therefore, you should look for people who are equally committed to work and their free time.

9. Group Engagement Outside Formal Meetings

According to M.I.T. Human Dynamics Laboratory, the best predictors of productivity are team’s energy and engagement outside formal meetings. These two factors explained ⅓ of the variations in dollar productivity among groups. The laboratory used a call center for their study and asked the manager to make the employees have a coffee break at the same time. That little tweak increased the overall efficiency by 8% and 20% in worst-performing teams. As a team leader, make sure you create communication opportunities for your team outside the formal environment.

5 Keys To The Success Of Your Online Store – Digital Shyft

Adilas has easy integration to share inventory live on the web, allowing customers to reserve or place orders, see past orders, and process payments.

Both retail and service providers should be seeking ways to have their customers be able to order, reserve and purchase online.

Adilas makes e-commerce easy, allowing for seed to online sale tracking. Checkout digital shyfts advice for preparing for online stores:

Internet retail sales in the US will grow 10% a year through 2015 as shoppers spend more time online.

By 2018, US online market sales will reach an estimated $492bn. This currently stands at $304bn. 72% are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media. E-commerce will represent 10% of all sales by 2017. You want to be a part of this growing retail market!

We know that eliminating the middleman works. Think producers of oranges and vegetables that sell directly to consumers. Selling online can eliminate that pesky 10-50% of monetary loss by eliminating the middleman. Online stores have the ability to eliminate links in the distribution chain. So you can literally take in all your profits.

Source: 5 Keys To The Success Of Your Online Store – Digital Shyft

Why Hiring Great Employees Starts With A Beer And A BBQ – Forbes

The two-part evaluation that will change the way you hire for the better and create awesome company culture.

We spend an average of 90,000 hours of our lives at work – meaning you probably spend more time with your team than you do with your own family. Despite this huge time commitment, many companies neglect to focus on personality or cultural fit when they’re hiring.

As I started to rebuild my team, I realized that the recruiting process should be focused less on ticking off a checklist and more about trusting your gut. Once potential candidates were in the door, I started thinking, “Do I like this person? Do I find them interesting, and interested? Do they have a passion for something in life?”

From this, I developed what I call the Beer Test, narrowing those questions down to one: “Would I enjoy grabbing a beer with this person?” It’s a hypothetical (most of the time), but it’s incredibly powerful.

If the answer is yes, it’s likely the start of a great working relationship. Having the right qualifications for the gig is essential, but the Beer Test determines if the candidate is culturally compatible. Sure, it’s simple, but it cuts right to the chase, and it’s been invaluable in helping me put together a team at O2E Brands that I love working with every day.

While I got a great first impression, I learned the hard way it wasn’t enough. In a bad case of tunnel vision, I failed to consider how this person would mesh with the rest of the team and the larger culture we had developed. From that oversight, I came up with another critical hiring hack: the BBQ Test.

The BBQ Test is all about the group dynamic. It’s a matter of asking, “Would this person fit in at a backyard barbecue with my corporate ‘family’?” If you threw the candidate into a group social situation with other employees, would she be able to hold her own, or find someone to connect with? A Beer Test is singular (do I like this person?), while the BBQ Test asks, “Does he or she fit into our community?”

Filling your office with staff who get along makes for a pleasant environment, of course, but your business will benefit from cultural alignment, too.

My friend Tony Hseish shares this laser-focus on culture. At his company Zappos, they hire specifically to ensure new people fit (one of their three core values is to “create a little fun and weirdness”). They even offer a $4,000 quitting bonus to weed out weak hires. With this culture-first staffing principle, bringing in people that mesh with each other and with the company’s goals, they’ve flourished.

Not every company cares about the same cultural values. What’s important to us at O2E Brands wouldn’t necessarily be important to a high-end commercial law firm. But even if you’re a tough, suit-and-tie place that takes pride in driving people to tears, you’ve still got to find people who have the same values or you’ll scare them away.

The bottom line? A culturally aligned team that gets along and genuinely enjoys each others’ company is a more engaged team – and a more productive one.

Read the full story from the Source: Why Hiring Great Employees Starts With A Beer And A BBQ – Forbes

16 small-business apps for 2016

Dell Inspiron One 23 (2330) touch all-in-one desktop computer with KM632 (Burgundy) wireless keyboard and mouse.

It’s time to make use of applications, not just let them be those annoying images on your desktop. The right applications can create efficiencies for your business. 

Get techy or go home! Check out this great read on apps for small businesses. Adilas takes care of over half the needs on this list, and is my preferred tool – but hey,  tripit and joinme are cool new apps worth checking out!

Over the past few years, the number of cloud-based applications that can help you run and grow your business more effectively has exploded. Whether you access them via your desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device, they can help you plan and complete tasks more quickly, effectively and profitably.

These apps span a complete range of activities, including communications, finance & accounting, collaboration, payments, organization and others.

Here are 16 apps that are gaining popularity with small business owners and startup entrepreneurs:

Click here to see list.

Source: 16 super small-business apps for 2016

Three Things Small Businesses Need To Do In The New Year – Forbes

The holidays are officially behind us, which means folks are getting back to work and back to their routines. But what happens when your routine just isn’t cutting it for you? For many small business owners, routines can actually hurt you… or more specifically, your business… if you don’t allow yourself to mix things up, try new things and approach business from a different perspective every now and again. To help jump-start your 2016, consider incorporating these three things into your business – whether for the first time, with more robust efforts than in the past or as a second attempt to a failed first endeavor.

#1: Attend Educational Experiences Unique to Small Businesses or Your Unique Business Category

#2: Seek Data Data From Unexpected Places

#3: Participate In Omni-Channel Marketing

Finally, challenge yourself to view your business from a variety of perspectives other than your own. Consider how your employees perceive your business, how your customers perceive your business, how your competitors perceive your business and even how local, non-competitive businesses perceive your business. Are you 110% satisfied with what you believe they see? Or how theyunderstand your business to be? If not – and for nearly ever business, this should be the case – aim to strengthen the areas in which your business may be perceived poorly.

Read the full article directly from the Source: Three Things Small Businesses Need To Do In The New Year – Forbes

Small Business Finance Basics

It is more than possible for you to manage your own books when starting your business. It is important that you do not underestimate the significance of bookkeeping. Be sure to set yourself up for success by using bookkeeping software that can handle tracking your business. Small Business Trends offers basic advice for small business finance:

6 Small Business Finance Basics You Must Understand

Bookkeeping is vital to properly managing your business resources. Additionally you will need these records for tax purposes. Whether you DIY or hire someone to keep track of everything you.

Revenue and Expenses

Every transaction should be recorded. How much is coming in and how much is going out and where is it is all coming from and going to.

Cash

It is important to record the cash your business spends so you’ll have an accurate number of expenses each year. Writing reimbursable checks and keeping detailed petty cash records are both valid methods of documenting cash expenditures.

Inventory

Maintain records of all inventory! This will help you to forecast for the upcoming year by tracking trends, prevent stealing and misplacing merchandise and keep inventory holdings to a minimum. Dates purchased, stock numbers, purchase prices, dates sold, and sale prices are all relevant information for inventory records. And keep personal and business finances separate!

Accounts Receivable and Payable

Always keep track of what customers owe you and what debts you owe others. It’s prudent to record as much data as possible including invoice dates, numbers, amounts, terms, dates and amounts paid or due, balances, and client information in real time.

Employees/Payroll

Hiring even one employee invokes your responsibility to file and pay forms and payroll taxes and each state has its own tax obligations. Employers are responsible for maintaining employee forms such as the W-4 (Withholding Allowance Certification) and the I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification). You are responsible for maintaining records on withholding, employer matching, unemployment and worker’s compensation.

Preparing for Tax Time

With your books in order, prepping for taxes should be a breeze. With everything in order from the beginning it saves you from having to go back to try to figure things out. Don’t forget about the small things like car mileage and petty cash.

Source: 6 Small Business Finance Basics You Must Understand

 

A Tax Break for Small Business – Bloomberg View

Purchasing expensive equipment can be daunting for small business owners, especially those managing most of their expense accounting in house. Understanding balance sheet expenses and depreciation schedules can be confusing for inexperienced bookkeepers. Adilas can help you get your books organized. Bloomberg View offers this commentary on tax relief for small businesses:

Congress simplifies the rules for capital expenditures.I know — taxes and depreciation schedules put you into a coma. Before your eyes glaze over, follow what this means. Before, when a business bought or leased a piece of equipment, some of the costs were written off each year through depreciation. This offered businesses some incentive to invest in equipment, but it made their accounting and taxes more complex than necessary.

The change to Section 179 eliminates that depreciation schedule. Small companies can simply purchase as much as $500,000 in business-related equipment and write it off that year. It’s a much simpler approach to making and accounting for capital expenditures. 

Read more from the Source: A Break for Small Business – Bloomberg View