Butler County Times Gazette
  • Biz Bits: Employee engagement for small businesses

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  • Tip of the Week
    One of the biggest worries for a small business owner is training and investing in quality employees and then losing them to a larger company — potentially a competitor — that might be able to offer larger salaries or better benefits.
    It might look like a no-win scenario for a small business to entice quality employees to stay, except for one factor: engagement. When employees are engaged in the company business, they’re less likely to jump ship, they’ll be more productive and they’ll make the company more money, according to a Hay Group Study.
    How can a small business owner encourage his employees to become more engaged in the company? Consider the following drivers of engagement:
    * A sense of value
    Employees who feel valued tend to be fully engaged in a company’s goals and help achieve big milestones. Supervisors have the ability to create this sense of value, which can lead to confidence, empowerment, enthusiasm and inspiration. Review how your employees are supervised. Are they trusted to do their jobs without heavy review? Do they ask for help only when needed? When requested, do they receive assistance? Finally, do employees feel their supervisors are being honest when presenting information or answering questions?
    * Continued training
    Investing in employee training develops a bond between the employee and the business. Additional training shows the employee there’s room to grow in the company, and that the business values his or her expertise. Plus, the company benefits by having employees learning the latest information in the industry
    * Improved communication
    Employers need to make efforts in communicating business information. Consider holding a weekly progress report meeting or developing a newsletter. Involve employees in meetings discussing the future of the company, and give everyone tasks to help achieve the goals that are decided upon. This allows employees to feel they’re taking an ownership in the company, which will lead to them becoming more engaged.
    — Brandpoint
    BBB Watch
    A variation of an email phishing scam is currently making the rounds, this time designed to look like a notice from E-Z Pass or other toll road services. The Better Business Bureau has issued this reminder of tips to avoiding falling prey to email tricks:
    * Watch for lookalike URLs. Be especially wary of sites that have the brand name as a subdomain of another URL (“ezpass.scamwebsite.com”) or part of a longer URL (“ezpasspayyourtolls.com”).
    * Hover over URLs in emails to reveal their true destination. Scammers can make links appear to lead to a legitimate website, when they really point to a scam site, like the examples above.
    * Never open attachments from unfamiliar sources. Legitimate businesses rarely send unsolicited emails with attachments. Always confirm an email is real before you download anything.
    Page 2 of 2 - * Consider how the business normally reaches you. Most businesses send invoices by postal service, in the body of an email (no attachment) or by asking you to log into your secure account.
    * When in doubt, call the business’s customer support line to check the legitimacy of the email. Be sure to find the phone number on your bill or by a web search, not the email or website the scammers gave you.
    — Better Business Bureau
    The List
    Highest-earning actors in America, June 2013-June 2014:
    1. Robert Downey Jr., $75 million
    2. Dwayne Johnson, $52 million
    3. Bradley Cooper, $46 million
    4. Leonardo DiCaprio, $39 million
    5. Chris Hemsworth, $37 million
    6. Liam Neeson, $36 million
    7. Ben Affleck, $35 million
    8. Christian Bale, $35 million
    9. Will Smith, $32 million
    10. Mark Wahlberg, $32 million
    — Forbes
    Number to Know
    $1: Amount of the subscription price hike announced by Netflix in May, from $7.99 to $8.99 per month. Current subscribers will stay at the $7.99 level for two years after the announcement.
    Tech Talk
    Streaming video provider Netflix announced it has surpassed the 50-million subscriber mark, including 36 million in the United States alone. That compares to 56 million American households with subscriptions to premium cable television services, according to Nielsen.
    The news comes at a time when Netflix is continuing to push its foray into original programming, a number of shows in production and set to join favorites like “Orange is the New Black” and “House of Cards.”

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