Simple but Effective Ways to Reduce Your Employees’ Overtime

Overtime can take a toll on both employees and employers – your profits take a hit, and your employees can quickly start feeling overworked. But when deadlines are looming or customer demands are piling up, it can feel like the only option. Here are a few ways to reduce overtime in your company.

Dismantle “Overtime Culture”

Company culture is an important factor in how it operates – if you regard overtime as a normal component of doing business, then everyone below you is going to do the same. It’s important to keep overtime as a last resort, not a normal part of working. Don’t let your employees get used to clocking out late every day. 

Make the Most of Your Working Hours

A common cause of overtime is poor management of the time that you have on a normal day. Menial tasks can eat up a huge amount of time – automating them can free up a huge amount of time and drastically reduce the amount of overtime your employees work. Try using project planning tools and email automation to leave more time for actual work to get done.

Cross Training

You should never have a system in place that relies on one or two employees to pick up the slack. If you track the patterns of your company’s overtime, you’ll probably notice that the bulk of that overtime is being worked by a few specific employees. Ensure that your whole team is capable of doing required tasks to reduce the strain on the more skilled employees. 

Schedule Properly

One common cause of excessive overtime is improper scheduling – when labor doesn’t suit demand, it can lead to overworked employees. It’s often more cost effective to schedule an extra helping hand when things are going to get difficult than constantly paying for overtime and sick days as your employees burn out.

Using scheduling software to monitor workflow patterns can help you schedule your employees more effectively, ensuring that you always have the right number of people on shift.

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Five Effective Employee Retention Strategies

An inability to retain employees can be incredibly expensive for companies – it’s estimated that it can cost double an employee’s salary to replace them. That figure can be even higher for employees who are particularly essential to a company’s day-to-day operations. So how can you keep your employees for the long-term? Here are five strategies to boost your employee retention.

  • Competitive Salaries and Benefits

Recent data has shown that 45% of employees leave their jobs for reasons related to salary and benefits. While financial stability might not be the driving factor, seeking more beneficial or comprehensive benefits packages is a huge reason for people to quit. 

  • Effective Hiring

If you hire people who aren’t well-suited for the position, it shouldn’t surprise you when they quit before their first year is over. For many new hires, an inadequate onboarding process leaves them lacking valuable information and fosters a pool of negativity from the start. 

  • Comfortable Working Conditions

Your employees are human – that means that they experience pain and frustration when things are out of balance. If the hours are too demanding or there’s unresolved tension among coworkers, a job can quickly become emotionally draining and drive someone to quit. Work with your employees to identify areas that are harming their view of their job and try to alleviate as much pain and frustration as possible.

  • Leadership, Not Bossiness

A boss can make or break an employee’s view of their job – a good boss can retain employees and even fill vacant positions with referrals, while a bad boss can drive employees away faster than you can hire them. Ensure that the people you’re entrusting with management positions have good leadership qualities, such as inspiring confidence and the ability to handle challenges. 

  • Employee Engagement

Over half of disengaged employees are liable to be seeking other employment. If you don’t care about your job, why would you want to stay in it for the long-term? Offering learning opportunities, paths of advancement, and recognition for success can help people feel more engaged with the company and less likely to leave.

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How Nutrition Improves Sports Performance

By now, we all know that nutrition plays a huge part in our health. It’s taught in our schools, and there are thousands of articles online claiming to be able to tell you the perfect diet to cure all your woes. But research has shown that changing your diet can have a real, immediate effect on your sports performance. Here’s why.

Noticeable Results

Proper nutrition can help prevent a wide range of sports-related injuries and help you unlock your body’s full potential. While biomechanical changes take time, nutrition-related changes can be made relatively quickly and can have a marked effect on your performance. 

Macronutrients

Macronutrients are the basic building blocks of nutrition – they’re the components of food that we need the most of. There are only three types – carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

Most athletes need to maintain a specific combination of these factors to reach peak performance. Depending on what sport you’re in, your requirements will be different. Endurance athletes tend to need more carbohydrates in their diets because they provide instant energy, while strength-based athletes may want to focus more on protein because of its role in muscle building and repair. Your dietician should be able to recommend a balance that’s right for you. 

Micronutrients

Micronutrients are substances that your body requires in trace amounts to function. They are the vitamins and minerals your body uses to synthesize proteins and perform other tasks.

Some of the most important micronutrients for athletes include: 

  • Iron: The main component in hemoglobin, the protein responsible for transferring oxygen into your cells. Found in red meat, rice, wheat, oats, nuts, dark leafy greens, and beans. 
  • Vitamin D: Required for your body to be able to absorb calcium, and essential to the development of your nervous system and skeletal muscles. Found in fatty fish, egg yolks, butter, beef liver, cheese, and fish oil, as well as enriched foods such as milk, yogurt, and cereal
  • Calcium: Essential to bone health, muscle contraction, nerve conduction, and blood clotting. Found in dairy products, leafy greens, and dried beans.

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Hiring Your First Employees in a Startup

Starting a business is like choosing a pickup basketball team – you have to build your team from scratch, you only have a limited number of picks, and you’d better make them count.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the positions that are most important for startup businesses to hire at the start.

  1. Chief Executive Officer

Every ship needs a captain, every team needs a head coach, and every business needs a CEO. As with those other positions, your CEO will determine the direction your business will take. It is essential to choose a CEO who matches your conception for your company’s direction and values. Experience is also a huge plus.

  1. Product Manager

Just as you need a CEO to draw up a battle plan, you need a project manager to direct the troops in the trenches. Project managers are the ones who lead teams and make your business ideas a reality. It is essential that they have good organizational and conflict resolution skills and understand how to maximize the talents of their team. 

  1. Technology Chief

Given the prominence of technology today, it’s essential to have someone on your staff who can sort all of that out for your team. You probably want to get an IT specialist who can handle your website and any other Internet, app, and programming-related work.

  1. Chief Financial Officer

Once your company starts turning a profit, you’ll need someone to help you balance the books and decide what to do next. A CFO can help keep your accounting, tax situation, and ensure that your finances remain in good shape.

  1. Customer Service Head

The first point of contact your customers will have with your company is likely to be some member of your customer service staff. You won’t get a second chance at a first impression, so you need to ensure these first interactions are positive, and that any questions customers may have are handled in a polite and professional manner. Having a strong customer service head can ensure that your customer service is excellent from the start, which in turn can help breed the word of mouth your company needs to succeed.

Each of these positions are essential cornerstones to hire early in the life of a young and growing company.

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The Importance of Achieving Work-Life Balance for Entrepreneurs

We all hear about how the most successful entrepreneurs threw their entire lives into their project. While that may work for some people, it tends to be more of an unrealistic endeavor than anything else. It also creates a huge imbalance that leads to personal burn out.

That is why finding a balance between work and life is so crucial for entrepreneurs. Even if it doesn’t catch up to you for a while, burn out will catch up to you. When it does, it won’t be the prettiest feeling. Here are a few ways to master your work-life balance.

Schedule Life, Not Just Work

Having a schedule is an important part of being an entrepreneur. After all, you have to know where you are going, what you are doing, and what you hope to achieve that day, right? Well, shouldn’t life be the same?

By having set times in your schedule, you can plan things such as exercise, social nights, or reserve time for family activities. This not only gives you something to look forward to, but it also gives you a stronger motivation to properly manage time so that you do not have to cancel those plans.

Set Boundaries

The belief is that entrepreneurs have to be on at all times, whether they are in the office or at home. But that does not have to be the case. Set work hours for yourself and stick to them. If you have a phone attached to you, it will impact your personal life, which can impact your work life.

Keep them separate whenever possible. It will give you that balance that you need to tackle big problems while also managing your personal life.

Turn the Phone Off

No, you do not need to be there to take phone calls at 11 pm. No, you do not have to be at the beckon call of anyone who demands it.

Turn the phone off when you are having personal time. Not only will it keep you from stressing out about every aspect of the job, but it will keep clients from thinking that they own your time.

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Recovery Tips for Athletes

When the competition is over, athletes are just like the rest of us. Even more importantly, they need to rebuild and heal their bodies so that they can do it all over again. The recovery process has become as important as the events themselves these days.

So, coming to a speedy recovery is essential for athletes now more than ever. Here are a few tips that athletes of all levels can use to have a speedier recovery.

Replenish Fluids

Hydration is an important aspect to athletics. Their bodies use more of the nutrients and fluids within than the average person, so putting those fluids back is essential to recovery. Water is great for nutrient transfer and metabolic function, which is why you will see any athlete with plenty of water with them at all times.

By having adequate fluid replacement, even the athletes who strive for insane endurance levels will keep water with them at all times. It helps their bodies to do those crazy activities over and over again.

Rest and Relax

No matter what you put into your body, it needs time to repair itself. Whether it is due to typical wear and tear or an injury, the body needs time to rest and heal itself. By resting after a tough workout or activity, you give your body the time that it needs to repair itself.

There is no replacement for good relaxation time. Not only will it help your body to repair itself, but you give your mind time to reset and recharge as well.

Stretch

Now more than ever, stretching is seeing its importance felt in every corner of athletics. The stress that our bodies go under during vigorous athletics is really quite crazy. By giving your body flexibility, you help stave off injuries.

Moreover, a gentle stretch after a particularly tough workout can be a great way to allow your muscles to recover faster. Stretching should be a part of any workout or athletic routine going forward to help prevent injury and maintain flexibility.

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How to Network as an Entrepreneur

Networking is crucial for entrepreneurs who can only rely on themselves to promote their business and generate leads. Networking can not only increase revenue for your business but also help you form a community. These tips can help you network successfully.

Look for Relationships, Not Connections

Instead of thinking about the number of connections you make, focus on building meaningful relationships with a few people. Building healthy business relationships will ensure that you can rely on each other even after a working relationship is over.

Make sure that the relationship you are trying to build through networking is reciprocal. Instead of immediately asking a stranger for help, think about what service you could provide to your potential connection. Approaching networking with the goal of a mutually beneficial relationship will also help you feel less awkward about initiating contact.

Turn to the Power of the Internet

Modern-day entrepreneurs are not limited to networking with people who are in their geographic proximity. You can join groups on social media to find like-minded entrepreneurs or people looking for a service to provide. Social media is also a way for you to market yourself and generate connections passively by posting regularly about your business and your entrepreneurial insights.

Tap Into Your Local Community

The Internet makes it easy to go global, but there is power in staying local. Taking advantage of the resources in your community will help you build relationships with your neighbors. After all, nearby customers are most likely to patronize your business. Reach out to other small business owners or build relationships with local reporters. These relationships will be helpful towards the long-term success of your business.

Your existing customers are also a good resource. Word of mouth is how many new customers find businesses, and people love sharing information with their friends. You can develop an influencer partnership with some of your customers. Or, just give them business cards to hand out to their friends.

Building strong relationships and seeking out creative ways to network makes it possible for entrepreneurs to network their way to success.

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The Best Leaders in Sports History

If you ever wondered why successful business leaders quote great athletes and coaches, it is because they have become some of the most notable leaders in history. That said, there are a few who stand above even their own peers. Here are the best leaders in sports history.

Mark Messier, New York Rangers

You don’t get to be called the greatest captain in hockey history without reason. Messier was already a seasoned leader before the 1994 playoffs, but that solidified him. On his way to leading the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup in 54 years, he guaranteed a victory against the Devils in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. All he did was deliver said victory while scoring a hat trick along the way.

Tom Brady, New England Patriots

You don’t become the winningest quarterback in NFL history without being able to lead. For nearly two decades, Brady led the Patriots to Super Bowl after Super Bowl – nine of them, to be exact, with six victories. Brady has been the one constant despite lacking weapons and a changing at nearly every position along the way.

Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens

As known as Lewis was for his ferocious play, it was his leadership abilities that became revered. He brought teammates to his insane level of intensity, making the Ravens defense fear for his tenure in Baltimore. He was about more than dancing, he led the defense even when his skills declined. Perhaps the penultimate leader on defense in football history.

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

“Black Mamba” became a name on par with “His Airness.” Bryant led the Lakers for two decades, winning five NBA titles along the way. He also became known as a ruthlessly competitive person who demanded the best of those around him. While it may have been seen as harsh by some, there is no question that he elevated those around him and brought them to the promised land with him. Other than Michael Jordan, no one had the competitive drive that Bryant had.

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The Potential Automated Call

Louis Dettito Baseball Header

Many businesses are automating various processes in modern times. It seems as though automation is taking over many different sectors and there isn’t much that anyone can do to stop it. Even professional sports are going to have to confront the topic of automation sooner rather than later. Currently, people are talking about introducing an automated balls and strikes system in the MLB.

Getting the Call Right

The potential is there for an automated balls and strikes system to make the game of baseball more accurate. As it stands now, umpires are put in the position of making a call based on what they see going on. This does mean that there are occasions when an umpire will blow a call, much to the chagrin of the fans. If the game was able to implement automated umpires, then things would change substantially.

The position of the ball can be detected at all times and it’s a simple process to determine whether the ball was within the strike zone or not. Technology can be used to accomplish this task and it can ensure that the call is always right. This eliminates some of the human element that is associated with baseball. Knowing that it could improve the game might make some people okay with the idea but the automated umpire system has its critics as well.

Not Everyone Likes This

Not everyone likes this and some people think that it would change the game for the worse. Getting rid of the human element that is associated with calling a ball or a strike might make the game feel hollow in some respects. This really depends on your perspective and how you feel about changing things over. Many people felt the same way about instant replays in other sports before they were implemented.

It should also be said that human umpires can still be there to make the final call. It wouldn’t eliminate human umpires but it would make sure that they got the information right. Would this make the flow of the game better or worse? Whatever your opinion happens to be, you should know that most experts say that automated umpires will be implemented into the game and that it’s just a matter of how long it’ll take the MLB to go for it.

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The MLB’s Plan for Minor Leagues

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You might have heard about the fact that the House of Representatives had to step in to save several minor league baseball teams from getting the ax. You see, the MLB has a plan for minor leagues and they think that there are currently way too many minor league teams. They don’t want each major franchise to be associated with so many minor league teams or farm teams. However, Congress sees the importance of the minor league teams when it comes to helping local communities and economies.

The MLB Wants to Change the Minor League System

The MLB wants to change the minor league system so that it can be brought up to modern standards. Their general idea is that they wish to have fewer minor league teams but that the remaining teams will have much higher standards. They wish to do this so that playing conditions can be improved for players. MLB officials have said that they recognize the importance of protecting communities throughout America but they haven’t said how they plan to do that.

Congress stepped in to save several teams that were in danger of being disbanded and discarded by the MLB. The MLB says that the House of Representatives made a mistake by doing this. Basically, they want the minor league teams to negotiate with them so that they can discover a path forward. Congress didn’t think that the idea to cut 42 teams was good at all and took action to protect communities from the ramifications of losing those teams.

Why Losing Minor League Teams Would Have an Impact

Losing minor league teams would have an impact on various communities. These communities that play host to the minor league squads have come to love and appreciate them in many ways. Minor league baseball teams give normal people access to high-quality baseball competitions. For many people, this is the only practical way to get to go see baseball games live.

Aside from this, it’s important to consider that these communities are tied to these teams economically. Sometimes the revenue that comes in from the minor league teams is significant enough that losing the team would be disastrous for specific towns. Minor league baseball generates more revenue than some people realize and protecting small communities is the goal of Congress. Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see what can be done to address concerns while also bringing the minor leagues up to modern standards.

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