How to change company culture with rewards

Q: What should you highlight with your staff tributes, awards and commendations?

A: What gets rewarded gets done, so recognize and reward a lot! This is especially so if you want to learn how to change company culture.

First, reward all the traditional categories: sales achieved, goals accomplished, customer compliments received. Then add some spice to really promote efforts on how to change company culture!

Celebrate new accounts, repeat orders, projects completed under budget, money-saving ideas, increased efficiency and, of course, improvements in customer service. To learn how to change company culture, you need to reward the actions you want to become ingrained.

Acknowledge achievements of individuals: most productive person, most consistent performance, most outrageous extra effort! This can also help in efforts to learn how to change company culture.

Applaud improvements made by groups and teams: shortest response time, fastest cycle-time, best collaboration.

Keep your staff motivated with unusual campaigns that arouse interest and lead to productive action. This can help you learn how to change company culture effectively.

Highlight the most unusual service recovery or most unique approach to a common problem. Give a “Most Unexpected Situation” award each month, and put special attention on the learning that followed.

The end of the month is a natural time to give rewards for targets and goals achieved. The end of the quarter aligns with financial accomplishments. The end of the year is an expected time for bonuses, increments and promotions.

But the beginning of each week can also be a good time to set recognition campaigns in motion. And nothing beats the day before the weekend for spontaneous cash awards and off-the-wall commendations. These actions will help you learn how to change company culture by rewarding the characteristics that matter to you.

In The One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson encourage readers to “catch your people doing something right.” That means recognizing good actions whenever and wherever you see them. This is especially important if you are learning how to change company culture. Give merit to your deserving “Employee of the Moment” – why wait for the end of the month or year? Instant recognition can help you in efforts to learn how to change company culture.

Make your recognition widely known. Give praise in public at staff meetings, management sessions and executive forums. Award prizes at the company picnic or family day. Bestow special honors at the annual kick-off or the end-of-year dinner and dance. Use every opportunity to commend strong performance and recognize spectacular efforts, especially if you are trying to learn how to change company culture.

Promote awards in the company newsletter. Post them on your website. Notify the local newspaper. Call the radio station for an interview with the winners. Send a photo and caption to your industry publication.

Create a “Wall of Fame” in your plant, office or building. Take down some of the impersonal decorations and put up visual reminders of your most successful projects and praise-deserving teams.

Make your awards meaningful by giving something the winners will appreciate and remember. If your recipient is outgoing, throw a party, make a fuss, go for all the publicity you can muster. If the winner is shy, provide your praise in a personal way: a special meeting, a thoughtful letter, a handwritten note on their desk.

When awarding a prize, make the honor reminiscent of the achievement. For the fastest production team, give running shoes. For the engineer who invents a better way, bronze an adjustable wrench and mount it on a plaque. For sales teams that surpass the target, host a darts tournament – bullseye!

Tools and education are practical awards. An extra conference or training session can motivate the technically minded professional. An expensive briefcase can be the symbol of success for a new salesperson just starting out.

People have many choices of where to work and how hard to work. An encouraging culture motivates your people to give their best. A sterile or discouraging culture diminishes their enthusiasm daily. Where would you rather focus your efforts? Learn how to change company culture to get the best from your people.

One company says, “If you do a good job, that is your job. Don’t expect much recognition.” (That’s a culture needing some change!)

Another company says, “If you do a good job, you will be rewarded, appreciated and praised. Get going!” (Now that’s a great place to work.)

Key Learning Point To Help You Learn How To Change Company Culture

There are many ways to recognize and reward your staff for achieving high targets of performance. The more praise you give, the more effort and results you will receive. You can learn how to change company culture by rewarding the actions you want to see more of.

Action Steps To Help You Learn How To Change Company Culture

Work with your team to make a list of all your current targets, goals and objectives. Make the list long with internal and external results desired. Use this list to define how to change company culture.

Then ask for a list of all the ways your team would enjoy being appreciated, rewarded and admired. Make the list long with obvious ideas and some outside-the-box suggestions.

Now match the lists in ways that inspire and stimulate everyone’s interest. Choose a place to start with a goal to achieve and an interesting reward at the finish. Give it a try. Then try another. And another. You can learn how to change company culture for the better.

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How to make moving easier for military families

Permanent Change of Station (PCS) and Personally Procured Moves (PPM)  come with military assistance to help soldiers and their families make the transition. Families can also take advantage of the do-it-yourself (DITY) option offered by the military, which could make the overall transition much smoother.
No matter how quickly the move happens, or what kind of moving assistance your family requests, here are some moving tips from Penske Truck Rental to keep in mind to help keep everything in order.
* Planning – PCS notifications can come without a lot of warning, or families may know about a potential move far in advance. For both instances, getting a plan in place is a good start. Gather important information into one folder, containing phone numbers, contact names, dates, receipts and checklists in this folder so you can easily track everything about your move. For some planning tools that focus specifically on military moves, visit the U.S. Department of Defense website.
* Moving – Many families choose the DITY option because it gives them more control over the move, and they can also potentially make some money in the process. The military provides an allotted cost for moving, and if you can come under that cost through your own planning, the military will pay you the difference. For example, Penske Truck Rental offers active military personnel a 20 percent discount for every truck rental, and will price-match any competitive offers on one-way truck rentals as well. Visit to learn more.
* Weights – Military rules require soldiers to certify the weight of the rental vehicle when empty and after it’s fully loaded. Weight limit reimbursements are set depending on a soldier’s rank and dependents, but the traditional weights are estimated at 1,000 pounds per room, excluding bathrooms and storage areas. Then add in the estimated weight of large appliances, garage items and items in storage. Compare this number to what is allowed and determine if you can reduce the load in any way to avoid paying overweight costs. To help with weight certifications, Penske offers a Certified Public Scale locator tool online to help DITY movers in finding weigh stations.
* Contact info – File a change of address form at your local post office so mail can be forwarded, and also make certain your new information is updated with your specific branch of the military.
* Explore – Get to know your new neighborhood, both on and off base. If you have children, explore the schools and the after school activities available. Learn a bit about the city’s history and gather information on the services the city offers so that on moving day, your water and electricity will be available when it’s needed.
When in the military, a move is practically inevitable, but the process can be much less stressful on both emotions and finances with a little organization and planning from the get-go.
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Top 5 super foods with a powerful health impact

“What are super foods? They are foods that have a very high or dense nutrient profile,” says Sophie Uliano, New York Times best-selling author, passionate environmentalist and healthy living advocate. “Some super foods come from countries such as South America, in which case, it’s important to make sure they are sustainably harvested and fair trade. Other super foods can be found in your local grocery store.”

Some of the most powerful super foods may surprise you. Uliano’s list of top super foods that pack a big serving of healthy goodness include:

1. Goji berries

Recommended frequency: every day

These little berries are a very rich source of antioxidants: flavonoids, polyphenols and carotenoids. They also contain vitamins C, E and A. They have a whopping amount of vitamin C – better than 500 times more than an orange. In addition, these tasty berries contain 19 amino acids, including eight essential amino acids. They are also anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.

“These berries are great for our long-term health. They have anti-aging benefits and help boost your immune system,” says Uliano. “I recommend eating them in the same way as you would cranberries or raisins. You can add them to smoothies, oatmeal, granola, or even to make a salad a little more interesting.”

2. Sardines

Recommended frequency: one can a week

If you’ve always avoided sardines, their nutritional profile should change your mind. Sardines contain B vitamins, phosphorus, potassium and iron. They are particularly rich in the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are also important for their anti-inflammatory effects.

“Canned sardines are just as healthy and rich in nutrients as fresh sardines,” Uliano says. “If you dislike the taste and texture, try mashing them up with spicy mayo and eating as you would tuna salad. If you’re still not sold, consider a high quality fish oil supplement from Nordic Naturals, which will give you a boost of the omega-3s your body needs to stay healthy and prevent disease.”

3. Kale

Recommended frequency: every day

In addition to vitamin K, which is important for blood-clotting and healthy bones, kale is packed with vitamins A, C and E, calcium and fiber. The veggie also contains loads of carotenoids, which are great for eye health.

“Different kinds of kale include Curly Kale, Dino Kale, Premier Kale and Redbar Kale,” explains Uliano. “I love to steam kale and drizzle with olive or toasted sesame oil and a little tamari sauce. I eat it warm or as a cold side in the summer. It’s also great to eat raw, but make sure that you wash well and remove all of the tough stems before chopping it up.”

4. Coconut oil

Recommended frequency: 1 to 3 tablespoons per day

Raw virgin coconut oil has a plethora of health benefits. It must, however, be raw, not hydrogenated. The lauric acid in coconut oil has been found to increase metabolism as well as fight bacteria and viruses. Coconut oil also has been shown to help lower cholesterol, stimulate the thyroid and is good for the brain.

“At room temperature, coconut oil will solidify, and when it’s heated, it will liquefy,” Uliano says. “My favorite ways to eat coconut oil include adding a tablespoon to smoothies or oatmeal, and using it in place of butter when baking. Coconut oil has a very high smoke point, so it is great for frying pancakes, or deep frying, too.”

5. Maca

Recommended frequency: every day

Typically from Peru, maca is usually sold as a nutty powder, but it also comes in capsules. “It is an adaptogen, which means that it is a biological substance found in a plant, which helps the human body adapt to change and stress,” says Uliano. “It has been used for more than 3,000 years in South America, and is also thought to be a libido enhancer.”

Perfect for vegans, maca is also a rich source of vitamin B12, minerals, protein and amino acids. “I like to bake with it or use it in smoothies. I add one heaping tablespoon of maca to my smoothie daily,” notes Uliano.

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Think mobile: marketing tips for local businesses

Thanks to mobile technology, businesses of all sizes and industries – from your local brick and mortar shop to your favorite online retail site – have the opportunity to easily reach people on the go.

Take Accents Style for example. This clothing boutique in Arlington, Texas, creatively reaches mobile customers by hanging incentives in the dressing rooms, including a 10 percent discount on a purchase when customers “check-in,” and a free pair of gold or silver hoop earrings when they “like” Accents Style’s Facebook page. Lucy Huang, owner of the business, says that her mobile efforts are paying off.

“Our posts get great responses. The check-ins via mobile are big incentives for our customers to come into our boutique,” she says.

Mobile is a vital channel for you to reach your customers and will only continue to grow. While mobile is a great vehicle for businesses to market to their customers, many business owners don’t know where to start or think it’s too complicated to do well. Below are answers to some of the most-asked questions from local businesses on how to more effectively reach the right audiences on the go.

1. As a business owner, how do I market on mobile without using a ton of resources? I’m just one person and don’t have the time.

A business’ social presence is a free and easy way to connect with potential customers on mobile. That’s because what you do on your page instantly translates to mobile – and your customers are already there, waiting to hear from you. Of the 1.15 billion people on Facebook, more than 70 percent access the site from their mobile phone.

Furthermore, people on the go are actively looking for businesses in their area: according to a recent Google study, 95 percent of smartphone users search for local information and 59 percent of smartphone users visited in-person after searching for local information. To effectively reach the right customer at the right time, you can tap in to the mobile ad targeting features available across many social platforms. For example, you can target people broadly or narrow down to specifics such as gender and interests. BarkBox, a company that delivers a monthly box of dog goodies (treats, products, toys, etc.) to dog owners, targeted friends of their fans on Facebook who were females and had an interest in dogs. After seeing success, BarkBox deepened their targeting by adding in geographic areas and age ranges and saw even greater results.

2. What are the best ways to create mobile ads?

Given people on their phones usually have limited time and attention spans, it’s important to create compelling and concise content including photos and short videos. For example, North Carolina-based barbecue company Bone Suckin’ Sauce promoted its Facebook photo post on mobile with the hook: “Which is better on the grill? Fish, chicken, vegetables, or steaks?” – to encourage conversation among fans. The company saw an 83 percent increase in online store sales as a result of promoting posts like these.

3. How can I manage my mobile marketing when I’m on the go, too?

Tools like Facebook’s Pages Manager app or Hoot Suite’s Social Media Manager app allow you to manage your pages on the go, whether you post photos, respond to customers via comments, or create ad campaigns.

You need to think mobile to grow your business

Just looking at the growing number of times per day people access the Web on their phones, it’s no secret that mobile marketing needs to become an integral part of your consumer marketing strategy. So don’t wait any longer: Think mobile and you’ll be able to reach new customers and keep current customers returning.

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‚ÄčAdvice for small businesses poised to hire their first employee

From affirming that the person you hire has the credentials to do the job and is the right personality fit for your organization, to ensuring you don’t run afoul of payroll taxes, workers’ compensation and other legal requirements, making that first hire requires a lot of preparation. When you’re getting ready to make that first all-important hire, keep some guidelines in mind:

Understand costs

You hire a first employee to help your business grow, but the costs associated with that growth can be significant. It’s important to weigh carefully the benefits of hiring against the related costs. According to the Small Business Association, these can include:

* Wages and taxes, including unemployment, Medicare and Social Security taxes

* Workers compensation insurance

* Recruiting and training expenses

* Benefits

* Payroll management

* Equipment, including software licenses and data plans, to help an employee do his or her job

Seeking candidates

Finding the right employee for your small business can also be a challenge. While professional hiring services can do the legwork for you, most small-business owners manage the hiring process themselves. You’ll need to consider where to advertise for candidates, what professional requirements you’ll want them to meet, what wage you’ll offer and how you’ll handle the interview process.

“We work with thousands of entrepreneurs and how to set wages is a frequent topic of interest,” says Michael Alter, president and CEO of SurePayroll, Inc., a Paychex company. Alter co-founded SurePayroll, and since then it has grown from a small business of four people to a company that employs more than 200 people. “As payroll providers, we know that wages are set by the market, not the employer. Researching and offering a competitive wage will help you to attract and keep the right candidate.”

Another critical component to consider is fit. A comprehensive pre-employment screening can help you make better hiring decisions. In addition to reviewing candidates’ resumes and references, your screening may include a background check, drug screening, behavioral assessments and skills testing.

Prepare for payroll

No one works for love alone. Your new employee will expect to be paid on time each pay period with the appropriate amount of withholdings taken out of his or her check. Managing payroll, however, can be costly and time-consuming; a small business with 10 or fewer employees may spend up to $2,600 per year on direct labor for payroll, according to SurePayroll. What’s more, if you don’t know or understand tax laws and requirements, you could find your company facing IRS penalties.

In the past, outsourcing payroll wasn’t always a practical option for small businesses with just one or two employees. Today, an online service such as SurePayroll can help small business owners manage their own payroll affordably, accurately and efficiently by paying employees and paying and filing payroll taxes. These services handle all the calculations for paying employees; calculating, paying and filing federal, state and local payroll taxes anywhere in the country; and notifying tax authorities of new hires. Mobile payroll apps also allow owners to run payroll on the go anytime, anywhere. Visit to learn more.

Next steps after hiring

In addition to completing necessary payroll tax forms, benefit enrollment forms and employee information files, you’ll need to complete a New Hire Reporting form that helps state and federal agencies track down parents in regard to child support payments.

You’ll also need to set up a storage system; the IRS requires all companies keep employment tax records for at least four years. Additional post-hiring tasks will include:

* Verifying an employee’s eligibility to work. Federal law requires employers to verify that an employee can legally work in the U.S. You’ll need to complete and submit an Employment Eligibility Verification Form within three days of making a hire.

* Fulfill your obligations under your state’s new hire reporting program. Federal law requires all employers to report all new hires to the state within 20 days of hiring.

* Secure workers’ compensation insurance.

* Establish a bookkeeping system.

Hiring that first employee can be exciting and challenging. Fortunately, with some planning and the help of online tools, you can ensure the hiring process goes smoothly, and each worker who joins your team contributes to your business’ continued growth.

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The value of DIY home improvement projects

The experts at True Value know DIY projects are more popular than ever – particularly those that help preserve family heirlooms, tailor your home to your tastes or help you save time and money.

Here some expert tips from the True Value DIY Squad on a few of these projects:

Family traditions
 It’s easy to recognize the value of DIY when you take on a project that holds special meaning to you and your family. Take a look at old furniture or a family heirloom to see how you can breathe some new life into it. By doing this, you add history to your home, create something unique you can’t purchase at a store and bring to life an item that can be passed along for future generations.

“It’s the emotional connections that make heirlooms so valuable,” says Susan Herin, blogger for Between Naps on the Porch and a member of the DIY Squad. “Sometimes all it takes is some sanding, a fresh coat of paint and a bit of your time to refresh a family antique.”

Make it your own
 Another benefit to DIY projects is that you have the freedom to personalize your space, making it a reflection of your personal taste. Think big picture, because oftentimes simple weekend projects can have a big impact.

For instance, the DIY Squad recommends a fresh coat of paint to make a difference. Color can influence your mood and thoughts, so it’s important that the colors of the rooms within your home reflect your personality and taste. Something as simple as reviving a room using color can breathe new life into you and your walls.

Save time and money
 Putting in a little elbow grease upfront can pay off by saving you time and money in the long run. You can take on many simple projects yourself without breaking the bank or waiting for the contractor to call you back.

“Even if you have very little DIY experience, you can find resources to help you complete a project on time and within budget,” says Marian Parsons, blogger for Miss Mustard Seed and a member of the DIY Squad. “When in doubt, a trip to your local True Value hardware store is where you will find the answer. The aisles are filled with the supplies you need and the people behind the counter have the expertise to help you get the job done right.”

For more DIY advice and weekend project inspiration, visit, and

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