How to Eliminate Profanity in Your Business

From printer jams to project misses, there are times when we all reach the breaking point. It’s easy to resort to cursing in the moment of frustration. Unfortunately, profanity often leads to a reduction in productivity and decreased employee morale. The best companies work hard to eliminate profanity in the workplace.

It’s All About Perception

Profanity influences how investors, managers and other business leaders view not only the employees, but also the workplace as a whole. It gives the impression that the workplace may be hostile or that the business owners and managers don’t care.

Business owners who can’t control their own language or their employee’s language can end up losing key players, capital investment and strategic deals. Even if it’s a rare occurrence, turning a blind eye can lead to harassment lawsuits especially if the person using profanity is in an influential position.

Responding to Profanity in the Workplace

As a business owner, you need to carefully consider how you respond to profanity in your workplace. First, look inward to assess your own language. Do you set a positive example for others to follow? If not, consider working on adjusting your language.

If profanity comes from a specific business unit, try to identify if there’s something about the team or their tasks that cause it. If you can isolate the problem to a specific individual or stressful situation, you have a better chance of eliminating the problem.

Be strategic in your approach and get an outside perspective or talk to someone who has expertise in human resources. Coming down too hard on personnel can result in legal issues. In some cases, you may find yourself dealing with cursing employees who claim that they’re engaging in activity that’s protected by the first amendment or the National Labor Relations Act. As shocking as it seems, you wouldn’t be the first business owner to hear that excuse. You must take steps to protect your business.

Protect Yourself

Make sure that you have a section in your employee handbook that specifically addresses profanity, along with discrimination and sexual harassment. Then create and enforce a zero tolerance policy and provide training for help for those who need it. It will take effort. But if you enforce your stance on profanity, you’ll eliminate it over time.

Hire For Fit

Before hiring someone, consider candidates that have a professional demeanor. This may mean that you pass on the most qualified applicant. You want someone who will represent your business in the best possible light. Hiring someone who’s not a fit can cost your company more in the long run.

What you don’t know can hurt you. At the end of the day, there’s no room for offensive language in your business. Although it’s common to let our temper get the best of us, the key is to not make it a habit. Words are powerful. Don’t let them ruin what you worked so hard to build.

When to Hire Employees in Your Small Business

You’ve worked real hard to improve your business, run it efficiently and have finally reached your capacity. Growing your business requires more than your efforts and making a decision to hire employees is often the right route to go. Before you put an ad on Craigslist, you need to articulate the job role, crunch the numbers and have a plan in place.hire employees

Articulate the Job Role Before You Hire Employees

Assess your current situation before you make a decision to hire. What areas of your business can you hand off to another person?

Generally, the first role that business owners fill is administrative. It’s good practice to have someone that can act as a hub for requests, office tasks and communications. This role is more than answering the phones and scheduling. Someone in this position could be given the responsibility to do light accounting, simple marketing pieces, advertisements, payroll and coordination. Administrators and personal assistants are usually multi-talented and can free you up to work on your business.

Whether you employ an administrator or not, it’s critical that you have clear job descriptions to get the most out of your staff. Set the expectation that the role will grow over time. Communicate that you expect your employees to take ownership of issues and resolve them, even if it’s not specifically in their job description. When you see positive ownership spirit, reward it accordingly.

Crunching the Numbers

After you’ve identified the role, you’ll need to determine what the market will bear for the tasks and where you’ll find the money in your budget. You can find general salary estimates from sites like and Bureau of Labor. Remember that you’ll need to consider the minimum wage, payroll tax, required benefits and worker’s compensation in your analysis.

After you have an idea of salary requirements, you’ll need to estimate return on investment. With all of the time you gain back, how many more clients will you bring into your business? How many more units can you sell? Try to estimate how much extra business would be generated by getting the help you need. Then, write down your goal and make sure to revisit it later down the line.

Employee Types

You don’t have to hire a full-time employee immediately. Especially, if you’re having a hard time finding the budget allocation. Consider hiring someone part-time and then migrating to full-time as you see the return on investment. Outsourcing, freelancing and temporary hires are great alternatives as well.

In either case, you’ll need to invest time in the hiring process and then train the employee to proficiency. You’ll also have additional paperwork and records to keep track of, so be sure you’re prepared.

Ultimately, you may need to ask yourself if there are other ways to gain efficiencies, like using software to automate certain tasks or simply getting more organized. If you choose to hire employees, make sure you hire the right person with the right skills, experience, and education for the right job.

Are you making plans to hire? I can help you plan and make the most out of your time and money if you contact me today.

Win the Hearts of Your Employees Through Recognition

In order to gain an increasing share of the market place you must win customers. Before you can win customers, you must first win the hearts of your employees.

Win Your Employees Hearts

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Unfortunately, we’ve done a poor job of this in America and the data is clear. According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, an alarming 70 percent of full-time employees are not engaged in work or they are actively disengaged. This disengagement leads to a host of unproductive activity, high turnover, and costs businesses millions.

Win the Hearts of Your Employees

Creating a recognition program doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. You can take simple steps today that will win the hearts of your employees and save your business. Here are a few ideas:

  • Write a thank you note
  • Gather an audience
  • Incorporate a challenge
  • Acknowledge a special event

Thank You Cards

The first time I received a handwritten thank you note was from a director that I worked with in a Fortune 500 company. I was into my second decade of working in corporate America and I had received many cash awards and recognitions for my work, but I had never received a hand written thank you card.  There’s just something special about the written word because it indicates that the sender put time and thought into the task. The small token of appreciation that was inside of it was nice, but I treasured that card and proudly displayed it on the wall of my cubicle for almost a year.

Gather an Audience

Recognition is powerful when it’s done in front of peers. Recognizing your highest sales employee in front of the IT staff does nothing to motivate other sales employees to work harder. However, recognizing that same employee in front of the sales team motivates the entire team to perform. This type of recognition can also be done in email form. Simply send out the recognition and watch as everyone rallies by replying to the list and confirming just how great that employee truly is.

Incorporate a Challenge

Men and women will fight hard for the opportunity to win. The prize doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be a cheap as a t-shirt or as expensive as a vacation. The size of the prize really doesn’t matter. People will compete to win whatever prize or challenge you lay before them.

Acknowledge an Event

Acknowledging an event in an employee’s life demonstrates that you care. Place special events, such as birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, and weddings on your calendar so that you are reminded to acknowledge those events. You’ll be amazed at just how far that goes to not only win the heart of your employees, but their families as well.

Employees need recognition, and there are many different ways that you can satisfy that need and create a more engaged employee. Remember to recognize only the behaviors that you want others to model. Recognition doesn’t have to be expensive; it’s your actions that demonstrate that you care.

What are innovative ways of recognition that you’ve implemented in your business?