What Are Some Key Aspects of a Good Business?
When you run your own business or plan on starting one in the near future, you may want to consider how working practices could either help or hinder your profits.
Thinking about both the people and the actual work that is carried out, you may be able to figure out where there is room for improvement. In addition to this, moving away from older practices in favour of those that are more accepted in today’s society could help the general public to feel more favourably about what you do.
Diversity and inclusion
Today’s workforce is made up of a variety of different people who come from a number of walks of life, so you may want to make sure that any cultural competence in the workplace is up to par. Types of diversity you may encounter in the workplace include:
- Sexual Orientation
A good business owner must realise that prejudice has no place in the working world. You may also want to consider giving training on diversity and inclusion to members of your team. This could involve asking an external professional to come into your workplace and conduct training, but you can also find lots of resources online. Try to educate your team about the kinds of diversity that are out there and teach them how they can be respectful and tolerant of every member of staff. You could even go one step further and hold events that celebrate diversity. If your employees feel comfortable, encourage them to speak about their experiences so that others can better understand their unique cultural backgrounds.
Putting disciplinary measures in place for those who do not respect your workplace’s approach to diversity can be a good way to protect minorities who may be discriminated against. Being more understanding of people's differences and needs could help you to better service clients, and create more of a positive vibe to your workplace as a whole.
There may be many stress factors in an individual’s life and, while you hope that work is not one of them, there might be times when an employee feels overly stressed about the amount of work they need to do. Alternatively, there could be unrelated factors that are putting their mental health at risk. Problems at home or issues with their finances and relatives can cause feelings of anxiety and stress that trickle through to work.
Rather than judging an employee for their lack of productivity, you may instead want to proceed with some degree of compassion, which could be especially useful for any individual who already struggles with a mental health condition. This could help to take some of that weight off of their shoulders, and even make you a good company to work for. Offering mental health days to employees who are struggling can be invaluable in helping them to work through their problems and return to the business better able to complete their tasks.
Consider offering as many paid sick days as your budget will allow and always ask employees what you can do to reduce their stress. Sometimes small steps can improve someone’s mental health a great deal. There are also online services out there that offer mental health at a reduced cost to businesses. Think about offering a subscription to an app like Headspace that focuses on mindfulness and meditation as one of the perks your employees can benefit from when they work for you.
Brilliant things happen in calm minds. Be calm. You're brilliant.
You might also want to consider a more flexible working environment if it is appropriate to do so. Some employees may thrive on working in a set office, while others may do their best work when at home. There may also be employees who would like a mix of the two. Make sure you reach out to your staff and ask for their opinion, as assuming that everyone wants the same thing can be a dangerous move. For example, lots of young employees might want an office to work in if they have limited space in their homes. However, flexible working could be especially important to those who have children or other commitments outside of their job.
If you’ve been working remotely during the pandemic and haven’t suffered any ill effects, it’s definitely a good idea to give hybrid working a trial run. Start by sending out a survey to your staff to gauge people’s opinions. If most people are happy to work from home but wouldn’t mind meeting in person occasionally, you could host optional work retreats or meetings where staff can get together if they want to.
Remember that employees may need extra support if you’re moving to a completely remote model of working. You’ll probably need to provide them with extra equipment and invest in communication software.
Further Reading from Skills You Need
Learn more about the skills you need to be an effective leader.
Our eBooks are ideal for new and experienced leaders and are full of easy-to-follow practical information to help you to develop your leadership skills.
Fair salary structure
One of the best ways to be a good, ethical business is to pay your employees what they’re worth. While it can be tempting to pay workers as little as possible, this will only result in your best talent moving on after a few months. Try to give staff a fair salary increase based on their performance and inflation. Avoid a culture that expects lots of unpaid overtime and think about introducing a bonus scheme that gives staff a little extra money at certain times of the year.
While salary isn’t everything, you need to recognise that your employees rely on the money they earn to put a roof over their heads and pay for medical expenses. If you’re paying staff below the industry average for their roles, it’s only a matter of time before they find someone else who is willing to pay them their worth.
Becoming a better business isn’t always about the way you treat clients or undertake work. Sometimes, it can also be about the level of care and understanding that you give to those within your team. In turn, this could help to keep them loyal to you and your company, and even motivate them to do their best within their role, simply due to feeling supported by the management team.
About the Author
Emily has been a freelance writer for 5 years. Her writing specialises in covering all aspects of business and personal professional development, and she always strives to maintain her own signature voice throughout her work.