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Entrepreneurs confronting the unhappy task of having to downsize when business conditions change need to execute in a way that preserves the dignity of, and, ultimately, the relationship with, the employees, says an entrepreneur who laid off her entire staff in the wake of the dot-com crash. Downsizing well involves throwing away the rulebook and dealing with people on a personal level, she writes.
The decision to terminate an employee can be both emotional and frustrating. If not handled properly, it can also result in expensive litigation. These days, wrongful termination lawsuits are not idle threats. According to a recent study conducted by Jury Verdict Research, recently fired executives who sued are winning often and winning big.
Unless you have a strong team at the top, you and your company will struggle under the weight of growth. Knowing how to select, manage and lead a Top Team is one of the secrets to growth.
People infected with HIV, whether or not they have AIDS symptoms, are protected in the workplace by federal and state laws concerning discrimination and disability. These guidelines for education, testing and accommodation policies can help entrepreneurs avoid problems.
When Michele McGeoy sold her first software start-up, she thought she was doing the best thing for her stakeholders. But, a few years later the new owners resold the company out of state, leaving her and her employees out of work. Having lost control by giving up ownership, McGeoy found a better solution for her next venture: She empowered employees by making them stakeholders and created a culture that promotes healthy growth.
Entrepreneurs, in particular, are having troubles with today's widespread age-disconnect between managers and employees. The many twentysomethings who are launching companies these days hire workers who are both younger and older than they are, writes the author, a frequent EntreWorld contributor. She maintains that to manage this so-called "generation gap," you'll need to build a common understanding based on your company's values.
Entrepreneurs of a certain age need to accommodate the changes in attitude on the part of the younger generation or risk becoming dinosaurs, writes the author, who turned to entrepreneurship after a career in the U.S. Army and at a major corporation. Today's young people are technologically savvy, casual about dress and deportment, and forward about expecting to advance at a younger age, he says. He includes tips for adjusting one's management style to help -- rather than change -- the new generation.
Age is an issue for today's entrepreneurs, especially those in technology-based businesses, writes the author, who founded an Internet company right out of college. Younger entrepreneurs, he argues, are more likely than their elders to be technologically astute and to be creative and flexible, attributes that are integral to their companies and enable those enterprises to succeed. The author includes tips for using youth as an advantage in business.
In today's extremely tight labor market, small-company employers must approach hiring just as they approach selling. To lure able and enthusiastic candidates, the author writes, a CEO should consider such steps as contacting reluctant candidates personally, offering equity compensation to augment salaries, and sending welcoming gifts like fruit baskets. Of particular note is a discussion of factors the author says "count" in the sales-whoops!-the hiring process.
If you think hiring is tough in today's tight labor market, you should figure that retaining people is even tougher. To keep employees, small-company owners must provide more than just competitive compensation packages, the author writes. What really makes the difference is a CEO's ability to communicate an organizational vision and to recognize the people who translate that vision into revenue and profit.
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