An Entrepreneur’s Wife

My husband has always dreamed of owning his own company, and always had his own little business that we just earned extra income from. So, a few years ago he decided to go out fully on his own and start a company. A couple of years in and he loves being an entrepreneur. I love it too, and since by now it’s fully integrated into our family life, I think it’s time to do a blog series on what it looks like to own a company, homeschool, and keep up with 4 kids.

Let’s cover a couple of ground rules:

  1. This isn’t for the faint of heart – it’s a lot of work. Hubby works 80 hr work weeks and I log a lot of hours as well. Because I work with him that means that I know what’s going on. I know if things are going well, if a client isn’t happy, etc. This is how we make money to live and knowing all the details is scary at times.
  2. It requires boundaries – Dinner turns into an executive meeting, “going out” is a dinner with clients, and pillow talk is all about how to draft the latest client agreement. We’ve had to find the line and draw it, because the kids need our attention too. We need to hear about their day at dinner, return home more relaxed after we go out, and actually be proactive about our kids needs.
  3. My to-do list is ridiculous – It reads something like: new stair rail, e-mail accountant, make banana muffins, find new math curriculum, food for office meeting, check on insurance, find flower girl dresses, review book on blog. Seriously, it’s impossible to keep up with multiple to-dos so everything ends up on one big list and it all has to happen at once. Just get used to it. Especially since I work from home, all my stuff is overlapping.

As crazy as things can get, there’s just something to be said for going out on your own. Because it’s not just “Daddy” going to work every day and coming home at night. It’s a whole family affair. From a family dinner with a client’s family, to business discussions at dinner, to my kids watching me work, to the kids helping me clean the office. It’s really shown my kids that work isn’t this isolated thing that Daddy does 8 hours every day, it’s something that you choose, you make it your own, and it’s just part of life. They keep asking when they get to work!

I love what we do, and love that as the kids get older they’ll get to be more involved as well and we’ll make it more of a whole family thing.

Sodexo Quality of Life – Recognition

Recognition can be a powerful source of motivation in the workplace, encompassing a number of factors that allow an individual to feel truly valued. That person is likely to achieve better as well, as studies show that when employees are rewarded for a job well done, performance levels skyrocket. In fact, 81 percent of employees say they work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work. Seventy-five percent of CEOs at small businesses concur, believing recognition increases productivity.

Recognition is also considered the best lever to improve quality of life at work for a great majority of employees. But what’s the best way to spotlight the hard work of others? In the small-business world, how do we as small-business owners recognize and support our employees? How can we help our employees feel valued at work and carry over that value into their work quality?

While my husband and I have had a small business for the past 10 years, it’s just this past year that we’ve gone at it full time and started hiring employees. This has been one of our big questions. How do we recognize our employees hard work in our unique work environment?

main-logo ResultStack is a modern technology company. We offer many technology services like web development, mobile app development, and content management services. – sorry, shameless plug for our small-business. You should check it out, because we’re truly awesome at what we do!

A trend in technology companies is to work remotely and since this is a small-business less overhead works great for us. Meaning, all our employees work from home.

This creates a unique set of issues for us when it comes to employee recognition. We have occasional in-person meetings for project starts, mid-project reviews, and any other time we need everyone on the project in the same room. But, in a remote work environment, how do you recognize your employees in a meaningful way?

1. Communicate – If we’re not communicating with our employees, nothing is going to work. It’s important though to not only communicate when they need to fix something but to also communicate to them when they’re doing a great job. Tell them how they’re doing and recognize them for good work.

2. Tell Others – I’ve never seen a group of programmers look over each other’s code and tell them how awesome it is. There’s no way in a group setting you’re reviewing code and oohing and aahing over a good job. That’s just weird. But, it is appropriate in a group setting to mention that X person got X job or X function done. Give them recognition for what they’ve accomplished.

3. Include them as part of the team – When you work remotely, it’s easy to feel isolated and not part of a team. To build team spirit. And what good does it do to recognize someone if no one else knows them?

a) Give everyone something with the company logo, shirts, hats, pens, business cards, etc. Whatever makes sense for your company. Employees love free company swag. It’s like an extra special perk for working for a company. And not only are you, the company, recognizing them as a valued member, they’re also promoting the company when they use their swag.

b) Get everyone together. We like to do a big lunch meeting, recognition dinner, or we’re even inviting everyone to our Superbowl party. With all remote workers it’s important that they get a chance to get together, see each other, and have fun.

4. Have fun together. One of my husband’s favorite companies was a company he worked for that had a game room. They had an Xbox360, a foosball table, and a couple other things. A couple times a day the employees would round up a quick foosball competition and take a little break. A break does great things for employee productivity and it also helps employees build camaraderie with each other.

We don’t have a physical office for our employees yet but we’re definitely planning a rec room when we do! For now, we do things like Superbowl parties. Recognize your employees hard work with some well-deserved down time.

This is a sponsored post. sponsored by Sodexo.