Practical Practice Management

10 Ways Germs Are Passed At Work

We need to work so we all want to stay healthy, especially during this time of bad flus and viruses.  There are certain ways that we can help from spreading germs while at work.

Think about your workspace, if you are the only one using the space it is easier to keep it clean.  If you work in an office, restaurant or retail environment where you may interchange workstations throughout the day you may want to consider these 10 germ passing conditions that happen all of the time.

1. Answering phones.

2. Sitting on and sharing chairs and workstations.

3. Picking up a pen at the counter or desk.

4. Receiving paperwork, money or credit cards from customers.

5. Using copy machines or scanners.

6. Shaking hands, touching people, wheelchairs, walkers or canes.

7. Sharing break room eating space, touching the coffee pot, refrigerator, etc.

8. Sharing common bathrooms.

9. Filing cabinets, charts or invoices.

10. Food brought in by co-workers or customers

We do not need to become germophobic we need to become aware of how germs are passed and what we can do to reduce them.  Cleaning down workstations (see below) at the end of each day with Clorox wipes or sanitizer will greatly reduce germs.  Having hand sanitizer at all workstations and counters for employees and customers to use.  Keep your pen with you at all times.

If you need to cough or sneeze do it properly (see below). Make sure you wash your hands,(see below) this is one of the biggest contributors to sickness.  We forget what we have touched and then we touch our eyes, mouth or even our lunch.

Working in the medical field we think about this all of the time, but during flu season we boost up our awareness by reviewing these few germ-fighting standards.  I hope they might help you to have a happier and healthier workplace this flu season.

Ensure Clean Workstations

Proper Hand Washing

How to cough or sneeze properly


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We Do Have a Choice

On my coaching call yesterday, we were discussing the topic of “Mindset” and how we have the ability to change our mindset.  I told the listeners about a time when I was speaking at a conference on the topic of “Creating a Great Workplace Environment” and this manager came up to me afterward and thank me for the presentation and told me that she truly believed in what I was saying but that it would be impossible for her to create a great work environment.

I was all ears wanting to hear why this would be an impossible task for her as she managed the business.  She proceeded to tell me that she overheard two of the employees that work with her say something that was hurtful to her.  She did not want to talk to them and resolve the issue so instead she was making the workplace a difficult place to be by her attitude.

After explaining to her that it was her choice how she was acting and she could choose a different mindset and resolve the issues and move forward she did realize that she was holding up progress at work and making it a “not so nice place” for all of them to be.  She decided to change her mindset and discuss the situation with her boss and the two women, and they were able to work through it and get back to work, which is what the employer was paying for all along.

It is important to remember we have choices, even though they may be difficult we must choose to do what is right and our reactions will reflect it.  We are in control of our choices and actions.

Have a great Thursday!


Free E-Book Becoming a Great Employee

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Transparency Builds Trust

Effective leadership is one of the necessary ingredients to make a business run more efficiently and to create a great work environment.  I know what you are probably thinking, I really don’t have time to think about leadership I need to run a business.   This is true but if you really want a business that customers want to come to and employees that want to come back day after day to help you then you cannot afford not to address the issue of effective leadership.

What defines a good leader? Leading people is the opposite of controlling them.  A workplace team needs leadership in order to develop, grow and perform better as a whole, personally and as a team.  The business owner does not necessarily have to be the leader, but someone does.

Team members learn by example.  The leader is one of the most watched people in the business.  His or her behavior influences everyone else’s.  When the leader sets the right example, the chances are greatly increased that the team members will follow the lead in the right direction.

When the leader sets the wrong example, their actions speak louder than words and the team may follow those unwanted actions.

What the leader does do more than what they say shows the team what kind of leader they actually are.  The team members will not rise to the top but will settle to the level of the leader and not grow themselves if the wrong example is demonstrated day-in-and-day-out.

Everyone makes mistakes and when the leader makes a mistake they need to apologize and let the team know that they were wrong and also let them know what they should have done instead.  Transparency is essential in a leadership role; how else will employees know that it is okay for them to be transparent also?  Transparency builds trust between people.

Get Your Free E-Book 

Becoming A Great Employee

Keep moving forward,


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5 Questions To Becoming Your Best Self

Almost all businesses depend on people.  Many need people to work at the business, or to shop at their business, and people to promote and market their business.

Whether it is customers, patients, clients, or coworkers that you work with, they all deserve to receive the best service that you can give each day.  How we serve our clients or coworkers can make a big difference in how they feel, not only about us but about the business overall.

If we are in the people service business, we should desire to give our best service.  These five questions can give you an idea on how you are doing in the people service area of your job.

Ask yourself these five questions and then rate yourself from 1-5, with 1 being poor, 2 average, 3 good, 4 very good and 5 excellent and see how you tally up with your “service skills” score.

  • Am I friendly all the time at work?
  • Do I stay positive all of the time at work?
  • Do I make it easy to do business with my company and with myself?
  • Do I work well with my coworkers?
  • Do I empathize with customers or coworkers when they have a problem and try to help them?

Sometimes it is hard to score “5” on everything each day. Once we realize we can greatly increase customer and coworker satisfaction by trying to be the best we can at work each day doesn’t it make it worth trying your best to be the best you can be?

“You are the only one who can limit being your best self” ~Unknown

Keep moving forward,


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A Tip For Goal Achievement

Remember, when setting up any goal or project you wish to achieve, give yourself a realistic time frame in which to complete it.  I have learned this valuable lesson from those that I work with professionally.  They will want to change so many things, which is good, but they do not really take the time to plan out how they are going to do it and how much time it really will take.

One good method I have adopted is to “begin with the end in mind” and walk back each step it will take until I get to where I am at now.  Then the added trick is to figure out how much time I think it will take and pad that with extra time.  I know from experience that things will come up and there will be days that I do not get to work on my goal.

By planning this way, I have been able to be more successful and the journey has been less stressful.  My mantra, “baby steps, baby steps, one step at a time.”

“Life is too short and time too precious to try and achieve the things we desire without a plan.” T.C. Totaro

Keep moving forward,


Free E-Book Becoming A Great Employee

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Is A Carrot Enough To Motivate Employees? (Free E-Booklet)

If you are a business owner or manager and have people who work for your business you have probably asked yourself more than once, “How can I motivate my employees when they are at work?”  I have the opportunity to speak to small business owners often and I have found that this is one of the top questions they ask me.

All business owners would love to have employees that are naturally self-motivated and want to do a fantastic job.  There is one thing business owners must remember and that is employees feel and see things a bit differently than the owner of the business.   Entrepreneurs are self-motivated by creating something from nothing, which is intrinsic motivation or internal motivation.  The employee sees and feels things quite the opposite, they are usually motivated more by external stimuli or extrinsic motivation, such as a raise, job security, benefits, etc.  These things are usually short-lived and therefore make it an ongoing venture for the business owner or manager to keep finding more ways to motivate their staff (which can be a tiresome task).

Multiple studies on employee engagement and motivation show that employees are motivated when they are recognized for doing a job well done and being told they are valued by the business owner. Now how hard can that be to do?

Business owners and managers should always be watching and listening to their employees so they can catch them doing good and praise them for it.  There is also something to be said about the bonus motivational boosters that can be used to inspire employees, like gift certificates, getting off an hour early, free lunch, or a staff outing.

One of the best employee motivators is having a great workplace environment to be in each day.  Others are being valued, the freedom to be creative within their work boundaries, and educational growth to better their position in the company. If you are unsure of what might motivate your employees, just ask them, I am sure they will have plenty of ideas to offer you.  With motivated employees, your workplace will continue to re-ignite excitement and passion for what they do each day when they arrive at work.

And an extra bonus is your employees will want to come to work each day because they know they are valued and appreciated.

“Your number one customers are your people. Look after employees first and then customers last.” – Ian Hutchinson, author of People Glue

If you want more information on creating great employees click the link below for my free ebooklet “On becoming a great employee”

Becoming A Great Employee

Keep moving forward,


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4 Steps to Overcome Distractions

“Distractions destroy action. If it’s not moving you towards your purpose, leave it alone.” ~ Jermaine Riley

I was listening to Brendon Burchard earlier in his HPX Life New Year’s program to his members and he was talking about distractions in our life that take valuable time away from us.  He said, “thirty minutes of surfing social media each day equals 22 eight-hour workdays over one year.”  When I heard that I had to replay the video.  Really?  That is an amazing piece of information and how many of us spend more time than that?

Now, I know that many people use social media for their businesses like I do, but I have to admit once I am done with my business postings, I usually do not just leave the site.  I know how easy it is to get caught up in looking at everything everyone has posted and before you know it… well I’m sure you can guess way too much time has gone by.  This is time that I could have spent doing more productive tasks and needed work.

Research shows that American consumers are now checking their phones an average of 52 times each day, according to the U.S. edition of the 2018 Global Mobile Consumer Survey from Deloitte.  This is not using it for calls, it is just checking it for emails, texts, social medial, etc.   That is pretty amazing.

Cell phones are just one form of distraction and way that we waste time and there are many to choose from.  There is a way to help with distractions to regain some of your time back so you can spend it on more productive or valuable things in your life.  Here are four steps you can take to help break the habit of “distractions.”

#1. First, you need to gain clarity and identify what your distractions are.  What draws you away from doing what you want or need to be doing?  Write them down.

#2. Draft a plan on how you will avoid the distractions and what you will do to focus on your “goal.”  For me, I decided to put my cell phone across the room from my desk so I would have to get up and get it.

#3. Set planned breaks during your work so you can refresh and then refocus.  For example, if possible, plan to take a 10-minute break each hour.  If you are at work and cannot get up every 50 minutes then plan a “one minute” vacation every hour, where you shut your eyes and think about your favorite things and take a few deep breaths to refresh just for 60 seconds. (This really works)

#4. Own what you do.  If you waste time and it is upsetting to you because you know you could be doing more productive things that you “really” want, admit it and come up with plan to help you not do it again.  I  have heard of people who make themselves accountable to others by checking in so they can successfully not waste time.

If you are furious because you are not accomplishing what you really want to, then you need to do what it takes to break the old habits and develop new more productive ones.  You will be really happy with yourself when you begin accomplishing what you have wanted.

“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”
― Winston S. Churchill

Keep moving forward,


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4 Ways to Care For Your Employees

Working with small businesses I will often hear the employees say that they do not feel that their supervisors really care about them.  They are just there to do a job.  While it is true, they are there to do a job, employees need to know that their supervisors and employers care that they are there.

Below are four things that supervisors or employers need to do consistently in order for employees to know that not only are they cared about but that they are an important part of the business.

#1. Invest in employees – Make sure they have the tools, education and training to do their jobs to the best of their ability.

#2. Do a daily walkabout – Check in with each employee to see if they need anything.  Look at them, are they happy, sad, or frustrated?  Listen to what they are saying and how they sound.  You can get big clues on where they are at as far as enjoying their job that day.

#3. Ask for feedback – Since it is the employees that are doing their jobs and not you, ask them how things are going.  Let them know if they come up with new ideas or ways to do their job tasks more efficiently to let you know.  Tell them you appreciate any input or suggestions for making the business run better for everyone.

#4. Seek understanding – Always ask questions for better understanding when employees offer suggestions or complaints.  Make sure they know you want to make the work and environment the best for all and need to understand exactly what it is they have to offer.

Number four is one of the most important skills supervisors and employers need to practice.  It is the 5th Habit that Stephen Covey discusses in his book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

“Seek first to understand and then to be understood”

When employees feel they are cared for they will be more productive and efficient, not to mention happy!

Keep moving forward,


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Three Mindshift Tips For A Better Day

What we say to ourselves highly affects the outcome of our day-to-day life.  So often, we are in a sour mood or do not want to go to work.  Our mind listens to what we are saying, and our subconscious will begin to look for the negative, if that is how we are mostly thinking.

Many years ago, I began doing these three simple, but powerful steps that have changed my outlook and what my days are like completely.  My Mondays are great, so are my Tuesdays, Wednesdays, etc. all because of a “mind-shift.”

1. Get prepared mentally on Sunday.  “Yes, I am going to work on Monday, and I am very fortunate to have a job to go to and great people to work with.”  Positive self-talk, make it a practice, do not let yourself be negative about Monday.  Those of us who have jobs should be very thankful.  I am sure you all know many who wish that they had a job to go to on Monday.

In preparing, get everything that you need to get ready in advance, clothes, lunch, and any work things that need to go with you.  The better prepared for Monday the easier the morning will be.  I even get my coffee pot ready so I can have a good cup of coffee before I head to the office.

2. What do I need to do tomorrow?  I do a lot of mental preparation for Mondays as well as each day after.  The more I mentally prepare myself, i.e., mental lists, attitude checks, thinking through what the day may bring, the better I can handle what comes up.

I always make sure I tell myself that “things may not always go as I want them to, and I need to be flexible to go with the flow.”  Do not get so set in how you think the day should go.  If you do, you will be very stressed and frustrated if it does not go “your way.”

3. What positive impact can I have?  In my work environment, with my customers, co-workers and employer and also at home.  Taking time to think about what I can do to make tomorrow a better day for everyone I come in contact with makes a huge difference.  This does not only make a difference in my day, but also with those that I encounter.

Recognizing that I can and do make a difference has been very powerful in my life and actual performance at work.  Remember attitude is our choice.  What do you choose?

Keep moving forward,


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Simple Steps To Mindfulness

We hear a lot about being Mindful and how it is so beneficial, but as simple as the steps are to becoming more mindful it is a practice that a lot of people struggle with.

My thought is the difficulty lies with the fact that it takes time to stop and be mindful.  It is a “practice” and one that needs to continually be practiced.  Remember we live in the “McDonald” age where we want to order things at one window and expect they are ready by the time we reach the next window.

Becoming more mindful does not work this way.  It takes time possibly 5-10 minutes several times a day, but the outcome is so incredibly healthy for our our entire being, not to mention those we come in contact with.

I have attached an article below that gives a very clear and simple explanation about becoming mindful and the steps below and guidance are addressed.

  1. Take a seat. Find a place to sit that feels calm and quiet to you.
  2. Set a time limit. If you’re just beginning, it can help to choose a short time, such as 5 or 10 minutes.
  3. Notice your body. You can sit in a chair with your feet on the floor, you can sit loosely cross-legged, in lotus posture, you can kneel—all are fine. Just make sure you are stable and in a position you can stay in for a while.
  4. Feel your breath. Follow the sensation of your breath as it goes out and as it goes in.
  5. Notice when your mind has wandered. Inevitably, your attention will leave the sensations of the breath and wander to other places. When you get around to noticing this—in a few seconds, a minute, five minutes—simply return your attention to the breath.
  6. Be kind to your wandering mind. Don’t judge yourself or obsess over the content of the thoughts you find yourself lost in. Just come back.

I challenge you to read the article and try the steps once you realize that it is quite easy and practice it even once a day, it will make a difference.  Once you start this practice and make it a daily habit you will want to take a few more “mindful” breaks as time goes on.

Be well!


How to Practice Mindfulness

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