You are here:

Managing a Business/Employer - Employee Role.


Dear Leo

Do you feel Employee becoming Employer statistically will be more than Employer becoming Employee?.




Entrepreneurial traits
A review of common traits found to predict success
❖ Passion
Passion has been cited as the most observed phenomenon in entrepreneurial studies1, as a core
characteristic of creators of wealth2, and as a central trait inherent in successful leaders.
Entrepreneurs high in passion confront opportunities and challenges with zeal,
ride out the long hours necessary during venture growth phases, and experience a
venture’s successes and difficulties as if they were personal events2.
❖ Proactivity
Proactivity has been defined as the propensity to take action to influence environmental change.
Entrepreneurs with this personality type typically “scan for opportunities, show
initiative, take action, and persevere until they reach closure by bringing about
change”.3 Researchers believe that entrepreneurs with this personality trait typically use
organizational strategies that involve high levels of environmental scanningand long-range
forecastingwhich allows them to successfully identify new opportunities4.
Tenacity, more commonly known as perseverance, involves “sustaining goal-directed action and
energy even when faced with obstacles”5. A number of researchers have noted the important role
of tenacity in predicting an entrepreneur’s willingness to confront formidable barriers to
market entry 6.
❖ New Resource Skill
New resource skill is “the ability to acquire and systematize the operating resources needed to start
and grow a new venture”7. Researches have noted that an entrepreneur’s ability to integrate
resources can make or break a start-up venture, explaining why the ability to acquire and
combine different resources is a key predictor of an entrepreneur’s likelihood of
spearheading a successful venture

Entrepreneurial MOTIVES
A review of common MOTIVES found to predict success
NEED FOR ACHIEVEMENT: maintaining high standards and
aspiring to accomplish difficult tasks9. People with a high need for achievement take
responsibility for outcomes, engage in activities that have a moderate degree of risk and require
skill and effort10. This motive has also been found to predict firm founding and the successful
performance of firms.
LOCUS OF CONTROL: the degree to which a person believes
that their actions can directly affect an event, or that they can control an
outcome11. Researchers have discovered that founders of successful entrepreneurial firms have a
high internal locus of control, meaning they feel like they have significant control over the
outcome of events12.
GOAL SETTING: Entrepreneurs who are motivated to set goals, particularly
business growth goals, have been found to increase firm growth, along with firm
performance and innovation14. Challenging goals of all types have repeatedly been found
to lead to greater performance, highlighting the importance of setting goals that are specific,
attainable, and time-bound

SELF-EFFICACY: a person’s belief in their own ability, in other
words, their task-specific self-confidence15. Entrepreneurs with high self-efficacy will
persist even in the face of setbacks, will take negative feedback more positively, will use feedback
to improve their performance, will set more difficult goals, and will exert more effort over a
longer period of time. Researchers have found that when entrepreneurs have high self-efficacy,
that there is a strong relationship between this motivation and firm growth





design, product
development, etc


An entrepreneur with strong interpersonal
skills has a knack for working well with
people from diverse backgrounds. These
entrepreneurs are very insightful with
regards to the behavior of others –
understanding motives and actions, quickly
aware of strained relationships, and well
attuned to both verbal and nonverbal
Entrepreneurs with high initiative are often
driven to work hard. These entrepreneurs
frequently work independently and are
often driven to achieve task mastery,
regardless of the extra effort necessary to do
so. Entrepreneurs with strong initiative set
specific, time bound, challenging goals.
These entrepreneurs are often very
confident in their capabilities to perform
well and enjoy seeking out novel
Ambitious entrepreneurs are motivated,
persistent, and persevere even in the face of
difficult challenges. These entrepreneurs are
patient and persistent, passionate and
driven. They embrace new challenges while
striving to exceed set expectations and

Entrepreneurs who are highly flexible and
adaptable often deal very well with
ambiguity and have a unique ability to
choose actions even without all necessary
information. These types of entrepreneurs
are innovative and creative, often
developing novel solutions to complex
problems. They handle change well, often
generating new goals and actions to deal
with unforeseen events

Not only are successful entrepreneurs
willing to take risks, they are also capable of
identifying and calculating risk assessments.
They are typically skilled at developing
alternative plans and articulating worst-case
scenarios. These types of entrepreneurs take
calculated risks, and learn from past
An entrepreneur with a strong willingness
to learn often pursues opportunities that
allow him or her to acquire new skills and
expertise. These entrepreneurs initiate
personal career development and often
employ the feedback of others to help them
make shrewd career decisions


Entrepreneurs who engage in creative
thinking are able to both generate
innovative solutions and use relevant
information to understand the “big
picture”. They can reframe problems and
create innovative solutions. Creative
thinkers can easily identify what is missing
from current product streams and
typically have imagination, creativity, and
Networking, or the ability to build
professional relationships, assists
entrepreneurs with leveraging contracts,
initiating collaborations, and partnering
with business contacts. Entrepreneurs
with strong networking skills are
perceived as trustworthy, can negotiate
with competitors, establish buy-in with
partners, and identify mutual goals.
Successful entrepreneurs plan and
prioritize work to ensure time is managed
effectively. They can work methodically
and effectively allocate time and
resources. When goals are not met, they
take necessary steps to get projects back

Entrepreneurs who are skilled at problem
solving and decision-making are critical
thinkers. They can generate, evaluate, and
implement solutions to difficult problems.
They locate and utilize relevant information,
and when necessary, generate alternative
The ability to maintain impeccable records,
easily locate and complete appropriate forms
and paperwork, detect errors, and make the
necessary corrections is vital to successful
To be successful, entrepreneurs must
understand the basic principles of business.
Being well versed in market knowledge,
economic principles, and ethical practices are
essential entrepreneurial knowledge.
Entrepreneurs must be competent in the use of
basic computer hardware (e.g. printers,
copiers, PCs) and software (e.g. spreadsheets,
word processing). A successful entrepreneur
can easily communicate and prepare
documents electronica


In addition to understanding the basic
principles of business, successful
entrepreneurs must be knowledgeable
about the fundamental processes and
characteristics of entrepreneurship. For
example, successful entrepreneurs should
be cognizant of the entrepreneurial
implementation process, be an effective
leader and team builder, and have the skills
necessary to manage growth.
Beyond creative thinking, successful
entrepreneurs apply their creativity to the
formulation of inventive processes and
products. They have an “opportunity
orientation” - evaluating changes in trends,
identifying small niche markets, and seeking
out opportunities to improve and services
and produces.
To be successful, entrepreneurs must be
specific about the direction of their venture
and the strategy they will adopt to achieve
their goals. Successful entrepreneurs assess
risks, estimate costs, and determine the
potential for profit and loss before beginning
a new venture.
Successful entrepreneurs are competent in
both executing strategies that promote their
products and establishing client/customer
relationships. They conduct market
analyses, set pricing objects, and are skilled
at converting customer and client objections
into selling points.
Being a skilled manager of capital and assets
is an entrepreneurial necessity. Successful
entrepreneurs are knowledgeable in
assessing financing needs, determining risks,
and identifying sources of capital. They are
competent at accounting and money
management, managing cash flows and
preparing estimated and projected balance

To be capable of handling growth and
success, entrepreneurs must be
knowledgeable of business operations.
Entrepreneurs competent in business
operations are able to both carry out daily
operations, such as scheduling staff and
maintaining inventories, and management
human resources, for example, determining
hiring needs and selecting new employees.
Successful entrepreneurs are well versed in
risk management and can take into account
legal considerations. They manage
uncertainty by mitigating rates, protecting
intellectual property, and determining
liabilities. They stay apprised of business
laws and regulations, and determine ways to
protect themselves against loss.

Characteristics of  Employee
The characteristics that employers look for in employees are the same traits that make for successful workers. Good employees obviously are important in any business, but small businesses often feel the impact of employee behavior — both good and bad — more acutely than larger companies. One bad apple can have a much greater impact on morale in a small organization than in a large one and, conversely, a good employee’s attitude and work ethic can be infectious.
Reliability is a trait that is — or should be — instilled at an early age, and employees often can overcome deficiencies such as lack of experience simply by showing up on time and performing their assigned duties. Being able to work without a supervisor hovering over your shoulder is a sign of discipline. So is not having to be told not to make personal phone calls, surf the Internet or constantly text and tweet. Closely related traits are work ethic, honesty and integrity. It boils down to an employer being able to count on you to show up, do your job, stay focused, be prepared and not steal — either physically or by stealing company time. A 1999 survey by Northern Virginia Community College revealed that work ethic ranked as the No. 1 employee characteristic sought by employers.
Taking Initiative/Responsibility
Offering solutions to problems in a constructive manner, as well as standing up and taking responsibility for mistakes you’ve made, goes a long way in catching an employer’s attention.
Even dependable and responsible employees may not have the most cheerful dispositions. A smile alone won’t get the job done, but a positive outlook and a pleasant disposition — combined with fundamentals such as work ethic and discipline — make for a well-rounded employee. Flexibility and enthusiasm also are components of possessing a good attitude. Being a team player, which is another attribute of a successful employee, is difficult if you’re not approachable and if you don’t play well with others. The website “Career Success for Newbies” lists two related necessary characteristics. The site lists “be nice to people” and “stay positive” as indispensable qualities of a successful employee. Being nice is a simple social skill that, unfortunately, many people lack. And staying above the fray of office politics also helps.
Communication Skills
Whether writing, speaking or using computers, communication skills are essential in virtually any job. These skills often are the result of upbringing and education but are fundamental to most businesses. Improving these skills is vital to becoming a successful employee. It’s especially important when trying to communicate ideas to improve your company’s performance. As the website “Speed Up Career” reports, “A good idea is of no worth if you cannot explain it properly to both your team and the manager.”

Top Employee Benefits
When employers talk about an employee's total compensation package, they oftentimes include the expenses associated with providing benefits.  These are the on and off-the-job perks that companies provide at little or no cost to the employee.
In this article, we're first going to provide an overview of employee benefits programs, and why it makes sense to offer them to employees.  Next up, we're going to talk about mandated versus optional benefits programs.  Then we're going to finish up by providing a variety of statistics, including the most common benefits offered today, as well as those employees value the most.
Employee Benefits Programs
The objective of a good employee benefits program is to help protect both employees and their families from the possibility of severe economic hardships caused by illness, disability, loss of life, or unemployment.
A comprehensive employer program will also provide retirement income for the employee and their family, as well as suitable assistance such as paid time off from work.
Administering and Selecting Programs
Employers consider the cost to provide and administer benefits plans an integral part of the total compensation package offered to its employees.  While these benefits programs are typically managed by employers, oftentimes employees are asked to contribute small premiums or copayments to enjoy the added coverage.
Employers offer benefits to employees for one or more of the following reasons:
•   Attracting and retaining a talented workforce.
•   Aligning benefits packages with competitive offers in the marketplace.
•   Promoting higher levels of morale among employees.
•   Providing opportunities for promotion or advancement as workers resign, retire, or move to other positions within the organization.
Keep in mind that no single program can provide for the needs of all employees, it is usually a combination of benefits that is most effective in meeting the employer's objectives.  That being said, there are two broad categories of benefits offered by employers in today's work environment: mandated and optional.
Mandated Benefits Programs
Mandated benefits are those required by law.  These include federal or state sponsored programs that aim to provide for the most essential needs of employees and / or their families.  Examples of three very important, and mandated, benefits include:
•   Social Security
•   Unemployment Insurance
•   Workers Compensation
While unemployment provides help to those that lose their jobs, workers compensation programs provide assistance to those disabled by occupational illness or injury.  Social Security protects the aged and disabled against expenses that might otherwise exhaust their entire savings.
In March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was signed into law.  While not mandating health care coverage, the law states that firms employing fifty or more people, and not offering health insurance, will pay a shared responsibility requirement if the government subsidizes an employee's health care costs.
Optional Benefits Programs
As the name implies, optional employee benefits includes a wide array of programs that employers can choose to offer employees; typical programs include:
•   Health Care Insurance
•   Disability Insurance
•   Life Insurance
•   Retirement / Pension Plans
•   Flexible Compensation
•   Paid Leave
This list can be quite extensive; for example, some companies pay for the food employees consume while at work.
Employee Benefits Statistics
.  Major findings from that study include:
•   Paid leave was the most commonly provided benefit to employees, including paid holidays which were made available to 77% of employees and a paid vacation time benefit which was also available to 77% of employees.
•   Medical care plans were made available to 70% of workers in the private sector while only 51% of workers participated in such plans.
•   Employees with families contributed an average of 32% towards their medical care premiums, while single employees contributed an average of 21% towards this benefit.
•   While 64% of employees had access to retirement plans, only 49% of employees participated.
•   Finally, life insurance was provided to 57% of employees and 55% of workers participated, which translates into a 97% take-up rate.
Paid Holiday and Vacation Time
Perhaps one of the most valued of all employee benefits includes paid time away from the job, which is often spent with family and friends:  holiday pay and vacation time.  Nationally, the average number of paid holidays is eight.
Paid vacation time is normally a function of tenure or length of service.  The table below shows the national average number of paid vacation days as a function of the time spent with a company:
Length of Service   1 Year   5 Years   10 Years   20 Years
Paid Vacation Time (Days)   10   14   17   19
Source:  2013 National Compensation Study
Benefits Valued by Employees
A very interesting study of benefits was conducted in 2004 by the United States Office of Personnel Management or OPM.  The OPM is an Executive Branch agency charged with the responsibility for setting policy for the Federal Government's employees.
The survey results were based on the responses of 856 employees, including current and new employees (those with less than three years of service), and the margin of error for the survey was +/- 3%.  The survey focused on the following ten benefits programs:
•   Employee Health Benefits
•   Retirement Annuities
•   Thrift Savings Plan
•   Retiree Health Benefits
•   Life Insurance
•   Long Term Care Insurance
•   Flexible Spending Accounts
•   Tele-Work / Telecommuting
•   Child Care Subsidy
•   Health And Wellness Programs
The survey asked the respondents several questions about the above programs.  For example, comparing their benefits to those offered to non-Federal employees.  However, there was one very important question they asked that fits nicely with this topic:
Which of the Currently Available Benefits is Important to You to Remain in or Accept Federal Employment?
The answer to this question helps us to better understand exactly which benefits employees value the most.  The following table contains the percentage of respondents indicating a particular benefit was "very important or important."
Employee Benefit   Percent Rating
Retirement Annuity (Pension Plan)   91%
Thrift / Savings Plan:  401(k) 403(b)   89%
Employee Healthcare Benefits   89%
Retiree Healthcare Benefits   87%
Life Insurance   71%
Long-Term Care Insurance   63%
Health / Wellness Programs   53%
Flexible Spending Accounts   45%
Tele-work / Telecommuting   40%
Child Care Subsidies   31%
Much of this information seems intuitive.  For example, many employees value a retirement plan because this is something that everyone expects to benefit from in the future.  On the other hand Child Care Subsidies can only be enjoyed by a sub-segment of the employee population, since not everyone will have children or children requiring child care services.
Most Common Employee Benefits Offered Today
We're going to finish up with several more interesting statistics.  By examining the list that follows employers can benchmark their company's offerings, while employees can determine if their employer is offering a competitive set of benefits.
According to the National Compensation Study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and published in July 2013, the following is a list of the most common benefits offered in the workplace today.
Benefit Type   Employers Offering
Unpaid Family Leave   80%
Vacation Pay   77%
Holiday Pay   77%
Health / Medical Care   70%
Prescription Drugs   68%
Paid Jury Duty   62%
Paid Sick Leave   61%
Paid Funeral Leave   60%
Defined Contribution Retirement Plan   59%
Life Insurance   57%
Employee Assistance Programs   48%
Dental Care   45%
Non-Production Bonus Pay   40%
Short Term Disability   40%
Paid Personal Leave   38%
Healthcare Reimbursement Account   37%
Wellness Programs   35%
Dependent Care Reimbursement Account   35%
Long Term Disability   33%
Paid Military Leave   32%
Health Savings Account   20%
Defined Benefit Retirement Plan   19%
Financial Planning   19%
Long Term Care Insurance   16%
Paid Family Leave   12%
Childcare   10%
Subsidized Commuting   6%
Flexible Workplace   6%
Payroll Deduction IRA   5%
Stock Options (Performance)   2%
Please Note:  Life insurance is that which does not include employee contributions.  Non-production bonuses include payments for attendance, safety, employee recognition, hiring, incentive compensation, retention bonuses among others.
Once again, it's not surprising that benefits fulfilling essential financial and social needs of employees top this list such as vacation pay and prescription drug plans; while we see more "luxurious" benefits such as stock options and a flexible workplace are offered to less than 10% of workers.
Characteristics of Responsible Employers
Companies That Care prize employees and are committed to community service. To sustain these values, participating companies consistently demonstrate the following 10 Characteristics in their work environment. These 10 Characteristics are the code of conduct for optimal daily business practices.
Companies That Care ...
1.   Sustain a work environment founded on dignity and respect for all employees
2.   Make employees feel their jobs are important
3.   Cultivate the full potential of all employees
4.   Encourage individual pursuit of work/life balance
5.   Enable the well-being of individuals and their families through compensation, benefits, policies and practices
6.   Develop great leaders, at all levels, who excel at managing people as well as results
7.   Appreciate and recognize the contributions of people who work there
8.   Establish and communicate standards for ethical behavior and integrity
9.   Get involved in community endeavors and/or public policy
10.   Consider the human toll when making business decisions


Managing a Business

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Leo Lingham


In Managing a business, I can cover all aspects of running a business--business planning, business development, business auditing, business communication, operation management, human resources management , training, etc.


18 years of working management experience covering such areas
as business planning, business development, strategic planning,
marketing, management services, personnel administration.


24 years of management consulting which includes business planning, strategic planning, marketing, product management, training, business coaching etc.




©2016 All rights reserved.