an employee filing a workers' compensation claimLife moves fast. On any given day, you have a traffic-packed commute to and from your place of employment, bills to pay, and you may even have a family to take care of.

Work – whether perceived from behind a desk or on foot – can be just as hectic. Unfortunately, given the fast pace that life moves at, there is no profession that is 100 percent free of injury potential.

With employees continuously receiving less amounts of sleep each night and caffeinating more in the morning, the cocktail of a heavy workload and a taxed mind can weaken an employee’s attention at unexpected moments throughout the day, thus leaving these individuals more susceptible to making a mistake that may have physical consequences. If one of your employees suffers this fate, this article will help you help them take care of their workers’ compensation claim from start to finish.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

According to the Social Security Administration, “workers’ compensation was the first form of social insurance to develop widely in the United States. It [was] designed to provide cash benefits and medical care when employees suffer work-related injuries or illnesses and survivor benefits to the dependents of workers whose deaths result from a work-related incident. In exchange for receiving benefits, workers who receive workers’ compensation are generally not allowed to bring a tort suit against their employers for damages of any kind.”

Chassaniol & Marty, LLC, Attorneys at Law, state that injured workers in Missouri and Illinois can be compensated for most types of injuries suffered at work, no matter who was at fault for the injury. As a business owner, it is wise to address any and all work-related injury circumstances by following these three steps.

What to do if One of Your Employees is Injured on the Job

1. Help Your Employee File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

The first step is to acknowledge that the incident occurred by helping your employee file a claim. Depending on the state your company resides in, you will need to ensure the claim is filed with the proper government entity: Missouri claims should be filed here while Illinois claims can be filed here. The sooner the claim can be processed, the sooner your employee will receive the assistance he/she needs in order to heal and return to work.

2. Work with the Employee to Resolve the Cause of Injury

Part of being a responsible business owner is taking measures to ensure detrimental mistakes are only made once. If a valuable employee is injured on the job, you are obligated to work with this employee to ensure all issues leading to the injury have been resolved. This may include updating your business’ policies and/or procedures as they pertain to the situation.

3. Stay in Contact with the Injured Employee Until He/She Returns to Work

In many cases, employees who file a workers’ compensation claim will need some brief time off of work to heal. During this time, you should maintain an open line of communication with this employee; encourage the employee to take the time he/she needs in order feel better. Together, you may also want to estimate a date when your employee may be able to return to work.

Time. Chances are you would like to have more at your disposal. Time seems to be the biggest hurdle that every entrepreneur has to face on a daily basis. Especially when it comes to building your personal knowledge base. Business is ever evolving and it can be overwhelming for an entrepreneur to keep up. So how can you balance the need to keep up with the latest in business techniques without sacrificing the time to run your business? One easy option it to turn to the world of podcasts, which can offer meaningful insights in easily digestible chunks.  Today we list our top five free podcasts for entrepreneurs.

Five Free Podcasts for Entrepreneurs

PowderKeg: This is a rapidly growing podcast for good reason. It features a solid guest line up and in depth interviews. While its focus is on the tech industry, this podcast highlights entrepreneurs outside Silicon Valley; learning how they found traction and ultimately success. This free podcast for entrepreneurs goes beyond just tech talk, offering valuable insights for any business big or small.

Richard Phu: The tag line of this podcast is “Helping Business Owners to Stay In Their Genius-Zone.” From self actualization to tangible business insights, this podcast helps entrepreneurs to build time and acquire balance into their lives, without sacrificing success. Working with a range of experts, Richard Phu is one part guru one part consultant and all parts helpful.

Hack The Entrepreneur: If you are in need of a kick in the pants, look no further than Hack The Entrepreneur. This podcast offers five main hacks; starting a business, mindset mastery, habits, mindset, and ideas. Its core goal is to offer actionable tips that will move the listener from ideas to execution. If you want a clear road map for success, this podcast is a good place to start.

Success Profiles: Brian K Wright created this weekly podcast to motivate and inspire others to live their dreams. Wright chooses guests that exemplify the mantra, “if I can do it, you can do it too.” His guests run the gamut from restaurant franchisees to medical services companies and offer lessons that every business owner can learn from, in just an hour every week.

Leaders In The Trenches: True leaders are those who roll up their sleeves and get to work. In this podcast, leaders across multiple industries, tell the stories that they have learned while out in the field, interacting with clients and managing employees. Leaders in the trenches covers everything from HR issues, struggling with growth of a company and marketing insights. These are lessons from the trenches that any business owner can relate to. Even more importantly, at an average of 30 minutes a pop, these are lessons that are easily folded into your day.

In order to keep moving forward, every business owner must continue to learn and evolve. Podcasts are an easy way to fold this learning into your day. While on your commute, in between meetings or even in the shower; podcasts can help you make the most of your time. Is there a podcast that you can’t live without? Tell us in the comments!

image of a group of business colleagues conducting a business planning meeting

As December winds down the last weeks of 2016, now is the time to look ahead toward the future; what’s in store for your business in 2017? Follow these four business planning steps to achieve success in the new year.

1. Take an Honest Appraisal of Your Business

To determine your business’ trajectory for the foreseeable future, you must first understand where your business has been. Take a moment to assess your organization from an honest, unbiased angle; ask yourself questions like: Where did we succeed in the last 1-5 years? Where did we fail? What can be done to ensure we don’t repeat our mistakes from 2016?

2. Hold Frequent Planning Meetings

Planning for the future doesn’t take place at any one particular time of the year; you can’t expect to have the entirety of 2017 mapped out before January 1. No, laying out your business’ future is a reoccurring process. Make a point to conduct business planning meetings no less than once a month but no more often than once a week. This way, your teams will stay apprised of any unexpected changes within your business, as well as maintain a working knowledge of current events, strategies, etc.

3. Consider New Ways to Promote

Depending on the size of your business, you may have a marketing team that handles your organization’s promotion strategy from start to finish. There is only so much this team can do for you, however; as a founder, investor or otherwise prominent figure within your company, your presence at conferences, speaking events and on social media is sometimes the most valuable marketing tool your business has. As a result, consider joining online and in-person networking groups that can better expose your organization’s authority to industry influencers and potential customers.

4. Have Courage

Sometimes, the hardest thing the leader of an organization can do is have the courage to make difficult decisions. As a prominent figure, it is your responsibility to see which people and projects are assets to your company and which ones are liabilities. The continued existence of your business relies on knowing when to cut resources that are no longer viable.

Your Company’s Best Year

Business success is rarely instant. It takes time and perseverance to pursue your goals year after year. Through the help of effective business planning, however, the path to growth should become clearer as time goes on. You will understand your industry better, as well as the needs of your clients and/or customers; these, in turn, can only lead to bigger and better results for your company.

Get started today by implementing your own business planning strategy, and make 2017 your company’s best year to date.