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Small Business Briefing

Constant complainers and other top office peeves Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz

Pet peeves in workplaces around the world

What drives office workers up the cubicle wall? The top workplace peeve in Canada, and around the world, is people not taking ownership for their actions, acccording to new survey data from LinkedIn.

The next two top irritants were constant complainers (also no. 2 in Canada) and dirty common areas (no. 3 here as well).

Rounding out the top five peeves: starting meetings late or going long; and people who don't respond to e-mails, according to the survey of 17,000 global respondents, including 1,228 in Canada.

There were differences by country. For instance, a big complaint among Americans was taking other peoples' food from the office fridge. Brazilians were more irritated by excessive gossiping, while those in India couldn't stand loud or mobile phone ringtones and the Japanese were more peeved by office pranks.

Sweden, on the other hand, was most tolerant of clothing too revealing for the workplace.

Out of 16 countries surveyed, Canadians ranked fifth in terms of the number of pet peeves among the 38 choices. India was the most peeved and Italy the least peeved of the countries.

The office pet peeve that was way more annoying to Canadian women than men was "clothing that's too revealing for the workplace."

The office pet peeve that bothered hiring managers more than non-hiring managers was "showing up late for meetings.”

Nicole Williams, LinkedIn's connection director, offered a few tidbits of advice on how to deal with office peeves in a blog.

Among them:

Don't let it build; better not to let an irritant fester and grow.

Keep it professional: When you approach someone, keep focused on the behaviour and how it affects your performance.

Presume the best out of people: realize most don't recognize they are driving you around the bend.

And ask around: find out if you are doing things that aren't sitting pretty with others.

New name, new funding for I Love Rewards

The company formerly known as I Love Rewards Inc. has raised $24.5-million in financing from a group led by prominent Silicon Valley venture-capital firm Sequoia Capital.

The company has also changed its name to Achievers.

Based in Toronto and San Francisco, Achievers provides online employee reward and recognition programs for businesses. It's a market worth an estimated $48-billion and "highly fragmented," according to Sequoia partner, Alfred Lin, in a release about the funding. He will take a seat on the company's board of directors.

The group of Canadian and U.S. investors providing the funding include previous investors, JLA Ventures, GrandBanks Capital and the Ontario Venture Capital Fund (managed by NorthLeaf Capital Partners Inc.). The deal brings total funding raised by the company since its 2002 founding to $38-million, according to the release.

With the new infusion, the company aims to accelerate its sales, marketing and innovation initiatives to boost its market share.

"With this round of financing, we will be able to scale our culture, partner with more customers and execute on our mission," said company founder and chief executive officer Razor Suleman in the release, which gave no reasons for the name change.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

While entrepreneurs are working long hours, skipping weekends and holidays, the people near and dear to them are missing them, a new survey from Intuit Canada finds.

According to the survey of 1,003 Canadians, 87 per cent of Canadians believe small business owners work more than the average person, 74 per cent of those who described themselves as relatives and friends of small-business owners wished they could spend less time working, and 78 per cent wish they could see more of their entrepreneurial friends and family.

And Intuit wants to offer some incentive to get them reacquainted. It's launched what it calls the "QuickBooks Intervention," offering small business owners a chance to reunite with loved ones -- and split a $20,000 prize. Click here to nominate an overworked business owner.


Lessons in leadership

Management consultant and writer Patrick Lencioni, leaderhsip coach Robin Sharma, and retired Gen. Rick Hillier, the former defence chief, are among six best-selling business authors and leadership visionaries who will headline The Art of Leadership Conference. It will take place in Calgary on Nov. 7. To learn more, click here.

Tea for two

The Canadian Coffee & Tea Show will take place in Vancouver on Oct. 2 and 3. The trade show for the tea, coffee and dessert industry will highlight trends, feature the latest equipment, products and services and offer education by industry experts geared to new entrepreneurs independents and chain operators. For further details, click here.

Off to the races

Combine horse racing and lessons about family business succession at the Woodbine Race Track in Toronto at an event on Oct. 5. It is being held by the GTA chapter of the Canadian Association of Family Enterprises (CAFE). and will include a presentation by Torquest Partners. Click here for more.


How my company got $31-million: an entrepreneur's insight

For one inside view of how a company gets some funding behind it, Gary Lipovetsky, co-founder and president of DealFind.com, offers up his take on how his online daily deal site recently secured a $31-million investment from three leading Canadian and global venture-capital investors within a year of its inception.


How to keep far-flung employees engaged

That was the issue raised in a past Challenge for Elastic Path Software Inc as it expanded globally. Achievers CEO Razor Suleman weighed in with some advice.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at yourbusiness@globeandmail.com

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