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Best Ways to Invest in Your Office Tech

Time flies, as the old adage goes, and nothing shows the passage of time as much as technology. If you have been in business since the 80s, you have seen the rise of personal computer, as well as printing technology and what a rise it has been. Still, even after all these years, there is a need to keep investing, as the technological landscape keeps on changing. However, it is prudent to keep tabs on how to do it while making sure you are getting the best bang for your buck as well.

Keeping up with the Joneses

If you require some serious firepower behind your product or services, your employees could stand to benefit from new computers every few years. The recent AMD products have certainly put Intel to shame and brought about unheard-of performances into the PC market with their new AM4 platform. For years, multi-core processors were very expensive, but ever since Ryzen came out (in its 3rd iteration this year already) it has never been cheaper to own a beefy configuration for all your needs, be it for video editing or number crunching in Excel. With the recent drop in RAM prices, it is really a great time to purchase new PC hardware for your employees.

Improving the infrastructure

Having a strong hardware game is all well and good, but you also need to think about servers and connections. If your company depends on access to data, there is no need to stop short from upgrading your data centers and servers, especially now that the prices of SSDs have gone down significantly in comparison to regular old HDDs. Finally now there are options for incredibly fast storage that will not break the bank. On the other end of the spectrum, there is the internet connection. With rising daily increase in data transfer needs, the offer also grows. After all, Amazon is working on its own network of satellites that are bound to bring internet to practically everyone, should they so desire. For your particular needs, something like fiber internet connection could make all the difference perhaps, with speeds of up to 1000 MB/s.

Smart office for smarter business

With the Internet of Things concept that allows practically everything in your office (or house) to connect to the internet and be controlled easily from a single point, such as your smartphone, it is really easy to notice the benefits of this in a company setting. Lights are just one example – they can be set to work with sensors so that there is no excess waste of energy when no one is present in a particular room, for example. You can automate the air-conditioning system as well, to keep things even more green, while at the same time remotely monitoring and controlling your security and camera systems which you have in place. The IoT concept is still in development, but it has been slowly creeping into our homes and workplaces and you should think about how to utilize it best for your needs.

Greet your visitors in a high-tech way

If your premises are not suitable for having a receptionist or if you have a large number of visitors on daily basis, you might benefit from a visitor management system as well. Not only will you be able to do visitor check-ins quickly, but it could also provide all the information regarding the number of visitors in your offices at any given time, including their personal information, such as their names and purpose of visit, even background checks. Keeping a record of your visitors without having to put in the information into the system manually every time also helps with the security.

Make it worth your while

The first rule of any good business is to be careful about investing the money. If the investments increase the quality of life for your employees and visitors, at the same time increasing the workflow of the former and making it easier to track the former, you are on the right track. Technology can help you save funds, but it can also create an environment that is eco-friendlier and cozier. In the end, new tech is your friend, as long as you regularly keep in touch.

 
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How Your Brand Can Increase Exposure Using Different Channels

Published on July 11, 2019 by in Guest Post

The days of traditional trading are long gone and even each brick-and-mortar shop needs to have at least a website, if not an e-commerce platform. Digital presence is vital if you wish for your business to thrive. It is not enough to have a good product – you need to have a strong brand around it, which will be recognizable and respected.

Besides a website, your brand needs to be seen and your products made available across other channels to attract more customers. If you are just getting into the digital business world, here are a few suggestions regarding channels across which you can spread the word about your brand.

SEO ranking

Search engine optimization (SEO) is any businesses’ best tool to get more exposure by ranking you higher on the search engine result pages. A carefully built strategy can do wonders for your sales as well. This is where keywords come into play, as ideas that represent your brand. Singular keywords such as ‘watch’ have a very high search volume, but it is difficult to compete with a multitude of watch selling websites. So, it is best to go with long-tail keywords which are phrases more related to your particular business, such as, ‘best men’s watches under $400’. You need to pepper your main page with keywords and to reach a kind of balance with your content, if you don’t have an in-house marketing team, make sure you hire a professional.

Blogging

Blogging started as a diary-style piece of writing covering mostly life topics, and nowadays it is a prominent medium with a much wider scope. It usually contains opinions and recommendations of both professionals and amateurs on different topics. The best way to use this powerful channel to your brand’s advantage is to start a blog on your website. You can approach it from a strictly professional side and post only advisory texts which are specialized for your niche. On the other hand, to reach a wider audience, you can also allow guest authors and expand the topic list to cover also some more mundane everyday themes. People will enjoy reading interesting articles, share them, visit your website more and in doing that, raise awareness regarding your brand.

E-Commerce

Modern trends encourage online shopping or at least conducting online research prior to purchase. We are used to getting as much information online as possible and then, if we have to, we go just to pick up what we intended to buy. Long story short, if you wish for your brand to be noticed, and to boost sales, having an e-commerce platform is a necessity. This is especially important for those businesses offering very specific products, such as, for example, tubulars and oilfield equipment, which allow customers from all over the world to acquire their goods. Such unique items might not be available in their country, or they might be much more expensive, even with the delivery fee included in the price of your product.

Social Media

In this digital era, if you don’t have a social media profile, it is as if you don’t exist. Your brand needs to connect with your existing and prospective customers, and social network marketing is the most cost-effective way to do it. There are plenty of options you can try, so, for example, you can start a competition for the most imaginative photo with one of your products. This will increase the number of shares and subscribers, broadening the pool of potential customers. The reward can be, besides a supply of your products, that the winner chooses the institution to which you will donate some funds. This is the type of positive exposure which is beneficial for both the brand and the charity cause.

Video Marketing

As a type of format, videos are quite popular – they are creative, mostly short and informative. Whether it is via YouTube or Vimeo, posting videos related to your brand can be just the right boost for your brand. When it comes to content ideas, you can get a celebrity to appear for a minute or two, or post some ‘How to’ content; that’s what people are interested in nowadays. The content doesn’t have to be entirely related to your brand: so, for example, short food preparation videos which all end with a set table, the prepared dish and a glass of Coca Cola, the brand in question. Of course, It is essential to connect your website with any of the channels that you might decide to use for video marketing.

Digital formats are unavoidable elements in your raising brand awareness strategy. You can be bold, and try a few channels and see what works best for your brand and customers. Alternatively, you can play it safe and either hire an external agency or gather an in-house team to help you find the most suitable solution.

Regardless of your approach, trials and errors, don’t forget that mistakes are a part of the path to success. If one strategy doesn’t work, take what experience and knowledge you can from it and move on to another one.

 
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Sensitive Data Protection: 5 Ways to Take Cybersecurity to the Next Level

Published on May 22, 2019 by in Guest Post

In a world where information flows seamlessly from one part of the globe to the other, there can be no compromise on cybersecurity. No matter if you’re running a global business venture or a small local business, the need to protect sensitive business data as well as the personal information of your clients and customers is paramount. After all, the damage caused to your brand’s reputation from a single data breach could be irreversible.

That said, many business owners tend to believe that they have employed all of the necessary features to ensure no malicious attack in the online realm can breach their cyber defenses, when in reality, the threat to global business in the online world is higher than ever before. Here is what you need to do in order to prevent a disaster and take cybersecurity to the next level.

Educate your employees on proper procedures

First things first, understand that cybersecurity starts with your employees, and not with the software or firewall solutions you employ. Without a doubt, you will need to invest in comprehensive firewall systems to keep your data safe against nefarious online attacks, but first be sure to educate your employees on proper cybersecurity conduct as well as the standard procedures they can use to protect themselves, the company, and your customers.

You can start by conducting seminars and workshops intended to familiarize employees of all generations about proper online conduct, especially in situations when they are unsure if a cyberattack is looming in the near future. Remember, your employees can’t inherently know if they are being scammed for sensitive information, or if they are inadvertently participating in a cyber-attack if they come into contact with a skilled hacker. Teach them to recognize these scenarios and act accordingly in order to prevent data breaches.

Run a comprehensive data security audit

You might not want to believe that your company has weak points in its firewall or your cybersecurity structure in general, but that doesn’t mean that the threat is not real. In fact, by denying that a problem might exist, you are putting your company in danger of a cyber-attack, simply because hackers and online scammers are looking to exploit companies with the same mindset. Don’t allow this to happen.

Instead, have a team of professionals take a look at your entire cybersecurity infrastructure in order to find weak points. This can be done by your in-house IT team, or a remote team of professionals, preferably from a trusted cloud provider that specializes in data security and disaster recovery. By conducting a thorough security audit, you will gain a realistic overview of your strengths and weaknesses.

Enhance the strength of your firewall

Now that you have the necessary insights about your cybersecurity infrastructure, you can make calculated steps to enhance the strength of your firewall as a whole. Where many business leaders get things wrong is relying on outdated software firewall solutions. Personal antivirus software might be good for personal, at-home computers, but they can put a company at great risk.

This is why advanced cybersecurity measures such as firewall appliance solutions have become so popular in the business world in recent years, as they put a physical appliance between the web and your entire computer infrastructure to filter incoming traffic and guard it against nefarious attacks. This means that every computer and device will enjoy the highest level of protection with real-time detection as well as rapid response features.

Enable two-factor identification and change passwords

There are numerous ways hackers will try to get into your company’s archives. They will exploit loopholes and weak points, and they will try to obtain and use old passwords and credentials. This is where many businesses make their business mistake. You need to erase old passwords, accounts, and credentials from past employees as well as software you no longer use to prevent hackers from getting in through the back door.

Likewise, make sure to change the passwords to your computers and any platforms you might use on a regular basis in order to make it that much more difficult for online intruders to get into your system. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your passwords will not fall into the wrong hands, because even if your employees don’t share them with anyone, hackers can still data-mine them from your archives.

Migrate your business to the cloud

And finally, it’s time to migrate your business to the cloud if you haven’t already. Cloud storage solutions that are built on a hyper-converged infrastructure offer the highest level of data security, along with other useful features such as quick data recovery and comprehensive disaster recovery plans that will get your business up-and-running in no time.

Cloud storage also eliminates the need for cumbersome on-site IT and storage, and makes regular maintenance and upkeep a breeze. However, its most notable feature is the multi-layer level of security that ensures complete company-wide data protection at all times.

Final thoughts

Cybersecurity is a big issue nowadays, as hackers and scammers are recognizing the lucrative potential of breaking into company archives and extracting sensitive business and customer information. To prevent a potentially crippling scenario, be sure to implement these tips that will take your cybersecurity game to the next level.

 
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How Can Startups Better Manage Employee Satisfaction

Published on April 3, 2019 by in Guest Post
One of the most important factors for building a successful company is a competent and motivated team. However, all too often, employers neglect employee satisfaction because they are too busy focusing on other aspects of the business. The impact that employee satisfaction has on the overall results is hard to measure. Unlike quantifiable results such as the number of sales and the total revenue, employee motivation is more subtle. Because of that, startup companies often neglect proper human resource management and fail to realize how much impact it has on their business until it’s too late. Here are a few ways to improve employee satisfaction and make sure that it’s the driving force behind your company.

The hard truth

The first thing that every entrepreneur needs to realize, especially those that just started out, is that their employees are not as excited about the company as they are. Expecting everyone to be as devoted to your business as you is just unrealistic; after all, the motivations and the ultimate payout are different. However, as an employer, you still need to motivate the people that work for you and get them to care about their job. The trick is to balance your expectations and know what motivates every single employee and focus your efforts towards those things. 

The second hard truth that startup businesses need to deal with is the fact that they won’t be able to pay their employees as competitive of a salary as they could get somewhere else. This is where employee satisfaction plays an important role. Getting people excited about the prospect of building something new is what will keep them motivated even if salaries are not high. At the same time don’t expect the best experts in the field to come knocking on your door asking for a job. You should focus on hiring people that are qualified for the job but most importantly they need to be motivated and eager to learn and improve as your company grows. This way you will build up a team of people that care about the company and are devoted to its success.

Company culture

A company starts building its culture the very first moment that people start interacting with each other. Therefore if you want to have a positive company culture that will increase employee satisfaction and motivate people to do their best, you need to start working on it early on. If you don’t take action, the culture will develop on its own, and you might not always like the way it is heading. The first step to positive company culture is defining your values. Get people together and talk about what kind of values you want your company to be built on. After you have defined the values of your company make sure they are enforced every day. For those values to continue being part of your company, you need to focus your future hiring efforts towards them and only hire people that share the same values as your company.

Optimization

A big part of building a startup company is optimizing all the different processes within the organization. Optimization is usually focused on the product or service that the company offers; however, optimizing human resource management is just as important. As the company grows so will the number of people working for you and the overall structure of the company will eventually have to change. You need to define proper communication channels within the company and make sure that information from one team to another is shared freely and frequently. Optimizing the payroll process is another good way to increase employee satisfaction as well as save you valuable time. Personalized employee income cardsare a big upgrade as they eliminate paper checks and get rid of unnecessary fees. Small optimizations like this can greatly increase employee satisfaction while also saving you lots of time. 

Building trust

Good leaders devote enough time to get to know their people. Try to actively involve yourself in your employee’s tasks and understand what their daily responsibilities are. At the same time don’t try to micromanage every single thing that they do. Trust is very important for every business, therefore you need to show your employees that you trust them while at the same time make them feel like you are available if they have doubts and need help. Try to say something nice to your employees every day. Recognition is a good way to raise morale by showing people that you value their work.

Startups are usually very dynamic and have to deal with a lot of challenges before eventually calming down into a more stable working environment. Because of that they often lose a lot of talented people along the way and spend an unnecessary amount of time on recruiting new employees. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many simple ways to manage employee satisfaction and these ideas are a good place to start.

 
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Streamline Your Recruitment Process to Hire Top Talents

Every company has their own unique recruitment process that helps them find the best employees. Finding the right talents for your company isn’t that much difficult. However, convincing talented individuals to work for you may be an entirely different story. That’s why companies need to develop an efficient strategy that will not only promote new job openings, but also encourage people to sign up.

That’s why it’s important to analyze your current recruitment process and determine if it could use some improvements. Once you’ve analyzed everything and developed a solid plan, you can streamline the entire process and ensure you get the talents you need, before anyone else gets to them first. That being said, here are a few tips on how to streamline your recruitment process and hire top talents for your company.

Determine your goals

As mentioned before, to hire top talents you’ll need a good strategy. It all starts with determining your goals first. The first step is to identify your needs. For example, what are your expectations from talents at your job positions, i.e. what’s expected of them and how can they benefit your company? In addition, you must determine what will attract talents to the job position as well.

The fact of the matter is that not everyone is looking for a good salary only. Talents usually strive towards a good company culture, employee benefits and an opportunity to advance in their careers, as well as growth opportunities in your company. Your goal may be to hire top talents, but you should also make it a priority to convince them to do so.

Write an excellent job description

One of the key elements of streamlining recruitment process, which employers oftentimes neglect, is writing detailed and excellent job descriptions. If you want to attract top talents and get them interested in your job position, you simply have to tell them what it’s all about. The more details you provide, the more potential employees will know whether to apply or not. The main reason this is important is that you avoid wasting time on selecting through unqualified applicants.

In other words, only those who are qualified and interested will apply in most cases. Therefore, makes sure you include all the details about what’s expected from an employee on that job position. Also, incorporate what their responsibilities will be such as, work hours, tasks and so on. In addition, don’t forget to include benefits, such as vacation time, days off, growth opportunities, career advancements, pension plans and so on. The more detailed the job description is, the more appealing it will be to potential candidates.

Reach out to talents

Hiring top talents requires that you reach out to them. When streamlining your recruitment process, you have to determine where to post your job applications, in order for talents to see it. You simply cannot rely on the “If you build it, they will come” mindset. Most companies leverage recruitment marketing as part of their hiring process, in order to post job opening across various channels, such as career boards on company websites, social media and others.

That way, top talents are more likely to spot your job offer. Also, you can explore other talent pools, such as contacting local disability employment services to see whether there are any potential talents there as well. After all, just because someone has a disability, it doesn’t mean they don’t have the talent you seek.

Onboard new employees

Once you’ve sorted through job applications and interviews, you’ve undoubtedly chosen a selected few for the job. However, streamlining your hiring process doesn’t end there. You must develop a good onboarding process for the new hires to avoid turnover. Once your talents come into your company, it’s important to make them feel welcomed. Onboarding is a process of helping new employees adjust to the work environment and your company’s culture.

That’s why it important to communicate with newly arrived employees regularly and ensure they have everything they need. Also, help them familiarize themselves with how your company operates, as well as introduce them to their colleagues. That way, you’ll ensure seamless integration of new employees into your company, while avoiding the risks of them second guessing their decision to work for you.

Streamlining your hiring process is crucial when targeting top talents for your company’s job openings. The employment market is very competitive and if you don’t find a way to get to the talents first, someone else surely will.

 
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How document workflow management can optimize your business operations

How document workflow management can optimize your business operationsEven though there are multiple interpretations of the term workflow, we can define it as a series of chronological business activities through which every piece of work passes from its beginning to completion. Here is a simple example.

A few years ago, researchers studied how the workflow is managed within an operating theater. Based on the different roles nurses and doctors have, they removed all inconsistencies and standardized their roles. Once the new approach was explained to the staff and applied, the results were great- the overall productivity was improved significantly.

In other words, your organization is like a Swiss watch. Every person, activity, and resource needs to have a clearly defined and precise role in order to deliver the desired results. This is especially important in optimizing the flow of documents among your teams.

How the concept of the document workflow changed

Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the whole idea behind the document workflow was different. Once an employee finished their part of the job, they would simply put the document into a large envelope and send it to another person to review it. Within the chain of similar activities, one document was distributed from one department to another until it finally ended up in the crowded rows of file cabinets, among hundreds of similar documents. So, reviewing the document, tracking its progress towards completion, or making immediate changes was almost impossible. Not to mention how easily paper documents were lost in the shuffle.

Then, the digital era was born, making the management of document workflow much simpler for both small and large businesses. Here are some of the major advantages of incorporating document workflow management into your business operations.

Improving the organization within your teams

Effective employee management is the foundation of any organization. And, if it’s not executed properly, it can lead to massive confusion, dissatisfaction among employees, and a greater employee turnover. Precisely because of this, you need to simplify your business process and document workflow.

Your staff members will work cohesively and know what their roles and responsibilities are. This allows an uninterrupted transmission of the work among different teams and, above all, improve their collaboration and communication. On the other hand, when the operations are running smoothly, project managers can focus on other important aspects of the business strategy that can lead to faster growth.

Minimizing the risk of failure

Difficult-to-use business rules and the lack of organization may hurt the overall workplace performance. By automating and managing the flow of your documents, you will set some predefined rules that need to be followed, eliminate unnecessary guesswork, and reduce the risk of human error. Above all, you will boost the transparency within your teams, track changes in real-time, and make sure that all projects are delivered on time and professionally.

Providing invaluable audits

In any business, continuous assessments are a necessity. They allow you to see what strategies are delivering results and show you how you can improve them in the future. Above all, you can detect the major pain points in your business systems and eliminate them over time. And, this is where the automation of workflow management comes to shine. With the help of the right software, you will have a greater insight into the progress and completion of each task and be able to monitor employee performance effortlessly.

How to Optimize your Document Workflows?

Creating a connected and efficient strategies for managing your document workflow is no easy task. In fact many organisations work with third party providers who can advise and reshape systems, technology and processes for them to create a more simpler document workflow.

Start by determining the major challenges your business faces. Is this the poor flow of information, the lack of collaboration, or maybe long invoicing processes? Keep in mind that every company has unique organizational issues. And, until you identify them and set clear goals, you won’t be able to optimize your workflow effectively.

Secondly, automate your document workflow by investing in the right workflow software. With these automated tools, you can organize and share files effortlessly, improve your team’s communication, increase the transparency of your actions, and allow your employees to act promptly when the need arises. 

Thirdly, make sure you set clear rules from the very beginning. As you could see from the example given in the introduction, the standardization is the pillar of workflow optimization. It eliminates the room for guesswork and variance, assigns strict roles to each team member, and lets you optimize various processes, from accounting to invoicing. Still, always ensure that setting overly strict rules doesn’t harm the creative aspects of your business, such as marketing. 

Give your Business Processes the Boost They Need

Even though it may seem tedious or overly expensive to you right now, the early optimization of document workflow is a long-term investment. Always keep in mind that your business processes need to be improved gradually. Be patient, invest in the right resources, and automate your workflow carefully.

Remember what Bill Gates said: “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”

 
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Home-Based Jobs You Should Consider for More Monthly Income

Published on July 13, 2018 by in Guest Post

Photo by Tyler Franta on Unsplash

Photo by Tyler Franta on Unsplash

Thanks to the modern technologies, the ways to generate an income have become ubiquitous. However, not every job is equally rewarding in monetary terms, so many people decide to look for alternative ways to boost their monthly income.

On the other hand, with such busy schedules, we usually think that we don’t have enough time off work to devote to an additional job. If that’s the case with you as well, you should know that thanks to the internet, there are now ways you could earn some cash on the side without adding another eight-hour shift to your timetable. And, if you’re not quite sure what your options are, check out the list below.

Freelance writer

New content is being published online on a daily basis. So, why not make the most of it and contribute by becoming a freelance writer? If you think that you have some of the necessary skills, such as excellent research capabilities and a unique tone of voice, try your luck in this field. This job is much more rewarding than it is demanding and will provide you with a unique opportunity to make money by writing about the things you like and find interesting. The best part is that you’ll be able to choose just how much work you want to do on a daily basis, which will allow you to organize your daily schedules as you see fit.

Freelance proofreader

This is another interesting side job that will allow you to put your language skills and knowledge to good use. Even though it does require a certain level of proficiency, it’s a perfect side-job opportunity for those who like to correct other people’s mistakes. Hey, if you are one of those people who like to correct other people’s grammar in the comment section, at least find a way to make some money off of it. Even though a bit less profitable than the freelance writer, it will still bring you a decent income boost.

Assistant

There are various assistant jobs you might also find interesting. If you have exceptional organizational and correspondence skills and love tackling new challenges, then this job is perfect for you. Inquire about executive assistant jobs,  personal assistant, virtual assistant and find the one that suits you best. You should also know that many employers offer competitive salaries and added bonuses for a job well done, so this is definitely a great way to boost your budget.

Freelance web designer or developer

Since the IT industry is one of the most lucrative fields nowadays thanks to its rapid growth, it’s no surprise that it offers a lot of good business opportunities for people who have a knack for it. Therefore, if you know a thing or two about developing or designing a website, try to find a job in that field. Freelancing in this field will bring you numerous benefits, especially if you wish to turn this job into a career, as it will allow you to obtain the necessary experience before the actual career shift.

Social media marketing manager

If you have experience in marketing and know your way around social media, then this job might be something worth considering. The popularity and the overall power of social media can’t be ignored, so it’s only logical that people have decided to shift their marketing efforts in this direction. The world’s most successful entrepreneurs are rapidly embracing platforms such as Facebook and Instagram because they offer a perfect place to put a face to a name. So, put your skills to good use and boost your monthly income from the comfort of your own home, by boosting someone’s popularity on social media.

PPC ad manager

Another lucrative business opportunity in the world of marketing is PPC (pay-per-click) advertising. However, this job is better left to the professionals as it requires a lot of fine-tuning and discovering and implementing various advance methods for reaching the right audience at the right time. However, there are a lot of free, as well as paid courses you can enroll if you wish to give this field of marketing a go. Finally, if you reach success with your ads, you can make a significant profit as you can expect to be rewarded with a bonus every time someone purchases the product you are promoting through your ad.

Thanks to the technological boom, there are numerous business opportunities that can bring you anything from some additional pocket money to a significant income boost. The key is to find a field of expertise you are particularly good at and identify a job you can manage to squeeze into your daily schedule for some additional income. The opportunities are aplenty, so you shouldn’t have any difficulties finding a perfect side-job to boost your budget.

 
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Best Ways Managers Can Motivate Their Team

Published on June 6, 2018 by in Guest Post

Engaged and productive employees are something every organization can hope for. Not only are they efficient at their work, but they are also happy and satisfied. However, engagement and productivity aren’t something you can easily come by. It’s true that some employees are already engaged when they join the company, but if the conditions and the work environment aren’t ideal, even their motivation will eventually start to decline.

That’s why it’s up to company leaders and managers to inspire engagement in employees and ensure their satisfaction. That way, they’ll guarantee that their workforce is productive and, most importantly, loyal. Needless to say, maintaining the overall company morale at an optimum level requires constant effort and dedication. But, in the end, it’s all well worth it. Here are a few best ways managers can motivate their team.

Acknowledge their efforts

There’s no better morale boost than recognition. If you praise your employees for all their hard work, it means that everything they do doesn’t go unnoticed. Don’t hesitate to openly praise them and highlight their best moments. After all, a simple pat on the back isn’t enough to show employees that you truly value their efforts.

Recognition can go a long way in inspiring engagement and loyalty in employees. However, it’s important to praise every employee and not just a selected few. That way, you’ll avoid resentment and, instead, inspire everyone to do their best. Make time and effort to get to know your employees better and learn their names. That way, you can always chat with them either individually or publicly and give them the much-deserved recognition.

Reward their accomplishments

Aside from recognition, rewarding employees for all their hard work is one of the best ways to motivate them further. Not only that, but it gives employees a sense of accomplishment, which also inspires them to continue being productive. No matter how large or small the accomplishments may be, it’s important to reward your employees adequately. For example, a salary raise isn’t the only option when it comes to either motivating employees or rewarding them.

It’s important to remember that your employees may look beyond the paycheck when it comes to working in your organization. Make sure that your rewards are something meaningful and valuable, such as useful prepaid Visa cards, extended holidays, improved equipment and so on. Rewards can vary based on the accomplishments achieved, but it’s important not to forget to show your employees that you care, nonetheless.

Let them make the decisions

Decision-making is a highly delicate process for every company. Most of the times, important decisions are made by the upper management and stakeholders. However, your employees may offer valuable insight when it comes to reaching a specific business goal or reaching an important milestone. After all, employees view the situation from a different perspective and they may find an easier and cheaper way to accomplish something.

Involving your employees in the decision-making process will not only help you gain a fresh perspective on things, but it will also boost your employee’s morale and motivation. Your employees will feel more important, especially if you rely on their input to make the right call. In addition, it will encourage them to brainstorm ideas and come up with various solutions to a problem at hand. This activity improves productivity and collaboration in the workplace, making the employees more engaged.

Introduce more flexibility

As mentioned before, salary raise isn’t the only way you can motivate your employees. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of things that motivate employees more than money. As a manager, it’s your job to understand the needs of your team and identify things they will value the most. For instance, additional workplace flexibility is highly welcomed by all employees. Give them an option to come to work late or leave early, as long as they complete their daily tasks.

Also, allow them to work from home for a couple of days so they can tend to personal matters, such as taking care of a kid or a sick relative. Moreover, allow them to take a few days off with no questions asked. That kind of flexibility supports your employees’ work-life balance. In return for helping them out, your employees will see the company as a place worthy of working at. What’s more, they’ll be more productive, engaged and, of course, loyal.

Celebrate success

In the end, it’s important to celebrate success and share the excitement with your employees. Whether you decide to throw an in-house party or take them out for lunch isn’t important. The important part is to celebrate, so that your employees can feel like they are part of something significant and meaningful. Sharing the success with your team brings you closer together and allows you to make a more personal relationship. That way, your team will no longer feel like just employees, but as valuable members of a family.

 

A manager’s job isn’t just to monitor employees and ensure they’re doing their jobs accordingly. Micromanaging can quickly lead to dissatisfaction in the workplace and induce low employee morale. If you’re going to motivate your team, make sure that you’re a leader that inspires people to do great things and not a manager that makes everyone feel insignificant.

 
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Merging Print and Digital For Marketing Success

Published on May 24, 2018 by in Guest Post

Digital marketing is all the rage. Across industry sectors, it is becoming a norm and overshadowing print media. Although the shift is obvious, we still have not bid farewell to the print. Choosing between it and digital tools is a false dichotomy. Yes, they are fundamentally different mediums of communication, but there are no valid reasons to pick only one and forgo opportunities that the other offers.

After all, modern customers interact will a slew of media, both offline and online. There are many points of convergence you can explore and make work to your advantage. Hence, smart strategies are rooted in the integrative approach to marketing. You should facilitate the union of the two and increase the returns on both ends. This can give you a powerful competitive edge in the crowded marketing landscape.

Dual tracks

Digital marketing is hailed as the tidal wave of the future, which is already upon us. That is rather exciting and all, but we must separate the facts from (science) fiction. When figuring out the angle of attack, it all comes down to market research and identifying your target market. If you cater to baby boomers who still read newspapers, then a social media campaign is likely to fall short.

The basic rule of marketing is simple: if it works, it works. How your message is wrapped and presented matters a great deal, yet your decisions should be guided by facts and figures, not hype and fads. The best shot you got is to achieve strategic balance and be where your customers are. To pull it off, there must be a clear plan, realistic objectives, and a high level of coordination between departments.

Two sides of the medal

First of all, digital marketing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Just like print, it has its pros and cons. The key to combining the two is in grasping them. In a nutshell, let us put it this way. While digital is low-cost and low-impact, the print is the opposite: high-cost and high-impact. These differences stem from different nature of the digital and print. The former is passive and the latter is active.

For instance, when a customer receives direct mail, that action prompts a reaction. One cannot just click on something else and ignore it completely. Print media is always proactive and tactile, which is to say the psychological and sensory impact is greater. That is why we see even digital brands like Airbnb use print in the form of travel magazines. Many other corporations are doing something similar, which suggests that print marketing is alive and well.

More than two billion coupons get redeemed every year and millions of print catalogs are mailed to people. Indeed, direct mail, albeit slowly declining, accounts for a big portion of omnichannel marketing efforts. We also have trends like variable printing that open up new possibilities with the medium. So, like it or not, print is still an integral part of overall marketing strategies and individual campaigns.

On the same page

There is something inherently warm and tangible right at the core of offline promotion. For example, it is clear that consumers like print material. They are a proven way to increase conversions and consumer satisfaction. Therefore, companies take advantage of them to show that they care about people they are trying to sell to. They use catalogs that inform customers and help them reach better purchase decisions.

Physically turning the pages and seeing vibrant colors fosters a different kind of experience that browsing online pages cannot fully emulate. The best part is yet to come: namely, you can blend the two approaches by including calls-to-action in your catalogs and other pieces of print media. Some businesses recognize the opportunity and offer people a chance to subscribe to email campaigns. Consulting experts from the industry, such as Leafcutter, can help you choose supporting tactic that enable you to guide customers from one experience to another.

The strongest link

Furthermore, brick-and-mortar businesses tend to heavily rely on in-store displays and face-to-face events and that is totally fine. Yet, they should also make the most of one-on-one conversations to drive online participation and engagement. All in all, you should always encourage people to come to your website, storefront, blog, or social media profile. You can offer a small reward in return or a chance to win something big.

Likewise, there is a possibility to employ personalized URLs and QR codes. They provide you with deeper insights into who your customers are and how they interact with your promotional material. You can monitor the media crossover and evaluate how much value it adds. As an added benefit, you obtain data on your customers, data that can be used to fine-tune your campaigns. The beauty of it is that QR codes can be printed basically on anything and scanned with all modern smartphones.

So, it is time to awaken to the reality. We do not see print leaving the marketing ecosystem in the foreseeable future. To make the most bang for your buck, take every chance you get to bridge the gap between the offline and online. Seek feedback and use digital as a launch board for the print and the other way around. Show a human face of your business and do not just hide behind the cyber façade. Explore all the marketing avenues that allow you to get in front of people.

Deliver a killer combo

Digital may have taken the center stage, but print is far from a relic of the bygone era. So, think twice before cutting the print marketing budget. Understand the fundamental differences between the two as well as the fact that they are all but mutually exclusive. In fact, the two staple methods can have a fruitful marriage, working hand in hand and catapulting you towards set goals.

To make it happen, determine what works and what doesn’t. Keep track of performance indicators across all touch points and drive customers from one medium to the other. Cultivate strong and meaningful relationships using the best tools at your disposal. Maximize your marketing dollars.

 
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4 Reasons Face-to-Face Meetings Are Critical to Business Success

Published on March 28, 2018 by in Guest Post

For Australians, working remotely has so many benefits for both the employer and the employee. For employers, working remotely or through a virtual office, allows them to save loads of cash monthly on overheads that would normally be used to cover rent, utilities and other amenities. For employees, remote working allows them autonomy in determining their schedules.

With an abundance of office solutions companies supplying business owners with meeting rooms for hire in Brisbane, a virtual office solution has made it possible for businesses to operate on a shoestring budget. However, while a company can flourish in this business environment without working in the same physical location, it might not necessarily be healthy for the longevity of the organisation. In a time where technology has the capability to bring us closer together, it also has the power to create distance. For this reason, face-to-face meetings are as integral a part of doing business as they ever have been.

Keep reading to learn more about why the face-to-face meetings are so critical to business success.

Lets Body Language to Speak

When communicating in a virtual space, if not using Skype or some other video conferencing program, it can be difficult to see the expression of the other party. While someone might express a sentiment, one of the only ways that we understand how a person truly feels is by their facial cues and body language.

For example, someone in a meeting who has just heard an employee suggest a costly proposal would typically respond, “I’ll think about it and get back to you.” In a face-to-face meeting, the same employer might cross his arms over his chest or place the tips of his index finger and thumb on the sides of his head. This body language speaks volumes, and most would guess the supervisor is uncomfortable with the suggestion. Face-to-face meetings allow participants to understand what cannot be expressed through virtual interactions.

Improves Focus

When in a meeting, regardless of who is speaking, everyone pays attention to the speaker. A face-to-face meeting facilitates participation in the discussion because whether it is a supervisor explaining new business processes or an employee complaining about vacation time, everyone pays attention to the conversation.

Everyone is at the table engaging in the conversation whereas a meeting that takes place in your home office or from a local café, comes with a number of distractions. As opposed to just paying attention to a voice from a computer screen, the speaker’s voice is attached to a human being sitting in front of you who might or might not ask you a question and put you on the spot during the meeting.

Allows You to Talk Up Your Product

A face-to-face meeting allows you to physically place your product in the hands of the client and increase your chance of selling to their company. Sometimes clients who are hedging on the product need the extra push that a written product description cannot give to them. A face-to-face meeting gives business owners the opportunity to show the client all of the product’s features and even demonstrate what it can do. This can be a very powerful tool in closing a deal.

Allows for Human Interaction and Connection

Face-to-face meetings allow employers and their subordinates to connect on an emotional level. Conversations ranging from small talk to serious matters are the ones that make working in a virtual reality more pleasant. By learning about the lives of your co-workers and subordinates, these conversations can be the beginning of other relationships outside of the office, which only adds positively to the work environment.

Building Relationships Through Face-to-Face Meetings

Building relationships is just as important as ever in business. The connections that are made through conversations during face-to-face meetings culminate in more than just business. These conversations can often be the foundation upon which private and personal relationships collide in the professional world.

Building relationships through meeting face-to-face will help you to connect better with your employees, business partners and clients alike. And with a stronger relationship, you will have a better chance of becoming more productive, closing more deals and ultimately increasing your bottom line.

 
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