Leading Employees Through Interpersonal Conflict

Not everyone gets along all the time. This is especially true during times of high stress, which can turn minor differences of opinion into full-blown arguments and trigger all sorts of stress reactions.

High-stress situations and conflicts can also bring to the surface underlying biases and unpleasant reactions to women in positions of authority. Because of this, managing conflict can be a point of particular difficulty for women in the workplace, no matter how well trained and skilled they are as managers or HR professionals.

Managers need to be savvy and adjust the leadership style they employ, as well as carefully investigate the source of a conflict in order to diffuse issues. These are excellent best practices to employ anyway, but the stakes can be especially high for women, who may find more authoritative styles of leadership backfiring.

 

Digging to the Root of a Conflict

The good news is that the extra work women often need to put in to conflict resolution tends to lead to better management as a result.

Quickly and permanently resolving a conflict requires finding and addressing its cause. Otherwise the issue is likely to boil over again. There are different types of workplace conflicts, each with a different impetus. The solution to two people quarreling over differing social values will vary greatly from employees butting heads because they have too few resources for everyone to do their work effectively. Both of these are very different from conflict caused by policy violation or harassment.

The idea is simple: solve the specific problem that causes the conflict. If employees need more resources, but those resources can’t be allocated quickly, some creative solutions to how people work together might be needed. Someone may need to be assigned different tasks in the meantime, or there may be a broader cultural issue if certain people’s needs are routinely neglected. Finding other ways to keep employees motivated will help with stressful work environments.

When the cause of a conflict can be traced directly to the actions of an employee, things can become complicated quickly. Poor internal policing of harassment is a common problem in many industries, and if a harasser enjoys the protection of someone higher up on the food chain it can be extremely difficult to correct their behaviour or dislodge them.

 

Leadership Strategies for Conflict Resolution

Once you know what’s causing a conflict, you can apply the type of leadership that you feel will work best. There are a number of different leadership styles, each with pros and cons, and differing effects on different demographics and workplace cultures.

If a conflict arose due to differences in values or different interpretations of workplace culture, a more restorative and transformational type of leadership may be required. Sitting down with employees to work through their differences and seeking common ground can help them work together in the future. Issues like these may also indicate that company policy may need to be updated to be clearer about workplace goals, and re-affirm which types of conversations are not work appropriate.

If employees butt heads due to resource allocation, workload, or other stresses related to the work environment directly, then a more authoritative resolution could be disastrous for a manager of any gender. Employees may need to be reminded of appropriate conduct, but the structural issues putting stress on them in the first place need to be addressed.

Cases of harassment present a whole host of frustrations. Harassment can be difficult to prove, and firing someone without a strongly documented case against them can land a manager in legal nightmares, not to mention internal scrutiny. In many cases your hands might be tied to even make those decisions.

The two most important things about cases of harassment are documentation and supporting the victim. Accurate, dispassionate documentation is vital, especially if the behaviour dips into criminal territory and the police need to become involved. It also protects you and the company against legal action when disciplinary measures are taken.

You may need to invoke several different leadership styles to navigate the situation, to make victims feel safe, to convince other employees to tell you truthfully what they witnessed, and to handle the perpetrator of harassment according to the specific statutes, legal definitions, and workplace laws in your state.

 

Preventative Measures to Take Against Conflict

The earliest preventative measure against conflict is the hiring process. Every company has a unique working environment, policy, and culture. Hiring people only for the skills they possess might get work done, but could result in a volatile mix of differing work ethics, team dynamics, and people skills. Creating a workplace with little conflict starts from the very first hire. No workplace can be 100 percent issue free, but a candidate with the best resume but a bad attitude can cause a lot more damage than someone with less experience and an eagerness to cooperate. That’s why many companies choose to look for evidence soft skills, leadership ability and even teamwork on applications.

A robust onboarding and training process, even for experienced hires, is also a big part of helping people adjust to the ins and outs of their new environment. Assigning new hires to mentors — peers who can help them adjust and answer lighter questions — is another great way to ensure that employees come to understand the social dynamics of the workplace quickly.

Having enough employees to complete the work, paying enough, providing workplace resources and having policies that promote work-life balance are all also preventative conflict resolution. People who are happy coming to work are less likely to lash out.

There’s no catch-all answer to conflict, but many of the things you do every day to make your workplace better are also conflict-prevention strategies. Being proactive about employee satisfaction and mental health can go a long way to preventing problems in the first place. When resolution is needed, a little investigation and a firm but fair hand can keep the work environment pleasant for everyone.

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Incentive Dos and Don’ts for Your Company

Company incentive programs are intended to keep employees motivated and engage them in their own performance. However, if they are not executed carefully, the reward system can result in jealousy among staff and decreased performance.

When planning incentives for your work staff, you need to consider a myriad of factors to avoid workers ignoring safety or other corporate rules to reach unreasonable sales or performance goals. The goals should be challenging but attainable with the reward gratifying.

To maintain fairness and equity with your incentive program, set up key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate employee’s progress and valuation adequately. These metrics will help you drive the success of your program but also company milestones. Consult this list of dos and don’ts when incentivizing your staff.

Incentive Dos

The first thing to do is to know your audience. If your staff is replete with millennials, they may appreciate vintage 90s swag rather than cash rewards or extra money in their 401k. If your workforce is young, hip and the company based near water, consider giving water sports gear or ski jet rentals as incentives. Make incentivizing fun for your whole organization.

Do remember to inform all employees about the rewards program. Make sure you stick to a regular schedule and operate with fairness and equality when doling out incentives. Ensure your incentives are goal-oriented and measurable. Involve your employees in choosing rewards that are meaningful to them. Consider their input when devising the program; they may have great ideas for performance indicators and goals as well.

Make rewards frequent enough to keep everyone motivated. Instead of just an annual bonus, build in daily, weekly and monthly incentives as well. Structure the program so that you can give many small incentives with more substantial rewards less often. For example, when the team reaches a sales goal, hand out company sweatshirts, mugs or other logo-decorated swag and when a particular employee is chosen for his or her annual contribution, perhaps a cash bonus makes sense.

Base rewards on peer input and not just management-focused goals. Letting your team pick the best of the group helps to build respect and teamwork within your organization. Recognition from peers is sometimes even more rewarding than from top level management. Plus, your employees know each other much better than managers do and might be aware of performance improvements that you may not know of.  

Incentive Don’ts

First, don’t forget about the budget. When you build incentives into your company culture, factor in the cost of living and staff growth and make sure you can easily afford it. Don’t make the goals so easy that everyone achieves them, and you have to pay out, leaving nothing for the future.

Don’t offer “one size fits all” rewards — have options. Some employees might like swag and others might like an Amazon gift card instead. Variety can also ensure you are motivating your whole team, not just a select few. Don’t forget that you want your staff to work as a team so don’t create a rewards program that has everyone out for themselves. Team goals are good too, then the whole team wins the reward.

Don’t give inappropriate or unsafe items like e-cigarettes that are dangerous to your health and promotes a bad habit. Don’t set up programs based on one person’s opinion, such as an “employee of the month” where a manager chooses. Instead, use KPIs to evaluate all employees equally and know precisely what you are rewarding.

Don’t ignore your best people, be sure to incentivize them properly when they reach their goals. If everyone gets the same bonus and your top performers have been working harder than most, they will see it as an insult and feel unappreciated. This one misstep can cost you great employee assets, and it will actually hurt motivation in the long run.

Final Thoughts on Incentive Programs

You should reevaluate your incentive program each year. As the business grows, KPIs and other goals will change too, and the program should change to reflect this growth. Be careful not to use incentives in place of a proper salary.

The key to a successful incentive system is communication. Make sure all levels of management understand the program thoroughly and then have them communicate it to the rest of the staff working for them. Clearly spell out the expectations of the plan before implementing it. If no one understand the program, they won’t use it.

During the planning stages, it is important to discuss as a company what your purpose is for incentivizing your workforce. Once you know your own goals, it will be easier to devise milestones and rewards that are meaningful. Have a strategic plan rather than a vague notion of why it makes sense. Your incentive program should motivate and encourage your workers to strive to do their best.

The Future of the Workforce: What You Should Know About Generation Z

Generation Z has arrived and there is reason to believe they will shake things up as they bring new priorities and expectations to the workplace. Forbes defines this group as people born from 1997 and later. As an employer, you are tasked with the responsibility of adapting to the differences between the millennials and z’ers. While these two groups of young workers share an obvious appreciation and aptitude for state-of-the-art technology, there are also many important differences worth recognizing if you expect to recruit the cream of the crop.

Job Stability Takes Center Stage

While job stability is likely to rank high on a lot of employees’ list of priorities when considering career opportunities, generation z’ers are laser focused on job stability. When you consider that they witnessed how their family was affected by the Great Recession that began in 2008, it is no surprise that these young adults place a high value on job stability. In sharp contrast to millennials who were known as job hoppers, this newest group seeks out stable jobs in high-growth industries like health-care and technology.

Preference for Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Anne Loehr published findings from Millennial Branding, reporting that 61 percent of generation z high school students said they prefer pursuing business ownership as an entrepreneur instead of working as an employee. This information will shape recruiting efforts and definitely influence the future of the workplace. If you want to be successful working in HR, you must understand why the entrepreneurial lifestyle is attractive to gen z’ers. Only then, can you effectively incorporate the benefits of business ownership into career opportunities.

Lower Percentage of College Graduates

Predecessors owing tens of thousands of dollars in student debt have impacted how this generation views formal education. Gen z’ers are less likely to go to college. This shift in attitudes about the necessity of a college education is sure to dramatically impact your recruiting activities in a business climate where there is a shortage of quality candidates.

Generation Z Employees Question Technology and Its Impact

This self-aware group has heard the reports about how “being connected” 24/7 can compromise interpersonal skills and relationships. Digital HR Tech reports that this generation is concerned about not having important people skills. The idea of detoxing from electronics has become a subject of conversation as more generation Z technology addicts try to take control of what they consider to be a threat to their quality of life and success.

The YouTube Generation Likes Videos

One obvious way that you can compete for the hearts and souls of this new generation is through the use of video. You should create recruiting and training materials in the form of videos to cater to an audience who has spent their entire life taking selfies and watching videos with a smartphone. Growing up with video makes for an impatient audience that is more likely to respond to this format than to text ads.

Flexible Work Schedules

There may be some truth to this generation’s inability to relate well with others when you consider that these loners like to work independently. Since this generation embraces technology and has used it all of their life, they resist the idea of a 9-to-5 schedule. It simply does not make sense to them when they realize they can reach out and communicate easily without the inconvenience of fighting traffic to arbitrarily show up physically.

Diversity in the Workplace Is a Must

Generation Z is a diverse group of workers with fewer “white straight males” than ever before. The majority of this workforce does not tolerate anything less than acceptance of everyone without concern for different races, sexual identities and genders. There is no denying that this group is socially progressive and expects no less than this attitude to be embraced by your company’s leadership.

Expectations for Socially Responsible Company Management

Much like millennials, gen z’ers want to work for a company that acts socially responsible. Companies that are perceived to behave badly as it relates to poisoning the planet, discriminating against workers or cheating employees financially will not be able to recruit the best and the brightest of this new crop of new workers.

Final Word

Each new generation brings its own set of expectations and demands. Savvy business leaders recognize the need to recruit top employees so they can effectively compete. While generation z shares many of the same ideals and expectations as millennials, there are distinct differences that you must consider if you want your company to be positioned to attract top talent. Progressive corporate leadership who uses the latest technology and is socially responsible will lead the way in the near future.

3 Performance metrics that can shift your company’s direction

 

 

Want to find out how your business is performing? Setting and analyzing performance indicators for your company is the best way to forecast and get on track with your business goals. Creating KPIs or Key Performance Indicators will help you measure your company’s success. While choosing the right KPIs relies upon a good understanding of what is important to the organization, The question is what to focus on?

Performance measurement is not just related to collecting data associated with a predefined performance objective or standard. It has to be considered as an overall management system involving prevention and detection in order to meet clients expectations of the service or product you’re offering. Many companies have different methods regarding performance measurement, so how you measure performance says a lot about your company’s objectives.

Common Types of Indicators

 

There are two common types of performance indicators: financial and customer focused. 

Financial indicators are the most commonly used metrics for performance including: revenue growth rate, net profit, return on investment, among others. In terms of employee performance these are often quantified using output related measurements. These can be useful for growing your company’s finances but companies that focus solely on profit related indicators often face an innovation problem.

A focus on financial goals can put pressure on managers to focus on short term profitability over creativity. Financial indicators also don’t provide a full picture of a company’s performance. Rather than taking risks on new ideas, these companies can become known for creating ‘one hit wonders’ that sell and repackaging past successes. Eventually, quality and customer satisfaction can become compromised and employee motivation drops.

Microsoft learned this lesson at the expense of its top spot in the tech world. Originally a leader in cutting edge technology, after 2000 it began slipping in the rankings against companies like Google and Apple with its inability to keep up with new trends. As these companies began producing paradigm shifting products like the iPhone and Google Maps, Microsoft continued to survive off of its updated versions of Windows Office. Financial indicators demonstrated the company’s shift in popularity but not the contributing factors.

Internally, Microsoft had taken a cut throat approach to performance management called stack ranking. In this system employees were ranked according to their performance, with the top being put in line for promotions and the bottom 5-10% being shown the door. Rather than boosting productivity, this system merely increased competition and discouraged teamwork. Ultimately, instead of being encouraged to collaborate on new ideas, employees had to focus on gaining favor to survive.

Customer success indicators are increasingly seen as the most important performance metric. Some of the main customer centered KPIs include: conversion rate, customer retention, Net Promoter Score (NPS), etc. Due to differing objectives, companies that focus on customer centered indicators focus more on gaining a loyal customer base by producing great quality products, utilizing different marketing techniques and emphasizing a strong customer support service.

An example of this is Riot Games’ ‘Free To Play’ games which helped them to gain a loyal customer base by allowing gamers to play some of their best games for free online. Zappos’ customer service is famous for providing unsatisfied customers with gifts and free shoes to improve their customer experience. Creating a customer service culture is an essential part of their business strategy and the focus of CEO Tony Hsieh’s book Delivering Happiness.  

However, for companies that don’t take off straight away, the money and time put into each product can lead to slower profit generation and financial instability. Furthermore, while customer satisfaction is an extremely important key to success, what customers ultimately want are state-of-the-art products. Though customer focused indicators can help you build a loyal client base, they do not necessarily solve a company’s innovation problems.  

Companies should use a combination of both financial and customer focused indicators but there is a third key measurement which is essential to meeting your company’s goals.

Why people-centered indicators are so important

More and more companies are beginning to realize the importance of employee centered metrics. These types of indicators include: employee engagement, satisfaction and turnover.

Studies show that higher employee engagement is linked to higher customer satisfaction. When employees are happy at work and believe in their product/company this comes across to customers. Gallup revealed that companies with high employee engagement levels outperformed companies with lower levels of engagement in customer ratings by 10%.

Engaged employees take less sick days. A study by Workplace Research Foundation found that engaged employees take an average of 2.69 sick days annually compared to disengaged employees who take an average of 6.19 days. Most important, they’re motivated to achieve more. Gallup’s study also showed that engaged companies outperform others in productivity by 21% and profitability by 22%.

In fact, the treatment of employees is also an important factor for consumers. Deloitte’s 2015 study on millennials revealed that this generation considers the treatment of employees as the top characteristic of industry leaders, even over profit generation and impact on overall society. Furthermore, “While they believe the pursuit of profit is important, that pursuit needs to be accompanied by a sense of purpose, by efforts to create innovative products or services and, above all, by consideration of individuals as employees and members of society.”

Companies that have employee centered strategies are also more likely to foster innovative environments that promote autonomy and employee ownership. Atlassian became famous for its ‘Shipit’ days during which it actually encourages employees to drop their work and spend twenty-four hours on a creative project of their choice. Allowing employees the freedom to try out new ideas sounds like a great financial risk but it turned out to have great returns. The projects developed during these sessions have resulted in some of the company’s most profit generating products. Atlassian not only dominates Australia’s tech industry, it has also been named the best company to work for the past two years in a row.

More and more companies have started focusing on an employee first strategy:

In an interview with Inc. Virgin Atlantic CEO Richard Branson disclosed that the company puts staff first, customers second and stakeholders third. He explains, “If the person who works at your company is not appreciated, they are not going to do things with a smile.” Southwest Airlines, the company consistently reaching the top 10 in employee and customer satisfaction surveys, follows the same ideology. The company does this by motivating employees through its company values and creating an environment that regularly recognizes employees for going above and beyond.

Southwest Airlines follows the same strategy. Founder Herb Kelleher posited, “A motivated employee treats the customer well. A customer is happy so they’ll keep coming back, which pleases the shareholder. It’s just the way it works… They can buy all the physical things. The things you can’t buy are dedication, devotion, loyalty—the feeling that you are participating in a crusade.”

 

Why Machine Learning Services are getting Maximum Attention?

Machine learning is one the trending topic these days. Right now, it is a catchword in the field of technology. It defines major representations that how computer can learn in future. Basically Machine learning algorithms are trained with the help of “training set” data.  By using this machine learning algorithm, it gives answer to the questions. For example, in training dataset you will have given pictures of dog to the computer. Some pictures will say, “This is a dog” or some will say, “This is not a dog”. Then you can show a number of new pictures and it would start searching which pictures were of dogs. Every picture which is identify as a correctly or incorrectly gets added to the training set. In this way program efficiently gets “smarter” and better by completing its task over time.

A couple of years back; it was the time of social, mobile, cloud and analytics etc. Although these technologies are still important as they have very good place in digital strategies.  Nowadays big hype is Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data, Machine learning services etc.  It is observed from the various surveys that Artificial Intelligence is the future of Growth.  There are some Artificial Intelligence Consulting companies available which provide number of services in this field. Machine learning is a part of Artificial Intelligence.

Let’s discuss Machine Learning Services which are attention seeker. These services are as follow:

  1. Fraud Detection: In numerous fields, machine learning is much better to spot fraud detection cases. Fraud management has been very aching for the commercial and banking sectors. Due to plethora of payment channel such as credit/debits cards, kiosks, smartphones etc., this menace is increasing day by day. In the similar way, criminals have found out loopholes in these channels. So, it is becoming difficult for the businessman to confirm transactions. However, Data Scientists have been successful in solving this problem with the help of machine learning. For instance, PayPal is using machine learning to fight with these raiders. This company has tools which compare all the transactions and easily distinguish between legitimate and non-legitimate transactions between sellers and customers.
  1. Recommendations: If you are regular user of Netflix and Amazon, then you must be familiar with use of this term. Intelligent algorithms of machine learning are monitoring  your all the activities and compare it with the other number of users and as a result show you which thing you would like to buy. These product recommendation systems are getting smarter every time. Suppose you want to buy light shade jeans of a particular brand, during your search it will also recommend you light shades jeans of some other brands. It will definitely make your shopping better with number of choices.
  1. Natural Language Processing (NLP): NLP is an emerging trend which is almost used in every field. Natural Language with Machine learning algorithms can stand for agents of customer service and in fast way route customers to the information they need. Mostly it is used to translate incomprehensible legalese in contracts into basic language and help prosecutors to handle large volumes of evidence to prepare for a case.
  1. Healthcare: Machine Learning algorithms can practice more information and find out more patterns than the humans can do. Machine learning can recognize risk factors in a better way for sickness in a large population area. A company build Disease Prediction System name “www.AIvaid.com” which based on machine learning algorithm that is capable to diagnose the human health conditions and predict the disease report. There are plenty of symptoms and diseases dataset has been added and working it wonderful. Along with that, Personalized medicine is also one of the effective treatments which relay on the health data of the individual combined with predictive analytics is a latest research and diligently correlated to better disease assessment. For this purpose, supervised learning is used which permits physicians to list out  from more limited sets of diagnoses based on the  symptoms and genetic information.
  1. Smart Cars: IBM recently surveyed top executives and it is concluded that we would see smart cars on road by 2025. It will learn about its owner as well as its environment and integrate it with Internet of Things.  Thus it will automatically adjust its internal setting such as audio, temperature, seat position automatically based on the driver and itself fix problems, drive itself and also give advice about traffic and conditions of the road.

If you want to start your career with Machine Learning, then you can start online and offline course with Dummybyte, here are plenty of course available you can opt with Python.

In the nutshell, we can say that Machine Learning is a buzzword in the world of technology. Machine learning services are wooing more customers due to its smart learning techniques. Self-learning algorithms are now routinely embedded in mobile and online services. Researchers are getting massive gains in processing power and the data streaming from digital devices and connected sensors to improve AI performance. For many organizations, providing machine learning services can be challenging. When machines and human solve problems together and learn from each other, AI full prospective can be achieved.

Thinking of Building the Right Office For Your Startup? Here’s What You Need to Know

Being an entrepreneur is not easy. The long hours, the work you need to pick up, hell, even the loneliness. But, there are certain landmarks, certain milestones that can really show you that you are on the right track. No matter how banal, or simple, or some would even call trite, you understand what they are and why they matter.

So, imagine just seeing your name on an office. The name of your company, something you prouder your heart and soul into, and there it is. A start-up’s office is a concrete, real evidence that you are moving in the right direction. Furthermore, it’s gonna be your home for quite some time. If you want to push through and achieve real success, well, expect a couple of sleepless nights at the desk. So why not make that desk, and the big concrete box surrounding it, as pleasant as possible?

But, you need to set things up right, and set them up soon. There are many ways you can do this, and while the final choice is up to you, below are some tips you can keep in mind. We of course know that this is something you have been dreaming for ages – what entrepreneur hasn’t already planned out the perfect office in his or her mind. But, of course, reality always sets in.

 

Baby steps

However, this ended up sounding grim, but it’s anything but. These are the great growing stages of your company. You get new employees, you have different sections, areas and departments. Change is coming, and you need to make room for it. You start with just a few members, but soon end up with who knows how many.

But, the grim factors here are money and rules. First, you will need to set up a proper plan. Then, budget everything up, contact good contractors, get good roofers, plumbers, electricians. Of course, you need to find the right location, figure out how to market everything, what to do, who to call… So, what to do first?
Furthermore, you need to get the proper licenses. All inspections, every inch of the place needs to be up to code. Are you renting or buying, or building? If you’re building, contact another entrepreneurial company, like Jonishan civil contractors in Sydney. Of course, if you’re nowhere near Sydney, you should still consider hiring “local talent”. Medium and small-sized companies and startups are in a realm of their own, and you’d be surprised by just how much better they are when compared to mega-corporations.

Space is everything

 

We understand that a startup setting up a new office doesn’t really have the funds to buy a renovated castle. However, the last thing you want is for your people to feel cramped, and for the workstations to start suffocating them.

So, in some areas you compromise, some you completely write off, and for some, well, either be laxer or get more money. Many architects advise that you have a dedicated meeting room, as well as a kitchen and dining area. However, try to set things up in such a manner that if there are any differing parents that they are close together. Don’t divide them with the break room, keep them close. This will facilitate better communication, and will nurture intercompany relations.

Remember that if you are working with clients, that you place the reception area away from the actual workroom. You don’t want your employees losing their concentration. A good layout would be something like this, from left to right: work area, break room and bathrooms, and then the reception area. You can reach the reception area either through a small hall, or directly through the break room, depending on your means.

You are free

A bit of a corny subheading, we know, but bear with us. You are a startup. Not MegaCorp TM. You have a lot of freedom and room to maneuver. You can choose to do what is the most efficient and, quite honestly, fun. As long as your people are doing their job, and doing it well, making them feel better is just a big perk. For example, you don’t need to have a robotic cubicle area. Why not have lazy bags, exercise ball chairs, specialized furniture… You can even invest in a self-serve kitchen in the break room

The point here is to do what is right for you, and your employees. Of course, the reception area should be as serious and as professional as your profession needs it to be. But on the other hand, quite honestly, why not have some extra freedom?

You are not supposed to impress your investors with your office. Sure, a clean, upscale building does signify that you are successful, that you know what you are doing. But what goes inside this building that is up to you and your team. They should be impressed by the products and services you provide, and the manner in which you provide them. Anything more is just being greedy.

 

 

 

4 Reasons Your Business Startup Needs Storage Space

In 2014 over 450,000 businesses were started in the United States. The constant economic growth post the 2008 economic crisis has been showing its face for a while now. One of the costliest expenses in any industry is space. Whether it is for storage, office or a production line, enough space is required for our enterprise to function properly. The ever-increasing prices of real estate make this a problem. Even more so for small businesses that are just getting started. The typical square footage being rented for a new small business usually revolves around 1,000. With the introduction of desks, electronic equipment, cubicles, and other office necessities, we do not have a lot of room left to work with. And renting additional space is not an option, again, because of the expenses involved. Here are the key points on how renting proper, adequate storage space is beneficial to our bottom line.

 

1. Optimizing space

 

When we lease some space, we need enough of it to house everything and everyone we need for business to run properly. And these are just the skeleton crew and the infrastructure. Even then, at the end of the day, we are left with very little room for anything else. In our beginner stage at least, it would not be a financially sound idea to rent additional space. This is the point where we can consider renting dedicated storage units. These are typically characterized by lower monthly rent, which makes it perfect for pure storage. Here we can leave advertising materials, filing cabinets, supplies of any kind, raw materials, desks, chairs, you name it. It is a good solution if you have a lot of assets of any kind that are not going to be immediately used.

 

2. Safety first

 

Another advantage of storage units over our garage is the level security it provides. Most facilities have constant video surveillance, guard personnel, pin-locks, perimeter fencing, and much more. The site manager will be onsite most of the time for any questions or need we might have. Also, we can distribute different pin codes for the locks on our units. What this will do, is provide us with detailed logs on who, when, and why has entered the storage unit. Also, there are contracts where we can ensure the contents inside our storage unit. For an extra fee, of course.

 

3. Redundancy

 

In the event of a catastrophe, heavens forbid, our stored assets will be safe off-site. Fires, especially electrical ones, flooding, and various natural disasters all pose a serious threat to our business. No matter where we find ourselves in the world, there is always some specificity we have to pay attention to. Sometimes it is just some cosmic joke or very bad luck at play. The saying “Do not put all your eggs in one basket” really starts to sound smart right about now. If we store our inventory, valuable equipment, and other company assets in the same place, that is a disaster waiting to happen. By separating our stored assets to multiple locations, we sever the chances of losing everything if worst comes to pass. This way if something does happen, at least we have a base to rebuild on, as we have not lost everything.

 

4. Going vertical

 

Since space is so expensive these days, we can maximize what we already have by going up, instead of to the side. Finding storage space with a higher ceiling, sort of speak will pay in the long run, greatly. By storing our assets vertically, we avoid renting greater surface areas which, obviously, cost more money. Yes, we would need to invest in scaffolding to form our giant storage shelves. Also, finding reliable electric forklifts in Australia, such as NFM Forklifts will prove to be very beneficial. They will save a lot of time and work hours by helping with the storing of assets at higher elevations. These initial investments will cost a bit more at the start but will save you money greatly in the long run. Not being forced to rent a second or even a third storing site can mean the difference between profit and going under. This reigns especially true for smaller companies in their initial phase of doing business.

 

Today’s global market is very atomized and competitive. There is always someone wanting their piece of the industry. By having a competitive advantage, no matter how small, these companies are at an advantage financially. Every dollar counts, especially when starting a business. One of the best ways to save money is to be rational with our leased-out space. Renting the smallest adequate space, but making the most of it is the winning recipe for running a successful business. No matter if your enterprise is a product based one or not, take as much away from these lessons and apply them yourself, today.

What to Know About Worker’s Compensation and How it Can Benefit Employees

Worker’s compensation laws have been around for a long time, and during that time they have experienced little change. It is easy to see why there hasn’t been a radical change in the system — it has been effective for years without any real need for innovation. However, as technology advances and the workplace evolves, worker’s compensation needs to change with it.

Even the nature of workplace injury has changed significantly. While in the past you would associate worker’s compensation with grievous injuries caused by malfunctioning equipment or careless operation of heavy machinery, today those collecting worker’s compensation may suffer from something as banal as carpal tunnel syndrome. Understanding how and why worker’s compensation benefits a business in the modern era can not only demystify the system but show where it can be improved in this new technologically powered age.

Lack of Technological Innovation

As the rest of the business world embraces technology that helps make completing tasks easier, worker’s compensation continually lags behind. This stems from an “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” attitude, which will stifle innovation in any industry. While some companies have started to adopt technology to assist with expediting compensation claims, overall the need for progress in the field of worker’s compensation has been largely ignored.

However, that doesn’t mean that innovative technological solutions aren’t being developed, just that the adoption rates of these technologies are still low. Technology is already changing worker’s compensation in small but meaningful ways. Communications with and between employees, workforce training, managing claims, and delivering care are all influenced by technology. Even using simple smartphone applications cannot only assist directly with worker’s compensation claims but also help with prevention of workplace injury in the first place.

The advent of wearable technology also has interesting implications for worker’s compensation. Wearables like FitBit or Apple Watch are currently popular for their personal healthcare management applications, but their usefulness can stretch beyond the personal and into the world of business. Wearables have the potential to monitor whether employees are in a dangerous area on a construction site, track an employee’s health post-injury, and reduce, manage, and prevent workplace illness and injury overall.

How Worker’s Compensation Helps Employers and Employees

Worker’s compensation is an important facet of business in the United States. It not only protects employees but employers as well. While the rights to worker’s compensation were hard fought, many workers and employers can find themselves at a loss as to why it is important to them, especially if their work doesn’t appear to be dangerous from the outside.

Though it has been in effect for decades, many people still find themselves wondering exactly what worker’s compensation is and how it works. While many states have different worker’s compensation laws, the premise is essentially the same across the board: if you are injured on the job, you can file a claim in order to receive worker’s compensation benefits. These benefits are intended to relieve the financial burden from hospital bills on a worker and to ensure that they are healthy enough to continue working without issue.

The benefits of worker’s compensation aren’t solely for the employees, either. Employers rely on worker’s compensation to reduce their liability due to workplace injury with great success. If it is shown that an employee sustained an injury intentionally, were harmed in the course of a fight that they instigated, or were under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the time of the injury, the employee is not eligible for worker’s compensation claims. Additionally, worker’s that accept worker’s compensation insurance forfeit their right to sue their employer, adding an additional layer of protection for the business.

Safety Should Come First

Regardless of who benefits more from worker’s compensation, workplace safety should be the number one priority for both workers and employers. Two of the most common workplace injuries sustained in the office are slips or falls and repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. Both of these types of injury are easily mitigated through regular cleaning and maintenance of the office, as well as regular breaks for employees coupled with education on proper technique when typing.

Staying safe on the job whether you’re a social worker, construction worker, or surgeon doesn’t have to be an endless struggle; in fact with the implementation of just a few safety procedures, workplace injury can be drastically reduced. Providing readily accessible alarm systems to alert employees to safety risks, secure entryways, and even something as simple as having well-lit hallways are all easy and cost-effective ways to help prevent workplace injury. Additional training for employees also provides another layer of protection, as they will better understand how to take charge of their own safety by avoiding workplace injury.

One way that technological innovation actually shines when it comes to worker’s compensation is through prevention. Head into any office around the country and you will find it chock-full of injury-preventing ergonomic technology from keyboards and mouse pads, to standing desks and office chairs specifically designed to prevent injury. While these small things may not seem like the heroes of workplace injury prevention, their ubiquitous presence contributes to prevention in spades.

Conclusion

While workplace injuries won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, be prepared for them with worker’s compensation insurance and preventative measures is just good business sense. As new technology develops, it will only make the workplace safer as we go, claims easier to process, and fraud harder to commit. All-in-all, as we look to the future of worker’s compensation, adopting and implementing new and existing technology can only help.

tips for writing an effective cold recruiting email

6 Tips For Writing an Effective Cold Recruiting Email

It all begins with a humble email. Written the right way, it makes candidates fall in love with your company even before they come on board.

Written the wrong way… Yours is not the only company looking for new people.

A great recruiter can persuade a hire even before they open a cold recruiting email. But to get to that point you have to invest a lot of time into building the right outreach strategy. There are several tips that will work for any kind of a recruiter.

#1 — Find a way to contact potential hires by email

Looking for candidates on LinkedIn? It might be tempting to send potential hires an InMail message. But InMails have some problems. You have a limited amount of them and many candidates don’t check their LinkedIn inbox.

But everyone checks their email. Sending an email shows that you care enough about a potential hire to find their address.

Recruiters on LinkedIn might be interested to check out LeadGibbon. It extracts business email addresses and exports them to Google Drive. A cold email has more chances to succeed if it’s in the right inbox.

#2 — Research comes first

You get a single shot to capture the attention of your candidate. It’s important not to skimp on research. Find out their interests, hobbies and previous experience. It all can be used to build a better relationship.

The research will help you understand whether a candidate is a good fit for your company. Jot down all the information you find, as it will be essential for personalizing your email.

#3 — Make your cold email as short as possible

Different recruiters make different cold email mistakes. But one is particularly widespread — a long email. Sending the full job description in an initial email is a great way to be ignored.

To make people read your emails, cut the fat. Explain how you found the candidate, why the position will be good for them and end with a call-to-action. Aim for 3-5 sentences. Consider using apps like Hemingway to check if your message is easy to read.

If the candidate is interested, you’ll have all the time in the world to discuss details in a follow-up.

#4 — Subject lines shouldn’t be dull

A generic subject line (‘Job offer’) blends with other emails in candidate’s inbox. Instead, try to find a way to make it intriguing — or even fun.

Here’s an example. Saw pictures of cats in your candidate’s Instagram feed? A subject line like ‘We at [company] are looking for a professional admirer of cats’ will guarantee you a positive reply. Think out of the box (here are some ideas to get you started).

#5 — Personalize, personalize, personalize

Cold recruiting emails is about your candidate — not about your company. Personalization doesn’t end with a subject line.

For example, compliment a potential hire on the blog post they published. This will show them that you’re following their work. You can also mention your candidate’s hobbies, side projects or mutual acquaintances. Building relationships is the best way to secure the hire.

#6 — Refute objections before they happen

Your cold recruiting email should be short. That doesn’t mean it should be meaningless. Use it to reference candidate’s doubts before they have a chance to voice them!

Here’s an example. If your candidate works in a much bigger company, they probably receive a big paycheck. To persuade them to switch, highlight why your project will be a better fit for their interests. This way, you’ll instantly position your offer as a dream job, which will overshadow smaller salary.

Start writing better recruitment emails, today

You can spend a lifetime trying to find the perfect cold email recipe. But the tips we outlined above should be enough to get you started. Research your candidates, personalize your message and find the appropriate channel to get in touch with them — and you’ll already be ahead of your competition.

 

Author
Steven Leadgibbon authorSteven is the Head of Content at LeadGibbon, a one-click tool for sales teams to find email addresses and other data for their leads. When he’s not busy with research for his latest article, Steve is binge-watching 80s horror movies or playing pick-up basketball with friends.

 

The Importance of Targeted SEO to Your Company’s Visibility (& Linkability)

SEO has often been viewed by businesses as an ethereal, mysterious thing that a company does for you, and with a sprinkle of magic marketing dust, you are ranking number one on Google for the right keywords and your niche. However, good SEO has been made up of a number of the same things for several years:

  • Good Web Design: While this goalpost has moved over the years, from optimized for desktop to optimized for mobile, from high-resolution video and photos to speed of loading, a modern web design that is responsive and provides a good user experience is essential.
  • Good Content: A website must have good content, from product pages and descriptions to landing pages and blogs, content needs to be informative, well written, and user-friendly.
  • Backlinks: These can be paid, earned, and social. Google expects businesses to pay for ads, earn links from reputable sites, and appear on social media. Link exchanges and guest posting is one of the best ways to earn backlinks. While the search engine still claims social links and shares do not affect ranking, they certainly can have an effect on organic traffic, and there is some debate about when they might become a legitimate factor.  

There is a bit more to it than that. The smarter Google becomes, the more it looks at websites like a human user does. Artificial intelligence and machine learning mean that user experience and relevance will continue to mean more than they ever have. This means SEO work needs to be targeted, implemented with a deliberate strategy, and treated as a continuous process.

Here are some reasons targeted SEO is important to your company’s visibility and linkability:

The Need for Linkable Content

As mentioned above, there are multiple kinds of backlinks. They are paid, earned, and social. The number of paid links your site has can be absolutely controlled by your ad spend. However, earned links can be partially controlled and deliberately built, and social links can be encouraged but only minimally controlled by you.

What is the key to earned and social links? Your content. It also determines how effective any paid links you have to your site are. Simply put, you need linkable content. Category or service pages, product descriptions, and thin blog posts are not link-worthy pages. Years of experience have taught link building companies what linkable content really is.

Fortunately, in November of 2015, everyone got a look at the Google Search Evaluator guidelines at the time. They confirmed much of what we had already learned. Google and users look for a few key things in your content, and Google uses those things to help determine your page rank. It is known as the E.A.T. principle:

  • Expertise: Not only does Google look at your company, but at the author of the content to determine expertise.
  • Authority: This is in the part where links come in. Outbound links to authoritative content establish you as an authoritative source, as do inbound links to the content itself.
  • Trustworthiness: This is also determined by organic, authoritative links to your content and the accuracy of what you have written.

Not only does content need to meet the E.A.T. principle, but it should also be informative and well written. Remember: Content is also a part of user experience, and thin content produces high bounce rates, sending users looking for the information they need elsewhere. It certainly means they will not link to it on their own website or share it on their social media profiles.

What makes content linkable is how informative it is, the clarity of the writing, and how well it is optimized for both search engines and real people. Without content that is worth linking to, it is difficult to either build or earn links.

Researching Relevancy

How do you know if your content is reaching the right searchers at the right time? Fortunately, this is easier to figure out than it ever has been — and yet more challenging as well. There is more data out there about users and their behavior on the internet than at any other time in history, and nearly any business can access this data through some simple analytics tools.

This means not only do we know what our potential customers are interested in, we know how they interact with the internet. Beyond just demographic analytics, we have access to behavioral analytics which are much more powerful.

All this data not only tells us what our ideal customers are searching for but how they are doing it. This can be taken from the general fact that over 60 percent of Google searches are done on mobile devices, and more people than ever are completing purchases on portable devices as well. You can also determine what devices your customers search on most frequently, whether they are iOS users or Android fans, and how much time they spend reading a blog post, and even how many searches they perform for a product or service before they make a purchase.

What this allows you to do is to target your content more specifically, and even create different content that will appeal to different sets of buyers. Relevant content is much more linkable, whether you are earning those links organically, want your users to share it on social media, or are engaged in a link building campaign targeting specific keywords.

Creating a Strategy

Now that you know why linkable content is necessary and you have established what is relevant to your potential customers, you need to create a targeted content strategy. Why? It’s simple: Without targets and specific goals, how will you know if your linkable content is working?

So what is a content strategy? It is deliberately creating content to support your efforts to rank for a specific keyword or set of keywords, and building and working to earn links to that content. This usually involves several pieces of content of varying lengths and types, internal linking, good onsite technical SEO, and content that is well written and informative.

A good SEO company will not only help you with your onsite technical SEO and link building but can also help you with your content strategy and creating linkable content. This entire process, which you should thoroughly understand, takes a lot of time, and unless you have a capable team in your marketing department, the time and money an outsourced expert will save you is more than worthwhile.

Filling in the Content Gaps

So now you understand the need for linkable content, you have done your research and know what is relevant, and you have a content strategy. Now it is time to fill in the content gaps on your website. Whether you have a robust blog filled with content or are just starting out, once you establish your content strategy, you’re going to find that you have content gaps.

What is a content gap? They are areas where you are missing content that is essential to your content strategy. It is essential that you fill these gaps in order to satisfy not only Google but your potential customers. You need the linkable content in order for targeted SEO to be effective.

Want to rank higher in Google for critical searches in your niche? Want your business to be more visible to searchers? It’s all about relevant content that is part of a content strategy, linkable content, and then building links to that content. Those are all a part of targeted SEO, the key to your company’s visibility and linkability.