5 Ways to Leverage Your Tech Skills to Kick-Start a Wealthy Career

To work in tech means to exploit and capitalize on one of the biggest and most lucrative industries in the world. Technology is an inextricable part of our everyday life, it shapes whole industries, and needless to say, every company needs tech-savvy employees to drive all of their processes from app development to website maintenance, from HR to sales, and all across the board. Needless to say, if you have some tech skills, you should have no problem monetizing them in this tech-driven day and age. 

That said, it’s also important to note that long-term success is not guaranteed, especially when you consider the fact that technology is constantly evolving, and so the need for growth-oriented employees and professionals continues to rise as a result. Provided that you’re willing to learn and evolve your skills with the prevailing trends, let’s take a look at the five best ways you can leverage your expertise to kick-start a wealthy career.

Image editing and video production

Digital content is what drives the modern business world forward, which means that every company needs to keep dishing out amazing content on a regular basis in order to execute their marketing strategies, appeal to and engage the modern online audience, and of course, get on Google’s good side. Now, while it is true that written content (blogs and the like) is king in the digital world, this doesn’t mean that you need to be a writer to make some amazing content. This is because visual content is equally important, and not just for marketing purposes.

If you consider yourself to be somewhat of a Photoshop whizz or if you’re versed in the art and science of video editing, you could be taking on various interesting projects for businesses of all sizes, national and well as international given the flexible nature of the job. From marketing materials, to internal documents, images, and explainer videos, there is no shortage of opportunities in this field.

Creating brands and their visual identities

Speaking of visual content, one of the most important elements of long-term success in the modern business world is, of course, branding. Experienced business leaders (as well as novices who do their research) understand the importance of proper brand-building in this competitive day and age, because having a strong brand identity is just about the only thing that can really make a business stand out from the rest. Without a brand, a business is just another player in a sea of competitors.

This is where you come in as the branding professional everyone needs, and are willing to pay a hefty sum for your talents. Now, branding is a bit different than image or video editing, as it not only involves strategic thinking and brainstorming, but also creative content creation – from scratch. When you’re working with a business leader on creating a brand, you will be tasked to create a brand’s identity from scratch in order to build a unique image that will resonate with the hearts and minds of the target demographic. Needless to say, this is a lucrative calling that requires tech skills as well as creative thinking.

Proprietary software development

Speaking of lucrative callings, one of the most lucrative industries in the world is, naturally, the financial sector. Concretely, tech-savvy professionals with adequate coding experience can find numerous lucrative opportunities in the Forex market, and build proprietary software for leading brands such as Ever Forex as well as making sure that all platforms are functioning properly on a 24/7 basis to ensure stellar customer experience. 

The key driver of this demand is sheer necessity, as broker firms in the financial sector cannot afford a single minute of downtime, which means that they will gladly pay for a professional who can keep the platform up and running without a hitch. While it might take you some time to familiarize yourself with the specifics of the industry and the unique idiosyncrasies of a given platform, the time you spend educating yourself will be well worth the investment in the long run.

Website development and upkeep

Another lucrative field that could never lose its popularity is web development and upkeep. Again, website-building and maintenance is something that every business needs nowadays, but it’s also a career path that will continue to yield significant financial returns for years to come. That said, keep in mind that web development is a pretty competitive field, so it’s important to really nail your skillset and diversify your portfolio if you want to land some lucrative contracts.

Digital marketing

On a final note, always remember that digital marketing offers a wealth of opportunities for those of you with a knack for online marketing, and a skillset necessary to create captivating ads and online content. Given the fact that digital marketing encompasses numerous effective tactics, you can pick and choose your niche or even become an all-around digital marketer to boost your chances of landing a high-paying job in a company that needs everything from SEO to SEM, from social media management and email marketing, to landing page and app development. 

Wrapping up

There is no shortage of lucrative opportunities in this tech-driven day and age, so don’t think that only programmers get to make an honest living in the tech sector. Rather, you can explore these fields further to find your true calling and kick-start a wealthy career.

Workplace Injury: How to Be Prepared

Image Source: Pixabay

Your boss asks you to help move a few boxes. Before you even think about it, you bend over at the waist to pick up the load and feel a severe stabbing pain in your back that takes your breath away. You slowly stand up straight, but all you see are stars circling your head like in the cartoons. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-often occurrence in many offices across the country, and it can affect the work performance of any employee. You might not even realize that this is a workplace injury and you have the right to healthcare and possibly compensation if this would ever happen to you. 

 

Many people think that workplace injuries only happen at construction sites or in factories. However, many of the most common workplace injuries, such as sprains, strains, and lacerations can happen just about anywhere. Here are the essentials you need to know to keep yourself and your workplace safe. 

Understanding Workplace Injuries

According to the National Safety Council, one person is injured on the job every seven seconds in the U.S. That means that throughout one year, there are 4.5 million injuries. These injuries range from “treat and street” issues where you might be seen in a clinic or emergency room and then sent home to severe life-altering injuries and illnesses or even death. 

 

Injuries that occur the most frequently don’t cause severe damage; in fact, many of them don’t even cause visible problems. The top three workplace injuries that cause workers to miss days from work are those that include overexertion, such as lifting a box that’s too heavy, contact with an object or equipment, and slips, trips, and falls. Other common occurrences that can take you out of commission include poor body mechanics and environmental hazards such as wet floors or icy sidewalks.

Prevention is Key

While you don’t have to be an occupational health and safety specialist to spot an unsafe situation, working with one to create safety plans is never a bad idea. Since the top injuries are common occurrences, most of them can be prevented by following a few simple safety tips. Check out these three ways to keep yourself and coworkers safe at work:

Be Aware

Seeing and reporting trip hazards like cords across a walkway or a spill in the cafeteria doesn’t take any particular skill. If you notice anything in your office that might be a safety issue, fix it if you can. If it’s a more significant issue, such as clutter blocking a fire exit or an overflowing toilet, be sure to report it to your supervisor or internal safety committee, if you have one. 

Protect Your Back

Back injuries are common, and once you have an injury, your risk of re-injury increases three to five times. The good news about back injuries is that most of them are preventable. Use these lifting and back injury tips if you need to lift a box or other heavy object around the office:

 

  • Stretch before lifting heavy objects.
  • Make sure you’re wearing safe, closed-toe shoes with good traction when lifting.
  • Use a dolly or pushcart if carrying the object a long distance.
  • Lift with your legs, not your back.
  • Divide large loads into smaller ones, if possible.
  • Carry the object as close to your body as you can. 

Reduce Workplace Stress

Let’s face it: work is stressful. When you start feeling burned out at work, you might struggle to concentrate or rush through tasks, both of which can increase your risk of injuries. 

 

If you need to decrease your stress levels at work, try at least one of these four strategies:

  • Choose healthy foods so that you get the nutrition you need. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants, like nicotine.
  • Aim for eight hours of sleep every night.
  • Plan regular breaks throughout the workday and try to get the most important tasks done before lunch.
  • Live a happy life by adopting a few holistic ways to live, such as regular trips to the chiropractor or massage therapist and aromatherapy.

What to Do if You Get Hurt

Even if you do all of the right things to create balance in a world full of movement — sometimes accidents just happen. If you’re injured at work, you should always report the accident immediately. What might feel like a minor ache or pain today could make it difficult to get out of bed tomorrow. Many states only allow injuries to be reported within a specific time frame for you to receive workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. This is why notifying your supervisor promptly is critical.

 

You might live in a state that requires accident reports be in writing. While some states allow reports to be verbal, it’s always best to write out what happened and turn it into your supervisor. Almost all employers are required by law to have workers compensation insurance. If your injury is significant and you have to miss work, be sure to talk to your employer about their worker’s compensation policy and seek legal counsel if they tell you that they don’t have one. 

 

If you’re hurt at work, any medical treatment you need should be covered by your employer’s policy. You might also be entitled to lost wages if you have to miss work for an extended period. However, every state is a bit different, so you’ll need to check with your employer to be certain. To make sure that you’re always covered regardless of the causes of an injury or illness, it’s a good idea to consider long-term or short-term disability insurance, too. 

Keeping Safe

Being hurt is never fun. However, by implementing these simple workplace safety tips and tricks in your office, you and your co-workers will be safe and prepared. And in the unfortunate event that you are injured at work, know that you have options to ensure that the company you work will cover you. 

How to Monetize Your Teaching Skills

With the rise of the internet and new technologies, the very process of gaining knowledge has changed. Distance learning has become an effective way not only to learn and master new skills but also to earn a college degree, with many reputable colleges offering online curriculums too. 

In such a supportive environment, the ones with expertise and practical experience in specific fields can find quite a few ways to monetize their teaching skills. So, whether you need some extra money or you want to start a whole new career, here are a few ideas to start with.

Become a teacherpreneur

Some active teachers are mastering their classroom jobs, but are also very passionate about their business and have enough time and motivation to execute their own ideas and create new classroom materials. Such teachers already have a good way to monetize their skills by selling their materials, podcasts and teaching strategies online, and become a teacherpreneur

Create your course

If you’re thinking about following this route of money-making, what matters the most is to create your course with your target audience on your mind, making it’s content useful and relevant so that they would actually want to buy it. 

Your chances to succeed are higher if you’re an authority or an influencer in a certain niche with a large follower base on Facebook, Youtube or other social media channels. To make your course competitive, choose a narrow topic so that you can both teach essentials and give enough practical tips and tricks, adding the unique value to your classes.

Write an e-book

Another way to monetize your teaching skills is by making an e-book and selling it online. Still, besides your expertise, you’ll need good writing skills and some knowledge of how to best structure your book. Your e-book will have more downloads and purchases if you’re already digitally established persona and have a wide network of potential buyers. Even then, your e-book would need some additional marketing strategies, so think about what techniques you could use to promote it.

Give classes

For those who live in an area where there is a high demand for skills you would be teaching, giving live classes is one of the sure ways to monetize their teaching skills. Nothing can beat the quality of face-to-face lectures, whether they are group or individual. There are also plenty of opportunities to find your students online, and give classes using Zoom or Skype to connect. You can lecture on every topic you have an expertise in,  but it’s important that you’re program is flexible and accessible for students of all levels. 

As there is a great demand for English language teachers worldwide, this is a great opportunity for those who want to both work and travel. Even if English is not your native language, you can take the TEFL Course at Monkey Tree English learning center and become a certified English teacher, and find a job at the destination of your choice or give lessons online.

Offer consulting and professional services

A great way to monetize your teaching skills is to offer consulting and professional services to individuals or organizations who are facing issues you can help them solve. Consulting services can be offered in many fields, such as research, communications, curriculum design, management or any other industry-specific matters. Professional services may include legal and financial services, translation, writing, research, etc. You can bill these services by the hour or choose a flat rate for an entire project.

Make a niche blog or a website

If you’re more inclined to doing business digitally, starting your own niche blog or a website can be one of the ways to make money teaching what you know. You can create all sorts of high-quality content related to your niche, and make it diverse using photos, infographics, and videos. Still, you’ll need to SEO your content in order to make it visible to your target audience and promote it on your social media channels, if you want to boost your traffic. You can use affiliate links or place ads on your blog to monetize your efforts. 

There are plenty of options to monetize your teaching skills, so start brainstorming your ideas and put them in action. 

Is it possible to make a career out of trading?

Nowadays, there are various investment opportunities that people can explore, in order to maximize their profits or secure additional funds for other long-term goals. It goes without saying that the stock exchange market is the most popular destination for both experienced investors and newcomers alike. The main reason is that the stock market is quite stable and highly regulated trading platform.

In addition, it’s also rarely volatile but it does heavily rely on the global economic and geopolitical stability. Many people avoided investing as a form of a career because up until recently, the stock market was considered a barrier-to-entry area. In other words, there were difficult obstacles standing in the way and preventing competitors from entering an industry with ease.

However, modern technology and modern solutions have reshaped even the trade industry, making this area easily accessible to anyone willing to commit to trading regardless of their initial capital. To put things into perspective, it’s possible to make a living from trading but it’s never as easy as it may seem. Therefore, here are a few things you should know if you decide to make a career out of trading.

What does stock trade mean?

As you may already know, investing in stock means buying a small percentage, also called a share of a company which includes all of their equity and assets. The price of stocks is determined by a company’s overall performance on the market. The main reason companies offer their shares on the market is to raise money and spread the risk of ownership to a group of shareholders.

Now, when you acquire shares of a company you are considered a shareholder. You can sell your shares if the price suits you or buy more if the price is low. Moreover, you can hold on to your stocks and enjoy a dividend income. Nowadays, anyone can buy and sell stocks, as long as they have the initial capital. Furthermore, you can engage in trading even if you have a family at home you must commit to. Strategies, such as day trading can be adjusted to your personal life.

What’s required for stock trade?

Aside from capital, you’ll need to sign up with a broker, in order to start trading, unless, of course, you want to become a broker yourself. A broker will buy or sell assets on the behalf of a client or a company that employed them. A broker must also perform analysis on investments, in order to secure a deal that will suit their client’s needs. On the other hand, you can become an independent trader and focus your investment solely on personal gains.

However, in order to become a successful trader, you have to understand well how the market operates and what’s involved. Moreover, you have to be able to devise good strategies on the go and ensure you don’t lose your investment. The fact of the matter is that there are always risks involved when it comes to trade. A good trader knows how to minimize, as well as mitigate those risks.

Identify good opportunities

The key to successful trading lies in spotting a good opportunity and capitalizing on it. It sounds much easier than it actually is, to be frank. There are a lot of companies on the stock market and not every one of them is bound to ensure long-term success. The fact of the matter is that you cannot predict how a company will perform, you can only estimate their performance at best.

However, jumping on the opportunity, while it’s still good has a good chance of yielding a return on investment (ROI). In order to achieve that, you must familiarize yourself with the market and conduct constant research. That way you’ll also familiarize yourself with the use and the demand for resources, as well as be able to spot companies with good growth potential.

Even the most specialized industries are looking towards the future by implementing technology and digital opportunities for its customers, resulting in long term success and a good investment opportunity. As an example, a division of Schlumberger Technology Corporation called Hexacom launched an e-commerce platform last year where oilfield professionals can get everything from tubulars to drill collars.

In any event, opting for a good opportunity will depend on your investment goals, such as short-term, mid-term or long-term goals.

Portfolio diversification

As you’re probably aware by now, any type of trade has risks involved. Becoming a good investor means learning to be flexible around those risks. That’s why many experienced investors always diversify their investment portfolio. Diversification means investing in other opportunities, instead of focusing on a single one. If you’ve made profits from stock investments, you can consider investing in other methods as well. For instance, you can invest in mutual funds, ETFs, bonds and so on.

Also, you can consider alternative investment types, such as precious metals, real estate, antiques etc. The purpose of this strategy is to secure your wealth, as well as minimize the risk of your investments. In other words, if you have multiple investments at once you can easily recover if your stock deal, for example, doesn’t turn out as expected. Simply put, investment portfolio diversification is there to ensure you don’t lose all of your money on a single investment deal that went bad.

Forex market (FX)

Another market aside from stocks, you can explore is the foreign exchange market or Forex. FX is similar to the stock market but FX deals in currencies. That being said, over 4 trillion dollars worth of currencies are traded on the market each day. That makes the Forex market one of the most liquid trading platforms in the world. Currencies are traded in pairs and there are a lot of strategies to explore that can get help you turn a quick profit.

However, 96% of new traders fail at their first attempt at currency trade. The main reason is that the FX market is primarily designed for insiders who understand the market trends well. Still, if you lack the experience in trading currencies, you don’t have to start risking your own money straight away. As a matter of fact, you can create a demo account and try out different strategies with virtual money but in real-time scenarios. That way you can build up experience until you’re comfortable enough to trade with real money.

Cryptocurrencies

Another form of trade worth exploring is cryptocurrencies. This trend has grown in popularity ever since the first cryptocurrency Bitcoin had emerged back in 2009. Ever since then, there’s been a huge development in the crypto market that now favors over a thousand different offerings, whether in coins or in tokens. The purpose behind cryptocurrencies was to create a trading platform that’s independent of any government imposed regulations and without the middleman like central banks.

That’s why the technology behind cryptocurrencies also known as blockchain was developed to act as a decentralized publicly edger that will record peer-to-peer transactions. However, the fact that it’s unregulated makes the crypto market a very high-risk market. Extreme volatility and instability may prove to be too risky for investors. If you’re new to the whole trading concept, you might consider less risky options before you move to cryptocurrencies. The main reason is that in time, the crypto market will undoubtedly stabilize. But until then, the crypto market is reserved for the bold.

 

Trading in assets and making investments can be a great opportunity to maximize profits and gain a significant ROI. To answer the question at hand, it is very much possible to make a career out of trade alone. However, don’t leave your day job until you learn the ropes first. Needless to say, with careful research and good planning, you can make your investments worthwhile.

5 Small Business Ideas for Women Entrepreneurs

The reason why running a small business is so hard is due to the fact that it takes too much time and energy for one to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Needless to say, for female entrepreneurs who also hope of starting a family, this might be even more challenging. Fortunately, we now live in a time when there are so many options available, that it shouldn’t be impossible for you to find something that can fit even in the tightest of schedules. With that in mind and without further ado, here are five small business ideas for women entrepreneurs.

1. Home-based catering business

The first idea that comes to mind is to start your own catering business, which you can further specialize by taking only certain types of events. For instance, you can specialize in corporate catering, small business catering or catering for parties. In order to achieve this, nonetheless, you need to compose a menu that you can work with, as well as find suppliers for, have an adequate kitchen facility and make sure that you follow sanitary rules and regulations. Also, the type of the event also mandates the size of your operations. Doing a catering for a huge wedding requires more hands, equipment, supplies and time than doing so for a small office party.

2. Creative freelance work

The next thing you can consider is doing some creative freelance work like writing content, blogging, selling photographs online and similar issues. The advantages of freelancing are numerous and straightforward. You work from home, which means that you can multitask while you’re at it (even though this drastically cuts down on your efficiency and productivity). Second, you get to choose your own work hours, which gives you the freedom to make a schedule with a better work-life balance. Lastly, there’s so much room for growth and advancement. In other words, you can start this out as a hobby or a source of side-income and, in time, turn it into a full-time.

3. Beauty therapy

Another great idea that you could pull off is start a business within your own home where you can meet, greet and treat clients. All you need is to take a single room that you’ll set aside as a home office, get the necessary equipment, purchase a brochure display for some brochures and flyers and get right into it. Offering services in the field of beauty therapy are always popular and quite profitable, yet, they this field is usually quite competitive. This is why getting a degree from a recognized educational institution like Perth Beauty College might help you get the reputation boost that you’ve needed all along.

4. Developing an app

Even though it’s true that this field requires a lot of specialization and technical prowess, the truth is that app-development has never been easier. In fact, there are some app builders out there that work on a drag-and-drop principle, meaning that all you need is a new idea in order to put your plans into action. Sure, sticking to these simplistic tools keeps you somewhat restricted in options, yet, this is still an option and, once you start earning money from this, it might be worth your while to learn a thing or two more about app development.

5. Online tutoring

One more business idea that you could try out is tutoring people online. If you have a skill, knowledge of a language that’s in demand or anything similar, you can find students online and hold lectures via a webcam in order to make an income. For those who are still unsure about how all of this work, they can always find an agency that provides these services and start working from them. Later on, you can find your own clients and enjoy the luxury of not having to share your profit with anyone else. In time, you can even start hiring tutors and make an agency of your own.

In conclusion

As you can see, these ideas greatly differ in business type and model, which leaves you with so much room for customization. This will allow you to make a business model that fits your own lifestyle and aspirations. Also, it gives you a chance to slowly scale your business over the course of time.

What HR Professionals and Employees Can Learn From Motivational Speakers

What do human resources professionals and motivational speakers have in common? For starters, they both provide inspiration and tips on how to engage employees.

So it makes sense that the best HR pros strive to bring motivational speakers into the office in an effort to encourage employees to do the best work they can do. Whether your teams are feeling uninspired or even jaded, struggling to meet previous goals, or your company is pushing in a new direction, it may be a good time to invite an inspirational speaker for some outside guidance.

Let’s consider at a few things HR professionals can gain from listening to motivational speakers and why it’s important for employees as well:

Employees Want to Know HR Cares

If your company does hire a speaker, look at it as an investment in your employees. By investing in employees, the company is showing that you care about them and their work. There are many ways to show your employees appreciation, and having a good motivational speaker come in is just one tool.

“The best motivational speakers deliver a quick snapshot into the ideal attitudes, behaviors and mindsets for a high-performing organization,” according to The Meerkat Motivator. “Their invigorating one-hour keynote talks inevitably ignite a series of teachable moments.”

In turn, HR can take what they hear and learn from inspirational or humorous stories and apply it in a genuine way to fit your corporate culture. HR professionals may come up with their own ideas to incorporate as a result.

If HR learns new ways of thinking and teaching, and shares it with employees, it shows employees/teams that the company is invested in their career development and care about them as people too. When employees are happy, they are less likely to leave the company they are working for.

A Motivational Speaker Breaks Up the Monotony

Office attitudes can get pretty stagnant sometimes, especially if people see and hear the same things day in and day out. An outside, fresh perspective can help employees look at challenges and problems differently and may not even see them as such. A motivational speaker may have the ability to look beyond the daily grind because they aren’t entrenched in it every day.

“One of the greatest advantages that a motivational speaker has is that they are outside of the daily processes,” says business writer Alfred Stallion. “Instead of being bogged down by the daily grind, they can see the bigger picture and will probably see the way forward much clearer and easier than your staff, or even you, will see it. Their expertise in the field can be used to provide a new perspective and reinvigorate the staff and you to push the business in a new direction.”

At the same time, employees sometimes just need to be reminded that they are doing a good job from an outside source. Staff that are consistently good at their jobs often get overlooked and eventually can feel unappreciated.

Maybe they just need a pep talk that they are doing a good job from an expert who isn’t necessarily associated with your company. However, the motivational speaker may have experience in the industry you’re in and can give you insight into what other companies are doing, provide a new point of view, and motivate staff.

What Kind of Speaker Do You Want?

Perhaps the speaker doesn’t need to be related to your industry. Maybe he or she is there to simply encourage the employees by sharing their life viewpoint or maybe how they’ve pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.

“Motivational speakers don’t necessarily need to be related to your industry,” according to an article on CultureIQ. “Instead, these speakers re-energize your employees through their stories and approach to life. Motivational speakers are particularly appropriate when morale is low or the team is heading into crunch time.”

Even if people generally get along within the office environment, it never hurts to have a pep talk. Meanwhile, some companies need more innovation introduced to them because that’s what they are seeking to stay on top of their game. A motivational speaker can address new ways for employees to tackle their work, share their entrepreneurial story, or talk generally about creativity or innovation.

Conclusion

As we head into a brand new year, your company has probably already set new goals for the year and identified weak points that need addressed. Now may be a good time to bring in a guest to talk about what skills the company needs to be successful and the importance of work/life balance.

Whatever the reasons are for bringing in a motivational speaker, hiring one may be a good opportunity for human resources, managers, staff, business owners, and the company as a whole. Everyone should be inspired to work a bit harder. Sometimes people just a reminder that what they do matters. Purpose in your work life is a good thing, and sometimes all that is needed are some inspirational words to help define that purpose.

How Surveys Can Help Improve Both External & Internal Company PR

Information serves a large variety of purposes in business. Specifically, looking back through annual information can help a business determine where their shortcomings are, as well as their strong points, which can help them decide what areas of their business they should grow or scale back on. There are a few ways to gather this data, but depending on the information you’re looking for, surveys are often the best way to understand both the internal and external perception of your business.

Survey Uses for Management

Company surveys can indicate a lot of things about a company, such as receptiveness to customers and employees, and caring about quality and ambition. When a company holds surveys within their personnel, either for specific departments or general employees, it can sometimes indicate that there is a business practice concern they are trying to work out. Depending on what questions are being asked of their workers, surveys often gives employees the impression that their company cares about them and that if there are concerns they want to bring up, they can be addressed.

If you’re considering using a survey to gain an understanding of employee satisfaction or what employees are looking for in the workplace, make sure you use an effective survey method that follows guidelines for effectiveness to achieve optimal results. This may include a platform that will allow you to ask both open- and close-ended questions, as well as survey channels that are convenient, like SMS. Another important aspect of surveys is to ask the right questions by using careful phrasing in order to receive the type of response you’re looking for.

Employee surveys can help your company come to solutions regarding business structure changes you’re considering making. They are a good way to gauge interest if you’re seeking to begin outsourcing work to freelancers rather than in-house workers. Although these decisions can be controversial, 11 percent of the U.S. workforce get their full income from gig economy, so it’s not uncommon to do so. In fact, there may be a significant number of employees seeking the benefits of gig economy work, such as heightened independence, flexibility, and at times better pay. If you’re gauging employee interest for a change like this, a survey could help your company establish goals surrounding prospective changes.

Improving External Company PR

Surveys can also provide companies with an idea of the areas that your PR team should work to address. A company’s reputation can be instrumental to its success, and if there’s any ongoing speculation about areas of your company, your PR team should be dedicating resources to addressing them. It is then up to the company to make both internal and external changes to get down to the root of the problem.

Although seeking out client reviews is generally a good practice, especially considering that most individuals seek out company reviews before getting involved with a company, surveys allow companies to receive a more thorough understanding of the customer experience. It also gives customers and clients a chance to voice their concerns before any incident that occurred becomes so overlooked that there is no hope in getting their business back.

Although clients are arguably the most important audience for a company, a business cannot succeed without all of the cogs in the wheel that keep the business turning; such as clients, employees and suppliers. It’s important to have a skilled accounting department prepared to handle accounts for your business to ensure suppliers are receiving the attention they need. If your company takes too long to pay clients and vendors, it reflects poorly on your company’s reputation. Therefore, if there are ongoing issues in this field, your company may want to consider adopting accounts payable automation to help facilitate these processes.

If surveys indicate low satisfaction rates due to a lack of innovation or slow growth within the company, consider incorporating some new tech trends that are capable of redefining your business. These can include hiring cybersecurity professionals to limit the number of IT incidents and incorporating AI, chatbots and predictive analytics to help with hiring processes. New technology can help facilitate many steps in business, and by finding small ways to innovate, your company can start to improve its internal and external perception.

Surveys can be helpful in understanding where you company stands to improve and can give you an idea of the ways your clients and employees want to see you innovating. By regularly surveying personnel, as well as clients and other companies you associate with, you can ensure that satisfaction is high and that any ongoing issues are taken care of before they become a PR concern. Internal and external company PR are both almost equally important, and it’s vital to the success of your company to ensure you’re taking care of both.

How to Recruit Millennials and Keep Them Motivated

There’s no doubt that millennials have transformed the way the traditional workplace functions. Millennial employees bring creative thinking skills and radically different attitudes towards work to the table — aspects that are integral when it comes to organizational success. Recruiting millennials and keeping employees satisfied at work requires a significant shift in thinking as opposed to previous generations. HR professionals play an important role in implementing new strategies to ensure that millennials stay motivated at work. Here are some ways to attract and retain the best of millennial talent:

Market to Millennials

To get your organization’s name out there and attract younger talent, it’s important to market in a way that is suited to a millennial’s lifestyle. Traditional methods of marketing won’t stand out to millennials; instead, they will propagate the image that your organization is old-fashioned, even if it truly isn’t.

To recruit millennials, you first need to reach them. An article on Entrepreneur recommends using high-quality video to get the attention of skeptical millennials. For instance, as opposed to simply posting in the job classifieds, consider making a recruitment video that details what you’re looking for in a candidate, and why your organization is one that millennials would want to work for.

Creative advertising will generally have better results with millennials than standard marketing techniques. As stated in the article, “Millennials are largely fed up with traditional methods of advertising, and while they want information, they want to select it instead of having it forced upon them.” Millennials tend to trust people in their social networks, and so, utilizing social media marketing strategies is a prudent way to get your company’s name out there.

Similarly, using Search Engine Optimization (SEO)  is a great way to make your presence known. As defined by RivalMind, SEO is “a process that helps a business become ‘more search engine friendly’ and rank higher on sites like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others.” This is especially appealing to millennials, who want instant information at the click of a button, and will often not look past the first page of search results.

Create a Culture of Care

Workplace culture is an important aspect of any organization. As stated by experts at Rutger’s University, “Corporate culture plays a huge part in the success of an organization and can profoundly affect its performance, both positively and negatively. An organization’s culture affects employee retention rates, as well as its ability to recruit new talent. Research has found that culture affects productivity, creativity, work-life balance, and even things such as safety, accident rates, and the process of recovery after missteps or mistakes are made as part of the organization’s operations.”

Millennials, in particular, value a great workplace culture and a variety of company perks. The employees of today find benefits like free breakfasts, nap rooms, mini-gaming arcades, and pet-friendly policies very appealing. Furthermore, the physical layout of the office plays an important role in keeping millennials motivated. Thus, you might want to consider utilizing an open floor plan to increase collaboration or even adopting an activity based office design. Office Boy states that “The purpose of an activity-based office fit out is to create different work areas that are best suited to different tasks.” Activity-based office designs are well-suited for millennials, who prefer dynamic workplaces rather than being bound by the four walls of a cubicle. This holistic culture creates a rounded sense of well-being in the workplace that attracts millennial employees.

Provide Ample Learning Opportunities

Millennials value the opportunity to learn different skills through the duration of their jobs. They want to be challenged, and want a career that allows them to develop intellectually. Millennials want to become as marketable a possible, and ironically, the more marketable you make them, the more likely they are to stay at your organization. In fact, according to the Gallup School of Management, 80 percent of employees say that job training is key to keeping them as employees.

To ensure that your young employees feel like they’re continuously learning, consider offering training programs to help them hone various skills. Help them create a personalized career path, with regular check-ups to ensure that they are meeting their own personal career goals, as well as company growth objectives. You could also provide a mentor or coach to ensure that millennial employees are constantly learning something new, under superior guidance.

As we’ve mentioned in a previous article on what millennials really want from work, “Millennials want to be coached: they crave and respond to a good, positive coach. Overall, Millennials want feedback 50% more often than other employees. Their number one source of development is their manager, but only 46% thinks that their manager delivered on their expectations for feedback.” Providing supportive leadership and critical feedback is key when it comes to keeping millennials motivated and satisfied at work.

Allow for an Entrepreneurial Lifestyle

Published findings from Millennial Branding show that 61 percent of current high school students (Generation Z) said they “prefer pursuing business ownership as an entrepreneur instead of working as an employee.” This information is crucial when it comes to millennial recruitment and retainment strategies. To foster an appealing entrepreneurial vibe at work, you will have to incorporate strategies that allow employees to be their own bosses.

One way to do this is to make allowances for remote working, or telecommuting. This gives employees the ability to work from anywhere, make their own schedules, and promote a healthy work-life balance. Today, remote working is extremely popular. In fact, a study released by Zug, a Switzerland-based serviced office provider, shows that about 70 percent of professionals work remotely at least one day of the week, while 53 percent work remotely for about half the week. So if your organization hasn’t yet made allowances for telecommuting, then they’re way behind the curve. Other strategies for promoting workplace flexibility and independence include providing volunteer opportunities, encouraging employees to go out during lunch breaks, and even providing on-site health and fitness classes.

Hiring millennial employees is essential to keeping the workplace current. As stated in an article on Forbes, “Millennials have been transforming the workplace for the past decade or so, emerging on the scene with new attitudes and striking characteristics that inspired excitement and resentment from previous generations.” Although the “excitement and resentment” can be challenging to deal with at times, recruiting millennials and keeping them adequately motivated is absolutely necessary to succeed as a business.

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.

STEAM Vs STEM: Adding Tech Skills to Your Resume

STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts, and math —  is becoming a popular topic of discussion in educational institutions, but there is somewhat of a disconnect between education and the workplace. STEM careers prioritize technical skills, especially in the hiring process, which can make students rightly wonder what the point of additional arts and humanities training is.

In an educational environment, adding the “A” to STEM means students gain vital critical thinking, discourse, writing, and leadership skills, as well as greater understanding of arts and culture. This makes them excellent candidates for leadership and mentorship positions, and key allies in reducing employee churn. But when it comes to job applications, they know that recruiters and algorithms are both looking for mainly technical skills-related keywords.

The value of STEAM educated employees

Employees with a background in the humanities have a ton to offer, even (and especially) in technical roles. STEAM is about much more than learning art; the arts, humanities, and languages teach students about thought, logic, argument, ethics, and many other aspects of humanity. According to Concordia University the STEAM job market in the United States will grow by 14% by 2020, and even employers in highly technical fields are beginning to see its value. The arts give students a grounding set of both soft- and social skills, and arms them with different modes of thinking about the world. However, not everyone is convinced yet, and graduates entering the job market can be hesitant to express these skills in a job search.

If you’re into recruiting leaders, and people who improve the work environment around them, STEAM candidates are highly prized — or should be.

People don’t need to be in leadership roles for their leadership skills to be valuable. There are many different styles of leadership, and some of them don’t require a position of authority to be effective. Transformational leadership, one of the most effective styles, involves lifting up other group members and transforming the work environment to better achieve organizational goals and uplift other employees. Some of the most important characteristics of these types of leaders are emotional intelligence, mediation, and the ability to think in new and transformative ways. These are all skills honed in the study of the arts and humanities.

Another key trait possessed by people who have training in the arts is increased exposure to new and foreign ideas. These are people who have been taught how to learn, and learning is a skill in and of itself. So if you’re looking to hire people who will make learning new things a priority, who seek experiences outside of their comfort zone, and who will respond well to internal uptraining, the answer is STEAM.

If you’re looking for employees that will stick with you, and improve the performance of everyone around them, hire people with additional background in the arts and treat them right.

Attracting STEAM candidates

The trick is convincing students and job seekers that employers see those additional skills as valuable. It’s not enough simply to start looking for those skills. There are new generations of tech workers going through their training that need to be convinced to invest time and energy into the arts, or simply told that those interests are valid to pursue.

This means outreach during college career fairs, on websites, and on job descriptions. Start actively supporting and looking for the “A” skills in candidates by putting them into job posting descriptions. Start highlighting the value of these employees internally and externally, at company events and conferences, and build a culture of support and confidence.

As you build out culture and PR that values soft skills as well as technical skills, it may be necessary to retrain recruiters, interviewers, and adjust any keyword scraping algorithms. Many people groom their resumes specifically for certain keywords they believe companies want to see. A common strategy is to pick out keywords from the job posting into their applications. So changing those keywords is a great start.

In the end, the people you hire create your company culture. A culture infused with not only the skills that come from the arts, but the beauty and soul that comes from communities who are passionate about arts and humanities — that kind of culture sets employees and companies up for long-term success.