Injuries in the Workplace and How to Prevent Them

Getting injured on the job is a risk that no one really wants to think about. Not only do workplace injuries cause damage to your body, they can hurt you in your wallet as well, as injuries can prevent you from returning to work for an extended period of time. While construction workers, police officers, and electricians all have jobs that put them into situations that obviously result in injury, there are plenty of professions out there that may seem safe but actually have the potential to result in serious injury.

Workplace Injuries Are Common

Injuries in the workplace happen every day, and while some professions are more liable to incur injuries than others, the fact remains that they happen more often than anyone would like. Common workplace injuries often result from strains and overexertion from repetitive tasks, office supplies falling from shelves and striking employees, or even something as simple as slipping and falling. Slips and falls account for one out of every six workplace injuries, and poor workplace ergonomics contributed to nearly a third of the workplace related injuries in 2013, so while they might seem mundane, these injuries are actually serious business.

When an employee suffer an injury at work, it is important to know how to move forward. Handling workplace injuries can seem daunting, but it is necessary that it be handled in a timely and appropriate manner in order to ensure the employee has the best chance of recovery, and that a workers’ compensation insurance claim can be filed. Injuries should be immediately reported, and treatment should be sought as soon as possible. Only after these steps are taken can employer and employee reach an agreement and begin to ensure that whatever caused the injury doesn’t happen again.

By far the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. tend to be those involving physical labor, heavy machinery, and elevated working areas. The logging and fishing industries see the most fatalities, closely followed by construction jobs like roofing or structural steel working. While it certainly isn’t surprising that many of these labor-intensive jobs involving work with potentially dangerous machines can lead to injury or even death, there are some less obvious but highly dangerous professions where people are still at risk, even though it may not seem like it from the outside.

Accidents Happen to Everyone

There are unexpectedly hazardous jobs in every sector, even if they seemingly would not pose any more harm than a desk job. Being a pet store worker, for instance, is one of the most dangerous jobs in America due to handling potentially dangerous animals on a daily basis, as well as running the risk of overexertion because of the many heavy items available at pet stores. Ski facility workers are at high risk of injury due to the inherently dangerous nature of extreme sports. Leather and hide tanning and finishing professionals work around incredibly volatile chemicals daily.

Those working in the medical field also run a high risk of suffering work-related injuries. While it may seem like the biggest danger to medical professionals is handling heavy equipment or exposing themselves to hazardous waste, many nurses and doctors find themselves battling workplace violence.  Nurses often find themselves face to face with individuals suffering from mental health issues which can lead to violent tendencies and even outright assault of hospital staff.

The majority of workers will only have to worry about the ergonomics of their office chair contributing to their risk of a workplace injury. However, there are hidden risks associated with every profession, whether it is carpal tunnel syndrome, constant risk of dog bites, or a patient potentially becoming physically violent. No matter what industry you’re in, there are steps you can take to reduce your employees’ overall risk of becoming injured on the job.

Tips on Prevention

Avoiding workplace accidents can be as simple as making sure that your work area is well maintained. Keeping your area clean, providing proper signage regarding potential dangers, and providing appropriate training can all contribute to a safer workplace. Also, avoiding any shortcuts, no matter your profession, can make a world of difference. When you skip steps or dodge protocol, accidents are always far more likely to occur.

Floors should always be kept clean and free of obstruction, as slips and falls are among the most common workplace injuries. Further ways to optimize workplace safety include following all regulations regarding the handling and storage of hazardous or flammable materials, appropriately controlling any presence of insects or pests, and getting rid of any general clutter. While it isn’t the most exciting solution, keeping your workplace clean and following rules and protocols are the best ways to avoid injury.

Another way to avoid workplace injury is to be highly aware of your employees’ surroundings and the dangers they might pose. If they work with heavy machinery, they can become overly comfortable using it, forgetting the fact that it can cause serious damage if handled improperly. Encourage workers to be on the lookout for safety violations — if an individual see a coworker putting themselves into a dangerous situation, they must let them know of the danger and report the situation to their supervisor.

Avoiding workplace injuries isn’t glamorous, and it can often be downright boring. However, no matter your profession, getting injured at work is one of the worst things that can happen. Exercising just a bit more caution can keep your workforce happy, healthy, and working longer without worry.

Workplace Safety Standards: What HR Needs to Know

There are many risks in workplaces that can present a serious danger to the well-being of employees. Even in seemingly low-risk positions, these can seriously impact a business, and a serious incident can potentially shutter operations entirely.

According to the International Organization for Standardization, “more than 2.3 million people die each year as a result of workplace injuries and disease.” This doesn’t count the millions of people who sustain non-fatal injuries at work. That being said, workplace safety is important for all employees. Every employee deserves to work in a safe and protected environment — one that reduces costs to the organization and improves safety in the long run.

While most job industries have safety risks, management and HR should devote more time making their work environment safer for everyone. In order to do so, however, both parties need to prioritize employees and take steps that benefit them. This will not only help improve the work environment, but it will also help improve safety standards as well. With that in mind, here are three things company leaders and HR personnel need to keep in mind while developing safety standards:

Recognizing Potential Dangers

When it comes to recognizing the potential dangers ahead of time, it’s important for HR staff to think outside the box. That’s because every industry has potential dangers. Here are a few examples:

  • In the food industry, there’s always the possibility of foodborne illness reaching the public, and in order to prevent this from happening, HR needs to equip kitchen staff members with the right tools. This includes things like stainless steel appliances, cleaning supplies, and proper hygiene standards. These all help limit the growth of bacteria found in kitchen environments.
  • In office work environments, there are many potential risks. In office areas with many workers, walking paths should be cleared of obstructions in order to prevent slip and fall accidents. Further, being physically near many coworkers can make it easier for the flu to spread, which may necessitate sanitation supplies and health advisories.
  • In healthcare facilities, HR must take steps to protect both patients and employees. In addition to the hygiene concerns mentioned above, they must provide a safe work environment by soliciting employees for feedback and listening to workplace complaints concerning potential ethics violations. Everyone needs to be on board; according to Regis College, “full organizational participation — from executives, managers and all staff members — remains the most important factor in upholding a highly ethical workplace culture.”

Another thing that could cause havoc in the workplace is something most people don’t even pay attention to is plumbing. Having access to high-quality water is important, and the last thing you want your employees to do is to drink contaminated water, which could result in illness, lawsuits, and a bad reputation. That being said, HR should ensure that the pipes holding the water aren’t contaminating drinking fountains. By making sure these things are taken care of, HR personnel can provide a safe work environment for employees and guests.

Keeping the Workplace Free of Allergens

Sneezing, wheezing, and watery eyes can leave any employee unfit for work. That’s because nearly 75 percent of all allergy symptoms affect the victim’s eyes. For some jobs, there are environmental triggers that can cause employees to feel discomfort and make it hard to breathe. Look for triggers like:

  • Chemical fumes
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Fragrances
  • Dust
  • Pets

Allergic reactions can make any work environment unpleasant. For HR representatives, making sure the work environment is well ventilated and has a sufficient amount of humidity is extremely important — especially since doing so can reduce the chances of mold. Dusting the workstation regularly may also help.

Closing open windows to eliminate excess pollen, utilizing humidifier, getting HVAC systems regularly cleaned/replaced, establishing a no-pet policy, and checking for food allergies before potlucks can also make the workplace safer for employees. Although some employees may still experience allergies, workplace accidents should cease to exist as long as you take steps to prevent it.

Common Workplace Accidents & Safety Tips

Generally speaking, when people hear the phrase “workers’ compensation,” they typically envision heavy machinery, employees being exposed to harsh chemicals, or potential hazards around every corner. Truthfully, a work-related injury can happen at any time, even from behind a desk. As noted above, slip and fall accidents are a serious concern. When it comes to office jobs, slip, trips and falls account over 30 percent of all personal injuries.

So, what’s something that can cause employees to slip? Any area that has a wet or oily surface can cause employees to slip and fall. This might include break rooms, door entrances, and restrooms. The weather should also be taken into consideration. In other words, if it’s wet outside from either rain or snow, floor mats should be placed near door areas to prevent employees from falling.

What causes employees to trip? A trip may occur when an employee’s view is obstructed. Poor lighting, blocked or cluttered areas, uncovered cables, wrinkled rugs, and uneven walking surfaces may all contribute to an employee falling over. Luckily, these things can be avoided by making sure that work areas are clean, walking surfaces are even, employees are wearing proper shoes, and staff members are paying attention to where they’re going. Employees should also be encouraged to report dangerous (cluttered, obstructed, or damaged) areas to HR. That way, other employees are aware of the situation.

Conclusion

Regardless of the industry, safety should always come first, and it’s up to HR to get employees to contribute to improving workplace safety efforts. This can be done by encouraging employees to become actively involved. If employees are curious, share workplace injury statistics with them. This will help put things into perspective and demonstrate just how serious these events are, no matter the job type. Lastly, be sure to provide some sort of incentive that rewards them for showing great workplace safety behavior.

How Machine Learning Is Improving Customer Service

Efficient customer service is crucial to the success of client-facing businesses. The $350 billion industry has transformed over the last couple of decades with the mass adoption of the internet and social media, taking the customer service channels for many businesses online. Although the increased connectivity provided by technology has helped facilitate customer service processes, it has also increased customer expectations.

To keep up with these expectations, businesses are finding ways to implement machine learning into their customer service processes in hopes of efficiently handling as many customer inquiries as possible.

Customer Service Needs

Although the internet can often provide answers to almost any question a customer could have, customers more comfortable speaking directly with a person will often reach out to customer service agents. This frequently results in customer service representatives spending large amounts of time answering very basic queries, which can be monotonous and frustrating for agents. To reduce the need for customer service reps to answer these types of questions, businesses have been using AI to offer answers for basic questions before transferring clients to a customer service agent.

This is done both on the phone and online through the use of chatbots that are often employed on a business’ website and Facebook page. Over the phone, automated recordings help navigate customer calls by asking questions that the AI will either be able to answer or transferring their call to the proper department.

Online, chatbots have become a huge resource for businesses to attain customer information, gather feedback, and provide customers with quick responses to standard questions. The use of chatbots and other forms of AI is expected to help businesses manage 85 percent of their relationships with customers by 2020.

Machine learning also facilitates security processes for businesses that handle sensitive customer information. In the past, customers have been required to verify their identity by providing personal information, a process that could take many minutes, especially if a customer forgot their answers to security questions.

However, many businesses are now using two-factor authentication to verify customer identity during customer service calls. This involves verifying two pieces of information: a security question, followed by phone verification. Customer service agents will use machine learning to send a code to the phone number on file with the company, and once a customer verifies they received the code, their identity is confirmed. This approach has improved security measures and can be completed quickly.

Growing Use of Tech in Customer Service

Overall, the use of AI in customer service has increased job satisfaction for customer service agents, as well as help businesses keep up with customer expectations. Businesses need to constantly look for ways to improve customer service. One of the results of implementing AI to help facilitate customer service has been giving customer service agents more time to handle complicated customer inquiries. Increased job satisfaction for customer service representatives and reduced call volume provides them with a greater opportunity to dedicate time and empathy to customers who need a human touch for their inquiries.

As more businesses use machine learning to automate routine tasks and data entry during customer service calls, call time should be reduced, leading to an increase in customer satisfaction. Currently, in a typical six-minute customer service call, 75 percent of that time is devoted to agents doing manual research. Only 25 percent of call time is spent interacting with the customer. AI can streamline this process by memorizing customer information and creating easier routes to accomplish tasks online.

This also provides customer service agents with more time to do important customer service work online, such as responding to customer reviews, which has become a high priority for businesses over the last few years.

As more customers go online to offer feedback or complain about poor experiences with companies, the need to moderate reviews and comments has grown. In the internet age, 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Therefore, if a business receives many reviews, they must dedicate resources to responding to them. This will increase customer trust in a business, as well as its ranking with Google.

As more businesses implement AI, machine learning will become the standard for customer service expectations. Although the impact AI will have on jobs within the customer service industry is unclear, the new and rapidly advancing technology will soon provide efficient customer service to consumers looking for help. AI will also help improve the job environment for customer service representatives and open the door for better customer service and increased customer satisfaction. With the implementation of machine learning, the future of customer service looks to be promising.

Why Advertising Agencies Hire White Label PPC Management Services

Online advertising and marketing is a key step for the smooth propagation of any business. Nevertheless, it is not always possible to come up with cost-effective and attractive solution at the same time. So, when you are running low on ideas or on funds, you can easily consult a PPC management agency.

More specifically, even better would be to approach one that offers white label services. If you too want to witness the positive effects of these services and see your business flourish, then here is more to help you understand the nuances.

What is the service about?

  • Introduction: White Label generally means when a company, which is lacking in some respect, outsources PPC services to another company.
  • Tailor-made services: The outsourcing agent company will provide services for another company while keeping its logo and find job in India to client intact. White Label PPC management is currently the need of the hour because it offers tailor-made branding in a short time gap.
  • Characteristics: An agency should be trustworthy, experienced and flexible enough to offer transparent services that could ease people’s problems. It should have a competent supporting team that ensures clear and hiccup-less communication between the parties.

Reasons for hiring PPC Management Services

  • Custom-made Branding: Brand value is of utmost importance in this time and so the renowned brands are looking for ways to retain it. PPC management services helps them to protect that value through timely and quality services.
  • Quality Solutions: Certain issues can arise during an Ad campaign, which only an expert can address and handle deftly. Outsourcing services ease such issues by providing industry best solutions.
  • Methodical Movement: An outsourcing agency is expert in these types of campaigns and is more likely to ensure professional solutions. Irrespective of the reason behind the problem, the systematic methodology of the company will eliminate every obstacle.
  • Cost-Effective: Funds can turn out to be a point of concern while doing PPC campaigns. A deft PPC services agency will complete all your complex outsourcing needs within pocket-friendly budget.
  • Lowered stress: Managing your PPC works without proper prior knowledge can be stressful. When you hire an experienced agency, it takes up all the responsibilities to sort out the issues. This sets you free to devise your business strategies conveniently without taking additional stress.
  • Customer-Friendly: The prime aim of any work is to please the client and retain them in all possible measures. These PPC agencies hence provide you with on-time and quality products that let you satisfy the clients’ demands completely. This not only helps you to retain the old clients but also maintains the company’s brand name and goodwill.

Certain Challenges

When you work with a PPC reseller, you come across some obstacles that might hinder your smooth movement.

  • Report Rules: You need to create some PPC reports but owing to various formats available for report creation, you need proper discussion with the company. You must provide the report right on time and as per client’s requirements, hence proper consultation is must to avoid unwanted situation.
  • Access Acceptance: While working on or with Google Ads, using two different mail ids by the company and agency can create problems. So, create a common login id for easy and simple access for both the parties.
  • Balancing Both Sides: The agency needs to play an intermediary role between the campaign and the clients who ordered the campaigns. It should prepare all the answers of all the potential questions that might arise in the client’s mind. This will save time, create the correct impression and help in smooth sailing of the action.  


The white Label PPC management is an affordable and effective option for start-ups and for companies with tight time restrictions. Therefore, the advertising agencies vouch for and hire this professional service to enjoy the sure-shot advantages!

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.

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.”

 

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.

Security Measures To Employ On Your Company Property

Disasters and accidents happen. It’s an inevitable part of both life and of doing business. That’s why you should think of any financing of safety measures as an investment. An investment in the future, that will save you a great deal of grief and anger once and if tragedy does strike. Some of these can be introduced once you actually have your business set up, while some are only effective If you take them into consideration before you even open your enterprise.

We understand that this can be costly, but what costs even more, is damage control once you get robbed or once your assets get damaged. And while natural disasters and the malice of other people can’t really be controlled, you should do everything you can to minimize their effects over you. Below are some tips that you may find useful to keep your business safe.

The location

 

The first thing you should do is think about where you want to open your business in the first place. Of course, you need to take into account your budget and means, as well as any local competitors. So, if you can, try to avoid opening your company in a high-crime area. However, this can be more a matter of budgeting. For example, let’s say you want to open a company in Melbourne. You need to decide whether you want to buy quality automatic gates in Australia, and move into a seedy neighborhood, or pay a higher rate and forgo the gates (or whichever security system you choose). It’s essentially a balancing act.

An interesting thing to point out is that high-crime areas, while dangerous, tend to lack many businesses. So you may end up with very weak and soft competition.

What to get

 

Next, what equipment do you need. There are lots of items people get, but the most useful are usually steel security doors, alarm systems, and folding gates. Doors are pretty obvious, but gates and alarms still require a bit more deliberation. Folding gates are metal sheets that cover their storefront. However, these can be an eyesore, even in poorer areas.

Alarm systems are always a good idea, but they can be expensive. Cameras are an excellent choice for any retail, sales business. In fact, they should pretty much be mandatory. However, for office-based businesses, it’s enough to get a camera for each entrance, just in case.

Bullet-proof glass and safes should be set up in very high-risk areas, for business that have very valuable equipment. Furthermore, getting gates, fences, and other protection around the company yard will help ward off any would-be robbers. Hiring a security guard is even better.

Measures to implement

 

It’s not enough to just throw money at the problem, you also need to rethink the way you do things. First, think about all your electronic gadgets. These are very easy and popular targets, because of the ease and price at which you can sell them. Be sure that they are locked away safely. Never leave them unattended. The same goes for handbags and wallets.

Furthermore, promote security measures. If you have cameras or guard dogs, place signs everywhere to let would-be burglars know. This will make them think twice about infiltrating your place. Furthermore, let your staff know this as well. Promote security and safety-mindfulness.

 

Employee focus

 

Besides making your people be aware of all the safety measures you implement, you should also train them accordingly. Now, this is different from business to business, but they should essentially be trained in how to report and record malicious activity, how to follow security procedures (like locking and setting up the safety protocols), and how to deal with any aggressive individuals.

If you can, set up and promote safety training courses. Get an authorized individual safety coordinator to help you out. Here they can teach them how to handle an aggressive individual that may enter the place of work. It will also teach them how to safely handle money, how to stay safe when walking to their cars at night from work, as well as how to handle themselves.

Finally, you should teach them how to handle sensitive information. This is especially important for the IT sector. Essentially, cyber security measures, tricks and tips.

 

Conclusion

 

Getting robbed can be devastating and damaging, both for your finances and for morale. That’s why you should invest properly in setting up your office’s security system. We’re not talking about only an alarm system, but also getting the right gear, blinders, fences, gates. Furthermore, you should train your people accordingly. They should know what to do in case of danger, and how to handle sensitive information. If you follow these rules properly, you will definitely minimize any risk of damage or thievery.