Tips to enhance compliance training with an LMS

LMS

It would not be easy to overstate the importance of compliance training. This is more than a simple task. Employees need to be interested in and committed to the training for it to be successful. No matter what industry you work in, you must provide your staff with Compliance Training. An LMS makes compliance management more attainable and improves upon existing methods. As a result, companies may hire workers worldwide and provide them with the same training. In this article, we’ll look at how to make the most of a learning management system (LMS) like Cloud Academy for conducting successful compliance training.

Make Good Use of a Wide Range of Learning Tools and Multimedia:

Companies should remember that not all employees can be trained at the same pace because people have different learning curves. Any online Compliance Training curriculum needs to consider the learning demands of all participants because of the subject matter’s significance and the organization’s consequences. To what end do businesses employ such strategies? One method is to incorporate a variety of multimedia and to learn aspects into their Compliance Training strategy so that students may use it with a wide range of learning styles. Training programs benefit from the infusion of new ideas and vigor provided by learning materials such as eLearning courses, PDFs, PPTs, Videos, Infographics, etc., that feature striking visuals, audio clips, and interactive elements.

Use the Learning Management System (LMS) as your exclusive compliance resource:

Employees should keep their records of compliance training for reference purposes. However, businesses with remote workers may struggle to keep track of such a large volume of data. Training documentation, skills assessments, and certifications are all stored and easily retrievable in an LMS. Each employee’s current status, past training, and upcoming Compliance Training dates can all be viewed in one convenient location. By allowing workers to complete their compliance training whenever and wherever it is most convenient for them, mobile learning can be a significant boon to this type of program. Moreover, a responsive LMS makes it easy for workers to switch between devices without interrupting their progress in their education.

MicroLearning:

An extended list of rules and regulations presented in compliance training can be tedious and uninteresting for the trainees. The training you undergo is mirrored in an LMS through discrete units called modules that are geared toward achieving particular goals. Training delivered in bite-sized chunks of 4 to 6 minutes is more likely to be retained and used by staff members. To make the training more engaging, you can select relevant images, videos, and animations to include in the collection.

Scenarios for LMS:

LMS

Using conversational or situational scenarios can add realism to compliance training. The storyline of a branching scenario changes depending on the learner’s actions. It’s a great method for ensuring everyone has a firm grasp on the code of conduct, whether related to anti-corruption measures, workplace diversity, or cyber safety. You can construct scenarios using games, VR, or graphically rich templates in a good learning platform. Because of the scenarios, learning is more hands-on. Whether the topic at hand is the General Data Protection Regulation, a code of conduct, diversity and inclusion, etc., scenarios can be offered to the learner to elicit a reaction before the knowledge is delivered.

Emphasize social learning in training:

Those who work from home have a stronger need for social learning during the pandemic to offset their isolation. As a result, program like Compliance are increasingly relying on collaborative learning to create a setting where workers may teach and be taught by one another. As a result, several social media platforms help users learn how to operate effectively in groups. Users can make changes to the content without having to hire pricy experts to do it for them.

Make the most of Mobile Learning:

Because of the convenience of mobile learning, employees can do their Compliance Training at their own pace and in their own time. A responsive learning management system (LMS) goes above and beyond by allowing workers to transition between devices and continue their education without interrupting their progress. The ability to start a course on a desktop at work, continue it on a smartphone while waiting for a lunch meeting, and then finish it on the weekend on a laptop increases the likelihood that an employee will successfully absorb the knowledge and complete the training.

Assist Participants in Reviewing Course Material:

Remembering everything about Compliance is impossible for students on their own. Workers who have gone too long without updating their skills may need to repeat a training program. Employees may occasionally need to retake a training course after a predetermined time to maintain their complaint. Sending reminders to learners to return and recertify on time is possible with an LMS. Employees can stay informed by using automated reminders rather than manual communications from involved departments.

Conclusion on LMS

A learning management system (LMS) is your best bet for streamlined compliance training management. Aside from streamlining the process of delivering and tracking training, it also has the potential to do it in a way that is both engaging and effective.

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How Passive Income Can Stabilize Your Finances

passive-income

One of the reasons you became an entrepreneur is to make as much money as possible. Even if your primary goal wasn’t to “get rich,” there’s no doubt that you find appeal in the idea that your income as an entrepreneur is, effectively, unlimited. Having a source of passive income can prove to be very helpful.

But in practice, entrepreneurs usually struggle with income instability – especially in the first few years. What can you do to mitigate this problem and improve your overall financial stability?

The Income Instability Problem

Income volatility and instability is one of the most annoying aspects of being an entrepreneur. One month, your business might be booming, and you might be overflowing with work, forcing you to work long hours in exchange for lucrative paychecks. The next month, you might experience a veritable drought, finding it difficult to make ends meet with your sudden loss of income.

This makes it incredibly difficult to budget effectively, and if you’re not already in a good financial position, this can lead you to make some uncomfortable sacrifices. Thankfully, passive income can help you mitigate this issue significantly.

What Is Passive Income?

passive-income

Passive income is the term for any income generated that requires little to no effort on the part of the person generating it. A simplistic way to think about this is that it’s effortless, free money.

If this sounds like it’s too good to be true, that’s because it is. There are some genuine passive income sources out there, but almost all of them require an initial investment of time and/or money before they become effective strategies.

Still, if you’re willing to put in the initial effort, these passive income sources are excellent ways to mitigate the income instability problem associated with entrepreneurship. You’ll be generating income from a variety of different sources, so a drought in your business shouldn’t lead to a drop in income from these secondary sources. You’ll also be making more money in total, so you’ll have an easier time accumulating savings and wealth. All the while, you can maintain your full focus on your business, since these passive income sources don’t require any extra time or attention from you.

Ideas for Generating Passive Income

The best way to understand passive income is to understand it through examples. These are some of the best ways you can generate passive income consistently:

  • Rental properties. If you buy a rental property, you’ll be able to find tenants and collect rent from them, often exceeding your monthly expenses and allowing you to reap a consistent profit. The typical downside is that you then become responsible for ongoing property maintenance and handling emergency repair requests. However, if you get someone else to manage your property for you, you can cut your manual effort down to zero or near zero.
  • Dividend stocks. You can also consider investing in dividend paying stocks. Stocks of major companies frequently distribute profits in the form of quarterly dividends, functionally supplying you with income based on the number of shares you hold.
  • Blogs. Are you a solid writer? Do you have an area of expertise that you can share with the world? If so, you can start a blog and monetize it in any number of ways, including through ads, affiliate marketing links, and merchandise.
  • Peer lending. If you have some spare capital after making your other investments, you can consider making it available for peer lending. Your money will be put to good use by people like you and you can capitalize on a reasonable interest rate.
  • Side businesses. Of course, you can also devise new forms of passive income by starting new side businesses. Just be careful not to wear yourself out by managing too many businesses at once.

Other Valuable Tips for Improving Income Stability

If you need to increase your income stability even further, consider the following tips:

  • Diversify business revenue streams. You should consider diversifying your business revenue streams. Essentially, this means making money in your central business in multiple different ways. It could mean selling new types of products and services, offering supplemental upgrades, or pursuing in alternate form of monetization, like advertising.
  • Anticipate and plan for seasonality. Seasonal businesses are hit hardest when it comes to income volatility. If your business sees seasonal fluctuations, make it a point to anticipate and plan for this seasonality.
  • Build more stability into your business. Do whatever you can to make your business more consistent. Monthly subscription models, customer retention strategies, and consistent execution of sales and marketing can help.

There’s not much you can do about volatile income in the beginning of your business’s development. But you can mitigate the worst effects of your income volatility with the help of passive income and a handful of secondary income stability strategies.

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Crafting A Digital Assets Management Framework From Scratch

You’re probably already “there”. You know where: The no-man’s land between small business and fierce competitor. The hardest part of any growing company’s journey. Protecting your digital assets can be crucial to your company’s success.

This period in the life of a business is not just scary. It is also difficult to manage as you outgrow your old tools.

A business can only rely on free software and browser-based tools for so long. Eventually, their digital assets need to be organized on a network that makes different teams within the company separate, while also facilitating communication between the teams.

But how do you do that from scratch? That’s what we are here to explore.

Step One: Finding a Program with Good UX

UX stands for “user experience”. Educators on small businesses (such as Brandfolder) agree and it is critical to digital assets management. Simply put, not every team is going to be educated on the disciplines of every other team.

A team that makes art assets is going to use a totally different system of organization than the team that imports those art assets into a final design, whether that design is for marketing or an app. A program with good UX helps break down those barriers.

That means programs like MediaValet, Brandfolder, and Filerobot. All this software is not just about file sharing. It is about communication in the presence of growth.

Step Two: Get Administrators Coordinating

The difference between a free file backup service like Google Drive and a digital asset manager like MediaValet is simple to put into words: Administrator organization. You don’t need every single worker in your company to be able to communicate with every single other worker.

All you really need is a team of administrators who can reduce the output of those workers into numerical values and organize the digital asset management framework accordingly.

That means getting people that know how to make a workflow, as well as where their materials come from (whether those materials are produced by another team or another company) and where they go (again, it could be to another team, another company, or onto a storefront).

Step Three: Utilizing Automation

digital-assets

Of course, a big part of an administrator’s job is not just identifying what decisions need to be made, but also when a decision does not need to be made. And whenever there is an action within a workflow that does not require a decision to be made, it should be automated.

Automation within a workflow sounds scary. Artists imagine being replaced by Ais that can make art, programmers imagine being replaced by procedural generation, and administrators imagine getting usurped by sophisticated chat bots. But that’s not what automation is.

Imagine a copy editor submits their work to be reviewed. You can have a person review their copy… But it might not be necessary. It might be a copy that is meant to attract a search engine rather than a reader. In that case, reviewing copywriting can be automated.

Emails, reviews, notifications, these simple tasks are much more ripe for automation than anything decisive like art assets or team meetings. So, be sure that whatever program you use and whatever framework you establish for it, you look for those automatable tasks.

Step Four: The Three Essential Tools

A digital asset management framework always needs three things: A search engine for the framework, a version control interface, and sharing features. You already have an idea as to why sharing features make sense.

Sending files from one department to another, or from one department to the head of that department, is the fundamental job of the framework.

But what about the other two? Search capabilities and version controls are so fundamental to software these days that it can be easy to take them for granted.

The advantage of a search engine is that it allows a person to be imprecise. If you know that a line of code exists in an app, you don’t necessarily need to know exactly where the code is, or even how it is coded, in order to change it. A search engine can find it from a fragment.

And yes, you know what a search engine is, you know how it makes things easier. But an engine with the ability to find things is just one side of the coin. The other is an organization scheme that allows things to be found. That is the heavy lifting of getting a search engine running.

A version control interface is another matter entirely. This allows you to walk back mistakes in anything you make, whether it’s a video editing job or a marketing campaign.

This is a critical tool in a digital asset framework for making sure that your work is never destructive to itself.

Too many startups and young companies have lost work to an attempt at innovation that didn’t pan out, only to go back and find that an old version of their software was unrecoverable. Or, potentially even worse, it is recoverable through doing enough work to reassemble it.

This can be a bigger problem because it gives you the hope that you can repair something that is, ultimately, irreparable.

Step Five: Conclusion

There is no shortcut to making a digital assets management framework. In fact, it is worth doing things the hard way every chance you get. That is the only way to ensure that you truly understand every component of the framework, and that it behaves how it is supposed to.

That is the great obstacle of this challenge: Having a vision is easy. Executing on a vision is the hard part. The best way to have a practical vision is to look at similar companies before you have solved similar problems. There is a reason we mentioned so many different types of companies using digital asset frameworks. Every challenge is different.

But if you are willing to do your research and put in the work, carefully and methodically, then you can make your company one of the few that escapes that no-man’s-land.

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How to Promote a Close-Knit Company Culture in a Global Team

company-culture

Managing teams with members in different countries and continents is no longer something that only applies to major corporations. With the rise of remote working, even small businesses may find themselves faced with this challenge. This is where company culture plays a massive role.

One significant obstacle when dealing with an internationally dispersed workforce is how to bring everyone under the wing of the same culture and ethos.

This is not a problem with a single solution, but rather one which needs a multifaceted approach to conquer. With that in mind, here are methods for promoting a close-knit company culture which will positively impact remote employees.

Get to grips with time zone differences

It’s easy to overlook how disruptive time zones can be until you’ve tried to wrangle a global team. Unless you’re sensitive to the scheduling snafus that might arise, you might either end up isolating certain employees, or inconveniencing them instead.

A little mindfulness when arranging virtual get-togethers is all it takes, and rigorous daily planning prevents foibles. Aim for an optimal point in the working day, rather than scheduling meetings at a time that’s convenient only for you.

Strike a balance with video calls to improve company culture

Virtual meetings are a good way for remote workers to feel connected with the rest of their team, and are essential for employee training. However, that doesn’t mean you should overload everyone with video calls throughout the day.

There are a few reasons to strike a balance here, the most important of which is that virtual meetings are more intense and draining than face-to-face conversations, which leaves attendees feeling overwhelmed. They are also a hindrance to productivity, so make sure there’s a particular purpose for each call to justify the time taken out of the working day.

Another point is that virtual meetings can feel like a form of micromanagement, with workers being put under scrutiny by managers about the progress they’ve made.

So don’t overdo it with video calls, and don’t assume that this is the only way to encourage cohesion within a team.

Recognize employee achievements

company-culture

Rewarding team members for hard work and recognizing their achievements will make them feel valued, and bring them into a positive company culture quickly.

In fact, recognition is so important that it’s worth handling it in a formalized, standardized way, rather than doing it ad hoc when the mood takes you.

This is possible thanks to the likes of Mo’s employee rewards platform, which is part of a growing number of services that are suited to this purpose. Moments of success can be celebrated publicly, and won’t just be consigned to an email chain or an instant message that quickly gets lost in the deluge of other correspondence.

It also helps to be inventive with the kinds of rewards and incentives you offer, aiming for a personal touch rather than something generic. Remote team members will appreciate being treated as individuals, rather than as interchangeable cogs in a machine.

Be clear and consistent to improve company culture

Clarity is important for managing remote teams, because there’s less direct control and oversight than in a traditional office environment.

Basically, you want to set down what is expected of each employee without being ambiguous, whether that’s in relation to shift patterns and working hours, or personal conduct and performance targets.

In particular you can’t afford to be lackadaisical with managing flexible working. This must be a clear policy, and one which applies consistently across the organization, or else it could be exploited, or end up as a point of contention between different employees if it’s open to interpretation.

Likewise, if flexible working isn’t something you want to offer, make this clear from the get-go. Workers want to know where they stand, rather than being left to make up their own minds on such critical elements.

Recruit carefully

No matter how much work you put into establishing a close-knit culture that works for remote employees, if you don’t hire people who fit this mold, you’ll be scuppered from the start.

As such, when you’re recruiting team members you need to approach the selection and interview process from a cultural perspective.

Don’t just look for those with the right qualifications and experience, but also consider how they respond to behavioral questions that hint at their suitability.

Listen to feedback

While it’s good to hire those who are naturally attuned to your desired company culture, that doesn’t mean you should be rigid in how you handle this aspect of your business.

If team members have problems to raise, or questions about practices and processes that need answering, you must be open to their input. After all, it’s a two-way street and not a dictatorship that you’re trying to handle.

This feeds back into the idea of recognizing achievements and offering rewards and incentives, since this is a form of positive feedback that helps to perpetuate the communicative culture you’re hoping to encourage.

Wrapping up on Company Culture

As a leader, it’s wise to realize early on that mistakes will be made and new initiatives will have their issues to iron out. This applies especially well to company culture, since in a remote working context there are all sorts of unexpected complications that can arise to upset your best laid plans.

Being prepared to accept and deal with dilemmas early on is a must. Don’t be disappointed if it’s not perfect on day one, but be patient and you’ll reap the benefits in the long term.

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How Graph Analytics Help Your Financial Institution’s AML Efforts

Today’s highly connected digital landscape has transformed the way we do banking. However, this increase in convenience comes with various security risks that render financial institutions (FIs) vulnerable. As FIs handle larger and larger volumes of data every day, it can be difficult to detect suspicious activities, such as those that may be indicative of money laundering and financial fraud. Without the right tools, FIs cannot stay compliant with government and transnational regulations, and they won’t be able to enact measures such as anti-money laundering (AML) initiatives to protect their clients, systems, and overall business posture. One such tool that banks and other financial entities can use for AML compliance is graph analytics. Simply put, graph analytics entails using advanced algorithms to automatically establish relationships between nodes or entities in a graph, which may represent a number of things, including financial institutions, customers, and transactions. With its emphasis on establishing connections, this diagram-based visualization technique has been proven effective in helping law enforcement professionals and intelligence analysts detect cybercrimes and identify leaders of criminal organizations.

As financial crimes like money laundering become more sophisticated, your institution needs to be more proactive in protecting your customers and in fortifying the security of your front-and back-end operations. In this article, we’ll talk about how graph analytics changes the game by helping you quickly nip criminal activities like money laundering in the bud.

Graph Analytics Can Level Up Detection and Monitoring Efforts

To detect potential cases of money laundering, graph algorithms identify the shortest path between entities. The longer the path, the more likely it will indicate a case of money laundering. Unlike rules-based detection processes, graph analytics can establish these distant relationships and complex pathways to uncover previously undetected connectivity patterns between malicious and non-suspicious actors.

Intuitive programming languages like the Property Graph Query Language (PGQL) help in this regard by detecting intricate patterns in fund transfers, for example. Financial platforms that use PGQL-based graph analytics techniques allow users to create queries to identify potential scenarios and establish a chain of transactions. This is particularly helpful in identifying ultimate beneficiary owners (UBOs) who are often the masterminds behind money laundering schemes.

It Can Help Narrow Down High-Risk Entities

graph-analytics

Graph analytics uses algorithms to rank entities based on importance. One such algorithm is degree centrality, which can be used to determine how connected an entity is to other nodes in the graph. Together with artificial intelligence (AI), graph analytics tools can help uncover high-risk entities and prevent investigators from wasting time on false positives.

FIs can use AML tools with graph analytics algorithms to determine individuals or businesses with unusually high levels of connectedness. Additionally, these tools can help FIs do their due diligence and narrow down customers who may need to undergo further know your customer (KYC) processes.

Oracle’s AML software, for example, uses risk scoring models to support KYC procedures. This allows FIs to have a comprehensive view of customers’ risk posture in relation to countries, jurisdictions,  businesses, and individuals under a certain industry, ultimately helping these institutions double down on their AML efforts.

Graph Analytics Can Aid in Establishing an Overarching Financial Crime Graph

Combined with natural language processing (NLP), graph analytics can help institutions create a broad, interconnected graph that instantly highlights suspicious activities and potentially malicious actors. A comprehensive graph that makes sense of structured and unstructured customer data provides actionable insights that can aid in AML investigations as well as KYC efforts.

Moreover, making use of graph analysis capabilities allows FIs to have a better overview of financial activities and gain an upper hand in combating money laundering schemes and other financial crimes.

It Can Speed Up Investigations By Providing Context

Graphs are vital tools for AML investigations because they help analysts quickly determine if an alert is an isolated case or a warning sign for interconnected criminal activity. AML technologies with graph analytics features also aid in the creation of suspicious activity reports (SAR) and suspicious transaction reports (STRs), essentially boosting investigator productivity by immediately singling out causes for concern. Oracle’s AML solution, for instance, rapidly conducts risk analysis and compares customer data with global watchlists, sanctions, and politically exposed persons (PEPs) to contextualize its report generation functions.

In contrast, AML investigations that do not utilize graph analysis are limited by disparate datasets such as transactions, account data, and personal information that are relatively difficult to put into context.

 Experience a Different Way of Battling Financial Crime

Using graph analytics for AML efforts has evident benefits such as stronger customer security, speedier investigations, and clearer data visualization. But before you start implementing advanced AML solutions, you need to understand that managing these capabilities requires commitment and technical expertise. It would be wise not to charge head-first when implementing next-level AML solutions and make sure to conduct thorough planning and consultation beforehand.

That said, you should strongly consider adopting graph analysis to improve your institution’s regulatory compliance and to fortify your security posture. Beyond these core benefits, embracing new AML methods is a necessary step that you must make to promote financial security in a way that transcends borders, technologies, and industries. 

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Understanding the Tools of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is already a popular and mainstream form of digital marketing, many people still do not understand this concept perfectly. Some of them even have a completely distorted image of it.

In influencer marketing, it is not all about an influencer or a brand. There are several steps you should consider while making an influencer marketing strategy. In order to do that, it is essential to understand the entire concept of influencer marketing and to become familiar with its tools.

Each step requires particular tools, so we have listed a few influencer marketing tools for each step. That will help you to use this form of marketing in the right way so you may come up with the best results.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

It is easy to define influencer marketing, no matter how complex the entire concept can be. Let’s say you are a brand that offers a product. For example, you sell bottled water. You also sell some flavored waters with electrolytes.

You may want to market that product by collaborating with one or more online influencers. How exactly it works, we will explain step by step in the rest of the article, starting right after this paragraph.

Influencer Marketing Campaign Steps

As we said before, to begin an influencer marketing campaign, you need to go through a few steps that will help you to make sure you join forces with an influencer who is the right choice for your brand.

That means that if you sell waters with electrolytes, you can’t cooperate with an influencer who posts mostly about sports cars. Yet, you can meet with other ways Instagram can boost the growth of your small business.

If you are interested in influencer marketing, specifically, you will need to follow the steps below.

Spotting a Potential Influencer Fit

Before you start looking for an influencer that could help you promote your product, you need to define your target audience. You can do that through the Audiense platform. When you define your audience, the next step is to identify the typical characteristics so you can understand them.

Only after that, you will be able to specify which influencer has the most significant relevance to each of the segments within your audience. Make sure you don’t ignore the audience’s relevance. Otherwise, identifying relevant influencers could be equated with gambling.

With influencer marketing becoming more popular, the number of influencers arises, which makes it much more difficult to find an influencer for your niche. However, there are solutions for everything, including this one.

Here you can go through a short guide of just 5 five steps on how to find niche influencers.

Consider the Influencer

influencer-marketing

After finding the relevant influencers, it is crucial to make sure the influencers are suitable for your campaign. BuzzSumo is one of the best tools for searching for influencers, but you can also see the metrics of millions of Twitter influencers. You can filter and identify them by authority.

There’s also a tool named Heepsy that will help you detect fake followers.

Contact the Influencer

After you specify the relevant influencer, it is time to reach out to them and offer a collaboration.

You can do that by texting them directly on social media or by email but you can also use the tool named AspireIQ, which presents an influencer platform where you can discover influencers, engage with them and measure your influencer campaign results which is the next and the last step in this process.

Measure the Results of the Campaign

Now that the campaign is over, it’s time to see its results, that is, to evaluate how much the influencer contributed to the purpose of the campaign.

Even though there is some software for measuring the outcomes of influencer marketing campaigns, it is essential not to forget to have a comprehensive analytical approach to the conversion funnel, which you can do by using, for instance, Google Analytics, SocialBakers, or HubSpot.

Why You Should Consider Using Influencer Marketing 

There are numerous benefits of using influencer marketing. Actually, influencer marketing should be considered an active strategy in social media marketing. There are many tactics and ways to put it into practice, such as affiliate and referral program, so make sure to explore them all.

Now, we will list a few great benefits of influencer marketing.

Improves Brand Awareness

Influencer marketing, to a large degree, can help you to expand your reach and position yourself on the internet. Internet users will have the opportunity to learn more about your brand, your story, and about the solutions you offer.

Builds Trust

Most influencers have a built-up relationship with their audience, and since they certainly don’t want to lose their trust, they will only promote what aligns with them and their brand.

The audience, knowing this, will believe that your product is good, and slowly you, or your brand, will start gaining their trust.

Reaches Your Target Audience

If you collaborate with relevant influencers, this will be unavoidable. Through the influencers, your content is presented to the audience which is already interested in that niche.

Generates Sales

In addition to the fact that influencers raise awareness of your brand, by sharing content that resonates with your target audience, the audience becomes interested in your products and quickly becomes a customer.

The more prospects see the influencer’s content, the bigger chance there will be a certain buyer among them.

Conclusion

Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to build a brand online, but it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the whole process beforehand.

The best part about this type of marketing is that the audience is already out there. You just need to find an influencer whom your target audience follows and trusts. The influencer should also gain some benefits from your collaboration, so don’t forget to create a valuable offer.

With a clear understanding of how influencer marketing can improve your goals when it comes to online presence, you can implement your first campaign. After that, you will finally experience the results and benefits influencer marketing may bring you.

Author: Nina Petrov is a content marketing specialist, passionate about graphic design, content marketing, and the new generation of green and social businesses. She starts the day scrolling her digest on new digital trends while sipping a cup of coffee with milk and sugar. Her white little bunny tends to reply to your emails when she is on vacation.

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How Small Businesses Can Promote a Culture of Health

A culture rooted in health and wellness is one of the best gifts you can give your employees. It’s also critical for your company’s success, as a culture of health inspires productivity that results in profitability.

That said, building a workplace culture of health isn’t a task to take lightly. It requires an ongoing effort from everyone in your business as well as tangible resources your team can take advantage of to better their health and well-being.

Small businesses can promote a culture of health by implementing the following tips.   

Give Your Employees Something to Smile About

Contrary to popular belief, small things solidify your commitment to a culture of health in your business. For example, taking the time to give your employees something to smile about every day can do wonders for their health and your company.

Smiling is linked to various physical, psychological, and social benefits. For instance, it releases hormones like serotonin and dopamine, which inspires real feelings of happiness. Smiling has a miraculous effect on stress. And it invites social connection.

Small gestures that can make your employees smile include:

  • Rewards for good work 
  • Ordering lunch for the team  
  • Having a meaningful conversation  
  • Daily shout-outs and compliments  
  • Sending notes of encouragement  
  • Letting your team go early some days  
  • Greetings when they come to work and goodbyes when they leave

You could also provide your team with meaningful work to prompt smiles.

Feed Your Team Meaningful Work

When employees aren’t challenged and inspired by their work, that dissatisfaction and unhappiness can spread throughout your company quickly. On the other hand, when your workers engage in meaningful work, that positivity promotes a healthy company culture.

Allow your employees to do work they’re passionate about. Of course, mundane tasks will make a daily appearance. But each employee’s role should primarily consist of responsibilities they can take pride in.   

Offer Professional Development Opportunities

health

It isn’t just about addressing your employees’ physical, mental, and emotional health. You should also focus on ensuring your workers are thriving economically if you want to promote a culture of health.

Offering professional development opportunities is a step in that direction. Anything you can do to help your employees continually grow and move forward in their careers, you should do it. Not having a lot of room in your budget for professional development opportunities shouldn’t stop you. Instead, think creatively about how you can help your employees grow.

For example, you could allow your employees to shadow a coworker of their choosing to advance their skill set. Or you could provide resources for self-education in areas your employees are interested in excelling at.  

Encourage Your Employees to Stay Active

Staying active is an integral part of being a holistically healthy person. Exercising regularly is wonderful for your physical body, but it also betters cognitive health, promotes eye health, keeps blood flowing through your body and to your brain, and reduces stress hormones.

You can’t follow your employees home to ensure they’re partaking in some physical activity every day. But you can encourage your employees to stay active through different activities and resources at work.

For example, you could host a health week a few times a year where you bring in medical professionals to conduct health screenings, counseling sessions, nutrition education, and so forth. Enter weight loss competitions as a team. Or offer resources like discounts on gym memberships, personal training, or sessions with a nutritionist.  

Offer a Comprehensive Health Benefits Package  

Many small businesses opt out of providing benefits to their employees. But you shouldn’t. One of the most definitive ways to promote a culture of health in your company is to offer benefits that address their holistic health.

A solid health insurance plan that includes care for mental health should be just the beginning of your benefits package. Add the following benefits when your budget permits:

  • Paid medical leave  
  • Vision and dental insurance  
  • Health savings accounts  
  • Life Insurance  
  • Retirement options  
  • Childcare resources  
  • Financial planning  
  • Flexible schedules  
  • Access to a life coach  
  • Paid vacation, sick time, and holidays   
  • Short and long-term disability coverage

Making personal connections with your workers is also critical for promoting a culture of health.  

Make Personal Connections With Your Workers

Creating and promoting a culture of health is impossible without open communication. That said, getting employees to open up to each other, let alone their bosses, is challenging to say the least.

But making an effort to create personal connections with your workers can help. When you have a personal relationship with each employee, you make space for them to be honest about what they’re going through at work and in their personal life.

Your employees will let you know exactly what they need to maintain their overall physical, mental, and emotional health in your conversations with them. All you have to do is listen and implement their suggestions.  

Normalize Time Off

health

Unhealthy company cultures typically value profit over people. When it’s all about making money, it usually means long hours, huge workloads, and no time off for employees. Working around the clock is never conducive to a healthy work-life balance.

Normalizing time off is essential for a culture of health. Never give your employees a hard time when they need to take time off. Instead, encourage vacations and personal days. Also, if an employee needs to leave early or fit their schedules around personal obligations, let them.  

Lead By Example

If you truly want to promote a culture of health, it has to start from the top down. In other words, you must lead by example. Doing so will help your employees feel comfortable following in your footsteps because you practice what you preach.

So, take vacations and time off yourself. Talk openly about mental health and your personal journey with it. Participate in all health-related activities and events you put on. Dig deep into what a healthy work-life balance is for you and your employees.

When you live a healthy lifestyle and are open about prioritizing holistic health and well-being, your team will be more likely to follow your lead.  

Conclusion on Cultivating Good Health in Your Business

The key to creating a strong team is establishing a company culture rooted in health, positivity, and productivity. Commit to implementing some of what you learned above to promote a culture of health in your small business.  

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7 Ways To Keep a Sharp Brain For Business

Running your own business would always be one of the best ways to earn money. While the process of earning enough income can be challenging, reaching this point would make all the hard work worth it. But, there’s more to running a business than just generating sales and gaining profits. Having a sharp brain for business is very important.

Being the owner of a business, whether it’s a keto meal delivery, spa, retail, furniture, or any other type of business, you must keep your brain sharp at all times. This will help ensure that you’re making the right decisions and adopting the best strategies to ensure success. To help you out, here are some ways to keep a sharp brain for business:

  • Visit A Chiropractor 

A chiropractor is a professional who can help to treat certain conditions related to your spine, bones, joints, and muscle. Apart from relieving your body of any form of tension, a chiropractor can also help keep your brain sharp and stimulated, which is perfect if you’re running your own business.  

Visiting the best chiropractor in Brampton or one within your vicinity allows your body to heal and restore its ability to connect its nervous system to your body and brain. This should help to keep your brain stimulated and improve its performance, allowing you to think sharply when it comes to business-related activities.

  • Get Enough Sleep  

sharp-brain

Medical professionals can’t stress enough the need to get adequate sleep to achieve optimal health. Yes, running a business can consume plenty of your time, and it might be tempting to sacrifice your sleep for it, as you might think that it can help make your business grow and become profitable. However, this practice might jeopardize your wellbeing.

Ideally, you should sleep at least seven to nine hours a day. This should help your brain to rest and give it enough energy for the entire day. If you prevent your brain from getting enough sleep, you might stress it out or encourage it to easily forget as you’re not giving it enough energy for it to absorb all the information you ought to take note of.

  • Eat The Right Food 

Food plays an important role in keeping your entire body healthy. Apart from ensuring that you get the right nutrients, certain foods also help keep your brain healthy, allowing you to keep it sharp and helping you think clearly as you run your business. With the right brain-friendly food, you can bring all the right vitamins and minerals into your brain, allowing it to achieve its maximum potential.  

Food items that are great for your brain include green and leafy vegetables, fatty fish, dark chocolate, nuts, eggs, and green tea. You can incorporate such into your regular meals or convert them into snacks if you can’t sneak them into main dishes. Any of these options will surely be a delicious and fun way to keep your brain healthy and sharp.

  • Exercise Regularly 

Keeping your body moving can also help with your brain health. Exercising regularly helps keep the tissues in your brain young and healthy, allowing you to think sharply and quickly. Moreover, it also helps stimulate blood flow and bring more air to your lungs.

Luckily, doing exercises on a regular basis can be quick and easy as you don’t need to hit the gym to make it happen. You can do basic cardio exercises at home for at least 20 minutes daily, and you’re already good to go. If you could do it in the morning, the better, as this is one effective way of fueling up your body throughout the day.

  • Do Mental Exercises 

Of course, one of the best ways you can keep your brain sharp is by doing brain exercises. While running a business might already encourage this as you’re always making these big, crucial decisions, adding more mentally engaging practices would surely help you think sharply and keep your brain in its best shape and condition.  

There are plenty of mental exercises you could try. You can begin by downloading apps that encourage brain training, solving puzzles, or doing Sudoku. You can do these activities during your downtime or minutes before hitting the hay to help you sleep better (talk about hitting two birds with one stone).

  • Take A Well-Deserved Rest 

sharp-brain

As you run your business, you might tend to overstimulate your brain as you navigate a busy day and do plenty of mentally challenging activities, which might force your body to feel tired and stressed, eventually leading to burnout. While mental exercises are good for your body, it needs to rest once in a while, too. Besides sleep, taking short breaks every now and then is also a must.

If you have enough time on your hands, you should take your well-deserved rest during the weekend, when you don’t need to worry too much about your business. You can take a trip to the spa, get a relaxing massage, or go on a short vacation by the beach and just let yourself enjoy the good things. Doing so will help relax and rejuvenate your mind and body, recharging for whatever’s to come the following week.

  • Always Try To Learn Something New 

You should never stop learning. With the number of skills and ideas you can learn, take each of them as an opportunity to keep your brain sharp and stimulated, while also allowing yourself to hone your existing capabilities, or nurture and be master at a new one.

There are plenty of things you could try to learn every day. It could be basic cooking, baking, painting, hiking, woodworking, or photography, among others. This could be something fun that helps keep yourself challenged and stimulated at the same time.

Takeaway  

Keeping a sharp brain for business can be challenging, especially since most of your time is already allotted to your business as you think of ways to keep it successful. While running one might seem enough to keep your brain going, the tasks you take on might not be sufficient to keep it sharp. Nevertheless, you can always try to do some brain exercises, get enough sleep, eat the right food, do home workouts, and more. These activities should help stimulate your brain, keeping it in tiptop condition at all times, which can benefit your business in the long run.

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How an Applicant Tracking System can Enhance your Recruitment

recruitment

Let’s face it, recruitment is a tough job. You need to be on top of your game at all times and be ready for any scenario that comes your way.

You don’t only have to recruit and fill the vacant positions in your organization, but you need to make sure that you are hiring the right talent for the right job. This is what makes recruiting a demanding task because this process is like moving mountains. 

On the other hand, it isn’t really smart if you’re moving mountains by yourself in the era of cloud computing, AI, automation, and technology. Today, the smart is to let machines move the mountains, while you do other productive tasks. 

It is where an Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) comes into play. Before we explain what an ATS is and how can it enhance your recruitment process, you must know that 78% of employees have found the right talent easier by using recruitment technology such as an ATS. 

You also want to hire the right talent, right? So, let’s know more about ATS and how can it enhance your recruitment process:

What is an applicant tracking system?

recruitment

In the past, recruiters would use paper files to store information on applicants. However, with the advent of digital storage and cloud computing, many businesses now use applicant tracking systems (also known as ATS) to manage recruitment processes more effectively and efficiently. 

An applicant tracking system is a database that stores all details about job applicants such as their resume, cover letter, information regarding their past jobs, references, and more. 

Using an ATS, especially an applicant tracking system for small business can significantly streamline your recruitment processes—from sourcing candidates to extending job offers. It also saves you from paperwork and many repetitive tasks. 

Why should you use it?

Well, the answer is simple—you don’t have to be at disadvantage when 98.2% of fortune 500 companies are using an ATS. It gives them an edge over those who aren’t using it. So, if you’re one of those who isn’t using it, you’re at disadvantage against your competitors. 

With a vision to touch the sky, you can’t risk being at disadvantage, right? 

Now you know what an ATS is and why should you incorporate it in your recruitment process. So, let’s see how can it enhance your recruitment process:

6 Ways Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can Enhance Recruitment

1. Helps manage organizational talent pool

At times, when you’re hiring for a vacant position, you receive a lot of job applications. Many of which are so attractive that it becomes difficult for you to decide whom to hire. 

You only have to hire one or two, but the applications of the candidates you’ll have to forego could also prove a great asset to your organization.  

In such a situation, the right thing to do is to build up a talent pool where you include information of those candidates for future consideration. Or, you can also suggest them to apply for other job openings at the company. 

Doing all of this manually and keeping track of them can be hectic, but ATS has functionality that allows you to store and manage information related to the candidates who applied. This can help you manage your talent pool and access candidate information at any time. 

2. Streamlines the recruitment process

An ATS allows you to streamline the recruitment process, making it easier to advertise and fill positions, find the right candidates, and schedule interviews. 

One of the biggest advantages of using an ATS is that it allows you to post your job openings on multiple job boards such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, etc., at the same time. 

This means that you can increase your reach and attract more candidates in much lesser time—making it easier to find the right person for the job. 

Since the ATS would be integrated with these job posting platforms, you don’t need to download and organize the data provided by applicants manually or separately. ATS will automatically fetch all the job applicants’ data from job posting platforms. 

Also, many good ATS systems have partnered up with premium job posting platforms such as LinkedIn. So, you will be able to post your job openings through ATS at no extra costs of posting on LinkedIn or many other prominent job posting platforms.

3. Automates many repetitive tasks

Another great thing about ATS solutions is that they allow you to automate certain aspects of your recruitment process. Automating your recruitment process means that certain actions or steps are done without any human intervention. 

An ATS will allow you to automate the process of scheduling interviews. This can be done by setting up a calendar and scheduling follow-up interviews with the top candidates. This is a great way to streamline the process and make sure that nothing is left to chance. 

When it comes to scoping out candidates, an ATS will allow you to automatically mark candidates as accepted or rejected

An ATS also allows you to automate the process of checking candidates’ eligibility. This can be done by creating an automated process of checking candidates’ qualifications against the job requirement at specific intervals. 

Let’s say, only the candidates of age more than 18 can apply for the job. When the bot will compare the candidates’ age with job requirement, it will automatically mark out all the ineligible candidates within minutes. 

An ATS also allows you to automate the process of sending emails to candidates. This can be done by using an intergrated email automation tool. 

It will help you a great deal when informing job applicants about the status at certain stages of recruitment, informing them to upload the missing documents, rolling out interview schedules, and much more. Since a lot of communication is usually done through emails, automating them will save a lot of your time and resources. 

4. Helps you in video interviewing 

recruitment

These days, many businesses are hiring remotely and that is for obvious reasons. It saves a lot of time and resources spent by both, job applicants and employers, in the physical interviewing process. Employers have to organize a place for interviews and applicants have to travel there—it all requires both sides to spend time and money.

But why to do it when a substitute, video interviewing, is available for it? Video interviewing allows employers interview shortlisted candidates remotely, saving time and resources. 

Cherry on the top is that you can conduct video interviews right from your ATS solution. Many ATS solutions facilitate integrations with prominent video conferencing tools such as Google Teams, Zoom, etc., to let you carry out video interview process smoothly. 

5. Facilitates collaborative hiring

An applicant tracking system can make the hiring process more collaborative and bring hiring managers and recruiters together

It can help make hiring decisions faster, while also making the process more transparent. When everyone works in the same system, it becomes easier to compare candidates and see who is most suitable for the job. 

A candidate can apply for a job through the system and have their resume and other documents attached. The hiring managers can then review the application and collaboratively decide whether to invite the candidate for an interview. 

6. Boosts transparency and visibility

An applicant tracking system can boost transparency by allowing hiring managers to see the status of the job applications. Job seekers can also track their progress in the hiring process. 

All the relevant stakeholders can access records of job applications, making it easier to see if there are any issues with the hiring process. 

If there are delays in the hiring process, stakeholders can use the system to identify the cause of the problem. This can lead to greater transparency in the hiring process.

Final words on recruitment

An applicant tracking system can make many aspects of the recruitment process easier. It can help you keep track of candidates, automate repetitive tasks, make an organizational talent pool, and make the hiring process more collaborative. 

Apart from these advantages, the ATS can bridge the gap between the employer and candidates by making the hiring process more transparent. With the right system in place, employers can boost their recruitment process and chances to hire the right talent every time.

When you implement the ATS, here are some of tips you can follow to get the best results: 

  • Choose a reputable vendor—make sure to read reviews and testimonials about the vendor
  • Know exactly what you want from the ATS—this will make it easier to choose a system that meets your needs
  • Invest in a quality system—it is important to choose a system that can meet your long-term needs.
  • Train hiring managers and recruiters—it is important to train hiring managers and recruiters to use the system effectively. 
  • Factor in both cost and functionality—make sure you are selecting the best option for your organization
  • Make sure that the solution is scalable and flexible—this will help you scale up as your business grows in the future
  • Make sure that the solution is user-friendly and intuitive—it helps users make the most out of it

Author’s bio

Saifullah Napar is a content writer working in this field for the past three years. He has been writing on topics such as business technology, blockchain, fintech, and digital marketing. (LinkedIn)

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